|Pastor Kong Hee unbalanced on the Gay issue|
In our 20th century, it is so often difficult for us to understand the bible, the cultural, hitorical context 2500 years ago. We read the bible at "face value", and we take the English translation itself from Hebrew/Aramaic as "Gospel" even though the translators may have added in their own theological and cultural bias. It takes hard work to study the bible, to understand its true meaning rather than mold it to fit our own reasoning and thoelogy. Otherwise, we would not be balanced and may be profaning the bible. However, if we open our eyes big enough, and speak less, what we see in our modern times may be no different from the bible. In the story of Sodom and Gamorrah for instance, we see:-
a) The men of the city raping visitors, to subjugate and control them, and to reduce them to the far lower status of a woman, to destroy their dignity. We blame it on gays, and say that the city must be full of "homosexuals", but the truth was that these practices were common and they were done by straight people as part of sexual violence and control and not part of same sex love or orientation. In the City Harvest Times, we turn the truth completely around with Rev Kong Hee calling it "sick" blaiming gays again in his "balanced" interpretation.
The dignity of the women never existed in such slave trade, with the dignity of the women gone, now beng considered soiled and never accepted back into the family. Once out of the door, they are alone, sacrificing themselves for the sake of the family, just as the Iraqi family sacrificed their daughter to gain money, for they must have been very poor. Can we blame them? Did God blame Lot? Yet, the likes of many mega church pastors would blame gays saying that they also wanted to rape the women !. What some pastors did was worst than the Iraqi family who sacrificed their daughters out of deep poverty. They had a mitigating circumstances, whilst they did not.
Sometimes the bible does and say things, so ridiculous to our sense of modern day moral indignation. That is why, we seldom mention Lot's daughters and we assign the "sin" of Sodom to gays. Yet, this is not balanced and denying the truth, and the rich message of God's grace contained therein. There is so much grace in God, that He did not take Lot to tasks for how he had treated his daughters because of the cimcumstances.
God is a God that sees the context and circumstances and judge us by it, yet often, the religious zealots showed no mercy. In the case of the centurion, Rev Kong Hee was also perturbed by the story of the Centurion, and call it "sick" the interpretation by MCC Dallas, that the Centurion was actually having an affair with his lover, whch is the slave boy and Jesus said nothing. This story was put into the bible not for Pastor Kong Hee to call it "sick", and even though the Jews reading in the orginal language would have understood the story very well. It was put into the bible for a purpose, to show the grace of God. God is so great and merciful, that He sees through the context and the circumstances. Jesus called the Centurion a man of great faith, yet we would have called him a great "sinner" for his gay relationship.
The Church is part of the world culture which is essentially a "straight" and "patriachal" culture rather than a gay one. It is the biblical culture that offers us redemption. Gays have surely existing in Jesus's days, yet Jesus never did condemn Gays. Jesus was the word of God incarnate, i.e. if you want to know the right interpretation of the bible and the importance of a subject matter, it would be as easy as seeing how Jesus sees it and what weight He has placed on it. If Homosexuality was a matter of major importance as depicted by mainstream churches today, surely Jesus would mention it several times. Yet He did not.
In Mat 8:5,6, a centurion approached Jesus to heal His servant who was paralysed and in pain. The greek word for the "servant" is "Pais" which be translated also as a slave boy. Even when Jesus came face to face with the Centurion who quite likely have had a Gay relationship, He did not see the Centurion as living an immoral life, but He saw the love that the centurion had for the slave. Jesus was not shocked and did not question why the centurion, a professional Roman soldier with more than 100 men under his authority would be so concerned for a slave boy. Slaves were dispensable and if one dies, there would be a dozen more. The Roman soldier did not need to come in person, he could have sent His other servants to send for Jesus. Yet, His love and concern for the boy was so great that He came personally with no concern of what the public and his legion would say. When Jesus agreed to come and heal his boy friend, Jesus recognised the genuiness of their Gay relationship. The centurion must have been so glad that Jesus agreed to heal his boyfriend, that he said "No need to come lah! No need to trouble you. I believe you!. It takes faith to believe, and Jesus saw the love that the centurion had for his boyfriend and the faith to believe that Jesus is a good God as far more important than the manner of their relationship.
The bible never calls us into balance, it calls us into radical truth of God's redemption and sacrifice, so different from the ways and straight patriachal culture of this world. It is a culture of inclusion, and acceptance founded on God's grace, and mercy. The World Culture versus a Blibical culture can only be explained by one word "Jesus", the very Word of God becoming flesh. The only balance, is "in Christ", and He invites each of us today to join Him for communion, for all are accepted at His table, even the very outcasts of the community which we have despised and rejected for so long. Yet, for such, God will seek out first and return to them their dignity and life.