|Are Christians scrutinised?|
"Around the world, many believers are persecuted -- imprisoned, even killed -- for their faith. Since Jesus laid down His life, 43 million Christians have become martyrs" http://www.ccci.org/training-and-growth/devotional-life/pray-for-persecuted-church.htm
The Christian Post reported on Feb 21, 2012 that "Campus Group Apologises for Remarks on Other Religions". The remarks were from a missions flyer to Thailand. There is some truth in the flyer about there being few Christians in Thailand and they were in a mission to the campuses there. Singapore is a staging point. The offending statement was about the Thais having no real joy without Christianity yet showing the smiling faces. The flyer became viral and soon the strong condemnation for agressive evangelism.
I grew up in a Post-Modern era where scientific discoveries, evolution, and the liberal movement was popular. The Christian club at University was attended by a dozen or so, in bible studies and prayer rather mute than any agressive outreach. We kept to ourselves in our small closet. It was before the advent of the mega churches. City Harvest had only 400 members, and New Creation only 200 members then. Then Campus Crusade in the US was more liberal, ecumenical, and was even working together with the Catholic faith. Has it become more conservative?
Over the last 20 years, there has been an incredible Christian revival in SIngapore coupled by increasing political influence and vocal opinions against gays. The Post Modern era was turned back to the start of the 20th century with the Holy Spirit led revival of the Pentecostal churches which are still growing strong.
We are now beginning to see a backlash. The recent Campus of Crusade reaction was a response out proportion to what was claimed as an agressive evangelism by many. At worst it was perhaps an insensitive flyer by a group of zealous students not for evangelism but for missions recruitment. It was not evangelism targeted at non Christians rather a call for missions.
The strong response to Campus for Crusade seems opportunistic, cynical, unfair and out of proportion to link it to the wider evangelistic movement by the mega churches. They were using this case to come against the Gospel message which they found insulting and a stumbling block.
Are Christians being persecuted? or was it because of persecuting gays that we come under heightened scrutiny?
The web site szezeng.blogspot questioned whether it was Christians who were intolerant or those who come against Christians for expressing their faith being intolerant. The reasoning however missed the casuses of an negative environment. It was said in szezeng.blogspot that it was always non Christians that had complained to the "Home Ministry" for intolerance rather than Christians conveniently forgetting the thousands of emails sent by some against gays to the Members of Parliament and then an unchallenged insistence that gays be put to jail in the parliament.
The reality is that the Christian Right in Singapore has raised the bar of judgement incredibly high. The bar of morality was raised when Mdm Thio the ex-nmp raged against gays in the 377A debate and insisted that gays be persecuted to the letter of blibical law. There was no mercy even though the bible was referring to religious idol worship and their practices of religious faith rather than same sex love.
Christians has hitherto used their right as an expression of faith to launch unfounded rethoric against gays calling them vile sinners, child molestors, used by Satan, and for long jail terms. Gay rights were to be strictly prohibited, the right to form any societies, organizations, and the right of relationships. We have misused our religious liberty to cause harm whereby many good Christian gay men and women have taken their own lives by our condemnation.
When we insist on the letter of the law, we shall be in return judged by the letter of the law and the Spirit of condemnation that we used to judge gays now return to us four fold. There were few voices that stood against christians as they rile against gays as causing the fall of morality in Singapore even though it is straight people who were having divorces, aldulterous affairs and abortions - killing the young unborn.
The moral right has been given for a mass moral outrage and reaction for the smallest fault. In essence, Campus for Crusade had it coming, for what was sowed was reaped. The hypocrisy and self righteousness of the Christian Right is like a yeast in the body of Christ that impacts the whole body even though CRU had very few connections to evangelism in Singapore.
If we insists that homosexuality was a sin from a very literal and presumptious reading of the bible then the same measure of judgement is used against us. Hence, Christians are under condemnation for ALL the religious laws that they fail to keep in the bible irrespective of whether they apply. for example, if one is not circumcised, it is sin. If we eat pork, it is a big sin. So strictly and literally, all Chinese Christians who eat pork are sinners which is absurd. Yet, the measure we judge, is the strict scrutiny we receive in return.
By their crusade against gays over the last 30 years starting from the establishment of Exodus in Singapore, we are under increasing judgement until the grace of God was exhausted when Mdm Thio raised her fist against gays in Parliament in 2007. There was no return when many in the name of expressing their faith brought their anti-gay aggenda to the highest forum in the land when they should have been preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of love and compassion.
In the last two years, many indiscretion of the mega church pastors were drawn out into the open and exposed. In the final act of the Aware Saga, the feminist mentor thio was came out of the basement church closet into the open. It was not gays who were having an insidious secret aggenda. It was the religious faith planning to take over.
In the Yawning bread, an intolerant and biased article was written against CRU but ironically some defended claiming that they were a persecuted faith in of all places a gay forum when the mega churches have been pounding their crusading loud speakers against gays indiscrimately from the pulpit. http://www.psa91.com/index2a.htm
There has been too much harm caused - too many gays who took their own lives, and had their faith shipwrecked by the churches condemnation. Their blood calls out for justice. Our anti-gay crusade disguished as an expression of faith and the gospel message has meant that the basic rights of gays are taken away. Hence, our own rights to preach the Gospel is thus hindered.
The general outrage in the blog sphere against Campus for Crusade for their indiscretion where the small issue was blown out of all proportions is a cause of grave spiritual concern. We are persecuted for unrighteousness sake and not for the sake of the Gospel. We have not shown love, grace nor mercy but instead have shown hate far worst than the rest of the community against a weak gay minority.
We have put gays into closet, taken away their basic rights for being innately who they were born as, and in our hypocrisy claimed that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice and for those who promote homosexuality be severely persecuted by just being openly Gay. In return, there is a deep darkness in the spirit where we loose all the moral right to promote Christianity. Evangelism has become a foul word because out of the words we speak came death to many instead of the Gospel message of salvation and redemption in Christ.
As a group, perhaps the Christian churches in Singapore has lost their moral and righteous standing by persecuting gays. If they had focused instead on helping the poor, the sick, and the abused perhaps they can stand on a much higher moral ground. They had thought their stand against gays is about morality and yes it is - their own immorality.
Ps 51:11 Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy Spirit from me.
During this season of Lent, when we put the ash in the sign of the cross on our foreheads, we should be mindful of the Jesus we represent as Christians. We have in us, the power for good or for evil, the power for life or for darkness. Choose life, choose mercy, choose grace and above all, choose love.