In the recent days, it was reported in the News that a Christian couple were in court apparently as a result of distributing "Chick" tracts, a fundamentalist Christian tract, the information of which is typical of those you would find in so called Reformed Evangelical sites. Such tracks are strongly anti-gay, anti-charismatic, and other religions. There was also a published complaint at the online Strait Times forum concerning over alleged overbearing "street witnessing" in inappropriate places such as schools which over the next few days online drew over 600 comments which was unprecedented even many more comments than hot button issues such as Gays. On the contrary, the media has been more positive on reporting gay issues such as the appointment of an openly gay director to a university, and the self outing of a journalist which have received muted responses. After claiming the moral high ground concerning 377A, and championing the alienation of gays worldwide through the Global South, are we seeing the start of a backlash against the mainstream Christian Churches?
Our demonstration of Christianity is seen in our acts against a defenseless gay community using wild rhetoric to justify our claim Gays are somehow to be despised and criminalized. Rhetoric is used because the idea that Homosexuality was allegedly a major biblical sin just because the bible says so, just doesn't sell to a world where most do not believe that Jesus is the way and the truth nor that the bible is infallible. Furthermore,
a) Sexual orientation is innate whether straight or gay and you don't call heterosexuality a sin. You don't become straight or gay, you naturally are. When you go through reparative therapy, you are going through forced conversation against nature and God's created purpose thus causing great damage. We are kicking against an unmovable rock and through our effort create groups of former ex-gays who will become our greatest antagonist and rightly so. .
b) We based our biblical interpretation not on the Christian New Covenant but on the Jewish Laws to call it a sin, when we ourselves do not follow the laws. We interpret the bible out of context as the laws came into being because straight men were having unnatural sex as part of their religious worship (of a female goddess) and not because they were gays.
In order to justify our false interpretation that Homosexuality was a sin, we resort to false witness even though Gays form are a very small minority, by claiming that gays are somehow a major treat to our families, to our marriage and a treat to the good morals of the nation. We leveraged on the fears of the majority of those different from us. A grossly incorrect biblical interpretation requires further lies in order to justify it. The "Bible says so" becomes the common defense, when the real reason is "We say so". We seemed to have placed all our sins of sexual misconduct upon the head and shoulders of the minority gay community and condemn them whilst riding on a moral high ground and condemned gays as hell bound.
Our form is Christianity is inward looking, with emphasis of the Law and abstaining from sin, a personal faith of prayer and worship before God, and self advancement through the prosperity teachings. However, Jesus proclaimed a very different kind of Christianity:-
a) He lived and had communion and friends with the outcasts of the community, so despised by the majority, because His heart is for compassion, mercy and relationships and not for judgment.
(Mat 9:12.13 NKJV) When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
It was not because the religious were sinless, but because the outcasts welcomed His message and welcomed His fellowship and hand of mercy and compassions and accepted His message of the Good News. The religious self righteous community, so steep in "good" works and the beliefs in their own morality and righteousness to be justified before God, sees no need to receive God's grace.
We judge so easily and without reflection. We fear not that the same basis of judgment will be used against us and we are now beginning to see a backlash where Christianity is starting to be penalized for such trivial matters as handing our tracts or witnessing the Gospel. The World is looking out for any small fault to jump on Christians for we have done the same to others. It is by God's grace that we have not received our due rewards but God's patience and grace cannot be ignored forever.
Our heart is to judge gays whilst thousands of gays in America were dying in the 80s and 90s because of AIDS. Our hearts are hardened just like the Pharisees and devoid of mercy nor grace or compassion. The likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell were condemning gays from the pulpit and from their TV ministries and calling AIDS a judgment from God whilst many gays were dying and suffering. Our churches are filled with well to do people with large cars, houses and a good income, whilst many gays are dying because of the lack of HIV medication. And we stand at the side, finger pointing at what we alleged as hedonistic lifestyles and God's judgment. May God have mercy on us.
b) His love was pure and heavenly focused.
(John 3:17,18 NKJV) "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
His Love was never in the context of "hate the sin, and love the sinner", but in the declaration of the good news that He is the way to heaven because one is already condemned for the sin of unbelief. We made sin our focus, when Jesus made salvation and reconciliation with God, His focus. He gave us His life for us, to show forth the way of freedom.
His love was pure and not tainted by self righteousness whilst the religious condemn Jesus for sinning against the scripture, when they were the greatest sinners. His hands were open arms of acceptance, whilst ours is beating people up for their alleged sins when we see no evil in our own sinful deeds. He gave His life for our freedom, whilst we put people into religious bondages. May God have mercy on us.
c) His authority was authenticated by God by supernatural power and works of miracles and deliverances.
(Acts 2:22 NKJV) "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know;
Christians are called into the ministry of Jesus, but we seldom display the anointing of the Holy Spirit to do the same power works that Jesus Christ did. We deemed that the Holy Spirit came and to lead and guide us, and to "give us power and strength" to do the works of Christ, when the Holy Spirit actually came to demonstrate the power of God tangibly on the sick, the wounded and the needy. Just as Jesus is and did, so are we, because Jesus has been resurrected and gone up to heaven to the Father that we may have a champion for our cause and that the Father may sent the Holy Spirit to us. The same Holy Spirit that in Christ, is the same Holy Spirit that is in us to do same mighty works unless we do not have the Holy Spirit nor permit Him to work fully in our lives nor to be submerged and be baptized by Him as a sign of full surrender. Jesus needed to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, so do we as a sign that we are a submitted vessel for His power to flow.
The church in general has very little power of the Holy Spirit because our focus is diluted by the Gay issue which builds us the god of self righteousness within us. We rationalize this lack by calling Salvation as the "greatest miracle". Salvation is unseen, whilst the biblical concept of a miracle is something seen and tangible and caused many to believe and accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior. We effectively negate the works and the power of the Holy Spirit. There is a fear in Christendom that there is a sin that cannot be forgiven. When you read the context, this is talking about the religious zealots attributing the mighty works of the Holy Spirit to other powers. They paid no respect nor honor the Holy of God and treated Him in an undignified matter.
d) His Glory was seen in His meekness and humility.
(Phil 2:8 NKJV) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
(Col 3:12 NKJV) Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
(John 1:14 NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The religious leaders expected their Messiah to come with a mighty army to get rid of the Romans by force. They expected Jesus to act as they did with arrogance and show of power. But Jesus humbled Himself and came as a man, and to die at the Cross as a man. He alone was sinless and had every right to send an army to condemn mankind for their sins, yet He chose the path of love and humility and to be "one of us". In contrast, we see religious Christians using even avenue of political and financial strength and muscle to come against gays. We take in upon ourselves to champion an anti-gay agenda and present to the highest forum in the land to insist that gays remain criminalized or that Gays are banned from marriage. We used our strength of numbers to persecute the gay community and arrogantly come against gays in print and in speech and spread fear to increase our fund raising. He was greatly wronged but did not respond in kind, whilst we did great wrongs and insist on our moral and religious right to do so. We have no grace nor mercy.
Are we doing the works and ministry of Jesus? In John 13:33, Jesus informed His disciples He would be leaving them very soon and naturally they could not follow Him because Jesus was going to the Cross at Calvary. As a result, the disciples were very troubled and Jesus comforted them by giving a glimpse of heaven of the mansions that He has prepared for them in John 14:1,2 and assuring them He is the way to God the Father (John 14:6) if it was not already obvious because of all the great miracles that He had done for the few years that Jesus was with them (John 14:9). Just as all the miracles was done by Jesus with the authority given by God the Father (John 14:10), so too would the disciples continue doing the miraculous work (John 14:12) that Jesus did whilst on earth on account of the authority given by Jesus. Jesus was emphasizing that just as He was in the Father and the Father in Him, likewise, although absent in the flesh He would be one with the disciples. They just needed to call upon His name (John 14:13) and the miracle would happen as if Jesus was there doing it. And by that name of Jesus they would have the authority because Jesus was going to die and be resurrected again and go back to the Father. When we pray “ In Jesus name” we are calling upon all that Christ’s resurrection power (from the Father) available to us as we are now “in Christ” through identifying with His death and resurrection. Just as when Jesus did great wonders, the people gave glory to God the Father, now when we do great wonders in the name of Jesus, people will give glory to Jesus and God the Father that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Are we doing the work of Christ as reflected in John? We are sincere and trying very earnestly to do so. However, the outreach of the church does not look anywhere like the mighty move of the Spirit in John. I believe that God is challenging His church through the gay issue whether our actions are Christ like. May this be a time of soul searching for the church to reflect whether we truly represent the resurrected Christ!. The Church is a body, and the actions of each part impacts the others. When the Church in Queenstown or Cityhall continues its agression against gays, it impacts the rest of the body negatively. The Spirit of God is like a wind, it is not for us to control, but to raise up our sails, to catch the fire. When we keep insisting on our way on the gay issue, we quenched the move of the Holy Spirit in the church as a whole. Everything is badly impacted like the leven in the bread even though the issue by itself is small and normally should not define the church. .
Come Holy Spirit. Revive Us Again.