Saturday, 24 May 2014

Free Community Church


I made my first trip to Free Community Church on Easter Sunday with my good friend Ian. He wanted to visit and I decided to come along. 

Anyway, it was a surprise. I was expecting a rather traditional setting based on what I'd seen on their website - namely, readings from lectionary texts, but I was in for a surprise. 

The church was located in a building, not unlike one you might find in an industrial estate, but the sanctuary was rather "contemporary-evangelical" like. Spot lighting. Cushioned chairs set in a semi circle over a slightly raised stage. Modern looking musical ensemble plugged in and ready to worship. 

Worship was lovely. The keyboardist was really good looking and he played really well too. The rest of the musicians weren't too shabby either. 

The pastor wore a white collar and I was rather surprised by that - over how traditional he is. So Pastor Miak Siew preached and I tried to be as attentive as I could. What I couldn't shake off was the fact that there was a reason why they changed the song they sung for worship from "Jesus died for our pardon" to "Jesus died for our freedom". The reason was because he did not believe in substitutional atonement. 

And I was like in a state of shock as he said this midway through the sermon. As he continued explaining, I just stared at him in wonder. 

What about this verse then: 

He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. (1 John 2:2 NLT)

Okay never mind that. 

Ian and I were invited to have lunch with some of the girls in the church. They were extremely friendly to these two newcomers. It was nice eating with them. I personally prefer the fellowship to the service. That's saying a lot. 

Well, I feel like FCC is a great place for Christians who feel like they are outcasts in their church, people who have been kicked out of their church, those who want to find an LGBT affirming church and non-Christians who are LGBT who are exploring what Christianity is about. 

However, after the second visit, I can safely say that I wouldn't be visiting again anytime soon. Their theology just doesn't gel with me. It's a pity because I really enjoy the company of the people, but I have a difficult time trying to reconcile what the pastor says and what I have come to learn about God from the Bible that's all.

That being said, everyone should go take a look before labelling it as evil. I don't think they are evil. I believe they want to follow God with all their heart but the theology's a bit warped. So to each his own. Now I kinda understand why they're not in the National Council of Churches Singapore and with good reason. Still, it's what some people call home. It's what they call home after being unable to find it in another church. So you tell me what needs to be done.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

City Harvest Church


Just came back from dinner and service at church earlier. I love my church. Despite it all, this is home. I came to church in 2006 and have been here ever since. This is home truly, where I know must be; this is where I won't be alone, for this is where I know it's home. Haha. 

Anyway, some have told me that City Harvest Church was kinda homophobic in the past but I never knew that side of CHC. All I know is that my pastor is one of the most accepting and loving people I know. Why do I say this? Well, even before I had what I call my "orientation conflict", in the 20th anniversary message right there in front of 20,000 people in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, he declared,

"We accept everyone, male or female, young or old, gay or straight, ...."

And I was like, "What did he say?!?!?!"

That just sealed it for me. Years later, I remembered that and I felt safe being in church. 

Accepted.

Welcomed.

Things in my cell group could be rosier. I am out to my entire cell, but some pretend they don't know. (To be fair to them, I think they just don't know how to respond, so it ain't really their fault. I'm asking for too much.) The closest ones tell me that I am very brave and are extremely supportive, and without them, I might not have killed myself but would probably have done something drastic in those desperate moments where I struggled so much with this SSA (same-sex attraction) thing.

Well, that's all for today folks, gotta go sleep to go visit a different church to hear a different testimony tomorrow.

Adios!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Kinsey and me


I am 4.8 on Kinsey. How do I know that? Simple. 80% of my crushes and fantasies are on girls. And the remaining 20% on guys (this is based on a sample size of my 10 most recent crushes, 8 were female, 2 were male). Actually, I don't identify as lesbian, straight or gay. I am just me. My own label I have for myself is that of a "Child of God".

But labels help people understand me. So on this blog, I call myself gay. Because that's what society calls people who are attracted to those of the same-sex. I don't quite like how "lesbian" sounds, that's just me, and "queer" just doesn't click with me, and the churchy "same-sex attracted" is too much of a mouthful. Moreover, when you go, I have "SSA" it sounds like some sort of disease, and I bloody hate acronyms. So gay it is.

Anyway, a gay Christian is a happy Christian.

Get it?

Okay, maybe not, but moving on.

My cell leader (who most likely has not encountered Kinsey) obviously thinks that focusing on guys would make me more straight, and focusing on girls more gay. Well, I have no qualms with that only that I have been focusing on guys and have not straightened up. Instead, my (totally uncontrollable and unintended) crushes on girls this year has intensified. I have had 3 major crushes and all of them are female. And they are not just passing acquaintances but people I know and got to know rather well over a long period of them. Sadly, nothing happened. Sigh.

Ah well, life goes on. She says I need to have a vision for myself. I tried that for 6 months and then forgot about it. Too trying. Too many people have been asking me to "ask and keep on asking, knock and keep on knocking," not knowing that what I ask and seek might be diametrically opposite to what they want me to ask and seek for.

You know, having a vision of becoming an entrepreneur doesn't make you one. You gotta go out and do it. So in an effort to be straighter, I went out and asked a guy out. And we had a tiny date. And that was it. I was still as gay as ever. Don't you dare say I didn't try. I did. >_<

(Please note that I am a traditional girl and have only asked a guy out once. Just once recently. In the past few years, I have been on lunch date, dinner dates, concert dates with men but zilch. Nothing. No sparks. No chemistry. No fire. No interest. Haha.)

I probably would be asking God for a girlfriend, or at least someone closer than a regular friend I can relate to and share my problems with. She doesn't have to be a girlfriend. We don't have to sleep together. Just chat over coffee or tea; over prata and mee. Deepen the friendship over walks and jogs; over lemonade as she reads my blogs.

Rachel the Rabbit is just rambling on as usual. This blog needs to have more structure. Anyway, the main point today was that it's hard to label people who are somewhere on the spectrum on Kinsey. I can't just go, "Hey, I'm Rachel and I'm 4.8 on Kinsey!" like I go, "Hey, I'm Rachel and I'm Singaporean."

You get the idea.

So lay off the labels people. Unless they come out to you and label themselves. Then respect that they trust you enough to muster up the courage to do so. That they are willing to be so vulnerable and honest enough to share even though they risk facing rejection or people asking them to have a vision to be straight. At least in church.

Finally, you must think me I'm swinging back and forth on the issue of labels. I think it is generally easier to present a label to someone when you first encounter a new friend. I have chosen the three adjectives at the top of the masthead of this blog very carefully. But as the friendship deepens, I pray that you will begin to appreciate the nuances found in these labels and that you'll eventually tear down all these labels and see the person for who they are: A beautiful child of God.

Till next week. Adios.

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