Skip to comments.Gay Georgia mega-church pastor reflects on year of coming out
Posted on 11/15/2011 7:01:08 AM PST by Cronos
Last year, Bishop Jim Swilley spoke from his heart to his congregation at Church in the Now in Conyers, Ga. He came out as a gay man, shocking many of his mega-church congregants and making national headlines.
The Oct. 13, 2010, sermon sparked a mass exodus from the church. Attendance dropped from approximately 2,500 on any given Sunday to only about 500. The church was forced into foreclosure on its massive property and is now renting one of the buildings back from the bank for worship.
The Georgia Voice spoke with Swilley last year about his coming out, and recently went back to follow up on how he, his family and his church are doing a year later. Despite the changes to his Conyers congregation, Swilley remains confident in his journey as a gay Christian and hopeful for his new project, Church in the Now Midtown.
..CITN Midtown is not a gay church. Its an everything church. Its gay, straight, black, white, male, female... its the type of diverse church that Im used to anyway. These people know Im gay and they are sitting here with their Bibles open in their laps and theyre loving God and theyre worshipping and these things are not mutually exclusive
(Excerpt) Read more at thegavoice.com ...
There’s an easy way to put this in context:
What if a single pastor “came out” and said he was living with a woman, having sex with her on a regular basis, and had no intention of stopping or of getting married?
Odds are his chruch attendance would drop form 2,500 to 500 also.
Maybe he can get a guest host gig with Osteen.
500 people stayed!?!
Got a be carefule about Slavery context.. I know in some situations, when the bible refers to slave,it was actual more of a employer/employee type of relationship..
Why! I'm sure their was some provision in the church bylaws for getting rid of a pastor. Why didn't they ride him out of town on a rail and get a pastor that wasn't living in sin?
You can darn well bet if this happened in MY church it wouldn't be the congregation that left...
Either the poofter runs a vary authoritarian operation where he has handpicked those that would be able to throw him out and thus nothing happened, or the place was basically a personality worshiping outfit and folks moved on to a new personality. You see this a lot in independent fundamental baptist circles.
as it is written Except the Lord of Hosts had provided a very small minority we would have been made to be as Sodom and like unto Gomorrah.” My apologies to the Jewish author of the
Book of Isaiah Chapter 1 verse 9 and to the author of Paul’s
epistle to the Believers at Rome (Romans chapter 9 verse 29)
if this country has moved beyond that — I suggest the writer of this article probably misunderstands or is trying to Beguile us by perhaps misrepresenting what the Bible says.IMO slavery was not as it was understood in the American Republic -a lifetime thing but the Year of Jubilee must be figured in. As must all other relevant cultural and time related factors. This seems not done by the queer/ie strange article.
#2, He must have also missed the class on Philemon, where the "context" is that St. Paul says the runaway slave Onesimus is to be accepted back, not as a slave but as a brother.
#3, he must have snoozed past the discussion about how St. Paul, in the light of Christ, revolutionaized the categories by saying those who are one in Christ are His eyes "Neither slave not freeman, neither Jew nor Gentile, neither man nor woman"
#4, maybe his church, whatever it is, doesn't know a dadblamed thing about Natural Law or Development of Doctrine?
(Sigh.) No, probably not.
So expect more of this from the YOPIOS crowd, yes, in every denomination.
All that really matters; the highest aspiration we can all have in life, is to be able to wag our sex in front of the congregation and have them all clap and celebrate! /s/
This pervert wrecked a congregation and he’s so happy that HE feels good about himself. He is all that matters to him. And to him, he is sodomy.
Let's just cut to the chase, shall we? How's this sodomite any different than those Catholic priests who sodomized young alter boys? Isn't that a personal interpretation of Scripture as well, or could it just be that this has nothing to do with interpreting Scripture and everything to do with rebelling against our Lord's Sovereign rule on the matter, in both instances.
There are some areas that Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants and the rest of us will disagree but when Scripture is clear on a topic, with more than one instance of God's views on a subject mentioned such as it is on homosexuality, then it's not a personal interpretation, it's outright rebellion against God.
Don't make this into something that it's not. This is rebellion against God's authority on the matter, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with an interpretation of Scripture, personal or otherwise.
Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” Exodus 21:16.
Therefore, while the Old Testament allowed for a form of slavery(far more similar to the system of indentured servitude than the American/African system), it specifically prohibited the kidnaping and selling of individuals. In fact, the New Testament condemns both the enslaving of individuals and the practice of same sex sexual behavior in 1 Timothy 1:10-
“8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practise homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” I Timothy 1:8-11
If you could, could you point me to any evidence that would lead you to believe sodomite priests used Scripture as a defense for their actions?
And completely misinterpreting scripture. But of course, homosexuals have to do that to justify their sin.
And isn't it interesting that he says people sit in the pews with their bibles in their laps, worshipping, etc, then goes on to say, in essence, the bible is irrelevant to our culture.
Midtown? Gee, who saw that coming?
“And isn’t it interesting that he says people sit in the pews with their bibles in their laps, worshipping, etc, then goes on to say, in essence, the bible is irrelevant to our culture.”
If he truly believes this, then why would churchgoing be relevant to our culture? Like all religious liberals, I would guess he turns into a fundamentalist when it comes to the issue of tithes and offerings.
Scripture of course has a very clear testimony against unnatural sex: sodomy, onanism, contracepted sex, or any other kind of sex which isn't marital and in the procreative form. Sex which is marital and procreative is never mentioned disapprovinglyin Sacred Scripture; sex which is nonmarital or turned away from the procreative form, is never mentioned approvingly.
You and I agree on that.
However Reverend Gay Christian Pastor will not agree, because he will argue that it is YOU and I who are un-Scriptural. He will insist that it is YOU and I, Avalon, who are promoting a mistaken interpretation.
You know this is erroneous. I know it is, too. But Reverend Gay Christian Pastor will justify it Scripturally along the lines I've already indicated HERE [LINK]
To summarize: he will say that the OT prohibitions on homosex can be set aside like other temporary Israelite taboos (like the prohibition agianst eating pork and shellfish); he will say the Sodom story refers to forcible rape, not nice sweet gay Christian lovemaking; he will say arsenokoitai and malakoi (the words of St. Paul) refer to temple prostitutes and catamites, not homosexuals per se. He will say the prohibition of "fornication" indicates that gays should marry each other in order not to be fornicators, since St. Paul says "marriage is honorable for all."
And thus he will dispose of every Scriptural argument by saying that it cannot possibly refer to homosexuality in itself, because the word "homosexual" and didn't even exist until the 19th or 20th century.
"How's this sodomite any different than those Catholic priests who sodomized young alter boys?"
Here's how he's different: Reverend Gay Pastor is convinced that his stand is Scriptural, and nobody has any authority to tell him otherwise. In contrast, a perverted priest knows he's not Scripturally OK, and if he were to try to publically justify his actions, the Church's doctrines would plainly tell him otherwise. There is not even one molecule of authoritative Catholic teaching that will support the pervert priest.
The Catholic priest knows he has no "right" to put forth a personal interpretation of Scripture which is in conflict with the authoritative teaching of the Church. He may still sin, and sin damnably, and go to eternal hellfire sinning damnably, but he cannot cite Scripture to argue that he's actually all right.
Thank you for that quote from 1 Timothy. Excellent!
Gaydar. Who haz it?
‘He will say the prohibition of “fornication” indicates that gays should marry each other in order not to be fornicators, since St. Paul says “marriage is honorable for all.”’
I predict the pro-polygamy crowd will try to use a similar argument when the “polygamous rights” movement gains momentum: “It’s not adultery if an already married man marries another woman. His mistress(or mistresses) will become his 2nd(or 3rd or 4th, etc.) wife. Therefore, it technically can’t be adultery”.
Indeed it is. “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. “ II Timothy 3:16-17
I'm afraid that I wasn't clear in why I was making the comparison between the Catholic priests who molested those altar boys and this latest perversion. It wasn't to say that the Priests used Scripture to defend their actions, it was that their actions were just as evil as this sodomite claiming to preach the Gospel.
As Mrs. Don-o pointed out, those priests didn't try to justify their actions with Scriptural support, but that's a small comfort when looking at the bigger picture involved here. If they didn't try to justify it with Scripture, then what does it say about the RCC's bureaucracy that they were allowed to remain in the body instead of being immediately excommunicated for their evil? Look at Christ's own words about those who would hard a child.
And before you accuse me of being rabidly anti-Catholic, I want to point out that the situation here doesn't even have a Church bureaucracy to blame. This sodomite is twisting Scripture to justify his perversion and 500 people of his congregation either don't even know enough Scripture to reject him completely or give their approval of his actions. Talk about sin in the camp, we've got that showing up in spades here.
Christians, of all stripes, seem to have forgotten that the passage in II Timothy states that "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
Simply put, we're not to manufacture doctrine out of incomplete or partial Scriptural references, which is what happens more times than not; especially when it comes to sex or money.
Anyway, sorry about getting off on a mini-rant there. There's a time for disagreeing over doctrine and interpretation of Scripture, but when the rebellion is as blatant as it is in this instance, it doesn't even enter my mind if a person is Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or otherwise. If they're standing on the Word of God against those wolves in sheep's clothing, then they're going to find me right there with them. I hope that clears things up a little.
I wanted to try to further illustrate my point here. Yes, this sodomite would try to state that his stand is Scriptural and that no one has the authority to tell him otherwise. You're correct in thinking that he'll try to take that position. However, that's not what 2 Timothy 3 states. It doesn't state that select portions of Scripture are breathed by God and are profitable. It states that ALL Scripture is breathed by God. Including that Scripture that labels sodomy as an abomination and those who practice it as an abomination in God's sight. That's where the authority to reject this doctrine as evil comes from. It doesn't come from a Church bureaucracy or the membership of the Church, it comes directly from God Himself via His written and recorded word.
The bureaucracy and the membership derive their authority from the Word, not the other way around, and when we fail to stand by this point, we wind up with sodomites molesting the altar boys, homosexual marriage being accepted as normal in the Churches, abortion seen as a woman's "right" instead of infanticide and all kinds of other forms of evil. There's sin in the camp and it started when man thought he understood the Bible better than the Author did.
It brought to mind the famous quote, below (tagline).
And you'll find people in the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) proclaiming gross errors similar to this Rev. Gay Evangelical Pastor guy. CTSA is an academic (not Apostolic) organization of University based (not Church-based) credentialed creepazoids, but most Catholics don't even realize that.
So the deceiver quotes Scripture, as always, for his own purposes. And he even has his own Lowerarchy working for him, PhD credentials and all.
Let's pray for each other. We've got a lot of fighting to do, but not against each other.
Absolutely, no question what so ever that I'll keep you in my prayers. We may be different denominations, but you're right that we can't waste our strength attacking each other in this matter. Scripture states that we're to exhort one another to the Glory of God the Father and I can think of no better way to do so than to support my Brothers and Sisters against the Deceiver, especially when he's infiltrated our ranks.
Auxilium meum a domino