The year of Jubilee for Gays
30 Nov 2005, Indianapolis, USA. Pastors from a dozen Indianapolis black churches held a prayer service calling on divine intervention to block a proposed ordinance banning discrimination against the LGBT community. The group denounced gays, calling homosexuality "perverse" and "an abomination". They also expressed their anger that the fight for LGBT rights was being compared to the civil rights movement. Gays have long had a difficult time in their churches but the situation for black Gays has been even worse. It is ironic that the one group which has suffered the most due to prejudice in America would also be the one to turn around and be the most prejudiced and discriminatory towards homosexuals. One can only conclude that many Black Christians have forgotten the grace and mercy of God to release them from slavery and have become the very oppressors they had preached against.
A study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that since 2000, black Protestants have become far less likely than other Protestant groups to believe that gays should have equal rights. Black Protestant support for gay rights dipped to a low of 40 percent this year, down from 65 percent in 1996 and 59 percent in 1992. Ironically, the ancestors of today's white conservatives who are reaching out to black clergy for support against gay rights, largely opposed the black ministers of 50 years ago when these ministers were fighting to secure equal rights for African Americans. Half a century later, concerning homosexuality, blacks are aligning themselves with the very same white slave masters who had formerly fought against their equal rights. Are they any different than their former slave masters?
It is fortunate that some prayers are not meant to be answered. If God were to answer their call for divine intervention on the basis that homosexuality is an abomination, He would also need to be consistent and bring the blacks back into slavery. For out of the same book, the book of Letivicus, that the black pastors used, quite clearly if interpreted likewise i.e. not in context, can be used to support slavery:-
In terms of slaves, there are no rights. They are treated as pocessions. There can be no civil liberties or equal rights. For clearly if you are the rightful owner of a slave, he or she belongs to you to do your bidding. In order to emphasis this fact, even children belonging to slaves are actually the pocession of their owners and not the parents. Many black gays, have grimaced and endured fiery homophobic sermons, nervously breathing as their fellow congregants stood in overzealous applause, proudly beaming with joy, and reveling in their heterosexuality as the preacher rabidly screamed, “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!”. Hypocrites! the preachers should have applied the same scriptures consistently and perhaps remained as slaves!.
While Jesus did not condemn Gays, He never went against slavery. Jesus mentioned slaves or servants numerous occasions in His illustrations to relfect the custom and common practise at that time. Never did He condemned slavery.
Why did not Jesus condemned slavery and make it a big issue? Whilst we may consider it morally wrong to own slaves, God cannot intervened because rightefully and legally the slaves belong to the slave master who has paid for the slaves. However, in one way or another, we are all slaves, most spiritually and some physically. In essence, through Adam, all of us are slaves to Satan. However, Jesus is the second Adam. He bought the price though His death for our lives that we may no longer be slaves but be His forever. No longer are we under the rulership of Satan, but now we are under the rulership of Christ. He owns us. Therefore, eternal freedom far outweighs our physical slavery on earth. If God has bought over us in the spirit, He will make away that we too may be physically free. The Spirit world is the ultimate reality. Change begins there and made real in these earthly realm which is a mirage of another world. Jesus could have raged against slavery but He did not. He knew that change, permanent change, comes first from by freedom from spiritual slavery.
Both slavery and discrimination against Gays is wrong and immoral. To be so self righteous for the Black pastors to forget that they too were once discriminated and under oppression, and now using their freedom and liberty granted to them by the grace of God to do likewise to Gays is the real "perversion" and "abomination".
The stand of the black pastors is a two edged sword. By not seeing the grace of God bestowed upon them they would still live in a bondage mentality although they are physically free. The slave mentality was present in the Jewish people even though God freed them from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Because the Jews were once under slavery and God delivered them, in Lev 25:46, God did not permit the Jews to own Jewish slaves. Clearly, the freedom of the Jews have been bought by God. So therefore, they could not set into bondage whom God has freed. But as the Jews entered into their freedom, it took them 40 years in the wilderness to truly be free. Yet, even thereafter, they often worshiped other gods as their forefathers did in Egypt. By proclaiming condemnation against Gays, the black pastors simply pointing back to their own ungratefulness to God's grace by attempting to put into bondage those that are innocent, i.e. Gays.
I have a dream that one day just like the blacks, gays will be able to have freedom and true civil liberties and not discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation. However, much more and very much more important is for gays to have freedom to know that God accepts them as who they are, that they may be free from eternal bondages. In the midst of the great persecution that Gays are suffering, let us look upward to a hope that never fades, to an eternal life that bidst us come, in the depths of our current sufferings. We are awaiting for a new world.
Even for slaves in the Jewish community, every 50 years, is the year of Jubilee where all the slaves will be freed. Jesus declared His ministry as a proclamation of the year of Jubilee where we too will be freed. Let there be a year of Jubilee for Gays in Singapore, where we are no longer condemned, but are free to be who we are in Christ. Our true freedom is not found in community acceptance or when gay marriages are approved and the laws against homosexuality is abolished. It is found in Christ whose acceptance make us truly free despite all that this world can throw at us.