The topic of homosexuality and the Asian-American church doesn’t ever really get discussed but it may gain a little more traction with an event hosted by Evergreen Baptist Church in LA (EBCLA). We need to talk about it but I’m not sure if we even really think about it and I’m speaking mainly of pastors. The topic is without doubt relevant for a Second Gen or Asian-American church but for the immigrant church it’s a doozy. Overall, we’re very unaware of how it affects us and our ministry until someone shares openly that they are homosexual. In the immigrant church the shame-based culture is very prominent in comparison to 2nd Gen/Asian-American churches. The difficulty remains in that Immigrant churches kind of exist more or less in a cultural bubble. Additionally they are all at different stages of development. Once the EM (English Ministry) is established the topic may arise because it is relevant to their families and friends. These children of the church are looking for real answers and real faith from their spiritual leaders and parents. However much of the experience of second generation in these immigrant churches is negative as they tend to have more conservative or fundamentalist leanings of absolute certainty and clarity to moral issues in American culture. Either way we’ve got a long way to go and we may not be able to be silent about it for much longer regardless of being in an immigrant church or not.
I’m glad Ken Fong is leading the way here (the pioneer that he is). My friend Henry Mui is also planning to bring something to the Bay Area this summer. I hope to get more details on that soon.
What’s going on East Coast???
We need to talk.
WE NEED TO TALK: A Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church. Sponsored by the Christian Social Issues (CSI) group, an informal gathering of Asian American Christians who discuss wide-ranging social issues and how they relate to our Christian faith. Join three old friends – two straight and one gay – who will engage in a conversation that needs to happen more often in order to dispel ignorance, quell fear and hatred, and foster greater understanding. Debate about scriptural interpretation or scientific evidence is not within the scope of this dialogue. It is not our intent to resolve this highly complex issue. Though we may ultimately arrive at different conclusions, at the very least, we need to break the awful silence in our churches surrounding this subject. We really need to talk.
If you have a friend or loved one who is gay, or you are gay yourself, or you are a Christian who is concerned about this issue, please join us in this much needed and long-awaited dialogue.
• How Would You Talk About Homosexuality In Church? [DJ Chuang]
• ISAAC Bulletin Board with more details for the planning committee members and background information
• EBCLA Podcast and PPT Slides from Pastor Ken Fong, “Is There a Place for Homosexuals in the Body of Christ?” [slides from part 1 and part 2]
• Ken Fong Blogs: Conviction, Upcoming Forum, and We need to talk.