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4 comments | Thursday, August 31, 2006

Forgive me as I rant and rave and begin to work through some of my own issues surrounding my sexuality and my faith.

In L.A. I attended a mega church that was nationally known and operated out of a multi-million dollar cathedral. My church was commonly referred to as the "celebrity church" because it's membership included the likes of Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Stevie Wonder, and Natalie Cole among others.

Last year around this time when I was going through lots of life changes the church and my relationship with God became paramount. It was during this time my faith increased beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I was a black gay christian man who openly identified as such and believed I had a right to the kingdom just like the next man.

I was confident in this fact, and as the preacher would say "steadfast and unmovable", until the words of Bishop Alfred Owens stirred up emotions and a reaction from me that changed my view of the church forever.

I will not relive the homophobic venom that was spewed from his mouth in the name of God on that Sunday morning, but I will say that this was a turning point for me. I began to view my church and it's leaders differently. It became harder for me to sit in church on a weekly basis and remain silent as my worth as a black gay man was reduced to nothing.

So I left and decided to work on my relationship with God and exert less energy on my relationship with the church.

Now that I'm in Atlanta finding a place to worship is on my to do list. Where do I go, another mega church? Maybe Eddie Long will welcome my unapologetically loud, black, gay, self into his congregation? I doubt it, besides I would never set foot in his church.

So I thought I should probably go to a church where all people are welcomed to experience the goodness of Christ regardless of sexual orientation.

My best friend refers to it as the "sissy church". I gathered from previous conversations that he would show some resistance in attending with me, my question is why? Have we become so accustomed to being attacked from the pulpit that when we attend a church that preaches the real message of God's love we reject it for not hurting?

To be continued...


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hey Darian,
I like reading your blog. Welcome to the South and all its homophobic crap. Your new Nashville friend....Stan

August 31, 2006 12:24 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Now you know this topic definitely strikes a chord with me. I'm at that point in time where I'm making the final decision about becoming a member at my church...a predominantly black, COGIC church. While I hope that I will be fully accepted and not merely 'tolerated', I too cannot be one of those SGL folks that just sits back and remains silent when our church leader blast gay people for ridiculous and very untrue reasons.

Maybe it would be a good idea to check out a few smaller congregations before a mega church. Mega churches, for me, do not signify the closeness and cohesiveness of believers that should be found in the church. If you don't feel right there, go to the church that accepts you openly.

"Sissy church" or not, you should feel absolutely comfortable in your home of worship. One should attend church to grow and share spiritually, not to be slighted or condemned.

August 31, 2006 2:10 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hey Darian, you ATLien you!!!! Yeah, picking the right church should be something taken seriously for straight people as well as gay people. The worse thing you want to hear is someone condemning you for being gay, but listen carefully when preachers are speaking... not many people recognize that gay people have LOVING relationships or at least would like to have LOVING relationships... we have been so sexualized and not given a chance. It is going to take people like ourselves to take some hits for the team and make our presence known as SGL people who have a place in heaven as well. May God be with your decision...

September 06, 2006 7:48 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hey Darian.

It's Rod from Rod 2.0.
You may want to try Tabernacle Baptist Church. It's a large but friendly congregation, Baptist traditions and great music, but the ministry is very progressive. The pastor, Rev. Dennis A. Meredith, is outspoken in his acceptrance and welcoming of lgbt members.

My best friend attends Tab and I try to make service every time I'm in the ATL.

September 11, 2006 2:34 PM


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