“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ and behold the log is in yours?” Matt. 7:3-4.
These are the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, telling us to repent from our own bad ways first, in order to be right position to ask our neighbour to do the same. In that way, our neighbour will reflect on our lifestyle and easily heed our advice.
As many of us are aware, the topic on the lips of almost everybody in every corner, from north to south and from east to west in our beloved country, is the legalization of same-sex relationship. The debate began after the American and the British governments said that gay and lesbian rights issues will be part of the conditions for giving foreign aid to developing nations. In essence, the are saying that homosexuals should be given the right to live freely and enjoy their sexual orientation.
This pronouncement prompted reactions from the part of the public, with some describing homosexual practice as an abomination in the sight of the Almighty God.
Even those who have never read the Holy Bible before and those who live the most notorious life know that it is wrong for a man to have a sexual affair with his fellow man, or a woman to go out with her fellow woman. An example that is usually cited has to do with Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities destroyed by God because of homosexuality.
Trying to find out what the majority of Liberians think about this issue, I set out to visit various parts of the capital and its immediate surroundings. What I have seen and heard shows the hypocrisy of most of those opposing homosexuality. It would be laughable if it wasn’t that a serious matter. It is sad!
In a club, for example, a man, accompanied by two prostitutes, was drinking heavily, while his wife was desperately awaiting his return, and his lovely children were longing to see him and kiss him good night before going to bed. But there he was in a club “enjoying himself”.
“My people,” the man started, “the white man wants us to allow gay and the lesbian marriage, something for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It can’t hold as long as I live. What? That’s abomination! Some people don’t fear God,” he said, belching alcoholic scent, as the prostitutes massaged his thighs and shoulders. He failed to know that he himself is doing something detested by God.
Another woman from Gardnerville told her husband that she was going to attend a meeting in Jacob Town, but the reality is that she was on her way to meet her boyfriend, one of the most charismatic pastors of one of the most renowned churches of Monrovia, in a hotel in Vai Town.
After they had finished what they went for, with sweat curling down their exhausted bodies as a result of the passionate activity, the woman said: “Just imagine a man marrying another man, or a woman marrying another woman. What an abomination!”
“That won’t work my dear; the church will fight against that ugly practice. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for that. Those people don’t fear God at all,” the pastor said, as if he were at the pulpit preaching, as he usually does.
The same condemnation and detestation of homosexuality goes on in the ghettos, in the witchcraft societies and among the most corrupt government officials. Even the wicked people believe that the wage that awaits such people is hell. I believe some witches, using toothpicks to remove from between their teeth their victim’s flesh stuck there, are also saying, “We will not let them do this wicked practice here in Liberia. Anyone that wants God to destroy our beloved country because of their heinous behavior will be destroyed by the Holy Ghost Fire. If they do not fear God, we do. They will go to hell if they do not repent.”
When you hear most of those condemning lesbians and gays, you may be tempted to say: “Yes, these people are righteous.” When you see University students stoning or beating others, simply because they are trying to express their opinion on the issue, you may be tempted to say: “Yes, homosexuality is the only sin that God hates.”
But when you read John 8:1-11, you won’t be surprised. The passage says that the Pharisees and the Scribes caught a woman in the act of adultery. They brought the woman to Jesus to test him. They said: “This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. According to the Law of Moses, such a woman should be stoned to death. So, what do you say?”
Jesus only told them: “He that is without sin among you should be the first to cast a stone at her.” But the Pharisees and the Scribes who were believed to be righteous, left without doing any harm to the woman in accordance with their Laws. They all left the place one by one. Did Jesus tell them not to do what Moses commanded them to do? No! But they left. As our people would say, “The saw their own shadows.”
Today, if Jesus were physically among us, and if he were to say, “If you think you are not committing ANY sins against God, then go right ahead and persecute those gays and lesbians,” I swear, no one would open their mouth to condemn them. Lesbians and the gays would be left alone and allowed to live peacefully without fear of being beaten or killed or stoned.
Let it be borne in mind, though, neither do I intend to advocate for the rights of homosexuals in this piece of writing, nor do I wish to encourage them to do what they believe is right. I also condemn the practice just as I condemn thievery, fornication, adultery, lie, corruption, witchcraft, and all the sins that God loathes. What I intend to do is to express my astonishment at the manner in which people handle this issue, as if they were holy and righteous.
As a Christian, I believe that it is improper for a man to marry another man, or a woman another woman, just as it not proper for a person who is married to have an affair with another person, even if both of them are not of the same sex, or for a woman to have affair with a married man, vice versa.
God forbid! But if God was to destroy Liberia for wickedness, surely, it wouldn’t be for homosexual activities or practices. Rather, it would be because of the disobedience in which we continuously live. What do you say about the prostitution that is on the rampage in Monrovia, at almost every junction? Are you saying that God loves it? What about our sisters and brothers way of dressing? Is God in favour of it? The wickedness in this land is so huge that, I think, if we were so concerned about God being pleased with us what we need to do is to watch our own behaviour, instead of condemning others, as if we are blameless. This is why the Bible tells us to take out the log that is in our own eyes so that we can see enough to take the speck from our neighbour’s eye.
It is not that we should not give our points of view on a national issue, but the way in which we handle it is of great importance. We have no right to Judge others as the Bible puts it clearly in Luke 6:37: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” In Romans 2:1, Paul said: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” In the same Roman, 14:10, he said: “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”
Then how sure are we that what we are doing is not even worse than homosexuality. The hypocrisy is another sin we are adding to the already overflowing sins that we have. This is why the Bible says in I Corinthians 4:5: “Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”
Ladies and gentlemen, God will not destroy Liberia because of homosexuality. Ezekiel 18:20 tells us that “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.”
The Bible is clear on this issue. Let us not pretend that we know more than others. If same-sex practice is wrong, then God will deal with those involved. But, in the mean time, let us work for our own salvation because the Philippians 2:12 says: “… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”