Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Colour Purple, or, The Rainbow Connection

There's a church nearby that bothers me. On the surface, it's seemingly simply aesthetic reasons, but the particular aesthetics are symbols of deeper problems--and while the aesthetics are certainly not aesthetically pleasing, the realities that they symbolise are somewhat more unpalatable. But really, it's the combination of meaning and the symbol used to represent that meaning, that bothers me most of all.

My problem with this church is with its garish purple doors. Now, normally, I have no problem with purple. I mean, I prefer certain colours to others, and I prefer not to wear certain colours, but every colour can be beautiful in the proper setting. Aesthetically, purple doors are not a good combination on a 100-odd year old brown-brick, black roofed church. As I said above, it's rather garish. I doubt anyone but the severely colour-blind (or the utterly blind), could find this combination pleasing. As soon as the paint job was applied, it offended my artistic sensibilities.

Obviously, the purple paint was not for simple aesthetics. This is further illustrated by the rainbow flag flying right beside the white flag with the blue square in the upper left corner, with a red cross in it. It was to make a statement. And, this being the Centenary United Church, that statement is that Homosexuality is Okay. This United Church not only is "welcoming" to those who struggle with same-sex attraction (as all churches should be), it openly proclaims that same-sex attraction is not sinful, but a perfectly natural sexual orientation. In order to proclaim this, they must reinterpret the Bible and ignore 2000 years of Christian tradition, giving into the zeitgeist which itself makes anyone who appeals to the Bible, Christian tradition, or even Natural Law and common sense, narrow-minded bigots in league with "pastor" Fred Phelps.

Now, it's bad enough that a church can reject its mission to call sin, sin, and people to repentance (even if that sin happens to be a rather popular one these days). But it seems to me that if one sin is now okay, then mustn't all sins become so labeled? After all, if homosexual acts are fine, then on what grounds can we decry theft, adultery, or even murder? If one serious sin is no longer serious, nor even sinful, then on what standard does this church call anything good or anything sinful?

Now, as much as all that bothers me, as it sends something of a mixed message to the world about what true Christianity is--and could be said to fulfil those Scriptures warning that in the latter days, perilous times will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but with itching ears will heap up teachers unto themselves (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3-4)--what bothers me even more seems to be the "Gay Agenda"'s very choice of symbolism to define themselves: Namely purple and rainbows (because it's not bad enough that they choose one colour to define themselves, they have to actually take them all!). My problem with their appropriation of these symbols are the Christian meaning of these symbols. It could be argued that the vast non-Christian homosexual community was unaware of the Christian meaning behind their new icons, but for a church to brandish them in such a fashion truly indicates to me a defiance to historical Christianity and a definite separation--though still claiming to be Christian (again, as 2 Timothy warns [3:4-5], "they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God. They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it").

Why do I say this regarding their choice of symbols?
First, Purple has been used in the Church for ages as a liturgical colour denoting Repentance. It is the seasonal colour of both Advent and Lent, the first preparing our souls for the Coming of Christ, and the second to prepare us to participate in His Passion and Resurrection. Purple as a colour is a reminder to turn from our sins to the Life of Christ. But now it is being used to define a particular sin, and to say repentance and change is not necessary. What should serve to remind us to repent of sin now serves to celebrate it.

Second, the Rainbow has meant, from times even more ancient than the Church, the sign of God's Covenant Love. After He punished the earth with the Flood, he showed Noah the Rainbow as His promise to never destroy the earth again in like manner. Thus, the rainbow symbolises God's mercy and His faithfulness--though also His justice. But for Centenary United Church and the Homosexual Community as a whole, the rainbow celebrates their "diversity" and the "beauty" inherent in their lifestyle. The church, in particular, seems to want to celebrate God's Love while denying His holy Justice.

Thus, a group of people will, on the one hand, demand tolerance and acceptance from the "narrow-minded, bigoted" Church, on the other hand slaps that same Church, and the God she serves, in the face.

"Keep away from people like that" (2 Tim 3:5) indeed!


suneal said...

Howdy Gregory,
Thanks for pointing out the meanings of the colour purple, and the rainbow, and how such churches are obviously NOT remaining in Orthodox faith, which is the only sure way to salvation.

Again, this highlights the need for "repentance," a turning away from sin, and at its root, a changing of the mind. The Church is called unto holiness, a separation; not the converse; to jump into the blender, and then serve up a milkshake that not only is proud of itself, but shouts down any type of dissent against its own ungodly brew, and all in the name "open-mindedness," calling its opponents "narrow-minded," while they strain to see any light through the crevice of evil they have devised for themselves.

After "Pride Week," and "Pride Parade" celebrated in Toronto every year as one of the largest of its kind, is it any wonder now such a movement wants to monopolize Scripture and God so that what once was very condemning to them, have both become their best friends? Scripture is Scripture, God is God, and yes Gregory, Tradition is Tradition, and as such all three can not be reconciled to such conniving by the "Gay Agenda." I think what we are talking about here is reverse intimadation and self-delusion by the "Gay Agenda."

Another Scripture that comes to mind is "let us do evil that good may result" (Romans 3:8b). Paul was here reciting a misconception in his time of what his opponents claimed he was teaching regarding "grace." Paul said "let every man be a liar that God may be true" (Romans 3:4). Now a days man says, "Let God be a liar that we may be true." For example, Scripture which in both the Old and New Testaments, speaking God's Word, declaring homosexuality as sin, is according to the above, now "untrue." Therefore, God lied then, humanity is speaking the truth today, and hence today we have a better "gospel." For all who speak so, their condemnation from God, barring repentance, is just. Or as Jesus said, "they shall die in their sins" (Jn 8:24). By the way, Jesus spoke about hell more than I probably ever will. I'm such a softy by comparison!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea an MCC was still meeting in Hamilton, ON. I've just sent a message to the MCC Elder in the area to clarify if this group is still meeting there or have reconstituted themselves.
Thanks for keeping me in the loop on this!
Rev. BK Hipsher

Gregory said...

Hi Rev Hipsher.
If it's not the MCC that operates out of the church on the corner of Main and MacNab, then I'll edit my article accordingly. But the last time I caught a look at the sign as I drove by, that's what it said...

Anonymous said...

We have no Metropolitan Community Churches in Hamilton, Ontario. You maybe referring to Centenary United Church, on Main Street. Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, MCC

Gregory said...

Hmm. That might be it. My mistake. I'll amend my article.

Gregory said...

My article is thusly edited. Sorry for the confusion.