What is this Pink Dot movement that have been gaining popularity since the initial gathering at Hong Lim Park in May 2009? An estimated 2,500 people turned up for the inaugural event then and the numbers have swelled to about 26,000 in 2014.
The group represents itself as: “Pink Dot Sg is a non-profit movement started by a group of individuals who care deeply about the place that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Singaporeans call home. It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. With openness and acceptance, we hope to bring LGBT Singaporeans closer to their family and friends.” And this is their theme for 2015, “Reflecting on Where Love Lives”. It sounds very “Christian”, doesn’t it?
However, the reaction or response from the Christian community has largely been rather muted. Pastor Lawrence Khong, the founder of Faith Community Baptist Church, voiced his concerns on public media in the past few years. This is what he said last year, quoted from Yahoo Newsroom – Sunday, June 29, 2014, “Khong, who supports keeping a Singapore law that criminalises sex between men, released a statement on Friday pointing to the Pink Dot movement as a ‘decline of moral and family values’.”
A wave of controversy erupted in the wake of the Wear White campaign launched by an Islamic religious teacher against the LGBT movement. The following is a statement issued by the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) in 2014 which was shared with the PSPC congregation and is on the church website after the Wear White campaign:
“In the interest of clearing up the matter concerning human sexuality for members of the Christian public who may be confused, the NCCS would like to reiterate the Christian view that homosexual or bi-sexual practices are contrary to the teaching of the Bible. The Council holds that the only sexual relationship sanctioned by God and given as a gift from God is that between a male and a female within the bounds of a monogamous marriage.
The Council also wishes to state that while it does not condone homosexual or bi-sexual practices, it also does not condemn those who are struggling with their gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Council therefore urges members of the Christian community to always act with grace and restraint should they engage with the LGBT community over the coming event.”
My stand then was that as long as the LGBT community does not impose their views and position on me and the society in general, I did not have an issue with them. However, my thought process was seriously challenged when a few young adults discussed this matter with me at a particular church camp about how Christians should respond especially if it involves our loved ones and close friends. It was a struggle for me to respond adequately because I was indeed complacent on this matter.
Although I did not have a firm view on this matter, the statement from the NCCS helped me consolidate my thoughts. The statement touched on three broad areas which I would like to elaborate a little and add my personal reflection:
1) The only sexual relationship sanctioned by God and given as a gift from God is that between a male and a female within the bounds of a monogamous marriage. Leviticus 18:22 (ESV) says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Marriage is a divine institution between a male and female created by God (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5-6). This travesty undermines God’s created order when He made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, to subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). Homosexuality will fail to meet this objective of procreation.
2) While the Council does not condone homosexual or bi-sexual practices, it also does not condemn those who are struggling with their gender identity and sexual orientation Romans 1:26-27 (ESV), “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Romans 3:21-24 (ESV) says, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...”
I do not approve of what they (the LBGT community) do but I now see them as a sinner like myself in need of salvation. Therefore, I will have to learn to stand firm in the Word that God has revealed to me and to patiently love him/ her (LGBT community) biblically, pray for their salvation and be kind to them. And, when it is the appropriate time, I will share with them the Gospel because forgiveness of our sins is only found in Christ.
3) The Christian community to always act with grace… and love! I must also be careful of my attitude toward the LGBT community and oppression against them, such as, homophobia, bully of homosexuals and harassment. I have to learn how to disagree without hating or bigotry. For example, I may disagree with a friend as which maybe the best football team in the world but that doesn’t mean that I hate him. I have to learn to accept and respect others who have a different perspective or views and not jump into conclusion and make a hasty judgment.
In summary, as this is a challenging and sensitive matter on LGBT, I have to be clear in my thoughts, understanding and deeds. As I am aware that the doings of the LGBT community is sinful, I do not agree with their actions. However, I must remember that they too, are in need of salvation and I must not forget who I am (a child of God) and what salvation means to all of us. In addition, I will have to keep myself in check to make sure that I do not put myself above anyone else and put others down just because they think and act differently. I must remember and put into practice, not just to the LGBT community but to everyone, these verses from John 13:34-35 (ESV), “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my DISCIPLES (emphasis mine), if you have love for one another.” May God give me the humility, wisdom and strength to deal with the challenging issues in my life. Amen.