|The ex-gay offence|
On “the nut graph” article dated 28 May 2009 entitled “Stop censoring who I am”, wrote about a Pang Khee Teik who is the arts program director at the Annexe Gallery at Central Market in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Pang, who has widely outed himself as a gay person through his strong protest against the cable TV provider “Astro” when they censored word “Gay” and “Lesbian” from the Milk Oscar Nomination speech said "As a gay man, I am truly offended.... What is Astro trying to achieve with the censoring of the words 'gay' and 'lesbian'?". Pang, born 1974 in Malacca, Malaysia, was later educated at Raffles Institution (RI) Singapore and became a Christian at 14. At his last year in Singapore c. 1992, Pang joined an ex-gay group where he was able to start sharing how he felt as a gay and a Christian. It did not change him but impacted his studies. Pang had wanted to be straight and Christian. But today, he said that he is neither.
Christians who had joined or survived through ex-gay groups attempting to “cure” them often come out being strong advocates of gay rights. This is not surprising as they had been so repressed by religion, and society that once out begin to challenge this artificial constraints by others who cared little for them. Yet, in God's grace, He had turned this to His glory and many who had suffered much became His champions for change and for Justice. For example, what prompted me to accept by self was a sermon by Choices against gays which on studying the facts and the bible made me start on a journey to accept how God created me. That which was hidden for so long, was brought out by the Holy Spirit. What some has meant for evil, has by the Spirit of God, turned out for good.
In the closeted environment in the church when faced with strong condemnation and spiritual threat of “grieving the Holy Spirit” for being gay, they had to go through much emotional and mental anguish – their deep desires to love God and be a “good” Christians versus their innate sexual orientation. The term “Choices” is a misused as the only choice is our choice to become Christian. When this choice is confused (by “well” meaning Christian Pastors) that the gay men make choices about their sexual orientation which is innate but not demand this of straight people, there is great emotional conflict which should really be unnecessary in the first place if we had read the bible correctly.
For when the bible speaks of same sex acts, it was part of a religious worship of idols by straight people, or as part of the majority abusing or “screwing” the weak to show that they are Lord over them and making them the status of “women” which in those days were objects of ownership. Therefore, Christians had no problem with Solomon’s 700 wives and concubines, but had issues with a man loving another because the truth hurts too much for it relates to their straight sexual promiscuity. The bible cities of Corinth were known for their worship of goddess and the prostitution which follows it, but Christians instead quoted Corinthians (1 Cor 6:9) as being anti-gay. For example, one could be hardly confused Geylang in Singapore as a gay den, but religion extremism do make people think less logically.
The Gay Christians were the innocent children whom we tried to blame them of what they did not do wrong. Their true love and passion for God we have made misused for our religious dogma. Their pure passion for God was soiled by our attempt to push through our wrong theology. Their pain and struggles we cared little but only our “correct” theology. They are the little children whom we have placed the impossible yoke of changing their sexual orientation before they can come to the sweet caring arms of Jesus Christ. This is very great offence (Mat 18:6,7), the “offence of the offence” because they had humbled themselves and be converted and became little children, yet we have caused them to “sin” and to go astray. They came to see the heart of God, to experience the love of Christ, but they only saw the religion of man, and they left after a while, for they could not meet the religious requirements imposed. The Church of Jesus Christ has caused them to “sin”, to leave the church.
Those who caused the innocent to sin is no ordinary sin and Jesus spoke very strongly against these people. (Mat 18:5-12), because we through our own hands have stood at the gate of judgment and blocked them and prevent them from coming to Christ. When they brought the little children to Him, Jesus asked the disciples not to forbid it, because He saw that one day the church will be forbidding those who are innocent to come to Him. The kingdom of heaven is about a single issue agenda. It is not about homosexuality, it is about Christ, the risen Lord. There are so many sincere gay Christians who have left the church – who can blame them after suffering so much emotional and physiological struggles caused by us.
I have failed, for many a times, I have not stood by those I knew was Gay to proclaim that God loved them as a Gay person, no more, no less that if He or She had been straight. I would have liked to give a big hug to many of my Christian friends in the last 20 years who are gay but who I would not see in the church today! They could not bear it anymore, I don’t blame them for we have imposed such a heavy yoke of the law that few could bear. It is not a sin to be born gay, but a terrible sin by those who tries to change and confused the minds of these innocent children that God is somehow displeased with them for being gay, and used the fact that these little innocent children loved the Lord so much to come against them.Many Christian Gays don't attend church today, but they still believed and many still pray to God, for they would want their space and privacy to be with God, a space that we have soiled and made less than holy.
May God forgive us, May Christ redeem Us, and may the Spirit of God convict Us in His abundant grace through His Son Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, I pray for the small flame of flickering light in the heart of the gay christians who had left the church. May they find You in their Quiet Time away from the prejudice of religion and the condemnation of the church. May the loving and open arms of Christ welcome them in their time alone with You and may there be special grace and a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to heal them of the hurts and spirtiual abuse that they have suffered. Lord, Healed them, let healing flow, and let them hide under the safety of Your wings. Redeem them the time, and the friends and the life lost.