Jay Bakker and the Soulforce Connection

Jay Bakker who is the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and the pastor of Revolution Church in New York, has aligned himself with an organization known as Soulforce. Soulforce is a national civil rights organization whose main push is for “freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.”

“Jay doesn’t believe in an exclusive God, only one that embraces us all for who we are, including same-gender-loving individuals.” (source)

According to an article today in the Houston Chronicle, and Soulforce website, Soulforce and Jay Bakker have extended invitations to six mega-churches to be a part of a “nationwide fellowship effort called The American Family Outing. The project, which aims to create dialogue between LGBT families and families at six American mega-churches”, including Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, texas.

So far, Osteen has not agreed to or responded to the invitation. However, several other mega-churches, including The Potter’s House in Dallas(T.D. Jakes), Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois (Bill Hybells), and Hope Christian Church in Maryland (Henry R. Jackson jr., have agreed to meet lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families through The American Family Outing.

I have no problem with the idea that we are supposed to love all people…even those who choose to be gay or lesbian…but where I start to have issue with the whole Soulforce connection is that it appears to be advocating their chosen lifestyle.

Contrary to Jay Bakker’s particular belief that Christianity is non-exclusionary, according to scripture there are those that will not be saved. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their acceptance of the ‘alternative lifestyle’.

I don’t want to come off like some of our friendly ODM sites around the blogoshpere, but this is a very dangerous thing for Jakes and Hybells to ‘link’ themselves and their congregations to.

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About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

11 thoughts on “Jay Bakker and the Soulforce Connection

  1. Question: It says families. Does that mean the famlies of LGBT (as in the moms, dads, siblings of) or families who are LGBT (as in I’m the kid and here are my two moms)? And why is it dangerous to talk?

  2. Thank you Steve…I needed a good laugh this morning.

    Tell me…where am I wrong in what I said? Whay does what I said make me ‘ignorant’?

    I am willing to listen.

  3. Minnow…I don’t think it is dangerous to talk, but I see a motive here from Soulforce that concerns me…especially in light of what Jay Bakker has said in regards to what he believes.
    I am willing to concede that I may be wrong. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  4. I would have said “stupid” instead of ignorant, but I didn’t want to appear rude. However, why quibble over semantics. 🙂

    So where were you wrong?

    1) Jay didn’t say that everyone will be saved. I don’t know, maybe that’s what he believes, but you certainly can’t conclude that from this interview.

    You completely take a quote out of context from the interview you cite and conclude that Jay Bakker believes certain things theologically. Re-read the interview. What Jay did say when asked about his church was this: “We’re a church just trying to show people how to love Christ. We open the doors of the church and welcome people in. Just loving people as Christ and being inclusive rather than exclusive.”

    Then later this: “there are a lot of people who don’t want you to include everybody. They think that you’re either opening the door too wide or you’re condoning sin and that can be a struggle. But we feel convicted to do what we do. It’s what God’s called us to do–love people where they’re at [in life].”

    From what I read, Jay seems to be saying that HIS church isn’t wanting to be exclusionary. They made this decision based on their belief that it fulfills a mission they have which is loving people where they are.

    2) Where else were you wrong? You write: “Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their acceptance of the ‘alternative lifestyle’.” That’s a theologically inaccurate interpretation. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah certainly speaks to homosexual gang rape but not to an “alternative lifestyle” as you suggest. Actually I find Lot’s actions even more troubling in the story (offering his own daughters to the rapists who came to the door). This act of Lot seems to even suggest that the rapists weren’t interested in sex with men for the pleasure of sex, but were more interested in power and perversion of any sort. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for many reasons that had nothing to do with the “homosexual lifestyle”.

    3) You make this statement: “I have no problem with the idea that we are supposed to love all people…even those who choose to be gay or lesbian…”

    In typical condescending fashion you suggest that those who are gay and lesbian are making a “choice”. This extremely simplifies the matter. You make it seem like someone chooses their sexuality like a pair of shoes or what they are having for dinner. If things were only that simple. But for irrelevant and ignorant Christians like yourself it is that simple.

    4) And finally, you state: “where I start to have issue with the whole Soulforce connection is that it appears to be advocating their chosen lifestyle.”

    Wow!! Where to begin. Soulforce’s mission statement is “to cut off homophobia at its source — religious bigotry.” The same type of bigotry you are espousing here. I know you don’t think you are bigoted but you are…and you just don’t get it. But Jay Bakker does… read his comments next to your own and see who might actually be considered relevant as opposed to oppressive and judgmental.

    “The more I love God and follow Christ, the more I want to love other people like God accepted and loved me. God has changed me, but I don’t place that same expectation on other people. I allow God to be God in people’s lives…. “Christians aren’t God. Religious people aren’t God. God loves you, just where you’re at… just the way you are, no matter what you’ve done. God loves you whether you love him or not and there’s nothing you can do about it. As far as the negative and judgmental stuff goes, realize that Jesus has a crappy fan club. Just don’t give up!”

  5. Steve,
    I came to that conclusion through research. If I am wrong…I will apologize.

    I have never been judgmental…It is not my job to judge someone for what they are or what they believe.

    The intent of this post was not to be a ‘gay bashing’ rant…rather just a call to caution about the appearance of churches joining forces with Soulforce. I may be wrong about it…we will have to see.

  6. Jimmy… You make two statements saying “If I am wrong, I will apologize” and “I may wrong, but we will have to see.”

    Are you a lawyer? 🙂

    Please explain what you mean… I would appreciate it. It’s ok, I won’t press charges.

  7. LOL,

    It did sound that way huh!…what I mean is that I am making my statements about Jay according to internet sources. So…basically, since I don’t know Jay personaly…I am relying on those sources.

    For the record…I admire Jay for the work he has done in New York. I like his approach to reaching people where they are. The scripture says to go into the highways and hedges and compell them to come in….he is doing that. I also believe that ANYONE can be saved…it takes a turning from sin, acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior…becuase as Jesus himself stated..’I am the way, the truth and the light…no one comes to the Father, but by me’ (my paraphrase)

    Have a Great Day!

  8. Hey Jimmy, if you haven’t done so, go to Jay’s site and listen to his most recent message entitled – “Jesus: Sinner of Sinners”

    It discusses, in essense, the last paragraph of your last comment. You might find it interesting and I think it is foundational to what Jay is trying to do and communicate to these mega-church pastors he is meeting around the America Family Outing.

    Enjoy.

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