I recently received an e-mail from a very close friend on the east coast, and in this e-mail he spoke about his desire to have a relationship with God and to worship with other believers, but was afraid to attend church because of the rampant homophobia that is so prevalent in the Black church.
Being raised in a Black baptist church in the south, I couldn't begin to tell you the number of fire and brimstone sermons or more recently "Brokeback" jokes I've had to listen to. God has always been apart of my life and I decided very early that I would not let man or his interpretation of scripture separate me from a relationship with God.
As I read his e-mail I began to think back to a time when I hadn't begun my spiritual walk and how it hurt me to the core whenever I heard ministers speak about my "lifestyle" as an "abomination" or referred to me as a "person posessed with a demonic spirit" . The church was supposed to be the one place where you could go and feel safe, where you were welcomed to come as you are to worship in spirit and in truth, except if you're gay.
For years gay people have played a vital role in the black church, on the usher board, in the choir, directing the choir, hell there would be no music on Sunday mornings if we weren't there, and even the pulpit. My last serious relationship was with a minister, and I've been approached by several others. So why is the church so unfriendly towards gay people? I'm sure almost all would say the answer lies within the word of God. It just baffles me how people pick and choose scriptures to use to persecute others and disregard one of God's greatest teachings, love.
For far too long we've sat in silence as our souls have been damned to hell, even at times shouting "amen" in response to the homophobic venom coming from the pulpit. My people often make the mistake of playing church and getting caught up in religion and not a real praying relationship with God, and in the process we use others as a scapegoat to cover our own sins, and we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
If I had to give my friend some advice it would simply be this: You are a child of God, created in his image and born to give him praise. He knew you and who you were going to be when you were in your mothers womb, the source of your faith should never be in your pastor or man but in Jesus. The real church should be in your heart and not the building.
Labels: Coming Out