Seek repentance for homosexuality, other sins- church leaders
A number of local church leaders are stating firmly that while they have no problem with persons who commit sinful acts, the acts themselves cannot be accepted and repentance should be sought.
Homosexuality, they say, is one such act.
"It's a very sensitive and explosive issue because as a nation, we have not come around to fully embracing the gay rights movement. We accept them as individuals, but we still reject the practices in which they are engaged as it is something that they should seek repentance for," Reverend Dr Dennis Mckoy of the Harbour View Church of God told The Gleaner yesterday.
"Just like adultery, fornication, stealing, or lying, people should acknowledge that it is something wrong. We do not regard it as something that is acceptable in the sight of God. It is something that we need repentance and atonement for," he added.
He went on to state that he believed homosexuality was not a genetically determined behaviour, but instead, a learned behaviour that could be changed.
"All of us are guilty of wrongdoings, but what we need to do is acknowledge it for reparation as we totally reject the practice, but we do not reject the individual. We are not into committing foul acts such as burning them as that is not what God has called us for, but the individual must acknowledge his or her wrongdoing."
Andrea Meikle, wife of pastor Hugh Meikle from The Potter's House United Pentecostal Church of God Jamaica, shared views similar to those of McKoy.
"I really believe that we all should be treated fairly; however, there are some who would think otherwise. We are all humans, and many of us act contrary. However, as a church, we are here to keep those in the Kingdom of God. It doesn't matter your lifestyle, you could be a gunman or a lesbian, the Church is the place for you," she said.
"The fact of the matter is that I think the Church needs to cater to the spiritual needs of those persons who are living these types of lifestyles. If God can touch that inner part, then I believe there can be change. We need to treat them fairly as the Lord encourages us to love, a love which is broad and covers all," Meikle continued.