Dr. Jerry’s Corner

Last week, I read an article, “US Christian Groups Spend Millions in Africa to StopLGBTQ Progress.” It states that 28 Christian Right groups in the United States have spent more $280 million worldwide since 2007 to stop LGBTQ equality. Apparently, these groups believe it’s okay to have LGBTQ people imprisoned or murdered in the name of the Prince of Peace. Can we say hypocrites?

It saddens me that such Christian organizations would give millions to Africa to spew hate towards the LGBTQ community, finding it acceptable to persecute and destroy the lives of innocent people who are made in God’s image.

These organizations have missed the whole Gospel message of God’s love to all mankind.  The Disciples asked Jesus, “how people will know that we are your Disciples?”  Jesus told them by your love for one another. It did not say if you agree with them or they follow your religiosity and rules.

Jesus himself frequently talked about love for your fellow man and helping them when they need to be fed, clothed or helped emotionally, spiritually, and physically. No doubt, these politicized organizations have totally missed the mark. Their misplaced priorities are particularly glaring, while millions of Americans can’t even afford to put food on their tables. According to The Guardian:

In what is traditionally a season of celebration, less than half of US households with children feel “very confident” about having enough money to afford the food needed over the next month, according to the US Census Bureau’s latest pandemic survey. A staggering 5.6 million households struggled to put enough food on the table in the past week.

Families of color are suffering disproportionately with 27% of black and 23% of Latino respondents with children reported not having enough to eat sometimes or often over the past week – compared with 12% of white people.

Just imagine the possibilities if these so-called Christians had provided bread to hungry Americans instead of bigotry abroad. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for perverting the word of God to harm people they don’t know, nor do they care to understand. If they were decent and sincere, they would be funding soup kitchens instead of dishing out discrimination overseas.

At Heart Way Church in Davie, Florida, the pastor and his wife recently spoke about a three point understanding of what their mission is:

  1. Learn to be still and hear God.
  2. Be open to other’s beliefs, and understand where you are with God.
  3. Be open to love, which is the foundation to knowing, growing, and understanding others and who God is.

I have been attending Heart Way for almost a year and I have preached in hundreds of churches throughout my time in the pulpit.  Without hesitation, I know that Heart Way is going to grow leaps and bounds, because it is a church centered on love.  It’s not about what we say, but what we do in reaching out to all people with God’s love and meeting them where they are spiritually.

Heart Way Church in Davie Florida is the antidote to the spiritual poison peddles by right wing American hate groups. It seeks to demonstrate genuine love to all those who come to worship. With so much tragedy and pain as a result of Covid-19, including people being laid off from their jobs and losing family members they can’t even say goodbye to in person, we need more love and less right wing lies. Religion without a base of love is nothing more than rules and hypocrisy.  You see, God is Love….

Rev. Jerry Stephenson, ThD. PhD. CAP, JeryLSt@aol.com