I actually got a tweet about this mess when it happened.
Two weeks ago while the historically black Pentecostal denomination of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) held their annual 102nd Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee, apparently Donnie McClurkin, the gospel recording artist and ordained elder in the COGIC church took the microphone on the move of the Holy Spirit and became utterly transparent. What transpired over the next 25-30 minutes or so was a ramble that was infused with testimony, confessional church dogma and homophobia.
Seriously, I don’t know where to start with it.
I will say this, Donnie was truly speaking from his context.
First of all there is the confessional approach to the biblical text that asserts the notion that the Bible is infallible and for many there is the belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. The former alluding to the definite spirit of the biblical text, the latter making the claim that there is no error and more or less the idea that we should still be following the Levitcal and Deuteronomic codes in the Old Testament. As far as COGICs are concerned their church doctrine and statement of faith declares it to be infallible, but as typical Pentecostals and conservative church is concerned, they really operate on the spectrum somewhere between infallible and inerrant. So, naturally, if Paul, in Romans one makes this reference against homosexuality, then why wouldn’t Donnie speak out against it? And what better place to it than at the Youth Department’s service?
Donnie does a great job of upholding the tenets of the COGIC.
But also Donnie is speaking through the context of being abused. This presents a whole other set of problems that no one in the blogosphere I heard really deal with. I read the article on Rod 2.0 and another blog post from fellow blogger Luvvie who is known for her rants. The author Rod, from Rod 2.0 is an openly gay male so of course he had issues with the blatant homophobia that was spewed from McClurkin’s mouth. And both he and Luvvie have made the assertion that indeed McClurkin isn’t delivered from anything.
Well, I guess that latter part is up for debate.
But since I’m not attached to his hip, I really can’t speak on that, can I?
What I will say is that concerning his abuse is that presumably, the church knew about it and did nothing. Or even if it wasn’t the church per se, someone connected to the church and did nothing about it. What’s at issue here is a cycle of silence that Donnie is attempting to break. On that level, I can thoroughly appreciate that he broached the subject, but rather addressing the church’s silence in the face of known child abuse , he decided to use it as a platform to spew some rant and ramble that was really an invective against homosexuals.
He made the claim about “being real” and that was indeed addressing the young people’s concerns about keeping it real. Aside from that being a lie from the pits of hell, keeping it real with young people is when there is an open dialogue with them; not yet again another preacher yelling at them from the pulpit! The pastoral care in me kicked in full gear as I was watching this. What adults, particularly those of the Pentecostal persuasion tend to forget is that open dialogue from young persons does not come from simply saying “you know you can tell me anything” once or twice and certainly not from the preacher yelling invectives at the young people.
Then he said “I don’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want sugar.”
To me that kind of debunks his main argument that he was indeed delivered from homosexuality which goes at the thrust of my major contention with a church’s stance on homosexuality. Apparently many Pentecostals believe that homosexuality is a choice, or even moreso a spirit–an evil spirit in fact. An evil spirit that must be prayed out, tarried out, worshipped out or even cast out.
Just ask Jeffrey.
Honestly, I really can’t wrap my mind around the rationale behind that. I personally believe people are born gay. I understand that in the context of the belief of the sovereignty of God–that God knows what’s going to happen before it happens. God already knew what you were going to do before you do it. Well what about free will and choice some might say? My response to that is evidenced by McClurkin’s sugar analogy. Just because you don’t act on something doesn’t mean that you’re indeed delivered. I’m of the opinion that true deliverance (wow, whatever that really means) is probably when you can go back into a situation and not even be tempted. As long as you’re being tempted, you’re just merely self-sacrificing your own personal urges.
Actually, I’m rather hedonistic in some regards with this. My own personal stipulations are to not bring harm to yourself or others in the process. As long as you’re being safe with what you do, by all means, have fun. Even Martin Luther said “Sin, boldly!”
This what Donnie did, please believe was not a sermon. This was a rant and invective that was laced with homophobia that furthered poisoned the minds of church leaders against embracing homosexuals into the church. Honestly, what sane thinking gay person would want to be a part of that foolishness? How can you preach such radical conservatism and then get mad when those same people you claim to love don’t want to join the church–and then get mad at progressive denominations such as the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists and various Episcopal churches that welcome and ordain homosexuals? Donnie further closed the minds of an already closed minded people.
And then at the end, he compounded my confusion as if that was possible by saying that the only people allowed to lay hands were the ones who didn’t have a “struggle” and only those who were “pure.”
Again this points to one of my other issues not just with Pentecostal denominations but with the church in general, black and white. I’m just really concerned about our preoccupation with sexual issues–specifically homosexuality. Ask some people the biggest problem facing the church is sexual immorality–specifically homosexuality. We act as though all of these other issues addressing the church with the plethora of other communal injustices that we’re dealing with are non-existent to the personal piety concerns. Again, we act as though a gay person is an ineffective witness. That gayness means that they can’t preach. Or that gayness means that they can’t serve as an usher.
Essentially what the churches are doing is being complicit in the “downlow” black male culture that exists because they don’t feel enough of a comfort zone that exists in various facets of society. Why would a black male, or black female, want to come out of the closet in a church setting that doesn’t affirm their lifestyle. The church appears to be okay with a “downlow” lifestyle of any sort sexual or non-sexual that keeps the taboo act in secret just to save face to the people who are doing the same thing in their own privacy.
Donnie was hurt as a young child, and sadly he has equated homosexuality with child abuse and child predators. He has so internalized this problem and believed in “Jaaayyyyyzus” to work it out that if you watch in the third clip, he actually apologizes on behalf of the ones who abused him! How hurt must one be for them to feel that they must apologize and excuse the one’s who did the abuse?!!?!?
Lord, we have a long way to go.
So I say, please ignore Donnie McClurkin and this rant he gave. He’s a hurt individual who hasn’t worked out his own issues.
Father, forgive him, for he knew not what he said.
So after watching the YouTube clips, what say ye?
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL
5 thoughts on “Hurt People, Hurt People: The Homophobic Prophesying Rant of Donnie McClurkin”
I saw the clips of Donnie’s remarks and I still don’t think that there is anything hate-filled about his statements…and I felt that he was trying to give his own story with honesty.
I really do.
He could not tell his OWN story without exposing the other dirt that lurks in the corners of the church… and he knew that.
In sharing HIS story…he was confessing how he used to “pretend” that he was delivered from homosexuality while still seeking out men to be sexually involved with…
He was saying that there are sexual predators in the church construct who are preying on those who are confused about their sexual identity and he refers to them as vampires…
He was presenting these predators as deceivers who want to take the life from someone else to fulfill their own appetites.
I have seen those predators that he speaks of… right in the church.
I see nothing wrong with saying ANY of that.
Donnie was once a part of the homosexual community so I hardly believe the claims of the gay community that he now has a PHOBIA about gays.
The term “homophobia” is supposed to describe a FEAR of gay people, right??? Hmmmm.
It seems that there are gays who want to hurl the term at anyone who doesn’t elevate whatever platform THEY want…
So as a black person, if someone decides that they don’t agree with my views, I should THEN decide it is because they have a PHOBIA about me, about my race, about my gender?? Really?
I don’t think so, Joshua.
Bigotry is apparent when a person assigns negative characteristics to an entire group of people.
I don’t believe that Donnie is practicing bigotry by claiming that he needed to be delivered from homosexuality and he felt that he was outside of the will of God. He isn’t preaching to gay audiences across the country but he is preaching to heterosexual-supremacist congregations.
Does he feel that homosexuality and lesbianism are sins? Yes. Does that make him a bigot? No.
That’s my opinion.
One thing that you and I do agree on, Joshua, about Donnie McClurkin… that he is still working through his own issues.
As we all are.
It’s irrelevant if I once upon a time knew Donnie. Fact: I know too many pulpit pastors with same sex secrets(SSS) . And yes, I’ve dated a few pastors, slept with a few and been in a few long-term monogamous relationships too. I was once a sang’n choir boy turned professional who traveled continents.
Donnie, Rev. DL Foster and others who are professed ex-gays are fooling no one! Black church folks know God doesn’t really change sexual orientation. I know first hand these pastors will hoodwink you and your mama as long as the invites and checks keeps coming.
I told a gay COGIC pastor to simply give it up, if he’s so unhappy. He said, “I can’t – that’s all I know.” I eventually relinquished the relationship because he knew all about church but very little about himself. Today, he remains behind the pulpit – tormented. That’s why Donnie’s message was useless; it caused more harm by pushing gay, lesbian, bi and questioning congregants and officials deeper undercover (DL). They, hide behind the pulpit, first lady, and the word -not hoping God make them new again, but PRAYING not to get caught.
Saints, I know what I’m talking about!!! This ain’t speculation, or pontification – it’s conclusive, creditable, and confirmed. After I began the road of self actualization, I kept singing and taking your money but eventually let it all go. I stopped fooling you and me.
Because I’m self-actualized: have realistic perceptions of myself, others and the world around me ( that same something Bishop Carlton Pearson discovered). I let it ALL go! I’m a Humanist! Yes, I miss all the stage, show, fun and parties, but I’ll gladly hand it over for my total self awareness.
I wish more gay church folk would take the first step toward self-actualization: run NOW from churches that spew anti-gay rhetoric. That’s when life really begins.
What in the hell??
Where do I begin….with myself I guess. I was born and raised in the church but I was also abused sexually as a child. First off I dont deny that some people are born gay but as a Christian I ask God if being gay is so wrong and an abominable why did you create me this way.
Sex is learned…point blank. That is why most people who are sexual deviants experimented with sex at an early age. I was molested as young as five years old however I can say that as young as I can remember I was always attracted to men but was more aware of it after I was molested. It hurts Im 32 now my parents have no idea and if I ever ever told them they would literally drop dead because at some point they would blame themselves for being neglectful parents. Growing up I experimented with both girls and boys because I thought it was normal. It wasnt until I got to middle school that kids started calling me faggot. In school as a kid I remember saying that I am both male and female not realizing now that at a young age I had already labeled myself as bi-sexual.
I love God I love Jesus I love the holy ghost. Ive been baptized I still speak in tongues however I struggle day to day and I exhaustingly ask GOD why. His word does not lie if its an abomination why me? why am I this way? I too feel that I am outside the will of God. I love myself but I despise the sexual appetite and desires that I have towards men…I dont want it and want nothing to do with it. I crave the day that I can wake up one day look at a man and have no desire or feeling for him. I live for the day that I cringe at the thought of being sexually into men. I have to admit, I am still attracted to women I find them to be mysterious intriguing beautiful an quite sexy. I would love to have a family and put this behind me.
Im not trying to come up with excuses but I feel that what also causes this nonsense is the lack of emotional availability from my father. My parents are still married but you can say that my mother is my all shes my life shes taught me what I know so therefore in my search for a prospective wife I seek someone a few years younger than me or close to my age. When I study my involvment with men I realized that they are twice my age.
I want to live in the Lords fullness I want to go to heaven when I leave this earth. I cant’t knock Donnie for his testimony because I can relate to it. We trust so much in the laws of God and what He’s said we desire to change and move forward and not look back….is that so wrong? Its not a matter of being homophobic but its a matter of wanting what God wants for our lives.
Honestly Donnie could’ve handled THAT in a different manner. He could’ve talked about the abuse and how it affected him, but ranting against homosexuals. I too believe people are born gay. Just my opinion and if someone thinks ill of me oh well have a great day. Most of the people that are preaching against homosexuality are in fact gay themselves, but no one wants to talk about that or talk about the fact that the church looks down or at homosexuals like they are trash whenever they enter a church. No disrespect, McClurkin Does not totally convince me.