|It's all about love at Orchard Road|
The above message was in plaque with the a symbol of a crown prominently displayed at a major shopping centre at Orchard Road whilst below and in the streets surrounding the Christians were doing their caroling but mixing it with the gospel message of God's love. Singaporean "Roman" Soldiers paraded their placards "It's all about Love". But two thousand years ago, the Roman soldiers were nailing Jesus at the cross and beating Him almost till death as He bore His cross. People then would see the Roman soldier with anger and revolt so to do gays look at the church today. The Christian church has a messaging problem. Our primary message about God's love, would be meaningless when the message is voiced by those who just the Roman Soldiers of old who were rich, in positions of power and control, and who exercised this control with harshness, mercilessness, and cruelty. The Christian Churches have managed to go to the highest forum of the land, demanded that Gays remained criminalized, but Christ was of a different Spirit. He came to earth not to condemn the sins of many but to declare to the World, that through Christ alone, salvation is found.
Gays have been so vilified by the church and to the church this is the greatest sin, a sin so great and above others that it deserved to be made special mentioned in Parliament. We look to others to condemn, because it is so easy to criticize and be cruel, even though the far greater and profound sins (if indeed homosexuality was a sin!), such as legalized abortion, legalized divorced, and legalized prostitution we never raise it up to the highest forum nor state in our websites. We blamed gays for destroying families and the public morals despite them being only 5% of the population but abortion, divorced, and prostitution - all legal we give little mention. It is easy to find a peck in others eyes yet not see the log in our eyes. Homosexuality should be a non issue, but the effort and the public pressure of the church to champion this issue, results in us failing to see the issues that matters - the very big log in our eyes. In Africa where wars, corruption, and diseases ravaged the nations and killed millions, but the Global South in the Anglican Primates meeting this year in Tanzania showed their holy indignation against gays as the greatest treat to their Anglican Faith worthy of causing a schism. When we put on the glasses of religion, we can't see far or with the eyes of God.
Christians have gone so far as to say that Gays will go to hell. But to Christ, we are already condemned, when we do not put Christ as our Lord and Savior. This is the central issue that God will fault us in and not homosexuality by 5% of the population if it is at all a sin. We have sidelined a whole lot of people whom Jesus also died for. He came to show forth His love and grace, but instead, we declare and condemn gays for a "sin" that Jesus never even mentioned nor declared it a sin worthy of eternal damnation. When we start acting like the Roman Soldiers and the Jewish religious leaders, we stop acting like Jesus even though we put on the façade that "It is all about love". We have added very great burden and yoke to carry for those who already suffered much being a minority. We put on the yoke of following the strict Jewish laws just for the gay people, when we do not follow them ourselves. We preach as if the law when applied to us is the 10 commandments, but when applied to gays is the entire Mosaic and Leviticus Laws for we to find some obscure verses to condemn gays to justify our biblical position.
In John 3:17, Jesus specifically emphasized that He did not come specifically to condemn them. His was not a ministry of condemnation in contrast to the religious leaders of the day who were very strict on the Mosaic and Leviticus laws. Jesus will not condemn them for failing to abide by the law, but if they do fail to believe Jesus as the light of God unto salvation and eternal life. Jesus' ministry of acceptance through Christ Jesus was contrasted to the Ministry of Condemnation by the Pharisees. The Pharisees demanded the Jews to follow to the letter of the laws and condemn them as hell bound sinners if they do not. Jesus came with a totally different and simple message to "Only Believe" in Him (John 3:18), in the message of the good news of Christ being the light of Salvation and this would be more than sufficient to be accepted by God. He need not condemned us, for we are already condemned despite our best efforts to follow the law (John 3:19). The yoke of Christ to believe only by faith was easy compared to the heavy burden and requirements of the law. But the churches except perhaps the one at Suntec preaches the law - the 10 commandments and insist that Christians follow the law forgetting that the commandments were only a small part of the law. We are so worried about the law, so eager to condemn gays for breaking the law that we took on the role of the Jewish religious leaders.
When Jesus came, there were four people groups - the majority who could not care less, the Romans representing power, judiciary and the army, the religious leaders, and the sinners/outcasts of society. Surprisingly, it was only the "sinners" that received Jesus, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the poor and the despised. The Pharisees forming the religious grouping were very well versed in the Scriptures - The Old Testament, yet used the Word of God to condemn Jesus and also His association with those unclean under the law. Today, the churches so concerned about being biblical also used the word of God against Gays which should not be surprising since Jesus was condemned in the same manner using the religious laws. Two thousand years later at this Christmas, we are reminded that it is the religious who once again condemn the outcasts of society.
In year 2008, I believe that God will do a new work, to break the yoke of condemnation that the church have on gays - the set them free. Even if it breaks the Anglican Church who unnecessarily caught up and obsessed with this issue, even if it means judgment upon the church for the harm done against the gay community. Yes, ultimately it is all about Love - God's Love that will be shown to the Gay community next year in the midst of their despair. The Church sponsored kepp377A may have succeeded in 2007 but it will usher in the next few years such a great fire of testing and trials on the church in Singapore to purify it from all unrighteousness. We have been so eager to expose the speck in others and so nothing in our own lives will remain hidden for all to see.