Who will be the judge, the Bible or the Constitution?
Section 9 of South Africa’s Constitution, entitled “Equality”, states that: “(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
The constitution further says: (4) “No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3).”
This is the same Constitution hailed as most progressive in the world, and one that is the first in the world to prohibit unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Yet on Sunday at Grace Bible Church in Soweto, a visiting Pastor in his sermon is quoted as saying “there is nothing like homosexuality in nature”. The Ghanaian pastor is said to have labelled homosexuality “sinful” and “disgusting”.
Media personality Somizi Mhlongo took to social media after walking out of Grace Bible church offended by the comments in the sermon. Mhlongo went on further to say that what disturbed him, even more, was the cheering from the congregation some of whom are gay.
In response to the outrage the church’s Reverend Ezekiel Mathole said that while “some gay people were offended”, homosexuality was not the only thing visiting Bishop Dag Heward-Mill talked about.
According to Mathole, the pastor’s remarks were part of a sermon about dealing with “issues of the value of the soul”. In the sermon, the pastor is said to also have spoken to smokers and people who have multiple partners who were also offended when their lifestyles were questioned.
I think, after all, is said and done I was more worried about the way the church responded to the outrage over the comments. For me, Reverend Mathole’s response does nothing to defuse the situation. To me, Christianity or the church is a safe haven, where you will not be judged based on who you are. In fact, I think teachings say, come as you are, which for me means that whatever your flaws and imperfections you will be accepted into that community.
If you cannot worship as you are well, maybe walk away.
This is how twitter reacted…
Also, one can’t reason with these homophobic Christians so it’s really better to just leave them and their churches. #GraceBibleChurch
— Cassandra ? (@MsCassandraGud) January 22, 2017
Acts 5:29 (CEV) “Peter and the apostles replied: We don’t obey people. We obey God.” #GraceBibleChurch
— Lutendo (@Ltd10_) January 23, 2017
— Phuti Radipere (@PhutiRadi) January 22, 2017
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