Many Oklahomans know Jernigan through his music.
The singer-songwriter is known to have written numerous worship songs such as “You Are My All in All,” “We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory” and “Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus.” More recently, Jernigan gained the public's attention with his song written in the aftermath of the deadly May tornadoes in Oklahoma. He sang that song, “We Will Rise,” at the May 26 memorial service held for victims of the May tornadoes at First Baptist Church of Moore.
Jernigan, an OBU graduate, said he has been sharing the details of his faith journey since 1988 so he knows that his message is embraced by some and denounced by others.
He said he has been willing to face his detractors because the mix of religion and gays is a subject many people refuse to talk about. He said he also is speaking out through film because numerous people have told him they overcame their own same-sex attractions after hearing his faith testimony.
“I remember being a kid and wondering if change (from same-sex attraction) is possible. Not only were people afraid to talk about it, they just never did,” he said. “This is such a firebrand subject.”
Jernigan said the documentary and the related book are his way of sharing another side of the story that gays and gay advocacy group proclaim about being gay. He said he has been told over the years that he has been “brainwashed” by the Christian faith community that believes being gay is a sin.
However, Jernigan said he is entitled to share his beliefs just as gay advocates are entitled to share theirs.
“They are celebrated when they ‘come out of the closet' into homosexuality, yet we are chastised when we come out of homosexuality into heterosexuality. I see that as a double standard,” he said. “The Word says ‘let the redeemed of the Lord say so,' and I say so.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton said the message of “Sing Over Me” appears to be the idea that being gay is some type of disorder, but it is not. He said several professional associations, including the American Medical Association, American Pediatric Association and American Psychological Association, have said “so-called ex-gay therapy is not only useless but it is extremely harmful.”
“Addiction is a disease, sexual orientation is not,” Hamilton said. “I see something like this as nothing more than horrifying propaganda.”
Jernigan said the documentary's premiere in Tulsa will include praise and worship, the documentary screening and a question-and-answer session in which he will speak.