|A Church following the Traditions of Men instead of humility in Christ|
Just after the conclusion of the Lambeth Conference, in Aug 08, it was revealed that the Archbishop of Canterbury during his tenure as Archbishop of Wales in a private letter to a Dr. Pitt clarified his personnal opinions that the bible prohibitions of homosexual acts refers to the straight community after all. Some blogs such as the "Blog Pastor" questioned whether RW was a wolf in sheeps clothing and felt dissapointed and flabbergsted that RW had diverged from the "traditional view". However, such comments are uninformed as RW was known to be a liberal and the Anglican Communion had voted him to be the Archbishop of Canterbury knowing his views on such matter. Therefore, the revelations of what should have been a private view is nothing new but showed us the side of a leader that perhaps the Christian leaders in Singapore should have learnt - the trait of humility.
The revelations of RW's personnel opinion in contrast to his public opinion of being neutral at best and at worst siding with the Anglican South to many, shows a man on the job, knowing clearly his roles and responsiblities superseeds any personnal opinions that he would have had. This is the dying of self, the cruxifixion of oneself for the good of the entire Anglican communion something that appears to be very foreign to the agressive and vocal Anglican South and their anti-gay crusade.
As Christian leaders our role is to represent Christ, not the bible, not even God, not the Apostles, nor even Paul - it is to represent Christ, the biblical revelation of God the Father. Our role is to continue on the ministry of Christ to a lost world. Where is our mandate? For many, any thing in the bible becomes our mandate even becoming the religious pharisees in the bible who had continually expounded and emphasised on following the laws whilst I might add are in private the greatest transgressors. When we say "Homosexuality is a sin" as a Christian leader, we are making an assertion that Jesus if He was here today, would had said the same thing. The reality is that Jesus never did condemned once condemned a Gay person for being gay, even though when faced with Gay people (the example of the Roman Centurion in Mat 8:5,6 whose "servant" can also be translated "Pais" which in the context, and culture of that time indicate a gay relationship).
It was not as if Jesus was quiet and non confrontational, he was very vocal, and his greatest angst were addressed to the religious authorities who claimed they knew the will of God, and claimed to know the entire bible, but when they saw God, knew Him not. Paul continued this angst against the religious leaders in Asia Minor and Rome for whom Paul used the most insulting description to show that all their assertion of following the Law produces only sin, the worst kind, shown by their worship of idols even to the extent of doing what is unnatural for straight men of having sex with men. The religious leaders can't be all gay, not even 5% at most, their acts were not driven by their natural instincts, it was driven by the worship of idols for whom by the Law of God they have clearly been judged as sinners by the transgression of the first two commandments.
For Paul, the final show of the insufficiency of the Law versus the overwhelming grace through Christ, was the unnatural homosexual sex by the straight religious leaders. What drives us to do unnatural things, what drives us to bash up gays to blame them as destroying our own straight marriages? or somehow impacting the morality of the nation where 95% of it is carried by straight people even openly in Gaylang!. Who and what is our real god! - religion, tradition of worshiping men and saints, money, wealth, power, fame?that is driving us in our unnatural and illogical condemnation and crusade against gays?
The learned opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury that "the scriptural prohibitions were addressed to heterosexuals looking for sexual variety in their experience"; is obvious unless of course we have been possessed by the religious self righteous Spirit of the Pharisees. The Archbishop dared not further expound that it was "sexual variety in their religious experience". More likely however, is that we have been possessed by the tradition of men, the carnal tradition of self righteous, and self centeredness rather than being Christ centered. It is not that we cannot see that which is blibical or interpret the bible incorerctly, it is because such clobber verses actually talks about most of us - the straight religious Christian leaders. If we are humble and sincere, we would have surely come to a position as did RW did.
Perhaps, we have followed the traditions of men, which is to use the gay issue as a scape goat for our own gains. In Dirk Smillie’s new book Falwell Inc.: Inside a Religious, Political, Educational and Business Empire. Smillie describes how the direct-mail tactics “Dear Friend: Homosexuals are on the march in this country. Homosexuals do not reproduce, they recruit, and many of them are after my children and your children….This is one major reason why we must keep “The Old Time Gospel Hour” alive…So don’t delay. Let me hear from you immediately. I will be anxiously awaiting your reply.” The reason behind the rhetoric becomes clear in the interview between Anderson Cooper and Mel White where it was apparent that the "Gay aggenda" was invented by the Christian Right -
Therefore, the Christian Anti-gay movement is not biblical or have anything to do with the ministry of Christ but just a plot by the Christian Right in Singapore and around the world to built up their Christian Army and Funds to battle against gays, when the real motive is to built up their own empire. The massive empires of the Christian Right in their broadcasting networks, their churches, media, literature, praise and worship music are not built exclusively on Jesus Christ, but on the carnal tradition of making gays the scapegoat of our fears.
We come back to the simplicity of a biblical faith - which calls us to ask who are we serving today, Jesus or money, Jesus or power and wealth, Jesus or fame. That is why humility is required of what we do and say, whether our motives are in line with the ministry of Christ, of what He did and would have done. We are serving a God who is no longer a mystery, but who came down and showed us a way forward by what He said and what He did. As leaders representing Christ to a lost world, we do have liberty to present our own views, rather in humility and much fear of the greatness of our salvation and the power of the cross, be constrained in all that we do and if we ever err, to err in showing too much love, and to err in showing faith - to heal the sick and the wounded with the supernatural power of Christ that others may too believe in the living God.
Jesus is coming back, and before He comes back, there will be a cleansing of those who have misused the name and ministry of Christ to built wealth, power, fame and empires for their own glory and not to God's glory. In everything, we do, and say, let it give Glory to God and for the furtherence of the Gosepl, for otherwise we will be burned very badly for everything will be revealed at the end and nothing will be hidden. Jesus did not bothered saying much about gays because it was a non issue - the issue here is about who you believed in as your Lord and Saviour and not your sexual oreintation, and when Jesus did talk about sex in general, it was about prostitutes and adultery - the straight sex issues - why, because gays being 5% of the population was just not an issue. Let us follow Christ in humility that the World may know that we are from God and see Christ in us, the Hope of Glory, the Hope of Salvation. If the church continues on as it has been against gays, the World would see it no differently that from itself - mere men.