Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay
House Of Rainbow MCC,
Lagos Nigeria


+234 (0) 805 256 7170

Yahoo ID; revjide

Blog; http://www.revrowlandjidemacaulay.blogspot.com/
Web; http://www.houseofrainbow.spaces.live.com/
Web; http://www.mccchurch.org/

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nigerian Sued Over Play On "Abuses" Of Sharia Law

Nigerian sued over play on "abuses" of sharia law Sun 7 Oct 2007, 10:50 GMT
By Estelle Shirbon

ABUJA (Reuters) - A Nigerian human rights activist is being sued in an Islamic court over a play he wrote exposing what he calls abuses and double standards by those implementing sharia law in 12 northern Nigerian states. Shehu Sani, a well-known activist and author, said an upper sharia court in Kaduna state had ordered him to cancel a planned performance of "Phantom Crescent" and to stop printing or distributing the play. This was after a group called Concerned Sharia Forum launched a suit against him.

"I wanted to enlighten the citizenry on how sharia is being used to oppress them. It dramatises the human rights abuses and the harassment of women and poor people by members of the Hisbah," he told Reuters by telephone from Kaduna on Sunday. The Hisbah are sharia enforcement squads active in the 12 Nigerian states that introduced stricter punitive aspects of Islamic law in 2000 -- a decision that alienated sizeable Christian minorities and sparked bouts of violence that killed thousands. Hisbah committees in some of the states have sometimes burnt books deemed immoral, shut down bars where alcohol was served or stopped women from using motorcycle taxis to prevent them from touching male drivers.

"There are so many double standards. It's only the poor who are oppressed. The governors of sharia states usually loot public resources while advocating morality," said Sani, who is a practising Muslim. The predominantly Muslim north is the poorest part of Nigeria and has the highest mortality rates. Several ex-governors of sharia states are under investigation for corruption. The former governor of Jigawa, which has some of the worst health and poverty statistics in Nigeria, was charged in July with stealing about $225 million.

Sani said the first hearing in the suit brought against him over his play was scheduled for Tuesday and he would defend his work in court. Sharia courts have been active for centuries but under British colonial rule their powers were curtailed. In the 12 states, they regained the right to impose stricter punishments such as death for adultery or sodomy, or amputation for theft. The northern governors argued that they were acting in the interests of public morality and that the people craved stricter sharia compliance. Critics say they played on religious sentiment to gain popular support for their re-election bids.

Sharia And Human Rights In Nigeria By Leo Igwe

Sharia and Human Rights in Nigeria By Leo IgweOn October 9 a court in Kaduna-Northern Nigeria heard a case brought against Shehu Sani- a well-known human rights activist, social critic and author.Mr. Sani-a practicing Muslim- was sued by a group called Concerned Sharia Forum over a play- Phantom Crescent- he wrote exposing the abuses and double standards by those implementing Sharia law in 12 states in Northern Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is predominantly Muslim but has a sizeable Christian population including those from the South who reside there. The court has ordered Mr. Sani to cancel a planned performance of the play and to stop printing and distributing copies of the play. This court case has a lot of implications for human rights, democracy and civilization in Nigeria. It is the first time such a case is brought against a Muslim who is critical of this anachronistic legal system since sharia was imposed on Islamic majority States some years ago. This court case is coming up at a time Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise in Nigeria-and around the world -with Sharia as one of its most deadly and oppressive weapons.

Allegory of the Cave ReplayedShehu Sani said he wants to use the play to enlighten the local population on how Sharia is being used to oppress them. And practically speaking, this is a tall order, which is likely get him into trouble with the Islamic theocrats and jihadists who do not tolerate any form of 'enlightenment' that is critical of Islam. Again educationally, the Islamic majority States are the most backward in Nigeria. This is because the only form of education most people are expose to is Quranic recitation and indoctrination, which numbs and dumbs their minds making them impervious to critical thinking especially in matters concerning Islamic creeds and traditions.

Quranic indoctrination has imprisoned and corrupted the minds and conscience of the local islamic population, making them easy tools for manipulation and exploitation by Islamic Jihadists and theocrats. Unfortunately most Muslims in Northern Nigeria are in the dark as to how Islam has been used to oppress, exploit and tyrannize over their lives. And a few of them who have realized the unjust nature of the system are too afraid to speak out against it.Hence the task of enlightenment in Northern Nigeria is a dangerous undertaking because most Muslims cannot reason outside Quran and Islam. They take Islamic darkness as light, and violently oppose any form of enlightenment outside Islam, opposed to Islam or critical of Islam.

Muslims in Northern Nigeria are living in an Islamic Cave manned, managed and guarded by the armies and bigots of Allah. And as in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Shehu Sani in like one who was once in the cave, and who went outside, saw the light, and has come back to enlighten his people. And this case brought against him by Sharia proponents is like a resistance staged against him and his enlightenment agenda by lieutenants guarding the cave of Islamic ignorance, fanaticism and foolery in Northen Nigeria.

Human Rights Abuses
One of the ways Islamic fundamentalists have demonstrated their moral backwardness, bankruptcy and ignorance is through gross human rights violations. Islam is inherently opposed to human dignity and equality, gender equity and justice. According to Mr. Sani, the play dramatizes the human rights violations penetrated against women and poor people by the Hisbah. Hisbah is a bunch jihadists masquerading as Sharia police or enforcers, funded with state money.Human rights abuses did not start with Hisbah. It has been there since the introduction of Islam to Nigeria. Particularly since the Jihad of Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio.

The 1804 Jihad sanctified militant Islam-that is spread and propagated by human rights violations-killing, maiming, torture, oppression of women, children and poor people.Since independence, thousands- tens of thousands- of Nigerians have lost their live to religious bloodletting in Nigeria. In March this year, a Christian School teacher from Southern Nigeria was lynched by Muslim pupils for allegedly desecrating the Koran. And last month, Islamic Jihadists attacked and killed at least 9 Christians and burnt several churches in Kano- a Sharia implementing state and an Islamic stronghold.

In 2000, sharia riots across Nigeria claimed thousands of lives.Indeed, the blood of “unbelievers”, the oppression of the poor, the exploitation of the weak and ignorant, the discrimination against women, the persecution of sexual minorities and the abuse of children have watered the tree of Islam in Northern Nigeria.And today, Sharia has become a potent tool in the hands of Islamic Jihadists for human rights violation, oppression and exploitation in the name of Allah.Sharia has become a weapon for islamic inquisition in Nigeria. There are no women among the Sharia court judges. Sharia does not recognize the rights of all individuals to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It has no place for equal rights of all human beings regardless of religion or belief. Sharia accords second-class status to non-Muslims.

Some Sharia States in Nigeria have carried out amputations, and have flogged convicted offenders including Christians. Some years ago, international outcry saved the lives of Safiatu Hussein and Amina Lawal who were sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Many people convicted under Sharia law- to be stoned or amputated – are languishing in jails across Northern Nigeria.So, this case brought against Shehu Sani in going to be a landmark case. It is going to determine the direction Sharia States want to go –whether they want to come into the 21st century or remain in the Dark Age with their moral and legal anachronisms. This trial is going to serve as a litmus test of Nigeria's commitment to human rights and civilized values. It is going to provide an opportunity for the Sharia states to tell the world if they want to embrace Enlightenment, secular and open society or remain in the cave of darkness, ignorance, hypocrisy, hatred, violence, oppression, exploitation, and human rights abuses.

So in this very case, it is not just Shehu Sani that is on trial, the Sharia states are on trial. The Nigerian constitution is on trial. The Nigerian democracy is on trial. Nigeria’s obligations as a state party to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights are on trial. Nigeria’s commitment to the international human rights conventions is on trial. Human rights are on trial.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Homosexuality Does Exist in Nigeria

Homosexuality Does Exist in Nigeria
By Rowland Jide Macaulay, 2003

My name is Rowland Jide Macaulay. I was born to Nigerian parents. I have a good understanding of our culture and traditional values -- the expectation of an African child and the African family.

Tolerance remained at an angle to cultural expectations, and homosexuality is not one that is accepted in Africa, especially in Nigeria.

I spent my teenage years in Nigeria, where I first experienced my sexuality, although in great fear: the fear of being caught, the fear of sin, of commitment of an abomination. I grew up with a lot of guilt in my heart, I often prayed for forgiveness, sanctification and purification.

I spent my teenage years in Nigeria, where I first experienced my sexuality, although in great fear: the fear of being caught, the fear of sin, of commitment of an abomination. I grew up with a lot of guilt in my heart, I often prayed for forgiveness, sanctification and purification.

I grew up with my father who is a Christian leader and I must assure you he is a fine man, a learned man and a very good father. We love each other so much, but the culture and tradition of my tribe, the Yoruba tribe, meant that no matter how successful I become, how great a child I was, homosexuality was not part of the culture.

Homosexuality is considered a foreign or alien act. Homosexuality is what happens to other people's children or activities associated with occultism.

I was married and divorced with a child before I was 26 years old. The marriage broke down based on my confession of the truth, that I am gay; by this time I was in fear that I will lose my life and my family.

For many years, I kept a low profile but not without a troubled heart. I lived my life in pretence. I lived a double life, safeguarding any revelation of my sexual orientation. It became a secret that will haunt me for many more years.

I was outed at my local Pentecostal church. I was outed amongst heterosexual friends -- it became a revelation at work. This is painful and difficult for me to deal with, it was even more painful to deal with my family, as they are embittered towards me. I felt cornered. Having no one else to turn to, I turned to the Lord. Only then did I make peace with him and began to understand my pain and anguish was for a reason. I understood that I was to be the voice for those who suffered similar predicament.

And without a doubt, this testimony in the forum in which it is being delivered will have repercussions . . . It is not my intention to be a martyr, but simply to stand up and be counted and to highlight that I am ready to persevere, to speak up and pay the price for what I believe.
My purpose at this present time is to reach out to other gays and lesbians suffering persecution, to offer some hope and to let them know they are not alone. And without a doubt, this testimony in the forum in which it is being delivered will have repercussions, the extent of which I am not aware. However, I stand strong in my faith and belief that as a child of God all will be well.
It is not my intention to be a martyr, but simply to stand up and be counted and to highlight that I am ready to persevere, to speak up and pay the price for what I believe.

It has been acknowledged that more and more same-sex loving Nigerians -- both at home and abroad -- suffer immense prejudice, due to the cultural belief and lack of education about sexuality and tolerance towards people with a different sexuality.

The prohibition of homosexuality in Nigeria is not only confined to the letters of the legislation but is also denied as prevailing within the culture. [There is] a continuous attempt to deny or refuse to acknowledge that gays and lesbians make up a significant part of the population.
Homosexuality, as far as Nigeria is concerned, is an abuse of traditional values.

Parents in Nigeria will seldom accept their son or daughter is homosexual. It is commonly said, "I would rather have the corpse of my child than accept him or her to be homosexual." Steps are often taken to seek counselling, prayers, exorcism, casting out the evil, and binding the spirit of homosexuality, in an attempt to remove what is seen as a curse.

The prevailing view of churches in Nigeria believes that homosexuality defies the country's rich culture, and the practise of it will cause the individual to be ostracised.
Finally, the ultimate tenet of the Bible is love. It is my hope that this issue is debated with this in mind.

We - are - all - in - this - together. Thank you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Lord is My Programmer

The Lord is my programmer, I shall not crash.
God installed softwares on the hard disk of my heart,
All of God's commands are user- friendly.
God's directory guides me to the right choices; For God's name's sake .
Even though I scroll through the problems of life, I will fear no virus,
For God is my back up.
God's password protects me.
God prepares a menu before me; in the presence of my enemies.
God's help is only a keystroke away. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, And my file will be merged with God and saved forever.

The Lord Is Crazy About You.

The Lord is crazy about you.

Now read again Psalm 23 and think for a moment what the Lord issaying to you.

The Lord is my Shepherd
That's Relationship!

I shall not want
That's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
That's Rest!

He leaded me beside the still waters
That's Refreshment!

He restored my soul
That's Healing!

He leaded me in the paths of righteousness
That's Guidance!

For His names sake
That's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That's Testing!

I will fear no evil
That's Protection!

For Thou art with me
That's Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me
That's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
That's Hope!

Thou anointed my head with oil
That's Consecration!

My cup runneth over
That's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That's Blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
That's Security!

That's Eternity!

Let us be honest, the Lord is crazy about us.


As a gay man of African descent, I struggled with my sexuality and my faith as a Christian, but now I enjoy a great freedom and joy with my relationship with God and part of my ministerial work as a gay Pastor, is to meet the very needs of Black or African Gay, bisexual, Lesbian, Transvestite and transsexual people, both in the UK and Africa. I was convinced by the Holy Spirit to begin this ministry. Equally, following a public sector conference called Tumaini November 2004 (meaning Hope), a conference which brought over 140 African Gay men in the UK together, it was felt that the timing of this ministry is inevitable.

The aim of the egroup is to raise awareness and bring love, comfort to many Black or African Gay, bisexual, Lesbian, Transvestite and transsexuals people, in Africa, Europe and all over the world.

We share discussions and devotions, prayers and blessings.

The ministry is founded on God's words "..to preach good tidings to the poor, ...to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of acceptance of the Lord..." Isaiah 61:1-2

I give all glory to God for God's blessings and every day two or more people are joining the egroup, if you have not invited a friend or two please do so now.

See here some of the comments received, it is very encouraging;

"Seems interesting. Just what I've been looking for"
"Well i am a christian, and I would like to know what the group has to offer. Although, I know it has got a lot to offer".
"this is somthing i have been looking for".
"I am a gay black christian who wants to share my experience with other gay blacks or African christians"

See below the initial statement which is on the introduction page of the egroup webpage, everyone is welcome to join regardless of their origin.

To visit go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lgbtnigerians/

If you answered yes to any of the following questions, you need to join this group.Are you African or Black, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transvestite, transexual?
Are you missing the chance to worship God as you are?
Do you feel that the homophobic messages at your current church, or within your culture makes you more angry with God?
Are you missing out on a spiritual journey with Jesus, you believe that your Christian values have been eroded by problems with accepting your sexuality?

Then this yahoo group is for you.We are not going to attempt to re write the bible, we are going to simply help you get re connected with Jesus as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual or transvestite person.I recommend that you join this group and with hope we can move forward spiritually.

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay
Pastor, House Of Rainbow Church Lagos Nigeria

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Would Jesus Discriminate?

Visit http://wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/ Jesus MCC of Indianapolis launched a city-wide billboard campaign that counters the prevailing opinion that gay love is condemned in the Bible.

Here is a concisely written interpretation of 5 biblical passages that clearly demonstrate positive description of same-sex loving relationships, http://wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/ Please pass on to your friends

Nigerian Petition

We are circulating a petition http://tinyurl.com/ysw27c to encourage American politicians to speak out against the pending law that restricts gays in Nigeria.Please visit the site above and sign if you feel so inclined. Also, it would be great if you could encourage others to sign as well. People can sign anonymously if needed.

First Pan African LGBTI Conference

First Pan African LGBTI Conference.

African LGBTI activists meet in Johannesburg and elect a regional body to further advance towards equal rights in Africa. 11/06/2007 May 23, 2007 --

Earlier this May, 2007 more than 60 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists from 15 African countries gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss ways they could consolidate their movement and further progress in self organizing on a regional level. ILGA, a 29-year old world federation of 560 groups, co-organised its first-ever Pan African LGBTI conference, together with a series of African groups including Alternatives Cameroon, Behind the Mask, the Coalition of African Lesbians, Sexual Minorities of Uganda and The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project. The Swedish Lesbian and Gay Federation, RFSL facilitated funding from the Swedish Foreign Office.

The conference began on a tragic note with the death of LGBTI activist Roger William Nowokap. The Cameroonian activist was traveling to the conference to represent the organization Alternatives Cameroon, when his plane crashed. Participants to the conference decided to dedicate the event to his memory.A major focus of the conference was on enabling African LGBTI activists to self-organise on a Pan-African level. Organizing on a continental scale for African LGBTI activists has seen various unsuccessful attempts in the past. One major obstacle to LGBTI organizing in Africa is the prevalence of state-sponsored homophobia. As of April 2007, 38 African countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality.

“In Africa, homophobic laws were either imported by colonial empires or the result of legislations culturally shaped by a conservative interpretation of religious texts” said Rosanna Flamer Caldera and Philipp Braun, Co-secretaries generals of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, in the introduction of a report on State-sponsored Homophobia in Africa launched at the conference. “Although many of the countries listed in the report do not systematically implement those laws, their mere existence reinforces a culture where hatred and violence are somehow justified by the State and force a significant portion of the citizens to hide from the rest of the population out of fear.”

An activist, who asked to remain anonymous, from the Senegalese LGBTI group And Ligeey, a support group for gay men, said gay men faced discrimination in many spheres of society though he applauded the recent inclusion of this group in a government HIV/Aids prevention plan. "Our struggle is about being visible and claiming our rights," he said on the sidelines of the meeting. "Many gays in Senegal are arrested and given unfair trials because what is judged is not their crime but their sexuality."African Lesbians are also particularly at risk as they suffer multiple discrimination not only because of their sexual orientation but also because of their gender.

The Coalition of African Lesbians, a group composed of 11 lesbian and feminist organizations coming from 14 different African countries, played a key role in ensuring that lesbian issues were high on the agenda of the conference. During the plenary session a panel was organised and managed by several lesbian organizations on “Feminist Ideologies, its role and impact in advancing LGBT activism in Africa.” The aim of the session was to make some of those abstract concepts more understandable and accessible and have gay men more involved in gender issues.Another challenge faced by African LGBTI activists wishing to organize on a regional level is language barriers.

Efforts at this year’s conference to bridge the gap between English and French speaking activists in Africa were successful, with delegations from French-speaking countries, such as Morocco, Cameroon, Algeria, Burundi and Senegal, attending the conference and networking with their counterparts in other English-speaking African nations.Despite these challenges, activists at the conference made significant progress in establishing an African regional LGBTI federation. African activists at the conference created an 11-member, interim board to govern the newly formed Pan-African LGBTI federation.

The activists set up five regions in Africa – North, South, East, West, and Central – and elected two representatives from each region. Special attention was paid to the issue of gender parity and it was decided that each region should be represented by one male and one female representative if possible. The final seat on the board was reserved for a Transgender activist. The following members were elected to the board (Because of homophobia and violence perpetuated against LGBTI people in their home countries, several board members asked that their identities remain confidential).

Representing the Northern Region:• Anonymous – Morocco• Anonymous – Abu Nawas - AlgeriaRepresenting the Central Region:• Anonymous – Horizons - Rwanda• Anonymous – Alternatives Cameroon – CameroonRepresenting the Eastern Region:• Anonymous – Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya - Kenya• Anonymous – Spectrum Uganda Initiative - UgandaRepresenting the Western Region:• Rev. Rowland Jide Macaulay – House of Rainbow - Nigeria• Anonymous – And Ligeey – Senegal Representing the Southern Region:• Linda Baumann – The Rainbow Project - Namibia• Danilo da Silva – Lambda Mozambique - MozambiqueThe conference thanked Dorothy Aken’ova and Juliet Victor Mukasa for their work as board members representing Africa on ILGA’s World Board and asked the newly elected interim board to choose two representatives amongst its members. Linda Baumann and Danilo da Silva were chosen for this position. There was no transgender activist available to take the final seat on the board, so Liesl Theron, Director of the first African Transgender organization, Gender Dynamix, has agreed to serve in that role while she actively searches for a transgender activist to replace her.The interim board was charged with an important mandate towards which it will work until the next African regional conference.

Specific goals of the interim board include:• Creating a legal entity for the African regional federation, to be based in South Africa;• Fundraising for both the organization and the next regional conference;• Drafting a constitution to be submitted at the next conference; and• Facilitating access to information for LGBTI groups throughout Africa.In agreement with Behind the Mask, the conference chose to have the South African organisation act as secretariat.

The organisation, well known for its website www.mask.org.za, will hold a seat on the board as ex officio. Activists at the conference were unable to agree on a name for the newly-created organization but the interim board will continue to consider possible names and will propose possibilities at the next conference. For now, the organization will be known as the Pan African ILGA, but activists are hoping to agree upon a more Afro-centric name which uses African words to describe the LGBTI movement in positive terms.Despite the tragic death of Robert Nowokap and the various challenges facing the African LGBTI movement, the conference was an undeniable success. According to David Kato Kisule, secretary of Integrity, a faith-based organization located in Uganda, “It [the African Region of ILGA] will show that homosexual people do exist in African countries and not just something happening in countries with white people.”

“Communities have grown and become stronger in their respective countries” said Linda Baumann from The Rainbow Project, Namibia and co-chair of the board of the new federation. “The formation of the Pan African ILGA is living proof of the strength and unity of gay and lesbian organizations on our continent”. It will work to help all current and future LGBTI organizations and will also be instrumental in lobbying government bodies.”To read more about the Conference:Pink News, Mamba Online, Behind the Mask, ILGAAfrica

African gays speak out on "state-backed" homophobia


African gays speak out on "state-backed" homophobia

By Gershwin Wanneburg

JOHANNESBURG, May 8 (Reuters) - Gay activists are protesting against what they describe as "state-sponsored" homophobia in Africa, saying authorities tacitly condone their persecution across the continent.The International Gay and Lesbian Association's (ILGA) first pan-African conference in Johannesburg, which ends on Tuesday, drew about 60 activists who say they have seen first-hand the consequences of laws that breed homophobia.In some cases, possible sentences against gays include death by stoning.

Thirty-eight of 85 U.N. members who outlaw homosexuality are in Africa, according to an April 2007 ILGA report entitled "State Homophobia in Africa", which accused many African governments of "institutionally promoting a culture of hatred" against gay and lesbian people."Although many of the countries ... do not systematically implement those laws, their mere existence reinforces a culture where a significant portion of the citizens need to hide from the rest of the population in fear," the report said."

A culture where hatred and violence are somehow justified by the state and force people into invisibility or into denying who they truly are."South Africa stands alone in Africa in its liberal attitude, last year becoming the first African nation to allow gay marriages.

Rowland Jide Macaulay, a gay cleric, breaking with African tradition that regards homosexuality as a taboo, launched a gay-friendly church in his native Nigeria last year to counter negative messages from officials and church leaders in a country where laws render homosexuality punishable by stoning to death."We're talking with people who cannot even integrate in the society. They've lost their jobs because they found out that they're gay at work, they've lost the roof over their head because their landlord found out they are gay," he said."There are people who suffer homophobic attacks ... verbal abuse and I think people need assurance they're not mentally ill."

Laws proposed last year will make life harder for gays in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, he said. The Same Sex Prohibition Bill bans homosexual unions and allows for the prosecution of anyone "aiding and abetting" gays and lesbians."In the southern part of federal Nigeria the punishment is seven-14 years. In the sharia (Islamic law) states in the north it's actually death by stoning," Macaulay said.

A West African activist, who did not want to be named, said discrimination towards gay men in his region was deep-seated, especially in the justice system."We've been fighting to have access to justice in a fair way because many times you are judged arbitrarily because when you are homosexual your rights are not recognised," he said."You are wrong even before you start to talk."

Oludare Odumuye, Nigerian Human Rights Activist Has Died, Aged 41.

Oludare Odumuye, Nigerian Human Rights Activist Has Died, Aged 41.
By Revd Rowland Jide Macaulay, Pastor House Of Rainbow, Lagos, Nigeria

June 2007; Oludare Olutosin Toluwalase Odumuye popularly known as Erelu within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) Community died on the 20th May 2007. It was reported that he was taken ill a few weeks prior to his death.Oludare was the Director of Alliance Right Nigeria, an organization which advocated for the rights of LGBTI people in Nigeria since 1999, provided Sexual health information, Advice, Seminars and Training programme.

Oludare made more friends and helped a lot of Nigerians come to terms with their Sexual Orientation. He is an ardent member of House Of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria. Many people in the community are in a state of shock when it was revealed that he had died.Oludare is an International Hero for many Nigerians, He made friends, relationship and forged partnership with many foreign organizations. Oludare is well known by the International Human Rights community.He was the recipient of many awards for his contributions to the LGBTI community in Nigeria including the ASHOKA award 2004.As LGBTI Nigerians mourn their hero, his family, as often expected in Nigeria made a rapid and quick decision to bury him on the 24th May 2007.

This left no doubt a disappointing gap in the minds of many people. It was felt that his life was worth a greater celebration.Oludare with Alliance Right Nigeria made a significant impact in the struggle of LGBTI people in the nation and made friends in the world, he infiltrated the Nigerian government with his activism and jointly led the campaign for the Human Rights of many people, especially against the Same Sex Prohibition Bill 2006.The loss is difficult to comprehend, however, at House Of Rainbow, we dedicated a part of the Service on the 27th May 2007 to his loving memory and allowed people to grieve and celebrate our brother Oludare. On a personal level, I first met Oludare Odumuye in October 2004, prior to meeting we have been in constant communication for nearly two years. We worked together on many issues affecting LGBTI people and Human Rights in Nigeria.

In March 2006, we met again at the ILGA World conference in Geneva Switzerland. There we herald the cause and plight of LGBTI people following the drastic introduction of a draconian Same Sex Prohibition Bill 2006. In July 2006, we held an International Day of Prayer for LGBTI Nigerians, Oludare made a significant contribution by lending his voice with a quote."I applaud the concept of the ministries of Metropolitan Community Church, to look at the spiritual aspect of the human life and to include LGBTI people in the gospel truth and love of Religion, this is very important.Photo Credit: Dan Allman, Abuja, 2005Since 1999, at the Alliance Right Nigeria, we have embraced the fight for the right of all humanity especially human rights for LGBTI Nigerians, we are embarking on the right to sexual health of sexual minorities.We welcome the International Day of Prayer for LGBTI Nigerians, which would be our own day of Pentecost, we believe there would be a release of freedom from all forms of bondage." – Oludare OdumuyeAfter the inauguration of House Of Rainbow in Lagos, in September 2006, Oludare continued to remain in contact with the ministry and later joined and informed members of the community about the church, we are glad to named Oludare as a member of House Of Rainbow.

On the 4th December 2006, he visited House Of Rainbow Lagos, not just to worship but to take part in the programme during the World AIDS Day weekend, He sang his favourite song "My eyes are on the Sparrow" and during the hour long discussion/debate he impacted with knowledge his skills in Sexual Health and Care.Oludare was a caring man and everyone that came to know him will acknowledge his fairness and awesome struggle to liberate and forge an existence for the millions of LGBTI Nigerians.In February 2007, I received a phone call from Oludare informing me of the Public Hearing debate at the Nigerian National Assembly in Abuja, he was one of the lead members of the Coalition for the Defence of the Rights of Sexual Minorities.

His activism and proactive nature meant that we were able to work leaving no stones unturned in preparation for a difficult Public Hearing.In March 2007, on another visit to Abuja Nigeria, Oludare assisted the coordination of a meeting to introduce LGBTI people in a special programme with House Of Rainbow.As we mourn this great loss to our nation and most especially to our community. I write with sadness but we are rest assured that Oludare has gone to become an angel in heaven and will never be forgotten.

Now Church Opens for Gays in Nigeria


now church opens for gays in nigeria
By Joel Nana (BtM Intern)

October 24, 2006: House of Rainbow becomes the first church in Nigeria to accommodate all people irrespective of their sexual orientation.

Launched last month in Lagos, the church was founded by Reverend Jide Macaulay who started with his ministry long time ago in that country even before the advent of President Olusegun Obasanjo who early this year introduced same sex prohibition bill that outlaws and deplores homosexuality.

House of Rainbow is part of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), which are churches first established in the 1960s and merely intended for homosexuals in the world.

“Our vision is to take care of and empower people who are likely to be ostracized and isolated in diverse communities, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in particular”, Macaulay attested.

Not only that Macaulay is a gay pastor, but also a Christian theologian, a poet, a self-published author and an educator in business. He had spent most of his teen years in Nigeria before leaving for London to do work as pastor.

“I know what it is like to be a gay person in the Nigerian conservative society, forced to live in a closet and even afraid to talk about your sexual orientation in Church”, he decried.

He says of the church; “The church is supposed to be the place where we appear true to each other and to God.”

Macaulay says the church reflects diversity, and it aims to implement inclusive language use as well as to encourage involvement of women.

He concluded that House of Rainbow seeks to remind Nigerian population that God is beyond human sexuality.

A Bill To Punish Gays Divides a Family

In Nigeria a Bill To Punish Gays Divides a Family >Theologian Is Pushing It;>His Minister Son's Church>Would Run Afoul of Law> >By Mark Schoofs>January 12, 2007> >LAGOS, Nigeria --

Augustus Olakunle Macaulay founded the Bibleuniversity >that trained his son in theology. He founded the evangelical ministrythat >ordained his son as a minister. And he is president of Nigeria's >Association of Christian Theologians, which counts his son as a member.> >But now Prof. Macaulay supports a proposed law that could criminalizehis >son's new Christian church and put him behind bars. That's because hisson, >the Rev. Rowland Jide Macaulay, has founded House of Rainbow, a churchthat >caters to Nigeria's gay men and lesbians -- a first for Africa's most >populous country.> >

The relationship between Prof. Macaulay and his son mirrors some of the >conflicting forces buffeting homosexuals in Nigeria. Gay men andlesbians >are becoming more visible, even as their society, which is hostile to >homosexuality, threatens to become still less tolerant of them.> >

In his New Year's Eve sermon, Rev. Jide, as he is called by his smallbut >growing flock, declared himself a "happy, holy homosexual." He said,"We >are all God's children, no matter what some people tell us." The morethan >100 attendees, all male, clapped and sang out their approval.> >

After the service, the church sponsored a party. In keeping with achurch >function, no alcohol was served. But the event featured exuberant drag >queens lip-synching disco hits. The party's highlight: a "Mr. Bloke"beauty >contest with contenders strutting their stuff in traditional Africangarb, >corporate wear and swimwear.> >

House of Rainbow -- a member of a gay-affirming U.S. umbrella church >organization -- would almost certainly run afoul of Nigeria's proposedlaw. >Homosexual sex is already punishable by up to 14 years in prison -- or >death by stoning in the Muslim north, though that Shariah sentence is >rarely meted out.> >

The sweeping new bill would punish by up to five years in prison anyonewho >enters into a gay marriage, "performs, witnesses, aids or abets the >ceremony of same-sex marriage" or is "involved in the registration ofgay >clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession ormeetings." >The U.S. State Department has denounced the bill, proposed in Januarylast >year, as a violation of basic freedoms.> >

But the bill is widely expected to pass. It is supported by mostmainstream >Christian and Muslim clergy in Nigeria, including Peter Akinola, the >Anglican archbishop who is leading an international revolt ofconservative >Episcopalians angry about the ordination of gay priests and the >consecration of gay unions.> >

Archbishop Akinola, who also opposes the ordination of women priests,has >become the spiritual leader of more than 20 American conservativechurches >that have broken away from the world-wide Anglican Communion.> >

Anglican Christianity was brought to Nigeria in 1842 by a particularly >conservative group of British missionaries, and "there has been ahardening >of attitudes as the West has liberalized," says Philip Jenkins,professor >of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University and >author of "The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in theGlobal >South."> >

Prof. Jenkins notes that many African societies still derive theirnorms >from agrarian life and that animal sacrifice and polygamy are common in >many parts of Africa. "The Bible carries a lot more weight amongordinary >Africans, partly because people can identify with the society it >describes," he says. "They recognize it as their world." This leads >Africans to a more literal interpretation of Scripture, he believes.The >rise of fundamentalist Islam also puts pressure on African Christiansto >draw a hard line against homosexuals, he says.> >But urban Nigerians are increasingly aware of the advance of gay rightsnot >only in the U.S. but also in South Africa, which enshrines equal rightsfor >homosexuals in its constitution and recently legalized marriage for >same-sex couples. The fact that Nigeria's legislature is consideringthe >new bill testifies to the growing visibility of gay men and lesbians in >Nigeria.> >

As for the Macaulays, the father and son are both polite, well-educatedand >well-traveled. The elder Macaulay is 69 but looks so young that he andhis >41-year-old son are sometimes mistaken for brothers. And they wereclose >even as the younger Macaulay was struggling in secret.> >Born in London, Rev. Jide says he had his first homosexual experiencein >Nigeria, where he spent his teenage years. Ashamed of his attraction to >men, he married a Nigerian woman in London in 1991 and had a son withher. >About three years later, increasingly depressed, he told his wife the >truth. They divorced and he was expelled from their church. He says heand >his wife now speak only to discuss their son, with whom Rev. Jideremains >close.> >Rev. Jide says that for many years he wanted to tell his father, but,he >says, "I couldn't find the courage." Then, during a visit Prof.Macaulay >made to his son's London home in 2003, he noticed some books on >homosexuality. He confronted his son, admonishing him thathomosexuality >was against God's will and urging him to change.> >

Rev. Jide remained silent, both men recall. "In truth, I felt for him, >because I am a father too," the younger man says. "I have twogenerations >on either side of me bearing the brunt of my being gay."> >Indeed, last September after Rev. Jide discussed his sexuality on a BBC >television show, his 14-year-old son sent him a cellphone text messagethat >read in part "i HATE u" and "ur not my dad nemore." The two reconcileda >few days later, but Rev. Jide believes his son's emotional turmoil is >stoked in part by relatives telling him the Bible condemnshomosexuality.> >Many Nigerians say they would disown a gay child. But Prof. Macaulay,who >comes from a family so prominent that a street in Lagos is named afterone >of his uncles, tries to take a love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin approach.In a >letter to his son shortly after discovering his son's homosexuality, he >wrote, "People in Nigeria here love you and rate you high in theirlives." >But in that same letter he warned that his son's homosexuality "is notonly >ABOMINABLE but a great DISGRACE to our family."> >

To the extent that his son's church affirms homosexuality, it is "of >Satan," the father says.>So, despite protests from his wife, Prof. Macaulay supports theanti-gay >legislation. He says he "won't feel very bad" if his son winds up in >prison, which he even sees as a possible means of turning his sonstraight.> >At House of Rainbow, Rev. Jide repeatedly encounters his own family >struggle in members of his flock. "The biggest issue," he says, "ispeople >have been wounded in their family by being rejected, by being totally >unloved."> >

Another key issue, he says, is nurturing healthy relationships in "a >society that is very, very brutal" toward gay people. Gay men tend tomeet >in the relative safety of the Internet, but relationships often founder >because the men can't build a life together, says Adebisi Alimi, amember >of House of Rainbow and one of Nigeria's very few openly gay activists.> >

Fearing gay bashers -- always a threat in Nigeria, where homosexualscan't >count on police to protect them -- Rev. Jide arranged for the NewYear's >Eve service and party to be held on the far outskirts of Lagos. Theevent >was held under the moon in an open-air courtyard with a dirt floor. >Electricity, always sporadic in Lagos, kept cutting out as the backup >generator sputtered. But as midnight approached, the congregationcounted >down the seconds with gusto, then hugged and danced before resuming the >service to take communion.> >When Rev Jide announced he would offer a blessing for gay singles,dozens >rushed to him, some kneeling. "May you find a fine boyfriend," Rev.Jide >prayed.> >

Write to Mark Schoofs at mark.schoofs@wsj.com> >END

A Response to Homophobic Church Comments

A Response: The Homophobic church
By Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay

There have been so many responses, since the interview was posted online. Many people have been honest, and truly many have not taken time to think about the adverse consequence their comment would make.I found the dogma of prejudice, domineering and also traditionalist in existence in the arguments of the people. I have taken time to introduce a scholarly theological position, for those willing to rethink. "I accept this award as a reaffirmation of my commitment to challenge all forms of discrimination and persecution and to do everything I can to help make our democracy more inclusive, because none of us can be free, until all of us are free…and I accept this award with heartfelt appreciation for my lesbian and gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers who are working for human rights and social progress for people of all races." Coretta Scott King Civil rights leader, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr

The bible clearly says in Romans 8.33-39, Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.The BibleIn our Judeo-Christian society, the documents collectively known as the Bible serve as the primary guide on most issues. It is interesting that many Christians take literally the references to homosexual acts, while interpreting other text with great flexibility. One person reported listening to a nationally known woman speaks in her campaign against homosexuality. She spent quite a bit of time quoting impressively from Leviticus. The listener accepted much of what the speaker said until he realised that, by Levitical standards, the crusader herself had broken many biblical laws – she spoke in church (1 Corinthians 14:34), she taught men (1 Timothy 2:12), she was wearing a dress made of cotton and polyester (Deuteronomy 22:11), and others of which he was probably unaware. What does the Bible really say about homosexuality? Actually, very little. Most significantly, Jesus said nothing at all. Considering the relatively small amount of attention the Bible pays to the subject, we must ask ourselves why this is such a volatile issue. Other subjects about which the scriptures say a great deal (e.g. judgement, pride, hypocrisy) receive much less passionate attention. Before looking at specific passages, it is important to note that everyone understands the scriptures based on, and through, the light of what they have been taught. The Bible was not written in a cultural void, and many of its instructions and laws are simply classified as less relevant today (e.g. prohibition against eating pork).Nowhere does the Bible actually address the idea of persons being lesbian or gay. The statements are, without exception, directed to certain homosexual acts. Early writers had no understanding of homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. That truth is a relatively recent discovery. The biblical authors were referring to homosexual acts performed by persons they assumed were heterosexuals.

Rowland Jide Macaulay
10/04/2006, 01:53

The Sodom StoryA chief text used to condemn homosexuality is the Sodom story (Genesis 19:1-29), often interpreted as showing God's abhorrence of homosexuality. In the story, two angels, in the form of men, are sent to the home of Lot in Sodom. While they are there, the men of the city “both young and old, surrounded the house - everyone without exception” and demanded that the visitors be brought out “so that we might know them.” (Genesis 19: 4-5) Lot begged the men to leave his guests alone and take his daughters instead. The men of the city became angry and stormed the door. As a result, they were all struck blind by the angels.There are several problems with the traditional interpretation of this passage. Whether or not the intent of the men of Sodom was sexual, the inhospitality and injustice coming from the mob, and that generally characterised the community, were “the sin of Sodom.” (Ezekiel 16:49-50, Isaiah 13:19, Jeremiah 49:18; 50:40) Jesus himself refers to the inhospitality of Sodom. (Luke 10:10-13) If the men were indeed homosexuals, then why would Lot offer them his daughters? What is threatened here is rape. The significant point, then, is that God considers all rape horrible. The story deserves another reading.It should be noted that not all of the men of Sodom could have been homosexual or there would have been no need to destroy them. If they had all been homosexuals, they would have all died off leaving no heirs. Quite likely, they were a mixed group of evil men attempting to be abusive to people who were different. Ironically, lesbian and gay people are often the victim of that same sin.Although the traditional interpretation of the Sodom story fails as an argument against homosexuality, there are several other Old Testament passages that do condemn homosexual acts. Again, it should be noted that these passages do not deal with same-sex orientation nor is there any reference to genital love between lesbian or gay persons.Homosexual ActsOf thousands of Old Testament passages, only two make explicit reference to homosexual acts: Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. Both of these passages are a part of the Levitical holiness code, which is not kept by any Christian group. If it were enforced, almost every Christian would be excommunicated or executed. It has been logically argued that science and progress have made many of the Levitical laws irrelevant. For example, fundamentalist author Tim LaHaye states that, although Levitical laws prohibit intercourse during menstruation, medical authorities do not view it as harmful, and, therefore, it should not be viewed as sinful. He further explains, “Those laws were given 3,500 years ago before showers and baths were convenient, before tampons, disinfectants and other improved means of sanitation had been invented.” Much of the holiness code is now irrelevant for us as moral law. Thus, having children, which was of exceptional importance to the early Hebrews is now made less relevant by overpopulation, just as the prohibition against eating pork and shellfish has been made irrelevant by refrigeration.The Bible never addresses the issue of homosexual love, yet it does have several beautiful examples of same-sex love. David's love for Jonathan was said to exceed his love for women. (2 Samuel 1:26) Ruth's relationship with Naomi is an example of a deep, bonding love, and Ruth’s words of covenant to Naomi are often used in heterosexual wedding ceremonies. (Ruth 1:16-17) The Bible clearly values love between persons of the same sex.

Rowland Jide Macaulay
10/04/2006, 01:54

Jesus' AttitudeIn the New Testament there is no record of Jesus saying anything about homosexuality. This ought to strike us as very odd in light of the great threat to Christianity, family life and the way that some would have us believe homosexuality is. Jesus saw injustice and religious hypocrisy as a far greater threat to the Realm of God.Modern day Bible scholars argue that the Gospels imply in two places that Jesus' attitude toward lesbians and gays would not have been hostile. (Jonathan Loved David, p. 122) The first is found in the story of Jesus healing the Centurion's servant. (Matthew 8:5-13) The word used for the servant is “pais,” which in the Greek culture referred to a younger lover of an older, more powerful or educated man. Clearly, the story demonstrates an unusually intense love, and Jesus' response was wholly positive.The other hint of Jesus' attitude is seen in his comments about eunuchs. (Matthew 19:10-12). It is in the context of marriage that Jesus said “some eunuchs were born so; others had been made eunuchs and still others choose to be eunuchs for the Kingdom's sake.” Jesus' remarks about celibacy and castration are clear, but a male child being born without testicles is a rare birth defect. It is only in our day that the Kinsey Institute has demonstrated that sexual orientation is likely determined prior to birth. It could well be that those to whom Jesus refers as being “born eunuchs” are the people we call lesbian or gay.Jesus' attitude toward eunuchs differed greatly from the fundamentalist Pharisees of his day. To them, eunuchs should have been excluded from the covenant and barred from worship and participating in the community of faith. Jesus' graceful approach to eunuchs is beautifully pictured in the promise of the prophecy of Isaiah, “To the eunuchs...I will give them an everlasting name that will not be taken away.” (56:4-8)In Jesus' day there were three types of persons called eunuchs: celibates, those who were slaves and were castrated so that children would not be born to them, and those who were “born eunuchs,” or homosexuals. Royal and wealthy households used castrated slaves to work with and guard the concubines and female slaves. However, when assigning slaves to female members of the royal family, they would choose homosexual slaves. With female members, the concern was not just unwanted pregnancies but also rape.It is against this background that we must read the story found in Acts 8:26-40. In this passage, the Holy Spirit sends Philip the Deacon to witness to and baptise an Ethiopian eunuch of Queen Candace of Ethiopia. One of the earliest converts to Christianity was a person excluded for sexual reasons from the Old Testament community.

Rowland Jide Macaulay
10/04/2006, 01:55

Paul's ReferencesPaul's statement in Romans 1:18-32 has been taken as the strongest New Testament rejection of homosexuality. He is concerned about the influence of the pagan culture on the Roman Christians. After giving a detailed description of a world that “exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator,” he continues, “Therefore, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lusts for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty of their perversion.”A complete reading of these passages, in their original context, clearly shows that what Paul was actually referring to was homosexual temple prostitution, which was performed by various cults (though far more cults used heterosexual prostitution). Again, Paul is not referring to same-sex love and he clearly has no concept of persons for whom this lifestyle is “natural.”Paul's other reference to homosexual acts in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is similar to 1 Timothy 1:8-11. These two passages contain lists of persons to be excluded from the Realm of God. The interpretation of these passages depends on two Greek words that have always presented a problem for translators. In the King James Version, they are translated “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with mankind.” In the Revised Standard Version, they were combined and rendered as “homosexuals,” however, these are not the Greek words for homosexual, so this translation reflects the scholars' bias. The New International Version illustrates the difference in these two words by translating them “male prostitute” and “homosexual offenders.” The Jerusalem Bible uses the terms “catamites and “sodomites.” Catamites were youth kept especially for sexual purpose, who were usually paid large sums of money. Neither passage refers to persons of same-sex orientation but to people who used their sexuality for personal gain.The Love of ChristJesus did a great deal to change many social customs and ideas. He elevated the position of women, and, ultimately, they were his best and most faithful disciples. He did this by example and by commandments that were absolutely inclusive of the rights of all people. Yet, in the name of the Christ whose love encompassed all, the Church has been the most homophobic of all institutions. This should not be surprising when we realise that the Church is still the largest institution, which is primarily racially segregated.The final, and central, message of the New Testament is that ALL persons are loved by God so much that God's Son was sent as a means of redemption from a disease by which we are all afflicted. The cure for this disease cannot be found in any set of actions. Neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality is redemptive. God's love through Christ was given to all people.The Theological ReflectionFor the Christian, sin must be understood as a disease that results FROM a broken relationship with God and that results IN a broken relationship with one another and with ourselves. Hence, Jesus' supreme command is to love God and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Christianity is not a religion with new rules and laws but rather is a new relationship with God. Those things that the legalists are fond of labelling “sins” are actually just symptoms of the much deeper disease of alienation and estrangement. Much of the energy of the Church has been spent dealing with symptoms while leaving the disease intact. Jesus did not seem overly concerned about the legal transgressions of those to whom he ministered. Rather, he was much more concerned with healing the physical, spiritual, emotional and relational brokenness of people. Perhaps if the Church would again give itself to the healing/reconciling ministry of Jesus, then some of the symptoms about which we are so concerned would begin to disappear.Jesus accepted people as they were and allowed love and acceptance to work its miracle. However, most lesbians and gays have been lesbian or gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it is as much a natural characteristic as their eye colour. Kinsey Institute research (University of Indiana, 1981) has suggested that homosexuality may well be genetic or, at least, linked to some prenatal factors. (Sexual Preference, Bell &Weinberg) Certainly most competent psychologists would concur that sexual orientation is set prior to the age of five in most persons. It is, therefore, not a matter of choice, so it cannot be a moral or ethical issue.Many Christians insist that God can change/cure the homosexual. In the book The Third Sex there are six reported cases of homosexuals whom God has “cured.” Of these six, at least four are known to have returned to their gay lifestyle. (Christianity Today, February 1981) Many lesbians and gays spend most of their lives trying, with no success, to persuade God to change them. It is like trying to get God to change your eye colour. What option, then, is left to these persons? They have been told that they can't be gay and Christian. Since all efforts have failed in their struggle not to be gay or lesbian, then their only recourse, according to the Church, is that they can't be Christian. So, the Church has discounted or discarded as much as 10% of the population.If they are excluded from the life of the Christian community, who, then, will tell them of God's inclusive love and of Jesus' reconciling death? Are they left to assume that God is so narrow-minded as to exclude them for something over which they have no control and for a choice they did not make? When will the Church finally be brave enough to say with Paul, “in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female,” gay or straight? God has enough love for all!My prayer today and always is that for many Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans people (otherwise outcast by religion) would find inclusion in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray to reclaim the bible for communities that has been denied full access and inclusion, especially an inclusive message of God’s pure love for all people.More love more powerRev Rowland Jide MacaulayMetropolitan Community Church

Holy Bible

The Homophobic Church By Toni Hines

The Homophobic Church
By Toni Hines

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, “Are black churches homophobic?” Yes. When Jide answered this question during our interview he looked at me dead in the eyes. He was calm, articulate and clear in what he had to say. There was no mincing of words as he was simply speaking from his personal experience. You see, Rowland ‘Jide’ Macaulay is a Black, Nigerian, Born-again Christian who openly admits to being gay. He is also an ordained reverend; a man of the cloth. He was once rooted in the Pentecostal church but left the flock disillusioned by the exclusive nature of its congregation. Now aged 40 and living in London , Jide is comfortable accepting who, he believes, he is - an African, gay Christian; a child of God.

The subject of homosexuality is rarely addressed in churches today, even more so the topic of gay/lesbian Christians. Most ministries refuse to accept that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals can be Born-again Christians. The belief is you cannot profess to walk with Christ if you make a conscious decision to walk in ‘sin’. From many church pulpits there is constant reference to Biblical scriptures like Sodom and Gomorrah which they say illustrates the consequence of this ‘chosen lifestyle’. These sentiments are also echoed in the lyrics of some well-known Gospel songs.

Whether you agree with this or not the fact remains that LGBT communities are often condemned to ‘fire and brimstone’ damnation and ostracism. They are seen as the ultimate of all sinners – ahead of the adulterers, idolaters and gossipmongers. There have even been extreme cases of this 'non-acceptance' with arson attacks on gay-welcoming churches – one such example in Hawaii a few years ago, as reported on 365Gay.com.

The irony of the matter is that the hatred towards LGBT Christians is more likely to come from the black church which was once oppressed by the white community pre-civil rights days. Yet despite this history, the perceived bigotry from the black congregation remains and Jide’s experience is testimony to that.

“When I was growing up, there were no role models and no education about being gay,” explains Jide. “The church was the last place to raise this issue for fear of victimisation, isolation and exorcism. It is commonly said in Africa that ‘It is better to have the corpse of my child, than for me to accept that my child is gay’. Most families believe it is an abuse of traditional values and a sign of western sexual corruption and immorality. Some people even believe it’s a disability or result of occult activity.

"My father is a pastor and bible school lecturer and I was more afraid of his reaction than I was of God, which is not right. I was always aware of my sexual orientation and that I was attracted to boys and as a child I prayed to God to remove this feeling from me. It was a confusing time and I had so many questions in my mind. 'Was it a sickness? If I got married would I be healed?'"

A colourful collection of poems by Rowland Jide
Although he grew up in a Christian household, Jide re-dedicated his life to Christ and eventually joined a London Pentecostal church. It was there that he met a woman and after years of dating got married and had a son. Jide’s commitment to God led him to do a Masters degree in theology and was later ordained as a reverend in 1998. He also produced a book called Poetry Inspired in 2001 and carried his poetic ministry across the waters. But despite having a ‘normal’ life he was battling with his sexual orientation and eventually engaged in sexual relations with a man.
“I knew I had to separate from my wife at this point which was a painful, painful experience,” says Jide. “I told her everything. But it really got bad when she told the family and when the church got to know. However the important issue was my child. My sexual orientation has nothing to do with being a good father.”

Jide explained that the ‘out of the closet’ experience was also a battle of religious beliefs and cultural identity. He still loved the Lord but didn’t know of any support systems and so he looked for help in the gay community.

A pocket devotional written by Jide last year
“I didn’t like myself and I wanted to be a whole person,” Jide explains. “However, I found a black gay and lesbian Christian fellowship in South London which I had visited before. They introduced me to the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) and I started to go there in 2002.”

Today, Jide is a part of the ministerial clergy of MCC North London. The church, which has many branches around the world – including parts of Africa – opens its doors to marginalised groups particularly the LGBT community.

“MCC is about Christians winning souls for Christ. It's an inclusive congregation where as many mainstream churches are exclusive. I think the Pentecostal church needs to be honest and realise there is a ministry for the LGBT community. There is also a need to look at the interpretation of the Bible, moral teachings and not to be judgemental.”

Jide’s ‘openness’ suggestion has also been echoed by religious leaders (including Rev Al Sharpton) who attended the Black Church summit in Atlanta, USA, in January. Its focus was on homophobia in the black church and the summit concluded that there is a need to have an open discussion on how to deal with the matter – especially as ‘in the closet’ lesbians and gays are already in church, not just in the choir, but in leadership positions and in the pulpit.

What does the future hold? God only knows. But Jide hopes things will change even though his siblings and father still refuse to accept who he is. “The future? Well, I want to be in full-time ministry, write books, plant churches in Nigeria and reach out to other LGBT Africans. I will also continue being a father to my son and even though I’m single I would love to get married one day!”





Africa And Homosexuality

Africa and Homosexuality
By Rowland ‘jide Macaulay

Once again we are being faced with the problematic relationship of the Christian church and homosexuality. Comments on the issue from African statesmen and clergymen, especially African Anglican bishops, make headlines and the basic human rights of gays and lesbians continue to be violated.

I am Nigerian, gay, a Christian theologian, a poet, self-published author, an educator in business and Christian education, and a confirmed and ordained pastor. I have a law degree and hold a master's degree in theology, I am self-employed as a business consultant and also fulfilling my calling in pastoral ministry with the Metropolitan Community Church, a ministry which began in 1968 for lesbian and gay people.

Lesbians and gay men of African descent, like myself, today struggle to affirm our identity because we have often been expected to deny our sexuality for the sake of surviving in our spiritual communities. Religious tradition has too often emphasised the holiness of heaven over the holiness of the earth.

Lesbians and gay men of African descent, like myself, today struggle to affirm our identity because we have often been expected to deny our sexuality for the sake of surviving in our spiritual communities. Religious tradition has too often emphasised the holiness of heaven over the holiness of the earth.

Not only does legislation prohibit homosexuality in many African countries but its very existence is also denied as prevailing within the culture. There is a continual attempt to deny that gays and lesbians make up a significant part of the population. “Gay culture” virtually does not exist from an African point of view. The subject of homosexuality is a huge taboo. Many Africans are in same-sex relationships but very few will be open about their sexuality to their families.

There have always been African men who are sexually attracted to other men, since biblical times. South Africa's Brenda Fassie is an icon for many African gay men and lesbians. Before her demise, Brenda was openly bisexual. Bisi Alimi, a notable scholar of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, in an interview with Ms Funmi Iyanda, came out as “gay” on national television in Nigeria. The reaction of the nation was totally unforgiving towards her. But very soon, we will see a new generation of African gay icons.

Being born homosexual in African culture is not something that you are able to understand as a child. African society has made it a taboo because it cannot deal with the growing demands of gays and lesbians, of their human rights, their need to be recognised and protected under the law.

If it were possible to determine homosexuality at birth, many African parents would repudiate their homosexual children before they have the chance to live. It is commonly said in Africa, “It is better to have the corpse of my child, than for me to accept that my child is gay.” As far as Africans are concerned, homosexuality is an abuse of traditional values. Homosexuality is seen as a sign of western sexual corruption and immorality. Some families believe that homosexuality is a result of occult activity and others that it is a disability.

The experience of an African gay or lesbian person living in exile in a foreign country is one of lost hope and a lack of representation. There are times when it feels that the entire world is against you. Gay Africans are not accepted by their own heritage of African culture and are equally faced with oppression, prejudice, and low self-esteem.

I have spoken to over 50 African gays and lesbians in the past two years. The conversations revealed that their lives seem worthless in a society that gives them little protection against the hatred for their sexual orientation. Although I'm gay and living in a foreign country, I still fear the hatred that comes from my own country. Just a few weeks ago I went back to Nigeria to visit family and friends, but also to take part in one of the rare public events for lesbians and gay men in Nigeria. It was the fifth anniversary symposium of Alliance Rights of Nigeria, led by its late president, Dare Odumuye, a very brave gay man. It was a rare occasion for Nigerians to discuss the issues affecting sexual minorities. A spokeperson for INCRESE another organisation championing gay issues in Minna, Niger State, explained the struggles of sexual minorities and facilities available in Nigeria.

There are many cases where violence is perpetrated against gays and lesbians and where family relationships breakdown. Those known to be gay or lesbian are seen as outcasts, bringing terrible shame to their family name and harming the families' values and reputation.
Powerful organisations like the church, which could make an enormous difference, add fuel to the stigma and undermine all efforts to change attitudes. African gays and lesbians therefore go underground; leading to a lack of self-esteem, increased insecurity, loneliness and sometimes suicide.

Powerful organisations like the church, which could make an enormous difference, add fuel to the stigma and undermine all efforts to change attitudes. African gays and lesbians therefore go underground; leading to a lack of self-esteem, increased insecurity, loneliness and sometimes suicide. The Christian churches are among the worst perpetrators of homophobia, using the Bible to support their attitudes and arguments. The issues are preached about in ways that are difficult to challenge and cannot be openly debated in the pews. Counselling is usually offered to those known or suspected of being homosexual. The experienced usually leaves the victim more confused.

The spiritual needs of Africans are different from western needs. African culture embraces a greater intimacy of spiritual growth. We need a new era of Christian faith that can celebrate same-sex unions, so that many more gay Africans can be proud to celebrate their sexuality in a loving union.

In Europe, the last decade has seen a radical change in attitudes towards lesbians and gay men. There has been a limited change of attitudes within the African gay community in Europe, but for those with families in Africa, secrecy remains essential. Many gay Africans still find it difficult to come to terms with their sexuality, mainly because they are not ‘out' as gay in their own cultural communities.

My goal as a gay man of African descent is to reach out to other gays and lesbians who are suffering persecution to offer hope and let them know they are not alone. I know that taking a stand and making myself visible will have repercussions. However, I stand strong in my faith and belief that as a child of God all will be well.

In London on November 20, 2004, Tumaini (meaning “Hope”) was inaugurated: it was the first-ever African gay men's culture event. Tumaini brought together gay men of African descent in a safe, mutually supportive environment where they shared experiences, accessed information, and gained practical advice.

Tumaini addressed a range of issues affecting African gay and bisexual men, as well as generated debate and provided the space for dialogue in a structured setting. We hope that this event and others in the future will attract the attention of African governments, faith groups, policy makers and many more decision-makers in our home nations.
Gay Africans are entering a long battle to get our experiences and the reality of our lives recognised and accepted within our own cultures.

A Response to "Brothers In Love"

A response to Brothers in LOVE.
By Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay

I wish to start with a gratitude to Joseph Ushigiale’s report about homosexuality titled Brothers in LOVE in ThisDay, Saturday Plus, dated August 18, 2007. Having quoted my personal experience accurately, in a well balance article, I wish to add more to the issues Nigerian gays and lesbians are facing. The arrest and conviction of the Bauchi 18, will no doubt be a catalyst for revolution for change. The world media are certainly on the tail of Nigeria to see what will happen. There is a pervasive view that homosexuality is a sign of western sexual corruption and immorality. Some African families even believe that homosexuality is a result of occult activities. Leading Nigerians and politicians have claimed that homosexuality is un-African and that the Western world is spreading a concept of immorality amongst her citizens.

Same sex relationships are totally frowned upon and are not accepted within the general Nigerian cultures. This attitude is reinforced by legislation. Same Sex Prohibition Bill stipulates five years imprisonment without trial. This has been problematic even for the entire Nigerian population to understand, but more fearful for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) population is the Islamic Sharia Laws. In January 2006, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced the proposal of a new law to ban homosexual relations and same sex marriage in Nigeria. The bill would make engaging in homosexual relations and entering into same sex marriage offences punishable by five years imprisonment. Priests or other cleric or anyone helping to arrange such a union would also be subjected to a five-year jail sentence. The law would also ban movements, associations or organisations that campaign for LGBT rights.

In June 2006, during a BBC World Service Programme called “Africa Have Your Say” the Rev. Cannon George Njoku, in Abuja, Nigeria, claimed the attempts of the Nigerian LGBT community, global justice and human rights movements to challenge the proposed bill amounts to terrorism and blackmail of the church. A freelance journalist in Nigeria whom we shall call Daniel Nwayere (who appealed for his real identity to be concealed) said that the motion to pass the bill to law originated from former President Olusegun Obasanjo with the backing of the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Primate Peter Akinola.

The LGBT community itself is experiencing a high level of concern and anxiety at these new measures to curb the limited human rights. All these laws are creating an atmosphere of intimidation and repression for the community in Nigeria. Nwayere told me that he is a gay man and expressed his opinion that the seriousness of this matter has only just began. He said, for example, if he was known as a gay man, he would be ostracised and not be able to get any work in the media industry. Bisi Alimi now 31 years old, Nigerian who publicly came out as a gay man in 2004. He has faced and endured torrents of physical and verbal abuse and threats to his life in his daily life in Nigeria. He is a man of great courage and determination. In Nigeria the situation is so dangerous that only a handful of people are willing to share in his open struggle for the recognition of human rights of LGBT people.

The majority of LGBT people in Nigeria live in perpetual fear of discrimination, physical assault and threats to livelihood and rejection from homes and churches. For example, many LGBT people want to be able to worship in peace and seek spiritual guidance from the various religious leaders and institutions in Nigeria, but yet they are rejected and denounced by those same religious leaders and institutions. In contrast to Nwayere’s experiences, Alimi has been subjected to inhumane physical and verbal abuse purely on the grounds of sexual orientation, Alimi has many times considered self-harm. He said, if he was not in a meaningful and loving relationship with his partner of many years he would have considered ending his life. A

limi, being out spoken and popular as an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, was invited to speak on a Live TV programme on the 8th October 2004, it was on this programme that he confirmed that he is a gay man. Life after this single experience for Alimi has been little or no consolation. He struggles with finding suitable employment or housing because he is a known gay man. However, he continues to speak up and stand out wherever there is an opportunity to do so. In Nigeria, there are no licensed gay clubs, bars or safe spaces where the LGBT community could gather. However, the LGBT community is a resilient and resourceful community. They have organised events using the internet and continue to celebrate their sexuality despite the repressive laws. There is always a danger that when these events or social gatherings take place there is a risk of a police raid or hooligans who cause trouble. But yet they continue to live their lives with courage and hope. There are few organised groups, such as Alliance Rights Nigeria, Support Project in Nigeria (SPIN), House Of Rainbow, INCRESE, The Independent Project, who would be affected should the proposed bill become law. Lesbians and gays have reported that the police in Nigeria are now starting to use their “Stop and Search” powers to stop them and physically and verbally abuse them. The simple fact is that LGBT people exist in Nigeria. They are a part of the fabric of the Nigerian society.

For many years, a group of Muslim homosexuals operated in the majority Muslim Northern Nigeria under the coded name of Dan Daudu despite the strict Sharia laws. A Spokesperson for the Alliance Rights Nigeria estimates that a high percentage of Nigerian gays and lesbians are forced into heterosexual marriages to conceal their sexual orientation but they continue to pursue same sex sexual relationships. Openly LGBT people are excluded from the society and are often deprived of health care, especially if they suggest that they suffer from health complaints associated with homosexual activity. Talking about sexuality and spirituality in the light of prejudice from the Nigerian government, Dola who is a very private individual broke her silence. Dola now in her forties a Nigerian Lesbian who now lives in London expressed her deep concerns with me. She said, It really does not matter where you live, whether it is in the United Kingdom with a leap for freedom or in Nigeria with little or no hope. As a Nigerian, to identify with the cultural and traditional request for morality is a must, being openly and happily gay in Nigeria is not an option, this is what we seek to readdress, in our activism. Things are set to change for LGBT people in Nigeria, as a percentage of gay people are increasingly seeking support from many online web pages and forming social groups. There have been many discourses of the issues and some campaigns at higher level and events organised. Also an unimaginable number of people are driven into the closet for fear of retribution, isolation and rejection should their sexual orientation become public. The proposed bill to ban same sex relationships in Nigeria has not been made into law.

Human rights organisations and the Metropolitan Community Churches are campaigning for the proposed bill to be abandoned.

The Lagos State House Of Assembly on the 24th May 2007, called for a public hearing to debate the proposal to pass a law titled Same Sex Prohibition Bill 2007, this was a copy of the Law from Federal level, discriminatory but not as draconian in its provision, however the States against the Federal stipulates 10 years imprisonment for any offender successfully prosecuted.

About House Of Rainbow

House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria.

House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria, was inaugurated in the city of Lagos on the 2nd September 2006, 32 people attended the official occasion. The first service was opened with a celebration service followed by a discussion on the topic of sexuality and spirituality. House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria is a part of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), an inclusive gospel ministry of Jesus Christ, for all children of God, regardless of age, gender, race, tribe, language, marital or employment status, ability, disability, health, sexual orientation, etc

UFMCC Mission Statement.

· UFMCC is committed to basic Christian Gospel, that the love of God is freely available to all people, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
· UFMCC recognises the oppression caused through racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of prejudice, both within and outside the Christian Church.
· UFMCC seeks to share healing with all people so affected.


The vision of the future of UFMCC is to take care of and empower people, who are likely to be ostracised and isolated in diverse communities. House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria, seeks to serve all people of God, in particular, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities. There are a high percentage of LGBT people who are Christians and are seeking an affirming congregation. This sets out the reasons for an LGBT affirming ministries in Nigeria.

The religious climate overall in Nigeria is extremely hostile towards LGBT people. Fundamentalist, conservative and some gay people, feel that there is no way out of a punishment for homosexuality.

With the presence of House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria, it will give us the opportunity to interact with other faith group, create an awareness of Global Justice issues and educate as many people and organisations on the tenets and belief of UFMCC. This will create a welcoming church that liberates and validates human sexuality as ordained by God and a relationship outside UFMCC.

With the creation of UFMCC churches headstrong, to serve the growing global LGBT population, who are also seriously marginalised by legislation, but truly determined to emerge as a positive social and spiritual force.

A Clear Philosophy of Ministry

House of Rainbow, Lagos, Nigeria, reflects the variety, diversity and tribal influence of the Christian worship in the country. Membership consist of people from various denominations, workforce etc. The style of worship is liturgical, praise & worship, using modern church music with a blend of hymns from various traditions.

House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria meet;
· weekly for Celebration Worship.
· monthly for Bible Study & Prayer Meeting.
· Regular Seminars & Workshops

House of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria
(a part of the Metropolitan Community Churches)
P. O. Box 1854 Mushin, Lagos Nigeria 100009

Phone: 0805 256 7170, 01 89 222 99


God Made Them Gay And Lesbian
© Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, October 2007. Pastor, House Of Rainbow MCC, Lagos Nigeria.

I have often thought of making a contribution to rewrite the stories of the bible and this is an opportunity to start. According to Genesis, the first book of Moses, written by a man, it is no wonder that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Intersex people are not prominent figures, this is about to change with the advent of queer ministry.

The opening book also casted women in a different picture, today many countries and cultures globally treat women as subordinate. The developed and mature thinking of liberal theologians argued that Genesis was not only recorded in the ancient days it was recorded by a man. Which in many ways contributed to the exclusion of women and other sexual minority groups. Now we begin to ask queer questions, those questions we are not opportuned to ask whilst in Bible school, seminaries etc, many people I know were expelled from theological training because they asked a queer question. Then how are we to know the truth and how on earth are we going to be set free? The honesty in rewriting these theologies, we have to consider the absence of the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the interpretation of the opening book of the bible, Genesis. And also understand the reasons for exclusion of the correct interpretation, which has constituted a massive debate today.

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth..." there is a suggestion that there must have been a time before the very beginning of the formation of the earth. There must have been a gathering of the heavens, God and Holy Spirit, here we are told of the miraculous formation of the earth. The separation of darkness and light, sky and waters, waters and dry land, vegetation in various kinds, swarms of living creatures, birds, living creatures of every kind. Read Genesis 1:1-25. Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth" We must understand that in the 21st Century much analysis have been carried out scientifically and religiously to explain the origin of humans, whilst many like myself believe in the creation story, one must wonder why gays and lesbians are not included in the interpretation by popular Christian movements? "Let us make humankind in our image" suggest to me that there were more than one person present as I dont believe God would have spoken alone, there seem to be a matter for consideration in heaven. The paradign of two creation stories even made it more confusing, the first in Genesis 1, was clear when it says "God made them male and female"

Feminist theologians have argued successfully that this signposted to equality of gender in creation, a second creation story recorded in Genesis 2, suggested that the man was made first and from the man the woman was made. The version created disparity in the ability to provide equality to the gender and also created a gap in understanding sexual orientation and identity. We are to understand and accept that women are second to men and therefore men are superior. How do we conclude on what the image of God is? Is God black, white, asian, african, european, man, woman, homosexual, heterosexual etc? The creation of the human race is the image of God, lets be queer about the interpretation, many conservative theologians have taken a narrow interpretation to marginalise other groups that neither fit or able to conform to their stereotypes. This is rather sad.

The lack of explanation or the ability to be honest led in many ways to the narrow conclusion and the exclusion of women and sexual minorities in the early chapters of the bible. In 1973 The American Psychriatic Association made a remarkable announcement to delete homosexuality from the list of mental illness, thankfully we are able to say the same step has followed in Nigeria, but 31 years later in 2004.

It is believed that we are working in a credible direction to analyse human sexuality and reconcile with spirituality. Gays and Lesbians often harassed on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity are human enough to hold jobs, join the armed force, raise a family and contribute to societal responsibilities. The bible say "let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth" not over each other. This has been a problem between race, between men and women, between people with different sexual orientation who asserts dominion over those who are considered minorities. After spending just over a year in Nigeria where most of the race are black, there a divisive tribal wars in the country, there are dangerous disputes between Christians and Muslime, Northerners and Southerners. This division also lend its nature to the gay community, where shamefully those who are marginalised by the wider society also found it fit to marginalise within a small group of people, for example, some gay men discriminate against other gay men who are considered too effeminate or passive.

The sordid interpretation of the scriptures by fundamentals means that many gays and lesbians today are unable to reconcile sexuality with spirituality, they have been forced away from the relationship with the Creator. A continuous deliberate act to permanently and mentally exclude gays and lesbians from inclusion in the creation story and the inclusive gospel and love of Jesus we seek to promote. Whilst studying the creation story, I understand as a gay man that we are present in creation, God made them gay and lesbian and since it is known of the biases of the early bible scholars, it is no surprise that the interpretation that excludes still carries on. If you are not gay or lesbian you can never understand, my message is for those who offer healing to gays and lesbians, to stop trying to heal gays or lesbians, rather the fundamentalist need their ignorance and spiritual blindness healed. My queer senses trigger in to action, when studying and studying the creation stories, there are many inaccuracies in the interpretation and offered explanations. I am not stupid and I just cannot rest nor reconcile with foolishness. I believe many men and many women where created by God at creation and the ability to be heterosexual or homosexual was part of God gift to humanity.

At this point we must understand that those who are heterosexuals or homosexuals will act accordingly. The argument "be fruitful and multiply" does not apply to the heterosexual standard with the ability to impregnate and conceive but also to the ability to get wealth, take care of each other and also this principle is often applied in the case of mergers, where tow powerful organisation merge they become stronger in their output and resources. The bible strongly recommend partnership of two or more. Genesis 2 elaborate more on the act of the naming of the creations of God by man (Adam), it must have been a tiring experience for Adam. To my knowledge and to date, probably with a variance of languages the names of the plants, birds and animals remained the same. The example I created in my analogy is this; In Kenya, Canada, England etc when you see a lion what do you call it? most people responded lion, I know it is different if the lion was a pet lion and you call her Margaret, she will still be recognised as a lion. Then the same question applied again; In Kenya, Canada, England etc when you see a man what do you call him, most people responded man, but note that man all over the world are given names for the purpose of identification. Then in that case nothing has changed, lions will be lions anywhere in the world and man will be man too.

My point is that there are humankinds all over the world and we are recognised as such, there are various cultural diversity but that does not negate the nature of our sexual orientation or identity. In creation according to Genesis 1:27 says "So God created humankind in God's image in the image of God, God created them, male and female (homsexuals and hetersexuals) God created them" This verse suggest that the creations of God, namely humans present all over the world, were created by God in God's image, we believe that humankind are in God's image. History tells us in many part of the world where black people were discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, they were treated then as if they were less than human, now it is ironic that gays and lesbians are also being dealt similar blows because of sexual orientation and identity. If we agree that man is man then at creation God made all the race, all the sexual orientations, etc. There is certainly one narrow understanding for the mainstream bible classes of traditional fundamentalist religious movement and there are many things we are not told, we are not even allowed to ask questions nor to express a deeper feeling to gain understanding of the diverse human sexuality ordained at creation. This is an incredible flaw in the interpretation of the conservative theologian. I believe in miracles, Yes I do, especially that of common sense, love and harmony. What miracle healer heals a blind person and asked them what is the colour of my shirt? The blind person who has been blind from birth suddenly says blue, doesnt that ring an alarm of spiritual deception. Many gays and lesbians have been denied the right to grow in love and spirit. I believe in healing but we ought to be more vigilante not to allow wool to be pulled over our faces, we are done with the wheel chair and crotches flying business.

If you are as old as me you will remember, Steven Martin in a drama called "A Leap Of Faith" which exposes the drama of false evangelical healing. The healing we need and pray is the healing of homophobia, poverty, lack of care, self hatred, NOT homosexuality, which is one of the gift of God to humanity, which is to be embraced and celebrated. Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, is the Pastor of House Of Rainbow MCC, Lagos Nigeria; Ordained minister of the gospel ten years ago, he is gay, an author of many articles, anthologies, and two books. An MCC minister since 2005, he holds a law degree from Thames Valley University London and a Masters degree in theology from United Bible University Nigeria, he is preparing for his doctorate in theology.

Reflection On The Second Letter Of Paul to Timothy

Reflection On The Second Letter Of Paul To Timothy, Chapter 1:3-14.
Title; “Do not be ashamed to suffer for the gospel”.
© Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, October 2007. Pastor, House Of Rainbow MCC, Lagos Nigeria.

To be ashamed is linked with denial, rejection, isolation etc. People or a systematic institution must have coerced, with pressure mentally, physically, psychologically to bring shame on you or me. When we live in the hope of the almighty God, we are destined to know the truth, see the light, and breathe the air of freedom, liberation and validation. And the only way we can do that is to arrive at the truth, the inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ, which has no boundaries or restrictions or conditions. We can boldly say “We fight the good fight of faith, laying hold of the eternal life to which we are summoned we confess the good confession before many witnesses” 1 Timothy 6:12.

2 Timothy 1:3-5 says, “I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you”. Here there is recognition of faith which existed in our liberating ancestors, we can name them, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Dare Odumuye, those that have passed away, and those who are still with us, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Troy Perry, Nancy Wilson, Mercy Oduyoye, Edwin Cameron and yet we can pray into existence those yet to come. No one is left out of the blessing of hope and faith. We are a pillar of hope. Grandmothers, grandfathers, women, men, Europeans, Africans, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. The bible says “If we have faith like a grain of mustard seed, we can say to this mountain move from here to another place and it will move and nothing will be impossible to me” Matthew 17v20. That is why a collective Global inclusive mission is so important. To remember each other constantly in prayers night and day is part of our major call to ministry. 1 Cor 2v5 says “My faith does not rest in the wisdom of humans but in the power of God”. Paul reminded us through his letter to Timothy, of our sincere faith. The bible unequivocal in its narratives about two women, a grandmother called Lois and another by name Eunice. This is clear evidence of our claim to female power and encouragement through the female gender. I am not ashamed to admit on a recent trip to Edinburgh I went to a swimming session for Trans people, I was told I qualify because I have got trans feet or tranny feet, I occasionally indulge in wearing women’s high heel shoes.

2 Timothy 1:6 says; “For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands”. What is the gift we are reminded of? a gift given to us from God, we have it, we always do, we cannot give away what we don’t have, when we pray for acquisition and it is granted by God, remember it is for a purpose, to give them away, such as encouragement, love, money, prayers, we simply cannot transmit what we do not have. We are reminded of the gifts and relationship between communities, by way of liberating spirit, spiritual planting of love, travailing prayers of the saints and angels, taking upon you the weakness and burden of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people in marginalized communities, such as Africa, Eastern Europe, South America etc. These are part of the gift we are reminded to rekindle.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. I acknowledge and bear witness to what God is doing in Nigeria where we have a new church plant, building a place of faith, love and self discipline. Dedication to serve through a well organized ministry that fights the good fight and be the voice and face of those who are unable to represent themselves, is an invigorating experience. When you sign petitions to end discrimination, you make yourselves available, to show the world that we are not afraid nor are we ashamed of the inclusive gospel of Jesus that includes you and me and many other people.

2 Timothy 1:8 says, Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, The work of the ministry is team effort, whether in London, Los Angeles, or Lagos. The gospel must reach every corner of the earth, people in our community must know that we are LGBTI Christians, I found sometimes it is easier to say I am homosexual, or divorced or a single mother, or co habiting with my spouse than to say that I am a Christian. We have the ability to pray and encourage, just as Paul in this text is truly there for Timothy. Make a list of people in your prayers and actively pray for them. An invitation to the deep waters of love, will give people a new life.

2 Timothy 1:9, says, “who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to God’s own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” First we were saved, and then called, not according to our own record or curriculum vitae or resume, but according to God’s divine purpose and grace. That is why the bible was clear in 1 Cor 6v9 “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?...” In preparation for this call, in verse 11b, the bible tells us (paraphrased) “we were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God” therefore we are prepared. Sometimes we conclude that we cannot do this or that, when you socialize, you can just tell people how you have been blessed and they will be amazed. Have you ever tried before? This is the time to give ministry a chance, and invite more people to a life with Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:10 says, “But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. The birth and death of Christ brings new life of hope to us. Christ abolished death by dieing for us, Romans 5v8 says “God proves God’s love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us”. We need not be guilty or restless about who we are, we need to co ordinate our lives with reference to the scriptures, leading a good life and rejoicing in the blessings of the risen Christ. Many of us are alive to Self hatred but dead to Self love. Many of us are alive to destructive behaviors and dead to self esteem. Many of us are alive to making snide remarks and putting ourselves down and dead to positive thinking and motivation. We are unable to reconcile our sexuality with our Christian faith. I can say today that I am a gay Christian and celebrate who I am and not be ashamed to say I am a Happy Holy Homosexual, even in difficult circumstances. The death of Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Why are we called in to ministry?

2 Timothy 1:11-12 says, “For this gospel I was appointed a herald (a leader, a fore runner) and an apostle (a spiritual leader) and a teacher (associated with wisdom), and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him”. We cannot step into ministry without suffering, the bible was quite clear when it say you must deny your father and mother and then follow Jesus, that was a hard thing to do. We are called to suffer for the sake of the kingdom of God, it is not always easy in difficult situations to stand and be a Christian. 1 Peter 3:8-9, 13-18 says, “…, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit”,

2 Timothy 1:13-14, “Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us”. Prophet Isaiah said in Chapter 41v10, “I fear not, for God is with me. I do not look around in terror and be dismayed, for God is my God. God will strengthen and harden me to difficulties, yes, God will help me, yes, God will hold me up and retain me with God’s right hand of rightness and justice”. Prophet Isaiah like many of us today had something to say, make a note of these proclamations, and have faith in God, we need not live in fear everyday. Micah 6v8 “O ye mortal, what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and walk humbly with your God?” In my conclusion, I want to congratulate you all for being a part of the mission of Jesus Christ, spreading the love and inclusive gospel, joy, liberation, validation of Jesus Christ in your local community and as far as the world enable you to reach. Now you can say with boldness I am not ashamed to suffer for the gospel. Rev

Rowland Jide Macaulay, is the Pastor of House Of Rainbow MCC, Lagos Nigeria; Ordained minister of the gospel ten years ago, he is gay, an author of many articles, anthologies, and two books. An MCC minister since 2005, he holds a law degree from Thames Valley University London and a Masters degree in theology from United Bible University Nigeria, he is preparing for his doctorate in theology.