A word from Assistant Pastor, Rev. BJ Tillman in the wake of the recent barrage of Anti-LGBT messages from prominent faith leaders:
Because I’ve never been in the closet, it is sometimes difficult for me to understand why my fellow LGBTQIA Family are so pained by the venomous words of those who claim to have been chosen to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, on yesterday, I heard from two of my good-good Brothers, Brother Carlos Carter and Deacon Candidate Marcus Ajani Ecks who reminded me that each of us has our own unique journey, and that not everyone is in the same place of spiritual growth and development. I was reminded that some of my LGBTQIA Family members are injured everytime they hear hurtful words spouted from the mouths of those whose real job it is to love, guide and protect them.
Well, let it be known that here at Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Philadelphia and throughout the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, God is Love and Love Is For Everyone. If you are still sitting in a house of faith where the Leadership is committing spiritually verbal violence against you, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Why?!?” Jesus came that you might have life and life more abundantly. Not for you to be punished for who God made you to be. You are not a mistake, you are not an abomination and you are not going to this man-made place called hell. God designed you perfectly. You are fearfully, uniquely and divinely made. Why would you serve a God who would make you just to suffer and be punished? We serve a God of Love and Light. Please begin to do the work to free yourself from the chains of bondage that have been cruelly placed around your necks and know that Unity is here to help you with that process.
I will close with a document that we crafted for the local Church. Our Mission: To spread the Good News of the Gospel that God is Love and Love is For Everyone! All people are welcomed into the House of the Lord. We fight all forms of oppression; such as racism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, classism and ageism. We address the conditions of our community by advocating for change. We educate our people to empower themselves through acts of love in a worship experience and our lives. We promote loving relationships with God, ourselves and our neighbors.
Finally, I’ll say this: Don’t allow anyone to use scripture as a weapon against you. Remember that the same book we call the Bible permits slavery, forbids women from speaking in the sanctuary, and allows a host of acts that in today’s world would be considered insanity. Study the Word to show thyself approved, have conversations with the Creator and Progressive Clergy to gain clarity. This is your time to be free and shine in the Light of the World.
Peace, love and many blessings,
Rev. B.J. Tillman – Assistant Pastor
Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Philadelphia
55 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA
Sundays at 1:45pm (Service)
Tuesdays at 6:30pm (Spiritual Development)