What would Jesus have done?

via YouTube

via YouTube

How can you possibly be a Christian by turning away any of Gods children?

Singer Anika Moa has had to switch venues for her Wairarapa concert because an evangelical church objected to her sexuality.

She was due to perform at Masterton’s Lighthouse Church on March 23, but promoter Mark Rogers said it became clear after the booking was made that some members of the church were not comfortable with hosting her.  

Moa came out as a lesbian in 2007 and has been in a civil union with Australian burlesque dancer Azaria Universe since 2010.

Mr Rogers said the church was suffering from “sapphic paranoia” and was “unhappy” with what it called Moa’s “lifestyle”.

“It’s not as though, by ‘life-style’, the church meant she went skiing every weekend,” he said. “I just couldn’t face having a concert in a location where one of the performers was not welcome.”

Of course, the Church has the right to invite and un-invite anyone it pleases, but the hypocrisy of a faith that preaches, love, forgiveness and acceptance of sinners is well and truly on display here.

 


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  • PlanetOrphan

    Good call from the Promoter, the Lighthouse churchs’ loss.

  • LesleyNZ

    Turning away “God’s children”? I question why the Lighthouse Church entertained the idea of such a concert. Jesus would have done exactly the same as he did to the tax collecters in the temple. Matthew 21:12-13: 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[b]”
    He would have also said “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,…” Acts 3:19.

    • How is singing a sin? Lots of singing happens in churches.

      • LesleyNZ

        I never said singing was a sin. Depends on what the type of singing is. Christian Churches, if they espouse Christian doctrine, should promote things Christian.

        • unsol

          I agree.

        • It’s a building…Jesus didn’t say go and build a whole heap of buildings and things…he said go spread the word

          • LesleyNZ

            Absolutely. However was this spreading the word?

    • cruiseyman

      Lesley I don’t agree with your analogy and I don’t believe that the Jesus I know would have done that. I can’t see the connection between the money lenders in the temple and a woman performing music in a church. Maybe if the concert involved her and her partner snogging on stage or she was going to be running a gay/lesbain nightclub there but I assume she was just going to do a few songs.

      • the jesus that you know…

        how many are there again?

        • cruiseyman

          Just the one, my point is that not all Christains share the same interpretations of the bible or points of view.

      • LesleyNZ

        Jesus was not interested in “worldly” things – he was interested in the spiritual condition of a human beings heart (soul – inner being). The money lenders were abusing the temple of God. Christian Churches these days also do this when they stray from what is called “Biblical doctrine” – or what the Bible teaches. You have to understand what Jesus’ mission on earth then. He was on earth to do the will of His Father not to hear a concert (if they had them in those days) and he wasn’t here to bring peace on earth either – he stated quite openly that he was here to cause division. Jesus came to earth to reconcile mankind to God. What would Jesus have done? Well he would probably walk on stage and preach the Gospel to Anika Moa and tell her she needs to get right with God. Check out here what Jesus came to do on earth and then answer what Jesus would have done. http://carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/what-did-jesus-come-do

        • cruiseyman

          Your example was of Jesus objecting to the acts that were being carried out in the temple where I believe your complaint is more with the person than what she is doing or am I wrong about this? Either way many churches consider themselves to be part of the community and as such will lend their facilities for various types events all the time reserving their right to decline any groups if they wish. Anika Moa’s music is certainly innocuous enough (in my opinion) to use a church as a venue so if the argument is then that she shouldn’t be allowed to perform in a church because she is a lesbian and that conflicts with Christain doctrine, then anyone who has been divorced or have had children outside of marriage should also not be allowed to preach or perform in a church. Jesus ascociated with people from all walks of life and showed love and compassion freely whilst still doing his Father’s work.

          • LesleyNZ

            Everything Jesus did was to glorify His Father. Jesus is our example. Christian Churches (and Christians) must always ask themselves – does what they are doing glorify God. Was Anika’s music Godly and Christian?

          • Rodger T

            Er,wasn`t he is own father?

            Get with the program Lesley,here is a little refresher on the christian religion.,

          • LesleyNZ

            Very cynical Roger.

          • cruiseyman

            Did her music need to be for her to use a church as her venue? ( I’m assuming here she wasn’t going to be performing during the Sunday service). And do you mean then that churches should not be used as venues for school plays, childrens play groups or any other activity if it is not openly Christian in it’s function or purpose? If that is the case then it doesn’t matter if she is a lesbian or not and you better get on the phone to all the churches that allow their buildings to be used as a community centre and tell them that it’s not allowed.

          • LesleyNZ

            Depends what the community use is and which Church it is. Churches have every right to vet who wants to hire their building. They own it – the public does not.

          • Andrei

            Churches need to be kept sacred for sacred things – there purpose is for the worship of God, not entertainment even more so in an age of profanities such as we endure now

          • cruiseyman

            There are a few church congregations here in CHCH who use schools to hold their services in, how does this reconcile with your statement above? It’s not what or where you have your church, it’s what you do while you are there that counts. If the building gets used for another purpose during the week surely that is ok with God?

          • Andrei

            You can worship anywhere cruisyman, if you don’t have a church you still should worship

            But if you build a temple dedicated to the Lord, a church, then it should not be defiled but kept holy

          • cruiseyman

            Thanks for being straight forward with your answer Andrei. You are entitled to have this belief but I’m sure you are aware that many churches have moved past this idea and open their doors to other types of events. I’m guessing however that the church you attend does not. Each to their own.

          • LesleyNZ

            You don’t need a building as such – Matthew 18:20
            English Standard Version (ESV)
            “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

          • unsol

            I do find it very interesting that you guys often debate religion while what God stands for – unconditional love, grace, compassion & wisdom seems to fall by the wayside.

          • Andrei

            How so?

          • unsol

            Have a re-read of your exchanges with Lesley or her exchanges with LM. A fight about righteousness only ever makes the fighting players wrong….

          • LesleyNZ

            Perhaps you haven’t read all the comments.

          • unsol

            Between you & Andrei and/or LM – yep, read them all

          • unsol

            Such a good point. I wonder if the sane church would refuse to worship in the school post her concerts?

          • Lion_ess

            That’s a very nice video Andrei, happy to appreciate it even though I don’t share the faith.

          • Lion_ess

            Where do Churches get their income from again?

          • LesleyNZ

            Depends which church you go to. At our church we give a tithe of whatever you feel like giving.

          • dyannt

            Interesting. I thought a tithe was a tenth – not an amount you could make a decision about.

          • unsol

            Yep that is one thing the Bible is very clear about

          • LesleyNZ

            Meant “or” whatever you feel like giving – it is an offering and not compulsory.

          • cruiseyman

            I agree that the churches have a right to decide who they loan their facilities too and in this circumstance, in my opinion, everyone acted within their own rights. However I do believe that if a church won’t allow a person to use their building based on the individuals personal life then they should be consistant and then apply this rule to anyone in a de facto relationship or any other variation of the traditional family unit. Of course it is their right to discriminate as much as they want but this does the Christain faith no favours whatsoever. In fact it hurts us more than anything. But all I am wanting to understand from you Lesley, is if Anika shouldn’t be performing in a church because she is not a Christian performer or because she is a lesbian.

          • LesleyNZ

            Why bring the discrimination charge into this situation? Now I understand what you are getting at. It will be interesting when the accusation of discrimination is levelled at churches and Ministers who refuse to marry same-sex couples. According to Louisa it will not happen, but no doubt it will. Depends which church it is. At my church Anika would not be performing because we would never consider having such entertainment and at my church we believe that homosexuality is sin, so no she would not be performing. Of course homosexuals are very welcome to attend church and hear the Gospel message. Turn this around the other way. Would the Gay community want to have a “God-botherer” preaching to them in their building about what sin is?

          • cruiseyman

            I have no problem with a church deciding who they want using their buildiing or what events can be held there. As I have said several times, it’s up to them. HOWEVER if they say no to one person based on their ‘lifestyle’ I believe they need to be consistant with this application otherwise they will be opening themselves up to calls of descrimination and I would prefer that the faith I ascociate with is not one that discriminates. What I have wanted to understand from you, is what your objections are, and you have finally answered this for me so thank you. I don’t want to challenge your beliefs, I just want to understand them.

          • unsol

            Completely agree. Like I said above if they are going to apply their moral code & refuse artists because of their personal lives then they do need to be consistent. Interestingly a lot of Christian music is stolen/borrowed/copied from the secular world then turned into worship songs e.g hymns to pop melodies). Not quite sure how they manage up justify that.

            The biggest issue for me here though is that they said yes, knowing she wasn’t a Christian then said no because she’s a lesbian. That makes it discrimination & I feel really bad for her. She has thick skin but that kind of insult would no doubt have really hurt her. Disgusting really.

          • Lion_ess

            Where does the problem lie, with the performer or the church members. One’s a singer, the others are bigots – hopefully Anika Moa has thicker skin than to be hurt by this.

          • cruiseyman

            In this case it’s the media that’s the problem (big surprise) as it’s a non story and I think it’s unfair to say they are bigots. All they said was that they were uncomfortable with her lifestyle and I think that’s fine. Different story if they flat out refused her though.

          • unsol

            She has done heaps of church acoustic tours & the lighthouse must have made it known that they accept non christian artists into their church in order for them to have even been approached by her promotors. So I would say the blame lies with the church. Even if the promotors pulled the plug first, the church seemed to make it clear soon after the agreement was made that it was going to be unworkable relationship. Bit like a constructive dismissal (make the environment untenable for an employee so they feel they have no choice but to resign – against the law but seems to happen a lot).

        • boborocks

          i will believe when the day comes that he comes back and throws out all of his corrupt agents. starting with the guy in the red shoes and down through the ranks. be good to see him tell them they don’t need all of their “worldly” things too. share the gold…. i mean share the love

          • LesleyNZ

            True – and am reminded of this verse: Matthew 7:21-23
            English Standard Version (ESV)
            I Never Knew You
            21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    • Really…what happened to let he without sin cast the first stone, as he protected a prostitute?

      • LesleyNZ

        The whole passage of scripture says John 8: 3-11 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Yes Jesus protected a prostitue and he also told her to sin no more. If the prostitute did not obey Jesus and continued to wilfully sin – she will be judged by God. I am not condemning or judging – but I am questioning the motivation of the church. Was Anika Moa going to give glory to God?

        • unsol

          Seems you are confusing Mary of Magdalene with Pericope de Adultera……the prostitute & the adulterer were not the same woman.

          As for Anika Moa – probably never. The point is that this Church accepted her knowingly full well she was not a Christian musician but only rejected her…by default if not outright….after realising she was a lesbian.

          To be true to their convictions they should be saying no to all non Christian acts from the start. And further, make sure they do not ‘borrow’ from non christian music when singing worship songs.

          Not sure what denomination you are, but I have been in enough churches to recognise when worship songs – either hymns or modern lyrics, have been put to pop melodies. It’s not on. Convictions should not be something you get to pick & choose at whim.

      • Random66

        It is interesting to note his final words to the adultress were, “Go now and leave your life of sin”. Jesus did not condemm the woman but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. It is written that forgiveness is given where there is repentance. Much has been said lately about Christians trying to impose our code of morality upon society in general and whether this is infact the right thing to do. I think perhaps not. We are called to be different, knowing that society never has and never will follow or live by God’s rule. We as Christiians though should. God summed it up long ago in Leviticus when speaking to his people about those who did not follow His teachings, he said ‘Do not do as they do’. Therefore it should follow that the greatest threat to christianity is not how society in general behaves but how infact christians behave. When the church itself starts to re-interpret God’s word to suit the masses then it is a sad day in heaven. Whilst Jesus was still alive many said his teaching was too hard and they could not accept it, I believe the same is being said today but the difference is his teaching is either being ignored or changed to suit the wants of man. God’s true word should be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path and if this church chooses to follow Christs teachings as they understand it, then they should be free to do so without criticism. If society doesn’t want the church to impose their standards onto it, then perhaps they could be decent enough to allow the courtesy.

      • unsol

        The adulterer was not a prostitute. Mary of Magdalene is not Pericope de Adultera (where the cast the first stone thing came from).

  • Andrei

    God’s house is a Temple for prayer not third rate rock concerts

    • Cadwallader

      Try spouting that on Radio Rhema!

    • A=random=reader

      I wouldn’t describe Anika Moa as a rock singer.

      But then again, I wouldn’t describe your church as God’s house either.

      • unsol

        O for awesome

    • Lion_ess

      What’s the difference between a third rate rock concert and 3rd rate hymns?

      • Andrei

        Western Christianity has pretty much lost its way so not much
        http://youtu.be/3RJBd8zE48A

        • LesleyNZ

          Re Parody Of Our Modern Church Service. This is interesting and very well done ………. what is missing in today’s Christianity? The Gospel of the saving power of Jesus Christ.

      • parorchestia

        Permission

      • unsol

        badoom tish!

      • LesleyNZ

        What are 3rd rate hymns?

        • unsol

          You can assume all hymns I think Lesley. They are a yawn fest.

          Funnily enough the Catholics have taken Shout to The Lord on board….a song written by Hillsong or at least the evangelical wing. Ironic really.

          • LesleyNZ

            Hymns are beautiful.

        • Lion_ess

          Self explanatory I would have thought, the debate is about musical taste. Andrei infers Anika Moa’s music is a third rate rock concert, and as unsol says, most hymns are a yawn fest – according to my taste (and hers clearly). Actually I think there are a number of interesting points highlighted by this story that are plain sad.

          Firstly, I agree with parochestia, that permission needs to be gained. But given that permission was gained, it was later revoked because some church members were not comfortable with the performer’s sexuality.

          Bigotry seems to exist more inside religious groups than outside of them – I find that amusing and typically hypocritical. God may like Anika Moa’s songs, after all, if there is one God (and he’s your God), Anika Moa must be one of his children, is she not?

          • unsol

            Not to mention God is meant to have created us all therefore, He created her with talent that she was surely meant to share.

          • LesleyNZ

            Anika Moa is created in the image of God as we all are – does that make you a child of God? Here is the answer: http://bible.org/question/everyone-child-god
            We are all the offspring of God in the sense we are His products of the creative work of God (Acts 17:25ff), all men are not the children of God in a personal sense as a father with a son. Scripture teaches that God only dwells in those who have put their faith in Christ. All others, while God’s offspring by creation, have been separated from Him because of sin. When a person turns to God by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, they are spiritually regenerated, born anew, given new life, justified (declared righteous in Christ), forgiven of all their sin, past, present, and even future, and made children of God (John 1:12-13). At the same time, at the moment of faith, God the Holy Spirit comes to indwell their lives to enable them to experience fellowship with God and understand, grasp the truth of Scripture in a personal and meaningful way.

  • grumpy

    I’d have banned her because she has no talent and only made a fuss of because of her poofterness.

    • unsol

      you are grumpy. No talent – says who, you? She has fantastic pitch, writes her own songs, is a fantastic guitarist. All the things required to have musical talent. Not to mention she is a lovely person with a fantastic sense of humour.

      As for the church – no surprises there. Actually I have more of an issue with churches/denominations that dont agree with practicing LGBT, adultery, divorce etc etc but still allow such people to play concerts for a fee and/or get married there. If you are going to stand for something at least be consistent about it.

  • cruiseyman

    So the promoter says that they weren’t forced to change location but they took it upon themselves to change venue as they felt some people were not comfortable with Anika’s ‘lifestyle’. Lighthouse church are reimbursing for costs incurred and now the concert is being held at another church so where is the story here? Do people not have the right to have their own feelings? Or do we all have to be ‘comfortable’ now with every member of societies choices so that they can in turn feel ‘comfortable’ around us? They weren’t forced out, another church is hosting them, homophobia and Christianity are not mutually exclusive. Move on please.

  • Agent BallSack

    Jesus would probably advise her to find a new career.

  • Zeb

    According to the news report: St Mark’s vicar Jenny Chalmers said she regretted the attitudes of some within the Lighthouse congregation. “I’m really sorry for that, because sexuality is such a small part of a person’s makeup.”

    It’s precisely because some gay people insist on their sexuality being such a loud and large part of their makeup that they cause offence.

    • dyannt

      Well said, Zeb. I can’t wait for all this equal marriage thing to be over so that we can get on with our lives without constantly reading about the latest gay that has outed. One would think that 80% of their conscious life is spent thinking about and participating in sex. I’m sure that is not the case and they live very useful and productive lives. Why do we need to be constantly reminded on their preference when it comes to a sexual partner?

  • Blair Mulholland

    The story doesn’t make sense. It was not the decision of the church but of the promoter. It seems like the promoter is uncomfortable with the views of the church. That’s not the church’s fault. That doesn’t make the church a bunch of bigots. It makes the promoter a douchebag.
    It’s possible that the church have given the promoter “attitude”, which of course is not acceptable, or Christ-like. But we don’t know that. Without further information, the story simply looks like a beatup by the promoter and by the journalist.

  • A=random=reader

    It is sad to hear that they turned her away. She’s a talented singer.

  • Kiwikea

    I imagine that the response from Jesus would be along the lines of –

    1 Corinthians 6:9–11

    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. (ESV)

    and

    1 Timothy 1:8-10

    8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,[a] liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound[b] doctrine, (ESV)

    So Moa’s lifestyle is contrary to what the Bible clearly states is acceptable in God’s eyes. Whilst some can argue that God is all about love, the love he showed was agape love in terms of sending his Son to die for mankind (John 3:16). Why did he do this? Christ died for our sins so we may enter Heaven – the same sins that are mentioned in the above verses. However, it’s not an automatic entry into Heaven, you need to ask God for forgiveness and turn from these sinful ways.

    So in summary, the church in question was unwise to actually have booked the event in the first place. In fact why a church would be involved in hosting mainstream concerts seems unusual.

    Moa is welcome to do what she likes on earth, however judgement will come for everyone one day, and then the most important question in a person life will be answered – Will they go to Heaven or Hell?

    If you died tonight would you be going to Heaven based on God’s standard?

    • LesleyNZ

      Absolutely right Kiwikea.

    • cruiseyman

      Ok so here is a question for you, Lesley and Andrei. Do you believe that the members of a congregation are sinning if they allow their building to be used for events such as mainstream concerts provided of course that an anti Christian message was not being actively promoted by the performer? (And by this I mean the actual perfomance itself, not what they do in their personal life). Would it not better serve the Christian faith to welcome non Christians to share the church in the hope that they may become more aware of your presense in the community and that as a fellowship you are welcoming to people from all walks of life? If the outcome of such an event was that it encouraged just one person to come back to your church on a Sunday to learn more about the Christian faith,wouldn’t that be a good thing?

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