This past MLK Day, I was part of a panel discussion on NPR radio talking about diversity in churches across America. With 20 seconds left on the show, out of nowhere, the host asked me about my view on the GLBT community - “So Pastor Naeem, are ‘homosexuals’ welcomed in your church?” To which I said, “that's a loaded question” and he shot back “yes or no?” With only a second to process the complete change in conversation, I said "Yes, of course they are welcome...Mosaic is filled with sinners including me.” And with that, the show was over.
But, that question was not over for me. I personally know people who struggled with this sensitive issue in various ways. I began to ponder… Is the GLBT community truly and genuinely welcomed at my church, Mosaic? Are we, as a church, prepared to handle the complexity of it all? Are other churches?
I think this is why I jumped on the invitation to go with Rick and Kay Warren to the 2012 AIDS conference in DC. HIV/Aids is an issue that has dramatically impacted the GLBT community, and I was shocked to find out that there are currently over 33 million people living with HIV/Aids around the world. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus – and I think that as Christians, we have struggled with the “human” part of it. Seeing those suffering from this as fellow human beings, in need of love and support like anyone else. I’m looking forward to attending the conference this month to better understand and be a part of the conversation. To learn as much as I can, praying through how I can lend a hand and lead our church to help fight the AIDS epidemic.
Naeem Fazal was born and raised as a Muslim in Kuwait. He came to the United States shortly after the Gulf war of 1990. In 1992, he had a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. He was ordained in 2001 at Seacoast Church. In 2006, with the help of Seacoast Church, the ARC and Mosaic LA, he planted Mosaic Church in Charlotte,NC. Naeem has been featured in Relevant Magazine, Outreach Magazine, Leadership Journal and Charlotte Magazine.