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Controversial North Miami Pastor Jack Hakimian will attend LGBT forum Wednesday night

BY NADEGE GREEN, NGREEN@MIAMIHERALD.COM

A North Miami pastor who drew scrutiny for his stance on homosexuality will be allowed to continue to preach at a Miami-Dade school he rents out on the weekend.

But the flap over the sermons of Pastor Jack Hakimian — who preaches homosexuality is a sin and urges homosexuals to “repent” — has prompted an openly gay North Miami city councilman to call a Wednesday town forum.

“I would hope that those who preach intolerance or have thoughts of intolerance would come away with a personal understanding,” said Councilman Scott Galvin. “And I want the GLBT community to know there are religious leaders who do care and love them.”

The GLBT Inclusion Forum — which will address the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and religious issues — will take place Wednesday evening at Temple Beth Moshe, 2555 NE 121st St.

Beth Moshe Rabbi Jory Lang will attend.

As will the controversial pastor.

Hakimian said Tuesday he will likely join the line of panelists.

“Decent debate and disagreement is good. It’s beautiful. We should want a community where people are disagreeing openly and publicly because if we don’t, the opposite of that is oppression,” said Hakimian, who describes his Impact Miami church as “Evangelical Southern Baptist.”

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What should the church’s position be on same-gender marriage & adoption?

Here is my belief and up front, I would like to state two things. First, I respect the right to disagree with my response and second, I am not trying to change anyone’s mind about their personal beliefs. I am responding based upon the effects I observe from the way the church currently deals with the issues of legalizing same-sex marriage and permitting same-sex couples to adopt children.

It's the hypocrisy of the whole Christian church about same-sex marriage and permitting same-sex couples to adopt children that I disagree with more and more each day. The Word of God is always interpreted by man. The current interpretation is always based upon socio-political cultural circumstances and experiences of the present historical time. God has been used as an excuse through history for the majority view to kill the minority time and time again. Our understanding of the Word of God has healed/evolved/grown throughout the millennia based upon mankind's understanding of justice and based on our intelligence. Intelligence evolves, thankfully for children, woman, slavery, desegregation. The Bible has some scary doctrine against all of these groups & my God, thankfully, the obsolete dogma can no longer be taught any more with any credibility.

Hypocrisy is most definitely a choice in my view and hypocrisy is the “sin” the church should focus on. See Matt 23. Wrong or right is for God to determine and every one of us is called to have a personal relationship with God, respect them & honor others. As a minister, I choose to love people where they are. I know God created us, God loves us and Jesus taught a gospel of love and acceptance. People can disagree about whether being gay is wrong or not and still respect each other. I choose to welcome all people to the church; my choice does not have to be imposed on anyone else. I just don’t understand why the loudest churches/ministers who oppose same-sex marriage and permitting same-sex couples to adopt children keep showing up with all these secret homosexuality issues. There are and have been same gender affection in people in every segment and culture in society. There are gay ministers, teachers, police, judges, congress people, clerks, athletes, accountants, garbage men, engineers, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, lawyers, professors, and in every other slice of humanity. In fact, wherever there are people, there are gay people. What should the church do? Allow gay people to come out and love them just the way they are, including all the gay ministers, volunteers, staff, musicians, singers & tithers. Let's have some faith in God's omniscience and omnipotence and let go of the unhealthy control issues and projection and stop spiritually abusing and hurting gay people.

The day has now come for all the church to finally unconditionally accept same-sex marriage and permitting same-sex couples to adopt children. George Rekers and Ted Haggart and Eddie Long and all the other downlow pastors and gay church people provide the strongest evidence in the history of mankind that there is natural physical attraction between some men. These men are leaders called by God. Ted Haggard & the many other closeted ministers who have intimate relations with men prove that there is something spiritual and natural for some men to want to physically be with another man. (And we all know, there are many gay and closeted Christians of all races in every city in every denomination serving in every capacity of the church). This proves to me it is no longer valid for the church to keep saying the Bible says homosexuality is evil. We know better now. If it is secretly acceptable for so many pastors to choose full time relationships with women and still physically desire men on the side, then we can finally let everyone else now make that choice for themselves & know it's all right with God.

Then, the effects would be for people to learn to love themselves. Children who are abandoned in foster care would be able to be placed in loving homes. Young men who are taught a mixed message from the church would not grow up hating themselves. Otherwise devout Christians would not be forced to lead two lives by obsolete church doctrine that continues to hurt people. Men would not get married to hide their natural affection and live in the closet to avoid judgment and persecution by their own brothers in Christ. HIV would not continue to be transmitted to women, especially in the African-American community, by men who have so self-respect for their identity leading secret lives. Wives of these gay men who eventually always find out about their secret would not be emotionally traumatized. Young men would not take their lives or become addicts and engage in other self-destructive behavior to avoid the pain and self-hate they hold for themselves because they were told by a church that they are bad people.

Personally, I can imagine God saying right now . . . “there are over 7 billion people on this planet.” Every single one of us does not need to be fruitful and multiply anymore. We do need to be smart and unite to save our future. If a small percentage of the people on the planet seek to live in monogamous same-gender relationships, dare I say that it is God’s will? Our population increases exponentially and people are seeking more and more to publically live in peace in same gender relationships. I can imagine God saying are you crazy trying to discourage this? I believe that sexual orientation is a soul issue. Thus, it must be the intelligence of God causing this in a minority number of people.

There is no other explanation for homosexuality in such a hateful world today. I watched a vicious gay-bashing video from Atlanta and then I watched the young man who was beat speak about this. This young man expressed his truth in and from God. I cannot believe this is the devil. Men like Long and Haggart and Rekers are physically attracted to the same sex. It just shows God’s plan – why do I say this? They are “God’s anointed” if we believe them. To say the devil is making people turn gay is unintelligent and ridiculous. It is just an excuse for a majority to control a minority to live a lie and blame it on the devil. The only "devil" I observe today is in the kicks of gay-bashers and in the hateful words of the church people who oppose acceptance of LGBT people.

LGBT people are normal people in every understanding of what it means to be human and ethical and moral, except they are attracted to the same sex. In every slice of humanity, in every race and every culture, in every language and on every continent, in the biggest cities and the smallest towns, . . . wherever there are people, there are always a small percentage of LGBT people. This is the way God set it up. They work, they volunteer, they serve in the military and the government and they serve in every position in the church. They have pride in their community and pride in their nation. They pay taxes and donate to charities. Why does the world continue to force such a small number of people to live a lie on a world that is already over-populated? Is anyone out there listening to God? 7 billion of us are already killing the planet from overconsumption and we cannot destroy the Earth and continue to live here. I can hear God saying I gave you a mind, can you please use? What should everyone do today, right now? Allow LGBT people to get married and accept them just the way they are. Marriage will not be destroyed by such a small percentage of the population, but the planet (and precious marriage) will be saved. Have faith in God's omniscience and omnipotence and accept homosexuality is just a part of humaity. I can hear God saying, I got this one covered, trust me.

Finally someone unafraid to call sin what it is sin their is no new revalation in the Bible homosexuality is sinful behavior and will be punished as such by God

My faith teaches me to love the homophobic bigot, but hate the homophobic bigotry.

@steven How can I say this politely? Just because you believe in something cooked up in the Bronze Age, that doesn't mean it's objectively true. Maybe Jehovah is the Real God and Zeus isn't...but your parroting some old book isn't final proof of anything.

And, oddly enough, though you hark back to Old Testament prohibitions, Reform and Conservative Jews not only are not anti-gay, but support same-sex marriage. I don't know...maybe they're right about the modern application of Levitical law and you're not?

Anyway, if you believe something is a sin - say working on the Sabbath or not honoring your parents - behave thusly. And if you feel something approved by the Bible - slavery, for example - is wrong...well, fella, you're on your own.

But please do tell me why people like you are so focused on "sins of lust," while seeming not to care about sins like envy or gluttony? "Yeah, let's go to Chick-fil-A to protest them gays and stuff our fat faces with greasy chicken." Whatever. Maybe you and Ted Haggard should go have a chin-wag about sin.

The problem with modern day so called "Christians," is that they spend all there time looking for "evil and sin" in others (and not themselves), that they have no time to look for Jesus (which they, erroneously, think they have already found).

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