As the discussion over Section 377A continues, two pastors share their thoughts and make sense of this season. Ps Zac Zhang is Senior Pastor of Hearts Alive, where the majority of his congregation are under-30’s. Ps Lim Lip Yong is Executive Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church.
#1 Let's be careful not to slip into a "Us vs Them" mentality
Ps Zac Zhang In light of all we are doing in this season, of all we are endeavoring for our nation, I felt led to pause for a moment to consider Romans 8:3-8 (TPT version).
Truth is, we all are frail, and we fail in so many ways. Maybe not in the ways that the LGBTQ+ community do, but we still sin in our flesh nonetheless.
“Yet God sent us his Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave his body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin.” (Romans 8:3)
Jesus came to identify with our human weakness. I feel like, even just taking a moment to consider this precious piece of truth will help us to see those in the opposing camp: as Jesus would see them.
So often, we talk much about empathy, but perhaps, in our zeal and fire, we might just find it a little harder to truly identify with the human weaknesses of those far from God. And that’s me for sure.
The fact that Jesus identified with our human weaknesses, tells me perhaps this is a good starting point, and also something to constantly bear in mind as I engage this season.
#2 What can we truly offer this generation?
Ps Zac Zhang What can we offer those in opposition to us? These are some of the questions spinning in my mind, even as many things are happening. Like many pastors in this time and season, I’m doing what I can to engage, educate and empower this generation to confront the impending shifts.
I believe this is a season to make a firm and strong stance, even as matters pertaining to S377A will be decided.
We should all pitch in. We should all do what we can to speak up and use our tools and influence in this cultural moment to let our voices be heard. I believe this is our moment to own, and we must rise to it.
But the question remains: What can we, the church of Jesus Christ, offer a lost and confused world, in a time like this?
As I consider Romans 8:3-8, I’m convinced we can offer life like no other, and we can offer peace like no one else.
“But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the sense and reason of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot! For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh.” (Romans 8:5b-8)
Many are crying for more than what their lifestyles can offer them. In my conversations with others, I’ve come to realize that so many in the LGBTQ+ community live in suspicions, fear and loneliness.
How we engage this generation, how we engage those who oppose us will matter so much. I believe deep in many of their hearts, a painful emptiness and discontentment exist. We need to allow them to see a glimpse of a better life we have in Christ.
This generation needs to see and feel life, true life, powerful life, not hyped up or faked, but life that is so strong, real, yet also unreal… because it’s divine. Life of the most divine nature is what is pulsating in our souls as people in Christ.
And they need peace like never before. This generation as a whole is bombarded with so many things: growing up pains, social media, pandemic, real war, culture wars… it’s tiring. Just like everyone, they need peace, and perhaps, more so. And we can offer them exactly that, through the example of our lives surrendered to Christ, being “free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 8:4)
#3 A Righteous Quorum
Ps Lim Lip Yong There are a lot of amazing and constructive work that has been done to counter the LGBTQ+ activism, and we applaud and support these efforts. At the same time, I sense hope and faith in what God is doing in this season in Singapore. Should S377A be repealed, it does not in any way signal an end to God’s plans and purposes for our nation.
I have been sensing this thought of a righteous quorum that is needed in our nation. When Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord looked for a minimum quorum of 10 righteous persons so that judgment may be averted. In fact, Jesus alluded to this by saying the Sodom could have remained till the days of Christ through a demonstration of miracles. Unfortunately, this minimum quorum was not found.
In the same manner, it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a righteous quorum that prays, weeps and intercedes for our nation.
#4 Mobilised for more
Ps Lim Lip Yong There are a few things I see happening in the church in Singapore that augurs well for us: –
Firstly, a new generation of passionate pastors, Christian leaders speaking and working on justice issues that has not been seen before. Secondly, greater efforts to bring about unity and genuine fellowship among local pastors.
I believe these are indicators that show us that God is working and we are responding. As we contend for the retention of S377A, we must also be able to see beyond this. We must see the need to mobilize to evangelize, to disciple, to meet social needs, and to fight for justice issues.
The Scriptures in Judges 3:1-2 tells us that God left enemies in the land so that the next generation would learn to fight. This implies that things will never be perfect, and it is important that every generation learns to contend for righteousness and the issues of their days. Securing revival, hence, remains all the more urgent.