August 14, 2003
Mary A. Tolbert
Executive Director, CLGS
Dear Ms Tolbert,
By an equally unfortunate accident, I read Johari Jabir's response to our "Coming Home: An Open Letter to the black gay and lesbian community."
As one of the Co-authors of the letter, I could not help but notice Mr. Jabir's flawed and ironic logic which became the foundation of a misconceived interpretation of our letter.
First, I wonder if Mr. Jabir even took time to read the letter which never states nor implies that the "home" we speak of is a physical place. Nor did we at any point in the letter state that the black church was the idealistic place for such a homecoming.
In the accompanying press release (maybe you did not receive it) the lead sentence said, "Asserting that America's black gay and lesbian community needs to come home to God, members of a group of African American former homosexuals today released an national open letter asking black gays to realize their need for God."
We acknowledged that the (black) church had been a source of hurt and pain for many black gays and lesbians and issued a stern rebuke to such churches. But the letter never said that coming back to the church (a building) was the answer to the many additional problems besetting the community. Hence, we made a clear call to come back to the One who died for them. As Mr. Jabir rightly states he [that "One'] is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet, with all of it's internal problems, the church (both universal and triumphant) is inseperable from Christ who died to birth it. We are His physical body in the earth and a separation from it cannot produce a spiritually healthy existence.
Mr. Jabir himself seems to be biting the hand that feeds him: "...black churches are so embedded in the same white supremacist practices of body and sexuality found more generally in American Christianity that these oppressive practices..."
One quick glance at the leadership bios of the CLGS staff reveal people in and from the very churches he accuses of practicing "white supremacy". Would that be "gay white supremacy" in your case? As we mentioned in our letter gay white racism and elitism is another evil that is being heaped upon black gays and lesbians, yet there is a deafening silence on your part. I sincerely hope that Mr. Jabir is not the token black on your staff you trot out like a good boy to handle all the black issues.
Finally, Mr. Jabir assumes the eradication of so-called "homophobic discrimination" is the ultimate salvation of homosexuals. Not so. Such ideologies cut against the grain of true Christian theology and instead create a political god who will give them sanctuary without truth. Our letter was forthright, clear and without pretension. Black gays and lesbians need to return to God, confess their sins and allow Him to cleanse them from unrighteousness. That is the road ALL sinners must take if they expect to truly have fellowship with God.
Again, we invite you to come home.
Pastor Darryl L. Foster
Founder and Executive Director
Coming Home: A Reply to the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry
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