Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
For all the debate about whether women can be pastors or teach men—or even speak in church—there’s a bigger issue at hand this week as news of a female Baptist pastor getting married to a female quasi-Catholic bishop drives headlines across the country.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams has stepped down from Zion Progress Baptist Church. She was the first female pastor there, but apparently breaking that ground wasn’t enough. Needless to say, most Baptists are shocked at the homosexual revelation.
Abrams, 43, not only married a woman, she also crossed denominational lines to do it. Her newlywed wife is Diana Williams, a bishop emeritus with the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C. They got married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal. Abrams has kept it a secret from the flock since March.
“We all know that we’ve been made in God’s image, and so no matter what you look like, no matter who you are, no matter what your orientation is, we should be free to love whom we want,” she told the Free Press. “Love is something that’s supposed to be unconditional. And as Christians, if anybody is supposed to be loving, we are.”
Although the news of Abrams gay marriage has sparked debate in the Motor City, she’s getting her fair share of support. Rev. Charles C. Adams, the pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, one of the Detroit’s largest, is on board with the sexual immorality.
“Bishop Abrams is a very intelligent, conscientious and progressive minister,” he told the Free Press. “She has done a lot to help people. She, herself did not seek to make this an issue. It was an issue that from my understanding was ignited by rumors and innuendos ... somebody looking up the marriage certificate on the Internet.”
Well, could it be possible that some folks in the Baptist church discerned something was going on behind the scenes and didn’t want to tolerate a Jezebel influence in leadership?
It was inappropriate for Abrams to hide her gay marriage from the congregation, just the same as it would be for a pastor to hide an adulterous affair, a drug habit or some other habitual sin. By keeping her gay marriage secret, Abrams deceived the church. And her willful decision to violate the tenets of her Baptist faith and pursue a lesbian relationship likely hurt a lot of people. Nevertheless, Abrams says, “I’m still going to preach and teach and do what God has called me to do.”
Ms. Abrams, I assure you God did not call you to marry a lesbian female bishop.
The gay agenda is getting bolder as it successfully recruits ministers of the gospel. Thirty United Methodist pastors from Eastern Pennsylvania agreed this week to jointly officiate a same-sex marriage in November. Pastors, God did not call you to endorse something He hates. More churches should do what Church of the Brethren in Pennsylvania did last month: fire the pastor when they start taking a stand for same-sex marriage.
Beloved, please lift up your voice in prayer and take a stand against sexual perversion in the pulpit and the pews. If we continue watching rather than praying and taking the appropriate actions, we’ll soon be attending churches where godly pastors are forced to perform same-sex marriages or face severe consequences. Remember, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).
Salt preserves, yet too many Christians have literally become tasteless, conforming to the world. Light overcomes darkness, but too many Christians fear persecution and keep their lamp hidden. And therein lies the irony. If we become more like the world, conforming to its demands, we will face even greater (not less) persecution in the days to come. If we remain apathetic and lukewarm, we will soon reach a tipping point in the culture wars that will make two female pastors getting married look benign.
God is able to strengthen His church to resist the darkness and to preserve what’s left of our Christian culture—and even rebuild it. Take a lesson from the parable of the persistent widow: “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8). Be found faithful. It will be worth it in the end.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior's Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!
NEW from CHARISMA: Do you want to encounter the Holy Spirit and hear God speak to you? Increase your faith, discover freedom, and draw near to God! Click Here