Thanks to all who read and commented on part 1. While I’m working on part 2, which will take some time, I decided to post some reflections and responses to several comments I received on part 1.
I have my own issues with organized religions and its tendency to bash and shame as well as milk its members out of their money. And don’t get me started on its demonization of women.
Erica, I understand your issues with organized religion. I’ve experienced firsthand the bashing and shaming you speak of and honestly, there was a time when I was the one bashing and shaming people. I did this to cover up cover up and distract from my own crap; I think this is why most people do it especially when it comes to the treatment of people who are gay.
I’ve been terrified of speaking up when I saw things go on that I believed weren’t right. This, along with other reasons, is why I decided to write about homosexuality. I know other Christians also want to speak, but it’s difficult. Oftentimes it’s easier to remain quiet or leave.
Recently, I decided to spend time watching Christian television, something I seldom do. I intentionally chose broadcasts of black churches and pastors. I was disappointed to find that many times, viewers were being asked to send a ‘seed’ that would release a blessing, usually financial prosperity, into their lives. I consider most of these appeals scams to as you stated ‘milk members or viewers out of their money’. I believe in financially supporting the church I attend. However, I do so based on my understanding of scripture, guidance from the Spirit and my budget. In my opinion, a budget is the miracle of financial stability and success.
This is amazingly well-written. Thank you for always writing and speaking with integrity. Interestingly enough, everything you wrote would be just as useful to non predominantly black churches, as I’ve witnessed the same harmful practices and archaic mindsets there as well.
Kasheia, you are right. Not too long ago, I read an article about man who is white that was beaten and choked for hours by members of his church to expel homosexual demons. The progressive world we see on television is not an accurate representation of how things are. If we stare into the light too long, we become blind to the truth.
The conversation that the Church needs to have on homosexuality is long overdue. I am glad you have started the dialogue on this sensitive subject. Clearly, we have hurt and ostracized many people who identify with the LGBTQ family and on the flipside of that some of the most mean-spirited dialogue I’ve seen against the Church has come from the LGBTQ community. We’ve basically set up this “us vs them” mentality and no one is winning but many are hurting.
Danielle, I think the mean-spirited dialogue is wrong yet I understand the frustration behind it. However, ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Unfortunately, ‘clapping back’ or ‘dropping the mic’ are respected ways to respond when someone hurts or disagrees with us. In the moment it feels good, but long-term, it fills the atmosphere with words that turn into things that cause more hurt.
A Forgotten Scripture
I am near finishing up Wesley Hill’s book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. My opinion of the book is somewhat mixed. At times, the author’s story gets lost amongst citations and references. However, while reading Hill’s book, I realized I had forgotten to include a scripture often use to support the stance against homosexuality. It is 1 Corinthians 6:9; Hill derives the book title from verse 11. This passage is considered by some as the most clarion about homosexuality. I still have questions. I am still unsure.