The sound of thunder coming from the desert
(Beijing) 12 May 2006 China's first national hotline for gays and lesbians has opened. The lines were quickly swamped. There are at least 48 million gays in China. There are thousands of churches in Asia, yet there are no Gay affirming churches in China. There are only 4 churches in Asia with less than 500 worshippers as compared to the millions of Christians. The desert speaks of how Gays are discriminated, oppressed and persecuted by the Christian Church and society until there is few left abiding in their faith in Christ. The witness of God's love to the Gay Community is barely alive, with no tangible witness in most countries with a remnant to worship Jesus. There is a voice of one crying in the desert just like John the Baptist declaring the coming of Christ and His message of redemption. So too, there is a move of God within this desert of faith amongst Gays, a voice declaring that Jesus died too for them and accept them just as they are. It is the voice to prepare a straight highway in the desert, the highway leading to God based on God's unconditional love and heart to seek after the Gay community. The Gospel has gone round the globe to the peoples and language group. In this last days, it will go round again to the outcasts of society, from Europe, to States, and finally to Asia and Africa. Jesus is coming back for all both straight and gays. The churches in Asia and Africa have been sadly deceived in their theology against gays. In the last days, the oppression in the name of God that has harmed and led so many away from Jesus, will be made right that Gays may return to God, to walk again in the straight road leading to God. that is Christ who accepts gays as who they are. The ways of man including our religiously motivated self righteousness, leads to nowhere, but Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection at the Cross, is the straight highway that leads directly to God. The way of Christ is for an inclusive church with a heart for the outcasts of society especially gays.
The greatest challenge facing any Christian affirmative outreach to Gays is discrimination and oppression they suffer in the community and self condemnation by the mainstream churches who considers homosexuality a sin. When the same message is pounded over and over again that homosexuality is sinning against God, this lie is accepted as the truth and serves to condemn gays. This self condemnation makes it difficult for gays to maintain their faith in God who they felt is against them unfairly for He created them as gays yet consider it as sin. Gays are also deeply wounded. They can be very sensitive and easily offended. Yet, ironically, they can be the most insensitive with a sharp tongue. This is so much the case for many GLBT people despite their denials. So it is a double whammy and you see people leaving their gay affirmative church because in such an environment you are bound to get very hurt and offended without forgiving others. It is because deep inside unlike a straight person, even though we seldom admit it, we are deeply wounded even to the subconscious because of the discrimination and rejection we have suffered. Our loudness and bitchiness hides a young child eager for love and acceptance in a society that has been cruel and homophobic. In more inclusive societies such as Europe and America, Gay churches are growing strongly. But in Asia where there is much more oppression, we see a desert with little life and Christian ministries. The word of God to Asia today is to declare it that He will bring life into this desert, a straight highway where Gays will come back to God and a great multitude will arise from this wilderness of deserted faith.
God sees - Gay and Lesbians as children because in the depths of our hearts, we are like a young child seeking love and acceptance as who we are but have suffered systematic rejection and oppression because we are different. We have been fighting for same sex marriage for decades and with successes in Europe, it has now become a battlefront pursued by Evangelical crusaders calling for protection of the marriage that God has apparently ordained. The gospel of Matthew 19:1-14, has been frequently used to provide a biblical mandate that marriage should be between man and women. Yet, so wrong could the church be.
In Mat 19:4, Jesus reminds us of His creation of mankind as a male and female, and subsequently united in marriage. On the treats to families, Jesus highlighted the sin of adultery considering even divorce and remarriage as sins. Biblically, marriages are therefore threatened by infidelity and adultery rather than by gay marriages. The disciples quickly remarked in mat 19:10 that it is better not to marry given such restrictive conditions on account of the sexual passions even common to the apostles. Therefore, a biblical approach to the marriage protection act coming before the US congress should addressed the biblical concerns of divorce rather than further denying the rights of gays. Blaming Gays is a sad reflection of history where Christians in God' name have used women, Jews, coloured races as scapegoats. God will defend His good name and know not that He is changing the church and moving despite our protests to encourage the church to accept gays at all levels from laity to priesthood. God is an inclusive God and you will find Jesus' whilst He was here, having church or faith community of the outcasts rather than what we see today which is occupied by the religious zealots.
The same problems of adultery plagues same sex couples as a treat to their union. Banning same sex marriage under the marriage protection act ironically threatens same sex unions and relationships for all intention and purposes are life long committed marriages. It takes away the very institution of marriage of whom their relationships can be recognized, established , and supported. It makes it so much more difficult to maintain the relationship and not fall into the temptation of having multiple partners (ironically, the very "gay" lifestyles that Christians condemned). Destroying loving lifelong relationships is sin against God Himself and we are much lesser of a Christian Church and undermine our mandate to preach the Gospel when we become instigators of this modern insidious crusade which only reflects our self righteousness against a hapless minority.
In reply to the apostles concerns that they will not be able to keep their marriage wows, in mat 19:11,12, Jesus acknowledges the impossibility of being celibate and not having sex with women in an open relationship unless of course it is “given” or naturally inclined not to be attracted to women, from your mother’s womb you are born thus as Gays or natural Eunuchs mentioned in the Jewish Talmud. This does not contradict the creation of male and female, but rather the acceptance by Jesus of those that have different sexual orientations than the vast majority of the community who are heterosexual. Jesus accepts Gays unconditionally.
As if to further emphasize, God’s acceptance of gays, we jump to a scene where the little children were being brought to Jesus for blessings and prayer, uncharacteristically, the disciples forbade them without any good reason. This has been the story of two thousand years of rejection of GLBT in the church despite Jesus instruction not to reject them. For of such is the Kingdom of God, for God’s church is to be made up of people seeking love and acceptance of which Christ’ death provides the gateway, just like Gays and Lesbians seeking acceptance and love of how God created them. The Christian church is mandated to be an inclusive church of those who seek Jesus. Jesus associated primarily with the outcasts of society, so should the church instead of rejecting this group of least in society hence rejecting Jesus Himself..
As we seek God to establish inclusive churches as Christ mandated, we bring in those who are hurting, a severely bruised reed and a smoking flax that are easily quenched for Jesus to love and to hug like little children (Isa 42:3) and who will bring them justice in view of the truth of God’s acceptance. They come from the midst of the sweltering desert heat of oppression from society, to find a place, a home and a rest to find their abode in the Oasis of Christ, drinking the waters of life. Let them drink – let them see Jesus and be submerged in His presence through the Holy Spirit, ordained by Jesus to be in His place, one whom signs, wonders, and tongues have followed since the first Pentecost Sunday. A Gay Christian Church is just but still waters whose stream comes from God’s throne room in heaven.
The Voice in the desert cries out, declaring the Year of Jubilee, the year where slaves are set free. The voice is calling out to Gays, come and step into the deep waters of grace. Drink from Christ, the giver of Life. Be healed, come to His saving waters and be filled. Broken relationships, wounded spirit, hurt souls, the deep pain of the lonely heart, God will mend and heal all that the damage of the church has done. But God will do more, even much more than our souls could imagine. He will set us free, to be who we are, that society may accept us as equals and not a 2nd class minority, but equals in the sight of God. "This is the Year of Jubilee", says the Lord of Hosts. Delcare it to the North, the South, the West, and the East. Declare freedom for gays that they may come out of the desert of their closets . The Lord is calling... Here yea not the small still voice.
Do you hear a sound of thunder, it is not the still voice calling out anymore, it is the multitude of Gays coming back to God in the highway that God has made for them, a road where there will be no more oppression, discrimination, and homophobia but of acceptance and Gay marriages. God will come and save us. He hears our cries, and will even recompense us for all the lost and hurt that we have suffered even though not caused by Him. On this highway, we will walk past those that have tried to stop us, the anti-gay religious right preachers, the Catholic Pope, the ravenous beast of anti-gay protestors, the Nazi skinheads, Presidents and Kings of great nations - all who has tried to come againmst gays. The multitude is coming, here yea not the thunder of a thousand footsteps from a far ......they are coming back to God and rejoicing that they are free at last, free to worship God without condemnation, free to be who God created them as. From the heavens, there will will be healing rain falling on the desert road and it will blossom once more in this desert land. God the father is there at the end of the road, with tears, waiting for them to come Home.