The Bible is clear that homosexual relationships and acts are sinful (Gen.1:26-27; 2:18-24; Gen.19; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10). And everyone who calls himself by the name of Christ cannot but disapprove of it.
What then should we make of the recent criminalization of the practice in Nigeria? I think our response as Christians should be one of cautious wisdom.
Believers condemn the practice whether it’s sanctioned or condemned by the state. We answer ultimately to Him who is Ruler of the nations. However, the decision, going by its suddenness and the present political climate in the country, appears to be politically motivated. At this time when we have a terrorist group still working to destabilize the nation (and which our government seems unable to tackle), infrastructural decay, endemic corruption, and an administration rapidly declining in popularity, the decision appears to be a desperate attempt to regain the affection and support of Nigerians.
Nigeria is a deeply religious country, and you don’t need government to teach people that homosexuality is wrong. They (most of them) already believe it. But you can increase your ratings by seeming to be a crusader for morality in society. The gullible, no doubt, would buy into it.
The caution for the church is not to allow its programme or mission to be dictated by the state or even by the people. She receives her mandate from God. In advancing the kingdom of God, our confidence lies in the Holy Spirit working with the word of God, and not in any political strategizing or human wisdom. We proclaim the truth simply because it is the truth. We do not look to expediency, nor do we consider popularity.
The state should refuse to recognize homosexual unions. Marriage should be between a man and a woman, as both the Bible and common sense dictate. However, such legislations should be made out of sincerity and concern for God’s glory and the good of society. They must not be the means of securing votes or gaining popularity. For in so doing we trivialize them, and we convert truth and justice into commodities to be sold to the highest bidder.