As a duly authorized agent for the New Jerusalem Kingdom of Heaven development currently under construction, I would like to dispel a couple of the myths that many of my predecessors and some of my contemporaries have told, often for the purpose of earning higher commissions for themselves.
But first allow me to offer my sincerest apologies to you and ask your forgiveness for the misaligned behavior and words of those other agents. As my Broker-In-Charge, Jesus, said to the community’s Developer, God, “…forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34.
One of the senior agents, Paul, did try to make the public aware of this misleading representation in his notice dated 62 A.D. I suspect it was part of making amends for his own bad behavior as documented in Acts chapters 9, 22 and 26. After Paul admitted his own misguided approach in his public letter, he writes:
“14 Then we will no longer be like children, tossed around here and there upon ocean waves, picked up by every gust of religious teaching spoken by liars or swindlers or deceivers. 15 Instead, by truth spoken in love, we are to grow in every way into Him — the Anointed One, the head.
Ephesians 4:14-15 (The Voice)
Myth 1 – The Red-Light District of the South-Side Slums (aka Hell) Is the Only Option for Those Who Are Sexually Expressive
After careful review of the list of registered New Jerusalem residents in the Book of Life (Rev. 21:27), I have identified several individuals with documented examples of sexual expression well outside “religiously approved” parameters for proper behavior. Since the Developer personally reviews and verifies every applicant, it is safe to assume that the religious teachers of the day communicated restrictive covenants that are not a requirement for entry. To name just a few of the more famous sexually active residents:
• Abraham married his half-sister Sarah (Gen. 20:12) and, while still actively trying to conceive with his wife, fathered a child with Sarah’s maidservant Hagar (Gen. 16:4).
• Jacob enjoyed one of the early “free love” eras, fathering the Twelve Tribes of Israel with four different women: his two wives, Leah and Rachel, as well as their handmaidens, Bilhah and Zilpah (Gen. 35:23-26).
• King David had a battlefield romance with Jonathan over several years (1 Sam. Chapters 18 – 23) and an adulterous affair with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11).
In fact, Paul wrote about the enjoying all facets of human sexuality in a public notice, dated 53 A.D. It is clear that he recognizes the importance of an active sex life in maintaining healthy committed relationships:
“4 Neither the husband nor the wife have exclusive rights to their own bodies, but those rights are to be surrendered to the other. 5 So don’t continue to refuse your spouse those rights, except perhaps by mutual agreement for a specified time so that you can both be devoted to prayer. And then you should resume your physical pleasure so that the Adversary cannot take advantage of you because of the desires of your body. 6 I’m not giving you a divine command, but my godly advice.”
1 Corinthians 7:4-6 (The Passion Translation)
And then there is the Song of Songs. A romance novel for sure. Possibly even early pornography. I will let you decide. Clearly, though, it is a celebration of the passions experienced between two lovers.
Myth 2 — The Gay Card Is Not Accepted Here
I have already referenced the four-year love affair between Jonathan and David, ending only due to the untimely passing of Jonathan. Then there is the relationship between Ruth and Naomi in the Book of Ruth. Although there is no explicit reference to physical intimacy, there is clearly an emotional bond that goes far beyond cultural norms of the day.
More importantly, let’s look at what BIC Jesus had to say. By all accounts Jesus, in his day, was literate, well-educated and a great orator. He was fluent in Hebrew and Aramaic. Based on the accounts of his encounters with Romans, he was more than likely well-versed in Latin and possibly even Greek. All of these were well-developed languages that did not lack the ability to name or describe complex ideas and subtle differences. Yet, Jesus never directly spoke about same-gender acts or any other sexual behaviors. He did, however, reinforce the Ten Commandments about adultery and coveting (being lustful) during His marathon “TED Talk” called the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:27-32).
Now, there is an interesting statement made by Jesus when Pharisees were questioning him in front of the disciples about divorce:
“11 Jesus answered, ‘This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God has given it. 12 For there are different reasons why men cannot marry: some, because they were born that way; others, because men made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Let him who can accept this teaching do so.’”
Matthew 19:11-12 (Good News Translation)
I for one was “born” not to marry. At least not for reproduction, the purpose of marriage in that day. Look at the kingdom job I have. Clearly the BIC was referring to me as “one of those to who can accept this teaching.”
More Myths & The Big Questions
There are several other myths including:
• Myth 3 — Religion and Ritual Are the Required Application for Admission
• Myth 4 — Failure to Make Required Payments On-Time Will Revoke All Privileges
• Myth 5 — Partying, Loud Music and Dancing Are Not Permitted
• Myth 6 — Overt Self-Expression Is Strictly Prohibited
• Myth 7 — Criminals (aka sinners) Need Not Apply
To address these myths and answer questions about New Jerusalem, I have established a regular schedule of seminars for potential investors and future residents, at 622 Maywood Ave., Raleigh. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. we offer Q&A sessions on covenant-related issues, where we do a deep dive into the written documents. Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 9 and 11 a.m., we offer network gatherings that include music, light snacks (communion) and the presentation of topics concerning the gathered community. This is a great chance to meet and get to know some of your New Jerusalem neighbors.
These seminars are free of charge and open to all, with no obligation to make a commitment. No high-pressure sales tactics here. However, if while attending one of these gatherings you are interested in reserving a mansion or helping support our marketing efforts, representatives are available to assist you in getting plugged in. This includes opportunities to help spread the message to those who may not have heard the “Good News.” Tax-deductible donations can be placed in the basket at the door or made through our website, stjohnsmcc.org.
Throughout the year, we also offer special events and celebrations including Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, days of remembrance and civil protests, as well as community parties such as Pride celebrations, social gathering, weddings, baptisms and resident internments (funerals). Keep up with all the events at stjohnsmcc.org/connect/calendar. Android and iPhone apps are coming soon.
Although the development site is not available for in-person tours, you can arrange for a one-on-one virtual tour with one of our agents. We use the latest technologies of prayer and spiritual contemplation. To book an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-834-2611.
If you would like to buy a mansion today, the application process only takes a few moments. Just respond (silently or orally) to two questions. Total purchase price*: foregoing condemnation and death. Applications can be completed by contacting my office or talking with a representative at any of our seminars or events.
*No downpayment is required. Financing and payment options are extremely flexible, based on the individual’s abilities at the time, and can be renegotiated throughout the life of the contract.
About the Author: Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Jr. was installed as pastor at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church in February 2018. He and him are Vance’s preferred pronouns and Vance (no titles) is his preferred introduction. Vance was affiliated with the Church of God in his childhood through the age of 20. He stepped away from “the Church”, unable to reconcile whom he knew himself to be with the teaching about God being presented by others. Vance joined the Metropolitan Community Church movement in 2008 after experiencing God anew a few years earlier during a drag performance of a traditional gospel song by Taj Mahal (RIP) at Legends Night Club. If you ask Vance if he is religious, his answer will be an adamant “God No! Religion has been, and is still, a source of great pain and suffering. Jesus came to overturn harmful religious practices and simply offer life and love to hurting people in a hurting world. I see it as my call to do the same, as best I can with God’s help.”