I'm going to turn my attention away from writing about reforming the African-American church for a while. The comments and engagement both on the blog and by email were thought-provoking and encouragement.
But one last piece of evidence for why we should be praying and urgently laboring for reform is this Black Church Summit recently held in Philadelphia. The first line in the press release:
"Newly out-as-gay former NBA player, John Amaechi will make a special guest appearance...."
A description of some of the conference's workshops:
"Some of the topics covered during the summit will include how to build effective HIV ministries; how to create gay affirming congregations in order to end spiritual homophobia; how to interpret scripture in regards to homosexuality...."
The conference is being hosted at Mother Bethel AME Church, the birthplace of the first independent African-American denomination in the country. I wonder what Richard Allen, Daniel A. Payne, Morris Brown and others in that denomination's rich history would think.
Actually, there's no wondering about it at all. They wouldn't recognize this as the church they founded, the gospel they preached, or the community they sought to build. It's a tragic betrayal of a rich and wonderful heritage.
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