|Proposition 8 - Its time for the fallen Church to follow Jesus|
In 1990, there was a rebirth of the Christian Right. There was a concerted effort to take over the Republican Party, to elect thousands of Christians to local, state and congress through the massive disciplined bloc voting of Christians. It was the Christian Right aggenda to take over power, wealth, and control with gays as the fall guy. In the 1991 "Road to Victory" conference, Gary Bauer on Focus on Family noted that "We are engaged in a social, political, cultural civil war." In order to galvanised the movement, the imagined threats were created such as " "the militant homosexuals," or "the gay agenda."or "Gays are after special rights". The Glen Eyrie Conference of 1994 formalised the approach and direction to use gays as a scapegoat to galvanised the movement into a strong voting bloc. It was focused on depriving gays of any rights. If it sounds familiar, it should for this is the same fear tactics used by Derek Hong of Church of Our Saviour and the National Council of Churches in Singapore which is strongly influence by a foreign overseas movement.
In Nov 2000, George Bush came into power with support of the Christian Right. In 2004, during his re-election bid, Gays were again used as a punching bag, with Bush declaring his intention for a contitutional amendment to ban gay marriages to entice support from the Christian Right. During his tenure of 8 years, his payback to the big businesses and the religious right was evident in funding for religious causes, the war in Iraq with the resulting involvement by big business for the rebuilding of Iraq, the ease of financial rules allowing for the Stock market and home prises to rise rapidly - creating money out of thin air. This was inline with the Christian Right Prosperity Theology of being blessed and prospering with the Wall Street DJI index rising from 2600 points to 14,000 points during this 8 years. It appears for all intention purposes that God has blessed the Christian Right policies with a five fold increased in wealth.
The "Cultural war" on Gays also seemed to have won, with the Christian Right even targeting Children to spin lies and mis-information on Gays. Statutes and Constitutional bans were successfully implemented in 41 states. Prominent Evangelical Christian opponents of same-sex marriage have included Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, James Dobson and Jerry Falwell. They are probably the most militant, organised, and well funded and supported "army of God" in history.
Yet, for all their success in the last 8 years, and the very narrow victory in Proposition 8, it seems to be bitter sweet victory. They had to fight like never before in California and pulled out all their big guns and in the face of near defeat had to call up their traditional foes, the Catholic and Mormon Calvary to come and save them. The tide was turning against them, the tide for change, the reaction to 8 years of Christian Right rule exemplified by agressive foreign wars, destruction of the environment in pursuit of the Prosperity Gospel of economic growth, the collapse of the economy pumped up like in big ballon not bassed on gold and secured assets but on hot air of continuing growth, continual rises in prices of houses, and increasing share market price. The lie of the Christian Right came all tumbling down when the pace of growth and prosperity could not be maintained, exposing the economic fraud. The Economy became the overriding factor sidelining the Christian Right aggenda of using gay rights, hence bringing Barrack Obama, a Liberal Democrat to victory. They have won Proposition 8 yet they have lost, for their greatest weapon of deception using gays has forever been blunted with no mention in the Political arena. They have lost the Political battle which was actually the major prize as the gay issue was just a means to achieve this control of power and wealth.
Ironically, the victory of Proposition 8, makes a political comeback of the Christian Right less likely as they will not be able to use gays as an issue. If they had lost Proposition 8, then the fear of the wave from California sweeping the nation through gay marriages will be used to propel the political ambitions of the Christian Right. Without this avenue, there are few hot button issues to galvanised support. Although, it is a victory for the Christian Right, it was a very close victory. When it does to vote on the next occasion, it will surely loose. Hence, the Christian Right victory obn Proposition 8 is a bitter sweet victory taking away the platform for a political comeback but yet giving no guarantees that Gay marriages will not succeed four or eight years later.
Now that the political comeback is less likely, the victory in Proposition 8 galvanised and electrified the Gay population like never before. They will not let this go without taking the fight to the churches and religious institution. The underhanded means used by the Christian Right was a shock to many, and reprisals are starting. No longer are gays willing to be submissive partners being "raped" and used as a political scapegoat, and "enough is enough". What victory is there, when faced with protests weekly and massive anger and rebukes over the web spheres?
Rome fell in 04 Sept, AD 476 when Romulus Augustulus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire was deposed by Odoacer. The fell came after 150 years of increasingly powerful influence and rule by the Christian Right since the Edict of Milan in 313AD effectively made the Roman empire a "Christian" nation just as the modern day Christian Right has tried to force through Christian to the state level of power and control in 1990. The main reason now and then was the economy.
The disciples then, and Christians today seem to have difficulty understanding biblical Christianity. Jesus unlike the Politically motivated Christian Right refused to show any miracles to Pontius Pilate. He refused to have anything to do with the Roman Ruler, no deals of power sharing. Because His kingdom, was in heaven. If it was on earth, then He would have called legions of Angels to destroy the World. His Kingdom was not of this world, but we have made our abode with the rulers and powers of this world - with the intention of ruling the world.
What is following Jesus? following Jesus is giving up our rights so that His will be done, that the Gospel may be preached throughout the nations. We are to give up our rights to follow our own way in life, but to seek first His Kingdom, ie to seek first the priority and aggenda that Kingdom of God. The aggenda of the Kingdom is that the message of the Gospel be extended throughout the nations. We have no mandate to limit the basic rights of others such that we gain political power, and extend our kingdom on Earth. It is a heavenly kingdom that we seek, that the Kingdom of God may come into the hearts of people when they receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Following Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tommorow. Some of us may die that others may know Christ. It is not a demand that others die for our religious expediency. It is a call to give up our lives that others may live, and live abundantly. Jesus deliberately lived a simple life, with few posessions, without a roof over His head, and sharing all He had with others. He could have His base in Jerusalem, with a huge church of Gold, with the disciples coming from around Judea. That would be the way of the world. Jesus lived a simple life, knowing that the priority is to extend the Kingdom of God in the hearts and minds of people to know God. He came and He died and rose again that we may have life. He did not come to take. He did not come to take away money from the poor, to take away the rights of the oppressed, nor did He come to built up an empire of wealth, power and posessions on earth. He came to give, whilst we try desperately to retain rights for ourselves, the right to marriage. In these dark moments where in seems that the Christian Right has won, it is only a battle for which the war will be forever lost.
The church has been following Jesus again since the reformation of the 16th century where many had decided to follow Jesus, even to their death that the Gospel truth may come out of the closet. We had decided to follow Jesus. We decided in 1519 when martin Luther nailed His thesis 95 at the door of the Catholic Church, we have decided to follow Jesus in the Welsh Revivals and in the awakening revivals of the 19th century. The echoes of the great move of God with the passion for the Gospel to spread through Hudson Taylor of the China Inland Mission, through William Carey of the Baptist Missionary Society into India, through David Livingstone of the London Missionary Society into Africa. We had once upon a time, decided to follow Jesus, but we had turned back for the temptations of wealth, power and control became much too seductive. We thought we have reached the ends of the earth but we have failed to looked within to the last tribe on earth, residing in our city centres. We have gone so far to preach the Gospel, yet have not looked nearby. Gays are so near, yet so far, and God's heart in these last days, is for them, to free them from the closets that religion has put them in that they might know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. It is time for the church to turn back and to follow Jesus again.