|O Lord heal our Land - Take away our shame and Pain|
A friend asked whether the teaching of New Creation Church could be “combined” with City Harvest Church. We would break the old wine skin if we put new wine in it. The new wine of Grace personified in Christ Jesus cannot be mixed with the old constructs and dispensation of rigid stone of the law which has no grace nor mercy in it but brings forth condemnation for even the slightest transgressions. It seldom leads to any inward changes in action and behavior but only outward changes in compliance. Mixing Grace and Law would break the grace of God, resulting in us offering a “cheap grace” where we give little grace to others and our righteousness comes from trying to obey the law. The harder we try, the more we sin, with the Law having the power to reveal our sins. We will treat the law very inconsistently, and rationalize it for ourselves but demand much more from others. An example is how the church condemned gays using the specifics of the OT Law but did not obey these Jewish specific holiness codes for themselves. Although the Singapore National Council of Churches and City Harvest Church made homosexuality a major sin so great by less than 5% of the population would apparently bring Singapore down the slopes of immorality, it was not actually mentioned in the 10 commandments. Why, because the homosexual act was part of worshiping foreign gods and idols already condemned in the 1 st and 2 nd commandments. It was not done by gays but by straight people out of a religious motivation. However, one seldom hears any Christian crusade against idol worship.
Those who come against the grace teaching focuses on outward compliance to the law via outward actions ie burnt offerings, which actually make us more proud and self righteous when compared to those “sinful gays”. A deeper understanding and appreciation of the law is however required if we were to enter into deeper measure of grace. Simply put it, how can we know the measure of grace in our lives, if we do not appreciate the measure of sin that we have committed and possibly even living in as much as we earnestly desire to live a godly life. Such realization is best unsaid and is naturally motivated and comes from a contrite and broken heart, not proud of ourselves but easily seeing the true reflection of ourselves in the mirror. It is not something told and emphasized repeatedly as a law, but rather seen and understood from a soft heart and seeing sight.
It is what you see that determines what you do. If there is darkness in our sight, we see from a proud and self righteous heart. It is hard to change our sight. It determines our perception. We will look into the mirror and see not our own sins but the sin of others. For example, the Christian Right in the case of the daughter of Sarah Palin see not the sin of having a child out of wedlock but called it “an American family”, ie normal. They look into the mirror of their reflection, and saw not of themselves but on the contrary attributed as the greatest sinners, the gay community. In Mat 23:27, Jesus gives us the picture of the Pharisees, as a tombstone ie white on the outside without appearance of righteousness and holiness but full of death and corruption within. They were the keepers and enforcers of the law but when they themselves look into the mirror, they see not themselves or the image that Jesus portrayed. There are some who call for conversation with the mainstream churches to “educate” them on homosexuality. It may be a waste of time, in view of their darkened sight.
Jesus preached very little on the law or emphasized on the sin of the people that did he ministered most to, the outcast of society. It appears that these people were a broken lot and knew instinctively what was wrong and what was right. Jesus did not need to tell the tax collector to pay back the money he stolen and never even mentioned about stealing. These were people of a broken and contrite heart, a heart that is soft to Christ ready to receive the seed of grace. The heart of the religious were proud and self righteous and Jesus despite using the most strongest terms reminding and condemning them of their sins did not change their world view nor caused them to repent. The seed of Grace therefore finds fertile ground on a people that that are humble, broken and contrite without any self righteousness to speak of. It is never easy to accept once fault. If the church in Singapore understood the heart of God on Gays and their false witness, they would begin to see the depths of God’s grace. Sadly, our Self righteousness is a hindrance to grace and until we reach the point of emptiness and brokenness, we would not appreciate the depths of the grace of God. For the church to embrace the Grace of God, there is seldom a short cut but to go through the valleys of the shadow of death where we have no more fats, no clothing, no possession, and naked before God and men. We have reached our Point of Grace, the point of seeing the “much more grace” that we have in Christ Jesus
The problem has always been our spiritual sight, how we see and perceived. When we go through the valleys of death, the valley of dry bones when there is no hope but yet remained faithful, we will draw from it the springs of water from the ground, building ourselves deep wells to draw from God. Then, when the season of life finally changes, when the rain from heaven, the times of refreshing and renewal will come forth, it will fill the springs that we have created during this time sorrow. The rain from heaven, is the rain of God’s grace and mercy. When we go though the shadow of death yet remained firm in our faith and dependence and drawing upon God by digging deep wells when suffering great emptiness of self where all our wealth, dreams and reputation are lost, there our sight begins to change and we begin to see very differently and begin to appreciate God’s grace and mercy quenching our thirst and dryness with the rain from the heaven. Then, the wells of faith that we dug to draw water deep within the ground will be filled to the brim with God’s grace in our lives and will overflow to becomes large springs of water blessing the lives of others to draw from in their own times of need.
Today, God is leading us to a rest, a time of rest when we as Gays and Christians will rest in the grace of God. It will be a rest from the strong voice of condemnation we faced each day. It is a rest knowing that God’s grace and mercy is sufficient, and that God is bringing us to a place of rest no more struggling and being conflicted between our sexual orientation and faith in Christ. Many from this place of rest, will arise to build their Christian ministries and receive from God the deep springs of life, the pool of rain of God’s grace which will in turn bless many others. America’s decision to join in the call for Human Rights for the Gay community is a sign from God that peace and rest will come to the gay community. Rest dear Children of God, for Jesus has given you peace this day. In this place of rest, is the place of healing where He will take away your pain and shame. Restore O Lord what was lost and broken. O Lord turn the Father heart of God to the hearts of Your Gay Children.
Shalom to you, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Turn the hearts of the Fathers
Come repair what is broken, in the heart, In the Spirit