04 Aug 2006 - The Festival of Praise services kicked off in Singapore today at the indoor stadium attended by over 14,000 Christians with special appearence by Rev Don Moen. Strongly supported by Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church and Rev Cannon James Wong of the Anglican Cathedral it seeks to get the churches in Singapore to unite in prayer and worship with a common vision and calling. The Pastors called for an outreach to the two peoples groups, - the youth, the dialect sepakers. God has been moving mightly in Singapore for the past two decades with the advent of mega churches hitherto unheard off. With the emphasised now on youths and dialect speakers they wanted to ensure that non are missed out. Yet, Rev Canon James Wong have forgotten the very group which his Archbishop has put on the firing sight, gays in the community. The sermons by Rev Ed Siloso talks about the calling of 99% of Christians who are in the work place and are not in full time Christian service. That is the common calling of Christians to minister where God has put them.
The most uncommon calling is the ministry to the Gay Community, a community so despised by Christians in general that many think that Gay and Christian is incompatible and the only ministry that exist is the convert them to straights. Unseen, yet no less real, a conservative estimate of the gay population in Singapore of 220,000 (5%), there is a total absence of Christian witness. God is calling out to the Christian community, to minister Christ to the Gay community, not as an activist to make them straight like the 95% of the population, but to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News. We have addded to the Gospel, our own requirements of being straight, arising from our prejudice and carnal minds against an outcasts group. Yet God often works through the lowest and most despised in the community. In the bible, we have Moses, called to bring hope and salvation to a minority race persecuted by the majority.
We often heard of sermons on Moses and arguments we should seek God's calling. Yet, often we do not appreciate the background, hence greater appreciation of the magnitude of Moses' uncommon calling. Moses' calling begin from birth. He was born to a Jewish family in a time when Jewish boys were murdered rountinely by the Egyptian Majority as a severe population reduction measure. The Eyptian has long forgotten Joseph (Gen 41:39-45) and his wisdom in saving Eypyt from famine (Exo 1:8). under Senusret II,(1894-1878 BC) and Senusret III (1878-1841 BC), of the 12th Dynasty. More than 350 years later, Moses was born c.1526 BC during the reign of Thutmose I, the first great empire builder of Egypt. It was a public order, directed to every Egyptian, that all male children of the Hebrews be thrown in the Nile to drown (Exod. 1:22). The nation of Israel were under subjugation and confined to the area of Goshen. Yes, Gays has it tough but the Jews had it tougher.
Here we have Moses, born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and to the wrong tribe. But God had a plan and a purpose, a calling to bring redemption to the nation of Israel. Moses could no longer be hidden from the authorities, and was dump into the sea in a waterproof basket. In a dramatic twist of fate, the Pharoah's own daughter came to the river, found the basket and adopted the baby even knowing that he was a hebrew and gave him the name "Moses" or "drawn out of the water.". Miraculously, the nurse employed to take care of Moses was his own mum. Moses grew up acting the part of a prince yet in the closet, he knew of his Jewish Levi background, his family, and brothers and sisters. His friends knew him as the "Prince of Egypt" but God knew him as a Hebrew, the chosen vessel to deliver the people of Israel. Many gays knew since young they are attracted naturally to men, but hide it well as not to identify with this vilified minority group. It must be very tough for Moses to hide, in a position of power and comfort, yet seeing his people suffer.
Moses was naturally angered when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own. In anger, and acting on impulse, he killed the Egyptians and had to flee from from Pharoah who wanted to kill him. Moses fled to Midian, a foreign land where he stayed with Jethro, , got married to one of his daughters, Zipporah and bore a son. Moses was a Hebrew and so it was natural that he respond to the sufferings of his people. Similarly, Gays are born as such and are naturally attracted to have sex with men. There is nothing wrong with sex. The problem is when we are not careful to be addicted or controlled by this desire and have open sex with many partners rather than let God have the control and find a suitable partner to be in a steady relationship. When we do not consecrate our bodies as a Holy temple to the living God and act like prostitutes. Over a period of time of moving of track, we slowly detour from our calling. Our mind and focus become to the things of this world instead of od's plan. How many times, you seen strong Gay Christian leaders because of sex or other issues have got of the track of God's calling in their lives. Moses lost everything. He had no choice but to flee Midian and live a humble life to herd the sheep in the desert fringes.
Moses was still in the closet when he killed the Egptian. He could have kept quiet and distanced himself from the Jews. Despite him being overzealous, it showed a good heart, a heart for his people, his tribe. He did not abandoned his people. There are many gays in high positions of power in the government and in the commercial world. They have the power to change and influence government decisions for the betterment of the lives of Gays. But in doing so, they would have outed themselves. Most are unwilling to pay the price being in highly paid and respected positions. Moses was different, Despite His rashness, he had a heart for his tribe. He paid for his outing, No more were the rich trappings of the Pharoah's palace nor the place with his people who so longed to save when he came to a position of power. If he had been a Egyptian pure bred, would killing of a Egyptian commoner be such a great issue. Moses was exiled to the desert primarily because he was found out to be a Jew. Are you willing to enter into God’s calling for your life even if it meant being exposed as a Gay?
Moses was 40 years old, when he was outed, and had to escape to Midian. He spent another 40 years in the desert, resigned to spent the rest of his life there. He was 80 when God called him at the burning bush God choose Moses because he had a good heart, and a passion for God, to pay the price. But after 40 years, at the age of 80, when most Singaporeans would be preparing for the life hereafter, God finally called him up for action. He had been in reservist for the last 80 years. His birth and dramatic escape from death, his pain of rejection by his foster royal family, his pain of rejection by his own people when he tried to help them, all came back to him when God asked him to serve Him, he gave outward excuses but the greatest challenge remains whether his heart and love for his people, his tribe to overcome their rejection. He had to face them again, his family who had rejected him as who he was born as, and his very own tribe who had outed him.
Moses, lived more than 3000 years ago. Yet, his decision to be faithful to his calling made an impact throughout history. If Moses had not heed the call of God, perhaps God will have found a second person. But that would be the second best. Perhaps, the whole lineage of Jesus, through David would not have come if the nation of Israel had been decimated by the Egyptians. Moses was a type of Christ, a saviour to the nation of Israel. He foreshadowed Christ when he directed the Israelites to shed the blood of the lamb and smear it at the door edges of the door post as the angel of death passed over.
Would you have done what Moses did? Would you have preached God’ plan of salvation through Jesus Christ to the gay community even though the gay community would likely to reject you, and you would be outed to your friends as a gay in the mainstream Christianity. There is no glory to be known as a Gay Christian Preacher. Hence, in both communities, you would be rejected again and again. Moses had that choice, and he chose correctly. He could have chosen the desert life, a simple and a good life where nothing much happens, but he chose a d life of drama, a life of rejection even though he knew the hurt and pain of rejection. Are you able to say as Moses did “Here I am Lord’? when we hear the voice of God in our desert like existence? .You were born for such a time as this, as a Gay that you may be a blessing to the gay community. God had it all planned out for our best in mind.
There are many in the community who doubt why God chosen Israel as His special people to bear the word of God, the bear the seed of the Messiah. Can't God rightefully work in the Indians, the Chinese, the Americans, the Europeans, what is so speacial about the Jeiwsh state. God has chosen the people of Israel precisely because of such poor attitude and envy of such antagonists in society. The nation of Israel was chosen because of the faith of Abraham to believed in God, and aslo it is a very weak nation compared to the large tribes of the earth. God uses the lowly to humble the wise that it would not mistaken that it is of God and not of our strenght. Similarly Gays are the weakest group in society and despised by most religions. In the last days, we have gone back to the basics and have focused on the two groups that the world despise most throughout history, the Jews and the Gays. For Jesus' return to earth is centered upon Jerusalem and the revial amonsgt the Gays hence fulfilling the commandment for the gospel to reach the ends of the world. Will you be a chosen vessel for this end time revival? an uncommon calling just like Moses to the outcasts and despised.
You have chosen the foolish to confound the wise
And all the glory goes to You