Earlier this week Rebecca wrote a letter on Facebook to Pastor Jenkins about her experience at First Baptist Church of Glenarden. The letter has gone viral and has garnered a lot of attention on being black and gay in a black church.
How do you still preach the word of God without inserting your own opinions into the mix? I’m sure it is very difficult judging by the comments on Pastor Jenkins post. Read his letter and let’s discuss what can we do going forward.
Greetings. This is Pastor Jenkins’ letter in response to an open letter he received this week:
Thank you very much for your thoughtful response to my comments at Sunday service on May 22nd. I sincerely appreciate your feedback and honesty. It was never my intention to hurt you, your mother or anyone. I have the utmost respect for the painful journey you have made toward self-acceptance and creating the life in which you experience the greatest love.
Perhaps you are unaware of our church’s efforts to reach out to the LGBTQ community and serve our community at large. I have tried to be very sensitive in my word choices, and I am sorry that my words hurt you. I truly love and care for all people who experience same-sex attraction. In the past, you may have heard me speak that everyone is welcome at First Baptist Church of Glenarden, and I do mean everyone: heterosexual, and the entire LGBTQ community. God loves all His children, and so do I.
During my sermon this past Sunday, I attempted to say that there are many factors influencing the demise of families today. At different services I mentioned multiple factors, some of which you alluded to in your comments to me. I will seek to be more sensitive and less offensive in the future.
The mention of same-sex marriage was just one of many factors that I believe grieve God’s heart and compromise the family. As you may know, I uphold traditional Biblical truths that the sanctity of marriage is between one man and one woman.
As a Pastor, my responsibility is to be thought-provoking and foster conversation around issues of faith. If you would like to meet to further discuss this matter, I welcome the opportunity to dialogue and determine how I can be more sensitive and to cultivate a better understanding. We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers.
In His Grace and Love,
Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.
Who wrote the letter? It says “this is Pastor Jenkins” then says a letter ‘he’ received. Why not just say “A letter that I received. But here we are.
Pastor Jenkins was respectful and it doesn’t seem like he let it get him take away from his message. His message is that he believes homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of God. Which can be in fact argued. But what always get’s me is that they’re tons of scriptures in the bible of which we don’t pay attention to.
- Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. Leviticus 19:19
- 2. All that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. Leviticus 9:10
- When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. Leviticus 15: 19-20
- No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1
- You may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. Leviticus 25:44-46 – Alternate
So why are we in the LGBTQ community punished so hard in the black church? In my opinion. It is easy to judge us then judge the many sins some of these people see and commit every day. It’s easy to cast away a homosexual than to cast someone for eating certain animals. This is why I’m not sure what to say when people ask me do I believe in God.
Thank you, Rebecca Daniel & Pastor Jenkins, for the discussion. I appreciate you both.
What do you think of Pastor Jenkins response?
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LGBTQ History Is Now A Part of Illinois Public School Curriculum
Students that attend public schools in Illinois will learn of the contributions LGBTQ people have made in society. Signed into law on Friday by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the bill is scheduled to go into effect in July 2020.
Introduced as House Bill 246 by Representative Anna Moeller, the bill states the teaching of history will include a study of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in the history of this country and Illinois. The bill was heavily supported by Illinois’ largest queer civil rights advocacy group, Equality Illinois. Hoping the curriculum would bolster students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting, the bill received support in both the Senate and House earlier this year.
Illinois Senator Heather Steans said “One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.” She continued, “An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history, but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community.” Steans has been noted as “one of the General Assembly’s most vocal and passionate supporters of full equality for LGBT people.”
The bill details what changes can be expected to history curriculum for the state’s students. According to Equality Illinois, topics that will be added to public schools history curriculum include details like the nation’s first gay rights organization. The bill states all textbooks will include the roles and contributions of those protected b the state’s Human Rights Act, and must be non-discriminatory.
Expressing her hopes that the bill will benefit future generations, Steans said, “LGBTQ children and and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”
Would you like to see other states enforce similar bills?