We live in the day of unprecedented perversion. Everything that was once normative is now abnormal. The abnormal is becoming our new normal. The perversion of our politics perhaps gives the greatest evidence to the absolute abnormality that has apprehended this age. In this century we will consistently find ourselves saying, “We’ve never seen this or done this before!”
When I was linked to the video of Kim Burrell, gospel singer/entertainer, “preaching” against homosexuality I tried to figure out why this was such a big deal for so many. It actually went viral. Members of our church and partners of our ministry have been requesting that I say something about it. I really didn’t understand why the video I watched was trending.
There was nothing said by Kim Burrell that was unprecedented. Black churchgoers have all heard preaching that confronts and condemns homosexuality. We have all heard the derogatory choice of words that can be acceptably used from the Black pulpit when describing homosexuals. We have all heard the sermons that are filled with quotes from the Bible, especially Paul’s epistles, that outright forbids homosexuality in Christianity (I Corinthians 6:9-11; 18-20). What was unprecedented was the reaction of modern Christians on social media.
The debate has turned sour. Accusations and insults from one Christian to another are being hurled throughout social media over what Kim Burrell said. We actually have an argument going on in the Body of Christ over someone speaking against sin; sin that is being normalized in local churches! This is unprecedented!
So where did Kim Burrell go wrong? In my estimation she made three mistakes that muddied and muddled her intended message.
She was not biblical in her presentation. The prophecy, the warning and the rebuke were not direct quotes from the Word of God. We can adjust to the lack of proper tone and tenor. What we cannot adjust to is the lack of text and truth. There was no exposition from Scripture given that gave shape to her position. She would have done better just to have read Romans 1:18-32 out loud in the New Living Translation, said “Amen” and sat down.
She was too antithetical in her position. What every sinner needs to hear and experience is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never “good news” to tell a sinner, “God is mad at you and He plans on killing you this year!” The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a grace that calls for and is the catalyst for real personal change. The “goodness of God leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4). When people truly experience what God has done through Jesus they change their minds and lives.
She was too focused on the sexuality of the Christian. She was retorting on the church’s laxity in addressing the perversion of sexuality in ministry. That seems to be the wrong target. The real issue is not homosexuality in churches, it is heresy in churches. We will never empty our churches of homosexuality. We can however maintain our place in the world as those who will speak the truth in love. To preach against homosexuality in the 21st century is to preach truth to power. Some of the most powerful political lobbies and entertainment executives are aggressive advocates of homosexuality. They have found their voice and wield their influence in this nation and around the world. Homosexuals are not shy nor ashamed.
However, have you read the posts and tweets of the so-called “Bible believers”? We are divided and deceived. I read more of the world than the Word! Your opinions and convictions sound more like Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey than Paul, Peter and Jude. The modern church is anti-apostolic in its doctrine. It can no longer be said of us that we “continued in the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42). Most of what I read online was flat out heresy! The New Testament does not have a new morality to offer a new age that wants new ways to adapt old perversions.
Where could the Apostle Paul preach his doctrine on deviance in America without an uproar? Every pastor that is an expository preacher will eventually be confronted with a text that confronts sexuality and all its forms of immorality. Will they be accused of being a “homophobic gay basher”? Of course they will!