On Wednesday, March 31, the Georgia House voted to put a complete and comprehensive ban on gay marriage in the state constitution. The proposed amendment will not only ban the legalization of gay marriage and civil unions in Georgia, but it will also discredit any marriage licenses obtained from other states.
On March 22, dozens of black Atlanta-based pastors came together in a rally that gathered more than 250 Christians in an effort to let thier views be heard. The alliance of black pastors released a strongly-worded statement denouncing both homosexual "marriages" and the rhetoric often used by pro-gay activists that try to equate the gay rights movement with the civil rights movement.
Experts say that this rallying effort by the pastors was the rice that tipped the scale to victory at the House in late March.
On Monday, April 5, 2004, Christian Post members were able to speak to one of the leaders who spearheaded this movement of black churches in Atlanta, the Bishop Donn Thomas of Messiahs World Outreach Ministries (MWOM), about the successful campaign. Bishop Thomas, the senior pastor at MWOM and theologian, is one of the original drafters of the March 22 statement.
Will you give a few comments on the victory at the House on Wednesday (March 31?)
We were pleased and blessed that the swing votes were among the black caucus legislatures; the 30 black caucus members of the state house voted their conscious and saw this as an issue that transcended the political process. They dealt a blow to the homosexual lobby that wants to legalize same sex marriage in Georgia.
Many say your event was key to successfully passing the vote at the House. Do you agree?
We do agree with that. The measure lost by one or two votes when it was voted on some months ago. Three weeks or a month prior to the last vote (March 31) I was awake for 3 nights straight, hearing God asking what I was going to do about this issue. So I shared it with other pastors and leaders in the city and we all stood against this particular movement to legalize same-sex marriage in our state. And thank God for that. We won by two votes.
Many have looked toward the success in Georgia as a victory that should be followed in other states. Are there any words of encouragement you wish to give to pastors in other states that wish to make the same impact on saving traditional marriage as your group?
We first of all want to encourage pastors to not be cowered by newspaper editors or other ministers in their city who are for same sex marriage, and who would actually make homosexuals into victims while making those who stand for righteousness as ones without tolerance.
The word of God is very plain in its stance: the spirit of perversion is wrong, and homosexuality and same-sex marriage, as a part of this spirit, are wrong. Please do not become afraid but draw the line in the sand with the word of God in us, and be empowered to stand against this evil because it has many implications against families. Also, if we stand with the enemy (the spirit of perversion), we will stand with the eternal damnation with thousands worldwide.
Is there anything you wish to say to the African American Christian community?
I want to say to the church in the African American community that to allow for homosexuality as a right that is attached to the civil rights movement is an offense to the gospel.
The civil rights movement came directly out of the word of God, which stood against the statement that blacks are three-fifth human. This is a positive freedom: to love all men and women in God.
But the homosexual rights movement is a negative freedom because it wants no moral restraint. This negative movement is stemmed not in the word of God but in the 60s (hippies) movement of no moral restraint.
To compare these two is to have blind eyes and to not understand what the word of God says in our stance. We are not discriminating about anyone; we are standing for righteousness.
And to the Women of the Christian Church?
Womens rights movement, and specifically the Christian womens rights movement takes its inspiration from the civil rights movement and is also rooted in the word of God. Evangelical scholars and leaders may or may not disagree on this issue, but the fact is, God used women to declare the JC was raised. Two or three problem texts cannot disallow women from following what the spirit calls them to do.
One cannot allow the homosexual movement to attach itself to any movement that is rooted in the word of God, and stands for righteousness.
What is the future goal of the group?
We want to encourage all the states to stop the homosexual lobbyists that try to force same sex marriages. We want to further call on the church of Jesus Christ around the United States to come together like the council of Jerusalem to declare that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is a heresy. We must come and stand against it in the name of the Lord, and we must not cower to the homosexual lobby. We must stand strong as the church, and lead the country back to a place for deep healing for any person, heterosexual or homosexual, to encounter the Lord who can change us from inside out.
I do believe that this will cause a significant revival and renewal around the U.S. and the world if we stand for righteousness in the love of God, and stand strong.
Are you planning any events to rally the support of voters this fall when the amendment gets on the ballot?
Yes, we are planning to encourage churches and people in the community in the state of Georgia to vote for the passage. I believe with the significant participation of the church community as citizens voting and encouraging their friends and families to vote, the (amendment) will pass.
How have your parishioners helped in supported this movement?
They have support first by praying for their pastor. They also did anything I needed their help in for this effort. Their continual intercession for both our safety and for God to increase the awareness of this movement that God is raising up has helped us too.
Is there anything you wish to say to the general Christian audience?
I want to tell the Christian audience that I believe God is introducing a second reformation and that it is important for the church to come and stand and be counted in this reformation and not back down. Stand in love but also in truth.
The church must bring healing to people, heterosexual and homosexual, through counseling, through prayer and through discipleship, that God, through Jesus Christ, can and will bring real humanity to every person who embraces him as lord and savior.
If people are interested in our help, please call us (the Messiahs World Outreach Ministries) at 404 299 8005.