Let us not be quick to forget the grace of God


(John 3:17 KJV) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Recently, at the New Creation Church in Singapore, there was reported an increased of jokes and snipe remarks pertaining to gays and even a testimony of how a gay man is considering giving female relationship a chance. For a church which prides itself in a detailed study of the bible and interpreting it verse by verse, the biblical support given was rather shallow that “God created Adam and Eve, but not Adam and Steve”. General remarks that Homosexuality was a sin like any other sin, is also presumptuous. Is it a sin based on the Jewish biblical law which we ourselves do not follow? Or is grace only for a selected few and for straight people only?. Does the bible refers to sexual orientation as sin or does it refer to same sex acts in the context of religious worship by straight people? In view of the fact that they spend 10 years focusing on Grace versus Law, such casual cliché remarks speaks of an inherent prejudice rather than a learned position led by the Holy Spirit. Does it matter since gays only form 5% of the population? It does because People matters to God.

The condemnation of an entire people group, cannot be taken lightly without being absolutely certain. When we say that the Bible says that “God created Adam and Eve”, it refers to the sex, ie God created male and female and not a reference to sexual orientation, gay or straight. However, we ingeniously added “but not Adam and Steve”, and thus linked the notion of the sex of a person with his/her sexual orientation. As a Gay man is still a male, God need not have created “Adam and Steve”. We seem to have forgotten that Gay sons come from straight parents. An interesting note is that Eve was not created separately from man. She came later, out from Adam implying that there must be an inherent "woman" within the genes of Adam. Hence, being gay may just be a genetic probability of the offspring of Adam and Eve just as the probability of being a straight male and a straight female.

The purpose of creation is also multi-fold such as procreation. Love is a novel idea, and for thousands of years women are owned by the man rather than have equal status. Same sex love is a more novel idea, disrupting that ancient culture and patriarchal traditions. Similarly, Grace is also a novel idea quite opposite to the religious demands of works mandated by the religious laws.

The tendency of some churches to play with words can be amusing and seen as self justification in order to go into questionable areas:-

a) The use of the term “Church venue” instead of “church building” because it is used as a general commercial building and only owned indirectly by a business arm of the church.

b) Distancing themselves from business involvement by stating that the Pastors do not receive Directors fees even though in management role for the business arm.

c) Emphasizing that a church has been assessed independently as being totally above board in accordance to the state laws, even though the secular laws would not address religious moral or ethical issues eg involvement in using church funds (which is tax free) for business ventures through its business arms, and paying the Pastor more than 500K in salary per year excluding the funds through his/her own ministry which may be much more.

d) A Pastor of a mega church who became an international rock star, went to Hollywood and indulged in its fashion and culture with quite sexy poses have said that she is not really a pastor despite being called so for the past one decade prior to her rise to fame.

e) Investing in a SGD 500 million for a church facility even though a good business sense as it is also a multipurpose building and returns constant revenue, when the dire need is so great for mission, and to alleviate poverty, and famine. For example, a person died in Jail not too long ago because AIDS due to the lack of funds for treatment. Are we there for Christ in a World where some have plenty, but most go hungry?

(Mat 7:2,3 NKJV) "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

I do believe that there is nothing wrong with a church involving in business or to pay their Pastor 500K or higher, or even Pastors being scantily dressed but whether it is right or wrong depends on how they have judged others. Have the church shown grace to those outcasts and despised by society? Of have they followed the mob majority to call for gays to be crucified to fit within our theology and teachings. How we are judged cannot be divorced by how we treat others, and how we have shown neither love, grace nor mercy to those who could not defend for themselves. When we judged we may have aslo raised the bar of how and on what basis we will be judged by God.

(Rom 12:16-18 NKJV) Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

What has the Gay community done to deserve the strong condemnation by the Christian churches? They have minded their own space and living. Great grace was shown to the churches, eg more than 5 years ago, a letter was sent to New Creation Church by those who were upset by the frequent butt of jokes of gay people by Pastor Joseph Prince. They had asked for grace to be given, and tried to establish dialog and requested to meet up for a conversation. This grace shown was apparently not reciprocated.

(Mark 13:1,2 NKJV) Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" And Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Our Lord Jesus tried to minimize the involvement of the church in permanent building structures, owning vast amount of assets, or making it a personality cult because once you have treasures here on earth, there will your heart and attention be. Wealth and fame, and the need to maintain it takes away our attention from God. There is nothing wrong with great temples and building, but when we are so busy doing work for God, we forgotten about God and that Christ is the resurrection, the temple we reside in.

Jesus’ lifestyle was simple and humble. He owned little, and demanded even less. The issues of church with wealth is not new, for example, in medieval times, construction of cathedrals meant that the church/Pope had to offer indulgences ie guarantees to heaven through donation which was so contrary to the core tenants of Christian Faith that Grace was freely given and received and not by works. It also made the Pope, a semi deity or God-man having the authority to determine who enters heaven. In modern Christianity, we do often see a love of money in large crusades where those in dire need are asked to sow that they may receive healing. Are we doing the healing or is God doing so? The funds also go into financial black holes without public financial statements or accountability. Church building funds also tend to cross this ethical line offering a hundred fold returns.

Jesus warned that man cannot serve both money and God, and I believe that the temptation to do so will be stronger for churches that are rich and have mega congregations. Their achievement and their power and strength will no doubt be epitomized by their buildings which will be the most expensive venues in Singapore. There is a need to be accepted and be mainstream resulting in joining the chorus of Churches condemning the small minority of gays in Singapore (despite the fact that gays only form 5% of the population and are outside of the church). The trap of wealth, power, and acceptance has been set, to bring churches and Christianity into condemnation instead of grace. Grace is sometimes shown in constraint and reserving judgment lest we fall into sin and be judged ourselves.

There is a requirement for balance in the teachings on grace. Those balances come by giving grace to others and have the fear of God in our hearts lest we persecute His innocent ones. We may be receiving much grace and revelation from God over the past 10 years, resulting in an inward change of character and attitudes, but the real test of grace is the measure of grace we give others. What is the difference of a church that preaches grace, yet remained no different from the rest of others to condemn the gay community? Is the grace of God extended to the Gay community just as it had been extended to the Gentiles 2,000 years ago? We could only truly understand what manner of grace and love that God has given us when we show the same love and grace to others. For example, the servant who received so much grace from his master for forgiving him of his large debt, in return showed so little grace to another servant who owned him much less. Our condemnation of gays is made worst by the fact that we should know better. Gays are asking for so little? Only what we have taken as norm and our basic rights for so long.

Let us not be quick to forget the grace of God, but be encouraged daily beholding what manner of love that the Father has given unto us, that we may be called a child of God, grafted into the seed of Abraham by faith through grace in our Lord Jesus Christ. A gentile, a sinner totally apart from the Abrahamic covenant of Grace, yet made whole, a new creation in Christ Jesus. Do not criticize, and don’t be unkind but let the Love of Jesus filled your hearts and minds. Follow God, follow Christ. Did He ever condemn the gay person, for even the Pharisees did not bring one to Jesus to be condemned? How much more we shouldn’t have knowing God’s love and Grace in our lives. When we start placing ourselves at the high moral ground and start to persecute the gay community, we walk into the landmine of the Law instead of walking in the grace of God. There is a revival coming when we have a revolution of Grace that extends to the lowest strata of society that “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16.

Into thy presence we come
Not by thy works we have done
But by thy grace by thy grace alone
Into thy presence we come

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