Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Homosexuality is Totally Unacceptable - Clerics

EMINENT Nigerian Christian clerics have continued to comment on the controversial House of Rainbow, purportedly a church organisation piloted by a self-confessed homosexual, Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay.

The church is described as the first sponsored attempt by any Nigerian cleric to openly counter efforts of Most Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola, Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), who had led other Anglicans to vehemently oppose the ordination of Gene Robinson, an openly confessed gay bishop, in November 2003.

Akinola, as the bishop of Abuja, is the current Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He is the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa and chairman of the South-South Encounter of the Anglican Communion which has continued to insist on Bible principles and the teachings of the apostles (apostolic tradition) in a particular way.

As one of the leaders of the Global South within the Anglican Communion, Akinola has taken a firm stand against theological developments which he contends are incompatible with the biblical teachings of Christianity, notably setting himself against any revisionist or liberal interpretations of the Bible and, in particular, opposing same-sex blessings, the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals or, indeed, any homosexual practice.

He is the leader of some conservatives throughout the Anglican Communion including the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. One of his first actions as primate was to get together 400 bishops, priests, lay members, and members of the Mother's Union to elaborate a vision for the Church of Nigeria under the chairmanship of Chief Ernest Shonekan.

At the end of deliberations, they articulated a vision for the church, which include: "The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be bible-based, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined, self supporting, committed to pragmatic evangelism, social welfare and a Church that epitomizes the genuine love of Christ."

Based on that vision, Akinola has been in the forefront of the fight against the weird intrusion of homosexuality into the Christian faith. Just like most parts of the world were shocked with that ordination, Akinola has earned accolades from around the world for his doggedness in condemning the practice; at one point threatening to lead other African countries out of the Anglican fold if the practice of gay ordination continued.

Time Magazine named him among the 100 most influential persons in the world. So when, Rev. Macaulay appeared in the scene with a gay church in Nigeria, many Nigerians who had thrown their weight behind Akinola saw the move as a sponsored plot by the ECUSA to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian primate who recently led Conservative Anglicans to hold a global gathering to affirm their orthodox Christian roots in Jerusalem.

Participants of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) gathered in the Israeli city just one month before the once a decade Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. Speaking in an interview, the national president of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, urged all Nigerians to rise up against any such ungodly practice in any part of the country, because it is an attempt by some pervert minds in the country who are being sponsored from other climes to undermine the enviable gains made so far by our Anglican brother, Primate Peter Akinola.

Describing the current action of some individuals in the Christendom in the country as deplorable the PFN helmsman said, "It (gay church) is totally unacceptable in any part of the country. It is coming from the very bottom of the pit of hell and there is no way we can accept everything from the West, hook, line and sinker.

Our people must grow up and shun some of these ungodly practices from the West because the resultant effect will not be palatable to any one of us, whether Christian or not. It is obvious that the devil is trying to neutralise the gains our brother in the Anglican Church, Primate Peter Akinola, had made since the controversial ordination of a gay bishop in the US in 2003."

According to him, there is every indication that those in the Anglican fold who are not happy with the position of the Nigerian primate may be behind these latest moves to establish a gay church in Nigeria in order to undermine the rising profile of Archbishop Akinola.

Prof Macauley, the gay pastor, Roland Babajide Macauley's father

That is how the devil works. He will do everything possible to break the ranks of the Conservative Anglicans who have taken as stand to defend the Holy Scriptures and weaken the authority of the Nigerian primate. For quite a while now when the Pentecostal Movement had gained a lot of ground here and since the gay controversy broke in 2003, Nigeria has suddenly become a very strong ground for the spread of the gospel, and definitely the devil would not be happy with such a development."

Explaining that there are two dimensions to the issue, he maintained that there is the spiritual dimension as well as the human dimension, stressing "As a nation we have quite a load of challenges to tackle and we cannot afford to add homosexuality to that long list. For us to understand the mind of God, we need to go to the very basics in the Book of Genesis.

Before He created Man, He said let us make man in our own image. He then made Man and said it is not good for man to be alone and He went ahead to create a help meet for him, the woman. To understand the mind of God therefore is to say that He did not create two men but instead He created Man and woman so that they can procreate. If God wanted, He could have created Adam and Steve, but in His unequaled wisdom, He created Adam and Eve," Oritsejafor further argued.

According to him, those canvassing homosexuality today, were brought into the world by women who travailed for nine months or more before bringing them forth, so why will any man in his right senses now think they can do without the natural order of God. Stating that Nigeria can do without such perverts who can drag us back in our current developmental process, he added that the people of this country should rise up and challenge any appearance of such evil, stressing that it is even uncultural for an African man to sleep with a man.

"From some of the reports, I have read so far, I hear that the so called Rev. Macaulay even has a 16-year-old son. How did he get that son? Is it from a fellow man-wife? It is most unfortunate that our people, in their inordinate quest for wealth, resort to several anti-social practices," Pastor Oritsejafor said.

Also speaking recently at a thanksgiving service organised by the Delta State government in Warri, the state chairman of CAN, Archbishop Goddowell Avwomaka, condemned the reported presence of gay church in the country, saying that every Nigerian has a responsibility to pray against any such appearance of evil in any part of the country.

The CAN chairman, who was asked to lead the congregation to pray for peace of the country, lamented what he described as the infiltration of satanic practices, adding that such can only be seen as signs of the end times.

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