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Why it is not a sin to be gay

Why it is not a sin to be gay

To win the struggle to change men and women’s hearts and minds, one must consider what the Bible calls strongholds – ideologies, views or thinking that have been held on to for a long time.

When that thinking is wrong, the challenge is great.

Many African strongholds include the view that homosexuality is paganistic and paganism is bad. The second is that gay white men want to pollute black children (see the justifications for Uganda’s anti-gay laws).

The issue is not whether one agrees with them or not, but that these perceptions are there and need to be dealt with.

Essentially, the strongholds in African Christian minds are the same as those in western Christianity as they both subscribe to legalistic Christianity, which the west exported to the colonies.

One must first consider the Church of England, the main exporter of the Christian faith to the colonies, and her incorrect doctrinal view that Christianity and homosexuality do not mix. It was after all Henry VIII, the founder of the church, that started the first anti-gay law (the Buggery Act of 1533) and then enshrined it in the Bibles printed under his reign.

The view held by both the Protestant and Catholic churches then was that homosexuality was paganistic and barbaric. Unfortunately, that has set a deep root not only in Africa but also in the Church of England herself as we have witnessed in her struggle to accept same-sex relationships.

To now suggest to many African Christians that Jesus allows gays to enter heaven as they are would be blasphemy and un-Christian despite it being the truth.

The problem is that the Anglican Church and many of the modern churches of today (offshoots of Protestantism) still subscribe to the legalistic law of Moses. Under the law of Moses, homosexuality, like many other things, was banned by God and the penalty placed on it was death.

The truth of the matter is that Jesus came to abolish the law of Moses and establish grace and this He did. Again, many have issues with this and maintain the claim that He said that the law of Moses will never be abolished.

No, He said the law of Moses would not be abolished until all things that were prophesied about Him had taken place.

Here is the prophecy about Him: He paid our penalty price by dying on the tree and rose up again for our justification and grace is there for anyone that believes that He has done it. So therefore the law of Moses has come to an end.

It has to have done. Without the abolition of the law, the Christian (neo-Judaism) faith could not be preached and accepted by non-Jews as we were excluded by the law of Moses.

While all Christians are quick to accept that they, as non-Jews, can now partake in His grace, many have not processed that that acceptance into His grace has also been extended to the LGBTI community, which was previously banned.

Many still see homosexuality as a sin when it is not. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the established law system.

As we are no longer under the law of Moses, it can therefore no longer be a sin to be gay.

The new transgression is breaking the law of Christ: love thy neighbor as thyself.

Elizabeth Funke Obisanya is a British-Nigerian LGBTI pastor, filmmaker and lobbyist based in Royal Greenwich. She trained at Goldsmiths College, lobbied on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act and the Nigerian anti-gay law and is currently promoting her Christian lesbian short film, Magda’s Lesbian Love.