After a BCNN1.com video went viral of Prophet Earl Carter preaching against homosexuality and other sins, sharing the Gospel and inviting people to get saved, and of a young man making a profession of faith and repenting of homosexuality at the 107th Annual Convocation of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Brandon B. Porter spoke to Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post about the theology behind conversion therapy. Bishop Brandon Porter was the leader of the services that handled the aftermath of Prophet Earl Carter’s preaching where the young man made a profession of faith and said he was delivered from homosexuality. However, unfortunately, it appears that by some of the terminology Bishop Porter used in the interview, he and the COGIC are distancing himself from Prophet Carter’s powerful, straightforward preaching that God probably used to produce a conviction upon the homosexual’s life and from the positive aftermath.
Here is what Bishop Porter said about Prophet Earl Carter’s preaching the night the homosexual repented and made a profession of faith:
We were all a little shocked by that [that is Prophet Earl Carter’s preaching]. We all cringed to some degree because it did [Prophet Earl Carter’s preaching against sin and homosexuality] sound a bit hard, but people say hard things about the church as well. But let me say this as it relates to love: We never ever preach that God doesn’t love all. The Scripture says that God so loved the world that He gave His best which is Jesus Christ. So, it’s not that God doesn’t love sinners; He just doesn’t love sin. We as a church and as many Christian believers believe that homosexuality is one of those sins among many.
[Pastor Carter] was talking about those who blatantly defy what we stand for and come into our settings and prey on young men and children. He was speaking of a whole lot of things. We understand that a lot of people who are engaged in the wrong sexual behaviors happened as a result of some abuse of their own, of something that happened to them because those trends continue. So he was really speaking to those who were blatantly abusive and defying what we practice as a church, because we did have guys walking around in the conference who weren’t necessarily part of the conference with purses and were dressed up like ladies, and who were probably preying on young men. That’s what he was targeting. I know it sounds pretty bitter and combative but as a church we preach the love of Jesus Christ and we know that is how men’s and women’s lives are changed from whatever their challenge is.
Everyone’s expression is not the same in any relationship, heterosexual or otherwise. All men don’t wear suits and it does not mean that they’re not a man because they don’t wear a suit. All persons that have adopted the gay lifestyle don’t wear pumps and makeup. So it just depends on the individual.
After being asked by Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post whether he has ever considered that some people might be born with same-sex desires, Bishop Porter responded:
We believe that we are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity and so because of Adam’s family, the initial sin, that is why it was necessary for Jesus to come into the world to redeem man from the curse of sin and the law. So we believe that we all are born in sin; that is why we teach that we have to be born again. There are all sorts of proclivities that men and women have. Many of which though are learned behavior or came through some sort of abuse or exposure because many times we’re products of our environment. Those things are key and I don’t think that is something that can be denied.
I have been doing this a long time as far as counseling and ministering and most of the people, be it male or female, that have had some sort of challenge from a gay lifestyle of sort, their challenge came as a result of some exposure or abuse that was afflicted upon them. So, in turn, not able to shake it, the agony of the haunting of their past , they submitted to it and continued in that style of life. It is not even always sexual, sometimes, it is just relational from being around persons that are similar to you. We as a church believe that you can be free and delivered from anything that you feel is not what God wants you to be.
Marc Lamont Hill followed that up by stating a rather odd comparison: “The other thing I could not help but ignore is that this is happening in Missouri, in St. Louis, which is a stone’s throw away from Ferguson. I couldn’t help but think with all the possibilities for a black church one that has six million people worldwide to speak against state violence, to speak against the murder of black men and women in public, maybe the big takeaway for the public to be this gay conversion of sorts. It seems to me to be a [missed] opportunity and a deeper issue in the black church.
Bishop Porter quickly responded:
This is what you call a distraction from what was a meaningful insertion for the church. We did a lot of great things as it relates to Ferguson and we’ve had troops on the grounds the whole time. Even family members from the Brown family were in our services on Sunday. Our presiding Bishop sent out a memo to not only the state of Missouri and to the city of Ferguson but to others, it is posted on our website, as to our stand and to what we believe because we bring in millions of dollars in a week, roughly about $35 to $40 million in one week, and we were setting some demands which we thought were necessary to see.
So that is not true to state that the COGIC has no stand. This is an attack and distraction from somebody who took this young man’s testimony and who has the right to choose. You talk about choice, if he doesn’t want to live that lifestyle, that is his right. But for him to be beat up and ostracized and made fun of nationally and internationally is totally unfair to this young black man because this is called black on black crime. Other people are laughing at us because we have no respect for our own church. You wouldn’t see whites doing this to their own congregations and so on. This is a confession that this young man made for himself. If he does not want to live that lifestyle that’s his business. But to say that we have not embraced, …we have embraced the whole issue around Ferguson and have been giving water, food, helping and counseling there.
Assuming Bishop Porter had misunderstood his original question, Hill rephrases it stating: “I didn’t say COGIC wasn’t doing anything in Ferguson. I saw what COGIC was doing. What I was saying is with everything going on in Ferguson, the public takeaway from the conference is this [homosexual conversion] as opposed to that [efforts in Ferguson]. What I am saying is, that may be reflective of a deeper problem in terms of prioritization because so much energy is put into stopping the “gay agenda” or so much energy is put into ending homosexuality or framing homosexuality as a scourge [sic], I’m saying maybe that focus might distract from the work that you all are doing in Ferguson, with the homeless, with education around the world. I know what COGIC is doing, but I am worried that what I consider an obsession with the gay agenda may distract from what you all are doing.”
Bishop Porter responded to the question by saying:
That’s not what we did. We are still doing what we’re doing but it’s whomever was making fun of this issue, the media and so on. I appreciate you. This is a rare occasion even for me to talk about this. Usually, our PR person would be involved in this conversation. But because I was involved in this matter I was willing to speak with you concerning it. But, please understand that the COGIC has been on the forefront of the Ferguson issue and many other issues within our world. We give millions of dollars to many causes throughout the course of a year. …But this is what someone else extracted. We didn’t do this. We didn’t promote this. Someone else promoted this as a distraction so the problem is not the church, the problem is disrespect for the church.
Also, below is a press release that the Church of God In Christ sent out that reiterates their firm stand against the abomination of homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and the homosexual agenda, but seems to distance itself from the powerful preaching of their own Prophet Earl Carter because he preached against the abomination of homosexuality in the manner in which he preached it, suggesting that somehow it was not in the spirit of love:
The COGIC Public Relations Department released a statement on Wednesday about all that transpired during the 107th Holy Convocation last weekend, including the now viral video of a man saying he was delivered from homosexuality.
Statement on Video Airing From 107th Holy Convocation
During the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, MO, November 3-11, 2014, many tremendous things occurred that demonstrated the church’s love for community and for the whole man.
Through a number of COGIC Cares initiatives, the St. Louis and metro east communities were helped in some of the following ways:
- During our Health Fair and Job Fair, hundreds received free healthcare services while many unemployed attendees were able to network with St. Louis employers;
- 5,000 people received assistance in the form of food, clothing, blankets, toys, haircuts and medical check-ups at our Christmas in November event on Saturday, November 8, 2014;
- Members of our denomination dispersed within the North St. Louis Fourth Ward community to provide cleanup assistance to blighted areas; and
- Several COGIC leaders visited a St. Louis Public School to conduct “a day of reading” among elementary school children.
- Since 2010, when the Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation moved from Memphis, TN to St. Louis, the economic impact to the bi-state, metropolitan area has been over $120 million.
As a Pentecostal, Bible-believing organization, our goal is to edify and care for the entire individual, both naturally and spiritually. Thus, during the convocation:
- 559 individuals committed their lives to Christ;
- 97 individuals re-dedicated their lives to Christ;
- 224 Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit, according to (Acts 2:4); and
- 227 individuals received divine deliverance from a number of afflictions.
A video, which is now viral, of a young man stating his deliverance from a particular lifestyle does not, in any capacity, speak to all of the remarkable things that transpired during this great church convention.
We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do. We do not in any way compromise our biblical position against same sex unions or in favor of biblical teaching on matters of sexual conduct. At the same time we expect that our clergy and laity will be civil and considerate as they speak to men and women regarding issues related to our Christian faith. We love all people, regardless of their faith or moral standards. When we fail to express ourselves with love and humility we contradict our witness to the world.
Furthermore, the Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual stance. Such actions violate entirely the Christian’s obligation to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
The Church of God in Christ will have no further comment on this matter.
We at BCNN1 want to encourage all Bible-believing Christians who love God and who love Jesus Christ to let God do what He wants done according to His Word and by the power of His Holy Spirit, and when He does something in your church or your convention that is for His glory, for the holiness of the church, and for the salvation of lost, wicked people, let God have His way and don’t try to distance yourself from what God is doing, if, in fact, He is doing it. But stand with God and His Word 100% and let the chips fall where they may. With this satanic spirit of homosexuality, there can be absolutely no compromise, or your convention, church, and family will be utterly destroyed. You need to fully understand that this demonic spirit of homosexuality that is running rampant across this nation is aiming not to coexist with the church, but to destroy the church. All Bible-believing, God-fearing churches need to wake up and understand that, and stop apologizing for what the Word of God clearly states and when God raises up a prophet that has the courage to deal with something that many pastors are seemingly afraid to deal with, let God use Him and stand behind Him. For if you don’t, in the words of Prophet Earl Carter, “God’s gonna get you.”
You can listen to the entire conversation between Marc Lamont Hill and Bishop Brandon Porter below: