|Making Grace Cheap through the Law|
(Heb 4:12 NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
(Heb 4:13 NKJV) And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
30 Dec 2009, Irish First Lady and MP, Mrs Iris Robinson, 60, of Democratic Unionist Party, wife of Northern Ireland First Minister (Peter Robinson), announced that she is leaving politics due to stress. Faced with allegations by BBC the next day, it was revealed that the “stress” was due to the sexual affair with a 19 year old boy Kirk McCambley.
The couple has been married 40 years since 1970 and were devout Christians attending the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle. Their many anti-gay proclamations have made this affair very damaging to the Christian witness not only because of the moral failure but hypocrisy. The last time I read, the Ten Commandments were against Adultery, but there were no commandments against gays.
Jesus had despised such religious conservatives, who call themselves religious and living by the Law, yet there is a profound hypocrisy. In the case of the Pharisees, they presented Jesus a prostitute caught in the act of adultery ie having sex to a married man. By the Jewish religious law, she was to be stoned to death, and the Pharisees have had no mercy nor grace and wanted blood in their self righteous indignation. Jesus looked at the Prostitute with the heart of compassion and love something which the Irish First Lady nor her husband had very little for the Gay community.
Whilst the First Lady had a choice, the prostitute in the bible had no choice but to be involved in Prostitution because women were not supposed to work but to stay at home to take care of the family. The man can have many wives, and could easily divorce the woman, and she would be left in the streets. No other men would want to marry “soiled” goods, and since she would have to beg in the streets.
The Pharisees were the main culprits of divorcing the women and condemning her to a life of prostitution. Yet, here they were, forgetting their part, and bringing the prostitute to Jesus for judgment. The Pharisees were probably using the services of these prostitutes, and Jesus highlighted their sins when he wrote on the ground, perhaps writing the names of the prostitutes they had sex with. They were so ashamed that one by one they left feeling condemned. If Jesus had only written the 10 commandments, they would certainly not be moved. These people were far worst that the prostitute. Similarly, God sees the heart of the anti-gay Christian crusaders beyond the white robs of religious garment and outward morality. This was what happened to Iris Robinson. The Word of God is a two edged sword, when it is taken out to kill others, it can also cut the other way and reveal the secrets of our heart. When the Irish First Lady took out her sword to judge gays, by the Law of God, the same basis of judgment was used against her.
Once we used the Law to condemn Gays, we are also bound by it to the last letter of the Mosaic laws, The audacity of the entire Robinson Affair is quite stunning:-
The private affairs of the First Lady became public because she has made the private lives of gays, a major public concern. She led the condemnation against gays for the only reason being that they loved each other. There was no breach of marriage covenant, no adultery, since gays were not allowed to marry. Their only sin was same sex love, whilst her sin was adultery, a violation of the sacred marriage covenant. The deep love and commitment by same sex couples who had maintained their love for each other despite not being allowed to get married was equated to violence and murder by the Irish First lady. We are saved from our sins by the blood of the Lamb, and whether gay or straight does not make us a lesser or greater sinner. To impose the burden of eternal damnation upon gays solely on the basis of sexual orientation is to deny people the Christ of the Gospel.
“Everyone is paying a heavy price for my actions ... I am so, so sorry." Says the Irish First Lady and commenting on her wife, Peter Robinson remarked that “I know that she has sought and received God's forgiveness." How quickly do we make the grace of God cheap. She had said that homosexuality, the notion of two gay men having a same sex faithful relationship made her “sick” and “nauseous”. The real reason was that gays whom she considered highly immoral were far more righteous in their relationships than her in wanting to get married whilst she was cheating on it. Her own sub-conscience was condemning her and she had to transfer this sin and place it on the forehead of the poor gay gentle lamb to be sacrificed for her own infidelity.
The Irish first lady had said that it was the Government’s job to enforce God’s law, but we see no death penalty being called forth by Peter Robinson as mandated for Adultery from the book of Leviticus. The scales of justice demands that those who preach the Law, shall also die by the Law. Those who lived by God’s grace shall be alive by Grace. The Pastor of her church, a Mr McConnell has said that “I think [Robinsons] deserve to be allowed to try and rebuild their lives”, whitewashing her sins when she had destroyed many innocent lives just because they were gay. Is this cheap grace?
We start to fall from grace when we start to preach the law, and soon we are taken over by our self righteousness and start to condemn and persecute the weak and the innocent. The Fall from Grace for the Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity – the mega churches in Singapore has long started by the several public proclamation and condemnation against gays and insisting that they be imprisoned, and starting the ex-gay groups such as choices and liberty league. It is time for the church to repent before it is too late. The Aware saga was only the start. There is a legal power of cause and effect, what we sow is what we will reap and when we sow injustice and hate as a church, we reap a hundred fold in return.
Let us preach grace, for our hands are soiled with sin and blood and we need God’s grace and mercy like never before. We are to take back the sword as Jesus commanded and put back into the sheath and even heal those who come against us, so that we need not die by the sword, by the word of God. For the righteousness of God demands compensation, for what we have done to the Gay community. Even putting back the sword may be too late unless we offer healing just as Jesus healed the ear of the servant of the high priest. Apostle Peter took out the sword to defend Jesus. Even that was not the way of Christ.
How much more terrible is our sins to take out the sword to kill the gay community who is weak, the defenseless, and causes no threat to us. It is Grace that will save us, God’s grace in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Let us humble ourselves and seek God with a contrite heart, for when we make the grace of God cheap, we lose the anointing and the presence of God in our lives to bring forth the Good news of the Gospel not only in words of persuasion but by the power of the Holy Spirit with God's Love, Grace, Mercy and Compassion.