Fri | Nov 24, 2017

More rejection of 'Intimate Conviction' - Another church group stands firm against repeal of buggery law

Published:Sunday | October 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
The Reverend Dr John Holder (right), Archbishop of the West Indies, listens to Lord Anthony Gifford during a coffee break on day one of the two-day Intimate Conviction conference last Thursday.

Yet another church group has come out against attempts by some Christians to spur the Government and civil society into softening their tones on the possible repeal of the buggery law.

The Independent Churches of Jamaica said that it "categorically disapproves of the agenda by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) people and their sympathisers, who are seeking to influence the repeal of the buggery act in Jamaica".

This follows statements from the Jamaica Evangelical Alliance (JEA) and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, which have distanced themselves from a just-concluded conference, Intimate Conviction, at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in St Andrew.

The conference drew on faith-based leaders from across the Commonwealth to have critical conversations about the role of the Church in making, retaining and repealing laws that impact LGBTQ people.

A release over the signature of the Reverend Orville Ramocan, public relations and communications director for the Independent Churches of Jamaica, slammed the homosexual lifestyle as anti-Christian and one that has no basis in Bible.

"The behavioural lifestyle of lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender and the group that classifies itself as queer, all have one thing in common; that is, they all are in violation of God's natural order," said Ramocan.

He cited Romans 1: 26 -28 to make his point: "That's why God abandoned them to degrading lust. Their females traded natural sexual relations for unnatural sexual relations." and "Also in the same way, the males traded natural sexual relations with females, and burned with lust for each other. Males performed shameful actions with males, and they were paid back with the penalty they deserved for their mistake in their own bodies."

According to Ramocan, the Independent Churches of Jamaica is praying sincerely that godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding will guide the courts in making the best decision for the nation under God, as clearly summed it up in our National Pledge.

Ramocan said that the conference held to evaluate the church's position on the repeal of the Buggery Act did not represent the Independent Churches of Jamaica or any part of its membership.

"Our position is clear; do not interfere with the buggery act. Leave it as it is," declared Ramocan.

Last week, Adventists communications officer Nigel Coke responded to an invitation to the conference by affirming his denomination's position, stating that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship between man and woman, and that this was a design by God at creation.

"The Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships," a release stated over the signature of Coke.

Things got worse for proponents and supporters of the dialogue to repeal effort, with the JEA president Bishop Alvin Bailey slamming participants as intellectual apostates.

"They cannot speak for Christianity," Bailey said, adding that the proponents for the repeal of the buggery law are inauthentic as it relates to biblical references.

"Their aim is the decriminalisation of buggery. It's their last bastion of hope to legalise homosexuality, and we will continue to oppose them and their stance," added Bailey.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com