War against the Lamb - Let us reflect and take heed of our religious fundamentalism
20 July, in Singapore, the Fundamentalist religious Group, "Focus on Family" has recommended to the Government for the compulsory AIDS testing for Gay men. "We should not allow people who choose high-risk lifestyles to avoid testing and thereby subject innocents in their households and medical workers to unfair risks of infection," said Mr Tan Thuan Seng who conveniently ignored that Gays form only 5% of the population. In fact, their remarks hide the high levels of promiscuity and greed in the religious right. In the 21st century we have fundamentalist religious groups supposedly doing the work for God but inevitably are making war against the Lamb. The wars in this world are a reflection of the heavenly battles in the spiritual realm. In this war, deception and half truths are the name of the game. For example, the war in Iraq is said to be a war against terrorism, but is actually a war initiated and strongly supported by the Christian Right on the false premises of the weapons of mass destruction. The war against the Lamb is to lead people into the fundamentalist religious lifestyles where they will loose focus on the simplicity of faith, focus on self instead of Christ, and throw the first stone instead of sacrificial giving to others showing the humility, love and compassion of Christ. Such will bring the nations back to religious bondage, crusades, and persecution of the "weak" miniorities just as the Religious Pharisees of old..
In the last two decades, there has been a Focus on Gays by the religious Fundamentalist blaming Gays for all the ills befalling upon the good family and the Nation. Possibly, this is avoiding the real symptoms of a fundamentalist religious lifestyle that is often occupied with promiscuity, wealth, prosperity, exploitation, power and influence whilst neglecting an authentic Christian life of holiness, integrity, of simple life, faith, helping the outcasts and humility. The religious Fundamentalist would blame gays for its own high divorce rates which is no different compared to the non-fundamentalist. In fact, the Fundamentalist divorced more frequently despite adultery being one of the very few sins specifically condemned by Jesus. A study released by The Barna Group, of Ventura, California, in Sept 2004 shows that the likelihood of married adults getting divorced is identical among fundamentalist and those who are not. Multiple divorces are also unexpectedly common among people of this lifestyle inclination. Barna’s figures show that nearly one-quarter of the married Fundamentalist get divorced two or more times. How could the Gospel message be authentic with such stumbling blocks of hypocrisy.
The fundamentalist religious lifestyle is on a dangerous rise especially in the 3rd world countries with the promise of wealth and quick success. In Nigerian, one of the largest churches is the Living Faith Church Worldwide Inc., better kwon as Winners Chapel, founded in Lagos by David Oyedepo in 1983. At Winners the testimonies are almost all about material success—scholarships, jobs, cars and promotions where they stress that success is your right and inheritance. In this unhealthy religious fundamentalist lifestyles, many has been given the status of semi-gods. For example, Rev. Oyedepo is totally unchallengeable: "The moment you doubt prophetic utterances, you are damned," he has once claimed. "When you go against the prophet it is actually God you are rising up against. In August 2000, in the same month that the president of Nigeria's senate was impeached for, among other things, having 32 official vehicles, the Winners weekly newspaper carried an article about Oyedepo's acquisition of a private jet. Religious Fundamentalist are often tainted with hypocrisy. As Christians, we are told to avoid the yeast of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1), their hypocrisy particularly caused and in view of their legalism, self righteousness, focus on the obedience to the Mosaic Laws and the absence of much Grace, mercy or compassion. We are warned that, the hyporcisy of this vocal fundamentalist minority could very negatively impact the entire Church. Therefore, for those who make war against the Lamb, sadly, the most effective weapon against the church of Jesus Christ is Christian fundamentalists themselves.
The bible reminds us in Mat 5:13,14, that the Christian Church is to show a much better lifestyle of humility, love, generosity and grace because of Jesus Christ as compared to the rest of the community. If there is no difference with the same self centered aspirations and even worst because they blame minority groups for the caused of their own failings, then what is the purpose of the Christian Church? What is it good for if it does not achieve its purpose and be a light of the world, the light to Christ, God's salvation to mankind. Indeed, when religious law so much expounded by the churches in Singapore controls us, we come into its curse and reveal our true nature of carnality. Instead of focusing on Christ and be renewed inwardly, we exhibit a lifestyle of sin though we deny it. The Religious Fundamentalist are also keen to confuse with terms such as "antinomianism" claiming that this is the beliefs by those who consider themselves not under law and that this will lead to lawlessness. The truth however is that, antinomianism as practiced by the Gnostics in the first 500 years of Christendom was without Grace or truth concerning Jesus Christ. Antinomianism was a perversion in that despite not believing that Christ physically died and resurrected for our salvation, the Gnostics STILL claimed that they were not under the Mosaic Law. Jesus did not come to take away the legal demands of the law but to satisfy its requirements so that as Christians we are not bound by the condemnation of the law giving us the victory and strength to overcome our sin consciousness. We can only be truly free when we are changed inwardly by being conscious of God's grace and Mercy and be surrounded by His Love.
As Christian Disciples, we are sent out as laborers to the harvest field not to carry a money bag nor to go out to exploit people for money to put into this money bag. However, the 21st century church is well known for being the exploitive wolves so despised by Jesus. "Sow us a seed for answered prayers" they exalt to the needy whilst they lived a lifestyle of multi-millionairs and have millions in the bank. "Sow a seed, for the defence of family" whilst their fund raising drives rake in billions but the gay community suffer as the scapegoats. If we are indeed disciples of Chirst, we are sent out as lambs, that are gentle with loving kindness though filled with wisdom and power to declare the coming of the Kingdom of God, the reign of Christ into their lives. We have chosen to serve the King of Kings and not ourselves. We are to declare peace to the world and healing of their sickness (and not to collect the money from the people before the healing). Christ is to receive all the glory and not men. We are not to take away the Glory from God. The Authentic Christian Lifestyle is a giving lifestyle of blessing others because of what Christ has done in our lives. The Religious Fundamentalist can change if they they truly repent and see the light of Jesus Christ just as Saul became Paul in the road of Damascus, from a religious zealot determined to make sure that all follow the law and be severely punished otherwise, to the Apostle of Grace to the Gentile Nations. The Spirit of Saul still prevails in the church today as they insist on persecuting gays under PC 377A. We need to stop, and change to a new mindset in order to see the Light of Christ. After 2000 years, time is running out for us to repent!.
The first century Christian church had great difficulties with people who had Fundamentalist religious inclination especially from the Jewish Christians who insisted as their modern day counterpart that Christians (and the rest of the community) must follow the Jewish Laws as well. At the Council of Jerusalem where the leaders met, Paul argued that Christians need not be bounded by the Jewish Mosaic laws per say, and the Council decided that Christian Faith is not about following laws but it is concerning the centrality of Jesus Christ and His work of atonement. We are not to have anything to do with the worship of other gods, we are not to partake blood in respect to the blood of Christ shed for us at the cross, and lastly we are to abstain from sexual immorality with the female prostitutes especially prominent in the temple rituals. As we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we should keep ourselves holy less we blasphemed the Holy Spirit within by having sex with a unclean vessel of the Prostitute. The above point to the centrality of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the finished work of the Cross of Calvary, and the reverence for the presence and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Instead, the modern day church, is so quick to speak and to judge instead of being reflective, humble, and slow to speak, always quenching the move of the Holy Spirit.
At the end of the day, the religious Fundamentalist may be sincere people but sincerely wrong. They failed to realize that they are but pawns in the larger spiritual battle by forces that come against Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Words spoken in condemnation of Gays and calling homosexuality as a sin becomes not just a matter of theological opinion of reflective theology but have serious consequences for it impacts, kills, and hurt so many and compromised the Gospel message. Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is coming back. He came first 2000 years ago to show the way back to God, and He will come again but this time with judgement. Let us be wary, lest we fall and be led into temptation to come against the very people who need the love of God most and whom Christ holds dear to His heart and will defend the weak and the defenceless. Let us take heed lest we end up fighting the Lamb instead of defending the outcasts of society whom Jesus had an endearment for. Today, let us take heed and be mindful of which side we are really in and decide today on whose team we want to be in!. Let us be found faithful and worthy to be chosen in the army led by the Lamb of God.
Many shall war against the Lamb
His eyes are flames of fire,