Do Gay Christians know God? or is He our unknown God.
An idol is an image or symbol, especially an image of a god, used as an object of worship. More commonly in Singapore, it is an object of excessive love, honour or devotion. If Singaporean Gays have the opportunity to sculpture the Singapore Gay Idol, it would be a naked guy. The picture of the ultimate boyfriend - Well built, young, strong, muscular, lean and mean, handsome, with a large and strong cock - the epitome of gay manhood.
Gays in Singapore worship many idols and gods. Perhaps, in their heart, there is a place for the unknown god. A place of searching for the true God, not fulfilled by saunas, discos, and sex. Is there the true God that Gays have somehow bypassed in their yearning for the Singapore's Gay idol? Many Gays have long since departed from the Christian church, after all who would want to stay in a place where gays are continuously labeled as living in sin.
Even as Gay Christians, are our eyes on the Singapore Gay idol, an idol of our own creation to serve the purpose of our innate desire to love, to have a relationship, and to worship. We may believe Jesus by faith, but do we really know Him, His ways, His feelings, as a friend, or is God unknown to us, His ways a mystery just as the real God was mystery, an unknown to the Athenians when Paul visited there 1950 years ago.
Paul visisted Athens in c. AD50 during his second missionary trip where for the first time he entered into Europe - into Macedonia. Having escaped (Acts 17:2) from an angry mob from Thessalonica, the capital of Macedonia, Paul came by sea to Athens. Athens was the capital of Attica, an ancient district of Greece. The city, was named for the wisdom goddess Athene, . Paul made a very unique appeal to the people of Athens, proclaiming the message of the "unknown god." A few were saved, but most seemed to be interested in Paul's message only from an intellectual point of view. No church was established in Athens at that time, but some of Paul's listeners did respond to the message and believed. First-century Athens, had no real role in the spread of Christianity.
Ancient Athens gained fame as the home of philosophers and sculptors, and for its early experiments in democracy . In Acts 17:16, Paul walked around the city and saw so many sculptured idols and was disturbed by it. The Athenians made sculptures of their gods. There were gods for virtually everything, and these gods resembled characters of real humans with special powers. The Greek mythology was like a large drama series with the intrigue of power, greed, jealousy , adultery, infidelity, and goodness. Of primary importance were the Olympians - group of 12 gods who are related in some way. They are named after their dwelling place, Mount Olympus.
Of interest to Gays would be Eros. - the Greek god of love and beauty. Additionally, Eros stands for homosexual love between men and adolescent youth. Certain Greek armies made sacrifices to him before battle, because the love between male soldiers was believed to ensure military success. Many of the sculptures strongly exhibited strong appreciation of the male body, much more so than the female body which is often draped. It was a beauty formed by the particular physical education of Greek youth and is sympathetically parodied by Aristophanes as consisting of "a powerful chest, a healthy skin, broad shoulders. a big arse and a small cock".
Back to the story ...
In Acts 17:16,17, Paul was so provoked by the many idols that he went to the synog and the market place to preach. It was in the market place that Philosophers encountered him (Acts 17:18-21), and brought him to the Areopagus, a place much like the parliament house or High court in Singapore for further debating sessions where they could know more. Paul must have caused quite a stir for such an invitation and the Greeks were much obliged being famous for doing nothing much but discussing intellectually of new teachings and ideas.
In Acts 17:22,23, Paul described the Athenians as religious and even has an idol or altar designated to an "unknown God". The Athenians approached God from an intellectual perspective. They actually made God in their own images and intellectually created a family tree and included all the various human and natural attributes in the various gods. Therefore, you have Zeus, the god of thunder and the sky, and Hades, the god of the underworld. All these gods have identifiable human traits. In order to cover themselves, in case they missed out a god who may be very unhappy, we have the famous altar to the "unknown God" .
In Acts 17:24, 25 Paul declares that the true God who created heavens and earth does not reside in the altar created by them, nor can we worship God through man made items, for God is far above these being the creator himself of all this things. How could one worship the creator by what he created ? as thou he is below his creation.
In Acts 17:26,27, Paul said that God created the nations out of one man, and sent them different places of dwelling, and has determined pre-appointed times when God would visit them. It should be noted that at one point in history, all the nations were one in the land of Shinar with one common language. In Gen 10:4, mankind congregated into one mighty city of Babel who would be so great that it reaches the heavens. Man were so proud and arrogant and were so self sufficient without seeing the need for God. God had to separate them to many people groups and nations to weaken them so that in their weakness they would seek after God, even though blindly as the truth was not yet shown to them. They would be open to God when He reveals Himself to them at their pre-appointed time in history.
But God is not far from us says Paul in Acts 17:28, for even the Gretian poets at that time begin to write about this almighty God who has created us and we being is offspring. Therefore, our very being, our existence depended upon God. Therefore in Acts 17:28, as children of God, it is illogical to make image of God out of something we create our of imagination shaped into Gold, Silver and stones.
In Acts 17:29, these former times when we grope like a blind man not knowing the true God, and search for him in the wrong places, God will forgive because we are ignorant. But now (Acts 17:30,31), God has called everyone to turn away from these false gods of our own creation, to change their views and turn to Jesus. because one day, there will be a judgment by God of whom you believed. The judgment whether one is righteous before God will be based upon whether you believed and accept the person ordained by God to be our Savior, Jesus Christ. Paul proclaimed that Jesus physical resurrection from the dead is the undisputed assurance that Jesus righteousness has been accepted by God, and though Jesus so to would you be accepted before God at the judgment seat.
In Acts 17:32, when the Athenians heard this, they were shocked. But, some were willing to consider this new teaching. The Athenians worship their intellect, their god is their intellect. Yet, their intellect could never reach God. Because ultimately it is faith in the Jesus death and resurrection which could not be intellectually understood. The Athenians could believe everything that Jesus said upto the point of Jesus resurrection because this was the stumbling block to the intellectual wisdom (1 Cor 1:22). To the intellect, Jesus’ resurrection is a mystery.
For Gay Christians, what is the stone that stumbles us? It is intellect? Is it a tradition, an in-grained subconscious driven by society and mainstream churches that we are sinners separated from God? or it is a fear that as we enter from the outer courts to the inner courts to the throne room of God, where we can see God face to face and He is no more a mystery and that in His presence, God may reject us. No doubt Gays are aware that the Christians who greatly opposed Gays are fundamentalist charismatic Christians who sought God with all their hearts, soul and mind, who believed the bible literally, spoke in tongues, and moved deep into the flow of the Holy Spirit. As we fear the possibility that these Christians who have known God are relaying God's negative opinions of Gays, we dare not enter into the holy of holies to ask God ourselves. We fear that God whom we loved so much may reject us just as our families, society, and church.
My beloved Gay brothers in Christ, I have not known a group of people such as Gay Christians that have loved God so much that despite being battered and wounded from persecution by society, religion and mainstream Christianity itself, you still remained faithful. Praise the Lord! But today I plead with you to move deeper into our relationship with God, to experience God intimately, to enter into the holy of holies, into the very presence of God. God is not against you, He is for you. You will find a God who loves you and accepts you as you are, a Gay. Do not be hindered by the mainstream churches but be bold to enter the throne room of God for at the Cross, Jesus died that we may be given the legal privilege to enter into the throne of God boldly as children of God. There you will know Him, His ways and character and no longer to worship Him afar as somehow a mystery to be understood by faith, but to worship Him in truth and in Spirit.
Thus saith the Lord, I have longed for you with open arms, I have longed to love you, to hug you, to say that I loved you and accept you. Do not fear little children. Though the world and my church would reject you, my heart yearns to know and love you. Every one of you, I have written in the palms of my hands and waited daily to meet you. Come and drink the living waters from me and yea shall thirst no more, for my burdens are light and in me you shall fear nor rejected no more.