Wednesday, 25 May 2011

MaltaToday: 'You have a right to be wrong,' says televangelist

Televangelist Gordon-John Manché claims the gays' protest was "way out of proportion"

"The protest by gay activists was way out of proportion," says pastor Gordon-John Manché. "Of course they have a right to feel what they want … but you also have a right to be wrong."

Speaking on Radio Malta's 'Ghandi x'Nghid', Smash TV's evangelical charismatic pastor Gordon-John Manché claimed he has nothing "personal" against homosexuals. "In fact I have many friends who are gays. You are whoever you are, and I treat you as my fellow human beings." says Manché. "But this does not mean that because I tolerate you, I approve of your every decision."

Manché said he respects everyone's choices, be it "sex, religion or anything else. I have no problem whatsoever."

He added that the five gays who form part of his fellowship, River of Love, three of them wanted to recall their experience of how "it was Jesus Christ's love which turned them, and we celebrated that."

Presenter Andrew Azzopardi pointed out that it probably was the celebration of the "change" – rather than the acceptance of who they are – that offended the Maltese gay community.

"They do not need to feel offended," Manché retorted. "Just like there are people who believe they cannot change, there are people who believe they can."

Manché explained that within their meetings they always "celebrate" each other: "Not so long ago we had a woman who healed from cancer after we prayed on her. The next day she went for medical tests and they found nothing. And we celebrated because this is what Chris does – He heals."

"Do you mean that being gay is a sickness?" Azzopardi asked.

"No I don't mean that gays are sick. I believe that being gay is more of a choice and influences," Manché replied.

Referring to the protests organised by gay rights activists last Thursday, Manché said it "was unfair and went out of proportion". During the protests, the activists had chanted 'It's ok to be gay' at the windows on the first floor of the headquarters of the River Of Love fellowship.

Gabi Calleja, head of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, had said the fellowship's beliefs were creating much harm: "We come across many cases where parents send their kids to psychologists thinking they can be cured or healed by 'Jesus', and here lies the case of a lot of harm."

But Manché told Azzopardi that whilst "[you] have a right to feel what they want, you have a right to be wrong."

"They did not need to protest because we accused no one," Manché said. Referring to the 'converted' gays, he said, "they never said people should change. What wrong have they done by saying Christ changed us? It is a legal right to say what you want, and they are doing harm to no one."

Manché said it was gay people who were being "intolerant" towards others. "Do you know that there are hundreds of people who were once gay, are now straight, have built their own family but they are being bullied? And they are being told you are still gay?"

Turning on the subject of divorce, Manché described the issue as "a double-edged sword". He said that if divorce is not introduced, "those who are victims will remain victims."

Manché argued, "The Bible is clear. That which God has put together, no man can asunder. And I am sure that not each marriage has been joined by God."

He added that those who say God is against divorce "are quoting out of context." He said that the reference in the Bible against divorce was "God talking with priests who were abandoning their wives to go with pagan women."

During the interview, Manché also said "the world as we know it is coming to an end." He said the indicators mentioned in the Bible, such as earthquakes, wars and revolutions, are already taking place.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on MaltaToday's website.]

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