|Appointed by God|
“Appoint by God”
As Christians, we are all appointed by God one way or another to continue on the ministry of Christ on Earth, each having our own calling and purpose to fulfill.
(Deu 6:4 NKJV) "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
(Deu 6:5 NKJV) "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
It was my birthday and after a meal we visited a Christian bookshop, and the poster of the day was coincidentally my Christian name, boldly stating “Appointed by God”, with a verse from Deut 6:4, and 5. The declaration that God is One God was made in the context of Israel, a declaration that the God of Israel was different and unique from all other gods and in the 21st century a testimony of our allegiance to Jesus amongst all other gods. It is reminder not to follow the Pharisees but to be humble in our own theological construction lest we err in the context of time, religion, culture and history. The worship of God must be above our own theological construction, mindful that we are not gods, but that we are to worship Jesus the Christ.
For the last two decades, the search for truth for me in loving God is best found in giving grace to others mindful of Christ in others and not imposing our own theological construction lest we are not be able to be changed nor learn from the experiences of others. The reality of God does not depend of us. God exist independent of mankind. God showed Himself, His nature, His mercy and justice to the people of Israel. Yet, they could not understand Him. He made Himself real to the people of Israel, yet they crucified Him. It is God who has tried to make known His reality, and nature to us, yet often we grope in darkness and consider God as a mystery in our theological construction.
The Pharisees were so full of themselves and their own righteousness and theological construction that they couldn’t see Jesus. We are called to be less of ourselves to see the work of God in the GLBT community. Putting myself in the position of others brings me to be less judgmental vary that I am no less a sinner. I always have wondered whether I would be a raving Fundamentalist if I had been straight! The answer is like blowing in the wind, for being gay brought also a depth of empathy and sensitive for others.
I have seen many leaving for completely opposite reasons – the church being either too liberal or too conservative at the very same time. Surely, we can’t change the lions to be at peace with the lambs, yet the key to living in peace is to be at peace with oneself and with God including our sexuality, and to recognize that faith is a personal journey and relationship with God, not to be imposed on others. If we can’t love and accept ourselves, how can we welcome home others to come as they are.
(Psa 82:3 NASB) Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Reflecting back on the poster in the Christian bookshop, I marveled at the grace of God for appointing me to reveal a heartbeat of God to the GLBT community, the heart of mercy, the heart of Justice. It is motivated by the love of God, the allegiance to Jesus vary that there has been much misrepresentation about gays. The appointment comes with it a decade of suffering, taken to the point of grace, with so much taken from our lives yet praising God for it. When so much has been taken away from us – the right to exist, the right to have relationships, the right to get married and have children, it is hard to praise God. Yet, if we had not known affliction, how are we to comfort the afflicted.
The call for justice has a special place in my heart. We are to do justice, to correct the wrongs and prejudice which has permeated injustice and harm to the GLBT community. To do justice, comes when we desire mercy, when we see the heart of God is a heart of mercy. We can only give mercy when we find the strength to give mercy in the name of Jesus Christ when so much has been stolen and taken from us unjustly by those who cared very little, yet in response being able to forgive, to show mercy.
Perhaps God has appointed me to “vindicate” the weak, to stand up for the GLBT community before the Christian community. It is to provide vindication that being gay is an orientation and not a sin, and to proclaim against the harm and rhetoric done in the name of Christ. They have to answer to God for it, and I am a small voice in the desert, a well trodden reed at breaking point, broken and wounded but often resurrected by God’s amazing grace. It is in the journey of vindicating the weak that I begin to understand the heart of the bible and at times filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit inspiring me. Standing up for Jesus, becomes standing up for the weak, to justify that gays too have a place in the body of Christ.
A few days ago, I asked God, I needed much more of His grace to work in my live. Grace is a way of life, a journey of faith of many deaths and many resurrections that at the end we change from glory to glory as we follow God’s purpose in our live. Each of us has a different calling, a different appointment to bless the body of Christ that the Gospel may be proclaimed. At the end, it is about the Good News that all are welcome home. We are all sinners one way or another needing redemption in Christ Jesus. We receive the fullness of Christ in our lives, when we lose our lives.
When I was much younger, one thing that I asked and sought after was to dwell in the presence of God, all the days of my life that I may see Jesus. To see Jesus, to see the heart of God perhaps come not only in reading the bible, prayer, and obedience to the will of God, but in loosing ourselves, our religious pride, our will, prejudice, our self righteousness. When we lose ourselves, and begin to see the heart of God, the heart of justice and mercy for the GLBT community. Surely we will be dwelling in the presence and will of God. God has indeed given me the one thing that I had desired, and this can never be taken away from me.
I have seen many amazing Gay Christian friends who for one reason or another seemed to have left the calling that God has for them. These friends have played such an important part in my spiritual growth and I often wonder where would I be without them. Many of them were "burned out", or did not want to have anything to do with the organised church. Yet, we are all interelated and together our ministries in the body of Christ plays at important role in building up a united voice of the GLBT Christians to impact the nations. It takes only one person to make a difference, and that one person could be you and me.