Durban – A gay pastor has condemned homophobic comments made during a sermon at the Grace Bible Church, saying the utterances were hate speech.”I am deeply saddened that a church leader of the stature of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills has promoted an anti-gay attitude by preaching hate speech,” Reverend Andre Muller from the Dutch Reformed Church said on Wednesday.
Muller was speaking out after the #GraceBibleChurch tag trended on Twitter over the weekend.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’ homophobic comments.Discussing the soul and sins, Heward-Mills reportedly said homosexuality was unnatural.
He said: “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.”Muller said he was against the comparison of human life to animals.”We are human beings, not animals. In most animal species, the opposite sexes don’t pair for life; a mother would kick her weakest offspring out of the nest; and males would kill each other for the right to procreate.”Muller said humans were not created to be like animals.
READ: Grace Bible Church distances itself from bishop’s homophobic comments’Why did they not stop him?'”We were created in God’s image, something that is not said in the Bible about the animals,” Muller said.He also criticised the church for not stopping Heward-Mills during his sermon.
“From what I read about this church, my impression is that they strive to be a church where all are welcome. If they are serious about their welcoming identity, why did they not stop him… or distance themselves from him or apologise to LGBT people who might have been in the audience?”Muller added that scientific research as far back as 2006 had proved that homosexuality had been documented in more than 1 500 species.
Grace Bible Church Pastor Ezekiel Mathole earlier in the week said the church was not homophobic.”Should people choose an alternative relationship with the same sex, it’s their choice. They don’t need an endorsement from the church. It is their right. It is within the Constitution of the country. That in no way has any implication on us.”However, Mathole said the church took the biblical view on marriage and only recognised unions between heterosexual couples.