|The Rainbow Kingdom of God|
Luke 17:21 ... For indeed the Kingdom of God is within you
The Kingdom of God is often seen as a kindom of how we work out our religious faith communities following the principles of Jesus love commandments. It is kinship of how we relate to the other as equals as children of God. Hence, it is within us to work out this relatioship with the other as Christ would have done.
The kindom of God whilst it is a necesarry out working of the Kingdom of God is not the Kingdom of God where we have the reign and rule of Jesus Christ in our lives. He is the King, we are bought by the blood of the Lamb to be His servants. Without the headship of Jesus Christ, any notion of a kindom would be of our own carnal strenght and subject to futility and strive.
When Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within us, it was in contrast to the Jewish faith which consisted of the outward adherance to the religious laws and practices thus fulfilling the religious duties. The Kingdom of God was different and within us because it comes from an inward decision and choice to follow and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
The notion of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is not a result of what some called self centered notion of religion, but on the contrary in response to the generalisation of religious faith where our birth and race essentially determines our faith without a choice, ie if one is born a Jew, he automatically is associated with the Jewish Faith. This was further examplified by the supremacy of Rome which resulted in the mandate that all its citizens are christians once Christianity became the national religion. However, there is no compulsion in Christianity, nor one born a Christian. It is by personal faith and relationship with God in Jesus Christ.
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My bethren, you did it to Me.
It is very tempting for some Christians to cast the net very wide and declare that following Jesus is helping the poor, feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, visiting the outcasts and those who are in need in the prisons. This is an over generalization of what is meant by the Kingdom of God.
The key word here is "My brethren", and not to the general community. Jesus is emphasising that those who are really of the Kingdom of God will take care the needs of those within the kingdom of God. The righteous ones are those who chose to identify with the least in the Christian faith and those who are thrown in prison because of the faith.
Being a Christian involves reponsibility and ownership. There is an accountability for our bethren who are with us in this Kingdom of God.
Whilst there is a need to minister to the wider marginalised community, Jesus meant it very differently and emphasised that our first priority is within the Kingdom of God. Therefore, for the GLBT Christian community, the primary call is to minister to GLBT Christians.
Our Gay Christian community is hurting badly. They are persecuted and rejected by the mainstream Christian community. They are thrown into jail closets. They are tortured emotionally and spiritually by the Christian Right being clobered using the clober verses of the bible. They are hungry for the bible truths that Jesus loves and accepts them just as they are including their sexual orientation.
The servants of God went out of their way to feed the poor, heal the sick, visit those in prison, for they have a responsibility and accountability. We too have a responsibility to the GLBT Christian community to actively push the message of reconciliation between their faith and sexual orientation. It will involve actively challenging the Christian Right, and going out to gather the harvest of wounded injured gay christians who no longer attends church.
The Kingdom of God for the GLBT Christians is not about the kindom of community living and relationships, but an aggressive venture and defence of our Gay Christian brethren. We are to be out there, seeking to connect with them, standing beside them in their struggles, encouraging them to remain in the faith, and praying for them in their struggles.
The Rainbow Harvest is huge out there. Based on 20% Christians, and 5% of these being gay, with a resident population of 4 million, there are at least 40,000 gay christians many of them hiding in their churches or who have abandoned christianity altogether because of the rejection by the church.
Our hearts should be softened to be concerned of gays leaving the Christian faith in masses or taken into marriage due to family pressures which will ultimately meant pain and suffering. Our hearts must feel the hurt, pain and suffering for those who are out there alone facing conflicts between their Christian faith and sexuality. Few would come to our hallowed inclusive churches, for we are called to go out forth into the back lanes of life to search and seek out the gay christians who are hungry, lost and in suffering.
We are called to actively engaged with the sufferings GLBT Christian community. It is not about presenting an alternative interpretation of the bible, or even queer theology. It is a matter of life and death for many, physically and spiritually. We are called the good and faithful servants of the Kingdom where our hearts have become soft to the needs of our GLBT Christian brethern who are outside the walls of our queer home church. Welcome Home is never enough for Jesus went out to find the lost sheep, the one out of the 99. So should we.
The Rainbow Harvest is waiting for the workers to bring the sheaths in.