The climate in America has changed, now more than ever, in relation to the LGBTQ community. Gay lovers have been given permission from the government to make their union official within the confines of marriage, people have openly celebrated the recent gender identity change of Caitlyn Jenner and overall given the homosexual community the freedom to express how they identify within. After all the changes within today’s society, one question yet to be answered is, “Does God call gay people to preach the gospel?”
Benjamin C. Evans III, an openly gay minister, said he has accepted who he is, but many of his fellow black American co-labors in the gospel have refused to. After turning 30, Evans decided it was time to stop fighting his truth and become openly gay. According to the black minister:
I was ready to embrace who I am and love who I want to love. I came to terms with three words that would change my life completely, ‘I am gay.’
The young minister learned early on to be ashamed of himself. The church taught followers that homosexuality was wrong and should be avoided. Anyone who gave into the feelings of same-gender loving should ask God to forgive and deliver them. As a result, Evans said most of his teen years were spent begging God for change. He would run to the altar for prayer of deliverance, only to return to his seat and exchange looks with a handsome brother with obvious mutual feelings.
Years later, the minister, realizing he was not going to change made the decision to embrace his “true” self. Although Evans has been accepted by many, the journey has not been easy. Now an openly gay minister, another area of opposition is from people asking, “Does God really call gays to preach the gospel?” Evans said:
I was born this way and there is absolutely nothing wrong with who I am.
Evans is not alone in the journey of coming to grips with his truth. In 2013, Allyson Abrams, a bishop from Detroit, resigned from the pastorate after disclosing to the membership that she was happily involved in a same-sex marriage with another pastor. The pastor acknowledged that she had always been progressive in her theology but had gotten to the point where she was open to any type of love. Abrams added:
I have always preached about openness and inclusion, but never directly touched on same-sex marriage because I did not feel it was necessary.
Since “coming out” the preacher has received a great deal of negative feedback but admits there has been much support as well. It was always very hurtful, according to Adams, to hear church people condemn the gay community to hell. Everyone is made in God’s image regardless of gender, color or sexual orientation. When questioned about God calling gays to preach the gospel, Abrams said:
If a same-gender loving person can play the organ, sing in the choir and clean the church, why can’t they lead the church? Why can’t they preach and teach? God does the proving of ministry and he is the one who that anoints us.
This has seemingly plagued ministers within the African-American community for years. In 2014, Pastor Curt Thomas, after being forced out of his former church, decided it was time to open his own church. Having been mentored by Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen III, the presiding prelate of the United Progressive Pentecostal Church Fellowship, Thomas established Renewed Church of Los Angeles.
Thomas, as does Evans, seeks to make homosexuality normal. His goal is to help eradicate the judgment and shame associated with homosexuality, especially within the Christian community. Evans is working to make America a country that works for everyone. He wants it to be a place where intolerance and oppression is overridden with respect and equality. When asked if God calls gays to preach the gospel, clerics such as Allen, Adams, Thomas, and Evans would answer emphatically, “Absolutely!”
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
All Christian News: Can God Call Gays To Preach The Gospel?
Liberty Voice: Gay Pastor Opens Church After ‘No Love’ From Traditional Church
Liberty Voice: Detroit Pastor Resigns After Revealing Same Sex Marriage
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