Taking coming out and turning it inside out »
In the video clip, the demonic voice of archenemy Michael Bussee, his eyes almost glowing with anger, demands: ” The organization needs to shut down. Shut down! Dont tweak it. Shut it down!”
Refuting a lie is not for the faint at heart. Liars, the bible says, spend a significant portion of their time devising their putrid concoctions. Lies, ultimately are about manipulating something that otherwise could not be breached under normal circumstances.
Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands. Micah 2:1
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil. Psalms 36:1-4
While we sleep, liars lay awake planning their lies out and despising what is good. Having said that, lets look at four broad-based lies gay christians and their allies tell on the church and the bible.
1. Christians’ prejudice against homosexuals leads them to misread biblical texts about homosexuality.
Although as superficial a lie as one can tell, it nonetheless has made a serious impact of how some view the authority of scripture and the how it applies to sexual sins. This is the lie of misplaced blame. It supposes that Christians who disagree with homosexual behavior are the ones who created the biblical narrative opposing it, thus they are to blame for what it clearly says. To conveniently label all opposition to a sexual behavior —which carries a deadly spiritual and physical penalty— as “prejudice” is a ludicrous and illogical position. Its like saying opposition to suicide is prejudice against freewill. The truth is that the bible is straitforward about all sexual immorality and makes zero exemptions for homosexual behavior, no matter what context the behavior occurs in or whether the participants are willing or not. Prejudice is judgment without knowledge. But Christians who follow biblical teachings which clearly oppose all forms of homosexuality are acting with integrity and honesty to speak the truth despite the lies told against them.
2. Christian leaders speak out against homosexuality merely to raise funds and increase their visibility.
The lie of impropriety. Why not speak out to raise money? If the money is being used to further the truth, it becomes a necessary function of the mission, plain and simple. What media outlet is going to give Christian leaders free air time? Which ones will give free ad space? If free publicity is being denied due to media bias against Christian leaders who speak out against homosexuality, then raising money is ethical and should be expected. Homosexual activist organizations, particularly the religious ones speak out against Christian leaders while raising money and gain visibility but want to deny that same privilege to others?
3. Scriptures that condemn homosexual behavior have actually been mistranslated.
This is what we can label a tactical lie. Nothing is lost by simple making broad, but untrue assertions. Ergo, this is just another convenient tactic to muddy the waters and avoid honest debate about the truth. Has the bible been mistranslated when it comes to homosexuality? It depends on what your definition of mistranslation is. With gay christians mistranslation means anything that isnt lock-step with their warped interpretations. CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) explains why there has been no mistranslaton. At the same time, every errant explanation spoken by a person claiming to be a Christian is no more applicable to the entire Christian faith as it is with any other group of people. We do know as an irrefutable statistical fact that 100% of bible passages [OT, NT] which mention homosexual behavior, condemn it using the strongest possible language. And each different writer who did so, did so independently of the other but all were guided by the inspiration of God.
4. Scriptures that condemn homosexual behavior have been taken out of context and do not apply to our present society.
This is the second version of the tactical lie aka specious argumentation. By casting doubt on the context of scripture, it produces doubt about its truthful application. Homosexual social strategists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, write in their book “After the Ball” that homosexuals should “ muddy the moral waters, that is, to undercut the rationalizations that ‘justify’ religious bigotry and to jam some of its psychic rewards.” This tactic is stenuously adhered to by the gay christian movement.
First, lets ask these questions in response to this tactical lie. What authority determined that God’s laws and condemnation of homosexuality does not apply to contemporary society? Is this authority credible? Did this authority receive direct revelation from God that his immutable, eternal word has no application to modern society? When did this happen and who is the authority who makes this brazen claim? I will wager that if such a person existed they would be indentified as a prohomosexual cleric who self serving ideology benefits only a small contigent of sexual outlaws and not the greater good of humanity and certainly not the Christian family.
Still in the casting and production mode, a new stage play called “The Other Side” is hoping to wake up a much needed discussion about sexuality, sexual abuse and identity according to Connecticut based director/producer/actor Colin Ivan Osborn.
In LA on business, Osborn took some time to talk exclusively with GCM Watch about the play.
GCM WATCH: Colin, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about your stage play the Other Side. So let me ask a few obvious questions. What’s the significance of the title of the play?
COLIN OSBORN: Initially the play was going to be called The Other Side of the Pulpit. But I shortened it to just The Other Side for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted it to draw a wider audience. I didn’t want it to be specifically a church play. Its not necessarily a church play, but it does have some religious references in it. I used that title coming from a lot of some experiences I’ve seen cause I have a lot of minister friends who have expereinced life and have gone through situations. Some of the stuff is fictional but there are some truths in what we talk about.
GCMW: If the church isnt your intended audience, who is it that you are aiming your message at?
CO: Everybody. Everybody who has been broken. Everybody who has experienced hurt and pain. Everybody who is not able to deal with and overcome things by the past. Those who have been dogmatized by the church and people who have been abused sexually. I want to talk to everybody. Some of that comes from my background workwise cause I work in the criminal justice field as well.
GCMW: No doubt, there are a lot of broken people in the church as well who could stand to benefit from seeing your play. If thats the case, what would you like for them to walk away with?
CO: I want the church people to walk away feeling safe to talk about what they’ve really gone through. From experience church people have been taught thats its not okay to talk about whats really going on. Put on your game face, your poker face. By you putting on the poker face youre exemplifying God…but in actuality you’re still broken. That’s kinda like the lead character in the play [Pastor Jeremiah Bryant]. He convinced himself to put on a poker face but everything that he’s been trying to suppress is coming back and controlling his life.
GCMW: You said you’re not aiming this at the church audience, but your lead character is a pastor. How do you reconcile that?
CO: I want the church to come outside the church so this is for everybody. A lot of the topics in this play ironically are conversations Ive had with church people. They say I wish the church would talk about this. I’m a rebellious type of guy, so lets do it. I dont want there to be any segregation when it comes to that. Everybody is dealing with something. so everybody needs to talk about it.
GCMW: Lets talk about Pastor Jeremiah Bryant. I’ve watched the trailer and there’s some striking imagery in the trailer particularly at the end where another man’s hands embrace him while he is looking in the mirror. So is it fair to say homosexuality is one of the issues youre dealing with in the play?
GCMW: And what’s your approach on the subject?
CO: Its not the typical conversations people have. Its not dogmatic. I’m definitely not talking about it to say that its right or wrong. I think that [pauses and sighs]… Im trying to use that situation to force people to ask another question. I’m not saying its right. I’m not saying its wrong. I have my own beliefs about things. But what I do want to do is to talk about the stuff people dont talk about which is why I wrote it in that manner. What’s funny is a lot of people have seen the trailer. And when they see that part they say hmmm I need to find out whats going on. I want to use that to pull and be suspenseful.
GCMW: You being the playwright, are your personal beliefs entwined in this play? I know you said youre not trying to say whether its right or wrong but if youre trying to move people to resolution, is it wise to leave it as an open-ended situation?
CO: I think so. I think by leaving it open-ended its going to force people to talk. Are some of my beliefs in there? There are some of my beliefs in it but I wrote the play based off of people’s stories. Like I said I wanted to talk about the topics that no one really wants to talk about it. Especially in our community.
GCMW: So this is a “black” play because all of the characters are African American, right?
CO: All the characters are African American but they also all come from different backgrounds. Their fan bases are very diverse. There’s a universal message and I’m just using the “black experience” to bring that message out to everybody. Its not stereotypical and not traditional.
GCMW: Do you think that anyone will be offended at any of the subject matter in the play?
CO: I kinda hope they are offended. I hope they are offended. If people get offended its because they have an issue with themselves internally. If they get offended, good. Now, talk about it. So to some extent I hope they do get offended because at the end of the day something is going on with you. Im not saying that negatively but yeah it means that Im doing something right.
GCMW: Talk to me about the production of the play. Is this going to have elaborate stage props…?
CO: This is my first major production so Im not trying to come out with big stage props but it will be as professional as possible. With the caliber of actors that I have, that alone will help to up the whole production.
GCMW: Im gonna give you a chance to drop some hints to well known folks. [he laughs] So, if you could assemble a dream cast of actors to work with, who would it be?
CO: Honestly, I would love to work with Morgan Freeman and Felicia Rashad. The older ones have so much wisdom and they have so much knowledge and skill. Im kinda an old soul so thats where Im at. I love the older actors.
GCMW: And I’m going to help you out with Alfre Woodard!
CO: Oh God, YES! I love her! Oh my God, yes! And Viola Davis!
GCMW: What producer inspires your work?
CO: I do appreciate what Tyler Perry is doing. I appreciate him more because of the struggle he’s had and to see how he’s overcome his life obstacles. That’s appealing to me. If I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him all I’d want is to say is let me sit down with you for 15 minutes and just tell me how you overcame. To me, thats more valuable than asking for a part.
GCMW: Colin, how long did it take you from the conception, the idea to actually beginning work? People say “I have a dream” but the dream never becomes a reality. So how did you get your dream to this point?
CO: [laughs] Three and a half years. I finally woke up sometime last year. Im 33 years old now, so when I was 32 I finally said I think I can do something with this. So its been about a three and a half year process.
GCMW: Great! Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to shed some light about the play.
CO: Thanks, I appreciate the opportunity.
Osborn says his website with tour dates will be updated. A “mini movie” about The Other Side is slated to be released September 2013.
Related: The Other Side on Facebook
One thing that may be a positive sign of COGIC’s old guard transitioning out is that the newer bishops seem more willing to engage the culture and at least talk about current issues in a cognitive manner. The Blake administration and his contemporaries are so tight lipped and up tight about homosexuality that it makes you wonder what the problem really is. Maybe its all the scandals they’ve had to tip toe around.
Detroit’s Bishop J. Drew Sheard, recently elected to the denomination’s General Board, took some time to respond to a question about Jason Collins and homosexuality. The challenge for those in front of the camera lens is to remain true to scripture. If they can just do that, we will be fine. After the colossal collapse of Kirk Franklin on the issue, its good to hear this bishop at least hold the line at the truth. It would have been great and a spiritual plus had he briefly talked about how homosexuals can be redeemed and transformed, but this is a very good first showing.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT beginning at the 1:55 mark
[...]“You asked a question about Mr. Collins coming out of the clost as a gay man. Of course, the bible teaches us that God created a man and a woman. He created a woman for a man and at no time does the bible condone any kind of gay relationships. And so if you read the bible you will see that the bible often talks about those kinds of relationships and it talks about them not being of God and an abomination. And things of that nature. My opinion of Mr. Collins is I pray for him and I love him as a person and I pray that God will help him in this area. We often have issues about gays in our ministry and I make it clear that we don’t believe in any “gaybashing”, but we believe that we should help them live their lives the way that God intended for them to do. So thats my opinion of that. I hope that you will be prayerful and read the word of God and see where the Word of God very clear ly states that God intended for a man should be with a woman.”
A new church directory listing churches who affirm redemption and the redeemed while welcoming those seeking freedom from homosexuality launched today.
The idea for the directory came from New York Pastor Fred Rochester who wrote on his blog that a “new wave was coming”:
In light of many local churches and pastors becoming Gay Affirming Churches, we unapologetically declare the fact that we are an EX-GAY AFFIRMING CHURCH.
Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 6:11…
“And such WERE some of you. But you WERE washed, but you WERE sanctified, but you WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
There are those that live in hopelessness unnecessarily. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides hope for those trapped in the sin of homosexuality. Through the sinless, shed blood of Jesus, by His grace, and mercy, you can experience new life in Christ to prevail over the sin of homosexuality.
The intent is not about heterosexuality. The intent is to help you, through the grace of God, to willingly move you from sin, to holiness, to help you become whole in Christ.
As pastor and founder of the Corinthian church, The Apostle Paul boldly set the precedent by openly affirming those who had been redeemed from homosexuality and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. That became the focus of a powerful kingdom strategy Rochester noticed had been severely underutilized by the contemporary church in its struggle against homosexuality.
“Having a visible, openly identified network of churches welcoming and affirming former homosexuals, their families and loved ones is both positive and proactive”, said Pastor DL Foster, Senior Director of the Overcomers Network, which is hosting the directory.
Why list as an EXGLBT Affirming congregation?
EXGLBT Affirming Churches distinguish the true church of Jesus Christ from those supporting homosexuality. By listing your church as an EXGLBT affirming church, you’re inviting the redeemed to come and fellowship in a righteous and holy environment.
Listing as an EXGLBT Affirming Church strategically places the local church in a visible position to the world as affirming God’s redemptive work. In addition, you encourage members to walk in boldness, sharing their testimony and giving God glory. By affirming former homosexuals, you give them a place of safety and growth.
Listing as an Exgay Affirming Church sends a signal that you won’t compromise truth.
The listing is free and with no requirements for membership or meetings. Listed churches should accept basic Christian doctrines of deliverance, freedom from sin by faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from sin. To list your church as Redemption-Affirming and Deliverance-Welcoming congregation go here.
In a weird, bizarre, embarrassing, evasive, uncomfortable Joel Osteen way, gospel music industry worker Kirk Franklin pointedly avoided answering direct questions about homosexuality in the church and porn issues.
Franklin had been “under fire” from homosexual activists who were angry because he was paid $80,000 by the DC government to perform there.
So much for the faux cockiness mask Franklin wears when he’s in front of church audiences. Several years ago, with Donnie McClurkin at his side, he pumped it up for the church folks in a pit bull type rebuke [video] gospel artists “lifestyles” (read:homosexuality). But in this video, Franklin sounds and appears downright scared.
Watch for yourself.