Donovan Dyer, Contributor
IN AN article (The Gleaner, December 27, 2012) captioned 'Church must champion justice for sexual minorities', Associate Editor Byron Buckley launched a broadside attack on the Church for what it deems the Church's failure to champion the cause of those he calls "sexual minorities". Buckley asserted that by treating homosexuality as a 'special sin' it is "guilty of feeding stigma and discrimination." The issue of homosexuality and the acceptance of those who subscribe to this lifestyle is a difficult one for both the society and the Church to accept. However, simply assigning causality to the Church for the violence being meted out to homosexuals is short-sighted and smacks of a larger homosexual agenda.
Mr Buckley attempted to buttress his argument by appealing to scripture, the gospel of John in particular, where the woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus to render his judgment, but in this case he refused to condemn her, while ignoring the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. Mr Buckley skillfully used this example to defend his argument and continue his attack on the Church and its leaders for their refusal to endorse the homosexual lifestyle. However, what Mr Buckley failed to do by omission was to tell his audience that there is another side to the story, where Jesus addressed the sin issue. He told the woman: "Go, and sin no more"(v.11). The failure on the part of the writer to include this in his column is nothing more than a sleight of hand and an example of intellectual dishonesty.
Second, Mr Buckley accused the Church of having a flawed theology which he claimed is responsible for treating homosexuality as a 'special sin.' He contends that "as grotesque as the act of anal sex is, morally it is no worse than any other sin." Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 clearly and unambiguously states that this act was an "abomination" and carried the capital offence. Furthermore, the word abomination expresses the degree of the sin. The Hebrew word from which we derive the English "abomination" is to'ebah meaning loathsome, abhorrent and detestable. In Romans 1 the apostle Paul describes homosexuality as a vile and depraved act which is indication of man's rebellion against God (Rom.1:18-28). The fact is that all sin is sin, incurring the wrath of God, but to simply argue that homosexuality should not be regarded as a 'special sin' cannot stand up to biblical scrutiny because the Bible regards it as such.
To use the Ezekielian reference to suggest that homosexuality was not the primary reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is another indication of intellectual dishonesty. Sure, God regards the sins of pride, oppression, neglect of the orphans and widows as transgressions. But to say that these carried a heavier weight on God's moral scale than homosexuality is utter nonsense. None of the foregoing carried the death sentence. Thus, it goes to argue that the homosexual act weighed heavier on God's moral scale and was directly responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In continuation, Mr Buckley seems to be ordering the clergy and, by extension, the Church to stop preaching on the subject of homosexuality. Who is Mr Buckley? Who gave him that right or that authority? The preacher is not called by man, but by God, hence the term 'MAN OF GOD'. He is God's, not Byron Buckley's man or any other person's man, he is God's man. Since he is under divine orders, he cannot cherry-pick what he wants to preach, he takes his cue from God and must seek the mind and heart of God in order to preach, " thus saith the Lord." By declaring: " thus saith the Lord" He becomes the voice of God proclaiming God's word to His people. The preacher is commissioned by God to preach the undiluted, uncompromising gospel of Jesus Christ without fear or compromise. The true preacher or the true Church cannot compromise on its principles. Asking the Church and its leaders to cease and desist on the issue of homosexuality is tantamount to asking them to disobey their God, reject the Holy Scriptures, and ignore their conscience, which is an outrageous request. On this issue, we will choose to obey God rather than man.
By assigning guilt to the Church, is Mr Buckley inferring that the Church is partially responsible for the brutal beating of the student and the killing and maiming in Trelawny? I hope not. All Jamaicans without fail should condemn the brutal beating of the student and the savage killings and maiming in Trelawny. Accordingly, every Jamaican and visitors to its shores should feel free live and visit the country without fear of having prejudice directed towards them, regardless of colour, race, gender, or sexual orientation.