Has the Black Church Failed the Same Gender Loving Community?  
  By: Tuan N' Gai of Tuan N'Gai Enterprises  

Sometimes I'm absolutely amazed at how the Black Church has become one of the most financially powerful and visible entities in our society. God has been so merciful. And by His strong hand, has brought the church through many dangers, toils and snares. From slavery, to segregation, to the civil rights movement, to being able to build and maintain international ministries with base memberships of up to 30,000 people. God has brought the black church from extreme poverty to having the ability to build state of the art cathedrals that cost millions of dollars. It's shameful that most of the time, these organizations that were built by the sacrifice of so many can forget where they came from and perpetrate the haneous abuse they once knew on those who have been the most faithful and stable support they have.

Let me interject RIGHT NOW that I understand ALL churches are not guilty of the crime of spiritual abuse and injustice. But by and large, the Same Gender Loving (SGL) Community experiences the most horrific abuse in the very place they should be able to go for refuge and shelter from the cruel world we live in - The Church. On an even sadder note, when one goes to church to receive a Word from God, most of the churches we attend give us little or nothing of spiritual substance. We have exciting praise and worship experiences. The choirs can SANG. We shout and dance. Have a wonderful time in celebration of who God is and the things He's done for us. And afterwards, when we should be approaching the pinnacle of our Sunday Morning Experience, we receive sermonic anecdotes like, "God made Adam and Eve...Not Adam and Steve!" I mean, come on! Tell us something we don't already know! Most of us are looking for Tyrone, Raheim or Malik ANYWAY, not Steve! That's beside the point, but you get my meanin' though. Furthermore, how is that waste of time, words, and misinterpretation of scripture by a misinformed "so-called" man or woman of God gonna help us get victory over the challenges we face during a week's time? While preachas are getting some "cheap Amens!", how do they know that some of us are not a few hours from blowing our brains out, and came to church to hear a Word from God that would give us the strength to make it through just one more day?

Yet, in spite of the abuse SGL Christians receive, we STILL attend, and lend our time, talents, and financial support to the edifying of organizations that think and preach hate and negativity. We build their music ministries. We teach their youth. We are the faithful tithers. We are the most profound ministers. We are the most dedicated workers. Hell, we practically build these churches. Without the support of the SGL community, most black churches would get kicked out of their elaborate buildings and campuses, or would have to lock their doors. How is it that we're good enough to work our hind-parts off to build these churches...some of us are even paid to do them, yet when it comes down to our issues, to our points of need, we often get pimped, punked, and played by those who have been given the charge to minister to us. When it comes down to our salvation, it's a controversial subject to say the least? How is it that we are good enough to work in the church, yet not good enough to be a part of the church? Let some people tell it, we won't even be allowed into heaven. This has been going on for so long, a lot of us have left the church. The place where we were born and raised. We've turned our backs on one of the only things God has placed in our lives that has been a constant in our dismal and confused existence. We have forsaken the God whose hand has brought us thus far. And why? Because, the black church historically has offered us no hope, only abuse and theological rhetoric.

Black same gender loving individuals have been beaten so terribly by "the saints" and "the ain'ts" that we have had no other choice but to turn to alcohol, drugs, and elicit sexual behavior for comfort (even though those things only offer temporary relief before making our problems worse - and we know it!). The church has preached hate, and meted out abuse so long that they have made the very "lifestyle" we are said to live the only place we have to go for acceptance and love. I mean, it's a no-brainer! Who would give up an atmosphere where you are accepted for a place where you are abused? Instead of giving us an atmosphere of affirmation, we are more often than not treated with hostility. We need to know that the same God that loved and brought "Big Mama" thus far is the same God that loves us and is carrying us through our tough times. We need to know that the same Bible that's being used to beat and bash our heads in, has words of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration for us. The same Word of God that most of the preachers of today use to kill us speaks to our many dilemmas and gives us victory over our issues, just like it does for everyone else.

So, HAS the Black Church failed the Black Same Gender Loving Community? In the ways that really matter…YES. The purpose of the church is to show the love of God to ALL people. The church's JOB is to behave like the Bible says Jesus did. He walked and taught unconditional love, and received whoever would follow Him. Instead, the church has become this elitist religious social club that it's become. Some have gone so far as to start HIV/AIDS ministries that offer testing and counseling. And that's a very good thing…FOR THEM! They stand to get hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate these "ministries". But what good does it do when they preach and teach that God hates the ones they are testing?

What's the Same Gender Loving Christian to do? I suggest seeking more affirming spiritual homes of worship where the TRUE love of God is being taught and displayed. There are churches out there that are not prejudiced. Churches that provide a safe place of worship for EVERYONE. Seek them out. We need to start supporting those who support us. Lend our gifts and talents to those who will in return nurture and edify us spiritually. We must empower ourselves, and stop giving our all to organizations that in their ignorance have proven to have failed us.




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