Liberty and justice comes first

(John 12:3-8 NKJV) Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

Remarks by many Christian gay men that they would rather spend on the poor or sponsoring children from third world countries rather than Gay rights and justice issues against the church reminds me of John 12:3-8. They would claim that spending money to push through gay rights should be of a far lower priority when the basic needs of the world such as poverty is so pressing. The argument seems to be inconsistent when we do not ask the straight community to forsake their straight marriages or their basic rights not to be criminalized to help the poor. It speaks of a denial, a denial of ourselves and who we are. How can we love the poor if we do not love ourselves?

Judas Iscariot used a similar argument when he saw Mary anointing Jesus with very expensive perfume. Surely, when the need for the poor was so pressing, why not sell it, to feed and take care of the hungry. Some asked why would gay men spent millions fighting for Proposition 8 and for gay rights, instead of giving money to the poor. However, the same question is not asked of the Christian churches – why spend many more millions in preventing gays from getting married when it does not impact them. Imagined, the marriage of straight people was taken away in the States! We would have a massive breakdown of law and order with a strong backlash. Why do we give special rights to the Christian Right to persecute our own gay family?

Apostle John gave an amazing insight not found in other Gospels that the real reason for Judas to oppose Mary was that he wanted the money not that he had wanted to help the poor. Therefore, there is an issue of consistency in how we act. Gay marriage is a basic need for many whose lives are bound by their relationships with their loved ones, and it comes with it a whole host of other basic rights such as having children, health care support, and inheritance rights. If we were prepared to have these basic needs taken away from others, then how about our basic necessities such as a big car, and house. Surely, if we were so concerned about the poor, we would have given everything to the poor. Therefore, helping the poor may be a red herring, when the real issue is how they see themselves as “sinners” or of a “fallen nature”, rather than created wonderfully by God as a gay person and fully deserving the basic rights and dignity to love and be loved.

The reason of helping the poor appears moral and righteous outwardly, but hides the fact that we were willing to forsake and deny the basic rights and dignity of gay men, for we do not really love ourselves and considers being gay as a sin or a fallen nature. We also ignore the fact that it is a response against the Christian church who has spent millions so that gays are criminalized and without rights. We are accepting the allegations by the Christian Right that gays were somehow inferior and not deserving these basic freedoms and that Christians have special rights to run these anti-gay crusades without being taken to tasks.

Jesus reminded the disciples that the poor will be there all the time, ie there would be many other opportunity to help the poor, but the honor to bless and anoint Jesus and give Him glory in person is only a one time opportunity. The disciples did not honor Jesus as much as it took a woman, and a former prostitute to do so. The unconditional love of Christ has meant so much to her in contrast to the men who had abused her. Mary knew that Jesus’ time was nearing an end, and in the deepest love and affection for Christ, gave her entire life savings to honor Christ. Jesus looked at Mary’s heart, and rebuked Judas and the disciples, for God looks at your heart and passion for Him. Has the Love of God touched us so deep as a gay Christian that we would want other gay people to know the love of God as well, the love that accepts us, to the very depths of our being, even to our sexual orientation.

The mission of Christ is not primarily to help the poor and outcasts in doing good. His mission was to proclaim liberty, because He knew that once people were free from the burdens of the law, they will take on a new character and be changed inwardly, and have the love of God and people in their hearts to take care of the poor. Therefore, liberty and justice come first, and we must proclaim the year of Jubilee for the Gay Community so that they would know that Jesus Christ loves and accepts them as who they are, and created them wonderfully as a gay person. When we start to love ourselves and not be ashamed of our innate sexual orientation, then we would naturally begin to love others, for the love and grace of God will reside within our hearts.

Jesus today looks at our heart and motivations. Are we like Mary who has experienced the depths and love of Jesus, to give all back to God, to honor Him and put Him first in our lives. Mary chose to give for she has received love and liberty. Therefore, today, we must proclaim liberty to the gay community that the love of God extends to all, and that God accepts gay people no greater or lesser sinner than the straight community. We must support justice and liberation, to bring gays out of the closets imposed by the Christian Right, for where there is liberty and freedom in the hearts of gay people to know and experience the love of God, they too will love others including helping the poor.

Therefore, being “Free” means first realizing our equality before man and God irrespective of our sexual orientation. It is the Freedom to be loved and accepted by God as who we are, a Gay person. In response, we who have experienced the depths of this freedom and liberation from the closet will love others as Christ has loved and accepted us first - and will become Christ's hand and feet to help the poor, and the outcasts.

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