Does murder make you a saint?
It certainly deserves sympathy for the family of a murder victim, but what of the individual’s openly sexual lifestyle while proclaiming to be a Christian?
The case of murdered choir director and church deacon Donald Young has begun to push a broader plethora of questions out into the open about how the church should to respond to people who live their lives in defiance of biblically defined sexual morality, but yet claim to be a committed Christian.
Young, an openly gay choir director at Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s home church in Chicago was found shot to death in his apartment by a roommate (the roommate found him) early on December 23, 2007. The shooting is still unsolved. While tragic in its own right, what about the greater tragedy of soul lost in sin? If one gains the world, but loses his soul, what has he profited?
According to a Chicagoland source, Young was also a director for the Gospel Music Workshop of America’s Male Chorus. We reported on its founder and the heavy homosexualized atmosphere at the GMWA here. Louisville songwriter Ralph Ford also talked about his shocking first time visit to the GMWA. The GMWA may have blood on its hands, too. So far its “bereavement page” has no mention of Young.
In an interview with the local CBS affiliate, the media services director at Trinity United Church of Christ, pastored by the controversial Dr. Jeremiah Wright, said “Young did live an openly gay lifestyle; that was his choice.” (our italics) The interview was in response to Chicago area gays demanding to know whether they were being stalked by some serial killer.
But what a peculiar statement. Wright and church have openly advocated for homosexual relationships, but it seems like the director was attempting to distance the church from Young who had been its rather celebrated choir director for almost 20 years. Can a church tell its members that homosexuality isn’t a sin, celebrate and promote those who accept it and then when tragedy strikes claim “it was his choice”? Is this what “liberation theology” produces?
What caused us to take a second look at this situation was a comment on The Black Gospel Blog which carried the story. “It’s sad to hear that a Saint’s life was lost to crime.” wrote the commenter. Just an ignorant remark? Or have we come to the point that a person’s ungodly sexual lifestyle is not a factor in determining their entrance into the kingdom of God? That seems to be the sentiment on another black gospel music forum where Young’s openly gay lifestyle was all but ignored.
Have the requirements for entrance into the kingdom of God changed?
1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)
After reading this, how would you answer the question “can a person be as sure of who is going to hell as those going to heaven”?