|Interfaith relationships only, no dialogue as we are exclusive|
In the Christian Post article “Christianity Promotes Interfaith Relationships: NCCS President” dated May 14, 2010, claims that it is a misconception that strong religious convictions results in deep divides between different faiths. Bishop Solomon’s main argument was that for Christians knowing God as creator and savior of all mankind, results in a shared commonality in the physical, and social environment. Other religions he said are “expressions of the human search for meaning.” Christians should treat others with gentleness and respect, because “non-Christian religions can be seen as ‘preparations for the Gospel’”. Interfaith dialogue he said “is an opportunity to develop friendships and explore common social concerns. These include the poor and environmental issues”. After the Rony Tan saga, there seems to be an outward change in NCCS and hopefully this can be extended to the Gay community. A hand of freindship only perhaps as dialogue on equal terms and mutual respect are still far away.
In summary, the NCCS is encouraging Christians to develop friendships with other faiths because:-
Whilst the attempt by NCCS to promote interfaith relationship is welcomed, there is no concrete dialogue to establish mutual respect and understanding. The CP article is not convincing nor does it give adequate reason why it was a misconception that strong religious conviction results in the increasing divide. If the only reason for interfaith relationship is because of our shared humanity (“created by God”), and for shared social concerns such as the poor, then you would not need an inter-faith dialog because there is no substance of religious faith in the dialogue. There is no point of sharing our religious faith experience if we consider the other religions as still searching for meaning rather than a sharing of the beliefs that they have found to work for them. Unless of course, we have nothing to learn from them on faith issues and have all the answers, which may be the case!
It is interesting to note that the term “non-Christians”, “other religions” and “non-Christian” was mentioned 9 times in the article, whilst the term “religious faith” or "inter-faith dialogue" was not mentioned at all. The missing word here is “faith” and "dialogue", and NCCS does not appear to see the other religions as different faith beliefs but grouped them under a common term as “non Christians” to be evangelized. NCCS has changed but not much. Relationships "Yes", dialogue about faith perspectives "No" since a "theological exclusiveness" is emphasised by NCCS.
Dialogue and relationships with Gays also seem a far off as they are considered far worse than non-Christians, not because of any greater sin, because the anecdotal evidence that Gays are innate and exist in every culture, race, and religion threatens to undermine the core of the Christian Faith for many Christians. If Gays are born as such, and the bible says that it is a sin, then the bible could be wrong. How could a benevolent God create Gays (as opposed to straight people), and them condemn them for creating them thus? If the bible could be wrong, it could also be wrong in the fundamentals of faith. Such questioning has a domino effect that puts fear into the hearts of Christians until they do not see Gays as humanity of sacred worth and dignity.
Christians are also vary that Jesus did not condemn any gay person, but was instead against those who were zealots for the religious laws, the same laws they were now using religiously against gays. Worst still, if they were honest to themselves, they have cherry picked the Jewish religious laws, and do not follow the specifics themselves. Most fair minded people would realize that the rhetoric many Christians used against gays such as destroying the family, marriage, and Christianity are hugely spinning the truth when gays are not more than five per hundred. The issue was never the gay community. It is a problem of the Christian Faith, the walls that we build up to avoid seeing the truth. Christians have built a very thick wall around the Anglican cathedral and the mega churches. It is to separate them from the unclean and those who would disrupt their absolute theology.
The Catholic Church is not afraid of inter-faith dialog because they have a robust and self maintaining institution and systems where they have retained power, wealth and growth for the last 1500 years. They have no fear that dialog with “non Christians” will impact them.
Gays however scares the Catholic Church as many in their ranks are thus because of the celibacy (not allowed to marry women) requirement. Even the Pope wears red Pravda shoes. It is more than just self loathing, for their entire theology is based on classes of people, women at the lowest, and the Pope/Saints/Mary at the other end. Where can they assign gays since they are both men and women? If gays can marry, why can’t priests marry each other? Gays have the potential to destruct their entire religious framework! The Cardinals in the Vatican City are working overtime warning of damnation if gays do get married which for them is very real. Once gays get married, you can’t blame them for being promiscuous, having sex outside marriage. At the end the Roman church only cares about itself and the maintenance of power and wealth, at all costs, even sacrificing the gay community which is dispensable for the church.
The Christian Church has built very large ancient temples, and though we deny it, rooted in the world system of politics, power, wealth and control. The temples are surrounded by thick walls so that we can prevent people from coming in and to protect our theology. Gays are the least in our society, and God is using the weakest to break the man-made walls of the strong and mighty. He came to bring down walls so that others will see Christ in us, the Hope of Glory, if we indeed have the living Christ within. The new temple is residing within us, where Christ is if we have been crucified with Him by faith in God’s grace. The walls are coming down, and we who are so strongly resisting may find ourselves buried in the collapsing walls. Because, People need the Lord.