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.