WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church?I welcome Dr Lazarus Castang’s position that Christians shouldn’t sin by mistreating homosexuals whether in or outside of the church. He presents an effective ethical cohesion between meaning and message (Love the homosexual or homosexuality, or both, or neither?)

Despite deeply embedded in a pluralistic society, Dr Castang builds upon a solid spiritual foundation in his response to homosexuality and the Caribbean church. His agenda, though full of promise and excitement, is bloated with difficulties. He admits that the mere declaration of heterosexual norm isn’t a therapeutic deliverance to rise above experiences that ostracize.

Yet, he implies a pastoral dilemma. The sin of homosexual practice must be staunchly condemned as part of proclaiming the restorative gospel that is appropriated by faith. Dr Castang fuses the power of God to overcome homosexual practice with surrender and obedience of those practicing homosexuals who are convinced by the gospel. Since God’s gift of righteousness ushers in a new sexual ethic, spiritual transformation of homosexuals is both possible and desirable.

My position is that such a response should have two chief pillars: the cultivation of Christian compassion for those who struggle with homosexuality, such that the expression of Christian love could be experienced in tangible behaviours. And structures of restoration within the church that provide spiritual support for gays and lesbians in their sincere quest to serve the Lord. These pillars should operate on the individual and organizational levels.

Dr Castang’s first difficulty is helping Christians marry Biblical profession with practice. Both fact and value or personal piety and social ethics can be too easily overlooked when gays and lesbians come to church hand-in-hand. This difficulty increases tenfold, when church-grown homosexuals (those whose childhood socialization are rooted in their Christian orientation) desire to stay in church without any need of conversion.



If healing souls, saving lives and providing hope for eternal life defines the church’s core functions, Dr Castang’s second difficulty is to flesh out the impact of the church’s call to sexual holiness without displaying an attitude of polluting the sanctuary to homosexuals, especially when they wish to be a part of the family of God.

The Caribbean church has a lot of homework. It will now have to respond to the challenges of connecting the principle of hating the sin with loving the sinner in ways that enrich congregational life. Genuine worship requires more than just declarations and teachings; it demands spiritual conversion of habit, motive and attitude as well.

This creates a whole new practical/ethical frontier. For now, let’s bracket the question: Can the Caribbean church be faithful to heterosexual norm in ways that invites all those who suffer from sexual sins to find solace in presence of God? Most Christians are still far from sexual wholeness and cannot claim it through mere personal ethical response, however valuable that response is. Yet ministering to gays and lesbians who are sitting in the pews will keep the church busy and animated with wrath, frowning, and disgust, for a long time to come.

Dr Castang consistently condemns homosexuality but his call for faithful examples of Christ-like virtues in the treatment of homosexuals is strong. Now, let’s take a real life look inside the church, to see whether church members mirror extensions of the love ethics that rejects homosexuality while stressing solidarity with the power of God to welcome “whosoever will” to the church.

Real Life Scenario: Two lesbians walk into the church on a glorious Sabbath or Sunday morning or two young church men openly confess that they are gays during a spirited worship service. Reactions from the pew -- Welcome them? Avoid them? Show them open hostility? Ask them to leave? Moralize them? Patronize them? Embrace them?

Reactions from the pulpit -- Preach against them? Embrace them? Condemn them? Invite them back? Study with them? Refuse to interact with them? Ask them to leave? Expose them to God’s wrath? Show them God’s love? Publicly chide them as sinners to be cast into lake of fire?

Would the “faithful” see sin as the homosexuals? Would grace-filled church worshippers be able to separate the sin from the sinner? If the pastor embraces them, would the pastor be supporting a culture of vice over the morality of God? What if the pastor is homosexual? What if homosexuals ask to be married in the church? What if homosexuals desire to hold a leadership office? Very soon, the Caribbean church will have to address these issues squarely.

Those homosexuals who wish to serve the Lord with their sexual identities intact, should they open up their own church? Are the signs of God’s disapproval expressed best against the sexual immorality as opposed to gossip, ruthlessness, deceit, bad mindedness, backbiting and all other forms of relational corruption that exist in the church?

Since moral admonition has no power to save anyone that insists upon it, Dr Castang need to share how could the church stop applauding unchristian attitudes that alienate homosexuals far more than heterosexuals, who violate the sexual morality that the church promotes. Perhaps Dr Castang should tease out the actions the Caribbean church is failing to take to help churchgoers practice what they preach regarding the manifestation of the love of God towards homosexuals or any other person in church traumatized by trials and shortcomings.

If the church is a hospital then when the people in church won’t live right, what shall we do? Let the church roll on? Ultimately, the church’s ethical desire should not compromise the duty of the Caribbean state to affirm an inclusive democracy for all ‘Caribbeaners.’

Christian practice/pastoral response is never the fruit of spontaneity but of genuine sanctification of mind, religious space, and human relations. This implies transformation of structures and attitudes that depart from a spirit-filled intimacy with God for every member in the congregation.

Can the Caribbean church say Amen or Halleluiah when homosexuals come to church or when they stay in the church and refuse to come out in the open? The church has to continue to in all its activities to be abundant in mercy, sober in judgment and passionate about the world to come while groaning with those who suffer from all forms of sexual immorality without downplaying its ethical principles.

Dr Isaac Newton is an international leadership and change management consultant and political adviser who specialises in government and business relations, and sustainable development projects. Dr Newton works extensively in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, leadership, political, social, and faith-based issues


See related stories:

Love the Homosexual or Homosexuality, or Both, or Neither

The Caribbean Church Coming Out of the Closet on Homosexuality

The Unbridgeable Moral Divide Between the Caribbean Church and Homosexuals

Revisiting Homosexuality in the Caribbean

 

Hits: 2296

12 Comments In This Article   

HEADER   

...gangsters too....

#12 Jumbee Picknee » 2014-03-11 01:04

@ Phil Roberts, enlighten me...
5000 years from now, as the acceptance of such behavioral traits becomes the norm...
a...how do we as huemans reproduce, by science i.e. cloning, bionic...the Animal Farm where Wilbur the Pig is the President and Miss ** Cat in cowboy boots and G-string collecting the tithes.

b...will gangsters be able to make the same argument, based on the scientific principle of ''survival of the fittest." Charles Darwin's principles of life's existence...by that time, the greater grand-grand-grand children of the mask men terrorizing Antigua, will just walk into the congregation, look at you, not you in particular but 'You' as in the subject, take your wife and make love to her in front of the congregation.

c...racists will now be able to spit white phlegm on niggaz with the hopes of covering them in a new white gown ready to be baptized, No water needed, enough phlegm is available?

Remember, traits, characteristics, behavior patterns which are all of the aforementioned have always been a fact of huemanity, and over time, they have become the norm.

Gad, me a ask you, fu hab mercy, pan me cousin Percy and me likkle country...
4
0
+
−

Jumbee Picknee

RE: Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

#11 J james. » 2014-03-10 22:58

Scriptures say in times of Ignorance God winks. May he have mercy on all our souls.SMH.
2
0
+
−

J james.

@ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

#10 King Solomon » 2014-03-10 13:43

Well said. I think that this topic is nothing new under the sun. Since creation and thereafter Moses for instance was troubled by the way the people behaved in the wilderness and God helped to set up his rules. Moses was given the 10 commandments written by God himself to be followed by the kindread. All the Theologs in the land need to do is to preach the gospel and point out the sins of the land and let the people prostrate before Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness. The scriptures won't be changed to accommodate our desires. God made it clear to Moses who is in control of the earth and the universe what must be done. The preachers must preach the word and all the people must obey God. God's word will not be changed to suit anyone. Amen
3
2
+
−

King Solomon

RE: Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

#9 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-03-10 13:22

A religious leader cannot and should not choose which Sins he stands before his congregation and expound upon inorder not to hurt someones feelings. His sole duty is to minister to all and to point out wrongs and Sins according to the Bible,if someone is hurt by those teachings it is his/her perogative to exit and dont return,or accept and turn from that Sin,and i speak here of all and any sin. As for a Church marrying two persons of the same sex,,if i am a member of that particular congregation i would not return to listen to that particular minister preach to me about wrong & Right. @Rasta, i fully agree with you.
4
2
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

RE: Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

#8 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-03-10 13:10

The church should invite the homosexual back to worship and try to minister with them one on one with the intent of getting them converted,ie the MO should be to help that person recognize His/Her sins and to conform to the ways of the teachings of Christ and the Bible as a whole,since the Church is a body of people whose Mission is to win Souls for the Kindgdom .No congregation no matter which, has the authority to turn any one out of the church,no matter the Sin. However, it is my humble,non-theology learned opinion,that an open gay person, who refuses to conform to the bibilical format of creation,meaning "Male& Female Made he them" Then that person should hold no position whatsoever in the Church, the Church leaders can continue to minister to them for as long as they desire to do so, but it is also their duty to openly Condenm Sin.
4
2
+
−

ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

RE: Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

#7 NAMELESS » 2014-03-10 09:56

Mr. Phil Roberts, well said! Dr Newton great piece AGAIN!!! Thank you
3
4
+
−

NAMELESS

@ Phil Roberts

#6 Dessalines » 2014-03-10 08:46

Well said. I've always maintained that religion in general and Christianity in particular is the 600 lb gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. We indoctrinate our children with lies and superstition which follows them to adulthood and informs their views of the world we live in. On becoming adults some go on to be politicians and policy makers that enact policies that reflect this false doctrine. The clergy bears responsibility for stigmatizing some in our society through their obsession with sex. The liar, adulterer, fornicator and thief gets a pass but sex (the only known method of procreation) is demonized so they can maintain the lucrative 'save souls' industry as it's the one thing from which we all need saving.
4
5
+
−

Dessalines

Dr Newton On The Right Track 4

#5 Phil Roberts » 2014-03-10 08:19

A worldview based on ignorance is unlikely to be enlightened, regardless of its religious cloak. We are on the wrong side of history on the issue of homosexuality. But as noted by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss “Ultimately, reality trumps ideology. It takes time—in some cases clearly thousands of years—but when human civilizations creates laws, often based on outmoded religious thinking, that violate the fundamental laws of nature as revealed by our emerging scientific knowledge, these human laws inevitably can’t compete.”
6
5
+
−

Phil Roberts

Dr Newton On The Right Track 3

#4 Phil Roberts » 2014-03-10 08:19

Your obvious discomfort with this maltreatment is widely shared and is one of the keys to overcoming what Castang views as an unbridgeable divide. Many people now feel uncomfortable with their cruel treatment of homosexuals and that discomfort is propelling the rapid changes in enlightened societies. It was the ugliness of whites savagely assaulting blacks in the US and South Africa that helped to turn opinion against those barbaric practices. The Caribbean, like Uganda, Nigeria, and other bastions of intolerance will continue to feel ostracism when such intolerance is displayed. Jamaican reggae artists have learned this the hard way.

Sadly, the Caribbean’s uninformed view of sexuality is likely a reflection of our scientific semi-literacy as seen in our poor performance in science and mathematics. We are a society shackled by the mental slavery of religion in a world being propelled by rapid advances in science and technology.
6
5
+
−

Phil Roberts

Dr Newton On The Right Track 2

#3 Phil Roberts » 2014-03-10 08:17

The Bible is wrong in justifying slavery, the mistreatment of women, the burning of people labeled as witches. It is wrong about the sun revolving around the earth, that the universe was created in six days, that light and day and night appeared three days before the sun was created. It is wrong about the millions of species and the many races resulting form one race and one pair of every “kind” of animal, including polar bears and penguins, saved in a big boat from a flood that destroyed life on earth. The Bible is wrong about homosexuality. The Christian Caribbean is wrong about homosexuality, and its continued condemnation and mistreatment of homosexuals, in spite of the overwhelming evidence against its position, is immoral.

The people who wrote the Bible were scientifically illiterate and are wrong about so many things. How can anyone in the twenty first century bind themselves to the strictures of people so ignorant and wicked to condemn homosexuals to death, and who committed acts of genocide and abuse of virgin girls? Why would anyone want to be on the same side as those who today perpetrate this savagery against many Africans because they are, naturally, homosexual?
6
6
+
−

Phil Roberts

Dr Newton On The Right Track 1

#2 Phil Roberts » 2014-03-10 08:14

Dr. Newton, your attempt at stimulating discussion of this important and timely issue - the treatment of homosexuals by Caribbean Christians - is admirable and heartening. It is coming against a backdrop of rapid progress in respecting homosexuals’ human rights in much of the developed world; and regress in many other countries like Nigeria and Uganda. Some societies are marching forward in enlightenment and others backward in ignorance, guided by their religion.

You seem uncomfortable with the way your Christian brethren treat homosexuals; but, are they not reflecting the hateful teaching of the Bible to reject them and kill them?

Neither you nor Dr. Castang address the overwhelming scientific evidence that a person’s sexual orientation is a normal aspect of human sexuality, and biologically determined, as asserted by major scientific organizations including the American Psychological Association and the Royal College of P**s. Homosexuality occurs naturally in a wide range of animals. If this is so, how can you label homosexuality, the behaviour springing from a person’s natural sexual orientation, as immoral (a sin)? Had the Bible not condemned homosexuality, would this be an issue today?
8
6
+
−

Phil Roberts

RE: Guess Who is Openly Coming to the Caribbean Church- Gays and Lesbians

#1 Rasta » 2014-03-10 05:37

God knows we won't be tolerating that kinds here on the pulpits so if they come here they going right back where they come from.
5
3
+
−

Rasta

Add comment

Dr.Isaac Newton

Dr. newtonDr. Isaac Newton is an International Leadership and Change Management Consultant and Political Adviser. He specializes in Government and Business Relations and Sustainable Development Projects. Dr. Newton works extensively in West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and is a graduate of Oakwood College, Harvard, Princeton and Columbia. He has published several books on personal development and written many articles on economics, education, leadership, political, social, and faith based issue

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 Opinions by Dr. Isaac Newton

App

Android LogoDownload Caribarena's Android App Click To Download

Find us on Twitter!