American Idol contestant Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon has a compelling backstory. In his audition, he talked about being a preacher’s son, and how his family rejected him after coming out gay. But in recent episodes, he shared that he and his family were coming to a new understanding. This past Sunday, Jeremiah’s family were in the audience to watch him perform a Queen classic. After his performance of “Who Wants to Live Forever” father Jerry gushed over his son’s talent.
Recently, Jeremiah also shared that he attended his sister’s wedding and that it was a virtual love fest. All seemed to be well.
But not so fast. In April, Rev. Jerry Harmon showed his true colors. In a nearly 40 minute sermon from the pulpit of his church, Grace Bible Baptist Church, he thundered about sinners and sin. He’s an angry man. And very angry that he and his family have been portrayed as haters by American Idol. He calls Jeremiah an “errant son” whom he loves regardless. He then goes on to rant and rave about how God is a “God of Wrath.” Cross God at your own peril! He goes on at length about the sin of “depravity.”
“This is the sign of a society that God has turned over to itself,” he preaches.
On Jeremiah’s American Idol backstory, as a gay preacher’s kid, he said, “This isn’t something that’s going away. I wish it would.” He says that the only reason he agreed to an on air interview with Jeremiah was a concern that “society wants to portray Christian parents in a very negative light. They want to put out this narrative that when our children go astray, that we throw them aside. That we don’t love our prodigals. We’re bigoted. We’re intolerant.”
“What does it say to the world if the world believes this narrative that Christians throw away their erring children? That doesn’t make God look good.”
He agreed to the interview because he wanted to “try in my own way, graciously, to correct that….even when they go astray, even when they break our hearts, we still love them.”
He clarifies, “What I don’t want to do is to portray this message that we accept everything that they do. That’s what THEY want to hear. That I accept everything about Jeremiah–completely totally accepted him.”
Queerty, the LGBT blog where I found a clip, interviewed a former congretant of Rev. Harmon’s church, Brandan Robertson, who is now an out-gay pastor himself.
“Now we live in a society today where we are forced to accept this as normal,” Rev. Harmon said, “If we don’t, we hate. We don’t hate anybody friend…We are trying to point you to the only way to salvation, friend.” He referred to homosexuality as “degrading passions.”
“This is a society that is under the wrath of God, his abandonment,” he says about a world that allows sin such as homosexuality and abortion. And in case you were mistaken, he makes it clear, “I’m trying to walk this fine balance. I’m trying to show the love of God…even towards our erring children. Don’t ever get the idea that I ever approve anything that’s against the word of God. I will not do that.”
I do not advise plowing through the entire video as I did. He talks about Jeremiah and American Idol beginning around the 1:35 mark. For his comments on homosexuality, begin at about the 31 minute mark.