|We shall overcome|
For the last four weeks, in the Signel forum in Singapore, there was a series of postings by a former Pastor and strong rebuttals in reply. In summary, it was a reflection of how "choosing" a gay path it seems to have brought him to loneliness, and a gloomy future without hope and financial assurance and a meaningless life filled with sex. It was a posting filled whith regret of "what if's", and the sounding of imminent doom and gloom because that was the reality he was facing. It was a life totally lost and He blamed it on Homosexuality. Many a times, reality is what we made it out to be. The condemnation that He suffered from the Church where He went through electrocution treatment to change him which has since widely discredited as very harmful appear to have brought great bitterness and damage, The response appears to be acted out by having more and more sexual episodes which he had posted over a number of years in the same forum. Having sex appears to be an act of defiance against those who have so badly ill treated and condemned Him, and the deep rejection He would have felt. He would not be the only ones suffering ffor the condemnation and rejection by the church causing permanent psychological death for many others. . Nothing is more redemptive than the inclusive message that God loves gays and accepts us as we who we are and has created us as gay people.
The term "Homosexuality" is an overemphasis on sex and a supposedly chosen lifestlye and does one say the same on "Heterosexuality"? It is a given and not a choice or a hedonistic alternative lifestyle. The Spirit of Condemnation is so prevalent that we easily fall into it. The Christian Church in Singapore, has never recognized Gay people, and any mention is referred to conveniently as "Homosexuals". For the Church, it is all about sex that matters!. Sadly, those that have been so wounded have lived in the reality projected by the church that Gay is about sex and more sex, for that is the label the church has put on gay people. The church in Sinapore has refused to see the common humanity of God in the gay community. We define people according to their sexual orientation instead of the sacred worth and the soul and charcter and humanity within, the image of God. We label, because we chose to deny and we refuse to see that people are much much more that their sexual orientation. Because, we know that when we do, when we begin to relate with gays as people, we begin to see that they are like you and me with a unique character and with hopes and dreams. It is said that man/women are created in the image of God, and I believe that Gays are created likewise to reflect part of the nature of God.
Gays are different from straight gals and guys not only in their orientation but generally in their innate behaviour and predisposition for example in the field of arts, and design, and general liking and vainess more closer to that of women. In order words, their in-born makeup that causes them to desire same sex relationship also dictates all other areas in their lives. It is not only about sex, but the church will drum this up until all we see is only the "homo" and "Sexual" parts. We deny Gays their lives when we fail to acknowledge their lives as worthy of God's creation and worthy of His love. And when this denial and rejection is taken in by the innocent who sincerely wishes to follow Jesus, they will in turn reject themselves. This self rejection is seen so clearly in the obsession in sex because that was how the church has defined the lives of gays. We destroy a great many lives without knowing it, and at the end, these people become a hollow shell and have their lives wasted based on our condemnation. By our words, we have killed many mentally.. Such permanent damage is usually long lasting and near impossible to overcome.
The church in dealing with gays has often over used the common theme "to love the sinner but hate the sin". This is not biblical. I believe that God does not "hate" the sin and love the sinner per say. One of the first statements that Jesus made is that He came not to condemn. ie He came not to focus on the sin of the world. When we focus firstly on "Hate the Sin", we become "sin" focus and soon the spirit of self righteousness takes over and we condemn others. The Spirit of the Pharisees will take over us and we come to feed this "god" in our lives until even Jesus was considered a sinner by them. Instead, we should focus on the love and the grace of God. We will love others whether sinner or saint when we focus on His love. We love because He first Loved us.
Jesus is not against the sin of the wicked and their wickedness per say, but those that did not believed in His name and in His gift of salvation is already condemned because their sin of unbelief has condemned them. One may be the lovely saint and the kindness person on earth, as opposed to the wicked, but would be already condemned without Jesus. When we focus on hating sin, we deny the great commission to go onto the world to preach the gospel of the good news. Religion will focus on sin, but true Christianity focus on Christ redeeming grace. One of the greatest challenge to early Christianioty was the legalist or Judaist who kept insisting on the law and focus on sin, making the Cross of no effect and at the same time being the greatest hypocrites.
We often are so sin focused that we forget that Gays are people too, and that Jesus also died for them. We claimed to be Christ centered but our messaging is totally inconsistent mixing the leaven with the dough, mixing grace with law, hence distorting the entire gospel message. Gay are ironically the greatest treat to the Gospel because we Christians are so filled with our self righteous Holy indignation that we left the harvest field to do battle with this small defenceless minority group and even called them a treat greater than terrorism. Whilst this should not define Christianity as we don't preach about it week in and out, it does so spiritually for even a small amount of leaven will greatly make the entire bread to rise. In Jesus' day, leaven was sourdough in a state of fermentation. When mixed into the dough, it caused the bread to rise when baked, as does yeast today. The leaven is our self righteouness which rises up every time we condemn gays using the Jewish laws for all to see.
The Church have tried to frame homosexuality as just one of the sins. However, the church response to gays bring out the sin of self righteouness in Christians. Just as a small amount yeast makes the entire bread expands, so too our hypocrisy rises up and are exposed by our treatment of gays. It will corrupt all of other ministries and will be uncovered and not be hidden. Jesus warned us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees because it came to define their ministry and all that they did.
For the last 40 years, churches such as MCC and other gay affirming churches have been sowing righteouness by revealing the truth concerning homosexuality that neither God nor the Bible nor Jesus condemn gays. Whom God has set free, is free indeed. And this freedom is spreading from the Gay rights marches in the 60s, and 70s, to the gay marriage debate in the 21st century. They have toiled for days and nights and many a times thrown into prisons and or killed. They have reap the truth and now the harvest is starting to happen. Many have looked forward to the Promised Land and have not made it but have given all that future generation may enter in to the promised land from the bondage of the prisons of condemnation that Mainstream Christianity has put them in. We shall overcome however not by our works and our efforts but because God will come alongside and will pour down the rain of righteousness to reveal the truths concerning homosexuality and plant it in the hearts of many of whom we have ploughed the fallow ground day and night.
I believe that we shall overcome and the seeds of the next generation is coming up without the baggage of the old generation. The old generation of Christian gays have bore the brunt of rejection, hate, and discrimination, but many have stayed on to fight and set the path through with resources such as books and literature to quench the many flaming arrows that the church have launched. But the vast majority have fallen and many no longer in the church or in ministry. The current generation are coming out decades earlier with no religious and self rejection hang ups and with full access to resources to set them free from taking in the poisonous condemnation. We shall overcome not because we are any better than mainstream christianity because the truth of basic equality and freedom can never be hidden. As the sin our self righteousmess from Christians are exposed, so too our freedom shall arise for Christ has not forsaken us and is a faithful God. We shall overcome because Jesus has risen and He has overcome the evil schemes of the Pharisees to put Him to death, so that we too can overcome the leaven of self righteousness of the church. And we must overcome, for too many souls and lives have been destroyed and for the future generation. Many have paid for their lives to free our gay children from a permanent psychological death, then nothing shall be more redemptive. We shall overcome.