Tue | Sep 19, 2017

No gay takeover - Church member says homosexuals should form own church

Published:Wednesday | December 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell washes the feet of a Jamaican lesbian, Jalna Broderick, during the service at the Christ Church in Vineyard Town, St Andrew, last Sunday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

Some members of the Christ Church in Vineyard Town, St Andrew, have vowed not to yield any more of their physical or spiritual space to members of the lesbian, gay, and transgender community, many of whom were in attendance at Sunday's morning service, which included a testimonial from a transgender individual, as well as the washing of the feet of two lesbians by resident Anglican priest Father Sean Major-Campbell.

"This thing haffi stop now!" one
member told The Gleaner yesterday. "It must stop
because no man of God would preach a sermon like that. No man of God
should preach about homosexuality in that manner. If you going preach
about it in that manner, you have to guh let adultery go; you have to
guh let go fornication (meaning they are all right). If the
homosexuality is all right, adultery and fornication must be okay,
too."

He continued: "Mi naw run from mi church, you
know, 'cause what you going do? Lef it give the gay dem fi tek it over?
Dem must go form dem own church, man! Whole heap a tent and schoolroom
and theatre deh all over. Mek them go form them own church!" he
declared.

The resolute Anglican said he had the
support of many others who remain steeped in the traditional values of
the old-time religion, which allows for tolerance of sinners but not
wholesale acceptance of their sins.

Major-Campbell, in
a hard-hitting sermon, highlighted some age-old issues, which he found
helpful in grounding his reflection in current realities, targeting
Christians and policymakers for their allegiance to rituals and systems,
while failing to serve the needy.

His sermon was
based on Isaiah 64:6: "We have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy
cloth."

Major-Campbell spoke to some of
those issues.

"Do we realise that the first quarter of
this century in Jamaica is being characterised by quarrels concerning
human sexuality, women's reproductive rights, and religious confusion?
Do we realise that many well-intentioned members of the Church do not
sufficiently understand the issues, and often, it is easier to just jump
on a bandwagon in an effort to appease the appetite to feel as if one
is doing God's will, and mission, and work?"

He
continued: "And so we now have a very divided and fractured Jamaica. Out
of many, we have one confusion! We are in the liturgical season of
Advent. It is a time when the lessons often invite us to rid ourselves
of anything that leads to unrighteousness and injustice. It is our
prayer that even as we celebrate human-rights on this second Sunday in
Advent, churches throughout Jamaica will become more sensitised to the
awareness of human-rights and justice concerns."

The
message resonated with Sonia King, also a long-time church member and
steadfast Anglican, who admits that she was caught off guard by Sunday's
turn of events.

"I was taken by surprise that those
people were there ... . We didn't know what to expect, but it didn't
offend me at all," she shared with The
Gleaner
.

Comfort to the
neglected

King explained that after reading about the
events on the day's programme, which included the washing of the feet of
a sex worker who did not show, she accepted it all as part of
Major-Campbell's ongoing efforts to offer comfort and solace to people
underserved and neglected by the society.

Though
unprecedented, she described this latest episode as consistent with
things the priest had done in the past in keeping with his expressions
of public demonstrations of love and Christian
service.

And for anyone who missed the main points of
his sermon, the priest had this to say:

"The essence
of the message is that God cares about those who suffer injustice and
persecution. The message at Advent also notes that worship without
justice is dead! In the Church, we have tended to do a good job talking
about justice and praying about it, but the time has come for us to
understand that 'we have become like one who is unclean, and all our
righteous deeds have become like a filthy
cloth'.

"Many of the influential and so-called learned
persons in the halls of power in this country are a brood of vipers,
religious though they may be. Jamaica is not short of persons with the
ability to heal and inspire, but like the Pharisees and Sadduccees,
many, like vipers, wait coiled in silence. They wait to strike but never
to be an agent of healing and
wisdom."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com