My Response to a Christian who supported Pink Dot 2014

| July 14, 2014

This is in relation to an article written by Grace on her experience and support of Pink Dot as a Christian.

After reading the relatively honest and in-depth article of Grace’s struggles with faith and the issue of homosexuality, I feel that her struggles are real and really speaks about a believer who wants to do the right thing. Her fundamental concepts of the Christian faith seem sound when she spoke about sin and about a God who loves us all regardless of how far we may have fallen. However, there are a few arguments or conclusions that she came to that I would like to respond as a fellow believer in Christ.

1. Her statements made in the following paragraph:

On a more personal scale, too, I began to see the real and tangible effects of policy on LGBT individuals. My former Resident Assistant got engaged to his boyfriend. I met a gay Singaporean who decided not to return to Singapore after his studies because he wanted a family and didn’t know if he could have one in Singapore. A Singaporean friend of a friend married his partner and got his Green Card. I looked at all these people, so genuinely happy and unburdened by their new life circumstances, and asked myself, how can anything that brings this kind of peace, love and joy be a bad thing? And at the same time, what kind of colossal stupidity is this that our country is forcing our own people out for this reason? How could 377A be in any way “pro-family”?

She made several assumptions in this paragraph. Firstly, she concluded that the LGBT individuals that she met are genuinely happy and unburdened. My response will be to compare a marijuana addict moving to Netherlands. The addict will probably say the same things about being genuinely happy and unburdened since he can now legally and openly buy marijuana and smoke to his heart’s content, as compared to other countries where it is banned. But does it mean it is the right thing to legalize marijuana?

Secondly, she assumed that ‘anything that brings this kind of peace, love and joy be a bad thing?’. Looking at the story of Adam and Eve, when Eve first took the first bite of the forbidden fruit, we can assume that it tasted pleasant or at least not foul-tasting, else she wouldn’t have offered it to Adam. Could the same question be running through Eve’s mind: how can anything that taste this sweet, be bad? Just because something looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean it is good for us. It is not hard to believe that a married man who enjoys the wild pleasures of sex with various more sexy and beautiful prostitutes will also make the same argument for extra-marital affairs: How can such wonderful sex with beautiful girls be bad especially since my wife doesn’t know and is not hurt? The argument for something cannot be purely on the basis of the immediate and obvious benefits without consideration of the harmful effects that it can do that are usually unseen and much less obvious.

2. Seeing fear and not love? This was what Grace wrote in the subsequent paragraph:

The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality is well-known, but what finally moved me to act was the concerted effort by certain sectors of the Protestant Christian community in Singapore to push a “pro-family” agenda. The leak of the pro-377A guide being circulated among leaders of the Love Singapore movement jolted my system. I couldn’t see how the attempt to impose what is ultimately a religious agenda on a secular government could be anything but a nakedly aggressive assault on the separation of church and state. Then there was the abortive “pro-family” rally at the Padang. When I looked at these people leading the charge, I saw not love but fear – but a fear of what? I couldn’t begin to fathom.

I do not know how Grace concluded that she saw love and not hear in the attempted ‘pro-family’ rally. But I believe that it is two sides of the same coin. We speak out because we sincerely believe that it is the wrong path for anyone to take and we believe that it will lead to bad consequences in the end. We speak out because of love not just for those in the LGBT community but also for the sake of our children. And fear? Perhaps she is right, there is a certain fear, but it is not fear of people, but it is fear that the wrong mindsets will take root and bring our future generations down the wrong path. I believe that many will do the same when they see someone teaching the wrong things to others. Look at the outcry against City Harvest Church in their preachings about giving money and you will see the same thing.

3. The safe space of Pink Dot.

As I wove through the crowd, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was an acquaintance, someone I didn’t know well, although I had known that he was gay. We exchanged pleasantries, and then I was off again to record more interviews. But the few seconds that we spoke stayed with me, not because of anything we said but because of his reaction to seeing me: there was a kind of relief, an openness in the way he held himself that I had never seen from him. In an instant I realised that I had never expressly acknowledged his sexuality, even though I was perfectly fine with it – I had never said anything to him, one way or the other, about homosexuality, LGBT equality, where I stood in the debate – and he had never come out to me directly. At once I saw how wrong I had been to assume that, as a heterosexual individual, I had nothing to do for the LGBT cause and it had nothing to do with me.

This experience is something that I found very enlightening and something that Christians can surely learn about. In the midst of all our opposition to the LGBT lifestyle, we have probably failed in our call to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’, just like Grace has pointed out in the subsequent paragraphs.

My experience at Pink Dot showed me that Pink Dot gives to the LGBT community precisely what I value in my Christian faith: unconditional acceptance and love, and an abiding sense of peace with oneself and the world. It is a supreme and bitter irony that, in trying to “protect” the church and the family, the church should deny others the grace that they themselves were shown and the safe space they created to bask in the love of Christ. What a lack of faith in the redeeming grace of Christ that shows: as if His endless love ended where homosexuality begins, as if the infinite power of God needed to be defended from the perceived deviance of man. As if God were afraid of the very beings He created, afraid to walk among them and love them with His whole, fierce, fearless heart.

If we believers in Christ are truly practicing what we believe, in loving as God has loved us, there should be no need for those in the LGBT community to have a Pink Dot rally just to find that safe space. And that I agree is where most of us, Christians, are still struggling and failing. I admit that we are still very far from the mark of a true Christian but I believe that recognition of this fact is the most important first step. It is surely not an easy task to ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’. It almost seems like an irony and being able to cleanly separate the person from their actions is no easy task, which is why we all constantly need to ask God for help and for more grace and more love.

As Christians, we should be known more for our love than our hate. Love for people but hate for sin. Unfortunately, we are currently seen recognized more for our hate (of sin) than for love (of people). It is an extremely difficult balance, but we need to keep trying. We need to keep pressing in towards God, seeking wisdom and direction, in fulfilling our calling. If we are to fail, I would propose, let us fail in loving too much, than in hating too much. Let us love others more and then, and only then, will they listen to what the Bible has to say about their lives.

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About the Author ()

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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  1. Daily SG: 15 Jul 2014 | The Singapore Daily | July 15, 2014