Gay bars and Pentecostalism


What do gay bars and Pentecostalism have in common? They both at least most of the time are a place and a culture where what you see is what you get! You don’t care what the larger culture thinks of you and you understand that a great deal of life is sometimes just pure camp! You are what the Good Lord made you and calls you to be and you don’t have to understand a shift in the social and theological paradigm to understand that!

Speaking of bars John and I went to the Woodshed in Charlotte since it was almost in spitting distance of our hotel. It was like stepping back in time to when gay bars were gay bars. Unlike the trend in trendy tourist USA it was not an “open bar” a “metrosexual bar” or a ” non gender specific” bar nor did it try and reach out to the ultra cool straight women and men who think they are really “hipsters” by going to a place that was at least known as a gay bar! No it was a good old fashioned take it or leave in your face gay bar complete with some truly unattractive drag acts worthy of the term camp!

Being 67 I have had the opportunity to observe many things in many places. Have you ever noticed the hostility evident in the world of religious literalism! I can’t address the pervasive problem in Islam with literalism, as I am not a Moslem, but I can as a Christian do so in Christianity. Yes when all is said and done they both posses the same dynamic though I think it can be argued that one tends to embrace violence more readily than the other. Some people are literalist because they see any deviation from what they have always been taught and believed as a threat not only to their security but in fact a threat to the very world! Others rally to the cause of literalism because they passionately believe to do otherwise is an act of betrayal so sinister as to warrant literal hell fire! But for whatever the case dialogue is not an option. Resistance to such dangerous notions that God needs both a Prosecuting Attorney and a Public Defender is the only avenue left. But is hostility only for the literalist? I think not. In the “emergent church” and or progressive movement there is hostility also and it is curiously enough not directed at those who differ with it but sometimes it would seem to be focused however subtley towards one Person and that Person is Jesus! The very One this movement declares itself as the vehicle of liberation and empirical revelation and who has chosen Jesus to liberate and reveal!

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