about Me

about Me

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tell the Truth

In much of my correspondence, the question of whether or not I’m aware of what the Bible calls an “abomination” keeps coming up, and the answer to that is yes, I am well aware. In fact, here’s a short list of just some of the things the Bible calls an abomination (there are 67 things listed in all), in case you’re wondering about it…

Cheating is an abomination (Mic. 6:10).

A proud look is an abomination (Pro. 6:16-17).

A lying tongue is an abomination (Pro. 6:17; 12:22).

Hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination (Pro. 6:17).

A wicked scheming heart is an abomination (Pro. 6:18).

Feet that are quick to sin are an abomination (Pro. 6:18).

A false witness that speaks lies is an abomination (Pro. 6:19).

A sower of discord among brethren is an abomination (Pro. 6:19).

A false balance or scale is an abomination (Pro. 11:1).

The sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination (Pro. 15:8; 21:27).

The proud of heart are an abomination (Pro. 16:5).

Condemning the just is an abomination (Pro. 17:15).

Divers, dishonest weights are an abomination (Pro. 20:10, 23).

Divers, dishonest measures are an abomination (Pro. 20:10).

Refusing to hear the law is an abomination (Pro. 28:9).

The prayers of a rebel are an abomination (Pro. 28:9).

Eating the flesh of a peace offering on the 3rd day is an abomination (Lev. 7:18).

Taking ornaments from idols when they are being destroyed is an abomination (Dt. 7:25-26).

Any Idolatrous practices are abominations (Dt. 12:31; 13:14; 17:4; 18:9; 20:18; 29:17).

Offering an imperfect animal to God as a sacrifice is an abomination (Dt. 17:1).

Re-marriage of former companions is an abomination (Dt. 24:1-4).

Cheating others is an abomination (Dt. 25:13-16).

Making images or idols is an abomination (Dt. 27:15).

Incense offered by hypocrites is an abomination (Isa. 1:13).

Eating unclean things (pork, shellfish, etc.) is an abomination (Isa. 66:17).

Offering human sacrifices is an abomination (Jer. 32:35).

Robbery is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Oppression of others, particularly the poor or vulnerable is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Violence is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Breaking vows is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Lending with interest to a brother is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Sleeping with a menstruous woman is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Hardness of heart is an abomination (Ezek. 18: 6-13).

Injustice is an abomination (Ezek. 18:6-13).

Things highly esteemed by man are an abomination (Lk. 16:15).

I could go on, but, suffice it to say, according to Biblical standards we are probably all guilty of regularly committing abominations (ever had a “proud look” on your face, or eaten a pork chop?), so we need to keep the use of that word in perspective. Thank God for the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I think it's important to point out that my main message is and always has been one of love, grace, and tolerance. Church In The Now has been a multicultural/multi ethnic/ecumenical community since its inception, and, as such, has established a long-standing reputation as being a bridge builder among belief systems and people groups. It is neither a white church, nor a black church - it is a church for all people - so it will not become, now or ever, a "gay" church. CITN is inclusive because we believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, demands that we be...and that Gospel is simply the Good News that GOD IS LOVE, demonstrated through the Christ, revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that the lifestyle demands made by the Gospel are summed up in two basic and proactive commandments: (1) Love God (2) Love people. That's all. Church In The Now will always be a place that embraces the truth of the real Gospel, and the simplicity that is in Christ.

That being said, let me add that, as controversial as my recent announcement about myself may be to some, I at least have not had to work through any credibility issues, or do any damage control concerning my message. I have never one time in nearly 40 years of preaching said a derogatory or condemning word about people with same-sex attraction. An in-depth search can be made through my books, or through decades-worth of tapes, CDs, DVDs, or manuscripts of my sermons, and there will be no evidence of the preaching of condemnation found.


Concerning any negative things written about me online, which are mostly done by conservative Christian or Evangelical groups or watchdog organizations, I can only say that it comes with the territory, and I'm used to it. I have no desire to defend myself, or to argue the Scriptures with those who would not be open to anything I would have to say. Integrity can't be proven, it must be discerned.

I've been discussed on blogs and websites for years because of my inclusive theology, and because of the spotlight being on my family for some time because of my uncle, Bishop Earl Paulk, who died nearly two years ago. Usually, any negative article about me begins by making the connection with him, and, even though I don't understand why that connection is germane to my story, I guess it makes it more interesting to some.

I do want to say, however, that I understand that to those who come from a certain apocalyptic/fatalistic theological background, someone like me saying what I've said publicly represents a dangerous trend...a "sign of the times", as they see it. I really understand that because I came from that same tradition. All I can say to my Christian detractors is, if you think I'm deceived or dangerous, then please pray for me. I am your brother, whether you receive me or not, and I choose to love you and believe that your intentions are good, at least in your own minds.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that the response to the video (“A Real Message to Real People”) has been astounding, but, had I thought beforehand that it was going to become so high profile, I might have phrased a few things that I said on it differently. My apologies to anyone who was offended by anything that was stated, but I just said what was on my heart, with no script, or preconceived idea of what I was going say. I feel very passionate about certain things, and those of you who know me know that I communicate exactly what I feel about things that really matter to me. The video is what it is, but my prayer is that the spirit of the message delivered would be heard louder than the letter of it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

From the Heart

I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that I have received in recent months from friends, colleagues, fellow pastors, and from so many of you whom I’ve never met. Your words of kindness have been life-giving, and I’ve read your beautiful e-mails, texts, tweets, and public and private Facebook messages over and over again, many times with tears. I’ve tried to respond to all of them, but if I somehow missed yours, please forgive me and know that I’ve read what you had to say, and that I really appreciate it.

I haven’t returned a lot of phone messages, but I’m glad to hear from all of you who have called, especially those of you with whom I’ve lost contact…we’ll talk, eventually.

Those of you who have had less than supportive things to say, please know that I really do understand where you’re coming from, and I’m sure many of you actually mean well, and want to help me. Believe it or not, I appreciate your input, as well…I just don’t want to argue or debate the Scriptures. I respect your opinions and viewpoints, and can only ask for the same consideration.

It’s been really nice to hear from so many of you who have said that you want to visit CITN, and it’s been especially gratifying to hear from those of you who have left the church for whatever reason, and now wish to return. I really hope all of you will follow through with what you’ve said, and that I’ll have a chance to meet you when you come (or come back)…

More than anything else, though, I have loved hearing from so many young people, including teens who are dealing with some serious issues, along with parents of teens who have been touched by some things that I’ve said. If you’ve been helped at all, it’s been worth any negative reactions or bad publicity that I’ve received.

To those few of you who have severed ties with me, I want you to know that I understand, and that I love you, and I also want you to know that I hope our division is not permanent. If my transparency has offended anyone, I apologize.

I pray that all of you will be blessed, and again, I can’t thank you enough for your support…