(Luke 11:33 NKJV) "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
(Luke 11:34 NKJV) "The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
(Luke 11:35 NKJV) "Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
(Luke 11:36 NKJV) "If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light."
How we see or view issues sometimes reflects so much of what is internal to us, the unseen, our beliefs, attitudes, faith and generosity of grace in Christ Jesus. If we shine the light of Jesus Christ in our lives, it will be like a bright light seen by all, and giving glory to Jesus Christ. However, we continue to observe some darkness emanating from the Body of Christ. Recently, we see a growing sense of a victim mentality in the Christian Community where they claim that it was their religious right to withhold public goods and services to gay people simply on account of being gay. In Singapore, the Christian Right have been blaiming non-existent “Militant Secularists”, the “secular media”, or the “Gay Agenda” for reporting the truth. Even, the obvious large scale cover up of the sexual abuses by Catholic Priests is said to be caused by the media and gays. Are we heading for the dark ages again?
How we see determines who we are, whether we acknowledge our sins as thus and repent, or refuse to repent and say instead that we are the “victims” until the secular courts of this world and the media condemns us as vile sinners even to their loose standards. Dark indeed is the body when the victimizer thought he was the victim, when black is seen as white.
It was not too long ago, that a Blog Pastor in Singapore wrote “Pastor Rony Tan: What if he were Richard Dawkins?” implying that Pastor Rony Tan who spoke (at great lengths) against the Buddhists in his sermons to thousands in Singapore was unfairly treated when we do not take anti-Christian antagonists such as Richard Dawkins to tasks. But the fundamental difference is ignored, that Richard Dawkins is not a Singaporean of influence speaking with a loud megaphone to thousands of receptive followers in the HDB heartlands. He was a British Professor and author living in Britain, 15,000km away. A book for sale at the shelf at MPH for intellectual reflection could hardly be compared to a Mega Church Senior Pastor feeding such messages to hungry souls of 5,000 to be consumed whole to their delightful laughter. Such farfetched reasoning may bring into question how others view our explanations of the Gospel message, and reflects a victim mentality.
"The Church on Malta is like the Mafia. It is very powerful, and people are afraid of it," said Joseph Magro, 38, one of the alleged victims. (Telegraph UK, 17 Apr 2010)
The perceived threat of being ill-treated is rooted in the historical past in the persecution of Christians after AD60 when they were no longer considered anymore as a Jewish sect (hence an official religion in the Roman Empire), and were brutally persecuted by the Caesars who consider themselves “God-Man”, and with titles such as “Pontifex Maximus” or the bridge head between God and Man. Ironically, once the Christians took over in AD313, they became no better, and soon the head of the Catholic Church was given the same title as the “Pope” and absolute powers, and brutally persecuted other Christian groups who spoke against their non-biblical theology. But the gates of Hades could never overcome the “true” church, and this resulted in the Reformation of 1517. Therefore, the Protestant Christian “victim” Psyche or “persecution complex” is well founded in history where they were cruelly and unjustly treated.
Modern day Protestant Christians however are less mindful of history, forgetting that it was not the secular, the atheists (the likes of Richard Dawkins), or any perceived gay agenda that had persecuted them for maintaining a biblical faith, but the large and very powerful Catholic Church. In Singapore, we often forget those who treated us badly and give allowances for them and not a hint of criticism at the false theology of the Catholic Church even as we condemned the gay community harshly from the pulpit without being provoked.
The Gay Christian community is also no different. Many are still supporting churches that have rejected them. There is nothing wrong in giving to the likes of City Harvest or New Creation, just that, we give them a hundred fold more as compared to what we give to our gay family, the struggling GLBT churches in Asia. We dare not criticize the Pastor’s of the mega churches lest we fear being struck by lightning to ever dare speak ill of God’s “Holy and self anointed servants” even though they call the gay community as dogs, horses and donkeys.
The danger of having a persecuted mentality is that we who are victims in the past may well end up committing the same crimes against those weaker than us. Therefore what the Caesars and the Catholic Church did to the early Christians, we are now doing likewise to the Gay community – putting them in closets (ie jails) and insisting that their basic rights be taken away on the account of our Christian beliefs even though it does not impact our basic rights of existence or our private faith practice. The cycle is repeated, and their curse and sins we bear.
We become victims only when we chose to. We become the real victims when:-
a) We do not take to task those who had inflicted the injustice and persecution we have suffered, and
b) We become the very people we had despised; ie like them, we now persecute others weaker than ourselves. The persecuted now becomes the persecutor.
In England, on 12 Apr 2010, the Lord Carey Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury demanded that some judges be barred from making rulings in religious cases involving faith issues as he has claimed that they were biased. He spoke after a series of court losses where Christians were taken to task for refusing to serve gays in public and claim their religious right to act thus. The cases were never going to succeed because it would set a dangerous precedent where for example a university can deny admittance to mixed races on account of religious faith (as happened at Bob Jones University in 1983).
Christians seeking special rights and preferential treatment is contrary to the Gospel where we are supposed to suffer for preaching the good news and not ask for the right to criticize small minority groups or to limit the basic rights of others.
We should find it disturbing that Christians should lump their denunciation of homosexuality with Christianity. If we were consistent, we should apply the same set of rules to heterosexuality and call it a lifestyle or a choice. Should we then call heterosexuality as being inconsistent with the bible due to divorce, infidelity, and abortion? Surely not. We are so eager to lump all our sexual sins (95% of total sins being the proportion of straight population) on 5% of the population (being gay) and then call ourselves the victims. We are not insisting on our religious right but the right to sin and to blame others. That was what the Pharisees did.
When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free. When we insist that others be denied their basic rights on account of our beliefs, then who knows whether one day we will be treated likewise. When we insist on being the victims when we are the victimizer, surely we have a long way to go to salvation.
We all need the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, especially the gay Christian community, so that we can truly escape from being victims succumbed to self condemnation, denial, and rejection. We can end up being no different from the Christian Right, defensive, demanding of our rights, full of self righteousness, and condemning others, if we do not chose to forgive, and be authentic to ourselves, aware of our weaknesses due to the rejection experienced in our closeted existence. It is undeniable that we have been victims, but the choice is whether to continue being victims. We are not a victim unless we chose to be.
There is a choice that we have to make – to be cleansed from all the sins imposed upon us by the Christian Right through the Blood of the Lamb. It is His blood, His life that will revive us again and help us to live in a hostile world, where gays are the ultimate victim in the lowest strata of society. Jesus Christ was God’s sacrifice for us so that we need not continue to live as victims of man made religious institutions.
It’s your blood that cleanses me
It’s your blood that gives me life
It’s Your Blood that took my place
In redeeming sacrifice
Whither than the snow, than the snow
God’s precious sacrifice.