|Are we being obnoxious for Christ?|
Pastor Lawrence Khong of Love Singapore/ FCBC has once again defended his strong condemnation of gays claiming that this is part of being salt and light to the community, and the need to weed out sin not only in the church but within the community at large.
The arguments by Pastor Khong is a bit perplexing in the Singapore context because his arguments such as "gay aggenda", and militant activist are all taken from the American context where the Christian Right from the 80s have decided to enter politics and block vote righteous leaders in so that America can change and become a righteous nation to the world.
Pastor Khong is an Apostle of the New Apostolic Reformation, whose founders were at the very core of the Christian Right who started a political movement in the 80s, 90s, to use gays as a wedge issue when abortion and adultery obviously failed.
It's all about politics and ultimately Christians are a very strong voting block whilst gays are essentially non existent politically. Hence, it is not particularly transparent for Pastor Khong to highlight that the church is not involved in politics especially with the dubious themes and speakers of past Love Singapore conference such as "Transformation 2009" which includes transforming the government, Business, Family, Education, Media, and Entertainment.
In 1990, there was a rebirth of the Christian Right. There was a concerted effort to take over the Republican Party, to elect thousands of Christians to local, state and congress through the massive disciplined bloc voting of Christians. It was the Christian Right aggenda to take over power, wealth, and control with gays as the fall guy. In the 1991 "Road to Victory" conference, Gary Bauer on Focus on Family noted that "We are engaged in a social, political, cultural civil war."
In order to galvanised the movement, the imagined threats were created such as " "the militant homosexuals," or "the gay agenda."or "Gays are after special rights". The Glen Eyrie Conference of 1994 formalised the approach and direction to use gays as a scapegoat to galvanised the movement into a strong voting bloc. It was focused on depriving gays of any rights. If it sounds familiar, it should for this is the same fear tactics used.
As Christians “we are all salt and light” to show forth the glory of God to a broken world that needs Jesus so much. Being salt and light is not so much as going out to condemn, but reflecting within of the things we do that causes harm. The harm caused hinders our good works in promoting Christ.
Being salt and light is something natural and need not be advertised nor hidden, ie our good will be recognised by others. We need not go out to show forth our salt and light by persecuting gays unless of course we have lost our saltiness and have to prove it by focussing on how sinful gays are.
Being salt and light reflects our own sinlessness and righteousness, not the alleged sins of others. Once we are law focused, we become sin conscious especially of the sins of others. This happened to the Pharisees who ultimately put Jesus to death at the Cross.
In a society where there is so much sin especially of the injustice, and the sufferings of the poor, the sick, and the foreigner, the large inequality between the rich and the poor, the high rate of divorce/adultery and the large scale abortions, the worshipping of demonic principalities, the church could have led the way in reflecting God's glory by being the salt and light.
How much the body of Christ has fallen when Love Singapore could only raised the issue of gays as their main on-going concern when the former PM visited their church when there is so much darkness out in the society we live in.
When Pastor Lawrence Khong quoted 1 Cor 5:6, it is talking about the negative or destructive elements within the body of Christ which we are to deliver to Satan (1 Cor 5:5), and become like yeast or leaven which corrupts the entire body of Christ. The context here is the body of Christ and not society in general and does not apply to outside the walls of the church.
The destructive elements are those who have pride and glorying themselves instead of being humble exalting others. This is precisely the sin of church - the pride of self righteousness and taking the glory due to God in the mega churches where the pastors are often exalted indirectly and worshipped as god.
We can put of the robes of self righteousness and take pride and glory that we are not like those sinful gays and insist that the government put them in jail and throw the keys away. That is the right of the church, the same right as the Pharisees throwing Jesus into prison.
We put ourselves so high on the pedestal as the guardians of morality and our word becomes law of who was a sinner or not, and our judgement for them to put into jail because we are "salt and light" and can't tolerate sin. All the while when we should have humbled ourselves and serve the tables to take care of the sick, the hungry, the weak, and wounded.
The bible calls us to be persecuted for righteousness sake and not to be persecuted for acting obnoxiously. We are all part of the body of Christ and the path taken by Love Singapore is not loving but bringing the entire body into disrepute. Let us prayerfully consider our actions before we go down the slippery slope.
We don't need another new apostolic reformation party, but a humble and contrite heart to touch the poor, hungry, sick, and weak with the love of Jesus Christ.
Be the Salt of the Earth
by Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), Singapore on Thursday, January 24, 2013
The last two weeks have been challenging as I boldly spoke up on repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code – sparking off a heated debate on my Facebook page. As of 23 Jan (Wed), the Attorney-General’s Chambers has given notice that public discussion must cease since the case is still in court. Using public discussion to influence the judiciary system is contemptuous towards the court. I am glad to comply with the instruction and will cease all discussions on Facebook.
Upon my return to Singapore, I plan to give more teachings to clarify that our actions is the mandate, as given in the Word of God. Many of you may be questioning if the church should engage in such matters – which I will answer in-depth in my teachings. Right now, I sense a need to point out and briefly clarify two common objections:
First – the church should not get involved in politics. Please understand there is a major difference between being involved in politics and acting as a responsible citizen. Our goal is not to push a political party or run for public office, but to address issues with the political leadership. We are told to be “salt of the earth” and one of salt’s main functions is to stop or slow down the decay in food. As such, a church should speak up on moral issues to ensure that our society’s moral fibre is not compromised. As British philosopher,
Second – the church should not marginalise or discriminate. We are not discriminating against people, but between right and wrong. It is never cliché to say “love the sinner, hate the sin”. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:6 (NKJV) when he discriminated and urged the leaders of the Corinthian church to remove a brother who had committed an act of sin, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”
Tolerating sin opens the door of the community to sin. The church needs to speak up for the sake of our next generation – to provide a better society for them to live and function in.
Looking forward to be with you again!
Senior Pastor Lawrence Khong