|Abortion - A time to change heart|
On 10 July 2009, it was reported in Channel News Asia that yearly 12,000 abortions are being undertaken in conservative Singapore. We may not be that conservative after all. Whilst there is a strong cry against gays by the churches with clear positional statements in their web sites, any proclamation against abortion is a whimper in comparison. How can the churches consider abortion, the taking of a life, a far less important issue impacting family values than gays. Perhaps, it is because abortions are done by straight people many whom are sitting at church pews. Gays don’t cause straight parents to go for abortions however we may like to spin it.
Christian media such as Christian Post SG till to date has been uncharacteristically quiet over the large number of abortions. Taking a very strong stance against gays which it perceives as against the family unit, it would be difficult to make a 180 degree turn to condemn the real threat which is the heterosexual “lifestyle”. Since countless front page articles have been written by them against gays on Aware, 377A, and on a regular basis by what is a hobby horse issue for its editorial bishops, it appears to be all rhetoric when faced with the cold hard facts that 12,000 lives have been lost. There is much concerned about the low birth rates, but when you look at the rates of live births compared to the number of abortions, the issue is staggering in proportion yet hardly mentioned. The 12,000 figure is a 2006 statistic which was one of the “lowest” years. It had peaked with 23512 abortions in 1985 which represents more than 50% of the life births. If all the babies had been born and had all gone to a mega church, we would have a new City Harvest church each year!.
The question of abortion is central to protecting the traditional family values and not an anti-gay crusade. It should also not be a question of returning to the “conservative” bad days where they are carried out in the backstreets or banning it all the together. It would not solve the problem, that the Christian Community whilst eager to condemn from a position of comfort, seldom put themselves in the position of those having to make the difficult decision. Often, the child would be born in wedlock with the mother hardly able to support herself let alone raising up a child alone in this harsh world. It is too easy to criticize and to condemn without raising a helping hand. Perhaps it is easier to blame gays for the destruction of the family lest we have to face the real tragic issues and cost. We can use the gay issue to raise funds to build up our ministry to stand against a drummed up perceived threat. But for social support of these women, is very costly and would drain our ministries. Getting a bus load of picketers to protest against abortion is far less costly than taking care a child for a year. The church is meant to be the salt and light of the world to Jesus Christ, but in reality we are not much different with our message appearing as an empty gong.
On a closer reading of the bible, Lev 18:22, the verse so famously used by Christians against gays is preceded by Lev 18:21 which if one knows the religious customs of the Jews refers to sacrificing the babies to the idol as part of their alternative faith worship. This is so contrary to God’s heart of love and kindness and respect for life that it would profane the name of God, for the Jews are called after the name of the God, ie it would reflect very badly on God for a people called by that name to be engaged in such actions. They were killing their babies for the idols they worshipped and for blessings in return from these idols rather than trusting God. Whilst there are many valid reasons for abortions, we have to be very clear as not to cloud this by our worship of modern day idols such as career, lifestyle, and wealth. These are the real choices to be made, the real love ministry whether to love and trust in God rather to succumbed to these idols and sacrifice our babies. That said, the choice along with the responsibility lies entirely with the parents.
Abortions are clearly carried out by straight people sitting on the pews of the church along with divorce, which was condemned in the 10 commandments and for which Jesus also specially re-iterated when referring to the Pharisees. Jesus re-iterated divorce common amongst the Pharisees because he was against the over focus of prostitution by the Pharisees who were hypocritical and are themselves full of skeletons although appearing righteous and holy on the outside, much of what we termed as the conservative society in Singapore. However, the issue of Homosexuality is not a job choice or a circumstance that one is forced into for survival, but an innate orientation just as heterosexual orientation. Therefore, when we come against Gays, there is no precedence in the bible except for Sodom and Gomorrah where the strong and powerful subjugate the weak by raping the men of surrounding nations to make them women to make them without dignity nor standing. We too have done likewise to the gay community. We have abused them, taken away their rights and dignity to become 2 nd class citizens.
The bible then proceed to state Lev 18:22 which on the face value talks about same sex acts as an abomination, but to the recipients of the message, it refers to the worship of the fertility gods where men after having sex orgies with women temple prostitutes, would then have sex with each other as ultimate show of religious faith in this idols. It was a religious act, which was an abomination to God because it symbolizes the extent of their faith in the idols. It was not motivated by same sex orientation which is rare (5%) then and today, but rather it was an action commonly engaged by the straight community as part of their worship.
Why would the Jews and Christians themselves often sidestep the facts and blame gays? Because like the Judaist, they also loved the Law as seen in Singapore where the mega churches are now emphasizing the 10 commandments. The bible talks about religious people who loved the law, yet their love for the law did not lead them to constraint but to unconstraint and highlighted their need for a Messiah. The apostle Paul clearly did not have such hesitations when he reminded to Judaist in Rome that their ancestors engaged in “unnatural” same sex acts in the worship of these idols when claiming to abide by God’s law. Clearly, Paul was emphasizing here that the Law does not lead to righteousness, but lead instead to the realization of the need for Christ, our righteousness. It cannot be attained by inward actions, but require an outward step of faith in a Messiah, a Savior. The Gospel message is meaningful when we reach the end of our selves to reach God.
It is time for the church to return to heart and passion of God, following Christ’s passion for people. We are taking humanity very lightly, quick to condemn defenseless minority gay groups we consider less righteous than ourselves, and slow to show any empathy or Agape love to those having abortion. We cannot be in touch with the humanity of Christ, without having the heart to bear to pains and sufferings of others. It is easy to boast of being persecuted for once own faith even when the persecution happens to be us bashing up gays and they standing up to our rhetoric for once. It is far more difficult to be the hands and feet of Christ, to extend His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. The kingdom of God is here, it is not only the ruler ship and reign of Christ in people’s life, but a kingdom where the least is the greatest, where the least is the priority and attention. It is time for the church to arise and be Christ to a suffering world that they may know Christ through us. The true measure of Christ in Us is not to serve the rich and the powerful, but to serve the poor, the outcast and the despised those we consider far below our standing whom we will not get any praise from the majority for such deeds rather much spite and criticism.
Lord Show Us Your Heart for People