|Desperate for God's crumbs|
Desperate for God's crumbs
(Mat 15:25 NKJV) Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
(Mat 15:26 NKJV) But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
(Mat 15:27 NKJV) And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
(Mat 15:28 NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
On 01 Jan 2011, in Boston, Bishop Thomas Shaw presided over the marriage of Rev Katherine Ragsdale and Rev Mally Lloyd. The Bishop said that God rejoices when seeing two people “make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other”. Although the Episcopal church had stated that marriage is between a woman and a man, it does permit ““bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide [a] generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church”.
The American Anglican Council (AAC), a breakaway ultra conservative group supported by the Anglican South, has called the actions “disregarding the authority of the bible”. Whilst the bible in the OT does talk about same sex acts in religious activities, little is spoken with any authority about gays. Rather, the major issue when it comes to Jesus’ days was women being divorced at will by the men which was considered a sin. When in Mat 19:10, the disciples humorously reverted that it is better not to marry due to the binding commitment, Jesus replied the attraction to the opposite sex is innate unless of course you are gay.
Jesus repeats in Mat 19:12, the commonly accepted notion that there are natural Eunuchs ie gays, being un-attracted to women from birth. In a rather condescending reply, Jesus added “there are Eunuchs who made themselves Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake”. This was not talking about celibacy, rather of the prevailing religions where the temple priests would castrate himself and wear women’s clothing so that the men would then have anal sex with the priests in order to join together with the deity. This was also the context of Paul’s letter to the Romans condemning the pagan worshippers (in Rom 1:23-28) where the priests had exchange their natural straight orientation to be castrated, and become “gay”!.
Rom 1:26 concerning same sex actions between women was added in by Paul which can be seen to be adding to the bible as it goes beyond Lev 18:22, was a reflection of the development in Corinth when in the worship of Aphrodite, there were thousands of female priests having a sex orgy in order to please the gods, as well as having sex with the sailors who frequent the city. It was the red light district “Geylang” (in Singapore) in a large scale and yet profoundly different because they were motivated by religion - idol worship. Hence, this was not relating to Lesbian relationships and to say otherwise is to undermine the authority of the bible.
As a result of the Christian Right repeated attempts to mis-use the bible and cherry picked the verses for their own anti-gay agenda, the authority and respect for the bible have been undermined. When referring to the bible, many now no longer considered it of Godly inspiration revealing Christ, but instead focused on the inconsistencies. The Holy has been made unholy by the Christian Right and many are now calling the bible a mere theological construction of how men saw God. Ultimately, the core revelation of Jesus Christ is questioned.
We are throwing out the baby along with the bathtub water, allowing a few verses that we could not understand not being in the religious, historical, and cultural context to trouble us so much as not to put the Bible as the primary revelation of God in our lives. We have replaced the bible with the god of self. We become gods! No different than the OT religions who had molded God in their own images. We over emphasized our faith journeys and our rights, to see God in others rather than being molded and guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. There is a call to return to the bible, and to seek God's heart.
For Gay Christians, the bible is seemingly against them. This was also the situation in Mat 15:22 where a woman from Canaan called out to Jesus for the healing of her daughter of demon procession. The notion of supernatural demons is not a mere construction of the mind as alleged by many, but they are real entities as real as Jesus Himself. This woman came from Canaan, a stronghold of worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth where the men actually had sex with the temple priests so that they can be processed by the demon. She kept crying have “mercy on us, Son of David!”. But Jesus kept silent because this people had themselves to blame by choosing to worship the demons and worst still in history enticing the nation of Israel to sin. Furthermore, Jews were not in conversational terms with the Canaanites, in particular, a Canaanite woman. Hence. Jesus remained silent until the disciples could not stand the women and asked Jesus to rebuke her and send her away as not to disturb them.
Jesus also kept silent for the grace of God had not then extended to the rest of Judah and Canaan. He was to minister first to the Jewish community who will then bring the Gospel message of healing and salvation through the nations. The time was not yet right and the news of Jesus helping the Canaanite woman would be portrayed negatively by Jesus’ enemies. When Jesus called the Canaanite woman a “dog” in Mat 15:26, He was reflecting the questions and criticisms that He would have been asked. Jesus was reiterating the common religious notion that the Canaanites were not only sinners but dogs, extremely dirty and filled with religious idolatry. The question was asked not only to the Canaanite woman, but Jesus was reflecting the question aloud to Himself and His disciples.
The Canaanite woman did not deny that she was a “dog” and her daughter unworthy to be healed because of their religious background. She also did not assert her rights to be blessed by God for perhaps many of us would have scolded Jesus to maintain the dignity and humanity of the woman. When seeking God, she did not challenge the religious stereotypes. Yet, for many gays, our first response would be to talk about social justice and to challenge the false rhetoric by the Christian Right. In front of God, the woman did not for she was desperate for God, rather than promoting herself.
We are so concerned about the actualization of our self, and our basic rights, yet the woman was desperate for God’s blessings and healing. Do we get so upset by the Christian Right misquoting the bible against gays, such that the Word of God no longer hold dear to our hearts, nor the move and the presence of the Spirit of God. We have taken to heart the condemnation of the Christian Right that we are sinners, seemingly condemned by God, and cannot be Christians by rejecting the Word of God and the move of the Holy Spirit.
We have listened to so much lies by the Christian Right that we have reacted to it as being against God, against Jesus and the Word of God. The Canaanite Woman took a bold step to come to Jesus for she knew almost certainly she would be rejected first as a Canaanite and secondly as a woman. Yet, she was desperate for God, desperate for God’s grace to heal her daughter. It was faith, faith in the character of God that He is for her, and not against her, and is full of love, grace and mercy that made her step forward to seek God with all her might, soul and strength.
Are we desperate for God tonight? Are we desperate for God’s love. Grace and mercy? Do we have faith to see through the lies and rhetoric of the Christian Right that God is for us and not against us! Tonight what are you desperate for God for, desperate to meet Jesus, desperate for the Spirit of God to be poured out to our lives:-
a) The right of existence when in many countries homosexuality is a criminal offence.
b) The right to marry your partner that your relationship may be recognized and affirmed by the community, the state and legally including all the associated responsibilities and benefits.
c) The blessings of God for the locus (in the Christian Right) have stolen so much our lives and we have lost so much of opportunities to live in joy and peace with ourselves, the many relationships we have denied ourselves fearing that somehow God is against our same sex attraction,
d) We might be lonely and depressed of what should and might have been, no longer young, no longer having any suitors, yet having no family and children to have fellowship with.
Tonight, we are asked to be desperate for God, desperate for the things of God, desperate for the revelation of Jesus Christ through the bible, desperate for the move in the Spirit. God is calling us to take the step of faith, and prove that the rhetoric of the Christian Right is but lies from hell. Are we willing to take that step of faith? It is a step of humility, no longer demanding our rights, or for those who had caused so much to harm us to repay fourfold their sins against us. It is a step of humility when we have nothing of ourselves, all the pretensions of who we are and how well we can do without God all swept away.
Are you willing to settle for crumbs, to take what is available to us rather than insisting on all our rights? Are we willing to go to the gay affirmative churches even though we want the best! of the mega churches? Even the dogs have a right to the crumbs, even the dogs have a right to exist, their relationships recognized, and their faith in God affirmed! Can we humble ourselves to seek God tonight, a desperation for God that even the little things of God we find to be like streams of living waters for God can transform 2 loaves to feed 5000. God is calling us to seek Him even though we may have only crumbs to eat!. We are to be desperate and humble for God. Are we so desperate that even the crumbs we will be satisfied as long as we can touch God and see Jesus moving in our lives.
For even God's crumbs is much better than nothing and will satisfy the desperate and the hungry.... for God is a good God and after the crumbs, by faith, He will give us the main meal and much more. For the seeking and humble heart, God will not send away empty handed. The crumbs may be all that we have left - prayer, the reading of the Word of God, and the fellowship with Gay Christian saints at Church.
Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism may call us "dogs" in his sermons, just like the Jews would call the Canaanite' using the same derogatory term. Are we willing to accept that term? or do we resist accepting this condemnation into our lives by continuing to have faith to seek God!, to seek Him through the bible and by keep on attending church even though the bible has been misused by the likes of Pastor Rony to come against the gay community to cause grave harm. The Christian Right may call us names, but do we still have faith in Christ to believe in the bible and God's promises for us residing within it fulfilled in Jesus' name.