Former UM Leader Leads Charge To "Re-imagine" Christ Into A Homosexual
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Wilkins
Christ's Sexuality Challenged by Gay Organizations:
A Trojan Horse Disperses its Troops
RALEIGH, NC-Leaders of two prominent gay organizations are under fire for circulating a vile tenet. "Widely believed among the 'gay Christian' community and its supporters is that Christ was homosexual." said Tim Wilkins who directs Cross Ministry, a speaking/teaching ministry headquartered in Wake Forest (Raleigh) North Carolina. "Advocates of such a blasphemous belief direct attention to Jesus' singleness, his incessant association with twelve men (the Disciples), and particularly his close relationships to other men."
Soulforce and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Church (UFMCC) have long believed and broadcast that the Bible approves homosexuality; this "interpretation" of Scripture is called "gay theology."
Soulforce says it is, "an interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people." It is headed by Rev. Mel White. The Rev. Troy Perry founded UFMCC , a predominately gay church in 1968; it boasts more than 300 churches in seventeen countries.
White, the outspoken leader in the "gay Christian" movement, has derided denominations for years telling them their beliefs on homosexuality are wrong. But, in a phone interview when questioned about the belief that Christ was homosexual, White understandably said "I would not agree with anybody who holds such a view!" If what he says is true, White not only disagrees with his detractors, but he disagrees with his followers, colleagues, peers and closest friends.
In 1999 Rev Nancy L. Wilson, pastor of a UFMCC church, awarded Mel White and his partner the "Distinguished Service Award" for their work among 'gay Christians.' White told Cross "Nancy and I are old friends; she is wonderful." Both promote the same goals-- governmental, cultural and ecclesiastical acceptance of homosexuality.
A few years earlier Wilson wrote "Jesus lived an alternate lifestyle" and submitted that Jesus had homosexual relationships with the Rich Young Ruler, Lazarus and the Apostle John.
White feigned ignorance "I have never heard her say that!"
In 1994 Wilkins heard Chris Glaser, a 'gay Christian' activist, speak at an event in North Carolina. Glaser, a close friend of White's, received special thanks from White in a book White published the same year. White told Cross he had "known Glaser for many years" and praised his good work.
Wilkins recalls that Glaser noted the different translations regarding the Apostle John's "leaning on Jesus' bosom," indicating the two had a homosexual relationship. "When a gay man in the audience stood and professed his conviction that Christ was gay" said Wilkins, "Glaser nodded his head and smiled approvingly."
White expressed astonishment that his good friend and colleague would hold such a view.
"I am not surprised of White's response" said Wilkins. "To say what he really believes would either turn his followers against him or invite the wrath of most Americans. But he can not work both sides of the fence. White, the pied-piper, appears to have left it to his supporters to float the belief in Christ's homosexuality, while he remains unscathed."
When Cross asked White if holding such a belief was blasphemy, White said "it is silly, but not blasphemy." Silly? The American Heritage Dictionary defines blasphemy as "A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity."
If White does not view as blasphemous the belief that the Son of God partook in homosexual acts, then one can only wonder what he would brand blasphemy?
White backpedaled when asked if he had ever heard this belief espoused. First he said "no"; then he said "yes."
Though White categorically disputed the credo, Rev. Justin Tanis, both an associate to Rev. Perry and a spokesman for the UFMCC said "it's a view that has credibility."
Perry and Glacer are two of many peas in a pod. Rev. Perry writes "I consider Chris Glaser to be one of the pioneers in the work of reconciliation between the gay and lesbian community and the Christian Faith."
Jimmy Creech is the chairman of SoulForce's board. In 1999 he gained national attention by defying the United Methodist Church (UMC) and performing a same-sex union; he was defrocked by the UMC and found guilty of "Violating the Order and Discipline" of the church. Creech, a non-gay, calls his opposers' beliefs "acts of spiritual violence."
Creech and White have publicly ridiculed denominations that disagree with their viewpoint-to the point of intolerance. Says White on his web site, "The Southern Baptist Convention continues to wreak havoc on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their families both inside and outside the church."
Both men have orchestrated numerous 'civil' demonstrations at denominational meetings and conferences. SoulForce has picketed the last two Southern Baptist conventions and they plan another demonstration when Baptists hold there annual convention in St. Louis in June.
Last January, White's group held monthly 'vigils' at an Oklahoma City church, trying to persuade "the pastor and members of the church to dialogue about homosexuality and work together to find ways to stop spiritual violence against God's GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgendered) children."
SoulForce supporters derided the United Methodist Church when the UMC's General Conference met in Cleveland Ohio May 2000. The organization's "Prayer Squads" blocked the exit from the Cleveland Convention Center carrying signs that read "No exit without justice."
Said Mel White "We're blocking this exit to say to the 1,000 Methodist delegates and their ecumenical guests, 'This debate is over. The (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) suffering has gone on too long. Stay in there this time until you do justice." Such angry tirades are hardly 'civil.'
White has led pickets at the Presbyterian General Assembly and at the 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) in 2000.
When the Catholic Church at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. met in November 2000, SoulForce picketed by blocking the driveway to the National Shrine. "Of all the Christian bodies, historically the Catholic Church is the primary source of condemnation of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) people since medieval times," said Creech.
In a November 2001 open letter to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, White wrote "By not confronting the antigay teachings of the Church...You risk the alienation of gay people and their families from God and the Church, as well as the continuation of the persecution and oppression of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people."
In August 2001, SoulForce supporters staged an act of "civil disobedience" outside the Indianapolis Convention Center at the Evangelical Church in America Churchwide Assembly (ELCA).
The Cathedral of Hope (Dallas, TX) is the largest UFMCC church in the world. Among the recommended books listed on their web site is Daniel Helminiak's What the Bible really Says About Homosexuality.
Helminiak's book, pro-gay all the way, is highly praised by White and recommended on SoulForce's web site. When Helminiak, a close colleague of White's, was asked during a 1995 interview if he believed Jesus was homosexual, he answered "I would not want to suggest that Jesus was or was not homosexual. We simply don't know." Whereas Helminiak conspicuously avoided answering the question, he revealed his true beliefs in another comment. He cited a gospel passage which records Christ's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Helminiak noted that during Jesus' betrayal, a young naked man fled the scene. Asks Wilkins, "Is Helminiak insinuating the unspeakable?"
A spokesman for Cathedral of Hope's senior pastor Rev Michael Piazza declined our request for an interview.
"UFMCC is a mockery" said Wilkins. "I am amazed at their spokesman's blunt response." "And White's enterprise has been shown for what it is-a Trojan Horse. While portraying itself as a conservative, devout, Bible-believing Christian organization in order to get its foot in the door to our churches, temples, and schools, its real beliefs have uncovered SoulForce for what it really is--- a farce!
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