|The Rainbow Flag @ the Cross of Calvary|
2 Sept 2006, Taipei, Taiwan. For the first time, the Rainbow Flag will be raised in an official ceremony in Taiwan in front of Taipei City Hall on September 17, marking the start of "Queer Friendly Taipei" sponsored by the city's Department of Civil Affairs. LGBT groups were surprised that the city agreed to the flag raising and funding of the festival despite strong outrage by city councilors and conservative groups. In reply, Yeh Jie-sheng, the department's Deputy Chief said the city was sponsoring the event to stress its respect for minority groups and cultural diversity. To bring that point home to the government, the gay pride parade that will wrap up the festival will feature a collective mock gay wedding ceremony. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the Police have announced that they would not grant a permit for the Gay Pride parade which Open House wanted to hold on September 21, the day before Jews around the world begin celebrating the High Holidays. Officials said that because of the holidays the force would be understaffed and it could not provide the necessary security. Jerusalem LGBT community leaders have given the force several alternate dates to hold a gay pride parade. and if necesarry would go to court seeking an injunction to force police to give them the permit. They have but one flag to unite them, the Gay Rainbow Flag.
The apparent command of Jesus recorded in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31--do to others as you would like them to do to you is usually called the Golden Rule. This has been unshamedly broken by Christians who have almost unilaterally judged gays and are their strongest opponents when they should not be. They have judged Gays unrighteously and not according to whether one believed in Christ as their reedemer but based on their own prejudice and fear. We are no better than sinners and in fact worse because we have done unto others what we would not have expected them to do unto us. We have done evil without being provoked. If we who are straight have been born gay, we would have naturally expected others to accept us just as who we are. Surely we do, for this would be how you naturally would expect others to treat you. In condeming gays, Christians have stooped lower than the general bench mark of society of how we should treat each other decently. The bible strongly reminds us not to judge even when we are rightefully aggrieved because we assume a degree of self righteousness and come under judgement from God himself. However, when Christians judged and condemned even though they are not wronged or agrieved in any way by Gays, they cheapened the grace of God by their self righteousness, and great is their transgressions.
Contrary to many who believe that the Golden rule is a commandment and differs from the Old Testament laws such as Deut 19:21, Jesus did not re-interprete the law but emphasized its failure and unchristian nature. We are reminded in Matthew 7:12 that the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would like them to do to you is of the Law. Therefore, if you murder, you will suffer the same fate - an eye for an eye, etc as in Deut 19:21. There is no mercy. If someone killed you, surely you expect them to suffer the same fate. Therefore, Jesus was just re-iterating the law, and the command should be seen in a negative light i.e. " to do bad to those who do bad to you" and not the positive spin put onto it by modern preachers who infer that this is a call to do good works, to help others because we would expect others to do the same for us. This is religion and NOT Christianity. The bible in Luke 6:33, reminds us that if we do this alone then we are no better than sinners or unbelievers. Christianity is not about the Golden Rule. Jesus asked us to do extra services to the Golden Rule, that is to love our enemies. In essense, we are to do good to those who have done bad to us for Christ is our example. It is easy to love when one is loved. It is of Christ, when one can love when there is no human reason to love but every reason to hate. The problem with the Churches in Singapore who never seem to stop condeming Gays is that they failed to see the depths of God's grace and mercy, and Christianity has become a religion which is inward looking and exalting their own righteousness and morality over Gays, so much so that they have acted far worse than sinners in the general society. God has put Gays in the midst of the Church to purify it because it has failed to follow the most basic instruction of the law to do what you would want others to do to you. What a long way that the Church of Christ has to go! before Jesus comes back.
Christ was paraded through Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Christian Chruches in Singapore such as City Harvest and New Creation have strongly encouraged its members to see the passion of Christ by Mel Gibson depicting this gruesome scene. They did not realized the anti-Jew Spirit behind the show and Mel and his family had been viciously anti-Jew. An official police report on Mel Gibson's arrest on 31 July 2006 on drunken driving charges substantiates claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened the deputy. Gibson said, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked the arresting officer, "Are you a Jew?" He also repeatedly insulted the police officers, addressing one female sergeant as “sugar tits”. Gibson’s father Hutton has been branded a Holocaust denier for claiming the extermination of 6m Jews is largely a myth and that many of the supposed victims had moved to Brooklyn. Mel Gibson made millions out of the Passion of Christ released in 2004 yet deep inside he hated the Jews whom Jesus was born as. A strict Catholic, he was taught to despise the Jews and it was in that ungodly spirit the passion of Christ was filmed. Mel has forgotten that through the Jews, through Jesus, the seed of Abraham, the world has been blessed. They have suffered much to protect this blood line. God chosed Jesus to be born as a Jew, the weakest of all the tribes in the world, so that the world may know that it is not of man's effort but that God may be glorified. God works with people groups and not specifically with groups based on sex or race or social status. There are two people groups most despised in the world, the Jews and Gays. They have walked seemingly through the stations of Cross just like Jesus and have bored the brunt of humanities injustice and cruelty for more than 4 thousand years. Jerusalem symbolises their pain and suffering, will also be where they will be resurrected and gain acceptence just as Jesus will one day come back in Jerusalem.
Two thousand years later after the authentic passion of Christ at the gates of Jerusalem, Gays are asking to come in, another tribe wanting to march through the city centre of Jeusalem. Surely they have every right, for as a people group they would have seemingly walked through the 39 stations (Via Dolorosa). Gays have been condemned as sinners just like Jesus, made to bear the burden of the cross of discrimination and homophbia, the sin against them by the rest of the community. Many have lost their families, and walk through Via Dolosora, lonely, deserted just like Jesus because they are Gay and Governments have banned them from marrying. They fell several times on this road of earthly suffering being striped naked of all that they have. No dignity has been given to Gays. In Singapore, there were protests by the religious right when the government decided not to discriminate them in jobs. The resounding screams and curses of the people on each side of the road, must have been overwhelming for Jesus. Likewise, Gays have walked through this lives journey tortured by strong voices of condemnation, abuse, from newspapers and religious leaders and their very own family. Jesus Christ died at Calvary, broken hearted. Many Gays died broken hearted, especially gay youths who had committed suicide to escape from this life journey of torture. Being Gay, for most have marked the death to life, the death to having a family, to having a good career and life, a life humbled as the lowest form of humanity. Jesus humbled himself and walked through the stations of the cross, endured all, that He may experienced our pain and suffering, and death hence could identity with us as Gays. It is fortunate that Gays do not follow the Golden rule, for in it, they will have every legal right accordingly to law, to do much harm to their detractors. They have exemplified the call to forgive as a people group that they be exalted in due time by God Himself.
As we walked through our own journey, we walked no longer alone, but as a tribe. We have our own rainbow flag. As the gays in Jerusalem marches through the city centre, it reminds God of their plight just like His Son Jesus had suffered, but also marks a coming back to God to received the resurrection life that through God they may received recompense and freedom from abuse and discrimination because of Jesus' death and resurrection. The flag bearer would be Jesus for at the cross of calvary he bore not only our sins but He bore our sufferings, pains, and burdens that we may have a new life and start to live again as free people, free to be who God has created us, for we are accepted in Christ Jesus our Lord and saviour.