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...