Archive for August 13th, 2007

Comment to Yuki’s Remarks on my Gay Pastor Post

August 13, 07

The following is my reply to several remarks made at http://yuki-thejourney.blogspot.com.

The blogger linked to and excerpted some of the things I said in my post Gay Pastor Wants to Start Church in KL.

Non-Blogger members cannot post comments on said blogger’s site, so I reply to the remarks made here. The blogger’s remarks are in bold italics.

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“christian popes had murdered alot of scientists long ago just because they denied what the popes told the society …

I’d like to see the documented basis for this ‘fact’… As opposed to Wikipedia on myths regarding science and Wikipedia on the relationship between religion and science (under ‘Perspectives on the historical relationship between religion and science’).

And non–religious people had lots of their own myths that they stubbornly clinged to, such as spontaneous generation and an infinitely old, unchanging universe (both of which remove the need for a Creator).

You might add evolution to that bag. And those who are skeptical of global warming are being treated in the same spirit as your quotation claims the Popes treated heliocentric supporters. Religion doesn’t have the monopoly on bias, arrogance and bullying.

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I’ve met a few Christians that believe that homosexuality is worse than murder. They base this belief on what I said above. One time act vs. a continuous lifestyle choice. Ken R – exgaywatch.

I believe you are familiar with the Christian doctrines on forgiveness of sins.

Let’s say I murdered many people in cold blood. After years of killing, I regret what I did and repent. I turn to Christ for forgiveness and change my lifestyle, surrendering myself to the police if I haven’t already been caught. Am I thus saved and justified by God? Doctrine says YES.

But let’s say I did all the above murdering, and did not repent. If I continue on in my lifestyle, am I saved? Doctrine says NO.

What if I accept Christ as my saviour, and continue my murdering? Doctrine says NO.

Now, not to equate murder to homosexuality (murder is far worse in my book), but it’s the issue of repentance.

If Hitler and Stalin, the kings of mass murder themselves, were to accept Christ and change their life, they would be saved!

But if the most petty of accounting fraudsters, stealing pennies a day, claimed to accept Christ but refused to admit his wrong and change… He’d still be condemned.

It is worse FOR the homosexual who doesn’t repent and change than FOR the one-time murdered who begs God’s forgiveness… Like the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14.

(Assuming of course that homosexuality IS a willful sin before God’s eyes. And I’m placing homosexual rationalizers as the Pharisee here, not myself.)

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We give every reason to why the old laws of Leviticus could not be applied at our times now, but totally singling out homosexuality. Why?

Because the laws of Leviticus are applied to Jews, and we are not Jews.

However, the New Testament is strongly opposed to homosexual behaviour. If one argues that it is only as bad as gossiping and slandering, well then, I respond that those ‘minor’ sins are actually very bad indeed! I could debate the meaning and application of said NT passages if you wish.

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It is nearly an end game for ex-gay ministries in throughout the world. At the turn of the century, homosexuality is now confirmed as inborn, and not socially constructed.

I tend to be skeptical of any claim that a behaviour is 100% nature or 100% nurture. In the case of sexual orientation, there are many confirmed cases of exposure to environment influencing the sexual ‘orientation’.

Pastor Edmund Smith (although you think not-highly of him) is one example, as are the stories of people he ministered to. And yes, amazingly, many of them WERE ‘cured’. But I would rather say, repented and were renewed by the Holy Spirit.

Is alcoholism or propensity for violence genetically determined? Very likely in part, but does that give one a license to be drunken or smash furniture? Does being ‘born that way’ make it any more acceptable before God? Not likely.

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The definition of the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ is still one of the most bothersome questions Christians can ever answer. The word ‘lifestyle’ itself is as vague as homosexual ‘behaviour’. What constitutes the ‘sinful lifestyle’? Going to a mall? How is it any different than a heterosexual lifestyle?

The difference is clear and simple: One has sexual and romantic thoughts about the same gender. Going to the mall, eating breakfast, worshipping in church… Everything is the same, but the mentality and heart are what makes the difference.

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Example, images of provocative artistes such as Shakira and Beyonce are on display almost every single day. Their adulteress like ‘behaviour’ on MTV, barely clothed and hip shaking shows are watched by millions all across the world. So how can we support that and say that it is okay, but the expression of two men in love considered a higher level of sin?

We cannot support or condone it. I get really riled up by the sin pumped into our homes and cars every day by disgusting MTV, especially R & B! I strongly condemn it! This is the true religion of the Blue States of the USA – the flesh and the self!

I advise anyone I know not to let themselves be polluted with sex-worshipping corruption like this. Turn off that radio and switch off that TV!

R&B: A Sign of the End Times

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HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.

Agreed. If people would just STOP SLEEPING AROUND, the scourge of HIV would not even be a minor problem.

Stop Free Love! Casual Sex Is Killing Humanity!

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Being homosexual is not defying God’s law. Sadly, as it is well known ever since 1949, bias crept into the Bible through translators.

Then let’s use the 1611 A.D. Old King James version:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals (catamites), nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” - 1st Corinthians 6:9-10

Or, how about this:

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” - Romans 1:24-27

Not good enough for you? We’ll use Romans 1:24-27 in the original Greek the NT was written in:

Rom1_24_27Greek

Word for word translation:

Rom1_24_27GreekEng

Proof enough for you? Rather than the mainstream churches changing the clear meaning or commentators adding subtext, it takes a lot of twisting and wrangling to avoid the implications of these passages. And New Testament nonetheless, so any Leviticus-type objections are null.

Reference: Greek NT – Byz./Maj. and Greek/English Interlinear (TR) at http://www.olivetree.com/bible/

Bible in Greek and pop-up dictionary for every word at http://www.zhubert.com

ZhubertRomans1b

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Next, we can attend services focusing on honesty by a convicted white-collar criminal. [Scott's words]

It is amazing how a person could not separate criminal activity, with love between two men.It is amazing how a person could not separate criminal activity, with love between two men.

That and Michael Jackson were just popular examples to illustrate the point. Try these instead, they have the same meaning:

Next, we can attend services focusing on holiness in thought led by a pornographic website host. And then, learn about how to be chaste from 17-year old Ms. Shelley, who is pregnant with her fifth child of unknown parentage. Finally, let’s learn how to read God’s word as fable from an atheist professor of Higher Criticism and Biblical Deconstructivism.

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The VAST majority of mainstream REAL church are known as Christian liberals.

I would argue that the VAST majority of FAKE AND SUPERMARKET CONSUMER churches are liberal.

Seriously, why even adopt Christianity if you don’t believe in God’s judgement? If He isn’t going to judge us, then we don’t need Christ’s forgiveness. Go and vote Democrat already.

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It is not the orientation. It is the person. God judges the matters of the heart, remember?

Is the heart really, truly seeking to please Him by following His precepts? Or is it reasoning and rationalizing to itself in order to justify its earthly desires?

Besides, it is a misconception that the heart is what counts. If I have a good heart and do good deeds but never receive Christ, am I then saved?

If my heart SINCERELY tells me that killing non-believers is a holy and commendable thing that the victims deeply appreciate, does God smile upon my pure motives? Or am I a nutcase?

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I do not think any person would agree to that. The third world mentality of some young men is really getting stale. So I can be born left handed and I cannot be a Christian? I am born with a third hand, so I am left out of His kingdom?

If the first world mentality is “Hey, let’s decide for ourselves what should be moral right and wrong and interpret the Scripturs to suit our agenda!”… Then I am exceedingly proud to be third world.

You can be born with huge claws for hands and an insatiable bloodlust, but if you seek God and obey His laws, you’ll be fine by Him.

My point is simply: God condemns homosexuality. How can one claim to be a follower, a servant, as subject of God and disobey Him blatantly to His face? Worse, disobey and say that God thinks it’s a great thing you do?

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When two or three homosexuals or heterosexuals gather in the name of the Lord, it is therefore called a church. Something must be wrong when Christians still think the church is a building. Probably to much anguish caused by attending talks by a confused misinformative ministry.

You missed the point entirely.

What I am saying is, if you don’t follow the Christian rules, puh-leeze don’t hijack the Christian terms. It’s bad enough that half the cults out there say that they have the ‘real’ teachings of the ‘real’ Second Coming of Christ or whatever.

A church is Christ-obeying people, gathering wherever it may be. So please, don’t call a group of Christ-disobeying-and-self-rationalizing people a church. Make a new religion or something. The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Reverend Moon will give you pointers.

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God chooses pastors for the church. Some people just loves playing God.

What’s to stop fakes from CLAIMING that God chose them for their church? I can do that too, just watch:

“GOD CHOSE ME TO BE THE NEXT POPE!!! IT IS HIS WILL THAT I SUPPORT MANDATORY STERILIZATION OF ALL HUMANS!!!”

“…Hey, why isn’t anyone listening to my divine revelation? God chose me what!”

I agree on the playing God bit, but I would say it is those who decide what SHOULD be right and wrong and twist the Word of God to fit their perception. But of course, I would be accused of that by those people, right? Ah, the vagaries of subjectivity…

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Christians are overrated. I will settle with believer in Christ. I am utterly astonished at how some fundamentalist people still fail to remember Christian fundamentals such as John 3:16.

Too many people spout on about God’s love, and too few remember God’s holiness, righteousness and judgement in countless passages, such as Ecclesiastes 12:14 - “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

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The Bible according to some fellow who is hogwashed by another fellow who was hogwashed… Or we could just read the Bible as just the Bible, without questions, without interpretations and without prejudice; not picking up lines and make them justifications to stampede on a minority group just because we feel uncomfortable with them. Now, THAT would grief the Holy Spirit.

What grieves the Holy Spirit is men like Paul warned of in 2nd Timothy 4:3 - “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

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Matthew 7: 1-2
“1Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Ah, the favourite defensive verse of the accused. I always respond that I am ready to stand in the courtroom of God, convinced and convicted of the righteousness of my beliefs. Are you?

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In conclusion…

I would reiterate, just because one is born with certain tendencies does not make it an excuse to accept them. To do so would be paramount to denying the free will’s control (or at least influence) over biological instincts.

From a humanist point of view, I see NOTHING WRONG with homosexuality. I would support homosexual civil unions. Seriously.

However, if one judges by the Bible (even when un-modified, un-commentaried, and in the original Hebrew and Greek), then it is clear that the overwhelming conclusion is that the Judeo-Christian God considers homosexuality a sin. It’s not something that He approves of.

This is further bolstered by the fact that the perceptions of Jews and Christians throughout all of history has been that homosexuality is contrary to God’s purpose… From the time of Moses, to the Jewish laws as understood by the scribes, to the Apostles, to the early church, to the Torah, to Reformation, to today. It is by no means merely a modern backlash against the free love movement.

Jesus Himself set the example of acceptance when He reached out to women, other races, the young, the sick… But why didn’t He reach out to the homosexuals or the sexually wanton?

Instead, He reaffirmed that Sodom and Gomorrah would be judged in Matthew 10:15.

Not as bad as the cities which rejected the Gospel… But what does that say about people who BOTH practice homosexuality AND reject the precepts stated in God’s Word?

I do not hate or even dislike homosexuals. But I cannot sit down quietly when anyone attempts to modify the Word of God to suit their own beliefs, be it for pro-gay, a cult like Ahnsahnghong or atheist mockery.

How long more before paedophilia, bestiality or the abolition of marriage entirely becomes the ‘right’ thing to do?

How long before pornography, sex orgies, drug use and drunkenness become traits of the church? Wild Rompin’ Sex Baptist Assembly? Church of the Crack-head Christ?

You may argue that those things are wrong and should not be compared with the moralness of homosexuality, but that is exactly how mainstream (‘fundamentalist’ as you put it) Christians feel about homosexuality.

I hope I have not sounded harsh, critical or smug. But I won’t sit still and let the precepts of God be subverted while the non-believers of this world laugh mockingly at us.

God loves us so much… He wants us to follow how He suggests we live, for our own better good. And you know what, He might just be right about that.

God bless. And may the truth set us all free. (May it set ME free if I am truly the one who is misguided and sinning.)

UPDATE: Yuki responds to this post at this link, and I reply to that response here.

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SCOTT’S NOTE: While I maintain my personal convictions – based on Scripture – regarding this issue, I apologize for any hurt or offense I may have caused with my remarks.

NST: GLOBAL WARMING? The ‘science’ of a warming world

August 13, 07

The New Straits Times version of my letter that appeared in The Sun a week earlier. There are some editorial changes, but nothing that modifies the message of the letter.

Now I’m just waiting on you, The Star…

See also my post on the subject of badly placed temperature recording stations and Coyote Blog’s post on shoddy/dishonest climate manipulation of temperature data.

ScienceWarmingWorld1    ScienceWarmingWorld2    ScienceWarmingWorld3

From NST 13 Aug 2007 (NST removes links after a week):

GLOBAL WARMING?: The ‘science’ of a warming world

By : SCOTT THONG YU YUEN, Ipoh

SOMETIMES, I wonder if I am wrong to be sceptical about global warming. After all, the majority seems to believe in global warming.

The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims there’s concrete evidence of it. And environmentalists tell me that sceptics are immoral for denying the “undeniable truth”.

However, each time I start to feel that way, I learn something that vindicates my cautiousness.

In the study of global warming, one method used to measure and record worldwide temperatures is the groundbased climate record station.

Each station is a small unit containing a sensor that automatically measures and records the daily temperature.

With many stations spread across different locations, a worldwide temperature data-base can then be compiled.This allows the comparison of global temperatures over years and decades, checking for rising temperatures — that is, global warming.However, many of these stations are located near rapidly urbanising areas. Thus, their readings may be affected by the “urban heat island” effect — heat released and reflected by people, vehicles, industry, concrete, asphalt and glass windows.

Global warming sceptics claim that the convenient location of stations in and near cities had caused errors in the temperature records.

The temperature in cities may be rising quickly, but that doesn’t mean the average global temperature is rising as fast.

The IPCC contends that the urban heat island effect had been identified and accounted for in their reports.

The sceptics counter that the effect hadn’t been accounted for enough and the average global temperature had not really risen much.

Whatever the verdict is, a quick browsing on http://surfacestations.org and other sites will turn up shocking photos of the climate recording stations, revealing serious flaws in the research method.

Stations are placed on low poles, surrounded on all sides by concrete structures, steel towers, asphalt roads and sun-reflecting glass.

Some stations are located near parking lots. One even has a heat-emitting incandescent light bulb in the same shelter as the temperature sensor!

Many stations are located right next to air-conditioning exhaust vents.

One such station’s temperature record graph shows a sudden, disconnected jump of several degrees. What caused this alarming increase in temperature? Could it possibly be due to the air-conditioning unit that was nearby?

By contrast, stations in locations that were not subsequently urbanised showed no great change in temperature. So what happened to the purported global warming, as opposed to merely localised warming?

As if the handling of temperature measurements wasn’t bad enough, the scientists in charge of recording and interpreting the data took the liberty of “adjusting” the final results for their reports.

The United States Historical Climate Network reports that from 1940 till today, the average temperature in the US rose about 0.6 degree Celsius.

But how did the researchers arrive at this figure? It turns out that they took the recorded average temperature rise of 0.1 degree and added 0.5 degree for “adjustments” and “corrections” for various “factors”.

Unusual weather is being reported more often. But is it really due to global climate change? Is the world really heating up catastrophically over the years, or is today’s weather report merely a seasonal fluctuation?

Unfortunately, with research that’s as shoddy as what I’ve recounted, I don’t believe we can say for sure. The global warming debate is far from over, no matter what what former US vice-president Al Gore or the IPCC may claim or hope.

Gay Pastor Leads Service in KL

August 13, 07

—Read this earlier post for the first news about this ‘church’, as well as this post on homosexuality and the Bible which has Biblical reasons why homosexuality is not in accordance with God’s laws as laid out in the Bible. —

‘Spiritual and emotional love’, not just sex? I beg to differ, all true Christians show spiritual and emotional love for all mankind. Being gay by definition implies a sexual factor.

Start a cell group that is open to all, regardless of sexual orientation? All good cell groups in already-existing churches are already open to all.

Pray for the churches which are in opposition to you? We pray for you, sir.

Perry promising to stay by his partner De Blieck when the latter was diagnosed with HIV? And how does a real Christian justify the free sex that led to getting HIV? How does Perry reconcile the fact that De Blieck must have been having fun on the side?

Sirs, you are a disgrace and embarassment to the Christian faith and all the holiness that Christ stands for. Can you seriously, honestly face up to God Himself on that final day and tell Him that you are righteous and sinless?

(And on a side note – Isn’t homosexuality still illegal in Malaysia?)

Paul and the Apostles warned us about you, for your kind have been around since the very start of Christianity. There are many names for you, Antinomianist being one of them, but all of them have the same traits: You use God’s grace as an excuse, a twisted parody of a license to live in sin.

You grieve the Holy Spirit, sirs. Please remember that it is the only unforgiveable sin – the sin of rejecting forgiveness.

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From The Star 13 Aug 2007:

Gay pastor leads service, his partner watches with pride

KUALA LUMPUR: Angel Ayala sat in the second row of people, watching with pride as his partner Rev Ou Yang Wen Feng calmly led the faithful through a two-hour Sunday service at a hotel here.  

And through it all, Ou Yang, a self-confessed gay pastor knew he was not alone because of Ayala’s presence. 

“He has been very supportive and it was important to know that I was not alone,” Ou Yang said in an interview yesterday after the service attended by about 100 people. 

He said it was important to show other gay people that it was possible to come out together, and to heterosexuals that gay relationships were not just about sex but about “spiritual and emotional love.” 

Coming out: Rev Ou Yang (second from left) and Bishop Perry (third from left) with their respective partners Ayala (left) and De Blieck (right) after Sunday service.

The pair has been together for four-and-a-half years and hope to marry when same sex marriages are legalised in New York. 

Ayala, a finance manager said he supported Ou Yang’s plan to set up a church in Malaysia. 

Ou Yang, 37, is a Malaysian pastor who serves at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in New York. He is also currently pursuing his doctorate at Boston University. 

He hopes to set up an MCC branch here in 2010, before which, friends would help him start a cell group that he said was open to all regardless of their sexual orientation. 

Earlier during a press conference, Ou Yang, when asked about opposition from other churches in Malaysia, said as a Christian minister, he would pray for them.  

The service also saw Metropolitan Community Churches founder Bishop Troy D. Perry giving a sermon. Also present was his partner of over 22 years, Phillip De Blieck. 

Perry said he was thankful for having De Blieck as he was that “special someone” who was there for him through good and bad times. 

They married under Canadian law at the MCC of Toronto in 2003 and hope to get the marriage recognised by the California State Supreme Court by this year. 

Perry believed the church would be a blessing for the gay and lesbian communities in Malaysia. 

He also spoke of his promise to his partner that he would stand by him, when De Blieck was diagnosed with HIV two decades ago. 

When asked about his former heterosexual marriage and his two sons, Perry said he was in contact with one of his sons and is a grandfather of three. 

De Blieck, 43, said his “greatest gift” to the world and the church was to always be supportive of Perry’s work. 

“When I met Troy, I did not know who he was. And I think one reason Troy fell in love with me was because he knew I was interested in him as a person and not the title,” he said.  

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From The Star 9 Aug 2007:

Christians told to be wary of false teachings

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Protestant church bodies have advised Christians not to be taken in by an independent church which they said was carrying out false teachings. 

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) and the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) said they were carrying out their own investigations following complaints of intimidation, deception and wrong teachings. 

NECF secretary-general Wong Kim Kong said the church was not a member of NECF or any other mainstream Christian body. 

“This church has been in existence very independently and in isolation,” said Wong, adding that the evangelical churches had nothing to do with it “because we do not agree with its theology and practices.” 

A CCM official said it was aware of the existence of the church but noted that it was not affiliated with it. 

“We have received complaints about the church but we have no concrete proof (to take action).”  

However, it is understood that a tape of a sermon made by the pastor has been sent to CCM. 

But both the NECF and CCM admitted that their hands were tied “unless it violated the laws of the country.”  

A CCM official said if anyone was unsure about the status of any church, they could check with it. Church leaders said that unlike Muslims, there was no Christian authority with the powers to check on Christian groups deemed to be deviationist.  

The church groups also upheld the principle of freedom of religion, which also made leaders cautious to speak up against churches, including independent ones. 

The NECF members include the Assembly of God, Baptist Church and Full Gospel Assembly while the CCM affiliated churches include the Methodist Church of Malaysia and the Lutheran churches.  

The umbrella group for the Catholic Church is the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia. 

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SCOTT’S NOTE: While I maintain my personal convictions – based on Scripture – regarding this issue, I apologize for any hurt or offense I may have caused with my remarks.


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