The Churches once were so powerful, above the law
of the land always maintaining the high moral ground above the
common, proclaiming judgment and condemnation upon the Gay
community. Yet their reputation has taken a big setback over the
last 10 years from the sexual abuse by priests, sexual expose by
politicians and pastors such as Ted Haggards, Loren Cunnigham,
George Rekers, Mark Sanford, John Ensign. There are storms of
justice and judgement where the strong has fallen by the mouths of babes. Perhaps,
the flood has reached Singapore.
There are darker rain clouds ahead. On 24 June 2010, in Brussels, in
a probe of sexual abuse, the house of Archbishop Godfried Danneels
was raided. Even the graves of two former archbishops were searched
as if they would take their secrets to the grave. Meanwhile, in
Washington DC, the US
Supreme Court ruled on Referendum 71 that those who were against gay
marriage were not entitled to special rights to keep their
identities secret. It was not a right of free speech as the
referendum was a legislative act. The anticipated news of the
investigation results on City Harvest hang like dark clouds over the
churches in Singapore. Justice and judgement have a way of haunting and exposing
We often wondered how would christians have reacted if an
organization were to succeed in banning the churches and put in
place laws for christians to be jailed. They would be up in arms
with protests in the streets and action against this organization.
Yet, this is what they have done to the gay community and we are
supposed to stand by silently, and not to judge them.
We are quick to forget the loud rhetoric
and false testimony still
streaming from the churches pulpit against gays manipulating their
innocent faith and emotions! They never stop to broadcasts their
false rethoric even insisting that Gays be put to death in Uganda!.
We should be crying for ourselves and the sufferings of our people
rather than pity others. It is time that we stop giving any excuses
for the Christian Right.
Our voices and calls for justice may matter very little, for the
Churches are always correct and right for the faithful.
Why should we have any pity when they have 1 billion supporters in the Catholic Church,
and 33,000 ardents fans of CHC. Even Pastor Rony Tan who
apologized to the Buddhists thought it fair play to continue
spreading hate and prejudice against gays. Pastor Derek Hong of
Church of Our Saviour still advocates his Choices/Exodus ministry
proudly as if his intrusion into the secular Aware was just a past
memory. Despite a fallen
reputation, the Pope still calls same-sex marriage
"insidious and dangerous". To the faithful, the church is never
In Singapore, we see loud forums condeming the
strong fund raising antics of Pastor Kong, and the lifestyle of
Pastor Sun. A Blog pastor calls it as kicking Christian in the teeth
when one is down. Some have called these agitators to “shut up, and
sit down” arguing that the matter had nothing to do with them, nor
have they contributed to the church building fund. Yet, when we go
beyond the mountain of religion into all sectors of society and
business , it becomes a public matter. The New Apostolic
Reformation (NPR) championed by the mega churches in Singapore to
conquer (or Transform) the red dot is indeed a two edged sword.
We have the likes of Rev Ed Siloso in City Harvest calling for "the
transformation of cities and marketplace" for Christ. For him, the
market place is a combination of
business, education and government thus propelling the
church or the kingdom of God right into the very heart of secular
space and public opinion. The market place became central to the
ministry of City Harvest.Ed Siloso preached that we are to bring the
kingdom of God, to the Government, to the "gates of Hades" he
preached! Jesus he said did not work for charity, He worked for a
living. Likewise, City Harvest is presented as a market place
pioneer, ie not only a charity or a church but a business, an entity
of political influence, a school, a church, a media company etc. to
bring down the secular gates of hades in SG. We could no longer
consider or judge City Harvest only as a Christian Church. The
"Lost" is not only souls, but for CHC, the restoration of the rule
of God on Earth and Singapore. This would be particularly troubling
to the Government in a multi-religious Singapore where religion is
considered a private matter.
Unlike the Christian Right appearing suddenly into the secular, to
take over Aware, "We were there" many years ago in CHC. Were you there 10 years ago when they weeded
out Gays at CHC, intimidated them in public, and shamed them. They
made fun of gays, and called upon the services of Sy Rogers to
exorcise the gay spirit from them. They still invite Sy to CHC every
year to spread sexual confusion. Many Gay Christians left never to
return to any church. I still felt the chilling sense of the memory
of the events.
We are all accountable. The harm that we did as a church community
against the weak and vulnerable can seldom be forgotten. In
Brussels, even the graves of their Bishops were not safe. The
Christians in Referendum 71 wanted to hide their identities so that
they could cause harm without being accountable. We may hide behind
a church or “orthodox theology”, or insist on our rights of majority opinion,
yet justice can never be denied.
There has been a lot of preaching about love, and we do need more
love to recognise the common humanity in each, and respect the
dignity of others. We are a slave to Love, in being a slave to
Christ who first loved us. Yet, love without standing up for justice
against those who practise injustice is
irreconcilable especially when it relates to our own GLBT
community. Freedom would not come if we do not first begin to love
ourselves and our peoples.
The DNA of CHC was loving God wholeheartedly and loving people
fervently. I suspect Gays were an exception. God’s love for us demonstrated in action, in Christ death
and resurrection. However, we have concentrated on our own ability
to love, but not on Christ’, the author of Love, made perfect in
God’s amazing grace and mercy. When we focus on Christ, His love,
His Grace, His mercies, His cries for Justice for the outcasts and
the despised, we begin to know the heart of God and be one with
Christ. It is a matter of the heart, for which there can be no law.
Jesus never condemned gays, but we made it a major point of
contention for we were so law minded.We say we
love God, but we often worship the law and become the pharisees and
hypocrites who were against Jesus and the works of the ministry. It
is the very letter of the law that now returns to judge us.
(Mat 17:5 NKJV) While he
was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and
suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
(Mat 17:6 NKJV) And when
the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly
The Law never passed away, but judgement was covered by the mercy seat. Christ
is our mercy seat. Will the mercy of God covers us, or do we seek to
justify ourselves until humbled by the turn of events. Will the
churches now show mercy after the series of events and
investigations in Singapore, or would they soon return to
proclaiming hell and fire on the GLBT community? It probably matters
little after they had lost their reputation.
Gay Christians have their lives and faiths taken away by the church,
totally humbled. Their faith, their lives totally deconstructed,
laid bare and naked. Yet, when we have nothing, humbled and exposed
because of our sexual orientation, that the grace of God is made
perfect.We can't do much except to pray for a flood in Singapore, a
flood of God's justice to rain down, and the walls and gates of our
lives restored and for proper closure, judgement and healing.
The darkened skies look ominous as we wait for the verdict of the
investigation of the churches financials in Singapore, no longer as
a church but judged as a business ....yet we are
called to forgive them that we too may receive mercy.