What struck me as particularly disturbing about this 22 page document produced for Bishop Charles Blake was that it contained nothing from Charles Blake himself. We expected to finally hear from the leader, but once again the voice of the leader is silent while others speak for him. Moses would have never allowed Joshua to speak for him in times of crisis or controversy. This document appears hastily thrown together; a hodgepodge of angry reactions from carefully selected Blake proxymen. But like the fiasco Blake has created, it is an utter embarrasment to the Church of God in Christ and its historic advances within the last century. Because individuals like David Hall have erroneously cast me as some sort of fringe political operative, its necessary that I share my background.
A BRIEF PRELUDE
Although I consider myself COGIC diaspora, my church will always be a beat in my heart, because I still believe it is a great organization. My grandfather Elder Ezekiel Fredrick Foster, Sr. (1901-1980) was a COGIC pioneer in Texas who was sent by his bishop in the late 30s into areas where the Klan was open and notorious to establish a COGIC. When other preachers flatly refused to go, he and my grandmother, Pearl, went and preached holiness and birthed a work which initally bore homage to his service but was in later years renamed. He was a fierce advocate for righteousness and with little complaint raised 13 children through the depression and beyond. His sermon notes which were given to me after his death revealed a man deeply concerned about current events and how the church should see those events as central to our mission on earth for the Kingdom of God. Further Ezekiel Foster accurately viewed the events of his time as a signal challenge to our identity as “called out” people. Thus, I am no outsider or as David Hall branded ” a good political christian”. I am a son of the church who refuses to stand by silently and see injustices perpetrated in our church’s name. Ironically, though Blake and his proxy spokesmen argue that COGIC is a fresh voice against injustice, they attempt to mislead people when they are the instruments of injustice.
I was birthed into the COGIC with this heritage of standing strong and speaking God’s truth in a world hostile to his authority. It was also in the COGIC at age 13 that as a young boy I was sexually molested. Fear and confusion replaced the happy times of shouting, dancing and singing praises that were common to our church. At Power House COGIC in little Marlin, TX I struggled to understand why God or the saints seemed to be oblivious to what was happening to me for 4 years. At age 19, I decided that I could no longer remain in the church I’d grown to love with all my heart which left me to deal with this devastating problem on my own. I left it, God and for all practical reasons my own family to embrace a false identity as a gay man. I detail this period of my life and beyond in my book, Touching a Dead Man.
When I had radical return to holiness 11 years later and subsequently began sharing my testimony of freedom in the COGIC, I found out that it was not a popular testimony to share. I was shunned, rejected, ostracized and minimized. I endured much just to say that God was a deliverer. I also discovered there were ministers of various ranks in the church which were secretly involved in homosexuality. The stories I began to hear from other young brothers (and sisters) caused a heavy burden to be placed on my heart. Consequently. I answered God’s call to minister freedom and deliverance to these captives openly. Yet, I was met with more rejection from the church. Since 1996, I have done so openly and to the glory of God.
God is faithful in that no matter what is against you he gives you supernatural ability to press forward. I owe that to God and not the church. The evolution of my call is to be a watchman and reformer like Nehemiah, a sentry to warn the church that we are called to be holy, not universal. Like Nehemiah the work to rebuild walls torn down by decades of sexual immorality comes with a call to fight those “sanballats” who attempt to derail the work. Thus, in this spirit we are called to be unique, not common. Called —not to hold hands with world and sing kumbayah— but with a clear voice call them to repentenance. Like my grandfather, God sent me into an area where I faced open hostility but I have no fear because the Lord is with me.
God’s way or Blake’s way?
The document released by Bishop Blake is unsettling because as a leader of the nation’s foremost holiness church, the church of my birth, he (or rather his proxies) are actually arguing that we are not called out, but called to conform. Our article was notan attack on COGIC, it is an attack on the insiduous doctrine of ecumenicalism. Never before have I seen a more strategic door of entry for doctrines of devils to invade the church, than I have seen with this ideology. The collusion of Bishop Blake (known or unknown) with homosexual religionists seems to be always answered with “official positions” and unconvincing claims of ignorance. Please read for yourself.
Although the proxies of Bishop Blake argue the literalist point of view in regards to the unholy covenant they endorsed, they fail to acknowledge what it obvious. They cannot control a secular document nor its interpretation. As one of the proxies mentioned, “it is a trap” set by homosexual activists. What is clear is that doctrinally COGIC –the organization– is against homosexuality and homosexual marriage. And we commend and agree heartily with that position. We noted that this point was belabored in the defense document. But we have documented here multiple times how this is a hollow position when there are glaring examples that position mean little if there is no active effort to make it wholistic. Like most black denominations COGIC is notoriously “dont ask, dont tell” when it comes to homosexuality.
We have in the spirit of Isaiah 58:1 cried out only to be rejected again. This time, by an adminstration bent on defending an ideology which was imported into the church by enemies of the gospel.
Are the two documents cited affirming of homosexual marriage? Of course they are. One would only need to survey the activist terminology of the contemporary gay movement to see that. We are surprised that all of the educated pundits writing for Bishop Blake either refuse or cannot see this. If you doubt our word, look for yourself and read what homosexual activists say, believe and expect of the UDIHR. And by extension the Faith Statement is simply a religious version of it.
- The International Gay and Lesbian Associationbelieves the UDIHR covers gay rights.
- The Human Rights Watchbelieves the UDIHR covers sexual orientation.
- The Human Rights Resource Centerbelieves that the UDIHR is inclusive of homosexual marriage. Note their interpretation of Article 16.
- The International Humanist and Ethical Unionbelieves the UDIHR affirms homosexual marriage:
The IHEU will jointly with its member organizations endorse, defend and promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people’s interests in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a regular element of their overall endorsement, defense and promotion of human rights. …afford same-sex partnerships full protection of the law, equal to marital and other legally recognized mixed-sex partnerships, with regard to pension, inheritance, taxation, social security, custody and adoption, donor insemination and other services, in which discriminatory policies and practices currently exist.
This was noted in our original article and completely ignored by Bishop Blake and his proxies. They argue that there was no literal mention of sex, sexuality or sexual orientation in either of the documents. This is an immature and dangerous position for any preacher of the gospel to advocate because what is not written is as important as what is written. We apply the same principle to sound hermeneutics. Logically, the absence of a word or phrase is irrelevant to its bearing on an cited text. For instance, the word “trinity” appears nowhere in the Bible, yet this is a cornerstone teaching of our faith.
Collusion and Inclusion
Despite the passioned arguments of Bishop Blake’s proxies, there exists no conceivable reason for any holiness people to join covenant with any group of people who outwardly despise our God and his Christ. Perhaps we could conduct a simple test. Invite all of these “world religious leaders” to Memphis and let the people see and hear exactly what they have been yoked to by their presiding bishop. Beyond the expected “touch not mine anointed” rhetoric, there are multiple levels of serious biblical, ethical and perhaps administrative violations created with this unholy covenant. To be clear, signing this document is not the same as signing your child’s sick slip for school. This is a monumental yoking of an entire group of people birthed out of the sincere prayers of our forefathers, to men who bow down and feed bananas to statues with 8 arms.
Dr. Hall claims that “religion must stand for peace, reconciliation, universal values, mutual respect and upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.” When did our relationship with the living God and his Son get downgraded to a social religion? Dr. Hall maybe practicing religion, but I am called to be a lively stone in the building, a living epistle and a holy nation. What’s more, how does Dr. Hall’s weak defense of his actions compare to the Word of God:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Cor 6:14-16
There is no context biblically which ordains and sanctions collusion with the world (and certainly not false religions) to accomplish the work of God. Using Jesus as a prop element for inclusionism and ecumenical idolatry is disingenuous at best. Blasphemous at worst. Carlton Pearson would be proud.
Dr. Hall claims that he never heard one person bring up homosexuality nor was there any homosexual related items within site. Has he ever heard of deception? Does he not know that we must not be ignorant of the devil’s devices? Isn’t he aware that satan has ordained his ministers to infiltrate and deceive the church? For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 2 Cor 11:13-15
Bishop Blake has yet to openly endorse Proposition 8. Why is there no tangible record of his calling for support of this human rights effort? Why does the Bishop always defer to the COGIC marriage statement instead of outright calling for support of Prop 8? Why is the Presiding Bishop silent on issues of sexual crimes against children committed by COGIC clergy? Where is his outrage? But here he is outraged, not because people IN HIS OWN CHURCH have suffered grave human rights abuses by COGIC ministers, but because we dared to expose this unholy covenant he has drug the church into.
We stand 100% by our headline and story content as a truthful exposition of what our research revealed.
Tom Charlier, Projects Editor with the Memphis Commercial Appeal did verify to GCM Watch that a “blurb” about the event appeared in the paper. Charlier said due to the size (174 words) and the date it could not be accessed by external searches. Thus our honest search for the article yielded nothing. We do apologize for inference that the Tri-State Defender was the only communication venue used to disseminate the information.