|The unholy marriage against gays|
23 Nov 2006, (Vatican City) The head of the Anglican and Catholic churches meet today at Vatican City marking the 40th anniversary of efforts to improve relations between the two churches. The Roman Catholic Church.Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams acknowledged that there were "serious obstacles" on the path to closer ties between Catholics and Anglicans, reflecting tensions over Anglicans' blessings of same-sex unions and steps to ordain female bishops. "We fervently hope that the Anglican Communion will remain grounded in the Gospels and the Apostolic tradition," the pope said. There are 77 million Anglicans and more than 1 billion Catholics. The Catholic Church teaches that, while homosexuals should be treated with dignity, homosexual acts are sinful, and it is campaigning against same-sex unions. It also opposes ordination of women. The archbishop, in his speech, displayed the ring that Pope Paul VI gave Archbishop Ramsey in their 1966 meeting, and a cross from Pope John Paul II that he was wearing. The ring and cross, Dr Williams said, were "symbolic of our shared commitment to work together for the full visible unity of the Christian family". For Gays, it is symbolic of an unholy marriage between two incompatible partners coming against gays. Ironically, any chance of this union has been effectively dashed by the acceptance of Gays in the Episcopal Church in USA.
A statue of Mary outside a church in Singapore reads 'I will be with you to the ends of the earth". Mary has seemingly replaced Jesus directly contradicting Mat 28:20. She has become a goddess and the way to Christ heart being the mother of god. Pope Benedict XV said of Mary that “[O]ne can justly say that with Christ, she herself redeemed mankind.” According to the Catechism or teachings of the Catholic Churches, Mary was immaculately conceived ie without sin (Catechism 490-492), all holy or sinless (Catechism 411,492), perpetually virgin (Catechism 496-511), and co-mediator (Catechism 968-970), Yet, neither the Anglican Church of Nigeria nor the Anglican South or Archbishops John Chew and Bishop Solomon of Singapore protested nor issue any statement against the meeting between their spiritual leader and clearly a church far from the biblical faith. Yet without hesitation, they would would criticise Gays as sinful and immoral despite doubtful biblical basis of such allegations. The Global South and the Anglican Communion of Singapore or the National Council of Churches Singapore despite its claim to follow biblical Christianity and faith has little moral right to criticise gays whilst not standing up to the heresy of the Catholic Church. To the Gay community, the Anglican and the Catholic Churches in Singapore looks no different from the religious leaders so vehemently opposed by Jesus as white washed tombs appearing holy and moral on the outside to the community at large but full of sin of hypocrisy on the inside (Mat 23:27).
In the spirit of inclusivity, there is a strong disdain when one critises the Catholic Church. In the name of religious acceptance and harmony, the church has been made above reproach by many and above being criticised. Whilst the Pope hoped that the Anglican Communion remain grounded in the Gospels and the Apostolic Traditon, the Catholic church has its roots in the radical departure from the gospels and the teaching of the Apostles. The teaching of the ancient church never did condemned homosexual acts not oppose the role of women in leadership. Whilst liberal Christians conveniently rationalise or deliberately overlooked the homophobic views of the Catholic Church, but hypocritically without hesitation they would voiced out their strong opinions against the Christian Right. The same measure is not applied to the Catholic Church despite being far more widespread in their influence. Similarly, the evangelical community and the Christian Right whilst quick to criticise the Liberal Christians and the Gays and Lesbian Community, are seemingly unable nor unwilling to voice against the openly heretical teachings of the Catholic church. It appears that self interest and the power of the Catholic Church hinders voicing out concerns. The neutrality by the Christian Right and the evangelical movement towards Roman Catholicism results in accommodation, conciliation, appeasement and pacification towards a most unchristian theology and church. This moderation would soon give place to unconcern, nonpartisanism, and finally, indifference. To the Gay and Lesbian Community, the mainstream Christian religion represented by the Catholic, Anglican and Methodist Church appears less than moral with power, wealth and great self interest. Gays have become scapegoats to fill the pews and the bank account.
In the book of Phillipians, Paul decared that he was a bond servant of Christ, i.e., Jesus was his master (Phil 1:1) with the primary tasks being the furtherence of the gospel (Phil 1:12) even to the point of going to prison on account of the faith. Paul noted that there were many in the ministry who minister out of selfish ambition for power causing envy and strive in the congregation instead of having a totally clean heart to defend the gospel (Phil 1:15,16). Nevertheless, the Gospel and Christ was still preached. (Phil 1:18) regardless of the real motives. For Paul, to live is to continue on the tasks of preaching Christ being the fruit of people coming to a greater knowledge of God (Phil 1:22), but to die is also gain in seeing Christ in heaven. Paul was ready and happy for whatever happens (Phil 1:23) but yearning to stay on knowing that his inistry is still much needed and his mission has not ended (Phil 1:24). Paul exalts them that even if he is not there with them, their conduct should be in line with the good news of Christ, the example of humility and sacrifice.
Pauls reminds us that as we are Christians having experience the love and fellowship of the Holy Spirit with the depths of God's affection and mercy, let us have the same love and the same mind as displayed by Jesus Christ. Our actions and our ministry to preach Christ must be done with a sincere motive of being the servants of Christ and not for our own gains and ulterior motives. Our conduct should always be in charity considering the needs of others.
Phillipians 2:2 calls us to have the same mind for ultimately we serve the same master and yearned to be like Him that our actions, words and deeds may be worthy to reflect the Christ of the Gospels which we are called to represent and to declare. We can do so, if we loose our lives, to humble ourselves to think of others first and put God's purposes in our lives first just as Christ thought of us first and paid the ultimate price. (Phil 2:3,4). Sadly, for the past 2000 years, the mainstream churches have displayed an unpredented display of selfish ambition of power and wealth (Phil 2:3). The Church became the centres of power with the Papal ruling much of Europe, and the Mornachy in England being the head of the church. The church has been identified with genocide, cruelty, persecution, and crimes against humanity in their desperate attempt to silence the dissidents through the multitude of inquisitions. Power and wealth resided in the church. Even in Singapore, the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals reside in large plots of land in the city centre, a remant of the power they hold. There was nothing wrong with Christ nor the Gospel message. Rather, self interest came in and with it power, wealth, and a humanistic theology of legalism and hypocrisy. We put into ballot papers and using our majority to cause strive and pain to the gay community by denying them the basis rights. We have not thought of the pain and the hurt we have caused to the Gay community and insisted on our morality. True Christianity is about denying our own rights, to die to our selves just as Christ humbled himself to died for us even though He is God (Phil 2:8) so that others may have the chance and opportunity to know God. Instead our form of conservative Catholic and Evangelical Christianity is about insisting on our rights, and considering ourselves morally superior than gays and going all the way to use our political power to cause envy and strive and limit the basic rights of others. In essence, the conservative and evangelical main stream churches relates little to proper Christian conduct of having the same love and mind as that of Christ Jesus.
The Gay issue has never been about Gays. It is about the Catholic, the Anglican, and other mainstream churches and how far they have strayed away to service their self interest instead of being a servant to Christ to further the Gospel. Our conduct have not been worthy testimony of the gospel of Christ but instead have become a great stumbling block to many gays seeking God. Even in Paul's days, it was hard to find one who does not seek their own but seek the interest of Jesus Christ to defend the Gospel of the good news. The main stream churches have preached the law and used the law against gays. Yet, Paul warned the church not to be destroyed by the dogs and evil workers who have promoted the legalism of the Jewish law.
Many have walked far different paths that Paul had walked and now became enemies of the cross (Phil 3:18). Paul lamented that he was once himself such zealous legalistic Jew who persecuted Christians but now count it all lost and useless in comparison of knowing Christ, for in gaining Christ, he found in Christ a righteousness not following the law but through faith in the finished work of the cross. Paul's righteouness was not of himself but Christ became His righteousness apart from the law. However, Paul's ministry then had not ended and he exalted the church to follow his example to press on in faith in doing God's work, to press on for the prize at the finish line to a heavenly calling to be with Christ (Phil 3:14).Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20) and we press on for the work of Christ on earth eagerly awaiting to see Him in heaven when we die or being raptured if Christ were to come back. (Phil 3:21).
T here is only one path, one mind, and one Christ and we are all bondservants to defend the gospel that the truth of God's love and salvation apart from the Jewish laws may be known to all both straights and gays without partiality and deviation. The Church of Jesus Christ is slowly being purged through much pain and sorrows of their carnality and man made gods. Nevertheless, the Gospel is still being preached. God is purifying the church that they may be worthy to reflect Christ of the Gospels. Ultimately, the Christian church is married to Christ, their true bride and not to the World's religions. Let us seek first the kingdom of God and surrender all to be servants of God.