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Regional News of Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Source: Karim Hamza

Ghanaians urged to eschew homosexuality

Ghanaians have been advised to eschew all sorts of social vices, including homosexuality and rather embrace life styles that will tout the glory and mercies of God.

In a statement signed by some renowned men of God including Rev. Godfred Arko, General Overseer of Alive Chapel International, Rev. Eric Osei Bonsu of Go Ye Harvest Chapel, Rev. Apostle John Cloud of the Restoration Chapel and a host of other pastors and issued in Accra, Ghanaians were encouraged to be guided by the principles espoused by the Holy Scriptures.

The statement said Christians must not be content with the existing peace in the country and strife to spread the gospel of God, and must at all times, flee from troubles and temptations.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it,” the statement cautioned.

Below is the full statement

PRESS STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY Leviticus 11:44 “I am the Lord your God, consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16 “For it is written, be holy because I am holy” About a week ago we issued a press statement calling for peace and asking for a cessation of attacks on religious leaders. We used the press statement to bring to the fore the repercussions that these attacks would have on Ghana. We also intimated that we viewed these attacks as a means to an end; namely, to prevent religious leaders, from stating and re-emphasising the Gospel message which remains true and never changing. The Gospel charges religious leaders to be like the good shepherd and to act as sentinels or watchmen. We take this charge serious because a non adherence would be an abdication of our responsibilities. Different people may have different interpretations of scripture; the eternal word though never changes. The principles espoused by the bible on the standards expected of those of us who profess to be believers are very clear. In Ephesians 6:10-17, the Apostle Peter presents us with what he describes as the armour of God: “...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Over the last two (2) months there has been considerable public attention on the issue of homosexuality. There have been calls on all our political leaders to take a firm and unequivocal stance on this matter. As Ghanaians, first and foremost our various traditions frown on the practice of homosexuality. Furthermore as Christians we are told in scripture that the city of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by God for reasons which include immorality of the highest degree. In Genesis Chapter 19 we are told the story of how Abraham tried to negotiate the salvation of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” 9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. 10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The story of Lot is also referred to in the Holy Qu’ran where Lot is refered to as Lut: "We also sent Lut : He said to his people : "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." Qur'an 7:80-81 "What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are forward folk." Qur'an 26:165 This passage links the sin of Sodom (the reason for its destruction) to homosexuality. The Hadith which refers to sayings which are attributed to the Prophet Mohammed also says:

"When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes." "Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to." (in reference to the active and passive partners in gay sexual intercourse). We are not asking for anyone to be killed. We are however, using these verses to show how serious the two major religions take this practice.

The bible describes the action of homosexuality as wicked. Leviticus 18:22 which is part of what is called “the holiness code” instructs “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” In Romans 1:26-27 we are told: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Homosexuality here is described as “shameful”. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul the great Apostle writes:

“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, malakoi, arsenokoitai, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

The word arsenokoitai, translates to mean “sodomites”, “men who practice homosexuality.

If God would destroy a whole settlement for engaging in this vice then we as Christians need to be extra cautious. We need to condemn the act of homosexuality and most importantly we need our Government and political leaders to serve as upright examples to our youth and the rest of the country.

Above all we need our government to state emphatically that it will not legalise same sex marriages or recognize same sex relationships while giving all the help it can to such persons through creating a viable social network and by engaging the church and other partners that believe in the Ghanaian and Christian value system which does not countenance homosexuality.

…………signed…………..

Rev. Godfred Arko – Alive Chapel International Rev Eric Osei-Bonsu – Go Ye Harvest Chapel Rev. Apostle John Cloud – Restoration Chapel Prophet Daniel Larbi – House of Prayer International Prayer ministry

Rev. Mark Nortey – Resurrection Prayer Chapel Pastor Cosmos Atsu – Faith Outreach Ministries Pastor Elijah Amakye – Heaven Way Tabernacle Chapel Pastor Nowvel Lartey – Intercontinental Assemblies of God Church

Pastor Daniel Essinah Appiah – Redemptive Chapel Pastor Edem – Global Revival Ministries Prophet George Mensah – Annointed Touch Revival Ministries Bishop Ebenezar Akwasi Sarpong – Faith Covenant Chapel International Prophet Angel Charles – Pentecostal Power Church

Pastor Gideon Ankrah Pastor Emmanuel Asante Pastor Ezekiel Abraham Pastor Emmanuel Coffie Pastor Alex Boadu

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