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Religion blog: I was wrong about Pastor Jim Swilley

I have got to say there is nothing worse than finding one’s self on the wrong end of a gospel story. A few days ago, when the news of Bishop Jim Swilley the founding pastor of  “The Church in the Now” got out that he had come out, I was not particularly kind.

One my Facebook page I made the following comment: “is thinking Rev. Swilley is NO gay hero. He finally comes out after he has fathered 4 kids, was in a sham of a marriage...and how many young folks took his hypocritical teachings to heart and ended their life? I am sorry there are those of us who have stood in the line of fire for a long time and took the hits while he was...Thank you Rev. for getting a conscience, lets see what you do now that you are out.”

Then as I am preparing to write this blog I re-read the story of the “Prodigal Son.”  One can find the complete story at Luke 15:11-32 (The Message).  Needless to say I found myself on the wrong end of this Gospel story.

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Creflo Dollar calls out fellow mega-church pastor Jim Swilley

Pastor Creflo Dollar

Dr. Creflo Dollar of Atlanta's World Changers Church spoke out during his Oct. 31 sermon against Bishop Jim Swilley of Church in the Now, after Swilley came out to his congregation in mid October.

Dollar, who didn’t use Swilley’s name specifically, said during his sermon that Swilley’s address to his congregation about his homosexuality would do more harm than good for struggling youth contemplating suicide.

“The Bible says that even the very elect will be deceived. Unfortunately ladies and gentlemen, it seems like we’re almost there. Especially when you have preachers getting up in their pulpit saying, ‘I’m gay, and there’s nothing wrong with it.’

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Out gay Christian musician finds new path

Gay Christian singer Ray Boltz

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, GA Voice learned after our press deadline that Ray Boltz has canceled his concert over Atlanta Pride weekend due to a scheduling conflict. However, this is a great interview with a gay gospel singer and the ramifications he faced coming out. We hope you enjoy it.

Christian musician Ray Boltz brings his “Living True” tour to Atlanta for Pride weekend, with an Oct. 8 performance at First MCC with Azariah Southworth and Lynn Loosier.

Boltz sold 4.5 million recordings and won two Gospel Music Association Dove awards before rocking Christian music fans by coming out as gay. Southworth hosted “The Remix,” a Christian TV show, before acknowledging he is gay, too.

“Since both artists came out within months of one another in 2008 they decided to take their story on the road together,” the pair explains on the website for their tour,

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Fourth man files lawsuit against anti-gay church leader Eddie Long

A fourth man is suing Eddie Long, the anti-gay leader of megachurch New Birth  Missionary Baptist Church, first reported by the Associated Press.

The lawsuit was filed by Spencer Legrande, a former member of New Birth’s satellite church in Charlotte, N.C.

“The lawsuit said Long told LeGrande ‘I will be your dad’ and invited the 17-year-old to journey to Kenya with him in July 2005. LeGrande said that Long gave him a sleeping pill on that trip and that the two engaged in sexual acts,” the AP reports.