messengerbootcamp

Trinity Works, an evangelical group which wants to convert members of the LGBT community to its brand of Christianity at Twin Cities Pride, says that it has recruited about 30 churches for the effort. The group also says it will conquer the LGBT community the way David conquered Goliath.

Trinity Works’ outreach is called “Humility 2014.” It’s named “humility” because it’s an antonym of “pride.” The group plans to prey on internalized homophobia and past spiritual violence on members of the LGBT community to convince them to leave their friends, family, and partners to become “former homosexuals” and join Trinity Works’ network of safe houses and churches.

According to Christian Family Church of Minnetonka, 30 churches have signed up for “continuous worship, intercession, and evangelism during the gay pride event in Minneapolis.” They’ll be giving out “living water” and will also host a corn feed. Among the other churches participating: Northbrook Alliance Church in Brooklyn Center, Way of the Lord Church in Blaine, Bethany Church in Bloomington, Bethel Christian Fellowship in St. Paul, Redeeming Love Church in Maplewood, and the Well Church in Robbinsdale.

The outreach itself will take place at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis, right on Hennepin Avenue on the Pride parade route.

Outreach leaders say they will have as many as 300 workers at Pride urging members of the LGBT community to leave the “lifestyle.” They’ve been trained through Trinity Works’ “Messenger Boot Camp,” a 6 week seminar that teaches them how to interact with LGBT people. The group spent five years doing recon in LGBT bars and at past Pride events.

For them, capturing the LGBT community is akin to warfare.

At a recent talk at the Well Church in Robbinsdale, Trinity Works’ founder, Steven Uggen, told the story of David and Goliath, a Christian tale that pits an Israelite young man against an evil Philistine giant.

As I read this story, you guys, the Lord brought me to this story in the context of the LGBT community, my heart began to wonder back to this whole idea of the church and this stronghold of the LGBT community. I started to see the similarities between this story and where the church is today in modern America. We are the Israelites. We have armies, we literally have armies and what is crazy about this once that giant went down, the Israelites all stormed and like wiped out the Philistines — I can’t remembers what it was — literally when the Philistines saw that giant fall, fear struck their hearts and courage struck the hearts of the Israelites and they absolutely routed and decimated this army. So that’s another thing that’s important for us to lay hold of because the church is waiting for — they’re waiting for the testimony of the giant falling, when the church actually hears the testimony of that giant falling the church is going to rush as this thing and go at it hard but until then I felt the Lord was challenging my heart.
“I saw the picture very clearly: the Israelites are the church, the LGBT stronghold is Goliath in our land and no one want to go deal with this thing. I heard the spirit of the Lord say to me, ‘Where are my Davids? Where are my Davids in this generation? because you know what we can read from this thing and we can hear all of these incredible stories. The same God that’s now dwelling on the inside of us is the one that wrote these stories. These things are real. These things happened and he wants to do them in our generation but he’s waiting for his Davids to rise up and run at these giants, filled with faith and power and declare the word of the lord on these things come down. Come on somebody. I’m going to freak out up here. I’m gonna freak out! Whoo! Alright.

Uggen also said that he knew this was a battle like David and Goliath when a friend gave him stones.

The friend was in the Middle East 15 years ago and picked up some rocks from a stream — a stream he believed to be the same one David plucked stones from two millennia ago and used to defeat Goliath. Uggen recalled the man saying, “Something told me that before I came to the meeting this morning that I was supposed to bring these stones and give them to. You does that mean anything to you?”

The crowd at the Well Church moaned in spiritual ecstasy as Uggen told the story.

“I said, ‘Yeah that means something. That means my god is real, and it means he’s behind me. Te wants to take this giant [the LGBT community] down. That’s what it means. Now I know what David felt like and I know it’s not just me. I know it’s the church that he’s after — his bride. He’s calling all of us into this battle.”

Trinity Works has not responded to repeated requests for comment by TheColu.mn.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for your great coverage on this, Andy.

    I can’t help wondering how much quirky fun it would be to wear an “Unhappy being gay, help me!” t-shirt in a form of non-confrontational protest geared toward hijacking as much time as possible with these folks, sidestepping their access to younger or more vulnerable Pride attendees. I’d be mostly non-committal, drawing “conversations” out as long as possible, and close with giving out a card that said ex-gay therapy and assumptions were a significant piece of the slippery slope leading to my partner’s suicide in 2000.

    (Yeah, I’m odd that way!)

  2. I think it would be sensational if this hate group had several hundred people present them with a small stone with a message: ” This stone is God’s love, come to show you that you got it backward. David, was a young, comely, ruddy man, who was good to look at and Jonathon’s sworn love. Thus, common sense shows that David is actually the Gay metaphor in the story, and Goliath was the ugly, threatening fundamentalist. Take this stone in Love and Humility and ponder your bible story with fresh eyes.

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