Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Gay Georgia mega-church pastor reflects on year of coming out
the Georgia Voice ^ | 11 Nov 2011 | Shanon Hames

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. It’s an “everything” church. It’s gay, straight, black, white, male, female... it’s the type of diverse church that I’m used to anyway. These people know I’m gay and they are sitting here with their Bibles open in their laps and they’re loving God and they’re worshipping and these things are not mutually exclusive

(Excerpt) Read more at thegavoice.com ...


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: itsallaboutme; malignantnarcissist; myopia; narcissist; pederastagenda; relativism
from the article: The Bible promotes slavery. Paul said “slave.” He didn’t say “servant,” he said, “Slaves, obey your master. Even if they’re mistreating you. Even if they’re not a believer.” Well, nobody would call me and ask me about the pros and cons of slavery. The Bible says that you can sell women as property. It says if your daughter is raped, you can sell her to the rapist. Nobody would call me now and say, “Hey, we’re having a debate. Are women property or human beings?” No. We know what the Bible says but our culture has moved beyond that

Morally flip-flopping

1 posted on 11/15/2011 7:01:09 AM PST by Cronos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Cronos

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.


2 posted on 11/15/2011 7:13:40 AM PST by Brookhaven (The media is throwing smoke bombs at Cain and claiming the smoke is proof of fire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

Maybe he can get a guest host gig with Osteen.


3 posted on 11/15/2011 7:16:21 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

500 people stayed!?!


4 posted on 11/15/2011 7:20:46 AM PST by sigzero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

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..


5 posted on 11/15/2011 7:22:24 AM PST by scbison
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
2500 Left?!?

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...

6 posted on 11/15/2011 7:25:58 AM PST by apillar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: apillar

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.


7 posted on 11/15/2011 7:40:17 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

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.


8 posted on 11/15/2011 7:44:18 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
#1, this pastor must have slept through the seminary class about OT law and history vs NT law.

#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.

9 posted on 11/15/2011 7:52:39 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

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.


10 posted on 11/15/2011 8:01:52 AM PST by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o
I love how you point out, time after time, that Scripture is explicitly against the type of behavior that this sodomite is promoting, then you turn right around and accuse him of having his own personal interpretation of Scripture.

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.

11 posted on 11/15/2011 10:12:25 AM PST by Avalon Hussar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: scbison

Indeed.

“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


12 posted on 11/15/2011 10:17:47 AM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Avalon Hussar; Mrs. Don-o
I think the point Mrs. Don-o was trying to make was that personal interpretation of scripture can lead to dangerous ground simply because we delude our selves in to thinking that we are living according to Gods will when in fact we are, as you say rebelling.

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?

13 posted on 11/15/2011 10:32:07 AM PST by conservonator (God between us and the devil!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
Morally flip-flopping

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.

14 posted on 11/15/2011 1:59:54 PM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
Swilley remains confident in his journey as a gay Christian and hopeful for his new project, Church in the Now Midtown.

Midtown? Gee, who saw that coming?

15 posted on 11/15/2011 2:05:23 PM PST by Hoodat (Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God. -Psalm 55:19-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MEGoody

“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.


16 posted on 11/15/2011 2:31:54 PM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Avalon Hussar
I'm sorry; it looks like I didn't express myself very well. Please let me try again.

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.

17 posted on 11/15/2011 2:49:47 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: ReformationFan

Thank you for that quote from 1 Timothy. Excellent!


18 posted on 11/15/2011 2:51:14 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
Thanks. See mine at #17
19 posted on 11/15/2011 2:54:32 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

Gaydar. Who haz it?

20 posted on 11/15/2011 3:36:59 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You fool! Don't you know every Taurus purchased brings us closer to TEOTWAWKI?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

placemark


21 posted on 11/15/2011 4:09:11 PM PST by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

‘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”.


22 posted on 11/15/2011 4:10:52 PM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o

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


23 posted on 11/15/2011 4:13:50 PM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: conservonator; Mrs. Don-o
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?

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.

24 posted on 11/16/2011 7:08:48 AM PST by Avalon Hussar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o; conservonator
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.

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.

25 posted on 11/16/2011 7:23:09 AM PST by Avalon Hussar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Avalon Hussar
I've got to agree with you that when a Church bureaucracy covers up crime (as way too many in the Catholic heirarchy did) it compounds the crime by many multiples. When I first realized (around 2002) that a bunch of Bishops had not only failed to notify the cops, but transfered the predators around to different parishes, it was like a sickening blow to the stomach from which I have really not recovered.

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.

26 posted on 11/16/2011 8:23:51 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." - St. John Chrysostom, Bishop)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Mrs. Don-o
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

27 posted on 11/16/2011 8:38:39 AM PST by Avalon Hussar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Avalon Hussar
While I disagree with you on where authority lies, Scripture plainly states that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth and that it has authority to settle disputes: "Take it to the Church", and it was through the Church that our Lord gave the Scriptures and to the Church did he give teaching authority. We'll have to agree to disagree on these points I suppose. But I believe that we can fully agree that predators and those who cover or aid in any way those predators, be they a Bishop or head coach, should face secular justice just as surely as they will face eternal justice.
28 posted on 11/17/2011 7:15:52 AM PST by conservonator (God between us and the devil!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson