Dr. E. Dewey Smith's sermon has attracted a lot of attention on the Internet, but he's not thrilled about it.
Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr. is the Senior Pastor at the House of Hope in Georgia. In a clip posted last Thursday, he spoke about the treatment of gay people by many of his fellow Christians, calling it "hypocritical." In particular, he was referencing the outspoken Christian objections to the Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Speaking to his congregation, Dr. Smith said:
"We have done what the slave master did to us. Dehumanize us, degrade us, demonize us, but then use them for our advantage."
He added that any Christian who condemns homosexuality while enjoying the work of homosexual artists is a hypocrite. He also accused Christians of hypocrisy for citing Leviticus as a condemnation of gays, while ignoring other passages in Leviticus that prohibit eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics. These points have all been made many times by LGBT advocates, but hearing them spoken by a Baptist preacher speaking from the pulpit is much less common, and the Internet took notice.
The five-minute clip of his sermon went viral on the Internet in the last week, with many commenters praising him for his progressive attitude. If you were one of those commenters, I've got news for you: it was, in fact, too good to be true. Now Dr. Smith is changing his tune. In a blog post, he explained that he was not trying to advocate for the LGBT cause, but to make a point about evangelism: