|Change is possible|
Mat 19:26, is often misquoted to claim that with God it is possible for a Gay person to change into a straight person. However, the context is not about sexual orientation but about salvation in Christ. The context here how difficult for the rich person, to enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus was reflecting on the young man in Mat 19:20, who approached Him claiming that he could follow the law, including the 10 commandments, even the so called golden rule of loving others as we love ourselves. But Jesus gave him a final challenge, never stipulated by the law, to sell all that he has and to give it to the poor, and then to "follow me".
The man has conformed to what was required of him under the law, and even loved others ("the other") greatly. But failed the final challenge, a proposition to sell all, so outrageous that even the disciples were shocked and proclaimed that "who can be saved". For Jesus gave a challenge so contradictory to human nature, even those who attends New Creation Church who has a notion that Jesus was somehow well off both financially, in good looks, and well built. But Jesus promised non of this and instead proclaimed that the Son of Man has nowhere even to lay His head ie with to permanent place to stay, ie very little belongings. All that was left when Jesus died and rose again was the clothing He wore. For those conservatives who paint the picture that Jesus was "pro-family" (read - anti-gay), Jesus called for His disciples to put God first even beyond the responsibilities to one's family (Mat 8:21).
The challenge of Jesus to the young man, was to bring Him to a point of despair when his right standing before God would not be based on what he has done under the Law, or even the love that he had shown to others. These were good, but were outward actions, however good, were not perfect. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be "perfect" to go one step further - to sell all his belongings and to give it to the poor ie the outcasts of society. In those days, these were so despised that it would mean extending grace to the outcasts of society. If he had extended grace to the least in the community, grace would be shown to him, underserved grace that his righteousness would be in Christ Jesus. Jesus is our perfection.
We have all tried to be perfect to enter into the kingdom of God. We have done so much - diligently trying to be good, to do good works, to behave properly, even to love others. We duly attend church services, prayer meetings, help in cell groups, and even reached out to the poor. That is why the issue of Homosexuality caused so much anger and revolt in the Christian Community in Singapore. We have not thought over the issues logically, not interpret the bible consistently or in context. But the real reason is not gays, but ourselves, our faith walk. If our faith walk is based on doing, even the right things like loving people, but when faced with the gay community whom we consider as vile sinners, a great anger arises, because our faithwalk is based on abstaining on sinful actions for whom gays have become the bench mark for us of sin.
We throw all sorts of mud and claims of a gay aggenda and we made up stories about gays destroying family and raping children because they have become the personification in our minds and our faith walk of sin which are to be avoided with the greatest of self effort and conviction so that we can be judged worthy to enter heaven. Therefore, our disgust of gays, exalt us in our own eyes as worthy of God's blessings because we are not like those immoral gays.Good deeds, good works and being holy and "perfect", has no meaning without a common basis of comparisons. Most religions would have an approach of doing good to others so where is the benchmark? Gays have become the common benchmark to exalt our holiness and self righteousness!
Jesus' advise to the seeker that to become Holy and be perfect in God's eyes, is to sell all and give to the poor remains valid even today! It was not selling all that was the problem, it is giving to the poor, those dirty and unclean outcasts that was the major issue of the heart. Therefore, Jesus deliberately ministered or chose His ministry amongsts the poor, and rejected, and not amongsts the rich and the powerful to show us that His grace extended not only to the gentiles but to the Samaritans and the Eunuchs that the Jews so despised and rejected and considered as intrisic sinners not worthy of God's grace. The test of grace is therefore not sitting in a church and receiving the teachings on grace, but taking that teaching and applying it that we may know what manner of grace we have ourselves received.
Yes, change is possible, deep and permanent change, when we behold what manner of love the Father has given unto Us, by taking this love to the most despised and rejected, that the love of God would rise up within in our hearts to finally understand the depths of Grace and mercy we have in Christ Jesus. Let us Follow Jesus and be instruments of His grace and mercy to the Ends of the Earth rather than condeming those whom Jesus hardly mentioned. The last tribe may not be residing in some far off jungle, but the gay tribe in our very midst, right in the middle of the major city centres of the great nations of the world.
Behold what manner of Love
Behold what manner of Love