ACCRA, Ghana — The Methodist Church, Ghana, (MCG) has disassociated itself from a recent decision by the British Methodist Conference (BMC) to accept and officiate same sex marriages in its churches.
At a press briefing in Accra on Friday, July 19, Presiding Bishop of the Church, Right Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, clarified that the MCG was autonomous and could not be bound by the decision of their British counterparts or any other assembly.
According to the Ghanaian Times, the Presiding Bishop said, “The MCG has not amended its long-standing position on marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman neither do we permit Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT), co-habitation of unmarried couples nor divorce by Christians.”
He added, “We have upheld the position that, male and female sex outside of marriage and same sex relationships or any other alternate sexual lifestyles such as gay and lesbian options are all inconsistent with biblical ethics and morality, and the MCG rejects any revisionist’s interpretations of the Bible that seeks to make such relationships permissible.”
Admitting that the decision by the BMC could cast aspersions on the church, the Presiding Bishop asked the public to “disregard all allusions to the fact that this has to do with the wider Methodist family, because that decision does not affect the MCG’s doctrinal position on sexuality or any other issue for that matter.”
“We are very aware of our Wesleyan heritage and what it entails, and as an autonomous Conference, we resolve to defend tenaciously the biblical faith that was once delivered unto the saints, especially as it affects all areas of human life in our relationship with God in Christ,” he said.
Rt. Rev. Dr Boafo maintained that the MCG subjects itself to the country’s constitution and the African culture which frowns on such “alternative lifestyles,” urging the government to be firm on its grounds and “thread cautiously not to allow themselves to be pressured under the guides of receiving more aid or funding in order to give in to these modern lifestyles that overthrows our cultural values and Christian principles as a nation.”
In the coming weeks, Rev. Boafo said, the church would give directives regarding its members and ministers carrying out various activities within the BMC jurisdiction, in view of the turn of events.
Former Presiding Bishop of the MCG, Rev. Emmanuel Asante, observed that the presence of social media had misinterpreted the church’s stance on homosexuality.
He clarified that the church was not against homosexuals but the practice, adding that, the church was very concerned about the scourge and would not relent in counseling and praying for victims of the act.
On Wednesday, July 3 2019, members at a Methodist Conference in Birmingham, United Kingdom, voted in favor of a policy that could lead to the church embracing same-sex unions.
The motion, which was passed by 247 votes against 48, agrees in principle to the marriage of same-sex couples on Methodist premises.
However, the vote does not automatically mean same-sex weddings are permitted, since a proposal was made to vote on the matter a second time at a conference in July 2020.
The Methodist Church is the UK’s fourth-largest Christian denomination, with around 180,000 members.