Friday, June 8, 2007

Meet Reggie Longcrier, community leader

This is the first in a series of interviews with community leaders in the 10th district. This interview was conducted by Brandon Greeson.

Pastor Reggie Longcrier, of the Exodus Missionary Outreach Church, of Hickory. You may know of his work through the Exodus Homes Mission project. In this video he talks about his faith and how it relates to the judgment of lesbians, gays, transgendered, and bisexual.

It's an interview I couldn't get enough of. For the those who want to read instead of listen, here's some of the highlights:
We accept all people in our church, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people. To discriminate against people who are of a different sexual orientation, different than the majority of us, is to destroy the very essence of what we believe.

When we say that God is love and he loves us unconditionally, and those of us who desire to follow Christ faithfully are known by how we love one another -- for a church or a congregation to reflect a unified prejudice is not of that type of love.

And so, as for me and my church, as for me and my house, we choose to live out our Jesus by respected and accepting other people regardless of their sexual orientation.

Here's great advice for all of us on any issue:
Get to know people better of a different sexual orientation, you know, rather than make frivolous judgments from afar and point fingers.

Do the scriptures support discrimination?
It goes back to people just reading just the surface of the scriptures and not reading the story behind the story. They get the scriptures misconstrued.

Being black, we have been victims of that same prejudice, saying that we were cursed and it was scriptures that was being used to say that, to put down women in the church. It was scripture that was being used.

We've long evolved from that type of thinking, as we read the scriptures. And then, as we know people. People, more or less, feel what they don't understand. And again, it goes back to getting to know, daring to get to know people that are of a different sexual orientation than we are.

As a wedge tactic to divert congregations from all the good work (in Jesus' name) they could be doing:
There are weightier matters such as racial discrimination and economic oppression and things of that ilk have been our problems. For us to get on the bandwagon of bashing gays and lesbians is to sorta like muddy the waters or taint what the real underlying issues are.

And there's an attempt to divide the church as we know it, you understand, and get off the weightier matters that consume everyday human life, the ongoing apartheid in Africa, the discrimination here, the war in Iraq. These are things we should be looking at, if we want to be outraged about something, if we want to get good and made at something. There are other issues much weightier than to discriminate against who should be in the church or who should get married.