Jernigan film challenges current view of homosexuality
Homosexuality is quite the popular topic right now. It has been integrated in many aspects of our cultural environment, and the media and entertainment world wants to dictate what we are to think about homosexuality. Here is the process on how the common view has developed from my perspective.
For more than 20 years ago, homosexuality was to be handled with “tolerance.” The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was a reflection of this view. Within the last 10 years, popular perspective changed to “acceptance.” In less than a year, acceptance has changed to “approval.”
What is the difference between acceptance and approval? Acceptance would be acknowledging, befriending, welcoming someone who is homosexual. Approving would be further along in the process, believing such behavior or lifestyle is appropriate with no moral consequences.
“Acceptance” is arguably how a Christian ought to respond, with genuine respect and kindness. Nobody should berate or treat another person in a cruel manner, even while we point to the truth. The Golden Rule has no exceptions.
“Approval,” though, crosses the line. This would mean having no moral objections to homosexuality. Someone who approves of the homosexual lifestyle would mean they either disagree or discount what the Bible teaches.
Approval is growing rapidly. In some aspects, it is being demanded legally, especially if you are in a business that is involved in weddings, such as bakeries, florists and photography. If you own a bakery, flower shop or a photography service and refuse to accept a request to provide a wedding cake, flowers or take pictures for a same-sex wedding, you may face legal charges. This has already happened in New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, as well as other states.
Fueling this sweeping change has been notions of inevitability. First, we are told that “gay marriage” is an idea whose time has come and is coming to your state sooner or later. So get used to it. The second view is that people are born gay and, therefore, could not and should not change.
One man’s testimony stands to challenge these presuppositions. I’m referring to Dennis Jernigan, whose documentary film “Sing Over Me” is being premiered in Oklahoma, Feb. 28. It is being shown at Eastwood Baptist Church in Tulsa, 949 S. 91st East Avenue, with remote simulcasts at First Baptist Church in Durant, 124 W. Evergreen Street, and Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, 1201 N.W. 10th Street.
The evening will kick off at 7 p.m., with Jernigan leading a brief time of worship, and the screening will commence at 7:45 p.m. Following the screening, Jernigan and movie director Jacob Kindberg will discuss the movie and take questions from audience members, including simulcast viewers through social media.
The movie is an excellent presentation of Jernigan sharing his story, showing where he grew up and the church where he began as its pianist as a nine-year-old. The well-known Christian singer-songwriter chronicles his time as a music student at Oklahoma Baptist University, and viewers meet the people who impacted his life, including his friend who gave him a place to live after Jernigan graduated from OBU and helped him overcome his struggles with homosexuality.
Jernigan’s story has impacted others. Examples are shown in the film of two men overcoming the sin of homosexuality, and they credit Jernigan for helping them gain a different perspective of their lives.
Many will object this movie. This film will not be welcomed by those who have accepted the current cultural status.
However, here’s who I hope this movie will reach – those who are struggling with same-sex attraction and want what Jernigan experienced, freedom from what the world says is supposed to define them.
For more information about the movie, visit www.singovermemovie.com. For more information about Jernigan’s ministry, visit www.DennisJernigan.com. His website features subjects that include how to respond to Pro-Gay theology, how to become Born Again and how to minister to those with same-sex attraction.
Popularity of homosexuality will continue, but know this. God is still in control, even when Biblical principles are not popular. Be willing to accept those who you think view life differently because you just may find another Dennis Jernigan.