An Open Letter
This open letter is in response to First Baptist Church Senior Pastor Heath Lambert and all other "pastors" doing similar things as Mr. Lambert who has chosen to require/force congregants of that church to sign a “Biblical Sexuality Agreement,” which is “an anti-LGBTQ+ statement that denies the existence of trans people, opposes same-sex marriage, and calls same-sex intercourse ungodly.” (https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/megachurch-forces-all-members-to-sign-statement-opposing-lgbtq-rights/)
Dear congregants of any and all churches where the minister, the board, and the leadership, in general, do not truly have your best interest, as an LGBTQ person of faith, at heart and is more concerned with controlling your heart, mind, and bank account with fear and manipulation rather than empowering you in your faith.
Dear LGBTQ community members of all faiths and spiritual paths, be aware that you can be spiritually supported, “fed,” and nurtured in a vast number of other churches, mosques, synagogues, ashrams, spiritual centers, and communities where you are not only welcomed and included but you are celebrated. You need not settle for the chains of an oppressive dogma of hate.
Dear Christians, be aware that if you are silent and are unwilling to take a serious and meaningful stand against the hurt, harm, and continued trauma caused by other Christians whose theology and dogma of religiosity continue to adversely affect not just the LGBTQ community but also such things as the NRA and gun lobbyists who clearly do not care about the increasing numbers of gun-related deaths and racial inequities, your silence makes you complicit. And when any politician abuses prayer, as Lauren Boebert has recently done, quoting scripture to pray for the death of the president, your silence once again shows where you are aligned.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
~Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The message of Yeshua is one of love, not hate. There is nothing in the scriptures that states otherwise and yet the message from many pulpits right now is one of hate and incendiary acts of violence, such as that of preacher Jason Graber who “In a recent sermon, Christian preacher Jason Graber declared that gay people were “AIDS dispensers” who should not be “able to breathe air.”
This kind of ministry and preaching is not scripturally sound theology and is the antithesis of what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated in the creation of the Beloved Community!
And for everyone else…, it is time we all stop sitting back, comfortable and complacent because this foolishness is not knocking at our doors (yet)… Missouri just proposed restrictions on what women can wear.
“The Missouri House of Representatives proposed a bill Wednesday that would restrict women’s dress code in the state’s House, but would not tighten the dress code for men, eventually passing a version of the bill calling for women to cover their arms.”
If we remain unmoved, then we will be moved over by a society governed by laws that any dictator in history would find themselves right at home within.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
~Martin Luther King Jr.
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Rev. Dr. Raymont Anderson