Ask The Preacha - Archive (Read The Current Question)  
  By: Tuan N' Gai of Tuan N'Gai Enterprises  
  Send your Questions concerning the church and the black community to: ask@operationrebirth.com  
 
 
     
 

I am an African-American male in his early thirties who has reached the point of exhaustion. I've been closeted all of my life and have only dated females (simply for appearance sake). Now, I've reached a point in my life were I'm tired of wasting my time and other young ladies time when I know I have and have always had a strong attraction to men. Being that I've never been married and have no kids and also not seeing any romantically (and haven't been for the past 4 1/2 years). I've gotten annoyed with the usual questions "Why aren't you married yet" and are you seeing anyone. I'm trying to break free of these desires because I've allowed it to rule my life and therefore I have become a recluse, afraid to make new friends and very relunctant to trust anyone.

I haven't even allowed myself to become active in my church for fear of being found out and exposed because I know without a doubt I would be told to resign from my position. I want to serve the Lord and if he is unapproving of my desires for other men then I won't act on them. However, I find it very depressing knowing that I will have to spend the rest of my life alone with no one to love and no one to love me.

Signed,

Alone 4 Life in Birmingham

To Alone 4 Life in Birmingham:

There are three things that caught my attention after reading your letter.

One: The questions about your marital status and romantic involvment.

Two: Breaking free of the desires that are ruling your life

Three: Being reclusive as to not be found out and that issue keeping you uninvolved in church.

First, if it were me in that situation, I would offer the retort "I'm happily single". The church somehow got this notion that it's God's will for ER'BODY to be married with children, and that's simply not the case. God's will for our lives are revealed to us individually as we build and nurture our relationship with Him. NOBODY has the right to butt in and dictate what God's will is for YOUR life. ESPECIALLY when it comes to your intimate and very personal relationships. That's between you and God.

Secondly, why is it that your desire for the same gender is something you must break away from? I'm a firm believer that you like what you like because that's a part of how you were made. Maybe your desire for men is an expression of what is naturally a part of who you are. It's like this...some men like skinny women, some like thick girls (like in the Durty South...I just HAD to represent, LOL). Some like blondes, some brunettes. Some men like men. It's not something that you control. It's just what you like. It's a natural thing for you. It's nothing you should be ashamed of. God knew before you were in your mother's womb that you would be who you are today. He loves and continues to bless you because He made you that way. You CAN continue to live a life pleasing to God and feel like you do. There's no sin. No foul.

And lastly, about the your being reclusive so your church will not find out and you having to resign your post if you are. If God truly called you, there's NOTHING NOBODY can do take that away. You are charged by God to worship Him and serve Him only. And if the church you are a part of tries to tell you differently, maybe that's not where you are supposed to be. My motto is this...as long as I glorify God, edify His people, and horrify God's enemy, He's pleased with me, and everyone else can just get over it.

I hope that helped. I will be praying for and with you that God's will be done in your life.

Peace and Blessings!


I recently moved to Philadelphia, PA. Before and during this time, I prayed that God would help me find a church for the sake of my spirituality, as well as meeting new people. A few days later, I met a guy (non-SGL, but straight) who asked me to attend his church. The next Sunday, I went to his church. It was amazing. For the first three Sundays, I felt God's love and all I could do was cry. By the fourth Sunday, and for the next two Sundays thereafter, the pastor went on this weird anti-gay rollercoaster (I believed that he was also revealing some "things" about his life in the past and what he's had to give up for his walk with God). I stopped attending the church. I've been invited back by the guy I met. I told him that I was SGL and told him that I was not looking for deliverance for my sexuality. He struggled with that, but said that I had him in my corner. I really want to go back to this church. I need your advice on how I can go back to the church, keep my sanity, and still hold my head up as a proud SGL man--even "confronting" the pastor?

Signed,

KTJ


To KTC:

Often times, relocating and finding a church home can be very hard. But for the sake of one's spiritual well being, it's worth the task. It's important for one to have, and feel like one is part of a spiritual community with which they can worship and grow in the knowledge of God. Let me be the first to apologize on the behalf of my co-laborer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and I don't even know him) for taking you (and probably many others) on his "weird anti-gay rollercoaster". I believe that one-day, all this madness will stop. I'm just crazy enough to believe God for it, I have faith and expect to see it happen. I will continue to fight until it does change. But, on to your question…

Thank God for the young man who invited you to the church in the first place. If he says he's in your corner and can continue to be a friend and brother in the Lord, then you have been blessed. It's rare to find "straight" or non-SGL men who are so comfortable and confident that they aren't threatened by someone who they know is different from them as it relates to affectional/sexual orientation.

Next, if you want to go back to the church…I say go back. Continue to visit the church. You just might be the beacon of light needed in that environment to spark change. I encourage you to PRAY. Continually seek God for His guidance in finding your church home. If and when you go back to the church, walk right up in that camp with your head held high. Know that you have every right to be there just like everyone else. The love of God is for everyone. And you are no exception. The precious blood of Jesus was shed for everyone, and that includes you! Hold your head up high, knowing that you are a child of God, and enjoy the worship experience. Now if the bashing and anti-gay rhetoric continues, you can do one of two things…Get up, walk out, and never go back. Or you can muster up the some courage, stay there, and after the service (if you can) humbly go to the pastor and request to talk to him about his sermon.

If you decide to talk to the pastor about his sermon, be mindful that when "confronting" pastors about their sermons, they can be very sensitive and most often WILL become defensive when they find that you don't agree with their every word. So, I would open with something like, "Pastor, I'm a newly relocated visitor and I really enjoy worshipping here. However, if you don't mind, I would really like to talk with you privately about some of the things you said today." If he gives you audience, ask him to pray with you, and speak to him from your heart (remembering to continue to PRAY). This meeting could either lead to positive dialogue that will bring about peaceful change in the pastor's theology and belief, thus ending the rollercoaster ride (and you may have subsequently found your new church home). OR he may get confrontational, combative, and start quoting "the Bible" in his defense that homosexuality is wrong. If the latter happens, kindly thank him for his time, excuse yourself and don't go back, knowing that you have planted a seed. The words you speak to him will have been planted in his spirit and will one day spring up and bloom whether you are there to see it or not. After the "confrontation", you can not go back and spread the word so others won't be subject to that kind of madness. Your other choice would be to stay there and be a revolutionary, tap into the spirit of our ancestors who would not put up with injustice and seek God for how to fight for change IN that church.

I also encourage you to check out the List of Affirming Churches. There are a few churches in the Philadelphia area listed and I'm positive the leadership and members of either one of them would welcome you with open arms. Continue to pray, visit these churches (and maybe a few others) before making a decision to settle at one church. I'm sure God will lead you to a spiritual community you can proudly call home. done in your life.

Peace and Blessings!


Peace and Blessings unto you. I am writing you not so much for advice but more for encouragement. I am young same gender loving female who loves the Lord with all my heart and soul and have been in a very honest and pure relationship for the past 3 years. I love my partner with every breath that is within me. With all of the same sex controversy that is going on in this country I have come to realize that I am deeply saddened by the entire situation. It upsets me to know that in this life not everyone has the "right" to love freely or the freedom to let that light shine. I've gotten to the point to where I can't even listen to my favorite radio shows morning programs because of the week long topic of same sex marriages, nor can I watch TV. So I come to you today to ask for some spiritual uplifting because all of this negative energy on this subject matter is deeply depressing me and inside I feel/know that I/all same gender loving people are becoming victims of societal/social-religious oppression.

Peace Ms. Y

To Ms. Y:

I am TOTALLY feeling you my sister. It's a sad, even depressing commentary to think that people in the 21st Century cannot live in peace, have equal rights, allow each other to seek God for themselves, or express a love that transcends race, gender, religious belief, etc.

I encourage you to see God's glory in this fight. Change what you think about this thing. Ignorance and fear doesn't die easily. To kill it, confrontation must happen. That's all this is, confrontation in an effort to further kill ignorance and fear, thus weakening the stronghold of injustice in our country. Philippians 4.8 encourages " Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are worthy of praise (New Living Translation)." If we think about what is true, honorable and right, we will see that God's glory is in everyone being treated equally. His glory is in everyone living in an environment where diversity is embraced, not used as a tool to divide and conquer. Thinking about what is pure, lovely and admirable will help us see more clearly that God IS Love, and His love IS for everyone. We will see that His unconditional love cannot and will not be thwarted by ignorance, fear and prejudice. Let's look deeper into this issue by seeking to find God's hand in it. Fighting for equality for all people is most definitely praiseworthy in that it brings to the forefront His desire for all people to dwell together in unity. It will reveal His plan for all of us to love Him as He loves us, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. While one group sees itself as superior, this cannot happen. So those who are seen as inferior must, in the spirit of revealing God's love for all, lift up their voices in opposition to oppression. God's glory is revealed in this because we are all being educated, we are all being edified, we are all being empowered with knowledge so that prejudice and discrimination can be eradicated.

One thing I try to keep in mind that our cause is not one of division or harm. We are not seeking to discredit or hurt anyone. The fight for equal rights is not one where one group is seeking to rob another group of their rights. It is a fight for all people to be treated and seen in the same light. Not one better than the other, but though different, THE SAME…just like God created us. So my sister, stay strong by praying that God's glory is revealed in this. Think about how wonderful it will be when all people experience the truth of God love for all. Think of what a wonderful place this will be when all people have the same rights under the law. Think of how peaceful our country will be when we can all show love without shame. Think on these things. All that's happening now, is necessary conflict so that what's true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy can be seen and experienced by all people.

Peace and Blessings!


I appreciate this site and I love the teaching. But I'm in a bit of a dilemma here. See I'm the Minister of Music at my church. I love my church family. I love the pastor and his ministry. We have worked together, grown together, and I have gained the respect of many in this church, so I've been careful to keep my sexuality to myself, and I don't think anyone knows. My position is one of the many "paid" positions in the church, so being the Minister of Music is my full-time job.

Sometimes my pastor does go off and say some stuff that can be construed as "gay-bashing". And when he does, I am offended. What should I do? Should I talk to him about it? Or should I just keep my mouth shut, and keep my job? I feel like I need to do something.

Minister of Music

To Minister of Music:

You are truly between a rock and a hard place with this one. I too have served in leadership positions with compensation, so I know what you are feeling. First let me say it's understandable why you aren't "out" per se to your church family. There are many that are in this same predicament. I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer when dealing with this situation. Seek God, and He will lead you, mos' def! He never fails.

If you decide to go to the pastor and talk to him about his "going off and saying gay-bashing things", please consider two things. One, you will most likely be indirectly coming out to him. And two, your going to him could yield two possible results. You could gain MORE support from your pastor. He will continue to love and respect you as his brother in the Lord. OR he will feel betrayed that you've told him (after keeping it from him so long), and you could possibly lose your job and adversely affect your livelihood. Only you can decide what you should do. In your decision making, count the cost. Consider all the possibilities. Make an informed decision.

Now HOW to do what you decide will be key. If you decide to not say anything and keep things as they are, there ARE ways you can do something to change the environment you are in. You can (if you don't already) teach the background of the songs you bring to the music department BEFORE you teach them. Find scripture to support what you sing. Study those background scriptures in the light of inclusivity and the liberation of everyone who believes. Ask God to reveal to you the "Spirit" of the scripture and not just the letter, so that you can ensure the singers in the choirs, praise teams, and soloists understand the message to be conveyed when singing the song. By doing this, you are making a change. You are teaching that God's love is unconditional and available to EVERYONE on a deeper level. Those you are teaching will get the message, and will spread it, not only in their singing and music ministry, but they will begin to share that message with others.

If you decide to go to your pastor (continually praying), go to him humbly, as one who is a friend and brother in the Lord. He knows you, and since you're on the ministerial staff, he respects what you do. Let him know your concerns. Express how you feel (and how many others may feel) when he says these gay-bashing things. Let him know how destructive and hurtful it is. As I've said to others, you will either open his eyes and cause him to seek God and change his theological/doctrinal position about this issue, or he will become defensive and you will have to deal with the consequences of that decision. Hopefully, you will have opened his eyes and things will start changing for the better.

However you decide, keep your faith in God. Knowing that He is in control. He will not lead you wrong. And as the psalmist wrote "God WILL take care of you." Also keep in mind that you are NOT alone. There are hundreds of people who are in this situation. There are thousands of people who feel your pain. Pray, and ask others to pray with and for you. I know I will be, and I will encourage others to do the same.

Thanks for trusting me enough to write in and ask me about this issue. I hope I have been of some help to you.


I was looking at this Operation: REBIRTH site which I figure must be the work of a Christian, and I've got an honest question, not trying to pick or poke a fight. Why should a gay or SGL person even care about trying to convince the church to love them, keep them, or stay? Help me to comprehend the energy push behind this.

Brother C

To Brother C:

Good Question! And I'm glad you asked.

The site is phase one of a grass roots effort to re-educate the black community about who us (the SGL community) and how valuable we are to each other as a whole. And yes, as a Co-Founder of the Movement and of the site, I am a Christian. Though I must add that a large number of our supporters and faithful visitors to the site aren't. My views, though Christian (that's the means by which I learned them), I consider to be universal in that God is God over the universe and all that it entails.

To answer your question, individuals don't have to care about the church loving, keeping, or accepting them. And that's every person's right. The purpose of Operation: REBIRTH is to let people know that they DON'T have to stay at the churches that are abusing them. To provide a wealth of information about churches, people, and organizations that are affirming and inclusive. To show people that the Bible that has been used to bash us was never meant to hurt, but help us. And the scriptures used in bashing are taken WWWAAAAAYYY out of context. We have given people who are in spiritually abusive situations a voice. We are telling the truth, and people are being made free as a result.

And as for the re-education effort...in spite of years of abuse and being persecuted, it is important that we not forget that as a people, we need each other. SGL, Straight, Male, Female, Trans, Bi, WHATEVER...we are a part of each other. Our diversity was never meant to divide us, but to help us see the beauty in each other so we could share it, one life to another. We all have different talents, different points of view, different experiences, and that is a beautiful thing. The sooner we learn that our differences are actually opportunities to teach, instead of divide...the better off we'll be.

If after the re-education effort in this phase of the movement the church decided they STILL will not stop the abuse and preaching of hatred...each individual involved has the choice to pick up their Bible and their Wallet and LEAVE! Make an exit from abuse and an entrance into an affirming spiritual atmosphere. Because they have been empowered with truthful information that is edifying.

I hope that answered the question! Thanks 4 asking!


I have been reading this website every month since the beginning and I think you are doing wonderful work. I think your views are sometimes controversial, but they make me think. Since you have taken a bold stance against the church and it's teaching about homosexuality, how do you know that you are hearing from God and not just acting out of your flesh?

RC

WOW! That's a loaded question. Before I get into my answer though, let me thank you so much for your support of Operation: REBIRTH. We appreciate you and the thousands more like you who visit and comment every month. I sincerely pray that something is being said to educate, encourage and empower you in your walk with God.

How do I know I'm hearing from God? Hmmm.....let me see. Well, at the risk of sounding very simplistic, I just walk by faith. I just believe in my heart that my experience in and with the church was not in vain. God allowed me to see all I have seen in order to do this ministry because there are SO many other people in the church who are dealing with the same stuff that I have been through. Not only did He use the bad experiences I've had in churches to teach me how to trust only in Him, but also He taught me what love and compassion ISN'T. And since I know what it isn't, I'm better able to see and show what it is.

At my home church, the Sr. Saints used to say "there's just something within that I just can't explain; all that I know, is it's something within." And that's another way I know. When I started walking with God and following His plan for my life, something within let me know that I am on the right track. That I am indeed doing the right thing. And it really can't be explained because what God told ME to do, and how He told ME to do it, others just may not understand. But something within ME lets me know that I am obeying God.

Another way I know is that I'm at peace. I'm not afraid. I'm not confused. I'm not unsure. Every thing about this work gives me peace. And I do it with joy. YES it gets frustrating sometimes. YES I get upset and have to cry. Sometimes I call my friends and vent. I tell them that I'm not doing this anymore. But they always remind me that fighting for the end of spiritual abuse, and toiling for the cause of social justice gives me peace. They tell me that my "light" shines when I'm writing, and preaching, and singing. I'm really not happy doing much else. That's how I know. The scripture says, "God is not the author of confusion". It also says, "God didn't give us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind."

Lastly, I look at the fruit. When people write me and tell their testimonies. When people write and say "thank you for saying what I really didn't know how to say". When people tell me they are no longer dealing with depression because they now KNOW beyond all doubt that God is in love with them.....That lets me know that I'm doing the right thing. The fact that I'm responding to you says I'm obeying God.

I hope that answered your question. I pray that Operation: REBIRTH is a blessing to you and that you in turn will BE a blessing to someone else.

 
       
 
 
       
 

 

 
     

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