Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake is a man who has lost his bearing and spiritual authority to speak out against homosexuality. His denomination should call for his immediate resignation.
Bishop Blake’s track record in dealing righteously with homosexual issues in the church has been less than dismal. Although he and his supporters exult in multimillion dollar buildings, wealthy celebrity members and ecumenical prowess, Blake is a spiritually impotent leader. In times of great moral crisis, any leader of Blake’s prominence, whose voice is missing in action should be viewed as a traitor to the faith. Since his controversial invitation and widely criticized association with homosexual apostate Rev. Peter Gomes to his gushing devotion to new age heretic Robert Schuller, Blake seems to be advancing COGIC away from its holiness roots.
The storm of California’s Proposition 8 has left mud in high places. GCM Watch first raised the question as to why Bishop Blake, a noted “political power broker” in Los Angeles did not lend his voice or “power” to aid in the fight against homosexual marriage. The reason, we discovered, is that Bishop Blake’s entwined political associations have muzzled him. Its dangerous for any preacher of the gospel to become so beholden to political figures that they are rendered incapable of providing critical leadership to the church when the need arises. With opposition to biblical marriage increasing daily, we need church leaders to be clear, open, forthright and unfettered by back room issues.
And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?
And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.
And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. (Exodus 32:19-26 KJV)
Moses and Aaron present stark contrasts of leadership in moments of collective crisis. You can draw your own conclusion as to which is acceptable to God. We are in those times now.
But a November 3rd Los Angeles Times story [scroll down] hint that Blake’s associations may be the reason for his silence. Blake not only helped elect a key supporterof homosexual marriage, he openly praised the man at West Angeles as “godly and faithful to the work of the Lord”
On the last Sunday before the election, [State Senator Mark] Ridley-Thomas appeared with his wife and one of his twin sons at three churches, symbolic choices he said reflected the ethnic diversity of the district.
At his first stop, West Angeles Cathedral on Crenshaw Boulevard, Ridley-Thomas was greeted by Bishop Charles E. Blake, a political power broker. Blake not only leads one of the city’s largest churches, with a congregation of 24,000, but the national church of more than 6 million, the country’s fourth-largest Protestant denomination.
Blake’s followers include many of the city’s African American elite, many of whom drive from wealthier surrounding neighborhoods to attend the first Sunday service of the month dressed up in suits and ornate hats. On Sunday, actress Angela Basset sat near Ridley-Thomas with her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and their 2-year-old twins, Bronwyn and Slater.
Blake, whose son-in-law is former labor leader and City Councilman Martin Ludlow, endorsed Ridley-Thomas earlier this year, just as he endorsed Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after the then-challenger made an appearance in his front pew. On Sunday, Blake praised Ridley-Thomas and his wife, Avis Ridley-Thomas, before the audience of about 1,000 as, “a godly family faithful to the church and the work of the Lord.”
Several supporters of Ridley-Thomas’ opponent, Bernard Parks, were at the service, notably Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who made a point of greeting Ridley-Thomas before the service and sat behind him with wife, Cookie Johnson, throughout.
Although longtime West Angeles member (and co-chair of the West Angeles building fund committee) Magic Johnson openly urged support of homosexual marriage, Blake failed to repudiate this. Some have argued that Johnson’s connection to West Angeles is minimal and Blake has no control over what any of his members say or do. That is true only if a pastor has abdicated his spiritual authority.
A godly man faithful to the Lord’s work?
That’s what Blake told his congregation about Ridley-Thomas, but that was a lie. What evidence is there that Ridley-Thomas is faithful to the Lord’s work? What church is Ridley-Thomas a member of which allows him to advocate for such a destructive social, political and biblical position without a trace of opposition? Like he has done for other evildoers in disguise, Blake used his influence to run cover for a staunch supporter of homosexual marriage, and did not tell his congregation of the man’s ungodly activities.
The man Blake praised publicly endorsed defeat of Prop 8 and in early August reassured a group of LA gay and lesbian elite he was committed to helping them make homosexual marriage legal. Is that the “Lord’s work” Bishop Blake was referring to? Both sides in the war over gay marriage knew that California was ground zero in just about every conceivable aspect. Ridley-Thomas was no fair weathered friend to homosexual activists, but worked actively and publicly to advance their anti-Christian bigotry. Ridley-Thomas is pictured left at the LA gay rally which among other things was an anti-Prop 8 rally.
Ridley-Thomas made West Angeles his first campaign stop because he knew he could count on Bishop Blake to give him glowing praise in front of people. As the article noted, Blake’s son-in-law was a former labor leader, the same group which enriched Ridley-Thomas in his quest to sit on LA County’s board of supervisors. He would have Bishop Blake to thank for that.
Blake could have effortlessly added West Angeles or COGIC or his name to a list of California churcheswhich were supporting the measure. But he didnt. He could have easily directed his new public relations officer Brandon Porter to issue a statement to the media that COGIC was at the least concerned about clergy sexual abuse cases in COGIC, but he didn’t. He could have easily required his staff to vet speakers before they address his local church, but he didnt.
Its well overdue for Bishop Blake to address these gross disparities of conduct and leadership. GCM Watch is aware that there are concerned individuals in his circle who read this blog and we pray that you will help break through the wall of silence and indifference that has become so characteristic of the administration of Bishop Charles Blake.