June 8, 2012

Obama, The Black Church & Gay Marriage

I have just one question. Would this pastor have given this sermon in support of a white president?

UPDATE: His preaching flow is excellent, but I've got problems with the direction his sermon is going.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to the full sermon to determine if he ever corrects what  I think are major problems with his sermon.

Problem#1: Nowhere in this clip does he cite scripture.  I'm sorry, but as a former member of Word of Faith, pastored by Rev. Keith Butler and now a member of New Horizon's Church, pastored by Eric Wiggins, I've been correctly taught that the man of God should be referencing the scripture as his basis for what he has to say, indeed I'm not obligated to pay heed to teaching that is not grounded in scripture. Indeed, as a Christian, my responsibility is to actually go a step further and to read and understand the Word for myself.  Now, maybe he gets to a scriptural basis somewhere later on, but I'd be surprised.  What you really have here is not so much a sermon as a very well delivered opinion.

Problem#2: He essentially insinuates that anyone who objected to the President's statement on gay marriage is either a bigot or is projecting some issue they have onto the President, basically insinuating that if you object, perhaps you're gay.  I find this particularly foul from a man of God claiming to preach a sermon as to what sayeth the Lord on this subject. That's your answer to someone's objection, they are a bigot or gay? The sophistry of that is pretty staggering.

Problem#3: He wants to minimize what the president is doing with his statement by trying to cast it as the President's personal opinion, as though the timing and content of the President's remarks on this subject have no political purposes at all, as though they were not pulled out of him by the political blunderbussing blunders of his Vice President.  By trying to cast it as the President's personal opinion, he wants us to behave in some sort of see no evil manner and ignore the public policy agenda which the President is intending to further with his remarks. In this respect, he's really carrying the water for the President, when he ought to be carrying it for God.  As he points out, Obama is not the pastor of America, but the president. His job is to uphold the constitution, not the Bible.  But he's a preacher, and it is HIS job to uphold the Bible.  But instead, what is he doing with this argument he makes of how its just the President's persona opinion and you're not gonna lose your 501(c)(3)? He's cooling out his own naturally socially conservative black church congregation and aiding and abetting the cooling out of conservative black church folk all over the nation.  And as much as you saw people cheering and clapping and saying "yes sir!", I can guarantee you that everyone of them went home unsettled by their pastor telling them you need to get comfortable with gay marriage and homosexuality or you are a bigot. I can guarantee you they were cheering him not because he was championing homosexuality, but because he was championing the President.  Black America is generally deeply connected to supporting the President, in particular because he is perceived to be unfairly criticized and demonized and an audience like the one this preacher has will be receptive to a rhythmic and flowing defense of the President. 

Problem#4: Back to scripture.  He makes the point that Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or referenced it during his ministry or at least no such reference is recorded in the Gospels.  However, while the New Testament is important, the Bible makes clear that ALL scripture is good and valuable for teaching, reproof and discipline. You can't read one part of the Bible in isolation from other parts.  To understand what God has to say on a subject you should pull every scriptural reference on a topic and review them, to get the entirety of what God has to say on the subject. Homosexuality is referenced elsewhere in the Bible and those scriptures have to be referenced as well and read in conjunction with the New Testament gospels silence on the matter. I don't have the rest of the sermon, but I'm willing to bet he studiously avoids talking at all about what the Bible does say about homosexuality. Generally, this is what our pastors who are basically part and parcel of the democratic machine do; judiciously avoid speaking about what the Bible has to say on the subjects of abortion and homosexuality, since its cross wise with the democratic party's agenda on these subjects.

Bottom Line: His ministerial flow is good, he's got the preaching gift, but on scriptural grounding and sophistication of argument, he gets a C, based on the clip that's available.