|Sodom & Gaylang|
Gaylang, marilah pulang
At the end of last month, it seems that the gay issue is being raised again by the church with their nomiated MP urging the government to take a strong approach for those strongly dissenting voices against her rhetoric in the web sphere, which was followed by the well known Pastor of a Mega Church again calling Homosexuality, an abomination based on Sodom in his sermon. We give a lot a freedom for the clergy to come against gays in a hostile manner whilst any criticism of them is considered incorrect politically because very often we idolized and worship people and churches though we deny it. Hence, we give them the license and the freedom to do whatever they like even though Gay Christians in the congregation or non-Christian Gays would have been rightly wounded and insulted in this unprovoked agression. So many Gays have left Singapore, for the likes of London, San Francisco, and Sydney of this world, because of the strong discrimination against them. But I believe today, there is a call, to come back to "Gaylang", and as the song says "Gaylang, marilah pulang, bersama sama". Let us all return to our Gaylang, to stand up for what is right and not let the church get away with their hostile rhetoric just because of their white collar. Let us return to build our our gaylang, our own Oxford Street.
The people of Sodom were said to be exceedingly wicket and sinful. This resulted in an outcry against this city by the people who have suffered under them that even reached to the heavens. Who were this people who were so ill treated by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that they cried out bitterly to God? What were the sins against God that were so great. A clearer picture emerges in Ezek 16:49 when Ezekiel describes Sodom not in terms of homosexuality. The Sodomites were arrogant, and wealthy people who cares very little about the poor and needy in their midst. It is very likely that Sodom and Gomorrah were rich and very powerful cities that really cared very little about others, and acted as a law onto themselves with full impunity doing whatever they like to do not concerning of the impact nor consequences. The bible first mention on Sodom was in Gen 13:13 where they were described as very cruel people ('wicked') and did great atrocities ('sin against the lord'). It was a warlike nation which plundered nations around and put people into slavery. In Gen 14:21, 22 it was clear that the King of Sodom were very much into slavery trade, and Abraham wanted to have nothing to do with them nor their wealth. Therefore their plundering of the nations and peoples around the region leaving behind deaths, putting people into bondage, and raping the victims (raping both men and woman as an act of forcing them into submission) became infamous for extreme wickedness and sin which is aptly described in Gen 13:13. It had nothing to do with homosexuality.
The greatest lies are often found in half truths and used very effectively in this case by the church to twist the real meaning of the Word of God. The bible has several warnings for us not to take away the meaning from the bible because it holds the truth and the revelation concerning Christ, and once you discredit the bible, you discredit the Gospel Message. The truth here is that the abomination mentioned in Sodom was clearly concerning men having sex with men. But the message given that the abomination is about homosexuality twist the facts, in that, they were not Homosexuals or Gays, and they did it not because they love each other, or even lust after each other in mutual affection. It was to humiliate the other party into submission by treating them as women. The cities did not become rich by being nice, they did so by utmost cruelty, they conquered the lands and subjugate them by force and merciless rule. This was the norm in the culture and political situation of those days which the biblical writers would have expected their readers to have such basic background knowledge and pre-requisites before reading the bible.
The scene given in the sermon was that just like Sodom, Gay pride marches are an abomination and judgement will come to such cities. We have forgotten and deliberately overlooked that all the men from young to old came after the angels.
The impression given was as if the "Spirit of Homosexuality" came upon the normally straight men and they started to have same sex orgies and paraded in the streets looking for the angels. This is a gross misinterpretation of the bible, for look clearly, they were after having sex with the Angels, because the Angels were from OUTSIDE the city and so they wanted to show who was boss and in control. The people of Sodom was obsessed with Power, Control and Wealth and would do anything including raping men (and not only women) which makes it an abomination. They were not parading their "homosexuality" in the streets nor having same sex orgies and being gay and happy in the streets of Sodom, but they were very busy killing people in the nearby regions, and making them slaves and ruling over them. By mistaking this as "Homosexuality", is a tantamount to the darkness in the church because just like Eli our eyes have become dim and could not distinguished between good and evil even when it is as obvious as night and day. When we could not see, there is deep darkness in the body. The way we treat gays, only reflect very badly upon the church.
We are at liberty to preach anything in our own church, but when it denigrates any entire peoples group unfailrly and in the name of Jesus Christ, as if it is biblical, then it becomes a matter of concern to all because the precious name Christ and the message of the Gospel will be blashepmed. Gays are also people that Jesus died for and many will not ever step into the church because of "people like them". The Pastor feared judgement upon "sinful" cities of the world! but look into the map and the world today and you will see the greatest oppression, violence, cruelty and inhumanity are found not in cities that have given freedom to gays, but those that have embraced religious fundamentalism and extremism. But judgement will come first upon the church! before the world is judged. The Church that is simply not listening to correction and will need a major course adjustments to reach their destiny to be a salt and light to the nations rather than being party to religious extremism that put many in bondage.
There are few things that the church should not touch and it concerns the Jews and Gays. Anti-Seminism and Anti-Gay in Europe came to the height in "Christian" Germany in World War Two and it brought great judgement. The last two thousand years was not an example of the persecution of Christians (discounting the internal conflicts between catholics and protestants), but of Gays and Jews. It was in Germany, where both groups became accepted and contributed openly to their society until they were used as scapegoats for the ills of society by Hitler. It was not new the arguments used by Singapore Christians of family breakdown and immorality and infecting the heartlands! The Christians supported Hitler and the murders of gays and you still find this strong support against gays today championed by the Catholic Pope and the Anglican South.
(Mat 26:61 NKJV) and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'"
(Mat 27:51 NKJV) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
I used to wonder why God hid the Ark of the Covenant which was lost in the iniquities by time of the Babylonian captivity and was not in the Temple that was rebuilt (aka Second Temple) when the Romans first conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. The Ark of the Covenant was the center piece of the Holy of Holies and if missing, you would have a totally incomplete Holy of Holies, the core of the temple. It was just a shell!. The reason why the Ark could not be found is that the core of the temple was breached when Jesus died. His death has fulfilled the requirements to enter into the Holy of Holies which was a once a year affair for the High Priest but now has become accessible to all through Jesus death. Therefore, the temple of God was "destroyed" in the spiritual sense, and when Jesus was resurrected three days later, He became the rebuilt temple of God by which all men can seek God and find redemption. The Old temple and way of sacrifice has gone, a new and better way has come.
When we use the Law of Moses to come against Gays, we are opening the Ark of the Covenant even though it has been deliberately hidden and replaced by Jesus. It is like opening a high voltage distribution board even though there are danger signs and we may end up touching live bars. We are playing with fire, when we take away the mercy seat that keeps God from judging us based on the Law. In other words, we are taking away the covering brought to us by the Blood of Jesus Christ and opening a way for the church to be judged. Ironically, it may be true that the Gay issue will be the opening for the church to be persecuted because it exposes our wickedness. When we call Homosexuality an abomination because of the Law, we may be bringing judgement on ourselves through the law. We would be naive to claim that Homosexuality is just one of the issues and we should not focus on it, because on this issue alone, we are opening a spiritual floodgate of judgement that will engulf the rest of our ministries.
The Church of Jesus Christ is living on Grace. It is by God's grace that much of the churches daily ahd weekly message is not on Homosexuality and truly is on God's love, and His mercy to all. In Singapore, we have a strong and vibrant church who loves God and wants to preach the Gospel message to Asia. Sadly, the gay issue will start to have an increasing negative impact to these ministries. Our general messaging also makes it impossible for the government to repeal 377A hence putting gays in closets and in virtual jails and isolation. The 377A was a point of decision given to the Church whether they want to continue to persecute Gays and their answer was a resounding "yes" and even to increase it to include the lesbians as well. This was affirmed by their nomited MP at the highest forum in the land and affirmed by resounding thumps.
Our Ex-gay ministries have caused incredible damage to the lives and mental welfare of many. It is generally accepted by the medical porfession that such therapies are very harmful. If a doctor mistreats the patients, he/she will be legally and morally liable for the damage caused and pay the compensation. If the doctor escapes persecution and have no morals about right of wrong, then the patients who has suffered greatly has a spiritual and moral right to take things in their own hands. Likewise, the 30 years of ex-gay treatments have caused so much confusion, pain and suffering that these christian gays have a moral and spiritual right to come against the Christian Church. There comes a point, where the Gay community will come back and make a stand on their land and rights, and the most vocal leaders and the organizations will come from the former ex-gay christians who will be the greatest torn in the side of the church and God will allow these movements to succeed. Unless there is closure and compensation offered, there can never be peace for the church even when in the near future all the anti-gay laws are repealed and we all decide "to live and let live". It would never end there until the church comes to a point of repentance. The Gay tribe is coming back. ... Anl Exodus is coming. .... many more will arise just like the Box Turtle bulletin, the ex-gay watch, truth wins out,.....
Gaylang, marilah pulang