Dear APCCS members and friends,
At the National Day Rally on 21 August 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Singapore will repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code.
While the decision to repeal S377A came as a disappointment, we genuinely appreciate the Government’s continued efforts in engaging us throughout the process.
On our part, we have been faithful in expressing our stand biblically with regard to S377A, highlighting potential negative social consequences and effects that will flow from the repeal while emphasizing that our hearts and churches remain open to those who are gay.
We trust that the Government has heard not just from us, but also other Christian voices on this matter. Following the announcement, we are heartened that various ministers have given reassurances that nothing would change in the downstream policy areas of marriage1, education2, media ratings3.
Minister Shanmugam gave an important interview, (which I encourage you to watch in full) dealing succinctly in four areas of concern4 that the Christian community had highlighted as a corollary to repeal (21:25 – 27:30): Shift in our laws on marriage, Freedom of religion, Pressure to accept LGBTQ ideology in schools and workplaces, Cancel culture.
We are grateful for the clear statements that the Minister made in these areas on behalf of the government, and look forward to working with the authorities for positive outcomes in Singapore.
How do we move ahead following the repeal? There are 3 key thoughts I’d like to share:
#1 God has gracious intentions for Singapore
This is not the first contentious issue the local church has been engaged in and it definitely will not be the last. But one thing I believe with all my heart: God has gracious intentions for Singapore. Revival is still on God’s agenda, and I sense hope and faith in what God is doing in this season. It bears repeating – the repeal in itself does not in any way signal an end to God’s plans and purposes for our nation.
#2 God is looking for a righteous quorum
When Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, the Lord looked for a minimum quorum of 10 righteous people in order to avert judgement.
What is the minimum quorum for Singapore? I’m not sure. But if we want to teach our people to be counted in this quorum, this is a time to examine our lives. As pastors, we preach that the starting point of salvation through Jesus Christ is repentance — not just from a homosexual lifestyle, but from all dead works (Hebrews 6:2). From this posture of having a clean heart (Psalm 51:10), let’s continue to take our places as watchmen on the walls.
#3 We should keep engaging
This is an evolving landscape, and our prayer and intercession must continue to rise to heaven for the authorities that God has placed over us. Singapore’s leaders have been courageous to stand on principle to defend key institutions in the face of mounting reputational and economic pressure.
As they try to manage the pace of social change5 for the good of the country, we should – where we can – continue to engage through gracious and constructive feedback. As leaders, we must not be ignorant of the narratives shaping LGBT ideology, but equip ourselves with some basic understanding of these matters.
Above all, Pray
Above all, we must pray. APCCS was started as a company of churches who desire to honour and make room for the Holy Spirit in our churches. We must move ahead in unity despite the repeal of 377A.
Let us be reminded that repealing 377A is only a setback. And a setback is a setup for a comeback. Will God find a company of people who will cry out to Him for His plans and purposes to stand?
May the Lord bless you.
Rev Yang Tuck Yoong
1Channel NewsAsia, 22 Aug 2022 “Govt to introduce ‘unprecedented’ measures to safeguard institution of marriage”
2Channel NewsAsia, 22 Aug 2022 “Repeal of 377A: Education policies, curriculum to stay anchored on prevailing family values, says MOE”
3Channel NewsAsia, 22 Aug 2022, “LGBT content will continue to warrant higher age ratings even as Government repeals 377A: MCI”
4The Straits Times, 23 Aug 2022,” Section 377A: Constitution will be amended to protect Parliament’s right to define marriage, says Shanmugam
5The Straits Times, 22 Aug 2022, “Repeal of Section 377A: Doing the right thing for all while managing pace of social change”