Pastor Jay Haizlip who leads The Sanctuary, a megachurch in Huntington Beach, Calif., recently tackled a challenging situation with one of his former parishioners, on this week’s episode of Preachers of L.A.
Pastor Jay was contacted by a former parishioner named April, who attended church frequently in the past but has now stayed away. April got back in touch with Pastor Jay to discuss her decision to undergo a sex change. Pastor Jay met with his wife, Christy and the Youth Pastor, Cody of his ministry to determine how he should approach the situation. During the conversation his wife points out that she wants to provide a safe environment for April, who now goes by the name of David. Youth Pastor, Cody, voiced a differing opinion saying that he could not see himself calling her “David” when he only knew her as April.
“David” and Pastor Jay met up, having a heart-to-heart conversation. Haizlip expressed his desire to welcome “David” back to the church. During the conversation, Pastor Jay asked what he could do to help, and “David” says calling him by his new name would help. Pastor Jay states he’s trying to do the right thing in understanding all of this, but he’s struggling.
He wasn’t the only one struggling. This encounter, with his former church member, had social media buzzing.
This was a very public handling of a very real issue that many churches face or will face in our society. While he did not condemn “David”, he also did not give his approval of “David’s” chosen lifestyle as one that is in accordance with the scriptures. Some viewers might characterize Haizlip’s approach as too soft and further confirmation that Christians are conforming more to the world, while others commend him for displaying the love and grace of Christ.
Former skateboarder turned pastor, Jay Haizlip says, “My desire, number one, is that there’s gonna be millions of people who watch this show that would never go to any church anywhere.” His wife Christy echoes the same sentiments stating, “Our number one goal was to represent Christ in a positive way and to maybe reach that person that maybe doesn’t go to church, but will watch reality TV.”
The Haizlips demonstrate honesty in tackling the subject. They depict the struggle in balancing their beliefs as Christians with the desire not to ostracize. Ultimately, opting to show love and opening their church doors to the former parishioner. Through their story and ministry, Christy Haizlip hopes reviewers will find “a healthy way to go through trials and issues” while being able to come to a peaceful resolve.
“Preachers of LA” airs Wednesday nights on Oxygen Network at 10 p.m. ET.
Let Us Hear from You!
How should Pastor Jay approach the sex change subject?
How would you deal with a situation that may go against your belief system or biblical principles?