Singapore is in the midst of religious fundamentalism with the call by love singapore and the catholic church to ban Madonna and Adam lambert. We wouldn’t need Madonna if their geisha aka china wine had succeeded in Hollywood. Alas, its not just scantilly dressed women, pole dancing. The curse of religious fundamentalism is that we see only the small sin in others but not the log in our eyes, whilst at the same failing to do the common good in our society. It detracts us from the centrality of Christ and the grace of God.
Religious fundamentalism is part of the human nature and is driven in part by the yearning to return to God’s abode in the Garden of Eden. We are created in the image of God, each with a yearning to be in relationship with God. Outwardly, we may proclaim that we are all children of God, but consciously we know we are separated on our own account. Blibically, we are separated twice, at Eden, and by the flood.
The return is driven by the belief that we can work away religiously either outwardly or inwardly to return to God’s favour, in a background that our conscience condemns us of our sins. Inwardly, we try either to be moral or holy personally. Outwardly, we either love more or do more works such as persecuting people who we deemed as sinners or even those not of our faith.
As a result, we often voice out religiously against others when our own sins condemns us. Love singapore and the Catholic church condemns gays so vehemently because they are desperately trying to clean the blood strains from their own hands. The most virulent anti gay christian zealots are often repressed gays. Gays are singled out despite the wear white families having children born in wedlock, having abortions and adultery, and Singapore having one of the largest red light gaylang district, all deemed less sinful and not publically denounced by the moral gatekeepers. The pagan religious gods that is commonly worship is also not condemned because gays bears all the sin of the community and we call this conservative.
For the intellectually inclined, there is a also desperate attempt misconscrued as theolgy to negate our conscience by claiming that the idol worship to the various gods in the bible and in community are just conceptual and metaphorically, the world centered around the physical rather than the spiritual where the various principalities and deities have their being. In denial, we deny even the devil, the flood, the virgin birth, the miracles, and the Jesus as God, and still claiming somehow to be christians. This again is religious fundamentalism with no certainty of salvation with our intellect as the idol. The devil don’t care about gay churches because they are lukewarm and doesnt believe in the devil anyway.
Indeed religious fundamentalism cause us to worship idols and magnify self, with the license to kill, condemn, crucify those we deemed as sinners or alternatively ignore sin and call everything as love and all the children of God. Truly, we need to return to Jesus as the center.
Religious fundamenlism is a curse because it takes away the mirror of reflection from our lives. When we see the mirror, instead of seeing our own sins and Jesus covering if we indeed believe that Jesus saves, we see gays, we even see madonna.(and i dont mean virgin Mary). Its not that Madonna visiting Singapore with her provocative acts is any more sinful than pagan religious worship of other gods and saints.
There are those who say that the devil with the symbol 666 is the greatest threat to the church. But the number 666 is the number for man, the way of religious fundamentalism. Rome has already been compromised 1700 years ago by Constantine, and what they first did was to ban the bible after they first confirm what was considered inspired. The bible canon was an attempt to list the books to be banned. Today, the bible is freely available, but we ban it in our minds by considering it as a good metaphorical story and not literal nor inspired. We are actually denying God, denying Jesus, because we are rejecting God’s revelation of the way back to Eden.
Religious fundamentalism is a rejection of Jesus, as God’s love, grace and mercy, the way, the truth and the life. Atonement is a covering so that we look into the mirror, we see not our sins, but Jesus crucified.
The opposite to religious fundamentalism is faith, faith in the finished works of Jesus at the Cross, faith that God is good and is able to save. Jesus brought us back not only to communion with God, escape from destruction of the flood, but give us a new name, as a beloved child of God. It brings us out of religion into grace. The latter is far greater than the former, when Adam and Eve were at the Garden, they were only created beings. In Jesus we enter into sonship calling God abba.