The pastor of a black mega-church in Decatur blasted the hypocrisy of other religious leaders who profit off gay members of their congregations while condemning them as nasty and demonizing.
Rev. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., blisters the condemantion of LGBT people in a sermon to his House of Hope Atlanta on Flat Shoals Parkway, a portion of which was posted to YouTube on Thursday. As Smith recounts a conversation he says he has with God, he lets loose on churches who treat their gay members poorly and other pastors who criticized the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.
“And God said to me, here's the problem. You guys in the church can be so hypocritical. He said in the African-American church you really got to be careful. I said what do you mean. He said because you are guilty of condemning the Supreme Court system and preaching against something but if you look at half of our choirs and a great number of our artists that we call abominations, that we call demons, we demonize and dehumanize, the same people that we use and we don't say nothing about the gay choir director because he's good for business. As long as the choir sounds good, I ain't saying nothing about his sexuality,” Smith says in the fiery excerpt. (Watch below)
Smith then compares those pastors to slavemasters.
“We have done what the slavemaster did to us – dehumanize us, degrade us, demonize us but then use them for our advantage,” he says.
Yet some church leaders condemn LGBT people but overlook the behavior of their own flock, Smith says.
“It's hypocritical to talk about the Supreme Court and calling them Sodom and Gomorrah, which is not what it's all about, but if that's the case half our churches have been Sodom and Gomorrah for 100 years,” Smith says.
And don't bother quoting Leviticus to condemn homosexuality, he adds. That just underscores his point about hypocrisy among some religious believers.
“On one hand, you quote homosexuality is an abomination from Leviticus. But you say that right after you ate some shrimp, some catfish and some lobster. You quote Leviticus while you're wearing a wool blend suit. It's also in Leviticus that you shouldn't wear mixed linens,” Smith says. “Here's my point. We pick and choose the scriptures that we want to use to beat folks up with rather than look at our own lives.”
Smith says that churches should focus on evangelizing and not antagonizing.
“Look at your neighbor and tell you neighbor I don't condemn you, I don't judge you, I'm going to preach Christ to you. Cause you can't evangelize and antagonize at the same time. You can not insult and inspire the same people that you insult,” he says.
In other words, preach Christ and not condemnation, Smith says. And if pastors aren't willing to do that, they should take another look at the songs they sing every Sunday. Yep, those come the gays too.
“What are we going to do about the people who are born this way, who've been struggling with something? What about the people that we thinking are nasty? These folks are an abomination, they are nasty. I tell you what you do then. Go find every song that's been written by a gay person for the last hundred years and don't sing it in church. Then you see how many songs you can minister on that Sunday,” Smith says.
And he closes with one last zinger.
“Bishop don't tell me what the Bible says about homosexuals and you change wives like we change underwear. Sit your hypocritical self down,” Smith says.
[h/t The Backlot]