North West church leaders back bishop over homophobic sermon

Johannesburg – North West church leaders have come out in support of a bishop after he made headlines for making homophobic comments during a sermon.

Pastor Lesiba Kgwele from Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship on Sunday said the sermon of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills delivered at the Grace Christian Church was not targeted at gay communities, but was preached out of love.

“Dag Heward-Mills did not cross the line for his sermon to be considered hate speech. It is a pastor’s mandate to preach the word of God and that message was preached out of love. People prefer to hear a Gospel that tickles their ears.”

Kgwele said Grace Christian Church should have supported Heward-Mills and not distanced itself from him after the bishop reportedly said homosexuality was unnatural while discussing the soul and sins.

“Which animal has one partner? It’s just like homosexuality, you don’t have male and male. You don’t find two male dogs, two male lions, two male impalas, two male lizards. You don’t find that in nature. That is unnatural. There is nothing like that in nature,” Heward-Mills was reported as saying.

However, Kgewele said the message was aimed at making people repent.

“The Word of God is not preached to adorn, support or endorse our sinful nature, but is invariably at odds or at enmity with that which prevails as the conventional and accepted wisdom,” Kgwele said.

Local celebrity Somizi Mhlongo set Twitter abuzz after he posted on Instagram that he had stormed out of the church following Ghanaian-born Heward-Mills’s homophobic comments.

But Kgwele said: “Somizi must be reminded that Christians are called to be pilgrims, strangers and sojourners in the world and that the primary function of preaching is to jolt God’s people into an awareness of the degree to which they have unconsciously succumbed to the world and its values.”

He said everyone was created in the image of God and should be loved in that way.

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