|The story of a sinful church against Gays|
Major anti-gay Singaporean churches such as City Harvest, the Church of our Savior, the Methodist Church, are the most vocal supporters of teaching the Law of the Ten Commandments. They have used the Jewish Laws most aggressively to condemn homosexuality as sin. Romans 5:20,21, and Rom 6:1,2 is a story not of Gays sinning under the law, but a story of a sinful church under grace as much a story of the Jewish nation.
Prior to the dispensation of the Law, the Hebrews were under grace. It was unmerited grace that has prospered the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, and Joseph despite them being vile sinners. For example Jacob was a deceiver having stolen the inheritance of the first born from his brother Esau (Gen 25:34). Abraham denied Sarah as his wife, not once but twice when Kings courted his wife (Gen 20:2). God blessed them despite of their sins. The Hebrews in Egypt were no different, always grumbling even as Moses delivered them from the Pharaoh (Exo 14:11). The great deliverance from the Nile and the euphoria did not changed much and they begin complaining against God (Exo 17:3). But the grace of God, remained with manna from heaven, and water out from the rock in the middle of the desert.
The dispensation of Law entered into the Jewish Nation when they became proud and refused to admit that it was grace, the unmerited goodness and blessings of God that delivered them from Egypt. Death and judgment entered when they declared that they were well able to follow the law and agreed to the full consequences (Exo 19:8). Some have remarked that the bible was full of strive, and murder as if to blame God not discerning that it was the actions of men, stubborn and ungrateful and self righteous. The Law gave a clear benchmark for the Jews to be judged as sinners. Their sin was so great in their idolatry in worshipping other gods that the revelation from heaven remained shut for almost 400 years prior to the coming of Jesus Christ. Just as the modern day church that appears outwardly moral but inwardly corrupt. Under law, they appeared righteous, but their sins are hidden. So sin abounded or increased to such an extent that the Jews committed the greatest sin, they killed and tortured the Son of God.
So the level of offence and sin abounded or increased until they murdered their Messiah, who came to them in flesh and blessed the nation by healing the people. Yet, they sentenced an innocent man to death. In that vilest act of sin, they deserved the most serious condemnation and punishment of death under the law. They certainly did not deserve any mercy or grace. Jesus could have sent legions of angels to destroy Jerusalem and all its sinful religious inhabitants who condoned His execution, yet He did not. In the greatest act of grace, He willingly gave His life and chose the path of death that in return the Jews will have a way back to God in identifying with His death and resurrection. This is “Amazing Grace”, the abounding of “much more” grace. In Rom 5:21, under the dispensation of the law results in sin leading to death. Under the dispensation of righteousness through Jesus Christ alone, the grace of God abounds in our lives leading to eternal life.
When the church focused on the Law so evident by their persecution against Gays, they would receive an increase in sin, for which we see so evidently in the history of the Jews and the church resulting in death. The story of the church is not a story of victory but a story of sin under law, a reflection of our outward religiosity and self-righteousness. We forget that the Church of Jesus Christ, abiding in His righteousness alone and not by man’s self effort or religious traditions lasted no more than 500 years after his death. The church begins to align itself to an earthly sinful ruler instead of Christ as the head. Soon, the Apostles were exalted as “special Christians” or saints and Mary exalted as the co-redeemer. We have totally distorted as Christ and grace centered religion to that based on carnal humanity, and man made laws. But even as this offence against God and men reigns for the next 1000 years with millions killed in the crusades and inquisitions, God through His grace raised new leaders through the reformation to return to “Salvation by Faith through Grace alone”. The Church deserved judgment and total destruction, yet God’s grace abounded and started a restoration process.
The last 500 years has been a process of restoration. The church cling on strongly to the practices of Rome and often forgotten the grace message. We held on to the law instead of grace and continued to sin. In Rom 6:1,2 it was inconceivable that those who died to sin through grace continue to live in it as if under the dispensation of the law. Yet 500 years later, the church has not changed much with one foot in the Church of Rome. The gifts and the infilling of the Holy Spirit of the first century church has returned, the Gospel of Salvation through Christ alone and not by our works is preached. Yet, the very last stronghold remains that is to get out of being Law conscious to being Grace conscious.
Even as our sin abounds with a increasingly hostile action against Gays who like Christ is not guilty of the crimes we condemn them with, so too the grace of God abounds. The Church deserves no mercy and should rightfully suffer just as Gays have suffered for 1000 years of persecution under the church. Yet, in this abounding sin of the church comes the amazing grace of God. Just as the Jews would need to identify with Christ whom they killed to be their Lord and Savior to receive eternal life, so too the Church shall accept gays that they have hitherto persecuted to enter into the dispensation of grace and the second coming of Christ. Jesus Christ is coming back. He is coming back for a virgin church made righteous not by self-effort in abiding by the law but by grace alone.
We come back to the very place that Jesus died 2000 years ago, at Mt of Olives, the place at the foot at the cross, a place of humility where we bow low and acknowledge Christ our God and Savior. The Law put Him at the Cross, but Grace gave us new life on earth through Christ resurrection, and grace again will give us eternal life in heaven with the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Come Holy Spirit, touch your church. We need your Grace and mercy like never before. O Lord, Rain down, send your grace from heaven and open heaven's doors that the Gospel may be preached to the ends of the earth. We don't deserve what we asked for. In your mercy, let your grace fall upon the church, let revival come. Forgive us for the harm and the many lives of gays we have destroyed. Give us grace to open our doors and our lives to Gays, the humility to ask for forgiveness, and the heart to compensate all wrongs done. In doing so, may we receive abounding grace as we wait for Your Second Coming.