Gay Christians - Be Still and know that God loves you and condemns you not.
On 10 March 2006, Police arrested twenty members of the Soulforce the Equality Ride mostly young people as they stepped into the grounds of Liberty University where Rev. Jerry Falwell is the university's Chancellor. The Equality Ride plans to visit a total 18 mostly "Christian" Universities that discriminate against GLBT on its 51 day journey across America where arrests will be expected as they enter each University to hand out literature and conduct a prayer rally. The Equality Rides is a student led effort much alike the Freedom Rides of the 50s and 60s to take the young adults into epicenters of Christian and Government intolerance and oppression against gays.
The designated universities are mostly faith based which have been the most antagonistic against gays and have often expelled them. These universities represent the most well known theological colleges including Union University, Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Azuza Pacific University. They have the best bible scholars covering the full range of studies - church history, Greek, Hebrew, Old and New Testament Surveys, theology, Apologetics, and Eschatology. Yet as good as they are in most areas of Christian Ministry, on the Gay issues, they have let their own prejudice dictate and override any fair minded biblical approach and open prayerful reflection. It would be difficult for God to speak to the "wise" and "prudent" as they are so sure of themselves and their biblical interpretation that the Holy Spirit cannot speak into their lives. As this issue impact millions of lives, by His Grace, I believe that God is sending out His messengers and Prophets to these Institutions.
Biblical truths are often hidden and require a seeking heart. Any plain description may result in a distorted interpretation to suit our agenda. Biblical truths are so precious that God will not allow it to be treated casually. Having it hidden, gives value , appreciation and impact to the finder. In our journey to seek truth, we will develope faith, humility, and a heart for God. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and never forces His views upon us. It is when we are still and listening that God will answer. Even when Christian leaders become so adamant and stubborn, hindering the move of God to an entire community, God still gives much grace even when we do not deserved it. In His grace, the Holy Spirit has sent out but babes in Christ in the young people of the Equality Rides to appear before the leaders at these institutions. As the riders present their statement before the leaders at each university, the Christian leaders would have to make a decision. Only those who are humbled would be able to accept the message that these babes in Christ will proclaim. As many institutions will close their gates and have these young people arrested, they will be openly rejecting the messengers of God. There is Grace but not cheap that the Christian Right could abuse without consequences and soon, the once strong presence of Holy Spirit will start to diminish where He is no longer welcomed.
The presence of God is so precious and at times difficult to retain for we have to be mindful and be sensitive to His presence, His will, and move. He is the true gentleman, totally meek in that He is the power of God yet works through us and do not impose His will. Man can easily block the move of the Holy Spirit especially one that is carnal, humanistic, legalistic and self righteous for the Holy Spirit only moves when He is welcomed, respected, and allowed to manifest. It is a conscious decision to spent time to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. King David knew how precious was presence and his fellowship with God :-
David knew the value of the presence of God. When King Saul was after David and he was in hiding with his band of faithful , David must have been deep in despair. He followed God's leading but now as a result He was in deep distressed being hunted like a criminal despite what he did for King Saul and for Israel. Life was so unjust and difficult. In his time of seeking God in Ps 27, he starts with an exuberant declaration of faith that God is His salvation (Ps 27:1-3) in the midst of being pursued to a corner by King's Saul armies. His faith came because He knew God intimately (Ps 27:4,5), having spent much time in the presence of God in fellowship. He knew that God would come and rescue him. It is like being in trouble but having a faithful friend and knowing that he will come to our rescue.
David spent much time in his youth as a shepherd boy. There he learned to seek God and be in His presence. It was spending time dwelling in the presence of Holy Spirit that David experienced God intimately and a deep bonding and fellowship abide that he would remember and treasured. As great danger surrounded David, His heart and mind was not at peace. The persecution by Saul had overwhelmed him and he was in full of despair and confusion. Then, he recalled his close fellowship with God, faith arose in him and he cried out to God to hear him as he sought God in his time of need:-
Psalm 27 is about desiring God and seeking His face and spending intimate time dwelling in the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit that during times of trials we can have confidence and faith in His saving grace. If David did not have such a close relationship with God, when his faith was severely tested, he would have given up hope. We do not start learning to have faith and be confident in God's redemption only when we are in the midst of trials. For then, it may be too late having no experience to hold on to. David held on to the memories of his close walk with God during times of trials. What do you have to hold on to? Will you fall in times of trials? Many Gay Christians have their faith tested everyday when faced condemnation, loneliness, and disappointments as they struggled to live their lives as best they could in a constantly homophobic and hostile environment. Spending time with God is not an option if we want to live a victorious Christian life.
When David sinned against God by adultery with Bethsheba, he cried out to God not to take away the presence of the Holy Spirit. The presence of God, the intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit was so precious to David that he feared that this relationship will be lost because of sin. The root of sin is our desire to follow our ways rather than God's. David knew that the presence of God will leave when we do not abide by the Holy Spirit and stubbonly do it by our own ways. He sought a clean heart with a right attitude to seek after God.
Do we seek God? Do we have a desire to dwell in His presence for hours, just to gaze at His face and keep silent, just listening to His sweet voice? Not your boyfriend but the Holy Spirit of God whom Jesus has sent to be in His place as our ever-present friend, comforter and helper . In His presence alone will we find peace, acceptance, healing, and a close friend to walk with us through this life as Gay Christians. As Gays we often feel condemned, that we are sinners not worthy to call ourselves as Christians or to enter into the presence of God. The world and religion keeps reminding us. However, as Gay Christians, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus for at the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ bore our condemnation. David had to bear the price of sin with the death of his first son. But he saw into the future and declared how blessed it is not to have our sins imputed upon us. Let us see ourselves correctly in the same manner as how God sees us as being totally cleansed through the blood of the lamb i.e. sinless, that we may come freely and dwell in His presence.
As the Equality Ride continues on its journey to the various institutions with a prophetic voice declaring that there is now no condemnation against gays in Christ Jesus, let us live out this truth and start our own faith journey sitting at Jesus feet, to dwell in His presence and waiting upon Him. Be still. Jesus Loves you and accepts you totally as Gays. May you be free and live not in condemnation but in the joy and presence of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place