Church Should Give Clear Moral Guidelines
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
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
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