Please start acting like Jesus Christ!
Sista-Gurl, we need to talk. Really, we do. Over the past weekend, the entire world has heard a portion of Kim Burrell’s “Sermon on the Mount,” in which you unabashedly made the following statements:
“Anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit, beg God to free you.” … “I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion. It has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ.” … “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. … You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”
Then you alluded to the fact (or prophecy) that all homosexuals will die in 2017 due to their sins, assuming that they don’t repent and live a lie, meaning a lie because homosexuality is presumably a sin, per your beliefs and doctrine.
Oh, Kim … .
Sista-Gurl, as I sit here and wrestle with how to respond to you, I am conflicted for a number of reasons:
As one of God’s children that belongs to group you have prophesied will die this year, my first inclination is to drag you through the muck and mire like everyone else has been doing through Facebook postings, memes, YouTube videos and personal conversations.
But I can’t give you a public reprimand like other celebrities, because my platform is decidedly smaller. I can’t cancel your appearances, like Ellen DeGeneres did (Did you even REALIZE Ellen is like the most POPULAR lesbian on the PLANET? What in the HELL were you thinking?!?). And I can’t make an off-the-cuff suggestion that you contact the Donald Trump campaign and offer to sing at the inauguration because he can’t BUY entertainers to perform.
But since I can’t do those things, I decided that dragging you through the muck just wasn’t the response for me to make — even though I wanted it to be. And that hurts because I truly want to READ you for FILTH.
Because for me, this is all deeply personal. Because I was around when the AIDS pandemic was at its heighth, and black gays were dropping like flies, along with everyone else. A number of those black gay men who were in the black church sat in pews like those at your church Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, continuing to be victimized and ostracized at a time when they needed LOVE and support from their pastors and fellow parishioners.
Those men can no longer speak out. But I can. I strongly believe one of the reasons HIV can’t be contained in the black community is because of the church’s position on homosexuality. I’ve always believe that.
Then I considered issuing a national call to action that involved black homosexuals arming themselves with biblical scriptures highlighting the penalties for heterosexual sins, going to their neighborhood churches, and DRAGGING all those known to have violated the Bible, because as you so eloquently stated, God hates sin.
My favorite scripture of choice in that regard is found in Deutoronomy 23:2, which reads: “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.”
Given the disproportionate number of black children born to single black mothers, hovering around 80 percent, my call to action using this Bible verse ALONE would ensure that we could rightfully decrease the number of church attendees by well over three quarters, because these women and their children often seek refuge in churches as they attempt to find understanding, acceptance and a closer relationship with God. That would result in the closure of MANY black churches and pastors, like yourself, having to find other sources of income to live on, which isn’t unprecedented because last time I checked, Jesus Christ worked as a carpenter while he shared his life-affirming ministry and at NO CHARGE.
How about that?
But Sista-Gurl, that option didn’t work for me either.
So I contemplated going over every scripture dealing with homosexuality in biblical times and outlining what those scriptures meant in their historical, cultural, religious and political context — a process known as hermeneutical study. As an ordained minister, I believe that approach to studying and understanding the Bible is critical to understanding how we can synthesize that information and apply what we can to 21st century living.
Oh, about that ordained minister situation, it’s something many don’t know about me and I choose not to divulge it often for very specific reasons. Even though I’m not a Christian any longer, having left the faith several years ago over my growing dismay with the hypocrisy of the church, in particular the black church, I am still a firm believer in Jesus Christ and try to live by the principles he taught during his 33-year ministry.
However, because I have an affinity for profanity (Hey, at least I’m being honest!), I don’t want people to associate the word “ordained” or “minister” with Jesus Christ and my personal journey and relationship with him, as people will do. Trying to instruct them on right and abundant living YET struggling with this flaw would give the appearance that I was a “hypocrite,” and my conviction is so strong that I refuse to let that happen.
So I work on myself (something you should consider) and try to love and help people during my journey in this form. It is a lesson you should STRONGLY consider.
So Sista-Gurl, in the end, I simply leave you with this: PLEASE start acting like Jesus Christ. It’s not that hard and the gospel of Jesus Christ is more simple than Christians are willing to admit. It hinges on two commandments given by God, not all of those human commandments and prohibitions designed by the early Hebrews to make themselves right before God in a ritual sense.
By the way, homosexuality is not a sin and never was. It was considered a ritual impurity by the early Hebrews that prevented access to God per their standards, not God’s.
The majority of biblical scholars, including Hebrew scholars, agree that “toevah,” used to describe ritual uncleanness, was not considered a moral sin. Many prohibitions found in the book of Leviticus in particular fell under the banner of “toevah.” Eating pork or shellfish, sleeping with a woman on her menstrual cycle, wearing fabric composed of two different fibers, those with leprosy and yes, even homosexuality were considered “toevah.” But they weren’t sins as you and other pastors erroneously preach.
In closing, Sista-Gurl if you hadn’t canceled your latest Bible study due to putting your damn foot in your mouth with all this tired, played-out foolishness, perhaps you and your women could have had an insightful session on “toevah” and start the process of learning what the Bible really has to teach mankind because there are some importance lessons to be learned about loving your fellow man and woman. But I digress … .
Buster Spiller is a happily married, longtime activist, and award-winning playwright from Dallas.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 06, 2017.