In addition to the statement that was released from the church regarding the 107th Annual Holy Convocation of the Church Of God In Christ, Presiding Bishop Blake decided to take things to an all new level or should I say and all new LOW for the "Grand Ole Church". This short excerpt from from the West Angeles Church service after the Convocation has more than burnt up the internet and especially facebook. The statement is resoundingly clear in uncovering what the Bishop was trying and endeavoring to do...Primarily: completely distance himself and the church both from anything that was said during Dr. Carter's message and anything that happened afterward by way of claimed deliverance by Andrew Caldwell, the person who's testimony is at the heart of the controversy.
Bishop Blake read part of the initial statement and added some additional information for context. Here is the Bishop's statement:
The Bishop's Assertions
Presiding Bishop Blake concluded that the speaker, Supt. Dr. Carter, had "used terms and spoke in a way that was offensive and inappropriate". To remind you, Dr. Carter called gay men "sissies", called the Bishops responsible for the proliferation of the gay agenda within the church by allowing them free reign, telling them that they were going to be held accountable for what they had allowed and called into judgement, and also at one point wished, that since gay men wanted to be women, that they would regularly "bleed from the butt" crudely referencing the monthly menstrual that a woman has as a sign of womanhood.
In his address our Presiding Bishop further removed himself from any association with Dr. Carter's statements by additional disclaimer saying that he, Dr. Carter, was solely responsible for the message that he delivered. In other words, Bishop Blake says that neither he nor the church on any level are in agreement with or condones the message.
"harsh, un-compassionate, disrespectful spirit, on the part of that speaker"
So, for that, the Presiding Bishop thought it was apropos to apologize to the public. Then in line with even more apologies, Bishop Blake would further go on to apologize to Andrew Caldwell whom he called, "a young seeker for the Lord". It was Andrew Caldwell, who claimed deliverance from homosexuality. The Bishop apologized to him for the ridicule that he is enduring as a result of the event.
After setting forth some ideas, Bishop began to read from the statement that the church initially delivered on their website. I outline some interesting variations from the original statement as you will note:
Original statement: "Furthermore, the Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual stance"
What he said: "The Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual orientation or their sexual stance"
Now, I would like to know what that means. What is a "sexual stance" and what is the difference between it and a "sexual orientation"? Toward the end he also added:
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. God will judge us all. If you have a love for God, and if you love God's word you are welcome to West Angeles Church and you are welcome to the Church Of God In Christ.Since We Are In An Apologetic Mood...
Since we are apologizing or in an apologetic mood...I would like to know when our Presiding Bishop will apologize to me and the nearly 12,000 member churches and pastors for signing us on the section of the UDHR (Universal Declaration Of Human Rights) which affirms gay unions. May we remind the people that the UDHR is currently a document used to affirm gay unions and the rights of gay to marry all around the world? In fact this document is the pathway to gay rights as gay advocacy holds it, delivering gay rights to the gay community all over the world and the United States.
Since we are in an apologetic mood...WHEN will COGIC apologize for the neglect of ALL the victims of clergy and church related sexual abuse? When will COGIC apologize for our church's failure to implement, create, or act upon a SOLID Victim's Advocacy plan? I mean it has only been about 7 to 8 years that I have been after the church about implementing a plan to address the fallout that victims and those who have survived sexual abuse have experienced within this church. In fact, I personally delivered a topical proposal into Presiding Bishop Blake's hands, in Joliet, IL. with a tentative agreement to personally meet with he and certain church representatives in STL. during the 106th Annual Holy Convocation (last year)...Well, that meeting NEVER happened. Is there an apology for either me or more importantly to the victims and survivors for our church's apparent failure to act since we have been so keenly made aware of the problems?
|Bishop Charles Brown|
We are proud that we have planted flowers in STL, gave folk blankets and haircuts and even read books to children while we were there, but what about the terrible weeds that have been allowed to grow around our victims such as those stemming from the alleged perverted actions of a Bishop from Louisiana for example whom the church has never tried in adequate council. I could name many other places and persons. They are self evident and additional information thoroughly posted on ReportCOGICAbuse.com....Are we saying that "flowers" and cleaning up neighborhood garbage is more important that these souls that have survived one of the worst type of attacks from the enemy?
In conjunction with that, I wonder and listened for additional apology to the church in general for waiting so long to openly address alleged clergy and member pedophiles and sexually immoral persons that use our name and our pulpits to take advantage of the sheep. We have NEVER apologized for the sexual immorality of former General Board Bishop JD Husband, yet alone anyone else. Do I need to remind you that the former elected leader of our church (JD Husband) was a gay pedophile that destroyed many individual lives under the cover of the Grand Ole Church? I know that some of those we need to apologize for have nothing to do with homosexuality, but relieving them (the offenders) from office or at least trying them in front of their accusers in an open and fair forum SHOULD be the standard. Now, shouldn't it? Yet from this Grand Ole Church there is only SILENCE? Why???
To the issue of the message at the convocation, As our Bishop states, there were over 15 messages delivered. There was one delivered at a round-table banquet that Bishop Blake annually sponsors for COGIC Charities. The message at that banquet was delivered by a West Angeles member who openly affirms gays and their "right" to marry. I didn't hear an apology to anyone for allowing Earvin "Magic" Johnson to speak to folk who otherwise believe that what he affirms as OK, is condemned by the church. Although we certainly love Earvin, has he ever apologized for his support of gay inclusion in the face of our church's supposed teaching and "stance" on the issue? Did Earvin ever apologize for wanting Prop 8, overturned? Remember, Prop 8 was the gay marriage ban of CA. approved by the citizens of CA. I still remember what "Magic" said in his call:
"This is Magic Johnson calling to ask you to join me and Barack Obama in opposing Proposition 8. Prop 8 singles out one group of Californians to be treated differently - including members of our family, our friends, and our coworkers".... "That is not what California is about. So this Tuesday, vote no on Proposition 8. It is unfair and wrong. Thanks.
I know that's over, (yea right) and the courts of California overrode the will of the people and the legislative branch of the system of government and approved gay marriage, but did the church ever apologize for Earvin's support of gay marriage in any way especially since we are hailing him as a great leader among our ranks?
It seems to me that IF there are going to be apologies issued, that some of them should be based on this and things like this that the church has allowed.
The bible says:
2 Tim. 4:2 ~ Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Now, which and whose is a greater command or commendation? The command to preach the truth or the command of men, to preach something, nearly anything, that accommodates men and their desires? What should Carter have done? Cowered to public opinion, even that of the Presiding Bishop, and the world who doesn't care about the church or God anyway? Should there be an "apology" for a "harsh, un-compassionate, disrespectful spirit, on the part of that speaker" ?
I wonder if how "harsh" and "un-compassionate" they thought Ezekiel was when he was commanded by God to deliver a message to Israel and their leaders while laying on his side eating cow maneuver mingled with certain food and wasting away? I wonder would our church and those who agree with the Bishop's apology tell the prophet that he was being "harsh, un-compassionate, disrespectful spirit"? So it sounds like that the "prophet" as Dr. Carter called himself, may need an apology as well, for being called names when his claim is that he was only delivering a message that he received from the Lord?
Further, I would like to know when, since a message is given or delivered under the rights of free speech in AMERICA, the land of the free, that the message needs to be apologized for. In a free and civil society when no threat was made a person, a group of individuals either based on religion, creed or anything else, would a church associate statements with
It seems that an apology is in order for the violation of the guaranteed and protected right of free speech. Then, when I examine our church we find that this church has a history of people who have taken the church's largest stage and have either inadvertently or purposefully said something wrong. YET the statements and presentation of a preacher, delivering a message in the pulpit is apologized for??? WHAT IS THAT???
In addition, I would like to know why Bishop Blake felt a need to apologize to a person that claims that they need nothing from the church. Andrew Caldwell, like him or leave him, has not asked the church for anything to my knowledge but for a book sale, CD sale and prayers...Why is this church in the habit of apologizing to folk who are not asking for an apology, while overlooking those whom we should REALLY and SINCERELY apologize to? According to the Bishop, it was because we "think" we have arrived when we are criticized by a comic like Jimmy Kimmel? (whom I've NEVER watched nor considered a source of entertainment)
We have been SOLD OUT for acceptance among the world. It seems that while we are trying our best to "mainstream" the church, because evidently we are ashamed of the message and witness to the world that the church delivers and has traditionally delivered, that we are steadily losing any power we have to facilitate change in this world.
We cover up this circumstance with thoughts of "love" and "compassion" to the world, saying that a preacher's message was insensitive and that it does not represent the bible.
But what does represent the bible? Is HELL representative of the bible? I don't think there is a COGIC scholar that would object that it is. We all know that the bible says that God loves everyone and that he wants all to be saved. We all agree. However, we find that the loving and compassionate God (and he is those things without a doubt) yet provides a real, literal and eternal HELL to all them that don't repent.
Now, is THAT message, of a real, literal and eternal HELL for the unrepentant "harsh, un-compassionate," and of a "disrespectful spirit,"? Maybe someone should take that up with God in heavenly council...Please tell him that what he sets forth is "harsh, un-compassionate, and of a disrespectful spirit".
Since we know that those who love sin, even bishops, pastors, leaders and a whole bunch of people will suffer judgement from their choice of evil....And since we know that the Presiding Bishop is NOT what the Pope is to Catholics...And since his words are NOT the final authority on anything, I REJECT the Bishops apology and entire reckoning of the event and reconcile that this church has sought to maintain its status within society over promoting and heeding to the true and real message of holiness. Certainly Carter was not and is not perfect. Without knowing him, I believe he would be the first to say such, but neither are the men that lead this church. If these men cannot apologize for the evident and abundant issues that are before them and that have been before them for years, then this apology can only be considered a joke or more political grandstanding.
I certainly don't impugn the character of our Bishop, but I do simply say, THIS was wrong and a shameful approach to addressing issues of truth that so widely impact the quality of life for countless millions in the United States and in the world. If the church can only be relied on to be "nice" as the world counts niceness, then were is its real impact to this lost and dying world?