Government Tells Church to Compensate Women Dismissed for Adultery

| August 20, 2013

The Ministry of Manpower has issued an order to FCBC (Faith Community Baptist Church) to compensate the woman they fired due to adultery on the basis of dismissal without sufficient cause. I personally think that this is a terrible mistake by the government.

http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/slw/headlinesnews/29416-compensate-woman-fired-for-adultery-church-told.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss

What message is the government sending to its people by endorsing (not condemning implies endorsing) the wrongful termination of this woman?

1. It is ok to be immoral. I think that even based on the loosening of morals in our society, most will agree that having an extramarital affair is wrong and shameful. Does an organisation not have the right to dismiss an employee of wrong-doing? Not to even go as far as the fact that the church is supposed to be the cornerstone of morality in this world, even if you use any other organisation, don’t they have the right to remove an employee that has serious integrity issues? Shouldn’t organisations and even governments stand up for what is clearly right and wrong? Do we want the world to become a place where morals are not enforced? Where does the line stop? If the staff regularly engages in orgies, should the church also condone it then? If the staff declares herself as a homosexual, should the church just sit by and accept it?

I do understand that there are non-descriminatory laws in this country, and this applies to all organisations in general. But it is not reasonable to force a religious organisation to accept it especially when it is in direct contradiction to what the religion believes. How can that organisation continue to function properly if its staff is made up of people who do not believe in the teachings of the religion? And in this case, it is not even about discrimination but about reflecting the beliefs of the church and being an example to the congregation.

2. Organisations must continue hiring staff even those who are not committed to the organisation’s vision and beliefs. In order for any organisation to thrive, they need to hire people who believe in the principles and values of the organisation. Should a bank continue employment of a staff who feels that being honest to customers is not important? And we are not talking about any other organisation here, but the church. The symbol of purity and grace. It is in complete violate of the church’s trust of any employee when a staff indulges in a deliberate act of continual sin. Of course some may argue that we all sin. But I feel that the magnitude of sin is important in this case. I’m not saying that some sin are more serious than others, but there are various degrees of wrong-doing and in this case of adultery, it is most likely a conscious decision to keep doing wrong instead of a one-time event. If we are repentant of our sins, we will confess it before God and stop doing it. But the fact that this woman did not stop shows that she is unrepentant.

Yes, I have made the assumption that she is unrepentant and did not stop the act of adultery. But even if she was repentant and had stopped before she was found out, or even if it was really just a one-time of weakness that led to her pregnancy, a period of time of regaining the trust of the organisation is still required. A wrong is still a wrong and there are repercussions and healing required. The church should forgive the woman, but forgiveness doesn’t mean without repercussions. God forgives us of all our sins when we confess, but it doesn’t mean we do not need to bear the consequences of our sin.

3. Morality is not critical to an employee’s code of conduct. That is in effect what the government is also saying. It is saying that having right morals is not essential in employment. Some will argue that morality can be subjective. True in some aspects, but it is not true in this context. Firstly, this is a religious organisation. Morality is not subjective in the context of this organisation where it is clearly spelt out in the Bible, even if it was not in the employment contract. Is murder spelt out as a just cause of dismissal in the contract? I seriously doubt it. Secondly, while adultery is not a crime in Singapore, the courts do ‘punish’ spouses in terms of compensations during divorce proceedings for adultery, which acknowledges that adultery is seen as a wrong-doing, a betrayal of trust. As such, adultery should not be regarded as one of those subjective morals even in the eyes of the state. But the bottomline is, the government, should, above anyone else, be the strongest encouragers of moral living in the country. This is a great opportunity to send a message to citizens that how you behave even in your own private life, when in contradiction to what the society generally deems as right, you will not be protected by the state.

I know that it is a more complex issue than I have expounded upon especially when it comes to the boundaries between the state and the personal rights of an individual. But speaking as a Christian, I think it is important for us to make known our views on this issue to send a clear message to the world and to the church that we take a firm stand on what is right and wrong. And church workers, in order for them to fulfill their duties within the church, have to abide by these same standards.

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I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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