“The United Methodist Church: Ecclesiastical Authority, the Body of Christ, and the Inclusion of LGBTQ Clergy in its Life”

“The United Methodist Church: Ecclesiastical Authority, the Body of Christ, and the Inclusion of LGBTQ Clergy in its Life”

Christian Churches in the United States will fall or stand on the issue of the inclusion of LGBTQ clergy in church leadership and the pastorate and the acceptance of same-sex marriage in its fellowship. What happened today in the United Methodist Church is a clear indication that (1) Christianity is a global phenomenon; (2) Christianity, in its various denominational expressions, goes beyond the Christian Americancentrism (i.e. American Christian particularities and preferences); (3) ecclesiastical authority matters, and its decisions (the decision-making process) may affect not only the collective life, activities, and functions of the universal church (as an institution), but also those of the local church and its associating (individual) members; (4) the issue of sexual and gender identities and the definition/redefinition of marriage is more than a legal matter–although same sex marriage is legal in the United States where the American United Methodist Church is also located, but the United Methodist Church is not American– , but also an issue that is decided by ecclesiastical authorities, on an international scale; and (5) finally, today’s collective decision in the United Methodist Church demonstrates that both marriage and sexual/gender identity is not merely a matter of individual preference, but a profound question entailing tradition, biblical authority, and theological hermeneutics.

As time evolves and people’s attitude toward religion changes, especially about traditional Christianity, Christians of various theological commitment will continue to struggle over the issue of gender and sexual identities and the meaning of marriage in the body of Christ, and the place of LGBTQ clergy in the pastorate and administration of the church. The battle is not over yet, and the matter is not just a concern of a particular christian denomination: The United Methodist Church. In fact, it is a vital concern of enormous implications and will be a matter for all Christian denominations, both in the present and in the future, to evaluate, reassess, and eventually to decide an outcome. This issue will make its way in the most theologically-conservative Christian denomination in the United States: the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Mark my word! In the meantime, we should continue to pray for the unity of the church and of all believers, for biblical fidelity, and for the people of God to remain true to their conviction–theological, moral, and ethical. Above all, we should always pursue love, truth, justice, and beauty grounded on the moral character of God in Christ Jesus.Correspondingly, let the church and followers of Jesus Christ show radical compassion, care, and love toward the LGBTQ people, who are also created in the Imago Dei and recipients of God’s abundant grace and mercy!

As Paul exhorts the Christians in the Church at Rome:
“7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:7-9, 19

Third Annual Pan African Conference on The Black Church and Black (Woman) Preaching!

If you live in Broward and Dade counties, join us tomorrow, Feb. 23, 2019, for the Third Annual Pan African Conference.

I will be giving a talk on the subject of theology, ecclesiology, and human flourishing (Title: “The Crisis and Challenges of the Black Church in the Twenty-First Century”).

I will be on a panel with Drs. Carol Tomlin and Paul Camy Mocombe

“On Race as Power and Dominion, and Our Unity, Hope, and Diversity in Christ”

“On Race as Power and Dominion, and Our Unity, Hope, and Diversity in Christ”

1. The function of race as a concept and reality in the American (human) experience is like the original sin, described by the biblical Prophets and Apostle Paul in their writings. Race taints every aspect of our individual and collective life. The bondage and dominion of race is unavoidable and omnipresent in human interactions in the American society. Like sin, race is power and control. Like sin in its universal outlook and dimension, the concept of race throughout the American history and experience is hegemonic dominion and existential psychological burden. The race idea means that it is a framework, a systems of thought-process, a state of (the) mind, a narrative of contrasts, and a series of human standardization that evaluates human dignity and worth, and assesses the subject of (human) inclusion and exclusion in the modern world. Race is a metaphor for/of the meaning and indiscriminate character of sin in the world.

2. As sin taints every aspect of the human reality in the world, race as a systemic structure and a regime of systems network architecture that undergirds American thought and pragmatism (i.e. ideas and actions, tangible and intangible, visible and invisible). Race wages war against the self and the collective.

3. Our attitude is tainted by race.
Our treatment of and interaction with other individuals is tainted by race.
Our emotions (both internal and external) are tainted by race.
Our human condition is tainted by race.
Our definition about humanity and who is human is tainted by race.

4. Our laws on home ownership is tainted by race.
Our laws on school coding and zoning is tainted by race.
Our public policies are tainted by race.
Our foreign policies are tainted by race.

5. Our theological praxis is tainted by race.
Our ecclesiastical functions are tainted by race.
Our righteousness is tainted by race.
Our theology and understanding of God and humanity is tainted by the racial veil.
Our theological writings and education are
Our evangelistic endeavors and missionary strategies are racially-guided.

However, the hope of race and humanity is Christ alone, and the redemption of race and humanity is in Christ alone.

“Paul clearly believed that ecclesial unity even amidst great diversity was possible, and the differences that Paul’s churches faced do not seem to have been any less challenging than what we face today. Christian friendships between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female, rich and poor testify clearly to God’s ability to create unity and friendship amidst great diversity. Paul’s strategy was to articulate how God’s hospitality in Christ created a common identity for all his churches, a welcome that transformed them from enemies and outsiders into friends and family—both with God and with one another”

“And if God has welcomed us in Christ as his friends and family while we were enemies and outsiders, how can we not respond with hospitality and friendship to our Christian friends and family with whom we may different on the level of our cultural and social identifies” (pp. 70-71)–Joshua Jipp, “Saved by Faith and Hospitality”

The Will of the Haitian People and the Failure of Haitian Politicians

“The Will of the Haitian People and the Failure of Haitian Politicians”

There are a few good and strong leaders in comtemporary Haitian politics. Certainly, what we have in Haiti are a group of political charlatans who have no patriotic zeal and are insensitive to the well-being of the Haitian people and the future of the next generation.

Haitians politician always create chaos (supported by the International Community) and thus invite foreign intervention. This is exactly what Western imperialists are looking for to exercise their hegemony over the country and the life of the Haitian people. The spirit of dependency and toxic leadership is written in the back of their political jackets, which will lead to their own decline and ultimate destruction.

Haitian politicians have contributed to the failure of the Haitian state as a governing institution and a body of structure. The Haitian people, by contrast, do not fail their country. The Haitian State may be a troubled structure, but the Haitian people are not a trouble group. They might be terrorized and troubled by the actions and vices of their politicians, but they are not a threat nor a hindrance to the progress and future of their country.

Other countries do not develop other countries. Development, in all its dimensions and forms, is always and must be an internal affair. When our politicians and our people come to this understanding, we will make a step forward toward a better Haiti for all of her children.

Haitian Politicians have failed the Haitian State, but the Haitian People have remained true to Haiti’s foundational democratic principles and progressive ideas. The predicament in contemporary Haitian politics is the great divide that exists between the will and interests of the Haitian people and the actions and ideologies of Haitian politicians. That is the enormous clash in Haiti at the moment.

Mezanmi Get you Black History Lesson on Slavery Right!

Mezanmi Get you Black History Lesson on Slavery Right!

The institution of slavery did not begin in 1619 in Virginia, that is, in what is known today as “The United States of America.” In 1517, 15,000 African slaves were brought in Santo Domingo (modern day Haiti). In fact, the first sugar mill, in which the slaves worked, was probably constructed in 1516 in Santo Domingo. The first slaves in the Americas were not Africans, but the indigenous people of the Continent, that is the Taíno Indians.

My New article: “James Cone and the Crisis of American Theology”

My second article on James H. Cone is now published and can be accessed for free online:

“James Cone and the Crisis of American Theology,” Missionala Vol 46, No(2) (2019), 197-221

***The article is part of a special issue on the legacy of James H. Cone, which Missionala, a South African Theological Journal, publishes. The editor of the Journal contacted me early last year to contribute this article.


“The objective of this essay is to investigate the public function of Christian theology in the politico-theological writings and hermeneutics of James H. Cone. It is also to articulate a critique of white American theology. In Cone’s work, Christian theology is expressed as a public discourse and testimony of God’s continuing emancipative movements and empowering presence in society with the goal (1) to set the oppressed and the vulnerable free, (2) to readjust the things of the world toward divine justice and peace, and (3) to bring healing and restoration to the places in which volitional (human) agents have inflicted pain, suffering, oppression, and all forms of evil. This essay is an attempt to imagine creatively with new hermeneutical lenses and approaches—anti-imperial, liberative, and postcolonial—the task of Christian theology as public witness to carry out the emancipative agenda and reconciling mission (salvation, healing, hospitality, wholeness, reconciliation, and peace) of God in contemporary societies and in our postcolonial moments. The basic argument of this essay is twofold. First, it contends for the essential role of liberation theology as a public witness in redefining Christian theology in general. Rather than being a “special interest” or merely political theme in theology, it suggests that black liberation theology has a special role to play in “freeing” Christian theology from racism, oppression, and imperialism. Second, by promoting some new understanding of Cone’s work and applying it in some new context, this article is deploying Cone’s public theology to critique or awaken dominant white theology to a new way of thinking about the whole field of theology in the 21st century.”

James H. Cone, Black Liberation Theology, Anti-Black Racism, White American Theology, White American Church


“The Problem with Evangelical Sexual Ethics in Christian Churches and Institutions”

“The Problem with Evangelical Sexual Ethics in Christian Churches and Institutions”

One thing that is not debatable about the character of the biblical God is that he hates sin and evil, despises oppression and injustice, turns his face away from abuse and exploitation, and certainly God does not take side with those who pretend to be religiously righteous and pious, but externally they produce the fruit of political devils and cultural demons and are in solidarity with those who despise truth, beauty, and a Christ-centered life/lifestyle–both in thought and action.

One of the crises in Evangelical Christianity in this culture that pervades in contemporary churches is the sin of religious hypocrisy manifested through the sexual abuse of little boys and girls in churches, sexual rape of church women by church leaders and ministers, sexual harassment of young girls and boys by their youth pastors and ministers, what have you? Most of these sexual charges happen in church parishes and facilities. (Please see the recent report on sexual scandal in SBC Evangelical Churches and Institutions, and Dr. Russell Moore and J. D. Greear’s response to the culture of sexual sins in the SBC and Evangelical churches.)

A lot of people stop going to church for congregational participation is not because they hate God or don’t like to associate with Christians or Christianity; the reasons are multiple, but let me suggest five of them:

1. The lack of transparency and accountability in church leadership and christian institutions

2. The devastating problem of religious hypocrisy in (Evangelical) churches and church leadership

3. The silence and support of sexual violence and oppression toward women by church clergy and christian organizations

4. The silence and support of violence and dehumanization toward the LGBTQ community and same-sex couples by Evangelical Christians and Christian organizations

5. The appropriateness and incorporation of the extremist political culture and ideologies in sermons, christian teachings, and in the structure of churches, christian institutions, ecclesiastical thought and practices

The church is no longer a safe place for little girls and women. As one biblical authors warns all of us, especially followers of Jesus Christ and those who love and do the will of God, “God will not be mocked.” God shows no partiality to anyone, nation, people, religious group, political affiliation, racial affiliation, ethnic group, sexual orientation, gender orientation, economic and social classes, what have you?–when it comes to the defense of his holiness and sacred name, and his command to his people to walk in justice, love, and truth.