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On Section 377A

Genesis 2:24

August 29, 2022

the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman

Dear Brothers and Sisters of KYMC,

There has been mixed reaction to the recent announcement that the government intends to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code and decriminalize sex between men. While many applauded the government’s resolve to proceed with this action, there are also caution and disappointment.

At the heart of the concern is that the country is going down a slippery slope for many see that repealing the law will not be the end of the saga. Rather, it would embolden the push to legalize same-gender union, and others.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Nonetheless, it is heartening to note that the government is committed to protect the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman from being challenged constitutionally in the courts and would amend the Constitution in order to protect it. As a church we welcome this affirmation.

At this juncture let me reiterate two points – Firstly, The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) has not changed our stance on this matter. That is, marriage is between one man and one woman in a monogamous marriage relationship, as stated in Genesis 2:24 – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. This is the basic building block of society.

Secondly, there is a distinction between homosexual acts and the homosexual person. It is only the former that is incompatible with Christian teachings (Ref: Pastor’s heart dated 7 August 2022). For this reason, the church treats every individual with dignity, sensitivity and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation. Yet we uphold the view that LGBTQ sexual relationships are not in accordance to the will of God. However, in case we start to cast judgement on people, let us be mindful that we are all sinners saved by grace. Hence, let us continue to spur one another on to live holy, loving and faithful lives.

The repeal of 377A has brought about another concern. That is, the religious freedom of the church to continue to teach against same-gender sexual acts, along with other sexual acts like adultery, fornication or premarital sex, as sins that go against the clear teaching of the Bible. The church is the depository of Scriptural truths and pastors, church workers and Sunday school teachers who uphold the clear teaching of Scripture should be protected from harassment from those with opposing views.

On this matter the National Council of Churches in Singapore (NCCS) has made representation to the government and will continue to engage them in their discussion.

In the light of this recent development, let me share with you 3 Bible passages.

Pray for those in authority – I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness. (I Tim 2:1-2)

Continue to stand firm – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong. Do everything in love. (1 Cor 16:13)

Hold on to Hope – Let us hold fast to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)

May the grace of our Lord be with you!

By Rev Philip Lim