Is This Your Pastor? (Read The Current Review)  
  Bishop Paul S. Morton
Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church
P.O. Box 50489
New Orleans, Louisiana 70150
(3 Locations)

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Sermon Title: God vs. Gays
Scriptural Text: Several


Once again, I am reviewing a sermon by a person that I respect and admire. Bishop Paul S. Morton is a pioneer of sorts. He went out on faith a few years ago and started the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. And took the world by storm. I don't doubt his love for God or God's people. I believe wholeheartedly that he is called of God. But after hearing this "so-called" sermon I have to bring into question his scholarship. You'd think a man of this stature would be able to give his followers something better than uninformed rhetoric. And then to actually try to pass it off as the Word of God? I mean, AT LEAST give some new revelation! It's almost like Bishop Morton didn't even study. With this one, he comes off as "unscholarly" at best.

He prefaces this speech (can't really call it a sermon) by saying "God vs. Gays actually means God vs. Gay lifestyles. He loves the gays. He loves the sinner. He loves all of us that fall short of the glory of God. It's not that God doesn't love people; it's the lifestyle that He hates. It really boils down to God bashing vs. Gay bashing. Bashing means slamming. And God slams the gay lifestyle. He's saying, 'I'm God, and I change not. It's not a lifestyle I made for man.' "

Lifestyle simply means "the manner in which a person lives their life." So what exactly is "the gay lifestyle"? What do gays do that straight people don't? Is it clubbing? No. Is it smoking, drugging and drinking? No. Is it promiscuous, pre-marital or unprotected sex? No. Is it oral or anal sex? No! Is it infidelity? No. Lying, stealing, murder, gossip? No. So exactly what is it? Most of the gays and lesbians I know are upstanding, tax and tithe-paying, church going, law abiding citizens that are trying to live life the best way they know how; just like straight people. The one thing straight people HAVE done is make a mockery of the "sacred institution of marriage"(check the divorce rate, domestic violence, etc.), but that's another subject altogether.

After a long spill of social commentary (all the things Co-Pastor Susie Owens mentioned in her sermon), he then starts on the well-trodden path of using the literal text of the Bible to bash the "gay lifestyle". He starts reading Genesis 19, starting at verse 1. The Bishop didn't give any history, no cultural analysis, no detail of social climate, or exegetical definitions of his operative words (like one who has studied would). He didn't even talk about the rules of hospitality that governed the Jews of that day or the fact that Lot was NOT a native of Sodom, but an alien himself. He DID say something about the "men of Sodom" wanting to rape the two angels. But did not bring out the fact that Lot was willing to give his daughters to be raped by an angry, sex-crazed mob and how outrageous that is. I won't take precious time and space to proof text Bishop Morton here, you can read The Truth about Sodom and Gomorrah in the 'Taking a Closer Look' segment of this Web site.

Then he skips to Leviticus 20.13 where in the Levitical code (which is fulfilled by Christ), the men who have sex with each other should be put to death. He didn't mention that the Levitical code is basically God's way of ensuring the Jews stay true to their heritage…that they remain separated from the culture they were submerged into, or that it's on overall prohibition of IDOL WORSHIP, which included sex orgies and the like. Now, if we dig deeper, one will find from the transliterated Hebrew that the verse states "V'ish asher yishkav et zachar mishk'vei ishah to'evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d'meihem bam." IN ENGLISH? "And a man who will lie down with a male in beds of a woman, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will die. Their blood is on them." It can be clearly seen that rather than forbidding sex between men; it is restricting where it may occur. Culturally, a woman's bed was her own. Other than the woman herself, only her husband was permitted in her bed, and there were even restrictions on when he was allowed in there. Any other use of her bed would have been considered defilement. See what a little studying can reveal?

Bishop Morton goes on to say "ROBOTS! I think the person who made your body ought to have some say so over your body. If you build a robot and tell it to walk, it better walk. If you tell it to talk it better talk…the old folks used to say Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" Okay first, I thought we were created with free will. Was the Bishop actually saying that God has "programmed" all of us to be just alike? Is he saying that we are not creatures who possess God's blessing of choice? I mean, that's the only way him mentioning ROBOTS would make any sense. Furthermore, the Bible says God thought it not good for man to be alone, so a "help meet" was made. In the Hebrew, "helpmeet" is "ezer k'negdo". In the Hebrew, there are no neuter words. They all are either masculine or feminine (like heir and heiress). The word ezer (helper) is a masculine. The feminine form of that word is ezrah. K'negdo simply means "opposite him". So, since the term ezer (masculine) is used, that means the helper was a MIRROR IMAGE! And who is the mirror image of a man? Another man! We could get deeper into what history, science and theology say about the creation of humanity but we truly don't have that kind of space.

Then he jumps to Romans 1.24. He reads a little bit and then throws in "you'd think AIDS would make people straighten up. They STILL doing what they wanna do." This letter was written to Christians in 1st Century Rome. And knowing that, we must understand what was going in Rome at that time. During that time period, bisexuality was considered the ONLY "normal" orientation, and society expected everyone to be bisexual (and we know everyone isn't bisexual). In addition to that, it was common in that era (especially in Rome and Greece) to worship idol gods. This meant people had to disregard their natural (in Greek: phusikos- instinctive, native disposition) sexuality and do what was "unnatural" to them as participation in idol worship. Look how fundamental READING is! A little reading up on Roman history would have revealed the true meaning of this passage. Now what does AIDS have to do with this? He didn't say because it has NOTHING to do with it.

That's when the floodgates opened and Bishop Morton let it rip. I guess he didn't have anything else of substance to say. He used Romans 1 to justify following statements... "You don't try to put 2 plugs or 2 sockets together. I want some folk to get deliverance. You ain't got no socket rubbing up against another socket talkin' 'bout 'come on light my fire!' It ain't gon light!" The congregation went wild. Then he says, "That's the reason they getting as far as they're getting now…'cause God gave 'em up! If you living this lifestyle, I'm here to help you. I love you with all my heart. I wanna see deliverance in your life. This word is not for God to give you up. He's giving you a chance to understand that His word is right!" He reads more, then says "you want gay rights because you serving the man you want, or the woman you want more than the One who created you and that's an abomination in God's sight. People of God, you gotta understand either we're gonna live by this word, or we're gonna deny this word." His tirade continues with "We need to break the curse 'cause even some of these older women are attacking some of these younger women and placing them in this lifestyle. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, and I take authority over you that you get your filthy hands off of God's property. Somebody's got to know what the Word of God says." He goes on to say "That's why you can't even walk right when you doin' that stuff (the crowd goes wild at his animated prancing). You hurtin' 'cause it ain't natural." So is the Bishop saying God has given up on gays and lesbians and this text proves it? Is he saying that gays and lesbians don't worship God? Is he saying older lesbians are ATTACKING younger straight girls and MAKING them lesbians? Come ON! I got another question. Just how would YOU know that anal sex hurts Bishop? Did we personally study that one?

If we're going to live by this word (he's talking the literal text, not the REAL Word of God which is spiritual) there are a few things that would have to change. First of all, the Bishop wouldn't be a Bishop. In this country he'd be a slave! All blacks would be. Slavery wasn't prohibited in Biblical days (Leviticus 25:39-46). And those brave souls who stood rebelliously against slavery and fought for our freedom would have been operating in the sin of witchcraft. And rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23). And Bishop's wife, Debra (an anointed woman of God) would have to sit down, and shut up. Women were not allowed to address anyone but their husbands in the Bible days, let alone preach (I Timothy 2:12)! We could go on, but there isn't enough space on the website to continue on this path. This again goes to show that LITERAL translations of scripture don't work in today's society. Because if you're gonna translate ONE scripture literally….ALL OF IT must be translated literally. Again I say, STUDY!

He goes on to say imply that gays and lesbians don't want to hear from God. Wrong answer! We DO want to hear from God. We just have sense enough to know the difference between ignorant, fear-based, prejudicial rhetoric and God's voice. Jesus said, "my sheep know my voice, and another they won't hear." Instead for trying to be "the God of man", and abusing people with literal, loose and uninformed interpretation of the Word, Bishop Morton needs to try being a "man of God" and study so he can deliver a REAL Word from the Lord. How does he know that there wasn't a person there who was on the brink of committing suicide and wanted a Word to help them escape the spiritual pain they're in? What if someone killed himself/herself after hearing this mess he called the Word of God? How does he know that someone didn't come to church that night to hear a Word that would give them hope to persevere through a trying time? Did he think that something he said could actually keep someone from blowing his or her brains out? Don't the people he is supposed to be serving deserve to hear a real Word from the Lord? Since God is against the "gay lifestyle" then He's against the "straight lifestyle" too. Studying will show you that other than the intrinsic differences between people, we are basically the same. At least Bishop Morton did say one thing right….God loves us ALL




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