Saturday, November 23, 2019

Singapore Christian Lawyer Dishonors Faith in Suit to Repeal 377A

It is very troubling to me the lengths that individuals will go to in order to justify promoting or defending worldly or ungodly tenets all while calling themselves Christians.

One of the thorniest issues in this conflict is homosexuality.

There are a cohort of Christians who think that tolerance of homosexuality is acceptable. It's not.

The proper, holy response to this matter is the Gospel. God sent His Son to die for us sinners, to put away our sins forever, and to bring us into reconciliation with His Father, and now our Father.

This reconciliation takes us from death to life, from sin to son:

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)

"Such were some of you". We are not called to remain in sin once we receive the perfect work of the Son.

So, why do Christians insist on placating homosexuals and accommodating homosexuality?

This problem comes up in a considerable fashion in the legal challenges to Singapore's statute 377a, a law from Britian's colonial rule over Singapore (and other countries) which criminalizes sodomy and other acts of gross indecency.

One lawyer who is fighting for repeal of this law, Jordan Tan, makes the case that his advocacy to repeal this law is fully in concert with his Christian faith:

Christian lawyer in 377A constitutional challenge explains why hisinvolvement is consistent with his faith

Jordan Tan is one of the lawyers bringing the constitutional challenge against Section 377A in the Singapore Court right now.

Mr Tan is also a Christian. This is noteworthy now because he mentioned that there have been queries as to why a Christian lawyer would be involved in such a case, given that he is advocating to repeal a law that criminalises consensual sexual acts between adult males which goes against the teachings of the church.

Indeed, and it goes against nature itself. God made mankind male and female, and He designed marriage for one man and one woman. This is not open for debate.

On 15 November, Mr Tan took to Facebook to answer this question. He said, “Although my relationship with God is a personal private matter, Christian accountability and the exhortation not to stumble others (Romans 14:12-13) calls for an open and honest response to such queries.”

Here is his Facebook post:

Our Relationship, our standing before God is NOT a private matter. This idea that our relationship with God has no bearing with public awareness and conviction is just inconsistent with Biblical revelation.

"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:33)

How do we come to faith in Christ?

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)

Confession is a public act. Christians do not have a private faith with Christ Jesus.

He explains why he is acting as a counsel to advocate for the constitutional challenge against 377A and why he considers it consistent with and is an advancement of his Christian Faith. He said, “I am completely at peace with my role advocating the constitutional challenge against section 377A in the Singapore courts.”


"They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." (Jeremiah 6:14)

People can say peace all do, but it does not mean that their standing is in concert with God's grace or His goodness in a fallen world.

In his post titled “A Christian Advocate’s Role in the Constitutional Challenge against Section 377A”, Mr Tan laid out five points to explain why he thinks that not only is it appropriate for him as a Christian advocate to be involved in this challenge but that it is “required” by his faith.

Quoting Romans 13:1 which says that Christians should submit to the government authorities for all authorities come from God, this means that the constitution is the highest authority in Singapore since that is where the power of all three branches of the government – executive, legislative, judicial – is derived.

We submit to governing authorities as unto the Lord, for:

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." (Romans 13:1)

The highest power belongs to God, and He has empowered all who believe in His son to reign in life (Romans 5:17). Paul the Apostle did not hesitate to appeal to Caesar when he was wronged in court, for example (Acts 25:1-12).

Mr Tan explained, “Given that there are legally meritorious grounds to support the conclusion that section 377A is unconstitutional, it would be wholly inappropriate to shirk away from the responsibility of scrutinising that law against the Constitution and to have it construed or read-down in a manner so that it is consistent with the Constitution.”

No, there are no grounds for repealing the law. Acts which criminalize, and thus discourage gross indecency, carry merit all of themselves.

He added, “Accordingly, advocating the constitutional challenge against section 377A advances, instead of detracts from, the highest authority of the land, namely, the Constitution. It is a submission to authority which is called for in the Word.”

The highest authority for a Christian is not a man-made Constitution, but Christ Himself. Full stop.

Mr Tan’s second reason was that he is assisting the court by presenting rigorous arguments in an intellectually honest manner, which is in line with the value of justice. He said, “in our system of law, the adversarial system works best when both sides of an issue are presented rigorously and in an intellectually honest manner. The Court is more ably assisted and the crucible of the adversarial system produces more robust and better-reasoned judgments.

Honesty requires a recognition of the truth, not just speaking one's honest feelings or thoughts on a matter. I may honestly believe that I am the prime minister of Singapore, and I may ardently profess that I am such. That does not make me the prime minister.

Mr Tan quoted Psalm 37:28 which highlight’s God’s love for justice and said that “it is appropriate to participate in a process which serves the ends of justice and to do so in a manner that promotes, at the minimum, better-reasoned judgments.”

Therefore, the just thing to do is maintain 377a. Acts of gross indecency should be criminalized.

The third reason Mr Tan outlined was his view that God prefers obedience grounded in faith instead of fear. He said “my firm view that God does not delight in compliance with the law for fear by persons of criminal sanction; God delights in obedience which comes from believing in Him and having a personal relationship with Him, not fear of going to jail.”

Yes, we should come to God in faith, not fear. His perfect love sent His Son to die for us, to rise for us, and that through Him we live. Part of walking by faith is walking in concert under His grace. The grace of God teaches us to reject sin and live godly lives (Titus 2:11-14). Homosexual conduct is sin, and anyone under grace is no longer under the dominion of sin:

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

Next, Mr Tan highlighted Jesus’ iconoclastic way of life as he spent time “in the company of the very religious and the powerful, pursued the marginalised, the weak, and the downtrodden”. Quoting Matthew 20:16 which says the last shall be the first and the first shall be the last, Mr Tan noted how Jesus “loved and cared for the last”.

Connecting that to Singapore, Mr Tan talked about how Section 377A alienates, discriminates, and marginalises an entire community. He said, “In the course of my work, I have found that it has had seriously damaging effects on the LGBTQ+ community and demeans them. In some extreme cases, it emboldens those who would actively discriminate against them.”

This is the most outrageous, failed argument yet. Homosexuality is a behavior, not an identity. LGBT "people" is a non sequitur, and this flawed reasoning evades proper debate.

The behaviors themselves are demeaning, for God did not create man to engage in sexual perversion, male with male, or female with female.

He says this is morally wrong.

Finally, Mr Tan pointed out that 377A forms a serious barrier in the communication and forming of relationships between the Christian community and the LGBTQ+ community, and presents a block for the latter community to form relationships with God.

The Christian community is the Church, the Body of Christ. The Church is not peripheral to the world, but vice versa. The Church does not need to change and conform to allow for more people, but to speak the truth of God's grace in love.

God calls all of us to come out of the fallen world and come home to Him, to come home to His love.

He says, “It is self-evident which is more important: the roadblock or the potential of forming meaningful relationships with the entire LGBTQ+ community.”

The Church needs to invite homosexuals, transgenders, and other sexual paraphiliacs to be reconciled to God!

"20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

He continued, “It also self-evident which will lead more people into a relationship with God.”

No. The purpose of the state is to restrain evil. The purpose of the Church is to bring the Goodness of God to the world.

In concluding his post, Mr Tan said he wanted to title the post “A (struggling) Christian’s Role…” for fear that he might be holding himself out as a paragon of a Christian, which he admits he is not. But he decided against it because all Christians are struggling Christians, said Mr Tan.

Mr. Tan is not a paragon of Christian virtue. Not once has he magnified Christ Jesus and His finished work. Not once has he declared that homosexuality is something to abhor and reject, but that God loves sinners, and does not reject those who come to Him.

Rather than normalizing or enabling the destructive behaviors, Mr. Tan should be advocating for the further dissemination of God's Word, Grace, and Truth to those who are in bondage to homosexuality, transgenderism, and the like.

He then recalled something his senior pastor once said, “The litmus test of whether one is a Christian is whether one struggles. The struggle reflects the continued desire to do God’s will and the human failings which call for the need to rely on God’s strength.”

NONSENSE. The Christian life is a life of rest--the only struggle is to enter into His rest!

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Hebrews 4:1)

Yes, there is a passage about fighting:

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12)

The literal translation reads "Let the good fight of faith by fight."

This is a fight of trusting God, of resting in the truth of His Word. Faith, after all, is about seeing what is invisible, and recognizing that God's promises have come to pass.

Mr Tan continued, “In my years on this journey with God I have found that in addition to weighing decisions against the Word and prayer, it is peace which characterises making the correct decision which pleases God.”

No. We are always supposed to have his peace. It's not the sudden presence of peace upon making a decision which matters. We should refrain from actions when there is a lack of peace:

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

In this case, Mr Tan says “I am completely at peace with my role advocating the constitutional challenge against section 377A in the Singapore courts.”

Final Reflection

This Jordan Tan fellow is brazenly disregarding Christ and Him Crucified. There is some other perverse pretext for his advocating the repeal of 377A. He is more interested in being liked and accepted by some community of sexual deviants, perhaps.

Or, if his sentiments are genuine, he is clearly misguided about this effort. He thinks that he is helping individuals come closer to Christ by taking away the secular sanction against an abominable behavior. What church, what pastor has told him that the quiet promotion of homosexuality is acceptable and in keeping with Biblical truth?

This challenge must be met with conviction and clear understanding of God's Word. The churches of Singapore must restore the full understanding of the Gospel, which takes us from death to life, which takes from living in sin to living in the Son, and thus sets us free from dead works, sin and death.

Keep 377A.

1 comment:

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