1 Timothy 2:1-2
Psalmist declares that God is righteous and merciful
There has been a lot of discussion on Section 377A lately. While the debate continues, let me do a recap of Methodist Church in Singapore stand on homosexuality (since the two are related).
The Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church in Singapore (Social Principles para 84.3.c) states that “We consider the practice of homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian teachings. However, we do recognize that homosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. They need the ministry and guidance of the Church as well as the spiritual and emotional support of caring fellowship.”
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Our Scriptures maintain that homosexual practice is sinful, contrary to God’s will and such practice is forbidden. Two verses affirm that. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” And, Leviticus 20:13 reads “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
While the statement in the Social Principles states that homosexual practice goes against God’s will, it added an assurance. That is, we believe that God’s grace is available to homosexuals and must be offered to them. This is because God’s grace is extended to all, and homosexuals are included. To isolate the homosexual and make him the worst of sinners does not follow Scriptural patterns. After all, there are other sins, such as pride and greed, which are often left unchallenged in church. In this regard homophobia has no place in the church as it is blowing the issue out of proportion.
These two points (homosexual practice is against Bible teachings and the extension of God’s grace to them) are based on our faith in God who is both holy and compassionate (Ezekiel 39:25). God is holy and cannot tolerate anything that goes against His nature and character. Yet, God is compassionate, kind and abounding in grace. Similarly, the Psalmist declares that God is righteous and merciful (Psalm 4:1).
In this regard, the church is committed to engage with our society responsibly and in a way that expresses our common concerns and aspirations for our nation.
Let us continue to persevere in prayer for the Scriptures urges that petitions, prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1-2
By Rev Philip Lim