Influential pastor Bishop Jakes ‘evolving’ on LGBT rights

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

An influential black pastor who once described homosexuality as “brokenness” has signalled his ‘evolution’ on LGBT rights.

Bishop T.D Jakes, the pastor at Dallas megachurch The Potter’s House, is one of the most influential black pastors in the US.

Once a hardline opponent of LGBT rights, his church was rocked by scandal in 2009 – when his own son was arrested for allegedly soliciting gay sex.

Bishop Jakes – who has a huge following online – told Huffington Post his stance on LGBT issues were “evolving”.

When asked whether black churches and gay people can co-exist, he said: “Absolutely… I think it is going to be diverse from church to church. Every church has a different opinion on the issue and every gay person is different. to think [each] are all the same is totally not true.”

When pushed on whether his thinking has evolved, he said: “Evolved and evolving… where I am is to better understand.

“We (the church) bought into the myth that this is a Christian nation… we no longer look to public policy to reflect Biblical ethics.”

However, he said any scriptural shift “has to go on behind the closed doors of the church”, explaining: “I think in the mainstream America, we have a derogatory name to call you and I think it oversimplifies the complexity of the texts…”

In a sermon after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, he said: “I’m not really as concerned about this as a lot of people are. I’m really not as concerned about it.

“I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church. This is not a news flash.

“The world is gonna be the world and the Church is gonna be the Church, and you have to understand the difference.”

Watch the sermon below:

(h/t Towleroad)