|Gay Christian Spirituality|
(Isa 40:29 NKJV) He gives power to the weak, And to
those who have no might He increases strength.
A few weeks ago, I had planned to visit a church overseas, but was told that we should not be imposing what best in SG since we do not know anything about this church. My mind went back to a few years, when walking passed the bank, I felt that God asked me to send money to this church. They are flaming liberals, I complained to God. But the money was sent and I visited them realizing that the money was much needed just in time to answered prayers. It's not for me to change people, that is God's task. I was a Gentle Lamb bearing a blessing and a friendship beyond any corporate agenda except God's agenda to bless.
True spirituality is difficult - discerning God’s voice to move in the Holy spirit of God to continue on the ministry of Christ here on earth. True Spirituality often moves us beyond our comfort zone to seek God beyond our own Christian faith tradition and is fluid and dynamic.
There is incredible vanity in our Christian walk of faith especially in the GLBT Christian circles. The sun rises and fall, and seasons come and go. The people that once was with us, the "oldies", now gone. We remember their voices, their words of encouragement, their zeal for God, yet wondered whether our own fates will follow their fates. Will our Christian walk last the race of faith? We too are struggling, yet it is no longer our strength that sustains us, but a spirituality from the very throne room of God.
(John 14:16 NKJV) "And I will pray the Father, and He
will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever;
Christian Spirituality is a closeness and an abide with Jesus Christ, in a communion with the Holy Spirit of God, our friend and helper giving us revelation and wisdom to run the race of faith. A regular time of prayer, worship, and spiritual renewal/revelation by the Word of God is a practise of Spirituality with an open heart to move with the Spirit of God. It is breathing in the life of the Spirit into our lives. It is not only the seeking God in our lives, but God moving in our lives. It is being opened to being transformed by the Holy Spirit by abiding by His small quiet voice.
Our journey of faith starts with God touching our hearts revealing the need for repentance for our sins, and finding that salvation by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we continue on this journey to follow the footsteps of Christ, through our service, ministries, preaching of the Gospel, helping the outcast and the weak, God reveals His heart to us, and we gain a spirituality and closeness to God, being the hands and feed for God to heal the wounded. We become like Jesus, the wounded healer.
Spirituality is needed for service and Christian living, but is not necessarily gained through service or ministry per say. The most saintly serving in the slumps of the poorest country may find God a distance, a dark empty void. Service can be a religious devoid of a spiritual connection to the present will of Jesus Christ, but rather motivated by a general human charity and religious desire to do good and a heart for people. It doesn’t mean that God is in it although there is a calling to be a good samaritan.
In this world, where instituitionalised Christianity, its dogmas, sacraments, and ways are so structured and hierarchal, our relationship with God is bounded by our faith traditions and beliefs. It need not be tangible or reach any sense of spirituality or closeness to God, but followed routinely as a religious rite in prayer, worship, and ministries. Seldom do we need a special touch from the Spirit of God. It is when we take away these outer garments, we may be left with an empty void without Spirituality.
Spirituality concerns the realm of the spirit, and not the soul nor the body. Our Christian theological traditions, religious laws and ministries are often related to our soul and works of our strength. God is often an idea of our mind. Our wealth, culture, social status, vocation, gender, church ministry, the church that we attend, our religious traditions often determines our identity of how we see ourselves. Who are you when these outer garments of identity are removed as Gay Christians.
10:27 NKJV) "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow
In Spirituality however, we connect in the spirit to God as a child of God. The connection to Jesus as our Lord and Saviour occurs at a spiritual place, beyond just a declaration of faith in the mystery of God or the incarnation. At the core of our spirituality is the knowing and hearing the voice of God. It is something tangible that cannot be taken away when the garments of our religious faith is being deconstructed as Gay Christians.
Spirituality is not a process per say. I am reminded of many of my gay Christian friends who have reconciled their faith and sexuality. They were beginning to serve God in the GLBT Christian community. They told stories of their past as Cell Group leaders, Worship leaders, and Elders of mega churches. But they were living on their past glory and faith which soon runs out of steam. The issue is not about being comfortable or going into another safe closet, but whether having a spirituality to run the race of faith when we are naked.
Being gay in a hostile Christian religious environment in Singapore deconstructs us emotionally and religiously. We do not know what to believe anymore and our notions of God, and the bible badly affected. When we lose ourselves, dreams and hopes, what is left behind is the substance of our spirituality.When the music stops, how tangible is our spirituality, our deep communion with Jesus Christ.
Spirituality gives us an anchor through the tempest of life made particularly tough when we are a gay Christian. It is to be able to hear God, hear His laughter, and just be friends. It is to commune with God at an intimate sense giving us power and the oil of anointing to run this race of faith.
(Psa 23:1 NKJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not
There is a human tendency “to do” rather than “to rest”. I was with friends serving God day and night like an army to conquer the land in a mega church without walls in caring, compassion, preaching, teaching, ministering and serving. I had admired their spirituality. They were good people, much better than me in faith and tenacity for God. But a decade or more later, many are no more to be seen. God is more interested in our rest rather than service because out of this rest comes the grace for service. We no longer need to strive by our own strength.
Many of us, were young once, on "fire" at the edge of Christianity, joining the march to make a difference, a church without walls. Mega churches such as City Harvest grew in leaps and bounds. Are we more spiritual? When the optimism of youth fades, and the reality and struggles of life comes, some with the bombshell of accepting that we are gay, how strong are we?
(Isa 10:27 NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
The fight of faith is a long journey and staying in the race and being at rest is much more important than dying young. We need God's continuous annoining oil and flow from heaven for many Gay Christians are rather leaky having to fight a headwind of rejection by religion, family and society.
Our redemption is not only in the mind of asking the tough religious questions. We need that tangible touch of God, a spirituality of receiving the anointing oil to run the good race of faith. This annointing and the move of the Holy Spirit can be easily quenched and hindered. Right Christian theology matters because in it we receive our manna, our daily bread and red wine of life.
(Gen 28:12 NKJV) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
28:16 NKJV) Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD
is in this place, and I did not know it."
The Church doesn't need to stir up tired souls to continue to charge forward at the edge of Christianity finding that our fellow comrades gunned down by the fiery bullets of hell. Even the youth will be worn out and loose strenght. Spirituality is waiting on the Lord to renew our strenght. (Isa 40:31). The young ones are left, the oldies no more to be seen. Yet the young will one day be old and their fates the same.
We can't run a Gay church the same as a straight church with the exception of being inclusive. We have enough of religion, of man made religious laws and ideas of God. We has tasted its foul taste of homophobia and rejection of the GLBT tribe with a false veneer of religion.
We seek the Spirituality of God. We seek a church which is a house a God that is an awesome place where there is the gate of heaven. We are not interested in religion. We want the real deal, a portal to heaven, a free access to God without the hindrances of demonic principalities where God is no longer a mystery. It is a closeness to God, to heaven with the angels marching up and down giving a word in time and season. Because we need the reality of Jesus in our lives, and not the delusion of institutionalised Christianity.
In this house of God, it is Jesus who will be ministering and all who come to church will receive a special touch of the Holy Spirit and return home knowing that he/she has met God in person. It is a sacred place, where the river of God flows out from the people touched by God to the nations, that we can bring the rainbow message of the good news to our own GLBT tribe who are seeking faith yet dismayed by the legalism, hypocrisy and inconsistency of the mainstream christian faith.
Be at rest, for you have fought the good fight of faith. Welcome Home. My rest awaits you, the river of God where you will thirst no more. You will eat the grass beside still, quiet waters, and be satisfied and filled.