"Eppur si muove" -- "and yet it moves"
On 17 Jan 2008, the Pope Ratzinger cancelled his opening speech for the start of the academic year at the La Sapienza university in Rome on account of the strong protest made by academic staff against the Pope's support of the trial and conviction of Galileo for heresy in 1633. The heresy apparently committed by Galileo was not against the centrality of Christ as God and Savior but on very obscure biblical verses concerning the position of earth with relationship to the Sun. And 400 years later, the Pope was forced into a humiliating back down. The Christian Church has done great wrongs and there is great damage beginning to surface after 400 years. It was a trial that was reflective of a fallen church who tortured and murdered many in the same manner for those coming against the church' teachings. Our sins are coming back to take us to tasks. The truth cannot be hidden and will be finally revealed.
The names of the Pope who instituted the trial, many would have forgotten, but the trial has been used to condemn the authenticity of the bible even though it had nothing to do with the issue. This incident was later used as the basis to argue for evolution - to make it as an issue between science and faith, even though evolution was never scientifically observed nor deducted contrary to the clearly observing through the telescope just as Galileo did that the earth revolves around the sun. When we try to force our man made theology to become the gospel, we destroy the bible and detract from the central message concerning God's Love and Salvation through Christ. The Evangelicals blame it on "liberal" Christians because they dare not blame the orthodox Christianity whose deeds the last 1400 years has all but destroy much of the credibility of the bible.
The above verses were used by "Christians" to claim that the earth does not move and hence the sun therefore moves around the earth. This is a very far fetch interpretation for clearly it talks about the creation story of the ever moving landscape, and the waters covering most of the land. But it was God who made the planet livable by creating a firm and large land mass for humans to live it, and reducing the levels of the sea which once even covered the highest mountains. There is no mention of the Sun. Again those who claim to interpret the bible literally, has deliberately cherry picked the bible totally out of context or obvious meaning to fit their own man made theology and call it "Christian" or "blibical"
Another verse used to justify that the sun revolves around the earth is Ecc 1:5 where a simple observation that the sun rises from the east and goes down in the west is interpreted as the "bible" saying that the sun revolves around the earth. The "Christians" must be desperate to search for verses to even vaguely support their earth centered theology as doctrine even though nothing is said. The question should be asked as to why were they so desperate ? Their theologies and doctrine were man centered and not Christ centered, and earth represent the abode of men hence should be the centre of the world. The ancient Chinese believed that their country was the centre of the Earth because they thought they were the greatest. Likewise, Rome represented the centre of political and religious power, and likewise, Earth represented the man. If Earth was the centre, then man becomes the centre of power and glory of the entire realm of the heavens.
The heavens represented God, and the Sun, represented Jesus Christ to be constantly shining upon the earth and to be a constant tabernacle for man to seek God as they look up into the heavens. When we claim that the earth is the centre of the universe, we actually are claiming to be like "god" and have succumbed to the sin of Adam and Eve. Indeed the sin of religion is to be self centered creating our own carnal theologies and try to position it as biblical or godly. The "Christian" Church in the dark ages was a man centered religion rather than a Christ centered one. However, we have not been reflective and much of our theology is handed down from them and taken as "gospel truth". Likewise, the issue of the Gay debate is that it challenges our man centered theology and traditions for we just like the "Christians" of the 16th century trying desperately to use the bible to defend it rather than letting the Word of God to inspire and change our views.
Four centuries later after the Galileo incident, are we still misusing the bible to justify our theological positions on the gay issue even when the bible has little to say about same sex love rather the examples of straight men having sex due to the worship of idols in the bible or forcing people into shame and submission by treating them as women. We get caught up to champion against the same sex love of a small and defenseless minority but forgot about God and suffering people to the extent where in America, we have a Mormon being nominated by a strongly Christian Republican party. We have dared to consider Mormonism, a heretical sect based on the worship of Joseph Smith as acceptable when compared to being Gay. In other words it is much lesser sin to choose worship a religious idol than to be born as a gay person. We are obsessed with sex when we should be obsessed with Jesus Christ. Our religious faith is a choice but being gay is a given.
There are foundation stones once set will be very difficult to overcome. There was grave injustice done by the institutionalized church to accuse millions of heresy and to have them executed. The Galileo trial becomes the classic reference. Justice will always come back to haunt the church just as the Galileo's trial resulted in the Pope not being welcomed at the University, four centuries later and the incident being used to repeatedly to argue that the bible is uninspired. "Eppur si muove" -- "and yet it moves" muttered by Galileo as he was convicted is a reminder that vindication will finally come out. The truth of the matter will finally be revealed and the image of the Christian Church will be much compromised when it does.
The standard argument by Christians you hear in YMCA, Focus on Family, and Choices in Singapore, and at the Anglican, the Methodist, the Churches of Our Savior, Cornerstone Church, the and mega churches is to compare being gay incredulously on the same plane as
It is said that because the above is morally wrong, so being gay is likewise wrong. The last time I observed a gay couple was shopping yesterday. They were both in their early 20s. Obviously, both are well and alive and neither of them is dead for us to accuse them Necrophilia. Both are humans, and not animals. Neither of them is a pet dog for us to accuse them of Bestiality. They seem to truly love each other with mutual affection. Neither of them is not a young innocent child, for us to accuse them of being a pedophile. We take it very casually when on an institutionalized basis we condemn gays using very absurd arguments and then frame it as biblical or Christian. We destroy the moral standing of the bible and Christianity and that is the real heresy and blasphemy.
We may consider it Christian and biblical to condemn what we see as the sin of homosexuality but we bring judgment on ourselves to be judged likewise. We will arrive at a place and a time, when people will accuse us even when we were not guilty. The same arguments of morality and the bible will be used against us. We can see best selling books now written against the Christianity simply on the basis on its roots as an Abrahamic faith, and on account of the Islamic terrorist. When we so casually put gays in the same plane as Bestiality, Pedophilia and Necrophilia, others will have the same right to consider Christianity as evil and immoral and they have a much stronger case and history on their side which few can deny. Ironically, it may be the gay issue that finally tips the scales of our iniquity for judgment to start.
At the end, whatever the Christian Church has said, will say, against Gays, they will continue to be born, and like the rest enter to marriage and with it the mutual commitment and love till death do us apart. They will be always a minority amongst us to add color in dull world and not an infectious disease invading our HDB heartland or looking for more victims as claimed by the church at Suntec. But the World has changed since the dark ages when the church was in full control of the state and religion. The church unlike the dark ages 500 years ago could not simply kill people on accounts of heresy based on their own man made theology (even though it was not Christ centered). The rate of change has moved with increasing pace and soon the last bastion of inequality will be removed. We have on the basis of Christianity discriminated against people of color, against woman and now against gays. The 1960s became a time when God set free the blacks to come before man and god as equals. And we see now in first part of the 21st century, there is a mighty move where gays will come before God and Man as equals.
Very soon within the next 10 years, it does not really matter what the Christian Church from the pulpits of Rome, Canterbury, Tulsa, or Lagos would say. To the lost world, the church has little moral and spiritual credibility after the history of crusades, inquisitions, sexual abuses by the clergy of young boys and girls, and financial abuses on a massive scale by our televangelist, and the invasions of Iraq by a "Christian" President. The rise of the internet has meant that we are closer together and our stories shared and told a thousand times over. We have thought that we were once alone but with the internet, we were not alone and our stories and lives as gay people of infinite and spiritual worth binds us together in common unity and hope. Gays are now coming out of the closet in their early teens, when a decade or two ago, this would be kept hidden till death.
And yet it moves, for God is ever present and ever moving amongst His people to bring a new Hope and Vision for the Lost that they might see Christ alone and not the institutionalized church and law centered religion which we incorrectly labeled as Christianity. It was not a coincidence that Satan through Hitler tried to destroy the Jews and Gays at the concentration camps for these two minorities were in God's bosom being so condemned and ill treated for no fault of their own. God is moving on, and we too must move on with on or otherwise be left in the dark ages when the Spirit of God left us and there was no light of Christ shining through. But darkness shall never overcome the church and it will be changed from glory to glory though God's grace and a Christ centered church will arise that will truly reflect Jesus Christ, His Grace and Mercy, and Love that will touch the nations. Jesus is the Sun above all things so that our lives and Earth should revolve around Him and not the other way round.
The Sun is the physical giver of life - the light shone to the plants resulting in the creation of Oxygen by the plants the very basis of life. The heat from the sun results in water being evaporated and returning to earth in rain to quench the thirst of both man and animal. So likewise, Jesus Christ is the giver of Spiritual life, His glory shining forth giving healing and redemption to quench the yearnings of our spiritual man to be united with God. Without the Sun, earth would be in darkness, so too would be a church who looks unto man instead of Jesus Christ. Let the Son of God be the Sun in your life. Look above, for your redemption is near.