|Action against Gays, a biblical justification|
10 Jan 2007, London. House of Lords. The BBC reported under their “Politics” section of the failed attempt by Christian groups to challenge the new rules outlawing business from Gay discrimination. Led by Lord Morrow, Christians argued that the rules would “forced” people between obedience to God and obedience to state. However, Labour's Lord Smith said: "It seems to me, in my simplistic way, that what they (the opponents of the regulations) are arguing for is quite simply the right to discriminate and the right to harass. "And those arguments are being made in the name of Christianity." As the church itself is exempted from the law outlawing business discrimination, the attempt to widen this special right to all objectors based on religion effectively makes the law invalid.
There are indeed serious implications for the Christian community not because the law will practically impact them but because their intention to judge gays and limit their basic rights will in-turn caused the church to be likewise treated unfairly. What are the measures that we used against Gays – a) we distort the truth by claiming that Gays are sinners despite the fact that God loves them and accepts them as they are, b) we give little grace nor mercy using every means to limit Gay basic rights whilst preserving the special rights the church has as a state religion, c) We deny Gays basic justice that we would give to ourselves. d) We are militant and aggressive rather than showing the love of God.
Christians have very weak justification to pursue this challenge against the anti-discriminatory laws:-
a. There is no biblical justification for action against Gays.
The churches have long considered Gays sexually immoral, and have resorted to the bible to deny them fellowship (1 Cor 5:9). However, in context, the sexually immoral people referred to female prostitutes and those who frequent them. The City of Corinth was a prosperous city infamous for its prostitution. The sexual immorality mentioned did not refer in any way to Gays. In 1 Cor 5:1, it was further evident that sexual immorality refered to the context of heterosexual sex.
Even if the Christian Church could reasonably insist that biblically Gays were sexually immoral, they have no right to deny association outside the boundaries of the church. For in 1 Cor 5:10. Paul reminded the Corinthians that he definitely did not refer to restricting fellowshipping or association with people in the world outside of the church who are sinners.
In denying any dealings with Gays outside the four walls of the Church on the grounds of religion, we have failed to abide by the bible. Could it be a reflection of our self-righteousness, indulging in own goodness instead of a righteousness in Christ.
b. There is no biblical justification to focus just on Gays.
If Gays were sinful in their same sex love, we would do well to rate other people groups as far worst sinners and living a lifestyle of sin. They include Catholics and other faiths for their idolatry by worshipping other gods, divorcees for their sexual adultery, and couples who are unequally yoked. Surely, the bible condemns these lifestyles unambiguously in Exo 20:3,4, and Mat 5:31,32.
As we do not exclude or treat them any differently in our businesses and work place, why do we treat Gays otherwise. If we were sincere about our religious objections based on our understanding of the bible then we should put up signs stating “No Catholics”, “ No Mormons”, “No Jews”, “No Muslims”, and “No Buddhists” and more aptly – “No Sinners”.
When we are not consistent in our objections, we reflect our lack of sincerity and conscience. We misused the bible for our own means to reflect what amounts to a pre-conceived prejudice of people not like us.
c. We misrepresent the Gospel of Christ
Our arguments for the right to discriminate and to harass are made in the name of Christ. The Jewish rulers and religious leaders likewise harassed the disciples and Jesus. They tried all ways and means to prove that Jesus was a heretic so that they could bring Him to the court of Law. It is therefore ironic that the Christian religious leaders are now using every means to go to the court of law to strictly limit the basic rights of Gays.
When the religious leaders and its small army managed to corner the disciples to bring them to the court, Simon Peter had every right to draw arms to defend Jesus. When the church is attacked, when our right to worship God as our Lord and Savior is denied, when teachings come to deny the finished work of the cross as the only way to God, then we have the right to draw the sword and to defend ourselves. However, modern day Christianity has turn the tables and become the aggressors. We have persecuted Gays, put them in courts, and denied them their basic rights for hundreds of years in the name of God. The religious leaders thought that they were being obedient and serving God, so too modern day Christians when they come against Gays, but how wrong they were.
The command to Peter to put his sword away is the very word of God to the Church today, put your sword away. Even when defending oneself, Christ showed the way to forgive and to love and give His life in return – to drink the cup of suffering, the cup of the sin of the world. In contrast we defend ourselves so much so that we attacked those who we think threatens us even though Gays mean no harm to our worship of God. We have to let go of our sword less we blasphemed the name of Christ by perverting the gospel from the good news of God’s redemption to a religion ruled by the sword and compulsion. Without letting go of the sword of this world, we cannot grasp hold of the sword of the word of God, the Gospel Good news, to love though it costs so much.
Christians have been too busy in their action against Gays and have forgotten that which matters which is sitting at Jesus feet and to proclaim the Gospel of the Good News that Jesus saves. We all have to ask ourselves whether our actions will 1) Extend the Kingdom of God, 2) Glorify Jesus as the number one. Our war is not against Gays, nor against flesh and blood but against the principalities which hold 80% of the world in bondage. When Christ is the Head of our lives, He that is in us is greater than he that is in this world and our priorities will be clear.
Father God may you change the heart of the church, to one that looks unto Jesus and seek to tell of the Gospel instead of being much alike the World. Forgive us for the hurt and the harm that we have caused in your name. We have soiled your name, the name of your Son Jesus. Forgive us. Restore unto us the joy of our salvation and a new love for you O Lord. Change our hearts to be more like Jesus.