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6 comments | Monday, June 09, 2008




Soulforce, a gay Christian activist group, visited the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church June 1 to meet with outspoken Bishop Eddie Long as part of as six week campaign of visiting megachurches.

Long and several church officials met with Soulforce in a private, closed-door meeting in the church’s administrative offices. Soulforce members said Long told them that much of what he has said and done regarding the gay issues has been misconstrued.

“He talked a lot about being bashed [in the media], and admitted that some hurtful things have been said, but one thing he admitted that pleased me is that there are things he needs to learn,” said Soulforce member Dr. Dionne Bates, an Atlanta-area therapist. “He gave the impression he is willing to learn those things. In order for healing with our community we have to give him time to learn.”

In December 2004, Long held a “Re-ignite the Legacy” march protested by gay groups. Banning same-sex marriage was the No. 1 item on the march agenda, followed by reforming the education and health care systems and creating economic opportunities for minorities. (Source)

The meeting with Soulforce is a step in the right direction towards healing the pain inflicted on Long's gay and lesbian members and the broader community by his hateful rhetoric. Only time will tell if he's indeed serious about offering a place at the table for LGBT Christians.

Jacquelyn Williams, a member of New Birth, who was unaware that Soulforce was in attendance stated "They are welcome in the house, they can worship with us, but we do not condone that lifestyle.”

One immediate positive as a result of the meeting was the reunion between Rev. Troy Sanders of The Vision Church of Atlanta and his godmother, a New Birth member, who had been estranged since Rev. Sanders publicly came out.

In her remarks she stated that she wanted to publicly ask forgiveness for having lost connection with Troy following his coming out as a gay man. She commented that her lack of communication with him was solely based on the fact that she did not know what to say or how to say it. She wishes now that she knew then how to approach him because her love for him had never changed.



Well if that gave you a warm feeling inside then savor it because there's a spoiler. Not everyone is excited about Bishop Long's willingness to have dialogue with the LGBT community and are already plotting his downfall. Yes, other so-called "Christians" are preparing to write him and his congregation off for simply sitting down to talk. They've sent him a letter forewarning him of the consequences he'll face if he starts to preach the gospel of inclusion. A drop in attendance, lack of monetary support, no bling-bling, and fading celebrity. Oh I almost forgot, the loss of his soul too.

6 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It is unfortunate that the rights of gay people are currently subject to the irrational prejudices and erroneous Biblical interpretations of religious homophobes. With that in mind, I was happy to discover through one of your links (Queer Kid of Color) a black gay blogger who is an atheist. I'm glad I FINALLY have some company (although I consider myself an agnostic).

I have never understood why so many black gay men sit in Christian churches Sunday after Sunday listening to themselves described as the lowest type of humanity and refuse to stand up for themselves or AT LEAST LEAVE.

June 09, 2008 3:27 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I have never understood why so many black gay men sit in Christian churches Sunday after Sunday listening to themselves described as the lowest type of humanity and refuse to stand up for themselves or AT LEAST LEAVE

church is a weird institution...weird as in "different." with that said, i suppose many of these men you refer to in your comment still attend because there are other things spoken across the pulpit that are relevant for their lives. or maybe they go for the fellowship of other churchgoers...i think there are a variety of reasons why they stay. i don't see how another SGL individual should give them grief if they stay...

and if there is one thing we learned about the rev. wright stuff during the primaries, we are not all going to like EVERYTHING that is spoken across the pulpit. but that shouldn't change how we feel about God and our own sense of spirituality.

June 10, 2008 7:36 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Selene: Black gay men are coming into their own whether you and others find it threatening or not.

Black gay men are joining GAY churches and/or GAY FRIENDLY churches and leaving homophobic churches behind. More and more black gay men are finding out that you can change churches just like you change anything else. Clothes and jobs, for example.

Other black gay men are deciding they don't need "religion" in their lives at all. The aforementioned black gay atheist blogger seems to be an independent thinker and others, slowly but surely, will come around to his point of view.

Bye, bye to homophobic churches! Black gay men are making choices that benefit THEM, not people who want to keep them degraded and depressed.

I compare a black gay man staying in a homophobic church to a woman staying in an abusive marriage or relationship. The only solution in both cases is to GET OUT of the situation. Period.

June 11, 2008 11:18 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I compare a black gay man staying in a homophobic church to a woman staying in an abusive marriage or relationship. The only solution in both cases is to GET OUT of the situation. Period.

the point that i was trying to make is that the decision to stay is their choice. what works for them may not work for you...then so be it.

and your opening comment to me...my response had nothing to do with feeling threatened about black gay men coming into their own. i wish that for EVERY person. DO YOU!!! i just don't see or understand why one SGL individual would look down at another SGL who decided to stay in said church....

June 11, 2008 1:36 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I have taken a moment last year to study the "gospel of inclusion" and learned that many principles that powers this teaching do not fall in synchronization to the bible. How can a christian reconcile the teachings of the "gospel" of inclusion to the bible? If the bible is our source and witness in being a christian, then believing in anything other than the bible is a direct conflict the the source of our faith.

Although love is a key in being a christian, there are some things concerning the "gospel of inclusion" that do not sit well with the principles taught by the bible overall.

I will say that Bishop Long as a right as a pastor to listen and learn about the people, all sorts of people. Jesus was touched by the sinner and the saints...even hypocrits, too!

June 12, 2008 4:53 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

wow

May 28, 2011 11:13 PM

 

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