Originally Posted by Soulforce press release, above^
Jackson's complete closing remarks.
Which leads to the Soulforce YouTube video
Which includes the information on that video - reiterating what was said in the press release, above^:
Bishop Harry Jackson and the American Family Outing
The American Family Outing is a nationwide fellowship effort that aims to build bridges between LGBT families and families at American mega-churches. AFO families met with Bishop Jackson and members of his Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, on Saturday, May 24, 2008.
This video documents Jackson's closing remarks at that meeting.
Bishop Harry Jackson:
...thereís a problem in the culture, and the Word of God gives a clear answer to the problem. Whatever that answer is, we should first live it ourselves. The church in my view, especially the evangelical church in our generation, has been guilty of trying to bring others to do things that we wonít do ourselves. To live things that we donít live ourselves. The issue of marriage today, traditional marriage, as we had the question earlier--what shall we do about gay marriage, and all of that. The reality is heterosexual marriages are failing in America, many of them, nearly fifty percent, because--heterosexual community is not doing something right. Thereís a failure to live out some of the convictions that are primary to the scripture. And if you donít live it at that first level, you really disqualify yourself to speak out to anyone else about it. It really is a violation of what Iím going to call prophetic protocol, if I may say that. So the Church has to decide how intensely is she going to live the truth the she purports to believe.
Second issue is doing right. And the doing right, in my view means, what ministries do you have, that deal with the problems that you see? The question was asked earlier, whether we had a ministry for G-L-B-T people, and how do we respond to them. I said we donít have any ministry, other than our friends at Exodus International working with us, and us referring folks to them. And as I hear that question, I have to say to myself that we at Hope Christian Church, need to be about being more open and offering the healing power of God, as we see it. Now thatís where we are today. And, but rather than saying hey, thereís nothing that weíre going to do, maybe there should be service ministry locally, around people coming to grips with where they are, their journey, coming to really know Christ, etc., etc.
Third issue is moving right. I think, as I view this phrase moving right, I would call it the current PR battle of our generation. Scripture says that weíre not to let our good be evil spoken of. And tonight I want to just tell you that I hate the fact that there are many many folks who believe as I do in the sanctity of marriage, believe as I do about trying to uphold some of these fundamental institutions, who have stepped over lines, and theyíve got issues that are unresolved with gay folks. And I think that somehow weíre going to have to say, how does love wear servantís clothes, or what does love look like if it says I disagree with you, but I still value your right to believe as you believe, and still value you as a person?
Iíll take some ownership of the fact that the evangelical community has not always known carefully or clearly, how to say I disagree, but Iím going to disagree in a spirit that reflects the spirit of Christ.
Fourth thing that I think is important is that we need to pray right before we prophesize--speak to the culture. And what I mean by pray right, somehow in that civil rights movement, folks got a hold of something from God that so transformed them that they could say hey, release the dogs on me, or release the hoses on me, and Iím still going to come and stand in a right way, in a right spirit.
The answer before, and the statement that Troy brought before, I honor the fact that other people have been threatened, but I think itís unconscionable that I have to work through my feelings about being attacked or accused or threatened, all that kind of stuff, and every day that I live I wake up, look--little Google thing that comes across my desk, I have at least three or four things that are written by openly gay bloggers that have my name on it, and they call me an out and out bigot, and I think thatís interesting. They feel like they have the liberty, without knowing me or talking, to defame me, to talk about me, to put me down -- theyíve never done what you are doing, visited us, never talked to us. Thereís something hypocritical about that.
Somebody needs to pray through what theyíre dealing with before they start to move out and try to correct problems. See, and thatís on both sides of this question, itís with the evangelicals and itís with the gay community. So, for us, I say to our team, weíre going to have to begin more and more to pray about the reality of discrimination and other issues with the gay community. And I have thought, and maybe you disagree with me, that we have allowed some of these issues to become polarized, because political parties find it to their advantage to play everybody against one another, and they play out their dance of support and finance and votes, but with no intention really of doing anything that counts toward the problem. ĎCause if you tell me, well, there are 1100 laws that you have access to that separate me, and Iím saying that I believe everyone should be treated humanly, why hasnít somebody sat down and said, what are the reality of the these laws -- the lady talked about the expenses she had to go through to make sure that certain rights, the transfer of property, or taking care of sick ones, arenít available -- why doesnít some politician sit down and say, this the list, these are the issues, and hereís where we go. No, weíre in a tug-of-war that is over all, or nothing at all, that makes no answer that we come up with but an all, or nothing at all idea with marriage, acceptable.
No preacher worth his salt who is born in a traditional evangelical church system in this generation would ever say, alright, just do what want with marriage.
First of all, heíd lose the paycheck, Second, heíd lose the parsonage, and ultimately heíd lose the pension.
So weíve got an issue here that is untenable. So, I send you back, I mean, the gay movement is very very active politically, thatís very obvious in this political cycle, and in others. And the evangelical community has been active, so where are we? Are we praying through our issues or are we fighting a tug-of-war?
Finally, I think we have to speak right, speak correctly. And for me, itís been a matter of whether others know it or donít, receive it or not, act like they understand it or not, for me, I always try to measure my words concerning the issues I speak to, as I write columns or as I speak to various television programs or radio interviews, I try to measure my words to address the issues that I think need to be talked about from a Biblical perspective.
Our ministry is touched, and I know as we debrief afterwards, we going to ask ourselves a question, in this generation, with the growing number of openly gay people, and the growing number of gay marriages, regardless of whether we want them or not, or we even endorse them or not, how do we present the Gospel in this generation, itís power and itís claims?
And so I want to thank you tonight for coming. Again, if you had not invited us originally, if you had not insisted on the dialogue, it never would have happened. And Iím thankful for the spirit in which you have said you were going to operate, and you have operated thus far. Again, we did not know, were you coming in peace, or whether you came with a sword. We had no way of knowing that, really didnít. And so weíre very very thankful for this opportunity to dialogue with you, and I believe that weíve learned quite a bit from this time together. Pastor [Vera?] would youÖ