Rethinking crusade: Church’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ community

The ongoing debates surrounding LGBTQ+ issues demand a heartfelt reflection on the role of the church, the place of LGBTQ+ individuals within it, and the nature of divine judgement. 

The church advocates legal restrictions on LGBTQ+ practices, it suggests a concerning pivot from spiritual guidance to earthly governance. This approach echoes historical mistakes: just as the Crusades wrongly depicted Christianity as a faith of force, not persuasion, so too does modern opposition to LGBTQ+ rights risk the same mischaracterisation.

We must remember the harsh critiques we levy against other religions, like Islam for its concept of Jihad, and apply the same scrutiny to ourselves. It’s time for the Church to refocus on fostering a morally upright society rather than battling an intrinsic human quality like sexual orientation.

The intensity of the Church’s stance against gay and lesbian individuals is especially puzzling given Christianity’s foundational message of inclusivity. Jesus himself reached out to societal outcasts—prostitutes and the demonically possessed—to bring them spiritual liberation.

Why then do we falter in extending similar compassion to LGBTQ+ individuals, even if some view their lifestyles as misguided? The Christian Council of Ghana’s portrayal of this as a dire crisis only amplifies the urgency for leaders to revisit how they fulfil Christ’s commission in an increasingly divisive world.

Although some biblical passages seem to censure homosexuality, the scriptures never exclude these individuals from participating in Christian life. Embracing everyone is central to the Church’s mission, affirming that true belief in Christ assures us all a place as God’s children.

If the rift between Christianity and the LGBTQ+ community continues to widen, it starkly contradicts the belief in God’s boundless love. Despite teachings that God’s love is limitless, it appears conditional when LGBTQ+ individuals are marginalised due to their sexual orientation.

Our society too often rushes to judge and ostracise the different, causing many to endure in silence. We are known neither for our restorative powers nor for our willingness to truly understand others. Our snap judgements are most harsh for those identifying as gay or lesbian.

I contend that there is a fundamental misalignment in Christian values when laws targeting ‘immorality’ overshadow the imperative to exhibit love and compassion. Many Christian leaders are missing the critical issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, and their misguided actions inflict needless suffering.

Sexual orientation is neither novel nor imported, and countless Ghanaians who identify as gay or lesbian have borne their burdens in silence for too long. It is time we allowed them the freedom to live authentically.

Furthermore, it is grossly inappropriate to leverage state resources to fight alleged ‘immorality’ based on dubious claims, especially when some individuals exhibit biological variances like intersex traits through no fault of their own.

While some Ghanaians identify with terms like ‘Kojo Basia,’ their existence is acknowledged yet hypocritically contested by those in the Church eager to wage an unjustified ‘holy war.’

This not only deviates from their divine commission but also shields their disgrace with baseless aggression towards the LGBTQ+ community. Remember, immorality is not confined to one’s sexual orientation; we see moral failings in all aspects of human interaction. Rather than fostering hatred and condemnation, the Church should champion love and empathy.

Isaac Ofori,
PhD Student (UEW, SCMS),
Chairman, All Teachers Alliance Ghana

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