WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

Unbridgeable Moral Divide From a pastoral perspective, I intend to respond to Dr Newton’s nuanced and provocative article on homosexuality.

His article cannot be read in a straight line because ambivalence washes ashore from its ominous billows. Its circuitous path demonstrates his empathic sensitivity to the delicate balance that must be maintained between personal freedoms and Christian values, between individual sexual preferences and social conscience, and between church accommodation and state protection.

The central thrust of Dr Newton’s article is twofold: (1) For state protection of homosexual rights by legal and social muscular enforcement; and (2) For the Caribbean church to protect homosexual rights by addressing its prejudices and inconsistencies. Dr Newton is on the right path in insisting that on the principles of democracy the human rights of the homosexual should be protected by Caribbean lawmakers and politicians. I also share his idea that the Caribbean church should defend its theology of heterosexual norms on moral grounds with empathy and caring, and that the approval of God must always trump popular opinion and customs.



Dr Newton’s article provides correctives to the Caribbean church and state, and portrays homosexuals as suffering victims of prejudicial laws, social harassment and strong religious intolerance. He seems to say that the Caribbean church and state have negatively impacted homosexual rights and personal feelings, but left unsaid how homosexual issues have affected Caribbean church and state. Nonetheless, he acknowledges the raging tensions over homosexuality in the Caribbean.

The golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated,” applies to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals. Homosexuals are humans and citizens like heterosexuals and in need of respect, love, protection, and personal acceptance. Their human rights must be defended by the church as well as the state. The fear by religious individuals or politicians that the defence of the human rights of homosexuals is a virtual promotion of their sexual relations is unfounded. The baby should not be thrown away with the bathwater. If the baby is their human rights, then the bathwater is their sexual relations.

That their sexual relations and practices with members of the same sex are their personal right is undeniable, but these drive us to the heart of the issue between homosexuals and the Caribbean church. The sexual preference of the homosexual is biblically prohibited for the majority of Christendom. Except the church explains away the biblical prohibition against homosexuality, or homosexuals renounce their sexual practices, an unbridgeable moral divide remains. If homosexuals believe that God has naturally gifted them with same sex-partners, but the Caribbean church believes that divine injunction and creation order are unsupportive of such lifestyle, then conflict is inevitable.

Moreover, treatment of homosexuals as outcasts, garbage, criminals, or human demons by religious folks is unhelpful for their self-worth and personal security and for Christian evangelization. Fundamentally, such approach is unchristian. Conversely, for gay activists to name-call the church community bigots, homophobes, hate-mongers and hypocrites misses the mission-function of the church as a change agent, a thermostat, regulating and changing the temperature of the world, and as the salt of the earth to preserve it from moral corruption.

The divine mandate to the church ought to supersede cultural countercurrents and trends, or what is perceived as a biological constraint. That’s why the unbridgeable moral divide between the Caribbean church and practicing homosexuals is unavoidable. Christian morality will continue to be staunchly defended by the Caribbean church and alternative sexual preference by committed homosexuals.

Any attempt to bridge this moral divide will either water down biblical sexual morality thus giving moral legitimacy to homosexuality or only daydream Christian evangelization and therapeutic transformation of the homosexual movement into a heterosexual or celibate movement. Bunching homosexual relations and practices under human rights does not increase its chances of moral acceptance by the Caribbean church. The Caribbean church opposes homosexuality primarily because of religious and moral convictions, but homosexuals affirm it primarily because of biological and/or psychological convictions.

The democratic state should and can neither force the church to accept homosexuality, nor compel homosexuals to accept the moral stance of the church against homosexual practice. Nor should homosexuals through social pressure or economic boycott be coerced to conform to or accept heterosexual relations. Freedom of choice is embedded in the principles of democracy as well as in the Gospel of Christ (“Whosoever will”).

Since homosexuals cannot convince the Caribbean church to favourably regard their sexual preference, and the Caribbean church cannot lead all homosexuals to abandon their lifestyle, then some sort peaceful coexistence is all that is feasible. However, such peaceful coexistence is fragile and tenuous at best. It will neither negate prophetic compassionate preaching against homosexual relations, nor prevent homosexual social protests and contention for acceptance of their sexual preference.


Those who audaciously demand full moral accommodation of homosexuality from the Caribbean church or total conversion of homosexuals are embarked on a wild-goose-chase engagement. While the Caribbean church should fight to mitigate or eliminate unjust treatment of homosexuals, homosexuals must be prepared to take full responsibility for the consequences of their lifestyle in Caribbean societies that frown upon homosexuality. The church should not accept blame for the social consequences of the homosexual lifestyle, except it actively engages in imposing such consequences, or remains mute in the face of moral injustice.

The God-given role of the church is to condemn sin, but love the sinner. God himself makes this moral distinction in His dealing with us sinful humans. However, there is a clash of perspectives since homosexuals may not regard homosexual practice and relations as sin, and hating and condemning the sin of homosexuality may be tantamount to hating and condemning homosexuals in the minds of homosexuals and in the minds and practices of some religious persons. This psychological rift accentuates the unbridgeable moral divide. On the flip side, a constructive distinction must be maintained between the human being and the sexual orientation/identity of the human being. Sexual orientation can change or remain unexpressed without the cessation the humanness of homosexuals.

Despite the moral chasm between the Caribbean church and homosexuals, the divine mandate is to love all humans no matter their religion or sexual preference. While the Caribbean church is to fearlessly uphold the moral requirements of the Word of God for private or public human life, it must do so with Christ-like humility, kindness, and care for the well-being of homosexuals and heterosexuals.

The Caribbean church cannot demonstrate a sense of justice or fulfill its God-given mission by harsh methods of harassment, persecution, and ridicule of any of God’s children, even if they place themselves beyond the reach of the church.

Dr Lazarus CastangDr Lazarus Castang is a licensed psychotherapist and an ordained SDA Minister of Religion. He holds a PhD in Old Testament, a Masters in Psychotherapy, and has completed studies in basic medical science. He has ministered to several communities in St Lucia, Barbados and the US and has provided therapy to individuals, couples and groups. He is a graduate of University of Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Andrews University in Michigan. He has written two theological books and several articles on social relations. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Hits: 1931

11 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

@thinking Big

#11 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-02-18 13:50

I am sure i made it clear that all Human should be treated with Dignity and fairness,A-L-L which includes Homosexuals. However for a professing minister to insinuate that someone who commit the act of sex outside of marriage in the normal manner that Sex was intended,(between Male& Female) is the same as sexual acts between two Men,that thought pattern does not sit well me me at all,i am almost sure it does not sit well with the Father either. Levitcus 20.13(new translation) clearly states.. "" If a man practices having Sex with another man as he should with another woman,both Men have commited a detestable act.They must be put to death,for they are guilty of a capital offense.. It goes against Gods purpose,therefore it should go against the Church in all aspects. The church has the biblical command to go out and seek souls,If a Homosexual is not praepared to change his life style then he should be openly condemed by the Church.There is no loving way of embracing a homo who decides that it is his right to be a homo. I have Homosexuals associations,as humans i care for them but i will never ever compromise my believe that its a wrong and perverted lifestyle.The only right they have is to be alive, and to gain employment and the Church should not hesitate to let them know that.
3
0
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

RE: The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

#10 Truth seeker. » 2014-02-18 13:17

And that i do intend to do.But when someone tells me that if i am not a member of any particular denomination or church that i will not see heaven,i take serious offence to that.Christianity is a personal issue between an individual and Jesus Christ,his own words said believe on his name and we shall be saved.I am not painting anyone i am just saying that to live christlike is not neccesarily to be a member of here or there.All this confusion is setting people against each other and dividing gods kingdom,it is a purpose defeating strategy designed by Satan to confuse,i perfer to know God for myself and have my own personal relationship with him.
0
3
+
−

Truth seeker.

Did you read the article?

#9 Thinking Big » 2014-02-18 12:33

Did any one of bloggers read the article carefully, thoughtfully and with your mind? The nonsense that you are saying has nothing to do with the meat of Dr. Castang's argument. He defends the church's position that homosexuality is wrong. But believes that the both the state and the church should protect individual choice and in effect, defend homosexuals rights.

His point is that because homosexuals and the church have two very different morality, never shall the two meet. However, he says that the church should not have one ethical behavior for people to violate sexual intimacy outside of marriage vs homosexuals sins.

Now tell me, what about this simply argument you don't understand?

Besides all of the bashing, why not address the issues raised in the article rather than shoot blindly in the wind?
0
4
+
−

Thinking Big

A Truth Seeker

#8 @Truth Seeker » 2014-02-18 12:19

We all have our lot with God. Don't paint the whole lot with one brush because of an unbiblical statement made by someone. Your job is to ensure that you "work yout your own salvation with fear and trembling"
3
1
+
−

@Truth Seeker

RE: The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

#7 Truth seeker. » 2014-02-18 11:40

Once i used to like listening to some SDA preachers until one day i took my two ears that God gave to me and heard one of them say straight up, If you are not a SDa you will not go to heaven.The greatest sin for them is not keeping the Sabbath. I have come to realize they are a bunch of self-righteous cult like hypocrites who really worship the Sabbath and not Jesus Christ.
1
4
+
−

Truth seeker.

Homosexuality is a sin

#6 Justice » 2014-02-18 10:07

To all homos, Keep on seasoning that body with fleshly lust. You will be perfect for a roasting with the devil in hell's fire.
4
0
+
−

Justice

Lets follow the Bible

#5 Human Rights » 2014-02-18 07:06

This is what the Preacher needs to say. 1 Corinthians 6;Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters,nor adulterers,nor homosexuals,nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." So homosexuality is "wrong" and a sin because it is against God's perfect design. It is contrary to His nature, a "perversion" of a gift He gave us. Please don't take the term "perversion" wrong. It merely means that the original version was changed in the wrong way and considered the same. Also, if God calls it sin, He doesn't hate the person who choses it, but wishes to give them an even more amazing path to walk with Him. Pastor, “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." (Matthew 19:4-6). He did not create man for man or woman for woman. We are not against homosexuals because they were born Black, Yellow or White etc.
4
0
+
−

Human Rights

@Richards

#4 Sodom » 2014-02-18 06:43

Its philosophical. Same way the learned Pharisees behaved. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Men with men women with women will never be acceptable in God's eye no matter how men philosophies. Sodom and Gommorah was put in the Bible as a clear guide for the church to deal with homosexuals. The church should point to this reading in the Bible and there goes the answer to this confused behavior.
4
0
+
−

Sodom

RE: The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

#3 RICAHRDS. » 2014-02-17 23:07

So when a parent shows tough love to their Children and sometimes have them removed from their lives because of some life-style that may be unacceptable to the Parents standards, Christian or Non-Christian,Does that mean that the Parent do not love the Child? The Church has no Biblical obligation whatsoever to embrace Homosexuality.The church is responsible for ministering to the Sinner not to accept the sinners way as acceptable because they are different. Little wonder the world is in such chaos.Christ did not have a PHD,God does not require degrees of us,he requires true godliness from the heart,Sorry,this man sounds confused.
4
0
+
−

RICAHRDS.

RE: The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

#2 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-02-17 14:50

This article appears to be filled with compromising under-tones for the acceptance of Homo-sexuality. Although i agree that all humans shoud be treated with dignity and fairness,the role of the Church is to call wrong wrong and right right. No way should any true Christian accept Homo-sexuality as just a biological difference or Sexual preference.The bible says it is an abomination,to the normal man it goes beyond creation .A church,s duty is to seek souls for Heaven,a place the Creator told us that Homo-sexuls can enter in their present state. The Church then should preach nothing more/less than what the Bible teaches ie That Homo-sexuality is an Abomination in the sight of God.. Leave the Human rights stuff to the Politicians and the Courts.
6
0
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

Religious Intolerance but WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

#1 Follower of Christ » 2014-02-15 08:44

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. [Matthew 23:23-24] Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [Matthew 23:13] The learned Pharisees who could not tolerate Jesus because he sits and eat with sinners were useless on the ground. Jesus was kind and friendly to all and mostly hanged out with those the Pharisees despised. Jesus acknowledges their true condition and came down to where they are and fixed their issues with his supernatural heavenly power to help. Astoundingly, these were the same people living with the Pharisees all their lives but the Pharisees turned their faces and walked away. Yet, those Pharisees claimed they were doing what saints were supposed to do, walk upright with God Almighty. Go and do likewise.
5
3
+
−

Follower of Christ

Add comment

Follow us on Facebook

Spotlight on Education

Previous Next
Govt to give Two Uniforms
Antigua St. John's - Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro has confirmed...  Read more

Latest Opinion Pieces

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!