Last edited: January 31, 2005

Church Should Give Clear Moral Guidelines

The Barbados Advocate, January 31, 2005

By Angus Wilkie

Reverend Dr. Monrelle Williams gave an erudite and interesting lecture on Errol Barrow Day at the Tom Adams Financial Centre (Central Bank) on January 21, 2005.

His lecture, perhaps unintentionally, illustrates the problem facing the Church. On many matters affecting society the Church seems unable to give persuasive guidance. I refer to homosexuality mentioned in Rev. Williamís lecture. Listening to the lecture, one is left with no clear indication whether homosexuality is right or wrong. In short, what is the moral position?

Rev. Williams outlines the basic facets of the two main philosophical doctrines, absolutism and relativism. Each, Rev. Williams further contends, is based on opinion and belief, varying with oneís perception.

Hence each doctrine merits equal recognition. To act otherwise, Rev. Williams further contends, is to invoke dogmatism and bigotry; to insist on one against the other is to play God.

Religion and politics are examples where tolerance and liberty allow for diversity of opinions. Religion and politics are not definitive. But homosexuality has the potential to destroy the human race, and its danger is without contradiction definitive. Both sexes together are required for procreation and the continuation of the human species. Homosexuality, because of its destructive nature, is an evil.

The Church therefore should not opt out of its responsibility by failing to condemn the practice of homosexuality. Moreover, while the church may be constitutionally separate from the state, the church exercises great influence with respect to the states mores. The criminal law is largely a codification of the Ten Commandments and other precepts in the Bible. Indeed acceptable legislation has its basis in the moral values pronounced by the church.

It is the duty of the church to give a clear, unequivocal doctrine of moral values for the benefit in particular of youth. Much of the unacceptable conduct of youth, in my view, is to a large extent due to lack of clear guidance from their elders.

The church has failed to provide persuasive moral values, often replacing the inspiration of the Bible with the inconclusiveness of philosophical doctrines.

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