In the aftermath of the Jack Neo saga, a well known Christian blog came out to support Singapore’s movie director Jack Neo and member of city Harvest church by downplaying his affairs to only one women (contrary to the newspaper revelations) and instead highlighted the “sins” of the media “sharks” for apparently harassing the family. The news conference with the chorus of the flash lights was considered harassing for this Pastor who has forgotten that it was Jack who had put his wife up to the media to be “eaten” whole. The Pastor called for the fins of the media to be cut off for shark fin soup, but they were just doing their job as messengers to reveal the truth. We may cover it by blaming the media, blame the messenger, but sometimes living denial will only cause much more harm of not addressing the root issues.
In United States, there was a far worst story of denial and blame by the Christian Right. In a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on DADT, former US Marine General John Sheehan, alleged that the Dutch forces were unable to protect Bosnian Muslims because there were a few gay recruits in their midst. Sheehan said that the Dutch themselves include this reason in their reports. In response, the Dutch PM said the comments were disgraceful and untenable. “You don't talk that way about people”, said the PM. The Dutch Defence Minister Middelkoop described it as "disgraceful and unworthy of a soldier", whilst General Breeman, who was chief of staff at that time, said the accusation was "complete nonsense". It was a false witness against gays much like the continual rattling against gays by the Christian Right always pandering on the fears of the majority.
Similarly, the denial of gays by the Christian Right is disgraceful and unworthy for us as Christians. The accusation that gays are out to destroy Christianity, and the family, also seems “complete fabrication ”. The dangers of using our liberty and grace as majority to spin a series of lies and rhetoric, is that we are causing great harm, now and for the future against our morality and witness to Christ.
The Christian ex-gay ministries are fighting hard just to survive even with the full support of the mega churches. They are not fighting an external fight, but an unseen and inward civil war within themselves against their own natural identity.
Living in denial is self destructive and incur a great harm over the long run and it is difficult to heal:-
- Incredible amount of effort is exerted, to continually deny their natural same sex orientation, creating a delusional mindset and invoking a Spirit of Denial. They can go to their ex-gay church on Sundays, but spend many nights at gay hangouts. Once the Spirit of Denial comes in, we will live in a delusional world, where we are not authentic to ourselves, and will not see our weaknesses and faults. We will exalt our own self righteousness, denies sin in our lives. Even after coming out of the closet, we are bound by this spirit. Gay Christians living in the closet can be the worst Pharisees as seen by the likes of Rev Ted Haggard.
- We live in so much condemnation and false accusations that it results in deep self condemnation and self hate. We live in a spirit of condemnation, always judging and criticizing others for we have been judged harshly by others. We have been deeply wounded bearing bitterness, pain, resentment and anger. We can’t stop talking about others, emphasizing their sins.
- Effort is made to justify and rationalize how bad gays were, and create a delusional “gay agenda”, so that our conscience can be justified as to why it was a sin before God. Even though the arguments were false and do not make sense, we continue to peddle it hence we are deceiving ourselves and causing deep emotional and physiological damage. We often continue to live in a delusional world.
- God’s name is constantly used in vain, to leverage on our Christian Faith to give us motivation to deny our innate sexual orientation. Everything is blamed on God even though it is our own wrong religious choices and desires against God’s natural creation of us as gays. Even after coming out of the ex-gay groups, we have a tendency to repeatedly invoke God’s name for justification.
Many gay Christians have left the church or had committed suicide because they are deeply inflicted spiritually, emotionally, and physiologically. There is such great emotional, physiological impact with condemnation, anger, and bitterness, towards self and towards others. It’s like continually bailing out water from a sinking boat. The sad thing is that, it is all so unnecessary. There is so much destruction of self in the ex-gay groups that we end up drowned in the deep waters.
Even after they tried and failed, and leave the “ex-gay” groups, and come out of the closet, few ever escape from the destruction of their deepest part of their spirit and soul. What is left is a tattered wreck, full of condemnation, anger, bitterness, and hatred with a delusional mindset. No one wants to be with a person who always condemn others and live in an appearance of spiritual self righteousness and holiness, constantly invoking God’s name to justify their actions. They want to “feel good” about themselves and to regain the dignity denied with so much rejection and pain in their lives.
The path of inner healing can be found in embracing the love of God, found in Christ Jesus. But we cannot see God without taking away the filtered glasses we wear to protect ourselves, and start living authentic lives. Living in authenticity means:-
- Being authentic before God, restoring the relationship with Christ now no longer based on the yoke of condemnation by Christians because of our sexual orientation. We are to rest in Christ and in His finished work.
- Being authentic to the Christian community as a whole. Not giving excuses for the Christian Right for what the damage done in our lives. Whilst judgment belongs to God, we cannot excuse those who committed the sin against us whilst blaming ourselves. The walk in wholeness starts by not blaming and condemning ourselves, but to call them to tasks for the harm done.
- Being authentic to ourselves. Begin to love and accept ourselves, to see ourselves as wonderfully and beautifully created by God, no lesser or greater sinner because of our sexual orientation. It is Christ who gives us the dignity and self worth because we are precious in His eyes. This will start a deep healing process.
- Being authentic to our pasts. To listen to the deep cries of our soul and spirit for justice for all the pain, and inner conflicts caused, and not to deny it, but to embrace it as motivation to call for justice and equality for the gay community. If we do not fight for the basic civil rights of the gay community, we are denying ourselves and letting the Christian Right take advantage of us.
- Being authentic to our mind. To re-learn and re-educate ourselves after being indoctrinated and brain washed by the anti-gay rhetoric for so long, to take out the deep seated roots of deception in our lives. We should reflect on the errors of the Christian Right theology which has made them go so far astray and shout it out from the desert of our existence for those who would want to hear and be liberated from their closets.
- Being authentic to our Christian calling. To spread the “Good News” out to the community that Jesus loves Gay people, and welcomes them home with no preconceived conditions but only to believe. The Church exist to be “Christ’ to the community that God has placed this group of people in, in the context of space and time. Freedom is not necessarily found only in a “safehaven” where we can worship God with dignity and acceptance as who we are in the upper room. For the river of justice must flow out from heaven’s throne into us as we worship God, and then from us to the rest of the GLBT community that “All are welcome in the House of God, and that No one is denied”. When we start to be the conduit of God’s grace and blessing of the good news of Salvation, His word of salvation will purify and cleanse us from all the deception and lies of the Christian Right.
- Being authentic to our special needs as we journey on. To be self aware, of ourselves, where we have come from, our weaknesses, the damage done, and our survival needs including Christian fellowship, same sex relationships, and a consistent Christian walk. For example, the bondage may have been implanted so deep in our hearts the spirit of condemnation, that we may need to hear sermons of God’s grace to break this yoke of bondage. Or, if we need faith in God, to restart again after the wasted years eaten by the Locust of the Christian Right, to go to a church that has a strong anointing on Faith. Getting out of the closet is not enough, we must walk the journey of healing in order to live again.
- Being authentic to our struggles to forgive. To be continually forgive those who had caused so much harm, and not let any root of bitterness take hold of us. If we let bitterness rule, soon we will become very demanding and very sensitive people, demanding vehemently that others apologize for the sins we perceived being done against us. In reality, we have been deeply wounded and hurt, and we will become extremely sensitive and easily reactive if the wound is not bandaged. The act of forgiveness covers the sins of others, not that we forget, but let God execute the judgment. If we do not forgive the Christian Right for the grave sins done against us, we can’t forgive others even when they commit a small sin against us. Forgiveness is a usually an action, eg even sowing into the building fund of the church that has rejected us ie responding in the opposite spirit, in the Spirit of Christ.
(John 10:10 NKJV) "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
There are a lot of well meaning Christian extremists who became thieves and stole away our lives and run away with it. We can continue to let them steal, and destroy us, or we can decide to lead an authentic gay Christian life. We will not walk alone, for Christ has gone before us at the Cross of Calvary.
The decision to live authentic Gay Christian life is a much harder challenge than for the average Christians, yet the grace of God is found more abundantly as we walk by Faith in God’s Love, Grace and mercy. God wants to give us a new life and a new beginning. Go and start living abundantly for God has set you free indeed to live authentically and not in denial.