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Pray, Proclaim, and Press On: A pastoral response to the repeal of Section 377A

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Dear brothers- and sisters-in-Christ of Grace Baptist Church,

This past Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the Government’s plans to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men. This is the beginning of a long-drawn, emotionally charged discussion. As we anticipate the proceedings in Parliament to come, some fear that this is the beginning of a shift in sexual ethics, the diminishing of religious liberty, or that God will look on Singapore in wrath. Amid these fears, it is crucial that we continue prayerfully to trust in our good God, who is Ruler over all. He remains in control and His kingdom is not of this world. Lest we be shaken, we would do well to remember and rest in God’s steadfast commitment to His people.

Our confidence and hope are not ultimately found in Man but in God. He is not surprised by any of these developments. As we have seen from the lives of the Patriarchs in Genesis, in every circumstance God is faithful to sovereignly work all things for our good and His glory. Our loving Heavenly Father, who redeems us through His Son and renews us by His Spirit, will hold us fast till the end. May we keep hoping in the Triune God of our salvation.

Therefore, our lives should demonstrate faith in God and the saving power of His gospel. On Saturday, September 17 (10am-12pm), we will have a special EQUIP class on this topic: Christian Witness in a World of Sexual Confusion. In the meantime, how should we respond to recent developments?

Pray, Proclaim, and Press On
  1. We should seek God’s help to remain faithful to His word, especially as Scripture’s teaching concerning marriage, sex, and sexuality become increasingly strange and unpopular in the prevailing culture. May God guard us from the fear of man when we are tempted to conform to the world. May we not be ashamed of the Gospel, but boldly and faithfully speak of Jesus.

  2. We should pray for grace to lead lives that are consistent with God’s truth. Marriage and sex are good gifts from the Creator. He designed marriage to be a life-long covenantal commitment between one man and one woman. Sex consummates this marriage union. Therefore, the Bible prohibits sexual intimacy outside of the marriage covenant. May God help us to teach and live in a way that displays the goodness and beauty of His design for marriage and sexuality. May we, as God’s people, be characterised by sexual purity and marital faithfulness.

  3. We should love our fellow believers who wrestle with same-sex attraction. In Christ, we are their family. May we self-sacrificially avail ourselves to journey patiently with them, mutually encouraging one another to persevere in faith and faithfulness to Christ. May God help us to welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us, for His glory (Romans 15:7).

  4. May God grant us a spirit of mercy, to love those whom God has created in His image. Even as we hold firmly to the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and sexual sin, we should graciously point others to Jesus Christ, the all-sufficient Saviour. May we do so with humility and gentleness, in a way that reflects Jesus’ compassion for the lost. “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:3-6) Others of us may have family members and loved ones whom we grieve over. Let us be tender-hearted and gentle with one another as we weep with those who weep.

  5. May God grant us wisdom to be winsome witnesses of His Gospel. In particular, we should watch how we use our words in-person and online. Pray for grace to speak the truth in love and to graciously hold forth the word of life. “In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)

  6. May God enable us to show Christ-like love, compassion, patience, grace, and kindness to one another and others. Let us protect our unity in Christ, especially when we differ with our brothers and sisters on matters of Government policy or civic engagement. May we safeguard our Christian liberty and reject judgmentalism. Let us also avoid any quarrelsome, combative, and divisive conduct that misrepresents the Gospel.

  7. We should pursue godly, self-control that we might avoid venting on social media. If we speak, may our words “always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how we ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). May God help us to keep our witness focused on Christ, for He has commissioned us to make disciples through the good news of His gracious death and resurrection for sinners like us.

  8. May God humble us, that we might see how we have fallen short of His glory, especially in love, faith, and purity. Have we also been guilty of pride and self-righteousness? May God help us to repent of our sins, that we might be instruments fit for our Master’s use.

  9. We should pray for those in authority over us, that they might govern with wisdom, justice, and righteousness. May the Government continue to enact policies that are conducive for biblical marriages and families to thrive. Pray also for the continued protection of religious liberty, that we may freely proclaim the Gospel and lead “peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2b). May we, as individual Christians and citizens of this nation, also be granted godly discernment to responsibly engage in civic discourse and the political process.

  10. We should pray for Singapore as well. May God have mercy on this nation, that there may continue to be a faithful witness of the Gospel here. May He also preserve harmony, that our social fabric might not be torn asunder by rancorous disputes between opposing groups.

Beloved, do not lose heart. In a world of growing sexual confusion, Jesus Christ remains our sure and steady anchor.

May God help us to press on in faith, hope, and love. His Spirit empowers us to grow in Christ-likeness and to faithfully proclaim Christ. And may we as a church be a display of our Lord’s grace and beauty. Amen.

Your servants in Christ,
The Elders of Grace Baptist Church
26 August, 2022

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As mentioned we will have a special EQUIP class on this, titled "Christian Witness in a World of Sexual Confusion". This will be on 17 September, from 10am-12pm at the Fellowship Hall. This will be held entirely in person with no livestream. At this session, there will also be a time for Q&A. Feel free to send your questions beforehand to gracebaptistchurch.sg/questions.