It is always good to see unity amongst the churches. Now, they have finally come up to take a stand against gay-sex law.
If those gays who felt marginalised and discriminated by 377A want to know what Christians as a whole feel, well the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) has spoken in no uncertain terms here.
They do not support the repeal of 377A and they believe “that the homosexual lifestyle is not only harmful for individuals, but also for families and society as a whole.”
That’s not all.
The NCCS - representing about 200 churches - “agrees with the 2014 ruling of Singapore’s apex court that Section 377A is constitutional and “supports the Government’s decision to retain it.””
Well, it is good to see the Churches and the government standing on common ground on this issue. Many Christians out there must be feeling a strong sense of unity with our elected officials in Parliament.
Reverend Dominic Yeo, chairman of the Alliance of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches of Singapore, said further that repealing 377A will have wider consequences as it “brings to question the legitimacy and morality of every act the Penal Code currently seems as an offence.”
He elaborated by saying: -
“When viewed in relation to Section 375 through 377C, Section 377A serves a broader purpose of setting a moral position with regard to sexual activities and relationships, and in turn strengthens the social fabric of society.”
NCCS echoes similar views when they said: -
“The repeal of Section 377A would result in the normalisation and promotion of this lifestyle (perverted homosexual lifestyle according to the Bible) which in turn would lead to undesirable moral and social consequences, a slippery slope as seen in some countries taking this step.”
And with that potential Pandora’s box shut tight to protect a clean and green city from such perversion, NCCS concluded with this prayer:-
“Above all, the council urges Christians to pray that God will protect the institutions of marriage and family because they are indispensable for the well-being of the future generation and the flourishing of our society.”
Lesson? Just one, searching one...
At this juncture, I am reminded of a Lutheran pastor’s poem during the Nazi rule. He wrote this searing reflection:-
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I wonder whether this is what keeps Christians awake at night with regards to 377A?
Is it a case of if I do not speak out against the repealing of 377A, the homosexual lifestyle will crash the city gates and floodgate the city square?
If I do not speak out against the repealing of 377A, homosexual lifestyle will be normalised, promoted and encouraged with our children being inducted into such a perverted world?
If I do not speak out against the repealing of 377A, we suffer the consequences of the slippery slope as many other western countries with such liberal values have collectively experienced?
And if I do not speak out against the repealing of 377A, the institution of marriage and family and the well-being of our future generation and the flourishing of our society will be in danger or soon be endangered?
Alas, the church as a united body is clear about its causation relation.
They said (and it bears repeating): “The repeal of Section 377A would result in the normalisation and promotion of this lifestyle which in turn would lead to undesirable moral and social consequences, a slippery slope as seen in some countries taking this step.”
Thank God that He is using 377A to hold back the tsunamis of sin?
Now, I am a Christian and support traditional family structure where our children have the established benefits of the mutually empowering roles of a mother (nurturer of their soul) and a father (the protector of their well being). What one lacks, the other fulfills.
I too disagree with the homosexual lifestyle as written in the Bible.
But it is one thing to stand by my beliefs and it is quite another thing to conclude that 377A is the final or last-standing sentry guard to the opening of the Pandora’s box of sexual perversion and immorality, especially when we have other laws in place to ensure such conduct will not be condone, right? (Heterosexual or Homosexual alike).
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a post to encourage repeal or stay.
It is nevertheless a post to resist easy and convenient causation theories, and it earnestly seeks a deeper exploration of the issues about transforming society in a way that accords dignity, understanding and reconciliation to all and sundry, in particular, to those who are directly affected and struggling, but are seriously and equally bewildered by our actions.
As it stands, the society is divided by 99,400 signatures for “stay” and 37,600 signatures for repeal. And the division will go on with the latest challenge to 377A to the apex court by a disc jockey.
And just in case we think the government is on our side - no they are not. We never elected staunch moralists into parliament. We elected practical, efficient and largely live-and-let-live officials.
Morality in terms of the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality is quite fungible for them. They may have their personal, private views and stand, but as a collective, pragmatic and technocratic body, they change with time, move with the rolling moss and swim with the current for the greater good.
And when the signatures are just right as expressed through their respective constituencies, then it is high noon for a change or repeal for they are nevertheless still pragmatic men-in-white at heart.
When that time comes, then what? What becomes of our faith? Are we then left high and dry since our sacred 377A is beaten down by an unsympathetic government?
My fear is that we have lifted 377A to such lofty, hallowed and sacred heights that it risks becoming a symbol of our religious fight against the 37,600 signatories and also risks turning the same into “the golden calf”.
Of course, no sane Christian will say that they have idolised a section, but it is not so much the position that matters but the consequences thereafter.
You see, the day may never come for the signatories to repeal exceeding the signatories to stay, but should it come because countries (beyond our control) are changing (and our little red dot is pressured to do so for expediency, political and/or economic impetus), will we as Christians perceive it as we have lost the battle for what is right, what is good, what is pure, what is sound?
Will it then be one point for homosexuals and zero point for the church in this battle which may fast become a case of oneupmanship and not a case of lifting the lamb that was slain for all to reflect and change?
More pertinently, is our faith on a section inherited from our colonial masters or on a person who became the word to be sacrificed?
Is our love then based on a hatred set on a never-to-be-enforced legislation or based on an act done at Calvary?
And is our hope on joining hearts regardless of our differences or setting the divisive lines clear and deep so that we do not get our souls contaminated and our children confused?
Alas, there is surely much to think about here (about the deeper causes and effects of things that most times appear conclusive at the surface of things).
And I don’t think one declaration of unity by one section of the society will solve the issue for all sections of society - not that that is their intention of course, but intention or not, we may have overlooked the unintended consequences of our decisions and actions.
For things of such spiritual nature, I think we have to think more on a long term via the power of grace and not just in law’s terms. Cheerz.