Jamaican gay church stirring controversy

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Pastors in Jamaica are finding themselves fighting a new enemy to the traditional Christian doctrine of sexuality. And its coming from a church plant (literally) of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), a US based gay christian denomination. GCM Watch first reported on the MCC’s church plant here.

A story in the Jamaica Gleaner contends the pastors have placed themselves in this delimma because of their failure to adequately deal with homosexuality in their churches.

As a result, the gay church is mobilizing homosexuals in a country where churches had previously ignored the issue. In Jamaican society, homosexuals have allegedly endured widespread persecution, but the Jamaican church remained silent.

The article is  very interesting one to me, because for three consecutive years, I traveled to Jamaica, teaching and training young people to do what their churches had not done (click thumbnail for full graphic). Several churches, like Fellowship Tabernacle mentioned in the story, supported the outreach wholeheartedly.  While evangelizing in Jamaica, I met many young people who had gay friends and sincerely wanted to help them. But that help had not been fully embraced by the religious society there. So it created a conflict.

The injection of the gay church there has only exacerbated that conflict because now, those who struggle with homosexuality are being presented with a false option to resolve it.

Of course, like here in America, the church is divided about homosexuality. Some believe even acknowledging the issue is a consession of its legitimacy, while others want acknowledgement to foster legitimacy.

The head of the Jamaica Council of Churches  said homosexuality was an “emerging concern in the modern church which denominations would have to face head-on.”

“No church representative can say they don’t have the issue, it was always part of society but has become more rampant in modern society,” said Rev. Karl Johnson.

We are in agreement with Pastor Al Miller of Fellowship Tabernacle (who by the way has a fantastic choir)

The Rev Al Miller, pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle, said homosexuality was inconsistent with fundamentalist biblical values. He said his church was involved in restorative therapy to alter their sexual urges.

“We try to redeem persons and restore them by establishing a personal relationship with them and God so they can overcome soon,” he said.

“A number of homosexuals recover, as the power of redemptive work can break free any barrier. It’s a reality and though it’s contrary to the word of God, persons have to accept it and deal with it,” he said.

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4 thoughts on “Jamaican gay church stirring controversy

  1. I just read an article in the latest edition of Essence magazine (don’t ask, my wife still has a subscription and it was the only magazine in…anyway,back to the topic) about how homosexuals are beaten and robbed in Jamaica by angry mobs. What struck me was the tone of the religious leaders quoted in the article (I’ll have to find their names and return to post them later). According to the article, they all seemed to have the posture of “Oh well, they desreved it” and “the reports of violence are greatly exagerated”.

    Having said that, I’m frankly surprised that a gay church would “plant” a location in Jamaica, giving the propencity for violence. Further, since you visited the island to evangelize – are the stories of violence truly exaggerated? It goes without question that I categorically reject violence against homosexuals, and the apathy of such violence from the religious community. Homosexuality is a sin – a sin that is forgivable. We should not reject a repentant sinner, but we should reject any and all violence as a means of “disciplining” the sinner.

  2. ST, I went to pretty much all of Kingston and visited some areas of Ocho Rios. I saw what could be termed as openly gay men and some of them were actually in some stages of drag. Not once in those times I visited did I personally witness any violent acts against homosexuals. Of course I was in the “urban” landscape and I dont know what it was like in the rural areas where the hostilities may be more inflamed.

    Jamaica has been dubbed the most homophobic place of earth by homosexual activists but in my view thats exaggeration. As you pointed out its rather strange that an openly homosexual church would be in the words of its founder successful if such rampant, out of control violence existed.

    No doubt, as in much of the Caribbean, homosexuality is completely unnacceptable, but again the widespread murder is unfounded. Even so, the church should have stepped into the gap with peace and an answer the those dealing with the issue, but by and large they did not.

  3. Jamaica is famous for many things. Our music, people, beaches, weed, # of churches per square mile, (# of rum bars per square mile too) and the probably the highest murder rate per
    100,000 in the world. If you check the stats, 99% of these murders and crimes are not committed against homosexuals…..yet we’re labelled as the most homophobic nation on earth.

    The truth is that very few Jamaicans hate people because they’re gay………and even fewer Jamaicans
    would mob and beat someone because they’re gay.
    If they molested a child, or try to openly hit on a militant straight man, or stole some cow&goats and got caught………….there will be a reaction.

    But enough of Jamaica already, how do they treat homosexuals in CHina? You know, the same China that hosted the 2008 Olympics.

  4. It is always very funny how reporters and other media personel see only the bad about Jamaica. I am very sure that we are not as viscious as people paint us to be. We are for the most part bery clear as to what we believe in and though I may not agree with everyones approach to resolving their dislikes, I surely dont agree with people or organizations who believe that they should enforce their preferences on other countries. If you know a society does not tolerate something why would you want to force them into accepting this practice/ Yes, we have our own problems with violence but we are still a very Bible believing and God fearing country who tries hard to abide by the rules outlined in the Bible, are we perfecting all the rules? No, so why would anyone want to add more to our plate and then further blacken us when we reject their ways that are not in keeping with our beliefs. As one writer states, there will be problems for homosexuals if they should hit on families and straight persons, they will react and it may not be pleasant, because we are very intense when it come to certain things. I have a son and I will tell you this , I have no prejudices against gay people , I do have friends who are gay and they know that I do not support their life style just as how I will not support any other friend of mine who become involved in any wrong doing, but I can assure you if someone hit on my son to try and convert him, it will not be very good. I am a firm believer that God did not create abyone gay, because it would make him, God a liar and He is not, my belief is that we have choices in life and some people choose to experiment and then to endorse they use the excuse I was born that way. However, it is a forgivable sin, like all other sins but the rule is the same when you repent of it you need to avaoid temptations that will pull you back to the lifestyle. I am sure it will not be easy but it is an attainable goal. The next thing is this, I like to envision things and from my biology knowledge, there is just alot of abnormal things about the whole act that todate no gay persons can fully explain. I do pray for them like I do for straigh sinning people in my inner circle but I will not behave as though it is ok, at the end of the day, we all have to say , what does God have to say about this/ and he surely doesnot support it.

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