|Pastor David Wilkerson - No one can kill love for God is love|
Pastor David Wilkerson died in a road accident Wednesday in New York State. He was 79 and the founder of Teen Challenge and Times Square Church in New York which have had a major influence in the Christian movement amongst the drug addicts and gang warfare in NY. The Times Church is a mega church of 8,000 members.
Pastor Wilkerson came to fame by the film“the Cross and the Swiss blade” based on the book “Run baby Run” set in the early 60s which talked about the life of Nicky Cruz, a gang leader. In an incident defining his ministry, when Nicky slapped Wilkerson and threatened to kill him, who responded with a now famous statement that “no one can kill love, and that God is love”.
Unfortunately, since the beginning, Pastor Wilkerson was known to be vehemently anti-gay. In 1973, he prophesized that there will be a great calamity from God in America caused by gays. This did not happen. Perhaps, there were a few good men left in the new Sodom and Gomorrah which he feared America would become with a gay mob chasing after Pentecostal Christians just like the mob gangsters!.
Surely, the millions of babies aborted/killed, or the rise of the Wall Street/Christian Right against the weak would be a more biblical reason for God to judge America rather than the same sex relationship of a small minority of the population of less than 5%.
His protégé, Nicky Cruz set up his own ministry and in 2006 said that homosexuality was a “sexual perversion” and an “evil practice”, when same sex orientation is innate and no more a perversion or evil that heterosexuality. He did not mention the excess of heterosexuality which was obvious to all, the rampant adultery, sexual abuses, divorces, and abortions. Nicky Cruz was taken to task and had to back down. Perhaps, Wilkerson’s prophecy did come true – for Christians are now no longer allowed to cause harm and offence simply because of religion.
The persecution of true Christians by the Gay mob as feared by Pastor Wilkerson did not come through, instead, the Christian Right was at the forefront to put gays in prisons, and to limit the emerging aspirations for basic rights of gays for the next four decades.
Yet, for all his faults, Pastor David Wilkerson had incredible sense of God’s calling, mission, and love. When faced with threats, he responded with love. He is a contrast to some who have advocated Queer theology of inclusiveness or focused on God’s love and grace, yet showed incredible hostility, crudeness, and aggression. People often see our character and lifestyle versus the message we are preaching directly or indirectly.
His ministry grew out of love and faith to step forward to reflect God’s love, to a worldwide ministry through Teen Challenge, and in the setting up of the Time Square Church which is now an 8,000 strong mega church. He was willing to suffer for Christ, and to respond with humility and kindness.
How different would it have been if Nicky Cruz had actually carried out his threat to kill Pastor Wilkerson! His name would be a foot note in the newspaper yet God would still see the same faith and love under the enduring circumstances. It is not what we have achieved at the end of our lives that matters, rather how we have carried out our faith.
David Wilkerson did not repent of his sins against gays till the very end. He still reacted with anger in his heart when he saw Gays marching in the parade in New York. In his blog entry date 28 July 2010 entitled “Strong, Spiritual Castor Oil”, he said “I blushed with hot anger. I felt like calling Sodom-like fire upon them. But on reflection, I said to my heart, "I am like the disciples who wanted to call down fire and consume those who rejected Jesus." Love your enemies! Love those "in your face" militant sinners? Pray for them? Bless them that curse you”. Of course, he didn’t say a word in haste against gays, kept quiet by the principle of love, which is much better than some “inclusive” Christians I have met, who will respond aggressively to anything about the Gospel message about Jesus being the truth, the way and the life.
(Jude 1:7 KJV) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Sodom fell because they had worshipped Baal, which involves human sacrifices to the deities, with straight people having anal sex with the priests to connect with the gods. Their straight women also practiced sex with the “angels” to produce giants which were considered worthy of the flood and destruction. That was why the men weren’t interested in the women that Lot offered for they had wanted their daughters to have sex with the angels.
The disciples called upon fire upon Samaria because they were Samarians towns who were adverse to the message of the Gospel, because of the context of it being preached by the Jews who had so despised and persecuted them for a thousand years. None of the above was concerning same sex relationships. Love constraints us because sometimes, we may be the militant sinners persecuting the innocent, not because we are loving our enemies.
(1 Cor 13:8 NKJV) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
(1 Cor 13:9 NKJV) For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
(1 Cor 13:10 NKJV) But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
Wilkerson’s message of love, the love that never fails is in contrast to the prophecy that he made on gays. He only knew in part. He interpreted the bible wrongly and framed it as a prophecy or message from God when the bible read in the religious context where they had worshiped idols by having sex with the priests could not be said to be related to same sex relationships. His prophecy on gays will pass away when he dies and meet perfection, meeting Christ in heaven.
We know only in part, that has been revealed to us, that Jesus is our Saviour, whose death and resurrection became the gateway to God the Father in heaven, being no other way except the painful death at the cross and the miracle of resurrection.
When we reach heaven, we no longer need to prophesy of the future, nor speak in spiritual language, or have knowledge to understand that same sex relationship is normal. These very necessary ministries on earth – the prophetic, the spiritual language of tongues, the gift of wisdom and knowledge, all give us insight and connection to the spiritual reality, will no longer be required when we meet Jesus.
Some churches though claiming to be inclusive have excluded the prophetic, the charismatic gifts, and the spiritual communion in tongues, whilst on earth, in the name of love. However, love has its full essence and meaning only when we are deeply connected to Jesus through these spiritual means. Otherwise, our relationship with Jesus will be seem afar, or based on an intellectual idea which may not be sustainable.
Love remains, because the love for God that will see us through this life, still remains the love that follow us in heaven, our love and worship of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Our relationship with Jesus Christ will remain, so get to know Him well whilst you are on earth!
(Mat 5:43 KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
(Mat 5:44 KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(Mat 5:45 KJV) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
There is a call to the GLBT community to love our enemies, to bless those that curse us, to bless those who has persecuted us and denied our basic humanity and kept us in the jails of our closets. The Christian Right really hates and persecute us – insisting that we be put in jails, and denying us the basic rights of marriage and relationship even though we have had nothing to do with them, and kept to ourselves as a very small minority.
Yet, we are no better if we respond in kind. If we judge people and reject 100% of their theology just based on the 5% referring to gays, then we are not truly representing Christ not can call ourselves inclusive or queer.
If we were born straight instead of Gay, do you think we would be any different that David Wilkerson persecuting gays. We who have suffered so much more and have been denied so much love, let us love more for greater is the abundance of God's grace in our lives.