Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Gay "Pastor" Harms The Church, Those In Need

For a long time, I have wanted to comment on this blog post:


Miak Siew is the "pastor" for Free Community Church, the only LGBT-affirming "church" in Singapore.

This is a contradiction, of course. True Christian faith rejects sin, for the grace of God has appeared to all men, and the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness (cf Titus 2:11-14).

This corruption of the faith is becoming all too widespread in the world. It has moved into Asia at a growing pace, as well, and not just in Taiwan, a country which imposed fake marriage via judicial tyranny in 2019, although Taipei had been hosting gay pride parades since 2003.

It's really alarming when men claiming to be pastors go out of their way to teach people that homosexuality and transgenderism are acceptable, and do not contravene God's best for His creation.

This is really bad, and it needs to be confronted. The Gospel is for the whole world, even for those who struggle with same-sex temptations, gender dysphoria, and even for those who think that these behaviors are innate.

When people receive the truth of God's Word, when they are set free, taken from death to life, then the dead behaviors fall away.

Paul was clear-cut about the transformation that God's people undergo when they believe in Jesus:

"9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And 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 6:9-11)

The first part of the verse may alarm people, since Paul is condemning a long list of people for sins that they engage in. However, Paul's point to the Corinthians is that they are NOT fornicators, idolaters, homosexualts, etc. They have been washed, sanctified, and justified! They are not sinners anymore, but saints, so why act like sinners in the first place? 

"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (1 Corinthians 15:34)

Now, let me respond to the post specifically honoring this fake pastor:

Dear Straight People,

Meet 41-year old Miak Siew… An openly gay pastor in Singapore!

Miak is not your typical pastor. And I’m not saying that just because he’s gay. Dressed casually in the typical Singaporean ensemble of a T-shirt and shorts the first time we met, Miak certainly doesn’t fit into traditional notions of how a pastor should be like.

Any pastor who thinks that it is OK to live out the gay lifestyle is not a pastor. He is misleading the flock of parishioners attending his church. We should not spare our outrage about this. It's one thing for people to go to church, and they are still falling into these behaviors. The church is a hospital, not a country club. People who hear the Good News and learn about their new identity in Christ do not immediately leave behind their old behaviors. It takes time to learn all about your new life, your new standing, your new self in Christ Jesus.

In fact, Miak is about as Singaporean as one can be. He loves food. He’s hooked onto PokemonGo. And to my astonishment, he even dropped the F-word quite a few times during our first meeting!

A pastor who sleeps with the same sex, and who curses--he is not only not a typical pastor, one should ask whether he should be a pastor in the first place. A grown man playing PokemonGo is a little disturbing, too, I must add.

But Miak is not your typical Singaporean. As the Executive Pastor of Singapore’s only LGBT affirming church, Miak plays an important role in Singapore’s LGBT landscape. And while he may not conform to societal perceptions of how a pastor should be like, there’s no denying his immense contribution to the community.

The greatest affirmation that we need is righteousness, and that we receive as a gift, one that God so freely gives, and which He invites us to keep receiving (Romans 5:17). A pastor should not be worried about conforming to societal expectations, anyway. We are called to be in the world, but we are not of the world (1 Corinthians 5:9-10)

God uses all sorts of people to do God’s work, and it is human bias and prejudice that sets up all the barriers between us and God – who can be close to God, and who is to be kept away and kept out.

No, it is not human bias or prejudice. Let no one dodge or avoid this issue.

Sin is what keeps us from God, more than just human biases.

"1Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

 "2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Notice that God does out of His way to make it a point that He has not separated Himself from man. In fact, when man first sinned, eating from the tree that was forbidden them, God sought out man, asking "Adam, where are you?" (Genesis 3:9)

One will notice in the discussion and focus on "Pastor" Miak that there is no mention of Jesus, as well as no mention of sin or deliverance or salvation. How sad!

How is it that this young man fell into gay behaviors, anyway?

Miak Siew Young

Miak first experienced same sex attraction at the age of 4 but he remained in denial throughout his teenage years.

At four years old? Seriously? What is the real nature of this attraction? This dynamic makes no sense, and I must say is quite troubling. It's one thing for a younger male to want to bond with older males. That is a healthy emotional and psychological need which all males have, and which a father meets as part of the natural, proper upbringing of children. When there is no father present in the home, or when the father is particularly distant, and the mother takes over in an imposing manner, homosexual feelings can start to arise.

"I thought, like many of the books I read back then said, that it was a phase. And I thought I would somehow magically snap out of it when I turned 21."

So one finds that there was a sense of shame and confusion in his life about these feelings. It is indeed interesting that we get very little information about his relationship with his parents at this time. 

Growing up during a time when LGBT related information was scarce, living in a heteronormative world wasn’t easy. And Miak certainly felt the pressure to conform. Like most of his peers, he tried chasing girls but that never worked out.

"Heteronormative" is an abnormal word to make the normal appear abnormal. This is quite wrong, and very much akin to Isaiah 5:20. The notion that we should call good evil, and evil good is ... evil in itself. To call healthy and natural desires and behaviors unnatural is also quite disconcerting.

"There was no internet back in those days. It is hard to imagine for many young people today. There is little access to information. I remember trying to find information in books and many of them described it as a phase.

"The only presentation of gay men in the media that I saw were effeminate men – something I couldn’t identify with."

The need to identify with men, that need stands out in this part of the story. There is nothing wrong with a boy wanting to find emotional fulfillment in bonding with other men. But to fulfill that need with sexual behavior is not healthy, not wise, not suitable.

Miak Siew 2007

It wasn’t till the 1990s when the internet penetrated Singaporean households that Miak found others that he could relate to.

He connected with other gay Singaporeans through popular messenger service IRC. On their first group outing, he realised that there were many other gay men like him who did not fit into the media’s stereotypical representation of gay men. Not long after, Miak decided to pluck up the courage to venture into a gay club for the first time.

It's really disturbing to read about a gay "pastor" who frequented bars to find love and affection. Truly, there is something wrong with this picture.

I saw gay guys who were older and I saw who I am, and who I can be. Not the stereotypical gay guy – but a guy who just happens to be gay.

However, "Pastor" Miak makes his gayness a key feature of his existence. It is not something tangential or incidental, but essential to his being and bearing in the world. Homosexual activists attempt to have it both ways, but they cannot. They want to promote themselves as spokesmen and ambassadors for LGBT causes, but then at the same time they do not want people to think of them as "the gay guy". They want to push the manifest that they are "normal", when in reality the behaviors are abnormal, aberrant, a maladjustment which simply cannot meet the needs that they feel.

It was also around this time that Miak embarked on his journey towards becoming a man of God.

Initially, like most LGBT individuals, Miak too had trouble reconciling his sexuality with his religion.

"I avoided church for quite a while. Part of me had internalised the Church’s stand – that homosexuality is a sin, and the two are irreconcilable."

It's not the stand of "The Church". It's God standard, not just in the Old Testament, either.

But God works in mysterious ways and in Miak’s case, it was the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that prompted Miak’s return to the Church.

"There was a SMS message that went around  about a candlelight vigil for 9/11. I went with another friend, only to discover that the candlelight vigil was very different from the one we imagined.

"Seeing that there were others like us who were not comfortable with that, we decided to  gather at another part of the gardens and do something closer to what we understood as a candlelight vigil. 

"I felt as though I was guided to what to say. It was, I guess, my first sermon."

Miak started attending Free Community Church (known as Safehaven back then) soon after – Singapore’s only LGBT affirming Church.

A church cannot be a church when it is affirming sin. This is all wrong.

He went on to become more and more involved in Free Community Church’s activities, often handling the logistics side of its events. Despite his heavy involvement, he never dared to take up leadership positions because he felt that his personality made him ill-suited for such roles.

No one is free if they are in bondage to sin:

"32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)


"36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

I didn’t take a big role because I thought that to be a leader in church, you need to be “holy holy“.

In 2005, Miak started a support group called ‘Living Water’ that focuses on helping people reconcile their religion with their sexuality. For 3 hours each week, the support group would meet up to explore various interpretations of biblical passages.

Notice how much of Miak's work has to do with justifying behaviors that cannot be justified. Where is the preaching of the Gospel? Where is the Good News which informs us that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Eventually, Miak decided to dedicate his life to helping people reconcile their faith with their sexuality and so he packed his bags and left for the US to study theology.

A pastor's job is not about helping people reconcile sinful behaviors as if they are acceptable. What's more, the real calling of a pastor is to announce to the world that God has reconciled Himself to us through His Son!

"18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.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." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

That's a much better message to share with the world!

"In 2008, much to the surprise to many of my friends, I headed to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. I graduated in 2011 and returned to serve in Free Community Church as the pastor."

He went to a "progressive" seminary in a progressive city in a progressive state. What could go wrong?

While Miak may have finally found his true calling, life as a pastor certainly has its challenges.

In order to become a pastor, Miak had to sacrifice a cushy corporate job and take on a massive pay cut. He candidly reveals that his current income as a pastor now is almost half of what he used to earn.

But the greatest challenge for him as a pastor is that it has adversely affected his dating life. Miak has been single ever since he became a pastor. And he reveals with a wry smile that his potential dates often ignore him the second he tells them his occupation.

Wow! The "pastor" is so worried about not having a partner. Has it occured to him that engaging in such conduct would be even more harmful, to himself as well as to others? There is some good in the fact that he does not have a "significant" other. How is it possible for anyone to think that they can be pastors, ministers of God's goodness, while at the same time living out a lie?

In spite of the difficulties, Miak has never had any regrets for his career choice. And he aspires to  one day, ‘conduct the first legally recognised same-sex marriage in Singapore.’

This is also very disturbing. It's becoming clear to anyone reading these commentaries that Miak Siew does not care about God, does not care about Jesus, does not care about sharing the Good News. This man is not a pastor in any true sense.

Outside of his involvement with the LGBT community, Miak’s a big fan of Star Wars and comic books. His favourite outdoor activities include running and swimming and he’s also quite the nature buff.

Miak has very kindly taken time out of his busy schedule to answer our Q&A so read on to find out more about his story!

1. How was your first coming out experience like?

I came out to my best friend.  It took quite a while because we are really, really close.

I was beating around the bush – and I said something like “I have something to tell you, but i don’t know if i should because i can lose you as a friend.”

His reply was “Did you rape my sister? Murder my parents? No? Then what can you do that will make me stop being friends with you?”

I blurted out “I am gay.”

Silence. For what seems to be an eternity…

“So you like guys? So have you had sex with guys? How is it like?“

He is still my best friend today.

2. How did your family respond to your sexuality?

I came out to my mum over a letter when i was on my exchange programme in Finland. That was 1998/1999.

That was a considerable time that passed. He is now 45 going on 46 years old. He was 24 years old at the time when he first told his mother about his same-sex temptations.

She was affected by it – and I have come to realise that many parents blame themselves for their children being LGBT. They will think that they have failed in some way or another. I think in many cases they will try to be stricter with their LGBT children in an attempt to correct or compensate for their perceived failure as parents.

I guess in the first few years, it was more of “let’s not talk about it.” In the past decade, my parents have been supportive of the work i do. When I graduated from seminary, they flew over for my graduation with 2 of my friends, and we went on a road trip together. 

I notice that Miak does not talk about his father that much. I truly wonder what his response was when his son came out to him.

3. What motivated you to become a pastor?

After several runs and seeing how the support group (Living Water) has helped many people, a thought came to me. If this is the result of spending 3 hours a week leading a support group, what would happen if I dedicated my life to this?

I kept running away from this question, but there was no escaping. It was a calling. And after much consideration, discernment, and consulting many people – including Rev Yap Kim Hao, I realised this is what i am called to do.

4. What’s the greatest challenge that you face in being an openly gay pastor in Singapore?

Dating. Or the lack thereof. LOL

Seriously?! Creepy!

5. What has been the most rewarding thing about being a pastor at Free Community Church?

I have had the privilege of walking with folks in their darkest moments. I have had the privilege to celebrate the joy of finding the love of their lives. I have had the privilege to be with people in the last moments of their lives. I have had the privilege of bidding farewell to folks with their grieving friends and family.

It is humbling and rewarding at the same time.

6. What advice do you have for people struggling to reconcile their religion with their sexuality?

Religions are not monolithic. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh said that if there a thousand Buddhists in the room, there are a thousand Buddhisms. I think that’s the same for every religion.

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. What is the real substance, not just style, of this man's faith?

Good religion, in my opinion, is life-giving. It anchors us and sustains us. I would tell folks not to give up trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality, and definitely not to compartmentalise the two. i know far too many people who struggle with being authentic and honest about who they are and lead double lives that is at the detriment of their emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. So many of them internalise their self-loathing and it becomes the source of hate and homophobia.

All of this focus on people fighting hard to reconcile themselves and their feelings, their identities, their thoughts. There is simply too much focus on self. Whre is the joy in that? Where is the liberty, the freedom, the grace in all of that?

There are LGBT people of faith who have found ways to reconcile their faith and their sexuality. Talk to them.

There are resources and books available from Pelangi Pride Centre ( http://www.pelangipridecentre.org/ ) Drop by on Saturday and borrow the books.

7. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about the relationship between religion and sexuality?

Many folks think religion is against anything that is sexual. All they hear is “Thou shalt not.” But the reality is a little different. Go and read “Song of Songs” in the Bible. It will make you blush.

And notice that in the Song of Songs, it's a man and a woman, not two men, not two women. Notice also that a deeper, more intense reading will reveal Jesus' passionate love for His church! Why would anyone want to miss out on that to talk about reconciling what cannot be reconciled in the first place?

We need to be cognizant that the socio-cultural environment has great influence over any religion, and we need to be aware of how that affects religious perspectives of sexuality.

Religions seek to provide the answers to the questions about the meaning of life, the meaning of existence – and the questions posed, as well as the answers, change with time, especially with greater understanding and knowledge in the realm of science and reason.

WRONG. Christianity is not a religion, it is reality, expressed fully in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not an answer to the world's problems. He is THE Answer. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Again, it is so sad that for all of his protestations about being a pastor, not once does Miak mention the Messiah. What a sad commentary, indeed.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Being gay is only as aspect of who I am.

I am passionate about justice issues – about equality, on migrant workers rights, against the death penalty, about interfaith dialogue, against violence as a solution to anything. I hope that we all look beyond what matters to us, and stand up and speak out for things that may not affect us.

His religion is Progressivism, clearly. He failed to mention his massive support for pedophile Amos Yee, too. Very disturbing.

I am moved and inspired by those straight allies who stand up for LGBT people at great cost to themselves that i will stand up for others who have little or no voice.

Final Reflection

I had wanted to write this indictment for some time, but finally I found the time to do it. This surge of "pastors" who promote and normalize homosexuality within the Christian faith need to be confronted, "outed" fully, if you know what I mean.

Men and women who engage in these behaviors are in pain. They have great need for true grace, wisdom and truth which reflects the fullness of the Gospel. They need to know that God did not send His Son to serve as an unattainable example. God sent His Son that everyone in the world would believe on Him, and thus live through Him (John 6:29; 1 John 4:9).

Fake pastors like Miak Siew are leading precious people astray, people who are in great need, who want to know, who need to know the Love of the Father, and yet this love is not being revealed to them at all! This is really distressing! 

Jesus could not have been clearer: "I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly" (John 10:10). Jesus did not come to give more rules. Jesus did not come to show people how to live.

Jesus came to give us life, and more specifically HIS LIFE!

How cool is that?!

That sounds so much better than a life of chronically trying to reconcile one's religion and one's sexuality. If the matter was so easy to reconcile, why does it take so long? Why does it entail such an extensive, ongoing process? Why does it not finally resolve itself?

Because darkness cannot coexist with light, because Jesus died to set us free from sin, and to grant His standing in His own life! If we are  under grace, then sin cannot have dominion over us! (Romans 6:14).

It is really disturbing, frustrating, painful that there are people who seek out Free Community Church or other so-called "faith communities" because they struggle with same-sex temptations or gender dysphoria. Instead of hearing the Gospel of Grace which sets man free, they hear "You were born that way, and it is OK to be gay." And yet, even the gay Christians themselves know inside that this is not God's best for them. There are too many testimonies which push past this lie that "gay Christianity" is a real thing. It just is not so.

In fact, I have a friend who attended Free Community Church for one year. He was discomfited by the fact that the pastor and the leadership spent so much time justifying LGBT behaviors and ideologies as composite with God's Word and His holiness. There was such a focus on homosexuality and transgenderism. In small group, he had to deal with the unpleasant phenomenon of other men hitting on him, too.

Ultimately, he left that church and sought fellowship elsewhere. 

If this community churhc was really offering something that people needed, there would not be stories like the one that I shared with you. 

There is a real hunger for love and acceptance, and it cannot be found in trying to be something that you are not. The lack of fearless preaching of the Gospel has led to such confusion around the world. And fake pastors like Miak Siew make it all the worse.

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