“God loves everyone regardless of sexual orientation”
The following, edited by Steve Parelli, is the testimony of the host and coordinator of the Ghana Other Sheep 2016 workshops, which he sent to Parelli via Messenger on August 11, 2016. It is important that he remains anonymous.
On Monday, August 8, 2016, Other Sheep conducted a full-day meeting in Accra, Ghana, for 18 people – most of them LGBT. I was the host and organizer of the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to give in-depth insight into the book The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships by Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley. More than a mere informative meeting, the conference was transformed into a blessing.
At the end of the conference, I shared my take-away with the statement “God loves everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or their sexual affiliation.” I was able to learn so much from the knowledge Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz, the workshop facilitators, offered from the book. We were blessed with the eye-opening details they furnished us, for example, from the story about Sodom and Gomorrah, and other Bible passages. They related these passages from a Biblical perspective and showed how these passages are generally misinterpreted. It was such a big blessing. Thank you Stephen and Jose. God bless you. You two are simply amazing. – Annonymous, Ghana, Wet Africa
“The Church is the Real Sodomite”
The following, edited by Steve Parelli, is the testimony of Mavis Owusu who attended the Ghana Other Sheep workshops, which she sent to Parelli via Messenger on August 11, 2016.
If I am evil, or the worse person possible in life, as society has told me; that I am a lifeless human being because I am gay, a lesbian: this is how society criticizes me; then it is no wonder if I do not take the opportunity to attend church. But, as it has been said, “Because of the lack of knowledge, my people perish,” when I and my LGBT group met Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz, and learnt a lot from the book The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley, I felt released from my guilty feelings (as society makes us feel) for being gay.
I became clear with the whole issue of Sodom and Gomorrah as some pastors preach about it; I have a clear vision and insight about Sodom and Gomorrah now and, ironically, I now know that the church is the real Sodomite for not hearing “the stranger” in their midst, the LGBT person. Like the Sodomites of Sodom and Gomorrah, the church today does not listen to us [her LGBT sons and daughters] to hear our story before “kicking us in the ass” [no doubt a reference to LGBT’s being sodomized by the church, editor’s note]. The church throws us out. One thing I know in my country is this: If you are a gay person in my country Ghana, there are certain activities within the church in which you cannot participate.
The references to books [in the endnotes of each chapter and the accompanying notes] are long and tells us a lot, and enlightens us. The book turns [accepted meanings as traditionally understood] upside down, like Sodom and Gomorrah (so that the church is the real Sodomite).
I love the story about “When Jesus met a gay man.” When the Roman centurion told Jesus his male-lover servant, who was dear to him, was sick, Jesus answered the centurion’s request and healed the servant. Jesus affirms the centurion. This tell us that Jesus has not rejected us and that he loves us. – Mavis Owusu, Ghana, West Africa
This blog was created by Steve Parelli on August 12 and 13, 2016, in Crucero, Managua, Nicaragua, and published to the Internet from the same place on August 13, 2016.
Photo at right: The porch to the cottage where Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz stayed while in Nicaragua, August 11-18, 2016.