|Asian Beacon and the ex-gay groups|
Mat 19:13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
A cover story of the Asian Beacon Vol 44 no 4 (Aug - Sep 12) is the article by Pastor Edmund Smith entitled "Finding Real Love".
Pastor Smith who was from Exodus/Choices and City Harvest Church is the pastor of Real Love Ministry, an ex-gay organization started in 2006.
The typical potrayal against homosexuality was used such as the argument of a "wild homosexual lifestlye", the lack of a Father's love, the sinful "sexual brokenness", and rejection of masculinity.
The church don't talk about a heterosexual lifestyle so evident in the massive red light district of Geylang in Singapore where thousands of Prostitutes work their trade on a Saturday night.
The breakdown in family and "sexual brokenness" such as adultery, promiscuity, divorces, and abortions are all caused by straight heteroseuxal lifestyle yet Asian Beacon highlights a "homosexual lifestyle".
Sexual orientation is not a choice or a lifestyle, whether homosexuality or heterosexuality, and is not by itself a sin of sexual brokenness.
The message of Asian Beacon may have worked 20 years ago, and only to the closeted gay men within the church, but as more gay men came out of the closet and share their testimonies in the secular and outside of the church, it has become a flood of outings.
In 2007 there was a Christian dialogue on Homosexuality between Pastor Smith and the supporters of gay rights at the Amara Hotel in Singapore.
Frankly, the conversation didn't really matter any more. As I was departing the dialogue held in the gay district of Singapore, I saw two teenage guys holding hands walking down the street.
The flood of outings has started and no they didn't attend the dialogue nor cared about what we had said. Same sex orientation is about love and commitment and not a lifestyle for one doesn't choose to be straight or gay. It's about our common humanity to love and be loved.
It is a losing battle coming against the tide of history where gay rights has been decriminalised in the States and Europe, the emergence of gay marriages, and the firm medical/scientific understanding since 1973 that being gay is innate and not a disease.
Five years later after the debate with the ex-gay groups, in 2012, the tide of change for human rights and acceptance for gays is now a big river coming down the mountain.
Real love is not found in the denial of one's sexual orientation but living out in honesty, sincererity and integrity. We need not lie nor deceive ourselves anymore.
We struggle with brokenness because we are broken by the rejection and condemnation of our families, church, friends and society and not because of our sexual orientation.
We are indeed broken and humbled as Christians, finding in Christ a deeper integrity than the ex-gay movement who has spiritually and mentally damaged and caused the suicides of many thousands of sincere gay christians. When we deny ourselves, we are actually commiting suicide.
In the States and in Australia, Exodus is in decline. This decline will continue on in a slippery slope that will bring the churches together with it to answer for the injustice and the damaged caused by the ex-gay therapy.
The loudest voices against the churches has been and will be the thousands of sincere gay christian men who has lost their spirit, soul and mind through the harm caused by the ex-gay movement trying to alter what was natural and innate. Many have lost their Christian faith.
Pastor Smith lamented that there is a huge need in the gay community with "... hundreds of homosexuals who want to come out, but we only have a few Befrienders". However, Gays are coming out of the church in droves when they accept their sexual orientation.
Gays have long come out and are coming out in the many thousands apart from the church of Jesus Christ which has been a curse to them.
Coming out ten years ago would have been filled with religious shame, doubts and inner struggles against self imposed homophobia. In 2012, gays are coming out at a much younger age and with little such baggage and most of them are not in the christian church who has rejected them.
In another ex-gay article talking about Laurie Jean Wilson, on "Embracing the sinner, not the sleaze", the Asian Beacon talks about Exodus' reference to homosexuals as "the largest group of unreached people group in the world", and potrayed them as sinners.
It is true and our lament is that gays are the largest unreached group because of the church and not because of their homosexuality.
The sin of gays like humanity itself is the rejection of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and not because of homosexuality.
These innocent children of God are rejecting Christ their Saviour because the church has closed her doors on them and denied them the freedom and integrity to be whole and complete to embrace their sexual orientation.
The church has become the greatest sinners and instead of proclaiming the Gospel of Grace has preached the Gospel of the law.
In Matthew 19:13,14, Jesus talked about the little children who were denied coming to Christ. They were innocent and had simple faith.
In the prior verses in Mat 19:11, Jesus talked about the Eunuch who are born thus from their mother's womb a reference to the traditional Jewish understanding of natural Eunuchs or gays who did not have an inherent desire for the opposite sex. It was in the context of the sin of divorces and adultery committed by straight people in Mat 19:1-10. Same sex orientation was never potrayed as the sin.
The Christian church with its ex-gay moevement together with Asian Beacon is guilty and implicated for denying Christ the Saviour to the innocent gay children - born like that from their mother's womb.
The sin is so grave that it will tarnish the entire church even as the ex-gay movement faces a decline in the West.
I had lunch some time ago with a former ex-gay christian from Exodus/Choices Singapore who now has accepted being gay after coming out from Exodus/Choices (Same organization for whom Pastor Edmund was once affliliated with).
The deep damage remained of the ex-gay therapy. As I stared deep into his eyes, I saw the many masks and layers of protection he has put on the outside. Even after a decade away from Exodus/ Choices, the spiritual and mental harm remains.
I did not know the real person whom I was speaking to for it was a fake outward image given. Exodus/Choices has taught him to potray himself as someone he was not. Who was the real and hurting/rejected child inside of him?
I told him that I wanted to know his true self, for Jesus wants to know us in our deepest and most intimate self and not the false identify for whom religion has tried to impose.
I could not help my good friend... only the Holy Spirit can and it may take decades to undo the harm caused.
But my friend was fortunate, for his faith remains in Christ but not for the millions of gay men and women for whom the church of Jesus Christ is of hypocrisy and of little integrity or righteousness.
Yes, Gays are the greatest threat to the church for the Christian faith has gravely harmed the innocent gay children.
May God have mercy and forgive us.