|Christian Right in Adultery - Be Ye Holy|
In the last one month, the scandalous news from American Religious Right politicians Senator John Ensign, and Governor Mark Sanford surprised many. There were leaders of strong Christian faith and had stated their strong support for family values and believed that Gay marriage would destroy their traditional marriage, between one man and one woman. Senator John Ensign went further, for he was with Promise Keepers a group that not only against marriage, but against giving any civil rights for gays just like in Singapore. Apart from their obvious hypocrisy in the name of religion, perhaps they have re-defined “traditional” marriage as between as between one man and many woman. If Christians had read the bible consistently, they may remember than Solomon had 700 wives, and so John Ensign and Mark Sanford may not have been that wrong.
Senator Ensign was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking spot in the leadership. Ensign, 51, belongs to the men's Christian ministry Promise Keepers. It is a Christian Right Group which even the US Catholic Bishops in 1996 said of that they lacked “theological clarity about the balance of power between husbands and wives," and as teaching "prejudice and discrimination against homosexuals." The Promise Keepers appear to be the more militant wing of the Christian Right. Supported by Focus on Family and the Family Research Council, in a 1995 Promise Keepers video, it is said: "Many of you feel like you have been in a war for a long time, yet the fiercest fighting is just ahead. God has brought us here to prepare us. Let's proceed. It's wartime." Its target apparently included Gays where Promise Keepers was a key supporter of Colorado's which tried to eliminate laws protecting civil rights of gays and lesbians.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was considered by many to be a serious contender for the GOP Presidential Candidate in 2012.From 1995 to 2001, he served as the Republican representative in the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina's 1st congressional district, and was a staunch conservative. In 2002, he was elected the 115th Governor of South Carolina. When the adultery was made public, he resigned as the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
What happened? In order to have come against gays using the bible, we have to consciously or unconsciously emphasize the OT Jewish laws not only that of the 10 commandments, but to the extent of the holiness codes to the Jews. These codes were set in a context where the Jews whom are straight in the vast majority had frequent detours to worship fertility gods and have sex with the same sex was seen as the ultimate sex as part of their faith to these gods. Therefore the straight man exchanged their worship of Jehovah God to worship the unnatural idols, and engaged in what for them is unnatural sex as they were straight men. They also had mass orgies with the temple prostitutes but as the man had many wives, these were nothing special or unnatural.
The law was given, to highlight their sin and the law had that uncanny ability to raise the sins from deep within those who tried their best to follow the law. Therefore when John Ensign and Mark Sanford came against gays using the OT laws, they have actually applied the demands and the judgment of the law in their lives. The manner they have judged other using the Law, it is the same manner they have been now judged using the law. In other words, in Singapore, where the vast majority of Christians will raise their voices and arms to come against gay community, have themselves through these actions entered into the condemnation of the Law. The Law has a tendency to bind and trap you. If on the other hand, we have judged with God’s grace and mercy, we shall be judged likewise with Grace and mercy.
John Ensign and Mark Sanford, not only had violated the 7 th commandment, of adultery, but like many anti-gay Christians have violated the 8 th, and 9 th commandments:-
Have we stolen? Yes we have. Gays are tax payers too but we have taken away their basic entitlement of marriage and civil liberties. Gays are second class citizens even though they pay taxes, serve in the army, and contributed to society. For many, we have denied them of life time partners, of long term friendships and of a life outside the closet free to be whom they were born as. We have taken away the childhood of gays, who because of their sexuality has been subjected to bullying and taunting at schools.
We have bore false witness against gays by claiming that their love for each other as somehow impacting our straight marriages, when the facts are that our straight marriages are broken down by straight promiscuity, adultery and abortions. We have actually gone on further, with outrageous rhetoric such as that by Rev Derek Hong of the Anglican Church of Our Savior who claimed that “Gays are seeking special rights”, “Gays are being used by Satan”, “Gay activist want to destroy the church”, and “Gays want to silence pro-family groups and religious organizations”. This rhetoric has been used by the Christian Right in America to justify their position that the bible was against gays. It aims to deliberately paint a negative picture of gays so that we can justifiably condemn them.
As the Senator and the Governor made front pages in their apologies of their sad stories, it is interesting to note that they have not resigned despite calling in the past for the resignation of leaders due to "moral legitimacy". There are consequences to our actions that a mere apology will simply not do especially when it involves an entire people group. Jesus made special emphasis of what the commandments had to say about adultery for the Pharisees were engaging in such activities whilst demanding that the masses attend to the smallest violation of the law. Therefore, those who insist on the letter of the law, on the strict interpretation of the law, will be judged strictly by the law and will not be let go easily. An apology may have sufficed if not for the background of these Christian leaders who had used their positions to bash gays up. The demands for justice under the law will not pass away.
We may consider condemning gays from the pulpit a small matter, but it has serious consequences. When we judge Gays to the letter of the Law, we too shall be judged to the smallest title of the law, which will not fail to condemn us without grace nor mercy. We may not have broken any of the 10 commandments explicitly, but by the Spirit of the Law will also condemn us implicitly ie we may not have worshiped idols but what about having the idols of self, wealth and power.
A law conscious church will be anti-gay and the more we try to follow the law, the more we will break it. Our self effort will bring us the opposite result. We will blame gays for breaking an archaic Jewish law but we will ourselves breaking the core of the 10 commandments. The people who visit Geylang (Postitute city) on a Saturday night are not gay people but straight people from religious conservative HDB heartlands. The bible teaches us to be conscious of God’s grace and mercy. The law is self centered on what we can do for God, for Grace is God centered of what God has done for us. The Old Wine Skin is the Law which has not worked but only causes the nation of Israel to detour into idol worship for the law brings us to the realization of the extent of our sins that we need a savior, we need Jesus Christ. The wine is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit which will break and not be effective if we pour into the Old Wine Skin. However, when the New Wine Skin of God’s grace and mercy fills our heart, it is then ready to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
We have focused of what we can do for God, rather that what God has done for us. The biggest idol is self, where we exalt ourselves so much higher than gays in each condemnation and accusation against them, that we forget to die to ourselves that Christ may be revealed in our lives instead of hate and prejudice. The strong anti-gay movement in the church of Jesus Christ in Singapore has brought a deep spirit of self righteousness, and will stifle the life of the church, the Holy Spirit being the lifeline. God is calling us, the church of Singapore, “to be Holy”, a holiness not derived from condemning gays as compared to us, but the realization deep inside our spirit man that our righteousness comes from Christ alone.
Be Ye Holy, Holy
We are His people
Senator John Ensign
Senator Ensign of Gays
Governor Mark Sanford