Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sexuality Education and Homosexuality - a discussion

TWIT asked:
The Word of God says homosexuality is a sin. IF you are a parent would you encourage your children or anyone and say to them, "It is ok , it is ok...you can try it...it your choice?"

Lip Kee's reply:

POINTING TO THE FATHER'S HEART TO PROTECT AND TO BLESS

If I were a parent, I would tell my child(ren) the following:

I believe God does not condone homosexuality because He has our best interests at heart. God knows that a person who leads a homosexual life-style is subjecting himself to more risks and harms: physically, emotionally and socially, that is why God warns us against getting involved in homosexuality. God's heart is for us to enjoy our lives by living healthily and joyfully.

I would highlight to my child(ren) the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, the danger of emotional hurts and the pressure of social stigma. I would emphasize that because God loves us and wants the best for us, God does not want us to get involved in homosexuality.

Just like how I would warn against playing with fire or being rude with others, I would make sure that I explain the reasons why the warning is given.

Instead of just resorting to "because God's Word say so" and making God appear as if He is unreasonable and a spoil-fun, I would want to make sure that my child(ren) understand(s) that God is a perfectly reasonable, caring and fun-loving Parent who wants the best for His children.

NOT LABELING PEOPLE AND SINGLING THEM OUT FOR CONDEMNATION

As a principle, I am against labeling people. I think once we put a label on a person or a group of persons, the tendency is for us to treat the person or the group as a generic concept (e.g. the enemy, the threat etc.) instead of as unique individual(s).

I believe the Bible teaches us that God loves everyone, and that Jesus died for the whole world, including those who are considered homosexuals. As Christians, we are called to reject sins but to love the sinners. If we truly want to love and help the homosexuals, we should treat each of them as a person, with respect; instead of as a label, with prejudice or fear.

I personally don't think it is helpful to label homosexuals/ homosexuality as being "abnormal" or "unacceptable" or "not okay". Instead of using such value-laden words, I believe it would be more useful to use factual terms such as "minority" and "non mainstream".

The fact is that homosexuals are a minority in our societies. And I believe that because they cannot reproduce after themselves, they will always remain a minority.

The way I see it, to the extent that the homosexuals are not able to be fruitful and multiply, to that extent they are falling short of God's purpose for the human race. But should they therefore be singled out as being especially "sinful"? No, I don't think so. In my view, the homosexuals are no better and they are no worse than heterosexuals.

From the Christian perspective, ALL (irrespective of sexual orientation and reproductive success) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Everyone (irrespective of sexual orientation and reproductive success) is equally sinful. Everyone (irrespective of sexual orientation and reproductive success) needs the tender mercy and saving grace of Jesus Christ. Everyone (irrespective of sexual orientation and reproductive success) should be treated with due respect.

I don't think it is necessary to single out the homosexuals as a group to condemn or to fight against.

ENCOURAGING RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR

In my feedback to MOE, I raised my concerns about certain non factual statements which I find questionable in the instructor's guide to the CSE programme developed by AWARE. In my opinion, statements such as "anal sex is healthy", "homosexuality is neutral", "pre-marital sex is not negative" are not values-free statements. To the impressionable young kids, such statements could be nudges strong enough to encourage them to "go over". I therefore suggested that such statements be taken out from the CSE programme.

I also stated that the objectives of the CSE should be to encourage responsible behaviors among the students and to prevent undesirable consequences such as: teen pregnancies, abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, dropping out of school, disrupted education etc., it is therefore important to highlight to the students the risks and dangers associated with sexual activities. The aim, I believe, should be to provide relevant and sufficient information to help students understand that their actions will have consequences, and that it is important for them to decide and act responsibly, for their own sakes and for the sakes of others.

I am glad that MOE has addressed the concerns raised by issuing the official statement on 6 May 2009 (http://lipkee.multiply.com/journal/item/122) and by suspending the CSE programme until its internal vetting system has been properly enhanced.

The original discussion took place in my Multiply blog: http://lipkee.multiply.com/journal/item/121

30 comments:

A friend of Christ said...

Not sure whether we should be saying that Sexual Orientation can be a biblical sin, when the sexual activities in the bible is so related to pagan and idol worhsip.

Its important not to mix the innate with what is a choice, otherwise we loose credibility when the greatest choice concerns Christ.

eekpil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eekpil said...

Pei Jian wrote:Hi Lip Kee, I think I hold a slightly different view. It is clear that the bible state that homosexual act is a sin, so it is not up to us to say if it is ok or not, it is just a sin, and a sin is a sin.

Next, as a parent, I experienced that if we using only reasons to so call convincing our kids, we are imparting them that who even can reason better is truth. But sad to say, one day sooner or later, they might be picking up better conversation skill and outspoke us. It then means to them that they will be right then on. So, myself and my wife, we do reason, but on top of that, we will highlighted that it is sin against God.

My point is not to condemn the person, but the act. And also to educate my kid to acknowledge God's authority when he is young. And when he grow up further, then we will put in more details on the background of why God forbidden.
I agreed that all of us are sinner. We are no better than other to condemn them. But we have no right to say what God condemned as ok.



Lip Kee's comment:Thanks for your comment, Pastor Goh. I believe we are on the same side when it comes to recognizing the authority of God's Word. I agree with you that no one has the right to call okay what God condemns. A sin is a sin.

Leading a homosexual lifestyle is living in sin - i.e. missing God's mark and falling short of God's glory. But so is leading a heterosexual lifestyle that is devoid of love. And so is leading a celibate lifestyle that is lacking in faith.

If I were to go around calling loveless heterosexuals and faithless celibates sinners and wrong-doers, I wouldn't be helping them at all. By labeling them as "sinful", "wrong", "not okay", "unacceptable", or "abnormal", I would only isolate them and drive them away.

So, what should I do? I would NOT label them. I would NOT be condescending to them. I would NOT regard myself as holier or better than them.

I would acknowledge each of them as a unique individual. I would treat each of them with respect. I would point them to a loving Father God, a gracious Savior King and a life-giving Encourager.

I believe the homosexuals should be extended that same courtesy and respect I extend to the heterosexuals and the celibates. I don't think there should be any discrimination based on sexual orientation. A person is a person.

I agree with you that we have no right to call okay what God has condemned. In the same way, I believe we also have no right to discriminate who Jesus has died for to give life to.

In fact, I think it is not so much about "right" versus "wrong" or "good" versus "evil".

It is about LIFE - the abundant life Jesus came to give us. :)

eekpil said...

Pei Jian wrote:Ya, thanks for that reminder.
I think I am not there to label them, and instead always ready to help if they are willing to accept. But I have to be honest with them that their act is wrong. This is also what I have been doing with ex-drug addict, ex-criminal.

And to be frank, it is really a big challenge for us to help and maintain a right attitude not to look down on them, that I have to admit.
Lip Kee's comment:Yes Pastor Goh. I must admit that it is a indeed a big challenge to maintain the Christ-attitude.

But thanks be to the Lord, He is transforming our minds and hearts every day. And we are becoming more and more like Him, as we continue to behold Him and grow in Him. :)

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Lip Kee,

I disagree with you on this point: "I personally don't think it is helpful to label homosexuals/ homosexuality as being "abnormal" or "unacceptable" or "not okay". Instead of using such value-laden words, I believe it would be more useful to use factual terms such as "minority" and "non mainstream"."

Homosexuality has to do with values, and I don't think it is helpful to sugarcoat it by using terms such as "minority" or "non-mainstream".

For me, I will tell my kids that according to God's Word, homosexuality is wrong and unacceptable.

It is no coincidence that the inhabitants of the 2 cities destroyed by God, Sodom and Gomorrah, were homosexuals. Homosexuality is ungodly living - 2 Pet 2:6 says it like this: "and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;

Rom 1:26-27 "labels" homosexuality as "degrading passions" and "unnatural" and "indecent" - "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

I will explain to my children that God never intended human beings to be homosexual, otherwise when God felt that Adam needed a helpmate, He would have created another Adam instead of Eve. (Gen 2:21-24)

I will also explain to my children that while homosexuality is not what God wants for us, we should not be biased against homosexuals. What they (homosexuals) do with their bodies is their personal choice and they would have to bear the consequences of their own actions eg. STD ie. "receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

However, if any homosexual were to try to persuade my children to adopt this lifestyle, then I hope that my children would have been well-taught by me to say no.

It's similar to how I would teach my children about smoking ie. smoking is bad for our personal well-being but we do not discriminate against smokers. If any of my children's friends were to tempt them to smoke, I hope the values I have instilled in my children will prompt them to say no.

A friend of Christ said...

To say that homosexuality is a sin to base our many arguments requires careful spiritual reflection as we have to be 100% sure, not 99.9%.

For, me the sin is not believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. For such is already condemned.

If we were wrong concerning our interpretation on homosexuality, can grace covers us?

Christianity has very little absolutes. Religion has many many laws.

A friend of Christ said...

Rom 1:26-27, its about Grace versus Law and not about sexuality -

Paul's letter to the Romans was written to the Jewish community in Rome. After spending many years establishing churches in Asia Minor, he wanted as the final mark of his ministry to preach the gospel to the Jews in Rome (Rom 1:15). Despite being severely criticised over the last 20 years for preaching that Christians are no longer bound by Jewish law, Paul unrepentantly declared that he would not back down from preaching the gospel of Christ that Christ is alone is sufficient - the so called Gospel of Grace in modern day terminology that only by Grace and not by law that we are saved and that Christians need not abide by the Jewish law (contrary to the strong move by the Christian Right today to do so). We partake of His righteousness by faith through Grace no longer by works for which the Jewish law requires (Roms 1:17).

Paul's gave a strong warning of those who oppose the truth concerning the gospel of grace, that Christians are not required to follow the Jewish law. He declared to the Jews in Rome who is so adamant about the need to follow the commandments to be saved and to abide in it even after you believe in Jesus, that they are in reality totally ungodly and unrighteous despite them piously following these commandments and would suffer the wrath of God for their attempts to suppress this truth about grace. Why, because the truth of God's grace has been shown to them. (Roms 1:19). Since the beginning of time, God have shown himself to the Jewish nation as a God of mercy and grace (Roms 1:20) God delivered them out of the hands of Pharoah not because they deserved it, it is by grace, totally unmerited. In Roms 1:21, instead of being thankful, they became foolish they turned the blessings of God, the very gold and precious metal out of Egypt that God blessed them and mold it into an idol of a golden calf to worship instead of God. Even when God gave them the law and declared curses if they failed to obey, it did not changed them.

The Isralelites took up the worship of Baal involving mass sexual orgies. Their sexual rampage and passion for the sexual orgies were so widespread in their worship of idols that the mass sexual orgies between opposite sexes were not sufficient that they even had sex with the same sex which is totally unnatural for straight people of whom the majority of Israel was and still is until today. (Roms 1:24-28). Paul was reminding the Jews what their ancestors did despite having the law, and despite claiming to be pious and holy to have a passion not to sin and follow strictly the torah. They are no different and were still the same like their forefathers " ... filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;" (Roms 1:29-32). In essence, in the defence of the true Gospel and Christian walk which is by Grace against the demands of the observance of the law by the Jews, Paul launched one of the most heated judgmen against the artificial religion of the Jews, claiming to follow the law yet have never changed since the ancient of days.

we may so conveniently emphasized the apparent condemnation of homosexuality in Roms 1:26,27. They did not see that the passages refers to them, straight men so eager to adhere by God's law which will lead to bondage rather by God's grace through Jesus which leads to freedom and an inward change of lifestyle. The whole bible hinges upon the surpassing supremacy of Grace versus Law. Without understanding the grace message, there is no freedom. We are no better than other religion as Jesus is of grace, but law is achieved by man's religious self effort.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi AfoC,

Thank you for your exposition on Rom 1:26-27 and I agree with it. However, my point is that those two verses described homosexuality for what it is: "degrading passions", "unnatural", "men with men committing indecent acts".

It is important to differentiate between condemning the practice of homosexuality, and the person practising homosexuality. While God's grace is freely available for the homosexual person, God does not want the person to continue his/her homosexual lifestyle after he/she receives His grace.

Jesus himself showed us this difference when a woman accused of adultery was brought before him (John 8:1-11).

He said to the woman, "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Jesus did not condemn the woman but He called the adulterous lifestyle of the woman for what it is, a life of sin.

Similarly, while the homosexual person should not be condemned or discriminated against, his /her homosexual lifestyle must be recognized for what it is according to the Word of God, ie. a life of sin, and not merely "non-mainstream".

eekpil said...

Hi Stanley,

I agree with you that it is important to set the proper boundaries for the children, especially when they are still young and impressionable.

The Bible teaches us not to spare the rod and spoil the child. The Bible also teaches that a parent is to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I like something Pastor Prince shared a few years back about how to bring up children. He said some parents spare the rod and try to reason with their children when they are young; and when the children grow up "strayed" and become "unreasonable", the parents then try (too late) to discipline the grown-up children.

I agree with Pastor Prince that as a general principle, it makes more sense to discipline more (and reason a little) when a child is young and immature, and to reason more (and discipline a little) when the child is older and more mature.

When it comes to relating to sinners (homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals, transexuals, or celibates), I agree with Malcolm's comment that we should look at the gracious example of how Jesus was able to reach out to prostitutes, tax-collectors and lepers during his days on Earth.

What I mean by NOT labeling people is that I would refrain from calling people "sinners" and "evil-doers", and reminding them of their "unacceptable", "not okay" and "wrong" deeds. As it is, I think there are more than enough such voices out there already.

Everyday, I come into contact with many unsaved people (who are, technically speaking, sinners). But I don't address them as sinners. Why? Because it is unhelpful and unnecessary to do so.

I believe in calling a spade a spade, a sinner a sinner. I just believe I should do so only in the right context, at the right time e.g. when preparing a person to say the sinner's prayer, and always in a respectful manner i.e. not with a holier-than-thou attitude.

eekpil said...

What makes a sin a sin?

I believe that when God calls something a sin, it is always because that thing is in some way dangerous and harmful to us.

God hates sins because sins destroy lives. And God calls something a sin because that thing is destructive to man.

There is always a reason for all of God's laws and all of His prohibitions. And the reason is His love - the Father's heart to protect and to bless His children.

I find that believing so helps me love and appreciate my Father God more. :)

Thy Word Is Truth said...

"There is so much confusion on this outside the church that's explicable. But there seems to be about equal confusion inside the church. In fact, there is a new kind of evangelicalism that labels itself, tolerant, loving, non-judgmental, that is affirming those who carry about and legitimize these kind of lusts and behaviors and they do so while maintaining the name of Jesus Christ in an affirmation that they themselves are Christians. " Thinking Biblically About Homosexuality by John Macarthur

The above is from very recent sermon (free in full video)by John Macarthur where he outlined the biblical views and stance about the sins of homosexuality AND he shared the hope available in Jesus Christ including two true stories of repentance which he personally ministered to.

http://godwordistruth.blogspot.com/2009/05/thinking-biblically-about-homosexuality.html

Shalom

eekpil said...

How many people in the world understand Biblical meaning of "sin" or "sinner" the way we Christians do?

How many would agree that when a Christian calls a person a "sinner", the Christian is NOT judging that person to be bad, evil, wicked or morally inferior?

Sadly, although unintended in many cases, once a values-laden label such as "sin" (or "unacceptable", "wrong", "not okay") is applied to a person, the label tends to colour how that person is perceived, and adversely affects how people relate to him/her.

So, until the gap between the Christian understanding and the secular interpretation of the word "sin" is bridged, and until the undesirable side effects of label-application can be eliminated effectively, I would
prefer to use neutral and factual words when describing and relating to the people of the world.

eekpil said...

I think it is possible to acknowledge and caused to be acknowledged the existence of sins and the need for forgiveness without being offensive/insensitive.

May we speak the truth in love, and may our words be seasoned with grace.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Lip Kee,

I think I did not make clear the context of my comments, and that is calling homosexuality according to what the bible says it is when I am teaching my children.

However, in the context of interacting with homosexuals, I agree that I should not give them labels. Yes, homosexuals are living a life of sin but I believe that it is not my place nor is it appropriate to tell them so. They are adults, responsible for their own choices and they certainly do not need nor want a lecture from me proving that homosexuality is sin.

Instead, I think it is important for them to hear the good news of the grace of God and the love of God for them, rather than condemnation of their choice of lifestyle.

I believe true transformation can only come from within themselves and this will only happen when God implants His desires in their hearts to replace their old desires. What they need to hear and know is Christ, so that in good time they will be more and more like Him as they are changed into His glorious image. (2 Cor 3:18)

eekpil said...

Hi Stanley,

Thanks for helping make this a good discussion. :)

Shalom,
Lip Kee

eekpil said...

A friend of Christ, thanks for your input too. :)

eekpil said...

Pei Jian wrote:Ya, Lip Kee, I think we are no different in our faith stand. Just the way we understand about love and the way we express it.

I sincerely hope that we have not misunderstood what Christian love is...it is far more than being nice alone.

Being nice alone is called spoil, not love.

eekpil said...

Pastor Goh. I agree. Jesus is not just a "nice" person. He is gentle yet strong, loving yet tough, gracious and just, humble and majestic, velvet and steel. Thank God we being transformed and conformed into His image, from glory to glory. :)

The message of the Cross - the truth that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins must never be compromised.

How one is to deliver the message and be an ambassador for Christ, I think it is the prerogative of the individual - a matter of how God made the person (each has his own unique temperament, character traits and talents), and how God guides the person. For me, I strongly believe in being respectful and sensitive when dealing with other people - whether they be believers or not, mainstream or otherwise.

"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Cor 9:22); "Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." (1 or 10:33).

Let's stay focused on the message of the Cross - Jesus Christ died for our sins, that we might be reconciled to our Loving Father in heaven. :)

Thy Word Is Truth said...

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke very clearly about SINNERS and REPENTANCE: "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

"And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:2-5

eekpil said...

Let's keep pointing the world to the cross of Jesus, where the goodness of God is clearly demonstrated.

For it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. (Rom 2:4)

Thy Word Is Truth said...

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? DO NOT BE DECEIVED: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU. BUT you WERE washed, you WERE sanctified, you WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1Co 6:9-11 (emphasis are mine)

And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH" Luk 13:2-5 (emphasis are mine)

There is a sure hope of deliverance to be found in Jesus Christ for all hungry and thirsty souls, including some who are now into the sins of homosexuality and are "sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons". God will deliver hungry and thirsty souls who cry out to God and who turn to Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, He will lead them "by a straight way" and for it is God who "shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron".

Shalom

eekpil said...

thywordistruth,

I am sure we are all agreed on the need for people (whatever their sexual orientation) to repent and be reconciled to God.

The question is HOW do we lead people to repentance?

I say, it is by pointing people to the Cross of Jesus Christ - where God's mercy and justice kissed, where the magnificent goodness of God is made manifest.

It is the goodness of God that leads people to true repentance (Rom 2:4).

Let us be bold witnesses of our Saviour King, let us exalt Jesus and point people to the Cross. :)

Shalom,
Lip Kee

A friend of Christ said...

Cor 6:9-11 - a casual glance at the the English translation does not make inherent sense and it seems inconsistent. For the passages refer to "wickedness" that deals with how we harm others or is unrighteous. Therefore, you have a lists of the vices from worshipping other gods in our idol worship, stealing, being greedy for what belongs to others, drunkard orgies, swindling money, and then male prostitutes and homosexual offenders. The NKJV translates the "male prostitutes" as " effeminate " and the homosexual offenders as "sodomisers". So we have major inconsistencies between bible translations - "male prostitutes" or " effeminate ", and homosexual offenders or sodomites? Also, if male prostitution was referred to, then why wasn't female prostitution mentioned although being much more prevalent. Are they not equally sinful?. The mention of a class of people also seem inconsistent with the general theme of wicked actions. Are the translations correct? as they contradict each other and also inconsistent with the general context.

The meaning of the verses becomes clear as we go to the original Greek source and how the words are used in ancient literature. A totally different interpretation arises that is consistent with the general theme of the passage:-

- "Malakos"

This is the Greek word that is incorrectly translated as "Male Prostitutes" and "Effeminate" persons. In Greek, the term refers to "soft" and "softies" or "weaklings". Aristotle used malakos to denote unrestrained indulgence in bodily pleasures, or licentiousness. Hence it is far more likely to be a general reference to people who are weak willed and cannot resist sin and have no self control in general. A general translation such as "licentious" or "wanton" would better preserve the sense of the original

Some translators assume that malakos is paired with the word, arsenokoités, and is interpreted as referring to the passive partner in a homosexual relationship, rendered as 'male homosexual offenders, perverts' (NIV) and 'sodomites' (NRSV ). There is no evidence for such usage elsewhere in ancient Greek literature. To argue that together, the two words, malakos and arsenokoités refer to passive and active partners in homosexual intercourse, belies the historical and lexicographical evidence.

- "Arsenokoites"

This is a uncommon word in the Greek culture and may be a slang term used by Paul. It is a combination of two Greek words. "Koites" generally denotes licentious sexual activities, and corresponds to the active person in intercourse. The prefix "Arsen", simply means "male". It could mean a male that has sex with lots of women. This may refers to temple prostitution by heterosexuals or men who sleeps around with other women or wicked sexual abusers understanding the culture then demean the loosing army by raping them.

eekpil said...

Yipeng Huang wrote:After a homosexual professes faith in Christ... We have no choice but to tell him that the Bible clearly indicated in many places that homosexuality is sin.

If someone were to ask, "Is homosexuality permissible for Christians?" can Christians say "Yes it is not sinful?" We can't. It doesn't matter if the person is Christian or non-Christian.

Personally I rather be upfront and speak the truth in love. Cheers.

eekpil said...

Hi Yipeng,

Thanks for your comment. As to whether or not the Bible has "clearly indicated that homosexuality is a sin", I don't think I am qualified to discuss or conclude on the matter. I will leave that to the Bible scholars. Suffice to say, the mainstream view of the Church is that the homosexual lifestyle is not to be condoned.

If someone were to ask me the question, "Is homosexuality permissible for Christians?", I would be upfront and speak the truth in love. I would refer to what the apostle Paul has written in his corrective letter to the Corinthian church, where immorality abounded and many carnal sins were committed.

Paul wrote: "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything"; "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive." (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23)

eekpil said...

The Church has presented herself in such a way that the world knows her as an institution that is always AGAINST this and AGAINST that, ANTI this and ANTI that.

May the world know more about what the Church is FOR:
- the Good News of Jesus Christ (which sets people free)
- the goodness of God (which leads people to repentance)
- the forgiveness of sins (which causes people to love God)
- the beauty of Christ (which transforms people's lives)

May the Church be known not so much for telling people what is wrong with them, but more for telling people what is right with them because of what Christ has done on the cross.

May the Church be known not so much for cursing the darkness, but more for shining forth the Light. :)

A friend of Christ said...

I met up a friend yesterday who is a transexual, who is legally female on the IC, and "she" is older tha 60 years old (she had undergone a sex change operation some 30 years back). She spoke to be about her church where people shake her hand only using two fingers - lest they get infected.

She is such a wonderful person - fervent in prayer and a mighty prophet but alas in her church she is not accepted to any ministry team, only to help out in the sidelines.

The church gives her strict instructions of appropriate behaviour. For the men, she must behave as though she is a women, keeping distance apart. For the women, she must behave like a men, keeping distance apart with the appropriate language. For the toilets, the women will not share the share toilet, nether can she go to the men's toilet.

She cannot find job, for who wants a retired transexual. So she spends her time in prayer, and fasting, and amazingly God provides always in time, and she is able even to go on mission trips.

I asked her, why dont you go to New Creation Church! She did a few times, but the ushers made sure that she was set aside apart from others, and started talking about her mockingly in the background.

I cried, for I felt for her, her pain and her rejection. But I cried for the Church too.

eekpil said...

A friend of Christ,

I am against discrimination and my sympathy is with those who are discriminated against.

Even so, to be honest, my natural inclination or intuitive reaction is to find homosexuals and transexuals repulsive - I cannot help but feel the desire to shun or reject them.

It takes a conscious effort on my part to overcome what I feel, and convince myself to accept them.

For me, it is important that I know that:
- I am not what I feel,
- I do not need to react to what I feel; and
- I can choose to act according to what I value

A friend of Christ said...

Appreciate the grace that God has worked in your life. I too find it difficult when my transexual friend hug me. But it seems that Jesus found it worthy of the company. Jesus touched the women with the issue of the blood! we may have issues, but Jesus did not.

It would be important that we put ourselves in her position and what do we expect others to treat us. She had the sex change operation decades ago, and so recommending a reversal would not be an option. Helping her in any manner would be challenging and therefore I have tended to avoid.

The measure of grace in ones life is not found necessarily in sitting the pews, but in letting the grace of God working in our lives that we may show God's grace to others.

God's grace be with you. I remember an old song:-

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christlight for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

eekpil said...

We are human and we struggle with natural feelings. But thank God His grace is divine and supernatural.

I believe we will find it easier and easier to extend grace to others, as we appreciate more of and grow more in the Lord's grace towards us.

May we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Messiah (2 Peter 3:18)