|The betrayal of Canterbury|
The statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Conference represents a significant sell out to the conservatives and a total betrayal to the gay community. The declaration by the Episcopal Church that Gays are loved by God and should not be discrimnated was called "reckless innovation" whilst the strong homophobia, violence condoned by the church, discrimination at all levels, and injustice against gays are deemed as "choosing life". It is not the move by the Episcopal Church to right the wrongs of 1000 years that will bring bring judgement to the local church, rather our blatant and morally and theologically unjustified closure of the churches gates to leave out gays that will bring for us outside judgement and undermining the legitimacy as a Christian Church and confusing the witness of Jesus Christ of the Gospel of the Good news. We will be seen as overtly anti-gay focus rather than focussing of the good news and the massive poverty and sickness that prevails in half the Anglican communion. And all they could talk about is sex, by a very small minority within the privacy of their own homes.
Jesus took the physical risk to associate Himself with what the religious deemed as "sinners". He was with those that no one defended. He was with the Gays whilst they were killed and tortured for being gays in the Nazi Concentration Camp during World War Two. He was with them, as they hide in Iran, hunted by the religious zealots who will kill them when found. It is true that Gays don't exist in such countries, because they are exterminated when found. In view of the genocide down through the ages on a massive scale against gays, it is morally dispicable and unbelievable for the Archbishop to talk about "physical risks to Christians" if they were to be associated with gays. It goes to question whether we are indeed of Christ when we fear and fail to stand by the Gay community and indeed closed our doors and hearts to this community.
What was called "reckless innovation" did not pose any treat to the independence or the Christian mission of any provinces outside the Espiscopal Church but instead of audacious and brave to reflect the integrity of the church in its Christian ministry to all groups irrespective of race, color, sex, or sexual oreintation. Jesus ministered primarily to the outcasts of society, to the poor, the weak, the rejected who could not defend themselves against the relgious, the politically powerful, the wealthy. The move by the Episcopal Church was indeed a body blow, but not to the ministry of Christ nor the intergrity of the Gospel Message, but to the religious hypocrisy and self righteouness of the Anglican Church. The conservatives have been waiting for a long time to find and use a rally point against the Liberals, and gays are but a scapegoat.
The Gays Community are almost "angelic" beings when compared to the Christian Right. They have been scorned, discriminated, killed, and persecuted, yet humble and meek they have borned all this with a a Christ like spirit to forgive. The Christian Right in order to justify their strong, coordinated, militant, and agressive stance against gays have called gays as "militant activist" but the truth is the opposite. Gays are an easy punching bag for political and financial gain, without much risk of a strong fightback. A case in example is the ordination of Rev Gene Robinson. The Christian Right reacted violently by invading the Episcopal Church by taking away dioceses, setting up the Anglican South movement to plan, coordinate, and unite against the Episcopal Church, and finally having their own conference - GAFCON to unite and make several anti-gay declarations. All the Gay community would do is to continue to dialog with the militant Christian Right.
The strong protest by the Christian Right and political pressure applied to boycott the Lambeth Conference have now forced the hand of the Archbishop to succumb to the bully tactics of the Anglican South without showing any moral, and leadership backbone to rebuke the conservatives. The power and the life of the Anglican Church has indeed shifted to the slumps of Nigeria and Africa where corruption, poverty, injustice, and diseases reign - truly the real body blow to the integrity of the bible, the Gospel, and the mission of Christ.
The road to Samaria is indeed a tough road, but there is no other road out from Jerusalem to the rest of the world. If Christians in Singapore were ever to break beyond 10% evangelical christians, then the church must not bypass Samaria. The disciples did, but Jesus chose not to. Later, when persecution arose in Jerusalem, it was by the Spirit of God that led Phillip to reach out to those religiously, culturally, and racially despised by the Jews. And yet, today this is the call of Jesus to the Church to firstly open the doors of the church to gays - to accept them as equals and no different and no more a greater sinner because of their sexual orientation. At this Lambeth Conference, we have closed the door to gays, let alone going into their community to witness Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour to them. It was persecution that led the Church to finally ventured out to Samaria. Let us move beyond our large and ancient cathedrals where we spend daily building up our self righteousness, to open our doors and walk with God and be Christ to this world with no fear to our lives and no compromise to the message that Jesus is ord and Saviour.
The disciples failed to see the Samartians as a valid mission field for they considered them intrisically sinners and must be converted to "Jews" first. But Jesus had a different Spirit. Concerning the Samaritans, He saw their need for salvation far far more important than the fact that they were different. Our sexual orientation should not make us a greater or lesser sinner needing Christ. When we deemed our heterosexual orientation as giving us higher morality than gays, we have missed the message of the entire Gospel. Our homophobia and self righteousness is so great that we assign those verses talking about our own sexual transgressions in the worship of religious idols to the gay community, and failed to see the gay community as much more than a "chosen" lifestyle but a community that is loved by God, who are innately orientated to love the same sex, whose deepest need together with all humanity is for the Love of God in Christ Jesus. We have failed to see gays as people, as humanity needing God's Grace and Mercy and worthy of God's love. Let us open our eyes, and see people with the eyes, and the heart of Christ.
Father, Forgive Us.
Jesus, Redeem Us.
Holy Spirt, Remain with Us..