|Gays Love your enemies|
Mike Jones visited the New Life Church on Sunday with Associate pastor Rob Brendle meeting him in the foyer. He told Mike, 'I don't want to impose my religious beliefs on you, but I believe God used you to correct us, and I appreciate that,"' Brendle said. "The church's response to him was overwhelmingly warm. One of the wonderful and enduring truths of Christianity is to love people the world sets up to be your enemies." Meanwhile, the former Rev Ted Haggard and his wife, Gayle, completed a three weeks intensive counseling program in Arizona and are back in Colorado Springs, and emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual." However, the oversight board member, recommended that Haggard move out of town.
The New Testament Church made enemies especially the conservative Jewish leaders because of Jesus sake (luke 16:22), i.e. they preached the good news of the gospel and as a result, they were hated, excluded, and condemned as sinners of a new sect. Jesus reminded them to love their enemies who were against them for righteousness sake and pray for those for have used the common hatred of the Christian minority for their own selfish gains whether politically motivated or for wealth.
It is amazingly ironic that Pastor Brendle referred to the “enduring truth” of Christianity to love people, in this case gays, who he implied has made the church their enemies. However, Gays have not made the Church their enemies. It is the church that went out of the way to persecute Gays and denied them of their human rights. Gays have every reason to reject the Church and Christ who is represented by the church because the church first hated them. How aptly Luke 6:22 speaks of the minority Christian sect just like Gays being excluded, hated and condemned as sinners. The Church has spitefully used gays to raise funds, and increased political power. The roles have been turned around and instead of being persecuted for preaching the gospel; the church has become the legalistic law centered religious mob that persecuted gays.
God used Mike Jones to correct the Evangelical Christians whom Ted Haggard and the New Life Church represented of their hypocrisy, hatred, and false accusations against gays. Evangelicals have casts out the name of gays as evil, excluded them form the churches, reviled them just like the first Christians were hated by the Judaist in Luke 6:22. Pastor Brendle believed that God used Mike Jones to correct them, to expose the “sin” of homosexuality. God did used Mike Jones to correct them, not of homosexuality but of judgment. For Luke 6:41 went on to say, "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?. As a church we have looked in our brothers’ eyes, we have looked at the Gay community and blamed them of sinning against God forgetting the much larger plank in our eyes of homophobia, injustice, and judgment. We judged not based on scripture but based on our fears just as the Judaist expelled the Jewish Christians from the synagogues and judged them for believing in Christ is the only way to God.
The sin that Ted Haggard committed was adultery and not homosexuality yet the church sent him on an intensive de-gay course. The Church has blamed Gays for promiscuity for sexual relationships outside marriage and yet at the same time denies them of the act of marriage to seal their love and commitment to each other. At the end, God have had to expose Ted Haggard the President of the National Association of Evangelicals who blatantly broke his marriage wows, the very same marriage bond that his association denies gay couples of having. In no uncertain way it highlights the extreme hypocrisy of the Christian church where adultery and divorce are common and are destroying marriages and yet we would deny loving monogamous gay couples the right of marriage in the name of God and in the defense of marriage.
God is bringing the church back to its first love, and is cleansing the church of the sin and strive contains within. The strong injustice, homophobia, the strong attraction to wealth and power reflects a sinful heart, a heart that seeks after ones own pleasure and desires rather than doing the will of God namely to declare the Gospel of the good news. The church in the Western world is very rich and powerful, and moralistic. The question that God is asking the churches tonight is why do you pray to me, why do you praise me and call me Lord when you do not do the will of God, reflected by Christ who gave up all His rights and privileges as the Son of God and made Himself of nothing and pour out his life than man may have a way back to God. Instead of giving up our rights and live for Christ and preach the Gospel in spite of persecutions, we restrict the rights and persecute gays.
God is slowly bring back the church to a clean heart, from the reformation in the 16 th century, revivals of the late 19 th century to the Azuza street revival at the start of the 20 th century, and now to accepting minority groups from blacks, women and finally inclusion Gays in the 21 st century, we come back one big circle to the multitude of the poor and the outcasts looking at Jesus when He Blessed them in Luke 6:20. They were poor and weak, but had one heart and one love, Jesus Christ their blessings. The church has come from Works into Faith, from judgment into mercy and finally in the last days from Law into Grace. Jesus is coming back again and it will be for a bride without spots or wrinkles. There is still hope for the Church just as there is still hope for Haggard to come back into the ministry to minister hope and call for inclusion of gays that the Gospel may finally be preached to all nations.