Dr. Jerry’s Corner

I cannot believe it is Christmas! It has been quite a year with Covid-19 and the Election.

In the book of Luke, it says on the night of Jesus’ birth, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.” As I ponder those who have died from Covid-19 and those who lost their jobs and are unable to pay their basic living expenses, I fail to see the love of Christ in some of its mega churches and televangelists.

I was watching Inside Edition and they were interviewing a minister who took a government handout, and then days later purchased a million dollar jet for his family. Of course, when they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar they scrambled to pay back their ill-gotten gains. But isn’t this the antithesis of Jesus’ message of love and charity?

Episodes like this make me upset, because evil people and avaricious charlatans are claiming to be God’s messengers, but in reality, they are nothing more than prolific thieves. They are stealing from the needy to make life more luxurious for the greedy. These sacrilegious scam artists are disgraceful and give a black eye to those who are trying to help make the lives of people better.

Also, this past week on ABC’s popular daytime television show, The View, Cyndi Lauper, Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton and many other stars are joining to raise money for the 40% of LGBTQ homeless youth who have been forced out by their parents.

Many of these teenagers end up on the cruel city streets and unforgiving, drug infested alleys because homophobic Christian parents were taught to hate by their churches, instead of loving their own children. What kind of wretched parents and rotten religious institutions would support throwing their own children to the wolves because of their sexual orientation or gender identity? You can call yourself many things, but don’t for a second pretend to be real Christians that ask, What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD)

I have had the privilege of meeting the mother of the book and movie Prayers for Bobby. She was a diehard Southern Baptist and believed her church when they taught that her son was going to hell for being gay. She told me that her son could not take any further abuse, so he decided to climb an overpass and jump off to his death as an 18-wheeler passed by.

His mom said that she was angry with God and would never step back in a church again. All we could do was hug and cry. My heart is broken that while we celebrate Christmas and God’s love, hope, and grace in the name of sweet baby Jesus, that many churches have still miserably failed to demonstrate these attributes in their places of worship. These imposter churches claim the message of Christmas, but preach hate and condemnation towards God’s LGBTQ people.

It is my prayer this Christmas, that hate houses disguised as churches will be touched by the Christ child, to find peace in their hearts and the Goodwill of God to all mankind, including the (LGBTQ) community.

Rev. Jerry Stephenson, ThD. PhD.