|Finding the Real Jesus by losing religion|
I am often amazed how accepting our sexual orientation changes us, a religiously fervent ex-Baptist Pastor became an ex-evangelical leaving God to find “God” now reduced to religious laws - love commandments to reconcile his conscience with him being gay. Often Religion rules our lives and not freedom in Christ and that is why many gay people don't attend inclusive churches.
I didn’t have such a drastic coming out as the ex-Pastor and did not have to leave wife, church, and kids for discerning that it would cause harm to enter into such relationships which I could not keep for life. My coming out was a coming upon of the Holy Spirit, who spoke to my heart from Is 56:4 that I am a born Eunuch, born from my mother’s womb in Mat 19:12 without attraction to the opposite sex. I am blessed when I accept whom He had created me wonderfully as a gay person. It was the compassion and love of Jesus that made me let go. Jesus outed me and it has been a tough journey.
The Jesus the ex-Baptist pastor knew was probably one which the disciples held onto after being with Jesus for more than 3 years. When the soldiers came to arrest Him, they drew arms and injured their captors. They held on to the Jesus as man, whilst God I believe would like us to see Jesus being our sin at the Cross of Calvary, and Jesus the resurrected at the right hand side of God. The ex-evangelical didn’t lose religion nor gain God, his problem was still religion and her laws and so is many gay Christians. In Christ, we are free and that freedom is not found in being religious, but with right believing and with fervent expectation of God’s grace and mercy.
I have debated at length with very religious fundamentalist, and liberals in my younger days. They see God very rigidly hence often could not discern the small gentle voice of the Holy Spirit. I too found my escape not as Jesus being a replacement of a partner, but in reading the bible, and the Holy Spirit led me seemingly to 1st century Judea to be at Jesus footstools with the disciples. Jesus was not the strict religious Pharisee nor the liberal rebel that was painted by some.
1 Cor 13: 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
It is now almost two thousand years after Jesus death, or 2 days in biblical terms. We are entering the 3rd day in which Jesus will come back again. After a “Christian century” filled ironically with every conceivable denial of God’s love and offer of eternal life, we are still playing religion. We can only gain God when we lose religion. Religion is the worst enemy of gay people, because zealous religious folks will use gays as the stepping stone of religious self-effort. That is why, Love Singapore wore white, not realising that the greatest sin is amongst straight people with 10,000 unborn babies killed every year, and not gays minding their own business and space.
Jesus is knocking at the door, the Holy Spirit is sent out to the lonely byways to pick up those who would attend the Lord’s supper with a sumptuous feast to declare the coming of the Kingdom of God for Christ has risen and is coming back again. Yet, these byways in the deserts are the darkest places of incredible pain, loss and judgement, where the devil have had a good time deceiving people that Jesus is against them or that salvation is found in a name other than Jesus. The message of the Rainbow church is that God is for us, and not against us.
All are welcome to find the real Christ, into the Rainbow church as we are joined into the body of Christ and where our gender, culture, race, sexuality, and sexual orientation does not only define us. We are defined by our baptism and death to ourselves at the Cross of Calvary that we may rise again into the fullness of life to be who God called us as, a Gay Christian.
The Jews will proclaim, the Shema of Israel, morning and evening, of loving God and loving others. Yet, when Jesus proclaimed Himself as God, they put Jesus at the Cross of Calvary. Love by itself without surrendering to God tantamount to the self-effort by religious law. We have missed the mark and fallen short of the glory of God. Religion is not the answer for love without judgement is not righteous.
In 1 Cor 13, we see the Love of Jesus that never fails. The pretext in 1 Cor 12 is the diversity of spiritual gifts in the church which was operating in the supernatural move of God of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirit and tongues. In 1 Cor 13, Paul urged them to abide in faith concerning Jesus, in the hope of eternity, and lastly to remember the Love of Jesus Christ. For we are childish when we fight each other as this world do for power, control, and influence (as some mega churches did), rather than growing up to understand that the church grows with the diversity of gifts and ministries.
We even call it progressive when we no longer operate in the supernatural gifts in the Holy Spirit. A Rainbow Christianity should be founded on the Rock of Jesus Christ, an unchanging Rock, that men have tried to deny, reject, persecute the believers but could now quench the move of the Holy Spirit. For in Eph 4:7 “…to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” No longer are we captive to death, but grace of God through Christ (Eph 4:11-14) giving us the grace to become apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, so that the church/beliers could be built up to be united based on the centrality of Christ and not moved by the wind of doctrines and deception of the devil
The bible in 1 Cor 12 called for the diversity of supernatural spiritual gifts in the church as norm, and being bounded by faith, hope and love, with love being the greatest. Love is the greatest because it is the love of God that brought us home to heaven and we have faith and hope that the Love of God will not disappoint us. The bible doesn’t call us into diversity of theology rather unity in common faith, hope, and love with diversity in the different ministries giving freedom to the move of the Holy Spirit. We are united in Christ, the revelation as the Son of God - the Servant Lamb of God, the King of Kings, and the High Priest. It is His love, not our Love.
In Eph 4:4, we are further reminded that there is “4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”. We have one God, the Lord God is One, not the many different gods that were worshipped in ancient Judea and Rome, or the unknown God of the Greeks. We have diversity of ministries (not theology), but one body for Jesus offered us the way, the truth and the life through faith and not by religious works. We therefore live by faith, in the Hope of eternity and love of Christ. We love because He first loved us. We are baptised into Christ, and not a distant mystical universal god.
Jesus spoke in parables not because He like to ask questions, but because His own rejected the plain truth concerning His deity and messianic calling and tried to stone Him. Amongst His disciples, Jesus explained the parables spoken in public. This is the church, where the plain Gospel truth are preached rather than hidden.
I have come to a realization that I cannot love people, I cannot care for them for the gay sheep is too wounded and hurt. Our hearts are deeply wounded by the rejection of the church and society. Many have taken their own lives for our lives have been made meaningless by the church. I can only preach to them Jesus from the bible as their Saviour – Messiah that in the blood of the Lamb there may be redemption, as King over all the powers on earth and heaven, as High Priests before God that grace may come through Jesus, the sinless and the righteous one of God.
I long for a Rainbow church with the rain and manna from heaven that we may move in miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirit and tongues standing in unity on Christ finished work at the Cross, and coming against the deception of the devil by the strengthening of the church and right believing through the grace of God in giving us the ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers.