|The heart to run the race of faith|
It is claimed by the New Age Movement, that man's heart is intrinsically good and we must have a self awareness of the goodness within the centre of of hearts into the "postive" force of our spirit man. Hence, religion becomes something that we create out of our yearnings from within. When we look deeper into our Spirit man they claimed, we are not take different after all, for each yearn for peace, joy and fulfillment. This is not far from the truth but flawed principally for it is not our disconnection with our spirit man, but the disconnection our spirit man to God's spirit. Man's heart is not intrisically good rather we are born with a heart that is open to good and evil. As a result of the fall, our Spirit, the breath of life in each of our hearts, has been disconnected from the tree of life, hence the tendency for our hearts to stray to evil deeds. Man have yearned to come back to God resulting in a myriads of thousands of religions each very different from each other. These are not founded on a common beauty of the spirit man, but resulted from the confusion of a lost soul, groping in the dark of the night. Jesus proclaimed the way to reconnect our spirit back to God, and the truth, the light in the midst of our darkness. In Christ Jesus, not only are we reconnected back to God, we become part of His family with eternal inheritance of His kingdom. The Word of God is sowed by God into the hearts and souls of each. How our heart response to God will determine how God's word is accepted through four very challenging stages of how we connect back to the spirit of God. For Gays, the challenge to our faith is almost insummountable but so is the abundance of grace in our lives.
In Luke 8:5, Jesus is the farmer sowing the seeds into the soil, the hearts of humanity. He is the incarnate word of God (John 1:1), who came to earth to proclaim the Word from God (Luke 8:11) to mankind concerning their redemption through His very death at the cross of Calvary. Hence, the seed is the Christ’s Gospel message of the good news that Jesus saves. He is the light (John 1:5) to God in the midst of this world of darkness filled by man made religions and self man efforts by the law to reach God. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures (Isa 53:5). Before He ascended to heaven, he commanded His disciples were mandated to proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) to be witnesses of Jesus death and resurrection. The Gospel is not only that God is love, but that He died for us and it is His death and resurrection that will draw all men back to God (John 12:32) from the control of the ruler of this world (John 12:31).
There are four main stages of our walk of faith. Each stage builds upon the other. Outwardly, we may be a Reverend, but inwardly may only be in the first stage of our walk:-
a) Stage 1 – A heart to accept Jesus in.
The “wayside” represents the roadway to the planting ground. The seed has not even reached the plantation and yet fallen on the wayside. The plantation represents our heart. When the gospel is preached and received, the Devil takes away the word from being reflected further in our hearts. The Devil’s scheme may even include our incumbent religions of the world that we worship.
The Gospel is substantially preached to the entire world, but is ignored by the majority or institutionalized as a state religion incorporating many aspects of pagan religions. Our “postmodern” theology despite claiming to be reflective, denies the very existence of the Devil. Hence, the Gospel is effectively negated by the Devil’s main tool of deception. The Gospel seed did not germinate and they withered in the hot sun not reaching our hearts for us to accept Christ in. We received the message in our minds but rationalized it and we did not consider it further. The majority of the world population has not passed this stage yet.
The majority of Gays are in this stage where they will not even enter the church. For the mainstream Churches has rejected them and consider them not worthy to take communion. The gospel message of God’s love is negated by their 2 nd class treatment by the church who aggressively denies them of their basic rights of marriage, condemns them with fervency from the pulpit, blames them for the moral ills of society. The Christian churches have portrayed the bible and God has being incompatible with homosexuality. There is no reason for gays to open their hearts to accept Christ in when the Church has shut the doors. The Devil has perpetuated this deception against Gays and the Church is unable to know being so fixed in their homophobic tradition without really understanding the truth of the word of God with relation to homosexuality.
On judgment day, it would not be a great sight in heaven when Christians have to answer why millions of Gays reject Jesus Christ on the perceived and incorrect notion that God does not love them and have not accepted their sexual orientation. We have consigned the Jewish holistic laws to Gays when we never followed them ourselves even though the laws were motivated by pagan worship by straight people. Hence, great man of God such as Pat Robertson and James Dobson, Bishop Solomon, Archbishop John Chew, are unknowingly and unwittingly part of Satan’s grand deception against Gays. It is because of God’s amazing love that he is not returning yet giving time for the church to come back to a biblical faith alone where Christ is the center and not adherence to man made morality.
b) Stage 2 – A heart to know God more resulting in a strong theological foundation
Some seeds reached the plantation ground and accepted into our hearts eagerly, but the soil is full of rocks. The seed does germinate with soil and the nutrients contained therein symbolizing the acceptance of Jesus as Savior into our hearts. However, because of the rocks, the roots could not develop and embed on to the soil, and when tempted, we easily fall back to our sinful lifestyles, and we find it difficult to come back from God. The Word of God did not dwell or deeply anchored into our hearts for the correct theology and beliefs about God to develop and strengthened our faith. If our bible knowledge or theological foundation have had been greatly rooted, when we do sin, we will return to God for there is now no condemnation, and that God still loves us and accepts us in Christ. In this essence, the word of God has not been insufficiently rooted in our hearts. We have not anchored strongly in the truth of the Word of God and finds it difficult to come back to God when we fall into sin. Theology matters because correct theology and beliefs leads us to an assurance of salvation and God’s love in our hearts.
There is no avoidance of sexual temptation whether gay or straight. However, the straight population has the institution of marriage to form long stable and monogamous relationships. In most countries, gays do not. Many gays Christians are in this stage. Not understanding that God accepts them as a gay person, they feel guilty and condemned each time they have the same sex activity. They fall away thinking that God has rejected them and then find it difficult to come back to God. Even Gay Christian who have reconciled their faith and sexuality, fall into the temptation of open sex and one night stands so prevalent in the Gay community. When they fall into this lifestyle, they will find it difficult to come back to God, not realizing the depths of God’s love and forgiveness for them. They lived under condemnation even though there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
c) Stage 3 – A heart of obedience to put God first despite being costly
The seeds that do fall on good soil or good hearts, did manage to germinate and anchor deeply the word of God. However, there are other ‘gods’ in our lives that slowly crowd out ‘God’ and we put God aside. Slowly but surely, the roots of this other pleasures or priorities in life, takes away all other attention. And so, even with deep roots, there is no water and nutrients as the thorns take them away. The plant quickly dies without bearing any fruit nor achieved any great growth.
It is amazing how many luxury cars you see at church services. The rich seems to get richer just like a bull run in the stock market. If Satan did not get us by taking away the word of God from our hearts, if temptation and sin do not get to us, then we may fall by the cares and wealth that preoccupies our attention. The cares of this world are by itself not sinful and are necessary to survive but over time became our primary focus of attention. They include our family, friends, businesses, occupation, hobbies, and our partner. The wealth and pleasures of this world are the results of our successes in our businesses or work but we fall when our attention becomes centered on getting more wealth. Instead of wealth becoming an avenue to bless others, it becomes a god in our lives. Ultimately the love for money crowds out our love for God.
When we served “mammon”, we loose any sense of morality as we pursue wealth at the expense of others. The Gay community has been a victim of the evangelical right whose leaders in the 80s and 90s begin to use gays as scapegoats making them as a great treat to Christianity and marriage so that more funds comes it to built up the organization. They spread fear of the uncertain and those that are different just as Hitler used Jews to gain power. Based on an anti-gay platform, the following organizations have made themselves rich and powerful:-
The bible tells us to flee from our obsession of power and wealth for ultimately the love of money results in great evil and heartaches. Money is like nicotine. It becomes an addiction which we will never be satisfied with. The evangelical Christianity has been so successful in America that it gained power and wealth, and this corrupts the church just as the church was corrupted when it became institutionalized within the Roman sphere. The bible tells us to flee from the “love of money”, to be aware of its dangers and temptations, and instead pursue a Christ like example.
d) Stage 4 – A heart of trust having faith to believe even through time
The last seed fell on very good soil. The sidling did manage to germinate with its roots anchored deeply and the growth was sustained by continual feeding of nutrients and water. This represents a good heart or ground that is opened and accepting of the word of God taking it as is (and not influenced by the prevailing religions and philosophy), we develop good roots as our theology is correct, there is spiritual growth as we feed on the word of God given water and nutrients to our faith, and finally we become a large tree bearing a Godly character. It is a heart that keeps the Word of God, accepting it, and abiding by the word of God, trusting with patience that the promises of God will prevail. The True Christian faith is therefore one that accepts the word of God on face value as the way and the truth, believing and interpreting the Word of God correctly with the right theology, giving due priority to our spiritual needs and growth, and finally bearing the fruit after much patience and trusting in God.
The test of time is the most enduring tests. Most gay Christians would give up at this stage. Being Gay and Christian faces a continual hurricane where we faced the continuous homophobic comments by fellow Christians, a perception that God is remote from the sufferings of the gay community for not disciplining the Christian Right. Added to this is the difficulty to find a good Christian partner, one who likewise loves the Lord. Many would not be able to stand this test of time, the test of faith to continue to trust and obey God’s will in our lives. The intense emotional torture and loneliness that Gays faced are difficult to tolerate.
Ultimately. we should have a heart that is willing to die ourselves, our desires, plans, hopes and let God take control and just to trust in His word. When we die to ourselves, we become a seed planted on good ground, whose death brings forth a harvest. At the Cross of Calvary, Jesus death and resurrection, the death of one, brought salvation to millions and a great harvest. God is looking for a heart that is yielded to Him fully for revival tarries as we enter into the last days and the gospel remains to be opened to the Gay community.