Has the church "downlow" craze died out?

A couple of years ago, church leaders —especially African American ones— were all up in arms about “the downlow”. A great deal of it seemed to be a knee jerk reaction to JL King’s inglorious book about the subject. Several Pastors hurriedly wrote books denouncing it. Sermons on the downlow (npi) started popping up on Sunday mornings, but a lot of it was church laff-a-palooza. Now, it seems to have passed and all has returned to normal.  But has anything really changed and has the downlow went underground in the church? Hardly. But now I question why there was so much hype in the beginning? Was it just a opportunity to sell books and make some money? Certainly, with all the secret (or not so secret) homosexual immorality going on in the church, one would think a plethora of ministries would have been birthed in the wake of these revelations. But don’t trouble yourself looking too hard.  Ministry to men and women struggling with homosexuality —secretly and openly— is just as barren in predominately African American churches as it was before the downlow craze.

Pastor Michael Stevens of University City COGIC in Charlotte wrote a book called Straight Up: The Church’s Official Response to the Epidemic of Downlow Living [source]. Of his book, Stevens says:

“Tired of the homosexual agenda trying to “soothe our conscience and level of tolerance,” Stevens fires back with a hard-hitting, in-depth look at the emotional, spiritual, and psychological damage this “nurtured” disease is having on the very core of the black family—the male seed. He adamantly pushes forward on this controversial subject because “we must deal with a disease that is invisible with no symptoms of potential threat or current characteristics of existence.”

Stevens also points out that “for every deception and myth, there is hope and healing.” He offers a four-step process that begins with acceptance, followed by repentance, avoidance, and confidence. The detailed plan, he is sure, will help men walk out of the double lifestyle into a new life full of straight living.”

I’m not singling out Stevens only using him as an example. He does say a lot in the video which is debatable. For instance, he veers off  onto feminine men in the church but honestly downlow men arent considered overtly feminine. That would thwart the whole idea of being hidden and secretive and certainly “heterosexual”. But I digress.

Another book called “Deliverance From The Down Low: Deliverance For Men Who Sleep With Men But Profess to be Straight” by Pastor Gary Williams came out about the same time. Here’s another sermon on the subject. Despite the pastor’s self admonishing “preach boy”, its fairly shallow.

So does the church have an answer? The answer? Yes and no. The church needs to acknowledge first that it is part of the problem as well as part of the answer. Stevens says it takes mentoring, modeling and molding to reduce spiritual recidivism among homosexuals who leave that lifestyle. I agree with Pastor Stevens, discipleship (Matt 28:19) is our command. It includes teaching, training and modeling right living in brotherly relationships. But if the problem is as severe as he says it is, why isnt the answer as prominent as the problem? Maybe I’m missing something, but I didn’t see anything addressing the problem at Pastor Steven’s church. The men’s ministry is well…typical. See it here.

The real solution to the downlow isnt a book (which downlow men most likely didnt read), or a fiery sermon about how downlowism is ruining the black community and church (alone, its not). The real solution is out in the open, long term ministry. The other solution for those who think secret sin (that’s all the downlow is) should be tolerated and accepted, is a good old fashioned house cleaning.


13 thoughts on “Has the church "downlow" craze died out?

  1. Here, here, my brother.

    If I was on the DL, trolling the pews for another “friend” and doing it all under the guise of Jesus, a book is the last thing that is going to change my heart.

    The Bible is a book… and that’s hasn’t seemed to do the trick, right?

    These brothers need open, candid conversation that is unapologetic and unashamed of the life-changing truth of the Gospel. This is sin, and although there are not “levels” of sin, it’s one of the most difficult to kick.

    They don’t believe what they are doing is wrong. They love God, but they are hurting because they can’t TALK to anyone. This secret should not be tolerated, but it should be discussed. And now.

    Well done, brother.


  2. Yeah HS, they are trolling the pulpits too looking for secret “friends”. Its sad that they always manage to find some. This is a supply and demand problem.

  3. so let me just say this:
    In reference to the comment “he veers off onto feminine men in the church…” where do we draw the line. Some men are feminine and NOT homosexual, so by targeting (judging) them as such and speaking that over their lives, are we not then birthing homosexuals with our mouths?

    -a concerned Christian

  4. I think “trolling” is not a very nice word to use. You say you want dialogue but then your dialogue begins with name-calling. These people aren’t listening to you because you are not truly ready for dialogue, at least open and honest and respectful dialogue. HS says there are no levels of sin but the very tone of what he says suggests otherwise. I highly doubt that a kid stealing a cookie out the cookie jar is in HS’s eyes the same as what he’s talking about. Nobody alive wants to be disrespected and until people can truly humble themselves and relate in a common manner with their fellow human being, the DL community will still continue paying tithes and loving church and ignoring all the people who think of them as reprobates. What I say is a hard pill to swallow because so many are ready to pounce and denounce but compassion and respect go a long way my friends. Save the stones for the ground and not each other.

  5. phdprospect since I made the comment referenced Im going to assume your comment is directed at me. Having said that I dont fully understand your question or comment. Perhaps you can clarify:
    1. What do you mean by “birthing homosexuals with our mouths”? Sorry, no offense but that just sounds weird to me.
    2. Is your “feminine men” question based on what the video pastor said or what I said?
    3. If a man actually is feminine and a person says he is feminine, do you call that “judging”?

  6. Will, point taken but lets be honest, seeking men out for sex in the church is low and disgusting. Not to mention self disrespecting. That’s what sin does. Trolling is an excellent descriptor considering the circumstances. Im not sure what you would like to call it, but I’d like to hear you suggestions. A spade is a spade. Calling a behavior what it isnt disrespectful or uncompassionate. If it were the bible itself would be disrespectful. Jesus called the pharisees “vipers” and “children of satan”. Maybe he shouldnt have said that because he should have respected them and had dialogue with them.

    I didnt say I wanted dialogue, I said ministry is the solution. Something btw, I have been engaging in with effectiveness for the last 15 years. Dialogue is about sharing ideas, but people who engage in secret intentional sin arent looking for dialogue, thus the secrecy.

    Ministry means offering biblical solutions which begans with denouncing the secrecy and leaving it behind. You dont need “dialogue” to do that.

  7. Dude, come on. Is it really that difficult to show a little respect. I mean are you seriously smiling because you said “vile and disgusting”? (Sigh) Well, I’ll say this. If by chance some sort of miracle happens and I am all of a sudden straight meaning not attracted to the same sex but the opposite sex. I will still never demonize anyone who has had to go through homosexuality. Being ostracized teaches you to man up and be strong in difficult times. Being gay has shown me compassion for others because when people thought I was straight the world was my oyster but when I told them the truth many thought of me as “vile and disgusting” and they treated me as such. When you think of someone as “vile and disgusting” that’s how you treat them man. What happened to you when you were gay? It must have been absolutely traumatizing. I hope you are able to heal from such hurt and realize that not all gay people are the same. White gays still treat me like crap because I’m black. The world is more complex than what you say. I’m not a “spade” I’m a child of God and you would do well to remember that.

  8. Oh so you are homosexual? That kinda explains your answers now.

    Having said that, the BIG difference is that you think that what you do is who you are. Thus my descriptor of your actions are offensive to you. I said the conduct, behavior is disgusting. But you see that as “demonization”.

    I do understand how you currently feel, having had the same experiences. However sin is deceptive (and in your current spiritual condition you may or may not understand this). Lets be honest. There is NOTHING about sin that is respectable. It is the ultimate self disrespect. It degrades your humanity and devalues your life. Sin makes you think your sin is worthy of respect when if fact its killing your soul and pays death as a wage. As a person, you are certainly worthy of respect being created in the image of God. But homosexuality isnt created in the image of God, its a false identity and will always be an abomination no matter who does it.

    You are fighting the wrong battle trying to get respect. You can have all the respect in the world and still go to hell. What good will that accomplish?

  9. Uh, hasn’t Will been on here before? Anyway, the answer is within the Word of God, and all it takes is a ministry leader to supply the time, talent, will and funds to help create productive ministry for those caught in this trap. However, if it’s not discussed from the pulpit, then it’s not really gonna be dealt with on the personal level. Economic conferences are ablaze in the black church—everytime I turn around someone is having an economic empowerment conference or have some kind of secret to economic freedom. Where are all these secrets coming from? LOL. Back to my point: The point is there will always be DL guys in church ..be it hetero or homo. The question is will there be ministries available to those who want out of the cycle? If not, then the church is doing a diservice to the people.

  10. Will, I wonder, would you have a problem with the article talked about men trolling around in churches trying to sleep with as many women as possible?

    If a women comes into the church and tries to sleep with as many men as possible is she not whoring herself?

    Leviticus 21:7
    7They shall not take a wife that is a whore

    Its not respect that you want, its acceptance of your sin. This is why you have gotten offended by the word troll.

    This article is about the Church not just tapping into the flavor of the day but becoming a part of the solution, not with books and vids but by the Church being an agent of reconciliation which would ential deliverance by true discpleship for any person who comes to Christ, who struggle with homosexuality. That ministry must be Open, intentional and ongoing. What is it that offends you in that?

    Likewise, I have had “vile and disgusting” struggles/sins. It doesnt stop at homosexuality at all.

  11. Saw the sermon from Bishop Victor Couzens on Down Low Spirit. I didn’t know about the down low demon. I thought it is a perverse spirit that deceives a person to believe in same-sex attraction? If your going to preach a sermon on the down-low at least attempt to be theologically sound.

    GCMW I saw the website for Pastor Michael Stevens mens ministry, your absolutely right he doesn’t offer anything to help someone struggling with homosexuality. If he is going to write a book about the down-low, you should have some type of support group to assist someone coming out of alternative lifestyle.

    Stevens also in the video had sterotypical view of all homosexual men acting feminine. That is not true.

    You hit it on the nail GCMW, this needs to be a long-term ministry that changes people heart.

  12. So why is it that most churches fail to have programs that reach out to the homosexuals and down low members?

  13. They dont see it as a harvest issue. John 4:35 The second thing is they dont really believe homosexuals can change. Thats a doubting God issue.

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