Fear no evil for I have redeemed you
Fear no evil for I have redeemed you

 

 

Mark 1:25,26 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.”

We are all subjected to the influence of Satan and even Jesus was tempted in the desert but surprisingly some Christians are sceptical. Conversely, there are some who are obsessed with binding demons but they are likewise not immune.  Satan is like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Pet 5:8) finding our weaknesses especially if we put our head in the sand and see no evil or are self- righteous with a religious zeal sufficient to crucify Jesus at the Cross.

Satan seeks to destroy us, to destroy the GLBT community and to keep it in the closet and under bondage where our basic rights of existence, marriage and equality are taken away. That is the real "gay" aggenda. He is using the church to do so when the church of Jesus Christ should have been preaching God's love, grace and mercy especially to the least rejected by society. But we shall not fear, for Christ will overcome all the wicked plans in due time and season.

The notion of a spiritual reality with many spiritual deities and gods really scares us because they are unseen although spoken widely in Christian and Jewish faith traditions. We rather assigned it to the metaphorical. For many the devil is a figment of our imagination rather than something real, even though the concept of the supernatural beings of good and evil is intrinsic in the bible and explains the concepts of the many religions and its worshippers.  We can't see through the darkness disguised as the light (2 Cor 11:14).

The notion of demonic posession is not new in the ancient Jewish religious text. In fact, in the worship of Baal, the worshippers have anal sex with the male temple priests and in doing so the demon in the priest would also possess the worshiper. They were having same sex acts because of their religious faith and not because of same sex orientation. In particular,

a) The Egyptian fertility god, Apis, a bull deity worshipped in the Memphis region where the Israelites had just came out of. Therefore when Moses could not be found, in Ex 32:4-6, the people of Israel made themselves a golden calf to worship as a burn offering and rejoicing (Ex 32:18). As part of the worship, there would be a mass sexual orgy and rejoicing where the worshippers would have sex with the temple priests and priestess.

b) The fertility god Molech (Lev 18:21) consisting of a man’s body and the head of the calf famous for its live sacrifices of babies. In the “The Sacred Fire: The Story of Sex in Religion by B. Z. Goldberg”, it was said that the worship of Molech was masculine by nature and excluded women. The priests were Eunuchs who had castrated themselves, and the worshippers were having anal sex with the priests. There were also young men who sold themselves to play the role of the harlot, and even dogs specially trained for the worshippers to have sex with. Thus, we have the term “price of a dog” in Deut 23:18 in NKJV translated as “male prostitutes” in NIV.

In Christianity, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the equivalent where the Holy Spirit fills us. It is different from a commitment of faith to Jesus Christ.

When Jesus approached the man in Capernaum, in the Jewish synagogue itself, the presence of Jesus made the demon to out itself, thus confronting Jesus. Jesus did not use a humanistic approach as some saying that it was psychological or a state of madness but recognised a separate spiritual force. Evil is not only within, it is external far stronger that we could imagine that could be in the closet inside a person attending church or the synagogue. The demon was there all this while even as the man praised God in the synagogue. How many devils are there in our churches?

Jesus was able to cast of the demon because He was of a far more powerful spiritual presence being the “Holy one of God”. Why wasn’t the man not afraid of going to the synagogue where the presence of God apparently dwells! Because the presence of God was not significant unlike the temple of God where the Ark resides until the priests could not stand on his feet. God is not everywhere in a tangible manner although He could be everywhere, ie His presence is only strongly manifested as He wills. Is our church full of the presence of Jesus that demon possessed people are cleansed when they enter our churches? Or do they stay bound!

When Jesus declared “thy kingdom come”, He was not only declaring that the Kingdom of God is within us, but that the presence of God be amongst us through the Holy Spirit just as Jesus was amongst them.  A church may be full of people, yet empty for God was not there despite our assertions. The Holy Spirit is like a wind, it comes and goes and none can control it. Is the kingdom of God within the church where the work of the ministry of Christ is proclaimed to the lost, the outcasts and the sick? When we are the hands and feet of Jesus, there the Spirit of God dwells.

Jesus did not ignore the man who was demon possessed, but it is wise for us not to be like Jesus unless we are able to engage in Spiritual warfare. Jesus was known to the demon, are we known to the principalities in heaven/hell as a spiritual force. We are in a spiritual warfare whether we like it or not. The demon possessed man came into the church and we live in a physical and a spiritual worlds. The goals of the forces of darkness are to hinder the ministry of Christ here on earth.

"Gay activist used by Satan" Pastor Derek Hong, Anglican Church of our Saviour, Singapore 2007

Pastor Derek Hong was not wrong when he said than Satan was using gays to destroy the church. What he missed out was that it is the church itself who would self-destruct in deliberate lies and rhetoric against gays perpetuating harm and injustice hence putting the church in a position of unrighteousness. The sin and hypocrisy against gays would be like yeast that would consume the whole church and in time defines it as unholy and without grace nor mercy. It also sets an impossible bar of holiness and religious law that the church must adhere to, ie if we condemn gays then the rest of the OT laws would strictly apply.

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

A collection of the anti-gay quotes by the mega pastors in Singapore shows how outrageous and hostile their rethoric can be but also reflects how good people can be a moment of folly and religious indignation can be influenced and open themselves to Satan.  What they planted they reaped with a mighty shaking of the churches a few years later where the churches stumbled one after the other, and there were no gay aggenda.

The bible teaches us to be merciful, to kind, gentle, forgiving, slow to criticise, and slow to anger. All this together with the prayer of a righteous person standing in prayer avails much. Our righteousness is in Christ. The anti-gay crusade of the Christian Right doesn’t add to their position in Christ, but it taints them with the blood of the innocent of the many gays who died as a result of the deep harm caused. Therefore refrain from harm, do good and do justice, and let there be no room for the works of Satan in the church of Jesus Christ.  Pray always and unceasingly, that the Spirit of God may constrain us and give us strength to be pure and holy.

We come back to Mark 1:25,26 where Jesus rebuked the demon to be quiet and cut short the conversation for He was not going to exalt the devil or put fear in the congregation. Hence, we too should rebuke the works and voices of Satan in our lives and instead focus on our call for healing and salvation to the communities God has called us to be in.  There is no fear in Christ for Jesus will keep us safe and He has overcome even death itself. We are the redeemed, a child of God.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Ps 23:4

 


 
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