SAME SEX MARRIAGE: America, God’s Own Country And What It Portends For The Rest Of The World
Since the ruling last week by the US Supreme Court legalising same-sex marriage, diverse reactions have been trailing the judgment, especially as America is widely regarded as “God’s own country”. The suggestion to recognise God’s supremacy in the U.S. currency was championed in a letter addressed to the Secretary of Treasury by a minister in 1861. An Act of Congress granted it on April 11, 1864, and authorised the motto: ‘In God We Trust.’ The omission of the slogan from the gold coins issued in 1907 had sparked public criticism. Following the legislation passed in May 1908, all American coins were subsequently mandated to bear the inscription: “In God We Trust”. Ever since, America has been acknowledged globally as God’s own country. With the recent judgment, however, some people are beginning to wonder if America is still God’s own country. So, what does this stand portend for the rest of the world, especially in the light of the fact that the world has become a global village and America is supposed to be the leading country? Can churches and mosques in Nigeria do anything to stop the spread in the country? Are there spiritual consequences for nations that embrace the trend? Could this be one of the end-time signs that the world is actually coming to an end? CHRIS IREKAMBA took the issue to religious leaders.
Won’t The World Go Into Extinction, If A Man Marries A Man
It Is An Indication Of A Society In Serious Decay’
(His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos)
IT was only the US Supreme Court that legalised or declared that it is okay to engage in same sex union in America. One is hoping that the other arms of government would be able to use their own influence to weigh in on the matter. Already though, it seems the executive arm of government is delighted over it. Whatever the case may be, however, it is a very unfortunate situation, which one had hoped would never come. But we know powerful lobby groups that have a lot of influence on the media prompted the development. They have a lot of money to spend and are responsible for what we are seeing now. However, one is also aware that there is a sizeable population of people in the US that do not agree that this is the right way to go.
I hope other parts of the world, particularly Nigeria, would be able to hold on to our traditional values as Africans. As Nigerians, we have a lot of respect for natural laws. I hope that this does not have any major influence on our country knowing full well that not long ago, the National Assembly concluded that gay marriage is not the way for us to go, which means it is not appropriate for us as a nation to legalise same sex union.
Indeed, there is no doubt that this is a concern in our own country as well. However, we know that our national and traditional values do not permit that kind of attitude. But it now depends on parents in particular and those that have the real values of the nation at heart to continue to speak out and to help people realise that same sex union is not the acceptable way as far as Christianity is concerned. So, I think the important thing is to continue to help people and incoming generations to recognise the fact that this is not appropriate.
The position of the Catholic Church has always been that though we do not consider it right, though we believe it is against natural law, though we believe it’s against the injunction of the scripture, nevertheless, we still believe that those involved in it are children of God and therefore, we should continue to assist them to realise that this is a wrong thing to do.
Certainly, at this time, we are seeing strange things happening and not only in the US. Globally, we are seeing more of racially motivated activities, as well as more violence occasioned by the use of guns.
I think these are certainly not the best of times for people in the world, as we are also witnessing so much violence coming from religion angle, the ISIS, the AI-Shabaab, the Boko Haram and several other kinds of religiously motivated violence, not to mention wars by people of same country in Sudan and Syria.
All of these are causing much concern. At this present time, we can only continue to storm the heavens with prayers because God is obviously in a position. He is able and capable of taking care of all these concerns. At the same time, people of goodwill must keep praying and storming the heavens knowing full well that God will take care of our problems.
If we are to go by the scriptures, we know the kind of destruction that happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. But apart from what we read in the scriptures, I think this kind of attitude is an indication of a society that is in a serious decay.
A society, whose values are being thrown overboard and naturally when this happens, principles are no longer important. Then of curse, the whole social fabric will fall apart and as this happens, it will destroy itself with all kinds of factors that are not appropriate. It’s a big sign of decadence, which obviously cannot lead to anything good.
‘The Whole World, Including Nigeria Should Ignore America, If They Want To Live’
(Rt. Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia) Bishop of Isiala-Ngwa South Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion)
IT’S a very unfortunate incident and a dangerous trend for the world because America is the world power, but it is getting it wrong. On the same day the verdict was delivered in the law court, nine people that were killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church were being buried and President Barack Obama was there singing Amazing Grace. So, it is a betrayal of the water we’ve been drinking over a period from our forefathers. It’s either you believe in the Light and prosper or you believe in the darkness and you destroy your future.
So, the whole world, including Nigeria should ignore America, if they want to live. But if they decide to toe America’s line in this ungodliness, it will be disastrous.
On what the church should do, I think it starts from the home. Our fathers and mothers should be able to give us a guide. From there, it goes to the school, because school age is a formative age. If the church can get involved in school management and children’s upbringing, they will root in them godliness, enabling the children grow up with the fear of the Lord and depart from those iniquities that are besetting America today.
The church should go ahead to teach, discipline and mentor their followers so that at the end of the day, they will have people that can hold on to the truth and nothing but the truth.
I do not want to dwell on the predictions concerning the end time. The world can come to an end tomorrow, as we are walking on the streets. But we have to note that countries that deviated from godly principles had always faced severe consequences. It has always been very catastrophic and they never lived, because when the foundation is collapsing, the whole building will definitely also collapse. And that is what happens to a nation or people that are involved in this kind of thing.
‘Nigerian Churches Should Be Very Careful In Taking Missionaries From America’
(His Eminence Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde, former Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, MCN)
IT portends chaos, indecency, ungodliness and permissiveness. It is against God’s divine law. It is against natural law. The question is: what will be the position of the world in the next 100 years? Will there be an extinction of humanity? When the Lord created male and female, He said: “procreate and fill the earth.” The down fall of the Roman Empire started with the introduction of gay marriage. So, this is the beginning of the end of America.
In Nigeria, it is against our culture, and against the divine law for Muslims and Christians. We are not a godless nation. So, anybody who goes to America and comes back here to practise same sex marriage and so on, will be jailed. I pity President Obama, who has African blood in him. America with the motto: “In God we trust” inscribed in their currency, clearly doesn’t trust in God anymore. Americans now trust in technology and permissiveness.
In fact, Nigerian churches should be very careful now in taking missionaries from America. If such missionaries are not married, Nigerian churches will not take them. Any missionary coming from America or Britain must be screened, and if they are not married, they won’t be allowed into the country. They could be gay, pretending to be working for God. The church must now begin to inculcate the fear of God in our youths. They should begin to teach their members God’s ordained way for marriage, which is male and female, as He created them. And those going abroad should be told the evil of gay marriage.
I don’t know if this is the beginning of the end of the world, but for America this is the beginning and end for them, as world power. There is nothing new under the sun, but then, the Roman Empire came to an end with the introduction of lesbianism and gay.
‘It Is Not What America Said That Is Important, But What God Said About Marriage’
(Apostle Anselm Madubuko is the General Overseer of Revival Assembly Church, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos)
WE have to understand that America is not God. It is America that said that legalised gay marriage and not God. What is important is what God said about marriage, and not what America has said. It shouldn’t bother us in that sense.
To checkmate this in Nigeria, we have to preach God’s word no matter what happens. We must stress what God has said about marriage, which is a union between a man and a woman. It’s a sign of the last days, when things like this are done glaringly before the whole world, and not in secret any more. So, we just have to keep praying and preaching the truth of God’s word.
On what happens to a nation or people that practise such things. Well, God’s mercy is upon everybody, both the good and the bad. So, God’s mercy will still be on America. Even when they don’t want God, His mercy is still there. Jesus has been judged for the whole world and that is the great price He paid. So, I don’t see judgement, rather I see mercy. Those individuals who are still worshipping God are still blessed.
It’s what a powerful minority group has done, which does not reflect the mind of an average American. America is still safe; God is still God and He is still there. His mercy will still be felt, even until Jesus returns. So, there is no fear for America.
‘We Need To Caution Our Youths And Let Them Know It Is Totally Against Our Religion And Culture’
(Engr. ’Yomi Bolarinwa, National President of Nasrul-Lahi-Fatih Society Of Nigeria (NASFAT)
IT only tells us that we are not the same apart from religion. In the African culture, such a thing is a taboo. We can now see where the craze for Westernisation is leading us. We need to tell ourselves the truth. We need to caution our youths, and let them know that it is totally against our religion and culture as Africans. And we need to carefully watch our relationships with the West, because with the way they are going, they would want us to follow suit. But we must ensure that we do not abandon our culture and religion.
We should keep on preaching to the people, teaching them our culture and our religion and telling them what God says. There is only one God, whether you are a Christian or Muslim. We all believe there is only one God. And in the Holy books — the Qur’an and Bible make it very clear that marriage is between a man and woman. And like people would say in today’s online business, we should escalate it and broadcast it, let our people know the truth as ordained by God. Marriage is an institution ordained by God and we should do it the way it was ordained and not by what human beings want to do today.
From the Bible, we all know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and as one pastor said, ‘it is the beginning of the end of the world.’ But definitely won’t the world go into extinction with such an arrangement? If a man marries a man, would they be able to have children? If a woman marries a woman, can they have children? You need to also look at it from that perspective. Would we have continuation of the world or would it end with this generation? Nobody has told us scientifically that when a man sleeps with a man, it will lead to pregnancy, or when a woman sleeps with a woman it will lead to pregnancy. They will still have to resort to the traditional way of having children. But if the system becomes permissive, it would then mean the end of the world, because there will be no new generation.
Even without talking about the religious aspect, biologically how possible is it for such people to have children? Now, if a people stop having children when they die, won’t that be their end? It’s so simple and we shouldn’t be naïve about it. If we have cattle, goats, and a male goat goes after another male goat, won’t we likely die of hunger? If all the animals do what they are now preaching, we will keep on eating artificial food, and we have seen what that has done to our health.
The developed world in their development will likely kill themselves. That is why the pastors, imams, traditional rulers and government must keep preaching to the people, telling them what our cultures are and what our religions preach. We are a religious and cultural people; we are what we are by the virtue of our culture. We must emphasise that and parents should watch carefully the things we expose our children to. If a young child sees a male kissing a male, he will likely want to kiss his friend the same way.
Therefore, NBC and the National Film, Video and Censor Board have responsibility in this regard, as well as the Nollywoods of this world. But most importantly, our leaders, whether political or religious or cultural have tremendous role to play, as they must rise up now and start preaching and telling the people what is right and what is wrong about this.
‘Parents Should Know What Their Wards, Especially Those In The Universities Are Doing’
(Pastor (Mrs.) Ngozi Oluwagbemiga, Famous Gospel Proclaimers Ministry, Ojudu, Lagos/ CEO, Charity Mission Empowerment Foundation in Africa)
IT’S a bad example for the whole world, because the implication is that the Western culture has always been an issue. So, for them to legalise it means they want it adopted by the whole world. Little by little, we will see it spreading to other cultures and other religious bodies. But we condemn it as Nigerians and our people over there are at high risk of falling victims to such things.
I think the church should kick against it. We should stand our ground, though it’s not going to be an easy battle. But if we stand together as church people, media, government and other parastatals, I tell you we will conquer. What we should do now is how to curb it. We must put in place measures to checkmate the trend. The church must be strong in its doctrines and teaching of morality. It is written in the Romans that the people turned their back against God and that is apostasy. God removed His Spirit from them and gave them another spirit and they began to long for same sex. What America did is evil and it’s too bad for President Obama to have allowed this to happen. And so the church, mosque, other religious organisations and especially the media must not keep quiet. They must continue to express our stand on gay marriage, which is that it is evil. And our people in America and in other Western world should resist it. Whether we like it or not, gay is already being practised secretly in Nigeria. So, for America to legalise it is like giving it a licence. We know that the devil is a liar, but he will not thrive on our soil. I hope this government will do something about it, but if it doesn’t, then individuals and NGOs should rise up and stand for what is good; so, that the future generations might be protected. They are the ones we should be afraid for.God is going to teach America a lesson for the promotion of immorality. This is a sign of end-time, it is an antichrist mindedness and the judgment is going to come from Heaven. They feel they are the world power and therefore, untouchable.
What the church in Nigeria can do in this regard is to be strong in teaching righteousness; holiness and ensuring that we bring Christ back to the people’s lives. Parents should find time to know what their wards, especially those in the universities, are doing. Because these parents attend church and mosque, they should be pastors and imams of their homes, and endeavour to find out what their sons and daughters are doing. So, what America just did is a wake up call for the whole continent, for families, especially parents, telling us to shine our eyes. We must plan how we can parent our children properly and ensure that this evil seed is not sown in their lives. That is the only way we can curb it. Another thing we can do is to pray. America that was God’s own country has backslided and now encourages so many strange things. The world sees America as world power and whatever they sanction is like heaven has approved it. But this one is wrong, even though they are celebrating now.
I once counseled somebody who started practising gay right from secondary school. I’m talking about children aged 10 to 14. This is like giving them licence to operate freely. I know men of God that are gay and God had to intervene. It’s a sign of the end time, like the Bible says: ‘In the perilous time, affection will be drifted and people will love the flesh.’ Because when gay unions are approved, who would willingly release their children for adoption by gay couples? What would they teach the children under such circumstances? Judgment will come upon any nation that supports America to propagate gay marriage. It might take time, but it will surely come.
‘Declaring A Country As ‘God’s Own’ Does Not Mean It Is Walking The Right Path’
(Pastor Johnson Funso Odesola, Member, Governing Council of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG/Special Assistant to the General Overseer, Admin./Personnel)
THE first thing is that they have missed it any way. That a country declared itself ‘God’s own country’ does not mean it is walking in the right path. Because the Bible is for everyone to interpret, which is done by the Spirit of God. The day they showed the event on television I was crying. Somebody can start in the spirit and end up in the flesh. It’s just what the Bible has predicted in Romans 1:28, where it says, “because they fail to retain God in their knowledge, they became reprobates to do those things, which are not convenient.” Thank God for Nigeria. With all our challenges and problems, there is this principle of godliness that is still with us and we carry it from our background whether in the east, north, west or south. If you watch the trend over the years, Nigeria’s voice has been very loud in condemning what they just did. When you don’t have anything to do with money, then the tendency is to use it to do something that will destroy you. They don’t have any meaningful thing to do again other than to start producing evil things to pollute the rest of the world. America is not a good example for Nigeria to copy, though we can copy their technology. However, in terms of moral values, they are bankrupt and Nigeria cannot afford to copy them.
All the churches and houses of worship need to emphasise the principle of moral obligation. How can man and man sleep together and produce children? The Bible says in Gen. 1:26-28, “replenish the earth and have dominion…” and God wants us to subdue the land by procreating. The churches should emphasise the principles of God’s creation, of subduing the land and having dominion. Something may seem good, but is actually injurious. For instance, some intoxicating wines containing 60 to 78 per cent alcohol are so sweet that you will think you are drinking Fanta. The church should now start preaching morality strongly, and not just preaching miracles. We should also preach obeying God implicitly; the principles God put in place and which works for everybody.
I presume it’s a sign of the end of the world, because the Bible says when the end will come people will be doing things that are abominable and they will be rejoicing about it. I think it is one of the signs of the end time. I think a nation that is involved in this kind of thing is gradually heading for self-destruction. I read about Sodom and Gomorrah and nations that practise those abominable things and what became of them. America is surely moving towards the pit of destruction. Americans are on a collision course with their Maker.
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