Test 2

Please select your preferred language.





Remember Me

New to Fridae?

Fridae Mobile


More About Us

News & Features

« Newer | Older »
7 May 2007

public dialogue on christian perspectives on homosexuality, may 10, singapore

For the first time in Singapore, Christians from both sides of the camp, including two heavyweight theologians, will share their perspectives on the controversial issue at a dialogue session organised by a gay Christian group.

A panel comprising a former Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysia & Singapore, a professor at a theological college, a prominent psychologist and a pastor of an ex-gay ministry will share their biblical perspectives on homosexuality and pastoral care at the ground-breaking event on May 10.

The session will include testimonies by a gay and an ex-gay Christian and a question and answer session.

Organisers of the event - Safehaven, a Christian support group affiliated to the FREE Community Church in Singapore - saw an opportunity to have an open dialogue with mainstream churches, some of which have been outspoken against repealing gay sex laws, after Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's recent comments about homosexuality.

"His non-biased and positive comments have encouraged us to take the dialogue to the mainstream churches and create a space where the issue of homosexuality will be discussed, instead of being swept under the carpet, as is the norm now," said Alphonsus Lee, Chairman of Safehaven, referring to MM Lee's widely reported comments last month which acknowledged that homosexuality might be genetically determined.

The four member panel includes Dr Tan Kim Huat, Chen Su Lan Professor of New Testament at Trinity Theological College; Anthony Yeo, Clinical Director of Counselling And Care Centre; Edmund Smith, Pastor of Real Love (ex-gay) Ministry which operates in Singapore and Malaysia; and Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao, a former and the first Asian Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysia & Singapore as well as the Pastoral Advisor for Free Community Church. Rev Yap has notably called for the acceptance of gay men and lesbians in a letter published in the Straits Times and addressed homosexuality and Christianity in a Fridae interview. The session will be moderated by Augustine Anthuvan, a program manager with Mediacorp Radio.

When asked how were the members of the panel selected, Lee explained that organisers considered the panelists' differing perspectives on homosexuality, experience with gay people and their professional credentials.

He added, "We wanted a dialogue where there would be some weight behind what was said, and hence we have two heavyweight theologians, one a lecturer at a bible college and the other a former Methodist bishop, both extremely well qualified but with differing views on homosexuality."

When queried by Fridae, he revealed that local ex-gay groups Liberty League and Choices have declined to attend the event. Liberty League made the news in January 2006 after it was awarded a S$100,000 (US$61,500) grant by the Singapore government, through the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). The group is not known to have drawn on the grant following intense criticism after the news broke. Choices, a Christian ministry which is based at Church of Our Saviour is affiliated to Exodus International which has been repeatedly discredited for its claims to be able to "cure" homosexuality using prayer and religious counseling.

Organisers also expressed difficulty in engaging mainstream churches in Singapore as they have "consistently refused to have anything to do with Safehaven and the Free Community Church."

According to emails circulated among church members of certain churches in Singapore, members have been asked to submit "personal feedback to the government" to object to gay sex laws being repealed as the government is currently conducting a major review of the Penal Code.

Till date, organisers say they have received confirmation of attendence from more than 10 churches/bible colleges and expect a turnout of about 200 people as well as an estimated 20 members of the press.

The dialogue on "Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality and Pastoral Care" will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 10 May 2007 at the Amara Hotel, 165 Tanjong Pager Road. For more info, visit www.oursafehaven.com.


Reader's Comments

1. 2007-05-07 19:20  
More power to the organizers of the dialogue. It must be tough putting everything together. However, I hope it doesn't end in a bull session. Personally, I do not think the Church will change its views and stand on homosexuality. It may become less vocal, but not condesending. The destruction of Sodom and Gamora cannot be any clearer or more concrete illustration of Biblical condemnation on homosexuality. Unless, some theologians, scientists, and philosophers can come up with a weightier or more plausible interpretation of the two cities. I certainly hope they do and help change the outlook of Christianity on sexual orientation. There are gay bishops, priests, nuns, pastors, ministers, missionaries and preachers. The conflict within must be terribly agonizing. I do hope the truth will set them free.
2. 2007-05-07 20:18  
Mhh on one hand I think its positive that they wanna discuss the topic in that session.
But on the other hand I dont think that it will solve the problems at once. But its a good step in the right direction
To me: I dont care what church says and keep on living like it was before. Gay.
3. 2007-05-08 11:25  
"cure gay" , can we be cure? Or simply brainwashed? Nah....I never want to be gay at all and from my early years to adulthood, gay is condemn in my society and was portraits as bad thing and evil. Yet I still discovered that I am gay (force of nature). So I dun think I ever got a problem or illness that need to be "cure".

What I find funny in the above column is the word "ex-gay". Imagine next time there is a online meeting site like Fridae for ex-gays, ExgayforWoman....hehe....i wonder whether they have any luck with the female counterpart...kekeke
4. 2007-05-08 11:56  
i'd like to respond to BJBrandon's post on Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom was not destroyed because the towns people were homosexuals, it was because they were inhospitable. The angels turned up one night and the towns people wanted to lynch them.

Imagine you're in Aceh during the times when there was a lot of violence going on, and you were a pair of chinese missionaries and you stepped into a village. The people would most likely ridicule you, then behead you.

This was what was going on in Sodom (as far as I can tell), and God destroyed the village cos the people were inhospitable.
5. 2007-05-08 12:12  
A leopard is a leopard. It may be painted white but it's still a leopard. We are instrinsically and biologically created in our sexual orientations. Can one be forced to like the other sex so easily? We may convince ourselves it can be done but we are only deceiving ourselves and damaging our own loving potential and will internally hate ourselves.

Many years ago, I attended a christian group to help "cure" gayness. I joined not becos I needed help but I was really curious. Being a practising Catholic then, I naturally was curious to learn if I "missed" anything. The American ex.trans guy from the US was the leader of the movement (his/her name was Sinclair or something) and although heshe was attired like a "man", he looked like a drag queen in male drag! And the counsellors claimed to be ex gays and all testified they were cured of all unnatural desires for men and were then happily dating women. Yucks!

After a few weeks, I decided there was basically nothing miraculous or scientifically revolutionary about the group and stopped attending and wasting my time. They kept pestering me through phonecalls till I told them I will always be gay and warned them to cease their holier than thou attitude.

Guess wat?..some months later at a gay disco, I saw one of the counsellors dancing body to body with another guy. I was shocked and disgusted at his hypocrisy. When he recognised me after a few looks, he kinda vanished minutes later. So much for divine intervention. More like Diva interruptus..lol.

Be yourself. If u dun even accept and love yourself the way God created you to be, then everything else will be a struggle. That is our basic foundation. How you use this gift is up to you.


PS: I salute the organisers for this very valient effort and it will surely generate much publicity and awareness but given how "perpetually" conservative Singapore is, nothing will significantly change until someone shaft the Merlion up it's own Casino ass. Beware the media will make a joke of the whole forum. Just be careful Organisers. Never underestimate a constipated "first" world country like Sin-and whore; ya a first at being the butt of jokes. :P
6. 2007-05-08 12:28  
Post #4: fonsus is somewhat correct in his understanding. Unfortunately, the straight masses REFUSE to accept any other truths. We all know religion is a political weapon.

Genesis 19: 1-28

The ancient story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been used throughout the centuries as a condemnation of homosexuality, to the point where certain sex acts have become referred to as "Sodomy". The verses in this story most commonly referred to as proof that the Sodomites were homosexual are verses 4 and 5: "Before they could lie down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from boy to old man, all the people in one mob. And they kept calling out to Lot and saying to him: 'Where are the men who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intercourse with them."

Examining this scripture, the first thing we see is that all the people, in one mob, demanded that Lot bring out the visitors to them. If we are to believe that the account of Sodom & Gomorrah is a condemnation of homosexuality, then we must accept the fact that the entire city consisted of homosexuals. If we look in the previous chapter, Genesis 18: 16-33, we see an account of Abraham negotiating with God to spare the people of Sodom, with the final outcome of God promising "I shall not bring it to ruin on account of the ten" (verse 33). God promised Abraham that Sodom would not be destroyed if only ten "righteous men" could be found I the city. If we are to accept this logic, this would mean that the "righteous men" referred to were heterosexuals. At this point, we need to ask ourselves: What would be the odds of less than ten people in the entire region of Sodom & Gomorrah being heterosexual? The obvious answer is: Impossible.

If homosexuality was not being referred to in this passage, then what was? Looking at the scriptures in Hebrew, we find an interesting usage of a couple of different words. When the mob cries out "Where are the men who came in to you tonight?", the Hebrew word translated men is 'enowsh which, literally translated, means "mortal". This indicates that the mob knew that Lot had visitors, but were unsure of what sex they were. The Hebrew word for "man" (utilized in this same passage in Genesis 19:8) is entirely different. One has to ask: Why would homosexuals want to have sex with two strangers if they were unsure of what sex they were?

The passage translated as "Bring them out so that we may have intercourse with them" needs further examination as well. Other Bible translations read "so that we may know them". The Hebrew word herewith translated as "have intercourse", or "know" is yada. This word, yada, appears in the Hebrew Scriptures a total of 943 times. In all but ten of these usages, the word is used in the context of getting acquainted with someone. Had the writer intended for his reading audience to believe that the mob wanted to have sexual intercourse with the strangers, he would have used the Hebrew word shakab, which vividly denotes sexual activity. The correct translation, therefore, should be rendered something to the effect of: "Where are the mortals who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may get acquainted with them."

So then, if the story of Sodom & Gomorrah was not a condemnation of homosexuality, what was it trying to convey? Two verses elsewhere in the Bible sum up the story this way: "Look! This is what proved to be the error of Sodom your sister: Pride, sufficiency of bread and the carefreeness of keeping undisturbed were what happened to belong to her and her dependent towns, and the hand of the afflicted one and the poor one she did not strengthen. And they continued to be haughty and to carry on a detestable thing before me, and I finally removed them, just as I saw [fit]" - Ezekiel 16: 49, 50. It is commonly assumed that the "detestable thing" referred to in this passage is homosexuality. In fact, the Hebrew word utilized here is tow'ebah, which translated literally means "to commit idol worship". This can be seen in the original Genesis passage, chapter 19, verse 8: "Please, here I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with a man. Please let me bring them out to you. Then do to them as is good in your eyes." One must ask: If Lot's house was surrounded by homosexuals, why would he offer the mob women? Note that these women were virgins. Note also that the Sodomites were pagans. Virgin sacrifices to idols were a common practice Sodom. Therefore, it can be concluded that Lot was offering his daughters as a virgin sacrifice to appease the mob in an effort to protect the visitors.

In the Greek scriptures, the story of Sodom is summed up this way: "and by reducing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come". This corroborates Ezekiel's summation, once again showing that these were "ungodly persons", in other words, idolaters, not worshippers of the true God.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah, therefore, is a condemnation of idol worshippers, a greedy and inhospitable society. The judgement of this region had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality!

Haven't anyone noticed Singapore was gay all these while? Tsk tsk..people. "SG" stands for what? Sodom & Gomorrah la...silly!
So people, Sod and Gom away! >:P~~~
7. 2007-05-08 16:03  
This talk has my support. It should be interesting at the very least.
Comment #8 was deleted by its author
9. 2007-05-08 16:27  
Would it be possible to have the entire proceedings of the talk documented in writing in order let members of our community who could not be present at the talk to learn from the talk as well. Better still, can the entire talk be recorded and broadcasted in video format?
10. 2007-05-08 23:55  
wow jammiboi, excellent reading of fundamental text, good on you! Thanks for your illuminating post on the true story of Sodom and Gomorrah!
11. 2007-05-08 23:58  
Too many speakers....just hope certain important points are not discussed in a hurry. Hopefully similar events in future can be separated into 2 sessions. I hope to attend though.
Comment #12 was deleted by its author
13. 2007-05-09 19:25  
I think, somehow according to the scriptures from the Holy Bible, homosexuality is still a taboo, -- a sin to which you know the consequence.

The fact is religion can be a political weapon. Yes. Esp. when this religion centres on a God figure, a creator the almighty, the Divine power dadadadada.... (when you're ignorant, you lose your human thinking mind, and your evolving power of reasoning.)

Psychiatry... These days people are aware enough that homosexuality is no longer listed as a disorder, not an abnormal sexuality. We need no "cure". What we need, if really something, that'd be understanding nd acceptance from people and equality on our human rights.

And yes, it is funny to see those words "ex-gay", "rehabilitating gays".... and it is ridiculous. when you go mindless, you can be brainwashed, you can be convinced, you can say anything you want. I am an ex-christian. But i can't and dont wanna be an ex-gay, this i am sure of myself. Can you discern nature from a fake?

Many of us do not face much struggles over this sorta "battle", of faith and belief etc. As practising Buddhists the theravadan tradition, we'd cetainly respect and appreaciate "nature". Perhaps like one member mentione up here, a leopard is leopard. Over the years some Christians been reviewing the texts and putting in efforts to accept homosexuality, as what many brothers and sisters are doing here. Sadhu. The journey is still long, and we shall be brave to carry on.
14. 2007-05-11 15:55  
Yes....a leopard is a leopard. It may be painted white but it's still a leopard...

A white cat is a white cat. It may be painted black but it's still a white cat. No matter it is a white cat or black cat, as long as it knows how to haunt rat, it is a good cat.

Some organizations are there to 'cure' gayness, some claimed to be healed but still possess attractions to the same gender. I have no right to comment, but it might be that the organization wanted to 'convert' gays to be MSWs.

It is similar to the case of MSMs: not all MSMs are gays. Some men have sex with men, but they are straights (i.e. still like women) and do not have any attraction to men. They have sex with men for certain reasons, does anyone know why?

So those who claimed to be healed may mean they are MSWs, but still get attracted to men (i.e. gays).

Comment #15 was deleted by its author
16. 2007-05-15 01:50  
St8 men DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, have sex with other men unless they are gay but deny/supress it. Real st8 men are too busy hunting for pussies to even consider such nonsense to them. Gay men are different. They have sex with women if they choose to get married for all the wrong reasons,like; cover their asses from suspicion from family, work, social pressures.

When was the last time one heard of an out gay choosing to have sex with women just for fun? Duh?!

A real bisexual is one who is genuinely aroused by both men and women equally and has no issues abstaining from one if has to. Most of those we know of usually prefer to seek out more sex with men whilst "claiming" to be married or has a girlfriends. These are not bisexuals, these are hypocrites- a menace to their partners, themselves and the gay circles. These are the ones who will not hesitate to deny their gay side and insist they are st8 when the cookie crumbles. They are no better than closetted gays who will choose to drag everything down if they can't have what they dream about.

Get real...
17. 2007-05-19 00:55  
Wow..that makes the definition of MSM more confusing. No wonder there is no such term as MSW.

But why St8 men DO NOT have sex with other men unless they are gay but deny/supress it? Why not the other way round: gay men DO NOT have sex with women unless they are St8 but deny/supress it? How can a gay perform on the woman and get her pregnant unless he closes his eyes and imagines she is a man? Otherwise, he is a suppressed sSt8.

Once I did it with a straight. Hmm...he is definitely not having feelings with me (I know)...he should have done it for some other reasons. Maybe he imagined me of another gender?

Please log in to use this feature.


Select News Edition

Featured Profiles

Now ALL members can view unlimited profiles!


View this page in a different language:

Like Us on Facebook


 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia