Can the LORD BE MY SHEPHERD If I Am Gay? Absolutely. The real question is “Are you willing to be one of His sheep? That is to say, are you willing to unlearn the misinformation and miseducation that has driven you into theological exile and relearn WHO YOU ARE and how much you mean to the Shepherd? He made no mistake when He created you JUST AS YOU ARE.
Purpose for this book
- To save myself (and hopefully others) from going any deeper into becoming an ignorant, hypocritical, hate-filled, homophobic Christian regurgitating an unexamined belief system. Through the years, I have heard preachers, parishioners, and peers twist the interpretation of Scripture to verbally abuse homosexuals, effeminate men, and tomboy women with words of shame, disgrace, guilt, and embarrassment. I have watched “Christian” people, when their bashing failed, banish, excommunicate, ostracize, dismiss, reject, and/or exclude people who are either wrestling with or owning up to their sexual orientation.
- To share a process that led me to experience a transformation from homophobia to advocating a Biblical perspective that is inclusive of God’s entire creation.
- To offer words of hope and encouragement for anyone who may feel discouraged or convinced that they are lost, loveless, and less likely to be accepted by God because of their sexual orientation. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- Abel, the first account, is the person who brought to my attention my own spirit of homophobia. A group of parishioners and I had gathered to prepare Holy Communion for Communion Sunday. Able asked me if he could serve as my Associate, pro bono. Before I had the opportunity to answer, one of the Elder’s said “never.” And, then, the Elder proceeded to berate Abel for the very idea of thinking he or any other “faggot” would be welcomed in the pulpit or the church. I was dumbfounded. When I looked at Abel and saw the pain in his eyes, I started thinking about my attitude of mere tolerance towards gay men and lesbians. The days and weeks that followed this incident brought Abel and I closer together. During one of our conversations, he asked me to write about this experience. He died the year before this book was published.
- My position and thesis on the question Can the LORD BE MY SHEPHERD If I Am Gay? is an anti-thesis on the common interpretation of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. People lacking knowledge about the cultural importance in Holy Writ will quickly say “Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of homosexuals.” Neither the writer of Genesis 18:20 through Genesis 19:25 or those who quoted Christ in the New Testament speak against homosexuals.
- I have taken the approach of listening to those who willingly seek story-telling as a therapeutic approach to healing and expressing their concerns. In doing so, the reader is better informed, prepared, and empowered to tell your story and to support human sexuality and spirituality.
- I am the first straight ally of African descent, ordained, military chaplain in the United Church of Christ to collect stories and publish them from the ‘other’s’ perspective. It has cost me dearly – so called straight, Christian colleagues not only falsely labeled me, condemned me to hell and, even as recent as 2013, ostracized me. Such things, notwithstanding, I have been blessed beyond measure with opportunities to learn what it means to be like my Shepherd, working for social justice, and building the inclusive church.