What a scandalous contradiction, but that’s how the Charlotte Observer describes gay christian Rev. Peter Gomes who is stump preaching at Duke and UNC Chapel Hill for a sumester.
Gomes, you may remember, is the Harvard in residence pastor who’s been “marrying” gay couples since 1997 incognito. But when a conservative Christian group on campus had the nerve to publicize the fact that people could actually change from homosexuality through Christ, Gomes angrily denounced them and “came out”, declaring that he too was a homosexual Christian. His declaration was big news in ecumenical academia and the gay community.
Consequently, he penned a book “The Good Book, Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart” claiming that people had the Bible all wrong. Predictably, his “reading” of the Bible with “mind and heart” saw no problem with homosexuality. It wasn’t a sin. Homophobia was the real sin.
That was in 2002. The next year, Gomes became the object of an embarassing controversy for now COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Sr. who invited Gomes to preach at West Angeles without knowing, he contended, that Gomes was homosexual. Furthermore, Blake said Gomes was true to the text and 75 people got saved.
Its hard to get past statements in the Observer article like:
In “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus” [his new book] (HarperOne $24.95), Gomes argues that Christians have for centuries domesticated Jesus’ message, making it conform to social expectations, rather than living by it.
The most social reconfiguration of the message of Jesus in our times is that homosexuality isn’t a sin. What’s more, these scriptural contortionists claim, Jesus said nothing at all about homosexuality, proving that it isn’t a sin, nor should it be a concern of the new improved, postmodern Christian. That is scandalous. But, Gomes accuses others of watering down Jesus’ real and radical message.
Is he referring to this real and radical message from Jesus in Mark 1:14,15?:
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
That’s right, Jesus’ first radical sermon was repent. Its interesting to note that he preached it immediately after hearing that his cousin, John the Baptist was incarcerated after preaching against sexual immorality. While hypocrites like Gomes focus attention of God’s love, they reject Jesus’ message of repentance. In fact, there is no real love without true repentance. Relationship with God is on his terms, not ours. His terms require that we agree with Him and change our ways, thoughts, and beliefs if we want to claim relationship with him. That seems to be a foreign concept to Gomes and other gay christians.
“Jesus takes us beyond our comfort level,” Gomes said. “That’s why it’s a scandal.”
Exactly. But does this man understand his own words? His comfort level is being a homosexual christian, but yet he refuses to allow Christ the Lord take him beyond it to deliverance. How can you teach others that Jesus’ message is so radical it will change, but you yourself reject that change? The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:6-8 of such people. From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
Finally, there’s the “celibate gay christian” moniker, Gomes states he’s “called” to. Did God call him to be a celibate homosexual? What is a celibate homosexual Christian? Where is it defined in scripture? Why would someone want to carry a sin label, but claim they don’t commit the sin? What if you heard someone say “I’m a murderer, I just don’t kill people.” or “I’m a liar, I just don’t tell any lies”? That’s why manmade philosophy mixed with Jesus’s real message of change, transformation and submission to God only produces confusion. Be aware: God is not the author of confusion. That’s a chief trait of his enemy. And educated fools.