An Open Letter to Otis Moss IIIBro. Moss:
I do not know you and you do not know me. However, I have admired from afar the humility, dignity and class of your father and what he has meant to our community for years. I am happy that God has blessed you with the pedigree that you have. Obviously, I do not have the blessing of that kind of notable pedigree, especially among traditional black preachers. In fact, there are greater men of God than myself who can respond to you and who will probably do so in the coming days if they find the time and if the Lord would so lead them -- such men as: Rev. Dwight McKissic, Dr. Tony Evans, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastor Fred Luter, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Albert Mohler, Bishop Charles Blake, Rev. Julius Scruggs, Pastor Bryant Wright and many other notable black and white pastors across the country. I am not in your league and I am not in the league of these great men of God that I have just mentioned. Who knows, you may even hear from some of our more liberal brethren from the United Methodist Church who have recently taken a firm stand on this matter, making it clear that marriage ought to be between a man and a woman.
So that you will know a little bit about me, God saved my wretched soul on December 19, 1979. Before getting saved, I hated preachers and church with a passion. I swore to my friends that I would never be a preacher as my dad was who was well-known in the states of North Carolina and Florida. He was one of the first black preachers in America to have his own television broadcast many years ago. I have been preaching the Gospel as an evangelist (which is my calling) and a few years as a pastor (which is not my calling) for over 32 years now. I am the president of Gospel Light Society International which is a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week. God has given me the priviledge to preach in over 23 countries and in nearly every state in the Union. I have written over 20 books including the Essence magazine national bestseller "Letters to Young Black Men" and the national bestseller "Letters to Young Black Women". My wife and I are the authors of the runaway bestselling novels "...And Family Drama Just Won't Stop (which was inspired by a sermon by I am sure a preacher you hold in high regard, Dr. Frederick Haynes III) as well as "No Time For Evil". I mention these latter two books because both of these novels touch on the problem of homosexuality in the black community and the black church. My latest project which will be coming out soon is The Prayer Motivator Bible. By the grace of God, I am heard by thousands each week on my radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, The Prophet Daniel's Report, and the Second Coming Watch News Update. I am also the CEO of GLM Omnimedia Group LLC, which is a multimedia corporation which among other things has over 85 news, magazine, and Christian communication sites. Our network receives over one million visits and 6 million pageviews each month. We also have over 500 websites that we use to spread the gospel and keep people informed regarding the news and current events in every country and nearly every major city in the world.
With that said, since we have not heard from anyone else regarding your misguided comments, I will share this open letter with you.
Dear Rev. Moss:
Recently, I read the letter and watched the video of you reading a portion of the letter to your congregation, which you wrote to another pastor expressing your concern about Black pastors who say they cannot support President Obama because he has come out and endorsed homosexual marriage. I found it to be troubling in light of God's Word. Allow me to offer the following response since your letter was obviously an open letter:
First, you accuse these preachers who say they cannot support President Obama of hiding "from true dialogue with quick dismissive claims devised from poor biblical scholarship". First of all, no "dialogue" is really necessary on this matter. As you know, and as many Bible scholars and seminary professors will tell you, the best way of studying and understanding Scripture is through plain, literal interpretation of the text. There is no need to have any "dialogue" about the plain, clear teaching of what God said. There is no need to complicate something that the Bible makes plain. Yes, there are some prophetic passages in the Bible that are clearly meant to be taken symbolically, but the issue at hand is not one of those. The issue of homosexuality, not to mention homosexual marriage, is something on which the Bible speaks very clearly.
Leviticus 18:22 says, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." There is nothing mysterious or hard to understand about this verse. In fact, this verse is included close to the end of a chapter which discusses other sexual prohibitions. For example, Leviticus 18 also expresses God's prohibitions against adultery, incest, inbreeding, and bestiality. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind" is just as plain as "Thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife." If you want to twist God's word to say that it is not condemning homosexual activity, then you are opening the door for others to twist God's word to say that it is not condemning adultery, fornication, or incest. Even though we are now under grace and not under the law, and the punishment that was meted out for these sins and abominations would not be used today, we all would agree that adultery is still wrong, incest is still wrong, inbreeding is still wrong, bestiality is still wrong, and homosexuality is still wrong. In fact, Bro. Moss, if a man attempted to commit adultery with your wife and he wanted to come and have a "dialogue" with you about the matter, I do not believe you would be as cerebral as you were when you were reading the letter to your congregation. You would say like most husbands would say, "there is no need for any dialogue; and if you come over here again messing with my wife, you will never be able to "dialogue" with anyone else again."
Your indirect and condescending attack on those whom you call "narrow-minded ministers" and 'poor biblical scholars' -- basically all Black pastors who disagree with Obama's decision to endorse same-sex marriage and will not vote for him because of it -- is wrong. You are on the borderline of committing what is known in logic as the ad hominem fallacy, that is, attacking the person making the argument instead of addressing the argument itself. (You sarcastically stated that these pastors who disagreed with Obama were "mostly Black". This is wrong as well. Many pastors -- White, Black, and Hispanic -- have spoken out against Obama's endorsement of homosexual marriage. This is not just a "Black issue". This is a Biblical issue.) Furthermore you equated those who embrace the doctrines of Christ and the doctrines of the Bible with those who embraced the twisted "doctrine" of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists who killed Medgar Evers and those four little girls in Alabama. That is simply heinous. Instead of attacking these men personally, why not simply "search the Scriptures" and seek out what the Bible says on the issues at hand.
(As a side note, I found it interesting to hear this week Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, a Muslim, not only rebuking the president, but rebuking Christian pastors, preachers, and rabbis who have refused to speak out against Obama and his endorsement of homosexual marriage. He called out pastors and Christian leaders who believe that 'what society says is more important than what God says' and are 'backing down from the Bible' because they are afraid people will get offended. It is a shame to have a Muslim standing up for Biblical Judeo-Christian truth when Christian pastors and preachers such as yourself will not.)
Second, throughout your article you claimed that it is "love" that should drive our decisions regarding the issue of homosexual marriage which you strangely call "marriage equality." Your letter states, "We serve in ministry this day because of a man who believed in love over doctrine..." Unfortunately, here you are misguided as well. Love does not trump doctrine. Jesus Christ loved the woman caught in adultery, but He told her "Go and sin no more." Jesus Christ loved Matthew, the dishonest tax collector, but He pulled him from his trade and set him on a better course for his life. Jesus Christ loved Mary Magdalene, the demoniac and prostitute, but He did not allow her to stay in her sin. Jesus Christ never turned his back on doctrine or law. He condemned the religious power structure of his day, not because He was rejecting the law, but because He wanted to stop them from twisting the law to oppress the people He loved.
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:17-20, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
If Jesus Christ was okay with our sin, He would not have gone to the cross to suffer, bleed, and die to save us from our sins. Abiding by biblical principles and encouraging others to do the same, does not mean that we are not expressing love. In fact, even the muslim Farrakhan stated to the crowd he was speaking to, "if I didn't love you, I would go along with you. But because I love you, I must tell you the truth." And the truth will set you free. We love our children, but we still lay down rules for them to live by and rebuke and chastise them when they are wrong. In the same vein, we love all people who are engaged in any sin including the abomination of homosexuality, but we do not abandon God's word and endorse their sin. The presence of love does not necessitate the absence of law.
Third, you argued that Obama "is President of the United States of America not the President of the Baptist convention or Bishop of the Sanctified or Holiness Church" and that he is called to "protect the rights" of all, thus justifying his support of homosexual marriage. I suppose, then, that by your criteria, George W. Bush was not being president of all the people when he told the United Nations that the United States would not go along with their global homosexual rights agenda. And I suppose that Bill Clinton was not being president of all the people when he signed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into law in 1993 (which Obama has repealed) or when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996 (which Obama is trying to repeal).
Allow me to remind you that even the President of the United States is subject to God. Romans 13:1,3 says: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God...For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil." God gives governmental leaders their power to rule, and expects them to rule righteously not wickedly. Proverbs 29:2 says, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." God blesses a people who have a righteous ruler. Also, Proverbs 16:12 says, "It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness." If a governmental leader rules wickedly, God will eventually cast him aside. But if he rules righteously, God will uphold his rule and reward him and the country accordingly.
Furthermore, Rev. Moss, you seem to contradict yourself in this point. You stated that Obama was president of all the people, yet in your address to the church congregation you stated three times that "November is incredibly important to OUR community." Which is it? Is it important for Obama to be president of all the people? Or is it just important for us to elect a black president for the next four years -- regardless of his ungodly and immoral views? Should not our community decide who to vote for based on God's principles -- regardless of skin color? (I am not suggesting that we vote for Romney either. By the way, I, for one, will not be voting for Romney or Obama; and I am thankful to God that it is not a sin not to vote. Christians do not have to choose the lesser of two evils or the lesser of two liars when they know voting is a waste of time when you look at the grand scheme of things. It is a waste of time because neither one of these men can deliver us from the trouble we're in or the trouble to come, and when they know that only God can.)
Fourth, you came to the wrong conclusion in your paragraph discussing the difference between the authority of the religious structure and the authority of the civil structure. You stated that there is "the arena of civic debate where the Constitution is the document of authority" and that there is "the realm of ecclesiastical councils where theology, conscience and biblical mandates are the guiding ethos." We must not forget that marriage began long before there was either the Constitution or ecclesiastical councils. God created marriage at the beginning of history in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve -- a man and a woman.
Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." This is further reiterated in Genesis 2 when Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." Jesus Christ backed this up in the New Testament when He said, "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?" Romans 1:26-27 says, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Now, Reverend, let me ask you a question: is the Constitution equal to the Bible or is the Constitution based upon the Bible? Which one is your final authority?
God's Word is above both Constitutions and ecclesiastical councils. Both structures should be based on His word. His laws are perfect and man's laws should be subject to His laws. It is the job of the Christian community to apply God's laws to our personal lives in the physical, temporal realm no matter what our government may say. While the civil and religious structures may have jurisdiction over people, God is over the civil structure, the religious structure, and the people. As the Apostles said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Fifth, you failed to consider the proper role of the prophet/preacher in the political arena. A prophet's job is not to bow down to any political leader. In fact, the prophet because he is God's messenger has authority over the king or the president. The prophet tells the president what to do. The president doesn't ever tell the prophet what to do. Your desire for Black pastors and churches to continue supporting Obama is not biblically based. A preacher's first and only allegiance is to God and His word. He is to speak "thus saith the Lord" no matter what situation he is faced with. The prophet takes God's side in any argument. Your predecessor at Trinity United Church of Christ seemed to understand this. In a recently published book, it is reported that the following exchange (told by Jeremiah Wright) took place between then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and his pastor:
"Barack said, 'I'm sorry you don't see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?' And I said, 'No, what's my problem?' And he said, 'You have to tell the truth.' I said, 'That's a good problem to have. That's a good problem for all preachers to have. That's why I could never be a politician.'"
A prophet's job is to tell the truth. He is to stand against the wrongs of the king (president in this case), the government, the people, and even misguided pastors, as you appear to be. The Bible shows us this with Nathan confronting David, Isaiah bringing God's word to King Hezekiah, Moses demanding that Pharaoh let God's people go, and Elijah standing up to Jezebel and the priests of Baal. The preacher's role is not to side with one party or the other, but to stick to the truth laid out in God's word.
God told Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:17, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me." That is the simple job of the prophet -- to hear God's Word and then deliver it to the people and any other intended audience.
In case you haven't noticed, preachers nearly always get burned when they try to side with politicians. Barack Obama lied to the church and the nation three times during the 2008 campaign saying that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman. He even went further and described it as a "sacred union". Of course, everyone now knows that he believes the complete opposite and preachers across America, both Black, White, and Hispanic, have publicly expressed their shock and disappointment. If the President wins another term, what will stop him from pushing the homosexual marriage agenda in Congress, before the Supreme Court, or even (God forbid) proposing an amendment that would enshrine homosexual marriage in the Constitution?
Sixth, in your letter, you broke the laws of logic again, when you made red herring attempts to divert attention from the issue at hand -- homosexual marriage. In one paragraph you stated that the "institution of marriage is not under attack as a result of the President's words" and then went on to say that "Marriage was under attack years ago by men who viewed women as property and children as trophies of sexual prowess. Marriage is under attack by low wages, high incarceration, unfair tax policy, unemployment, and lack of education." While each of the things you named are negative and should be addressed for the betterment of our society, none of these things actually affect the issue at hand. Traditional marriage stands independent of all of these issues. The things you mentioned have nothing to do with whether or not we as preachers and followers of Christ will stand up for the Biblical definition of marriage. (Perhaps, you can write a series of far less controversial letters to black ministers telling them how they can help their church members find better paying jobs, keep their sons out of jail, treat their wives with respect, and obtain a college education. But for now, let's stay focused on the marriage issue.)
In this series of issues you listed, you also mentioned clergy "who proclaim monogamy yet think nothing of stepping outside the bonds of marriage to have multiple affairs with 'preaching groupies.'" This, too, takes away from the issue at hand. While I will not say that this is not going on in some churches, I would like to know how you know about it. Oftentimes, Reverend, as you know, when we preach against sin, we are preaching to ourselves first because we either have temptations in those areas ourselves or we have had some experience with that sin. As far as I know, the sins of adultery are kept under wraps and nobody knows about it unless God exposes it. So, the question again is, how do you know that preachers have groupies? Be careful about trying to expose others lest you expose yourself.
You again made an attempt to divert from the issue at hand near the end of your letter where you state, "November is fast approaching, and the spirits of Ella Baker, Septima Clarke, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, A. Phillip Randolph, James Orange, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr. stand in the balcony of heaven raising the question, 'Will you do justice, live [sic] mercy and walk humbly with our God?'..." Please do not contaminate the legacy of such prominent civil rights figures by attempting to identify them with the "homosexual rights" movement when they are not here to defend themselves. By the way, I doubt very seriously if any of the people you mentioned would be for homosexual marriage. The civil rights movement was a movement for fair and equal treatment of a people who had been maligned and abused because of their skin color which they had no control over. If you would allow me to borrow some terminology from a speech then-candidate Obama made at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama, I think I can explain it a little better.
The civil rights figures you mentioned were a part of the "Moses generation". They have accomplished the task that they were sent here to do and they have gone home to be with the Lord. We (in Obama's words) are the "Joshua generation." It is our time to fight. And it just so happens that our fight is not civil rights, but the fight for traditional marriage. Just as Moses did not enter the Promised Land to fight in Canaan, let us not try to use the sainted memories of African-American heroes as swords in the fight for or against traditional marriage. (If you wish to know my opinion, I believe it is most likely these men and women are turning over in their graves because of black ministers who have betrayed the Bible to support homosexual marriage.) Again, let us stay focused on the issue at hand.
Seventh, despite arguments to the contrary, homosexual marriage will only lead to family break-down, community break-down and national destruction in our country. The reason is simple -- when you have homosexual marriage, you have no future because you have no children.
A former Republican presidential candidate stated that if he were elected he would create a colony on the moon. Suppose we were to create a colony on the moon and 100 homosexuals were sent there to cultivate the colony and start a new society. If we went back in 70 years, what would we find? Nothing. God specifically commanded Adam and Eve to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." Common sense tells us that if we put "Adam and Steve" on the moon, there would be no fruitfulness, multiplying or replenishing.
Now, I am not going to allow you to accuse me of being homophobic. A phobia is a fear. I am not afraid of homosexuals. In fact, just the other day, God touched my heart and gave me a message to share with homosexuals titled Born Again This Way showing them how they can accept Christ as their Saviour and be delivered from their sin. Our job as ministers of the Gospel is to show people how they can be saved and to teach them the whole council of God and that is as far as we should go. We do not have to marry homosexuals and we do not have to sanction homosexual marriage by supporting a president who does.
In fact, here is a poem titled "Born Again This Way" which was written by my daughter for the message:
I gave my heart to JesusOn a blustery, winter day.A man showed me Jesus loved me
And I was born again this way.I used to have no need for God
Never minded what preachers say.But through the Bible, I saw the light
And I was born again this way.I could've continued on my sinful path
And if I did, I'd have to pay.But God's light shone down into my soul
And I was born again this way.You can give your heart to Jesus too
No matter if you're a liar, fornicator, or gay.All you must do is believe on Him
And you can be born again this way.
We must be concerned about our future -- our children and our grandchildren. The president and the preachers who support him in this matter are corrupting, confusing, and destroying our children. We are sitting in a slow cooker and the heat is slowly being turned up. It is the prophet/preacher's job to stand up and "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." and in this case, show the danger that we are facing in America. The Bible gives us repeated examples of God punishing and/or destroying a nation or people because of their sin. (Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? Remember the nations of Israel and Judah? Remember Babylon?) If our government sanctions the abomination of homosexuality, it is certain that God is going to judge this nation as well.
Suffice it to say that our President did not exercise good judgment when he endorsed homosexual marriage. His daughters, Malia and Sasha, have been blessed to have a father and a mother who love them and care for them. Your children, Elijah and Makayla, have been blessed to have both a father and a mother who love them and care for them. Tell me this: which parent was unnecessary in the birth of your children?
God made mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, males and females for a reason. Far be it from us to try to change the natural order that God has formed -- or to encourage and support those who do. The road of homosexual marriage is a dead-end. By the way, if your father, Otis Moss Jr., was not a red-blooded heterosexual alpha masculine male who loved a woman and not another ugly stinking man, you, Otis Moss III, would not even be here to express your sad, unfortunate and misguided view.
Your brother in Christ,Daniel Whyte III
A NOTE TO ALL BLACK PASTORS AND MINISTERS
If you are reading this, I want to encourage you to continue standing for God's Word. (If you are not standing for God's Word, please start now.) The Bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality. Frankly, I believe that if you cannot stand against homosexual marriage as a pastor, you will not stand against anything. Do not allow society, popular opinion, the President's words, misguided ministers, or your desire to be friends with the President and hopefully get an invitation to the White House to sway you from clear Scriptural truth. Unfortunately, in this day and time, you will be criticized, maligned and ostracized for speaking the truth. Paul warns us in II Timothy 4:3, that "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." I believe we are living in those days that Paul spoke of.
Do not allow the ever-present lure of praise, plaudits, or popularity to drown out your holy calling as a bearer of God's truth. You may never get an invitation to the White House Prayer Breakfast, you may lose members, and you may lose the friendship of other pastors. Just remember that Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for receiving their praise from men rather than from God. John 12:43 talks about those people who would not follow Jesus Christ because "they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
Do not compromise God's word for temporal praise or for the sake of convenience. It is more important for us to hear Christ say when we get to heaven, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Your brother in Christ,Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over twenty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com.