I came across a story recently of a pastor speaking on LBGTI issues and found it fascinating, especially since that doesn’t happen often and that there is an expectation that churches should not discriminate their congregations but should be filled with pride when the church is diverse and fully packed. That way they can spread positivity in communities, as well as enlighten as many people as they can. The stance on the LGBTI community varies from church to church, in fact, some churches don’t see eye to eye because of this issue.
Some pastors, specifically Reverend Jonathan Hevita of the Inner City Lutheran congregation in Windhoek has called for the Namibian government to consider decriminalizing homosexuality, stating that homosexuals too are equal before God like every other citizen.
His position attracted some backlash. Frankly, how this was handled leaves no doubt that churches are confused and don’t want to engage the issue. This was evident in the aftermath of the article, instead of addressing the issue, the youth and other pastors decided to hone in on the Reverend’s statement, some turning against their own church’s principles and values.
Mr. Revelino Reineck shared the same sentiments, as Mr. Gay Namibia. He is aware of how people would rather focus on your sexuality instead of helping you as they would for other people. Moral and spiritual leaders are not exempt giving gays the same treatment.
Many churches have not formally declared their stance on the LGBTI community, but the Reverend reminded everyone that Jesus (who is the head of the church) hanged out with thieves, prostitutes and gays. All of them were (and I’d expect that they would be) welcomed in the house of the Lord even now. The churches in Namibia are not serious about the issue. In church, they will spread love, share words of encouragement and prayer for all those going through hard times, but can be very numb when it comes to LGBTI people. The church should not lose its values but should be inclusive of all the people and continue spreading the Word, love, peace and respect the dignity and humanity of all. More is to be gained by making churches inclusive of all people regardless of background, status, age and sexual orientation. They need to accept everybody as they are because Jesus was a friend of everyone. If the church says they stand with minorities and the poor, they should stand with the LGBTI community.
*Olavi Popyeinawa has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law (LLB) at the University of Namibia. He writes on youth matters. Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa and email@example.com
2019-12-04 08:40:25 | 8 months ago