Stick To Winning Souls, Church! ………………

Well a letter writer to the Gleaner has echoed a sentiment I have been expressing for years literally via my blogs as I feel the church as a movement (not a money making machine via psyche) has lost its way and is too busy not doing its core function, case in point lately the hypocritical call for the stopping of Sunday racing and of course the uproar from the promise by current Prime Minister to review the buggery law and a conscience vote.

Interestingly this business of horse racing on Sundays has been coming since 2009, here is another old post I had done on the matter with reference to a letter from the Jamaica Observer:

here is the letter from the Gleaner today:

Stick To Winning Souls, Church!

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Council of Churches and other religious groups are exercising their right in opposing horse racing on Sundays.

The churches are fully entitled to demand action and inaction from the Government. However, the Government has a responsibility to maintain the separation of Church and State. Jamaica is a secular state.

That being the case, the Government should allow various groups to conduct their affairs as they see fit, provided their activities are in compliance with the laws of Jamaica.

Over the years, operators of small bars and clubs have been forced by law to close their businesses on Sundays.

At the same time, the large supermarkets are allowed to open their doors on Sundays and sell every type of liquor from Sunday morning until Sunday night. This is a form of discrimination.

If the operators of the Caymanas Track Ltd desire to have horse racing on Sunday, they should be permitted to do so.

The Council of Churches should follow the lead of the Seventh-day Adventists who have got the approach right. The position of the Seventh-day Adventists is that their core function is to win over believers to Christ. They are, therefore, not relying on Government to force people away from sinful activities and into their church.

The Church should stick to its core function of winning souls. I believe that the religious leaders who oppose gambling should take it as a challenge to convince the members of the public to come to their church on Sundays instead of going to the Caymanas Park.

The Church and the State should be kept apart, as their functions are different, and any merger will not only be inconsistent with our constitutional arrangements but will constitute a grave danger to those of us who are not members of the denomination with which the State has merged.

LINTON P. GORDON

Ocho Rios, St Ann

lpgordon@cwjamaica.com

ENDS

In June 2009 among other things I had posted on Gay Jamaica Watch:

“I thought the church was about winning souls for Christ no matter who that soul is, including gays and lesbians, wasn’t Jesus for inclusion instead some of the “intellectuals” within the church exercise their bigoted thoughts openly setting all these preconditions before the “sinner” can even see the church door.

What about come as you are and God loves you?

Most churches dismiss persons once they are found to be gay or lesbian with little or any care, isn’t that defeating the purpose of what Christ decreed we as saved persons should do…..”go ye into the world and preach the gospel……” not condemn people because they don’t fit your Utopian view of the world.

Sad that this is what we have become, one wonders if the church by it’s actions of some of who say they are saved are giving more power to the enemy notable atheists and the anti Christ supporters when we behave with some harsh discrimination, during the conversation by the way the young man said that the pastor some Sundays ago of a church he attended said he wanted no offerings from gays. So we can now decide who want offerings from, wow.

Makes me wonder if the church and biblical doctrine is used by some to forward homophobic as well as other discriminatory views maybe that explains the attrition from it’s halls and corridors as most young people aren’t even interested in going to church these days.

As for using the bible as a beating stick over the heads of “sinners” is just plain wrong to me. Famous among the quotes is Leviticus 20: 13

GOOD NEWS VERSION:
“If a man has sexual relations with another man they have done a disgusting thing and both shall be out to death, They are responsible for their own death”

The book also speaks of incest, having sex with a woman while she is seeing her period or sleeping with animals etc.
I understood these rules to be of the old covenant and they were intended for the ceremonies of ancient Israel as issued to Moses, The main theme of the book is to emphasis holiness of God and the ways in which the people were to worship and live to maintain holiness with God of Israel. I haven’t seen anything on lesbianism in it.
I stand corrected though if you know more help me out, I am just adding my two cents but I would have thought we are now under grace not law.

Most of these books of the Bible that do speak to homosexuality never mentioned it as if God himself said it but then again he said love thy neighbour as thyself, judge not and ye shall not be judged. Romans for example was Paul’s way of introducing himself to the Romans in Rome his plan was to work among them there and then gather support then move on to Spain. He wrote to explain his understanding of the christian faith and it’s practical implications for the lives of Christians. While he covers the rules, conscience and holy living an underlying theme that seems to run through the book is not judging each other, something that the church these days seem to forget.

Wasn’t the book of Leviticus supposed to be a set of guidelines for the Hebrews after they left the hard hands of the Egyptians under slavery? being nation-less as it were seeking to form some sense of order via this set of laws also known as the holiness codes.”
Bishop Everton Thomas from the Emmanuel Apostolic Church also weighed in on the matter but said the Jamaica Observer misquoted him on a radio program that some of what he said were not his words but he was presenting other views, this is instructive however as a major voice of the clergy has come out critiquing the very clergy:

Bishop says church’s stance on gambling hypocritical

Their lack of understanding the issues is also glaring from religious voices opposing supposed homosexuality as was evidenced in another letter this time from the Jamaica Observer:

Save us from the ravages of buggery

Dear Editor,

What in the name of God and His Son Jesus Christ is the urgency to change a law that has offered our boys a little protection from the male predators who have carted them to their apartments and for a few dollars have often damaged them physically?

What is it that makes it a priority for the perverted preference of a minority in this nation to have their way while thousands of these little boys are going to their beds hungry and because of that hunger are easy prey?

A high-ranking clergyman is quoted as saying that the buggery law will be changed this year. Is this a political favour for funds received? Is this the price of political power? What is it?

Have we, as a nation, gone so mad with greed and lust that we would sacrifice our bodies and souls on the altar of perversity? Can we endure the wrath of God almighty?

My dear Sister P, is this what you offer to God who brought you to where you are?

I appeal to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, while you give us jobs to save us from poverty, save us also from the ravages of buggery and the related agenda of the buggers.

Suzette Douglas

benaiahone@hotmail.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Save-us-from-the-ravages-of-buggery_10708026#ixzz1lhFFUbRQ

The fear and paranoia that is caused when these matters are commented on by persons opposed to homosexuality in general just chokes whatever discourse that ought to take place, with supposed cures or reparative therapy for stopping persons from being gay when such therapies as proven over and over only slow down behaviour while instilling shame in the individual but does not change ones orientation.

also see:  The hypocritical and opportunist religous right

Peace and tolerance

H

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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