|A Call to an overcoming Grace, Mercy, and Prayer|
The GLBT Christian community may suffer a lot more rejection than many other faiths because the Christian church has been the main antagonists against gays. The Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox, and the Evangelicals are agressive in their move to deny gays their basic rights.
We suffer from 3 levels of rejection:-
As a result there is a deep seated self rejection, and even internalized homophobia. There is also much hate, bitterness and anger within. We have many issues, and even when we claimed that we have been healed and ready to move on, healing is not a one time event especially when the rejection and loss taunts us each day.
We also suffer from 4 levels of loss:-
Our lives are lost and with so much taken away from us, we can be possessive, defensive, critical, hostile, vocal, and self centered - not willing to loose anymore. We are hurting badly beneath our outward smiles. The notion of what could be and would have been haunt us. We look back for the loss that has been great with no future reprieve. We are robbed of a hope and a future.
The love commandments doesn't work because the basis of it is loving God. One has to be in the Holy of Holies to love God. When one is in the outside wall, soon our love for God withers. The faint voices from inclusive churches that God loves us attracts many at first, but the rejection and loss was too great.
The loud speakers of the mega churches condeming gays as vile sinners to be persecuted pours salt to our deep woundings. We are no longer people of worth and identity to them, but labelled as "homosexuals" as if our sexual orientation only identitfies us. We are no longer people.
Job felt hopelessly lost and even questioned God demanding an answer. But we suffered much more than Job, for Job suffered lost, at times with God no longer answering. He was also rejected by friends, but they pitied him. We suffer far more rejection. He had an experience of having wives and children which we may never have.
The depths of our pain and loss is not a matter of intellectual debate of opinions. There is real harm caused far more than faced by others eg by an obesse person feeling rejected because of the negative opinions of others. We are at the lowest rung of society, lower than the untouchables in India who still have a family, and community and many churches.
The answer lies not in the make believe of playing church every Sunday, although a supporting Christian community and group of friends is important for survival to lift our heads above the raging storms. We yearned to be "normal", to go to churches that are inclusive but also preached and worship the same manner like the mega churches.
The answer lies in Jesus Christ, not the Christ that they preached in many churches full of legalism, and hypocrisy, but the resurrected Christ of the bible:-
a. Mercy - not giving others what they deserved, because Christ gave us mercy.
It is not by our strenght and effort, but an understanding of God's mercy in our lives that we in turn give mercy to others. We hold them no grudge, we demand no justice or recompense for the harm caused because Justice and vengeance belongs to God alone. We can only give mercy, when we receive mercy from the throne room of God. This mercy is best personified by Jesus death at the Cross for our sins.
When we give others mercy, we begin to learn to forgive. We bear no grudge even when our lives and being are taken away from God. What ever we have lost, Christ will give back and filled back.
b. Grace - giving others what they do not deserved, because Christ gave us grace.
We gave grace to others, because of the grace given to us in Jesus' death and resurrection bringing us into the kingdom of God. We may have lost all in this kingdom, but the kingdom of heaven awaits us where Jesus will wipe our tears and we have eternity with Him.
The measure of grace and mercy we give others, is based on the measure of grace and mercy we received. And it has to be tangible in our mind, spirit and soul. It has to touch us to our deepest being, to that wounded child within each of us. The love of God, the presence of God, the embrace of Jesus has to reach and comfort our deepest depths of our sould and spirit. Because arising out from this baptism and infilling of the Holy Spirit is the rivers of life to give others God's grace and mercy.
Even Job who had such a good attitude and faith begin to question God at the end, and so do we, for the question is also why we have had to ensure such grave sufferring. The friends of Job thought it was hidden sin, but it was not. It was not also not a misfortune, but has a spiritual reality.
(Eph 6:12 NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In Job, there was a spiritual conversation between God and Satan. And we often missed out the spiritual causes. At the end, it is Satan who likes to destroy God's creation especially the weak and the outcasts. What best but to use God's very own church to persecute the weakest that sin may be imputed upon the church. When gays are killed in the streets or commits suicide, or ravaged by diseases, there is blood in the hands of the church. They are implicated. There is a strong demonic force to kill, to destroy especially those who are vulnerable and weak.
The churches and communities that have rejected us have their own judgement seat before God. We are not taking away the responsibility of those who had rejected us or had caused grave harm and lost in our lives, but to acknowledge that we are fighting against strong spiritual principalities.
(1 Pet 5:8 NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Living by the Love commandments alone in showing God's grace and mercy may not be enough, for we are in warfare, not against people or other faiths, but in prayer against the Spirit of the enemy which has almost but estranged the Gay community from having Faith in Jesus Christ. The Gay community has left the church in droves. Many are living but not living. Our lives have been destroyed.
Let us live with God's love, grace and mercy, above our rejection and loss, for God is our salvation and banner. But let us stay steadfast and vigilant, for to gain back the Kingdom of God for the GLBT community takes far beyond an inclusive message of God's love, but a fight of spiritual warfare and violence in the Spirit. The battle is a battle of prayer and it must be constant like dripping water. The victory is ours when we lift up Christ our banner. For our rights, our lives is at stake. Gay Christians are a salt and light to the GLBT Community call to bring forth the love and power of God as we fight for a hope and future.
(Mat 11:12 NKJV) "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.