Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
What is a Christian community? and what is justice, mercy and humility for the gay christian community. I believe that community and social justice are not two separate boxes. We don’t have community first and then social justice. It is in fact the reverse. Doing justly, having love, mercy and humility to help each other within the same gay christian or gay community gives us our community. Social justice is a ministry in the outer court with Jesus still at the centre. The open doors bring people in.
We often don’t see the needs inside the community because it needs humility and relationship. Humbling ourselves is to acknowledge and invite the Kingdom of God. We are so keen to look outside to do social justice when God has sent people to come into our church community. God brings people into the church that we may minister to but instead we look outside to do social justice. But unlike the Jewish temple, it is an open and inclusive door not restricted to Jews alone but to all Gentiles.
The Kingdom of God is where Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords above all powers and principalaties. When the God of Israel asked Moses to take off his sandals on the Holy mountain of God, it is God’s presence that makes it Holy. And this Holiness is to be treasured and not made common by association with the temples of other spiritual deities and gods. Even within the Jewish faith, worshipping the same God was there a barrier between God and man. The walls of the Holy of Holies were not made by man but instituted by God for there must be separation between a righteous God and a sinful mankind.
The presence of God is where Jesus is King. When we say we feel God’s presence in a place where Jesus is not exalted, we are discerning a spiritual presence not necessarily of God but of other deities and Angelic powers and principalities that rules the earth. When we call what is unclean and associate it with the God of Israel, we will quench the move of the Holy Spirit. Without the Kingdom, we become a social and spiritual club of common interests.
It is Jesus that makes the ground of God Holy, the Holy of holies. Jesus provides the way, the path back to God. There is no other name. We can’t see God, without seeing Jesus. The Kingdom of God is where Jesus is King in our hearts. And we can’t truly do justice, love mercy, walk humbly without first taking upon the death and resurrected power of Jesus at the Cross. We are not called to imitate Jesus as a religious leader. We are called to put on Christ, to claim the power and righteousness that was already bought for us at the Cross of Calvary. There is no striving to be like Christ, because Christ is already in us if we are truly born again of the Spirit of God.
We can’t fully do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly without in a sense being in community. In other words, social justice is not separate from community. It is done within the church community that God has placed us in. The church is not an activist NGO where we go to support the various needs of the wider community for God has placed us within a certain community that is where our ministry should be, not outside.
Often I have seen some GLBT churches do justice as a wider community effort eg to have initiatives to help the migrants, and perhaps even to take care of the old folks in the vicinity of the church. But the setting of Micah 6:8 is about justice within the same community, ie in their case within the Jewish community, of the same faith, culture, and family ties. We tend to look far outside, when the needs of the community is there to be fulfilled. Do people in our gay christian community or those coming to our church are being cared for?
For the GLBT churches, the community is first and foremost, the Gay Christian community. It is not helping the poor, doing social service in a general sense which can be conducted by any NGO. The community is bound by relationships and a shared journey and Christian walk. We are to first do justice within our own distinctive community.
It is hard to be humble. We often exalt ourselves very high, as if we are the saviour ushering in some commonwealth for the city that we are in. We say we include everyone, but God’s test is to include the few that is in a common journey with us, in the same background of being gay and christian.
Often we failed miserably and don’t do much or make much of a difference because we go out of our calling. The ministry of the church is not outside but within. It is to the people who come into the church doors that we bring justice and peace to. We look far outside the church doors, but the need is in front of us, it is within.
Jesus said that He will be there when two or three are gathered in His name, not the generic universal name of God the creator, but the name of Jesus, the risen Lord and Saviour. When we exalt Christ, when we gather in His name, we bring Christ into every situation in the community we are in.
Therefore as a Christian Community, we are called to exalt Jesus as God and Saviour, to bring Him into our circumstances, and to walk humbly knowing that it is Christ who works in our midst, and that we are not called to be a saviour to usher in some kindom of god.
I am beginning to be aware of community and social justice when I talked to Gay Christians, and Gays in general. The needs are so great and if we truly humble ourselves, we can see where the ministry is. We don’t need to go outside the church or even outside the gay community, not because we are exclusive, because our call is within, and both the Kingdom and kindom is where we are. Where Jesus is not worshiped as the King, we are just as social spiritual gathering of kindred spirits.
Do I show mercy to my own family community? do I give grace? Is there justice? Do I stand up for them as they are striving for justice denied? Do I preach the Word of God, the Gospel of salvation both in heaven and here on earth, in season and out of season? Do I pray for others? and encourage them in their Christian walk? as gay christians. Do I bring the King and Kingdom revelations into this kindom that God has placed me in.
Jesus take me as I am
I can come no other way
Take me deeper into You
Make my flesh life melt away
Make me like a precious stone
Crystal clear and finely honed
Life of Jesus shining through
Giving glory back to You