Donnie McClurkin Says Religion Is Commercialized, Lacks Power

Donnie McClurkin
Donnie McClurkin

Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin led a massive worship celebration in New York this weekend designed to unite people of all denominations.

The tenth annual New York Call drew thousands to the city.

"Jesus made the statement," McClurkin began. "He said the house that is divided against its own self won't be able to stand."

"We have gained the commerciality of religion, but we have lost the power and the zeal," McClurkin said. "And we don't fellowship. It is quite often that you will find that pastors really don't fellowship unless they are trying to do something political."

This year's conference comes on the heels of some unexpected political controversy for the gospel singer.

Just three weeks ago, the Washington, D.C., mayor's office withdrew its invitation to McClurkin to perform at a concert honoring the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"I was a very good and personal friend with Corretta Scott King for years," McClurkin said.

Still, the mayor's office withdrew its invitation because of protests from members of the gay community who object to McClurkin's longtime testimony of deliverance from homosexuality.

McClurkin's answer to the protests: love!

"I don't speak evil about the sin at all. I speak the truth, that sin is not of God and it is not right. And God didn't call us to sin," McClurkin said.

"But as far as the people, no matter who you are, no matter who you love, I am not going to bash you," he said. "I am going to love on you and I am going to continue to show you the love, even if you never change because love is not love if it is conditional."

McClurkin even had a chance to demonstrate that love.

In the middle of all the D.C. uproar, a gay man named James approached him for prayer at a New York hotel.

"I said, 'You know what I think, James? I think God is in love with James. God loves James, and I think I love James, too.' And he just cried in my arms. Prayed again and I let him go and went upstairs to my room and said, 'God, you are so ironic.'"

And this weekend, the pastor shared that same message of God's love to thousands.

"The call of ministry is so strong and it is such an honor, I don't want to commercialize it," McClurklin said. "I don't want it to be something that is slick down and made palatable to the people. I want it to be in its raw essence. It's raw form. I want it to reach the masses with the love of Jesus Christ—pure, unconditional, raw."

At least 7,000 people attended the New York Call. McClurkin has also seen significant support on social media following the uproar in D.C.

And some of that support came from the gay and lesbian community. 

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