A Georgia mega-church pastor has come out of the closet as a homosexual, but the head of a group dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda thinks the "bishop" is compromising God's Word.
Fifty-two-year-old Jim Swilley of the Church In The Now, an inter-denominational Christian church in Conyers, has stated that the September suicide of a Rutgers University student prompted him to unveil his secret life to his congregation.
According to the Newton Citizen, Swilley's announcement last month was not a surprise to many members of the church. "There are two things in my life that are an absolute. I did not ask for either one of them," he reportedly told his congregation. "Both of them were imposed on me. I had no control over them. One was the call of God on my life...the other thing was my sexual orientation." He continued to explain that he had struggled with his sexual orientation his whole life, always attempting to come to terms with that and his faith in God.
"This so-called 'Bishop' Swilley is a very confused man," laments Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). "He thinks he's being honest about -- quote -- 'who he is,' but actually, he's compromising the Word of God and he's Christianizing sin, which is impossible."
LaBarbera contends Swilley should step down from his ministerial position, stop preaching the Word of God, and repent of his sin and the advocacy of it. Swilly has shared that his congregation has been supportive of his coming out for the most part, but the AFTAH president is not surprised that some members of his church have left.
"There's no doubt in the Bible about whether homosexual practice is a sin," the conservative advocate points out. "He says he knew he was -- quote -- 'gay' since he was a boy. Most boys don't think about sex, much less homosexuality, so we're wondering what happened in his early life. Obviously, he's a confused man."
LaBarbera emphasizes that homosexuality it is not condoned in Christianity, so Swilley has "set about rationalizing his sin, which is very dangerous business." Swilley is the father of four children and is now divorced after a 20-year marriage. His former wife still works for the church.