Regretfully, gay acceptance doesn’t stop there in many cases. Many of our churches have had a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” approach to gay members of congregations, choirs, and clergy. This means that openly gay behavior has not been condoned, but leaders in churches and denominations have not probed to identify or remove gay people. Often, rumors of gay activity outside of the church are overlooked as long as there are no incidents of solicitation or liaisons at church sponsored events. One minister I know proudly told a few other clergymen confidentially that he had been hired by a new congregation who had already employed a closeted gay music leader. His approach was to have a heart to heart talk in which he warned the man that he would report any problems he observed on church property. He went on to add that what the man did off site was his own business.
In my view, the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” approach to this problem is the height of hypocrisy. Politics may be the place for compromise and consensus. The Church, on the other hand, should be a place of conviction and truth.
The Bible is clear in its statements against gay sexual activity.
Unfortunately, few churches preach biblical sexuality well. If they did, there would be fewer out-of-wedlock births as well as fewer practicing gays in the black church.
Church leaders must stand against the acceptance of the gay lifestyle because of social ramifications as well. Recent studies concerning same-sex marriage have shown that in Sweden and the Netherlands, where such unions have been allowed, marriage is devalued---resulting in fewer and later marriages. Secondly, they lead to rising out-of-wedlock births akin to the current black community dilemma in the U.S.
In addition to the damage that gay marriage does to the black family structure that is already under stress, legalization of gay marriage has the potential of endangering the next generation. Statistics show that children do better in school and are greater contributors to society when a mother and a father are present in the home.
In conclusion, let me state that the battle concerning same sex marriage and gay rights is just warming up in America. I am not willing just to give into the current cultural idiom which says, “Gay is Okay!” There is too much at stake.
I have compassion for people who live a gay lifestyle. Just like Jesus, I will take every opportunity to love the sinner and hate the sin. What about you?
Will you stand with me in this culture war?
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
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