Gospel singer Kim Burrell is taking heat for remarks she made about homosexuality during a sermon she gave at Love and Liberty Fellowship Church International.
Someone filmed part of the sermon and published it on December 30. In the video, Burrell can be heard saying:
"Anybody in this room who feels the homosexual spirit, beg God to free you. [inaudible] it in 2017, you'll die from it; and [inaudible] it in God's house in 2017, you'll die from it...
I came to tell you about sin. That sin nature. That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women, and it’s caused a stain on the body of Christ...
You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted, and you cannot tell me 'thus sayeth the Lord.' You're perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted."
After swift backlash from the usual suspects, Burrell went on Facebook Live to explain the context of her sermon, and to dispute claims that she hates gays and lesbians:
"I never said LGBT last night, I said S-I-N...Now what was posted was not all that I preached, too. Only that. Isn't that something? That is designed of the enemy to make it look like I have a personal agenda against people...
I have to do what God tells me to do...I'm not to be shaken cause I'm out here for God...to every person that is dealing with the homosexual spirit, that has it, I love you cause God loves you--but he hates the sin in you and me--anything that's against the nature of God...
There are a lot of people that I'm aware of that struggle, or deal, or have that spirit. Have I discriminated against them? Have I ever outright told them 'I don't love you' and 'you going to hell?' Who gives me the right to say that I'm telling someone that they're going to hell. I don't get that call. There's a responsibility in the church to represent the almighty God, and it is wrong for us to gather, that as we rep God, that we take his place. Don't think that. I'm not that shallow.
...I never said that all gays are going to hell...I was addressing church people, and let's get even more specific--ones who were in my church. My church where I pastor...I never said God was killing a gay in 2017. I said people who operate with that spirit in the church, with deception, and attack themselves are going to have to face the master. That's what I said--and that death is attached to their behavior."
The media is treating Burrell as though she's a monster, but they're under several misapprehensions. Anyone who grew up in the church, or has even a tenuous understanding of biblical Christianity, knows exactly what Kim Burrell meant in her sermon, as well as in her clarification video.
Christians follow the teachings of the New Testament, which they believe to be the unadulterated word of God. Several key passages in the New Testament explicitly condemn homosexual behavior as a perversion of God's intended role for men and women. Romans 1: 26-27, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, and Jude 1: 7 come to mind.
Note the term "homosexual behavior." This is a critical distinction. Christians do not believe that those who are attracted to others of the same sex are condemned to hell; they believe that those who act upon those feelings are condemned. Some Christians believe that same-sex attraction can be changed, and that gay and lesbian Christians can wash that attraction away in the blood of Christ, and lead a "normal," nuclear life. Other Christians do not believe this, and instead subscribe to the belief that gay and lesbian Christians should simply remain celibate.
There's a perception that Christians hate members of the LGBT community, and to be frank, some do. Some people who claim the mantle of Christ are indeed hateful, judgmental, and bigoted. Such people do not represent the majority of Christians. Most Christians do not hate, specifically because the Bible teaches them not to. However, as Kim Burrell said, Christians are called to represent Christ and the teachings of Christianity. As such, they will tell you that homosexual behavior is a sin. That's not the same as personal judgment. That's not the same as bigotry.
Perhaps the most perplexing part of this situation is that people are astonished that a Christian would actually follow the Bible, and relay its message to others. The attacks on Kim Burrell are reminiscent of the BuzzFeed hit-piece on HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines. Issues like this seem to pop up every few months. It's as if non-religious people cannot possibly comprehend the fact that Christians might hold a set of beliefs that are contrary to their own.
Did Kim Burrell discriminate against anyone? No. Did she threaten anyone? No. Did she cause material harm to the LGBT community? No. She preached about her biblically-based beliefs. She believes Romans 1: 26-27; she believes 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10. As such, she makes that belief known--not out of hate, but out of a love of humanity, and out of a desire to save those she believes are lost.
So let's stop with the misinterpretations, and the pouty tweets.