In a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, the senior pastor of a thriving evangelical megachurch in south metro Denver confessed to sexual relations with other men and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit.
A month ago, the Rev. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in Doug las County preached to his 2,100-member congregation about integrity and grace in the aftermath of the Ted Haggard drugs-and-gay-sex scandal.
Now, the 54-year-old Barnes joins Haggard as a fallen evangelical minister who preached that homosexuality was a sin but grappled with a hidden life. "I
The second evangelical church leader has stepped down in as many months. i have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," Barnes said in the 32- minute video, which church leaders permitted The Denver Post to view. "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." Sitting cross-legged in jeans and an open-collar shirt, Barnes spoke in his video about evolving feelings growing up in a firm moral family: from confused little boy to adolescent racked with self-loathing and guilt.
In their only talk about sex, Barnes said his father took him on a drive and talked about what he would do if a "fag" approached him.
Barnes thought, "'Is that how you'd feel about me?' It was like a knife in my heart, and it made me feel even more closed." Barnes expressed hope for a future where one can "be who you are" and be accepted and loved in the Christian community and also spoke about "separating some of the teachings from Scripture" from Jesus Christ.
Palmer said he wasn't sure what Barnes meant, but Barnes told him that he believes God views homosexuality as a sin.
wow any more preachers come out of the closet and they will outnumber gay congressmen. i'm sure he preached the sins of gayiety from the pulpit. oh to be a self loathing gay man of the cloth. instead reverend shoes has chosen to be a self loathing straight man of the cloth. he struggles since he was 5? hhmmmmm. could this mean he was BORN gay? that god MADE him that way? sure his dad badmouthed gays but that was after he realized that he was. he was raised in a moral home. what could have turned him? nothing , he was born that way. nice to know his parents wouldnt accept him and from the comments his friends at the church wont either. i guess when he turned the other cheek he shouldnt have used those cheeks. i guess that whole praying to god to help you doesnt work. if a preacher like this cant get a message through then what hope does anyone else have. maybe god was really busy on those days this being the xmas season and all. maybe he should try humming a hymn.....oh, thats right...humming is what got him in trouble in the first place.
happy monday everyone. a week from now we will all be opening gifts. for now, back to work.