A church in South Africa has distanced itself from anti-gay comments made by a visiting preacher after the sermon was broadcast by local celebrity Somizi Mhlongo (above).
Ghanaian Bishop Dag Heward-Mills (right) compared homosexuality to sex with animals during a sermon at Grace Bible Church in Soweto.
“Dogs, cats, leopards mention the animal. Which one has one partner? It is just like homosexuality you don’t have male and male
“If you use that reasoning, you will find that homosexuality is not natural. You don’t find two male dogs, two male lions, two male impalas Two male cats, even lizards, two elephants. It is unnatural.
“Yes, there is nothing like that in nature. And in the same way there is nothing like one to one Nature is one to several.”
Mhlongo later said that despite the fact that the church has many gay members, most people “sat there throughout the whole service” while some cheered the bishop’s comments.
In two videos posted to Instagram, Mhlongo said:
“I’m not going to sit there and listen to people offend me, this is who I am! I am a gay man! Get it straight into your skull, my soul is alright with my God. Let me deal with my God, with my soul.
“I’m actually disappointed at all the gay men and women that sat there and listened to him offend us.”
He also suggested that Grace Bible Church be open and honest about not wanting gay members:
“Say it out loud…homosexuality is not allowed, homosexuality is a sin, we don’t want gay people in our church, so that we know! Because we go there to speak to our God, whom I believe accepts me the way I am, whom I believe created me the way I am.”
Church Pastor Ezekiel Mathole has dismissed claims that there is discrimination against homosexuals at the institution. He “Grace Bible Church welcomes everybody and does not discriminate against anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said, adding that “it is the right of the individuals to sit through them or decide to walk out.”
“With regards to sexual behaviour, we believe in heterosexual relationships between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony. Adherence to this stated principle of sexual behaviour is an inherent requirement of membership of Grace Bible Church.”
The hashtag #GraceBibleChurch has been trending since Sunday night. Mhlongo’s videos have since received more than 150k views. Reactions on social media have been typically mixed.
Should pastors conform to people's lifestyle or God's standard? #GraceBibleChurch
— SE MBANGULA (@Elvis_MSBA) January 24, 2017
The church was mandated by Jesus Christ to preach the truth as it is in the Bible, not political correctness #GraceBibleChurch
— Russel M (@russelmukondwa) January 24, 2017
If you don't agree w what's in the Bible, don't go to church. Pastors are here to preach the word, not to be popular #GraceBibleChurch
— D-the-Diva😚 (@DeeMoney_Diva) January 22, 2017
Dear gay ppl
u don't see fornicators, thief's, people who committed adultery storm out of church.Sit ur asses down 😜😜😜
— kholofelo-matsaung (@JUST_KAYM) January 22, 2017
Do these pastors understand that having to accept yourself as a gay man is such a struggle..#GraceBibleChurch Who would choose that?
— Irvin Pooe🌈 (@Irvinpooe) January 22, 2017
— wam' tsiba Mtho? (@Mthaux) January 22, 2017
Watch Heward-Mills’s sermon and Mhlongo’s videos below.