Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On Homosexuality and Bastardy

Last week saw some tension between the gay and lesbian community and a group of religious people just as the gay community held their annual Pink Dot Day in celebration of their right to love. Some Christians, notably Lawrence Khong the pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church and his followers were dead opposed to the celebration on the basis that the Bible forbids homosexual unions. But of course, in multi-religious Singapore, you don't bring in the Bible when you oppose something forbidden by the Bible. You talk about broader issues like the family. Khong claimed he was lobbying for the sanctity of the family institution ie he was "pro-family" while he presumably looked upon the gay and lesbian community as "anti-family".

As a devout Christian and one who has served the church for as long as I can remember, I am of course aware of a number of my fellow Christians, particularly the conservative ones, who are opposed to the gay lifestyle. But the fact is most of us don't even think of homosexuality because it's so far removed from us.  Most of us have families of our own and if I have not met a friend for ages and I happen to bump into him one day, he will most likely ask me how many kids I have. It's the same with friends I'm familiar with. We don't talk about gays and their lifestyle any more than we would talk about heterosexuals and our lifestyle. Nobody talks about homosexuality, at least not in my circle. It's a non-issue.

It is for this reason that  I find it puzzling that Lawrence Khong is so different from the average heterosexual man; his mind is always revolving round the subject of homosexuality and his extreme opposition to it.

Last weekend, I saw many postings on Facebook on the Pink Dot celebration by my friends who are gay . What should be a joyous celebration for them turned out to be a little tense because of the opposition from Lawrence Khong. But I must confess that it didn't affect me much because I was not one of those who were going to the Pink Dot celebration. I could see how annoyingly unjust Lawrence Khong was, how lacking in love he was portraying himself to be but I have seen enough in this world so that I was not particularly disturbed by his display of hate. And of course it meant nothing to me. These things mean nothing to most of us because we are essentially selfish people and if an injustice does not affect us, we don't really bother.

But then I read some of the postings of my gay friends and I could see the bitterness they felt. Lawrence Khong's remarks reminded some of them of the playground bullying that they had suffered as kids and possibly, throughout most of their adolescent years.

A Muslim teacher told his followers to wear white to protest against the Pink Dot celebration where participants traditionally wear pink. Lawrence Khong seized the opportunity to ask his own followers to wear white in solidarity with the Muslim teacher. But of course the Muslim teacher ignored Khong totally. He was only addressing his own Muslim followers and he was not going to form an alliance with Khong whose idea of marriage and family is hugely different from his. But undeterred, Khong ordered his entire church to wear white the following day as a mark of protest against gays and lesbians. And his followers did just that on the Sunday following the Pink Dot celebration.

Lawrence Khong posing in white with his followers as a protest 
against homosexuality and the Pink Dot celebration.


It was only after I had read some of the posts of my gay friends that I understood how they felt. And I started thinking.  Most heterosexuals don't feel strongly about this incident because homosexuality is so rare and very few of us know how a gay person truly feels. However much we try to empathise with them, we can't really understand how they feel.

After some thought, I stumbled upon an excellent analogy that will help most of us to try to understand how unjust this opposition against homosexuality is. I will pick the analogy of illegitimacy or bastardy (as the King James Bible calls it).  This is a very good analogy and, I hope, one that Lawrence Khong will understand better because he has a grandson who is illegitimate.

The analogy is also not too far-fetched because there was a time when the world made life really difficult for illegitimate children and their families.

Before I begin, let me make it clear that I have nothing against illegitimate children. To me, an illegitimate child is no different from a child of happily married parents and is no different from a gay child or a child from gay parents. But the world used to be so opposed to illegitimate children that I can't even find a suitable word for them that does not have bad connotations. "Illegitimate" itself is a word fraught with judgment. "Bastards" which the Bible uses is much worse. "Children born out of wedlock" is a bit too long and does have a tinge of disapproval. Perhaps I should call such a child a "love child" which is the most neutral term available.

Now, the Bible has this to say about love children:

A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; 
even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. (Dt 23:2)

The Word of God tells us that God cuts out the bastard. But that's not all. The Bible cuts out not just the bastard but his descendants up to the tenth generation!!!  Just think about that.

In a society where everyone enters the congregation of the Lord, to be cut out from it is unthinkable. And it's not even your fault for being born to unmarried parents. Nobody will marry you because the descendants up to the tenth generation cannot enter the congregation of the Lord.  Even in the New Testament, a person who is cast out of the faith is called a "bastard" as opposed to a child of God which is the term used for someone who is within the faith. See Heb 12:8.  This opposition to a love child pervades the entire Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.

Supposing a church decides to follow the Word of God literally and casts out all illegitimate children from their midst. Supposing many churches do that and these illegitimate children decide to hold a Grey Dot celebration to express love for one another and to celebrate their lives as love children.  Supposing Lawrence Khong protests and gets his entire church to wear t-shirts with a large B crossed out (as a symbol of saying NO! to bastardy).  How do you think you would feel if you were born of unwed parents?

Of course a church that excludes illegitimate children in multi-religious Singapore will not refer to Deuteronomy 32. They will probably say they are pro-family and bastardy is in fact anti-family. It encourages people to fornicate before marriage and this will tear at the fabric of society. But if we follow God's word and exclude bastards from the Congregation, potential fornicators will hesitate to do the deed because the consequences on their children are dire should they be born out of wedlock. So, an argument can be made that those who follow God's word on how to treat bastards are really pro-family and those who give any support to bastards are anti-family.

If it's very hard for me to find it in my heart to treat illegitimate children in this way or in any way less than legitimate children, it should be equally hard for me to treat the gay and lesbian community differently from heterosexuals.

To be fair to Lawrence Khong, he is exemplary in his love and devotion to his illegitimate grandson and you can't find a better grandfather to take over his role. He treats his daughter who is the unwed mother with the undying love of a doting father and she continues to be his partner in the magic shows that they stage. Yes, he is the pastor of his independent church but he's also a professional magician.  Both his daughter and grandson are well-accepted in his church and absolutely nobody discriminates against them.

What I find hard to understand is if Khong can be so charitable to his daughter who committed the sin of fornication (punishable with death by stoning in the Old Testament) and who gave birth to a bastard (who must be excluded from God's congregation if you follow the Word of God), why can't he extend the same love to our gay and lesbian friends?  I know Khong will say he loves everyone including gays but he just hates the lifestyle. But that's disingenuous.  How can you say you love the gay person but hate his lifestyle, especially when the lifestyle is intrinsically a part of his biological makeup and is his very essence and being?

It's easy for us to love our own families.  But Christian love is not a love that should only be confined to our immediate families. We who look to Jesus as our Lord should strive to extend our love a little more.


NOTE: I AM GETTING A LOT OF COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG POST. I WILL GO THROUGH EVERY COMMENT POSTED AND I WILL ALLOW IT TO BE PUBLISHED PROVIDED YOU MAKE THE COMMENT YOURSELF AND YOU DO NOT MERELY GIVE A LINK. SOME OF THESE LINKS LEAD TO DUBIOUS SITES AND I DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO GO THROUGH EVERY LINK AND RESPOND TO THEM. IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT TO MAKE, PLEASE MAKE THE COMMENT DIRECTLY HERE. PLEASE DO NOT JUST POST A LINK. OR WORSE, BE ABUSIVE.

87 comments:

  1. Thank you, sir, for writing a message of love

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  2. This article does not do justice to the biblical framework or the context of the Khong family. The OT civil laws such as Deuteronomy 32:21 apply only to the national theocratic state of Israel. They teach the spiritual principles of holiness through object lessons to a nation that doesn't have all of Scripture. That is Theology 101 for church members!

    I am not fully aware of the details surrounding the Khong family. My guess is that Lawrence Khong embraced his daughter as his daughter within the home and only as a church member when she repented from her sin. He is on record as declaring her action as a sin. I am sure he would do the same if she declared previously to be a homosexual. There is nothing inconsistent or new in that approach to Christianity.

    So far, I note you have not actually engaged in the Biblical framework to justify your authoritative positions on morality. Sounds like you took one text, twisted the context to misapply to the NT age and then let go. I suggest you think again. You claim to be a "devout Christian" - just because someone says they are something it doesn't follow they are. My Bible makes clear that devotion to Jesus Christ only comes from the degree of our obedience to God's Word, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). No other option is offered as a third way.

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    1. All I'm doing is to urge Lawrence Khong to show love. I don't think it can ever be wrong for a follower of our Lord to ask another to show love. I totally agree that we who love Jesus should keep his commandments. Jesus' commandments are clear. If there is one word to summarise Jesus' commandments, it's LOVE. Don't forget - when our Lord was asked what commandments there were, his reply was simply to love God and to love our fellow men. Jesus has never asked us to oppose homosexuality and you should have learnt that in Christianity 101.

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    2. Jesus did affirm that a family consists of one man and one woman, not man and man. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/44485-sorry-elton-john-jesus-would-not-support-gay-marriage

      "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matt. 19:4-6).

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    3. Hi Adam,

      Thank you for your query. But I'm afraid you have totally misrepresented the words of Jesus and the context of his speech. You must be careful when you read the Bible not to remove the context and read some verses in isolation. When you do that, you can come up with shocking conclusions that can do violence to the actual intention of the writer.

      When you quote Mt 19:4, you must also look at the verse before that to understand the words of our Lord. In Mt 19:3, we read this:
      "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"

      Notice that the Pharisees were asking Jesus a simple question. Can a man divorce his wife for any reason? Jesus' reply was of course in direct response to the question which is about a man divorcing his wife. He's saying no, don't divorce. Jesus says NOTHING about homosexuality here. He was only asked a question about a man divorcing his wife and he answered that plainly. To read anything else into it is to add to the Jesus' teaching and I believe you will agree that is not a prudent thing to do.

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    4. The Old Testaments stated that homosexuality is a sin and that God created a man and a woman. Jesus affirms it.

      "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'

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    5. Dear Adam,

      Please see my response above. Our Lord affirmed that God did not intend for a man to divorce his wife. This cannot be construed as a condemnation of homosexuality. Our Lord does not say a word about homosexuality. If it were wrong, I'm sure Jesus would have said it.

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    6. Jesus also did not talk about rape or drug abuse. Does that make rape or drug abuse right?

      The Old Testaments clearly said homosexuality is a sin. Do you think Jesus disagreed with the Old Testaments?

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    7. Again, you are using examples where people are harmed. Rape and drug abuse. That's an unjust comparison and I would dismiss the examples as totally irrelevant. In the Old Testament, we read about how a man was caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. The people asked God what they should do and God ordered the man to be stoned to death. See Num 15. Now let's see how Jesus treated the Sabbath. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, how did our Lord reply? Did he say, "Oh no! What I did was not against the Sabbath law. You've got it wrong! What I have done is permissible". NO!!! Our Lord did not say his actions were NOT against Mosaic law. He said in reply "The Sabbath was made for men, not men for the Sabbath". Do you think Jesus really agrees with the killing of a man for gathering firewood in Num 15 if he declares that the Sabbath is made for men and not men for the Sabbath? You really have to apply your mind and not just mindlessly repeat what you were taught by fundamentalist preachers.

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    8. The Old Testaments clearly said homosexuality is a sin. Do you think Jesus disagreed with the Old Testaments?

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    9. Adam, I think you didn't see my answer above. Or perhaps it's a technical glitch and your same question gets repeated. The answer to your question appears immediately above your question.

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    10. How do you explain Leviticus 18:22, You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

      Romans 1:27, And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

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    11. Adam, since you chose, Leviticus and the word "abomination" is used, I will choose the same book, Leviticus and throw the question back at you.

      In Leviticus 11:12, God says this: "Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you." I love lobsters and prawns and I'm sure you do too. Oh, and I love pork too. It's also an abomination. If you read Leviticus, you will find that God seems to love the word "abomination".

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    12. Eating of unclean food is clearly settled in the New Testament.

      But the New Testament clearly repeats the same stand on homosexuality as the Old Testament.

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    13. I don't want to go deep into the contradictions in the New Testament with regard to Old Testament laws. I'm aware that kind of approach will cause deep division among Christians. I just want to say that you are totally wrong in assuming that the New Testament repeats the opposition on homosexuality.

      What is really true is the New Testament fully supports slavery which the Old Testament makes clear is an institution of God's. St Paul found a runaway slave and makes him return to his master Philemon who is a Christian slave owner. Paul did not chide Philemon for owning slaves. In fact, he tells the slave to go back and serve Philemon. Elsewhere, St Paul tells Christians how we should deal with our slaves and he tells Christian slaves how they should deal with their masters who include Christian masters.

      But any church today would insist that slavery, an Old Testament institution of our God, is wrong and sinful. It's rather brave of the church to call God's institution a sin but that's the beauty of Christianity. We do what is right and frankly, we have God's support.

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    14. Hebrew 8 13
      "By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear."

      We change with the times. Not stick to laws that have no bearing in the present.

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    15. Dude, Jesus' only commandment was "Love one another as I have loves you." Please explain to us just how condemning and bullying others qualifies as following His Word?

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    16. Jeff, thanks for the post. You are of course correct. But if you have read the other comments, you will see that instead of confining themselves to the two commandments that Jesus summed up for us, many of them continue to confuse themselves with what they claim to be "God's plan" and of course their idea of God's plan is a purely heterosexual one. I have repeatedly asked them to justify themselves on taking such a stand but they have failed to do so.

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    17. Jesus once posted in the Bible, "Let any one of you who is without sin to throw the first stone!" I am righteous and sinless, thus I have the right to judge. I'm against homos and fags and intersex people, they do not exist for god does not make mistakes. But what I am most againsts of are the narcissistic perverted monosexual wankers and demonic seedspillers who engage in unproductive sex for lust and not for the natural intended purpose of sex by our good Lord Yahweh. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam with a hand lotion and his hand, or Adam and a condom and Eve. Get that right sinners.

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  3. it's all have to do with a person ego to shout out like lawrence khong. attention seeker

    before condemm others ..it's better to reflect on himself ...or khong families repuation. whether the dark secrets was leak out

    a pastor daughter went to a party got screwed left right ...went home pregnant ..finally gave birth to a boy .. yet till today no one knows who's the father was.

    a fine example : lawrence khong

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    1. The intention of this blog post is to urge Christians to show love and acceptance to the LGBT community. I have no doubt that Lawrence Khong is a lovely person but I think he is misguided in his opposition to homosexuality. What you have said is hurtful and wrong. Khong has never kept the incident a secret. He spoke openly about it. And it is commendable that he has shown love to his daughter and grandson. All I'm hoping for is that he would extend the same love and acceptance to the homosexual community. I am sure you had no intention of being rude and abrasive but the way you wrote your comment does sound extremely harsh. Lawrence Khong is a good man. He's only misguided in his understanding of the gay community.

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  4. Jesus loved the worst of sinners, but His love is a catalyst for repentance. So I'd say that He certainly loves all homosexuals and proved it with His love on the cross, but He would say to them as He said to us as well as to the harlot which the Pharisees wanted to stone to death: "go and sin no more".

    Faith in Jesus as a homosexual entails trusting in Him for fulfillment and intimacy than to another member of the same gender, the lack of which bedevils all modern individuals and is the cause of much regret and poor expectations regarding marriage.

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    1. I don't think modern biblical scholarship would immediately condemn homosexual love as irredeemably bad, evil or sinful. Most of us don't understand homosexual love because we are not gay. It's only a very small proportion of people who are gay. But I'm sure it can be as noble and pure as heterosexual love. We cannot be so blind in our bigotry as to insist that only heterosexual love is true and right.

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  5. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV / 2 helpful votes

    For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

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    1. I don't think Lawrence Khong is THAT bad. I think he is just misguided. I'm sure he means well but he's got it all wrong.

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  6. It is possible to love someone, but hate his lifestyle. I am sure you hate gamblers and alcoholics who drive their families to despair. You hate their lifestyle, but love them as Christ loves them, yes? The only question is whether this lifestyle is intrinsic to their very essence and being. To this, research is at best divided and non-conclusive - I am sure with a little research you can find credible research on both sides. The research showing that the lack of biological determinism seems stronger - but you are free to disagree.

    I think you might find it of interest to hear from people who were gay.

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    1. How can you liken a gay man who loves another with a pure love to a gambler or alcoholic who drives his family to despair? If you can't even see how wrong and invidious such a comparison is, I really can't help you. I hope you can see how prejudiced you are if you can make such an unjust comparison.

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    2. so you do not believe homosexuality is sin?

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    3. Thank you for writing this wonderful, thoughtful piece of article. It is very heartening to know that there are religious people like you who have the love and space for those who are different. It gives me hope that Singapore will not follow in the religious footsteps of Russia and Uganda, but enlightened developed countries such as Norway and Sweden.

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    4. Thanks, Otto. No, Singapore will never go the way of Russia and Uganda. We have a good and compassionate government which allows itself to be governed by evidence and truth.

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    5. Contemplator, of course not.

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    6. you have raise a very good point. as christians, we could and we should extend love to all. however, i can see where you are coming from. you do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. bro, it is a sin and there are no two ways about it. but i fully agree that pst khong could have gone about it in a better way. he is standing up for his believe that LGBT is a threat to family sanctity and most importantly, against the word of God. I have read another article where the author (also a christian) takes the stand of wearing RED. not pink nor white. RED symbolises unity and acceptance. i am of this category. however, i still believe that homosexuality is a sin according to the word of God. we can debate on this, or we can agree to disagree.

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  7. Thanks for the clarification. You are very enlightened, but I am afraid my prejudice may be preventing me from seeing how that view is consistent with the Bible. It must be very liberating to live in such a sin-free world :)

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    1. It's good that you acknowledge that you are prejudiced. In your prejudice, you say you can't see how my view is consistent with the Bible. Now, you are speaking in generality because as we all know, the Bible is a collection of MANY books and there are inconsistent threads within them, many of which I assure you neither you nor anyone in the Church will follow. Do you accept slavery as a proper institution that is approved by God? Then why pick on homosexuality? As the Pope recently declares, why is there this obsession with homosexuality?

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  8. Your "bastard' analogy is out of context. The below text copied from this URL.http://rcg.org/questions/p023.a.html

    To keep His people, the physical nation of Israel, pure and strong, God forbade an illegitimate child from holding a public office. This may have included other reasons, but generally referred to offspring from any of the prohibited marriages mentioned in Leviticus 18 and 20.
    We should keep in mind that Old Testament Israel was an unconverted, carnal people whose interests were purely physical. Today, however, God is building a spiritual Family (I Pet. 2:5, 9) rather than a physical one. Every individual will have a chance to become a part of this Family depending on how he lives his own life. A child will not be denied eternal life due to his parent’s sins, nor will a parent lose out on salvation because of his child’s sins. A person’s relationship with God is entirely dependent on his or her own actions. (You may wish to read Jeremiah 31:29-30 and Philippians 2:12.)
    Christ commands Christians to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Therefore, a person’s physical ancestry will not prevent him from being called into God’s Family. In the Old Testament, God had chosen one nation to work with. Today, we know that people of all nationalities and cultural backgrounds may enter His Family, upon real repentance and baptism. Please read Acts 17:30, Galatians 3:28-29 and II Peter 3:9.

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    1. Dear Adam,

      I am very familiar with all these sweetened answers that are an attempt to make the OT God less harsh in areas which would otherwise appear cruel and unjust to our sense of decency. But no, the answer you have given above is totally false and does not accord with what we read in the Bible. Dt 32 does not forbid bastards from holding public office alone. It forbids bastards from merely entering the Congregation of the Lord. They were not allowed to have religious communion. You see how harsh that is? You see how dishonest the answer given is when it says it's to prevent them from holding public office. Can you see the falsehood in the answer? Next, Dt 32 makes it clear that it's not just that the bastard can't enter the Congregation of the Lord. Neither can his child or grandchild or great grandchild all the way down to the tenth generation. Can you understand the severity of that and can you now see how dishonest that answer is when it merely talks about excluding the bastard from public office.

      Please, honesty and truth are important to me. Let's not whitewash the Old Testament just to justify the Bible.

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  9. I'm an ex-gay myself. I know exactly how these community of people feel. We should approach them with love & not war, but neither must we approve of their lifestyle. Homosexuality is clear in the Word of God, that it is against the order of God's creation. But that is NOT the only sin that is stated in the Bible. "Let any one of you without sin be the first to cast a stone."

    Who should not and must not judge or condemn, for who are we to judge or condem?

    Read these:
    Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 NIV)
    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10 NIV)


    "Who can pinpoint the moment at which the twelve were truly converted on their journey with Jesus? Whether the disciple is gay or straight, transformed lives result from going on a journey with Jesus, not cleaning themselves up before starting the journey."
    - Peyton Jones is the founder of New Breed Church Planting and author of Church Zero (David C. Cook, 2013

    No one is perfect and you dont need to be perfect before coming to Jesus Christ.
    To all my LGBT friends out there, Jesus loves you all the same. There's nothing you can do to make Him love you less or love you more. He died for you so you could have a life of abundance & freedom. Come to Him just as You are (Like what i did), and HE will do great and mighty things in and through you, great and mighty things that you do not know. He can lift you up from the miry clay and make ashes into beauty.
    God loves you!

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    1. I only have one thing to say. Your statement that homosexuality is against God's creation is false and totally misconceived. I don't see what is so wrong about our homosexual friends having sexual expression in love and devotion. I know it may sound horrible to us because our taste is heterosexual but it's all in the taste, isn't it? When I was about to marry my wife, a friend asked me if I really wanted such a slim woman. Obviously his preference is for a more fleshy woman. It would be wrong if I tell him that he can only marry slim women. Don't you see? Our tastes differ and he might find it repulsive to be with slim women but that's his taste. A gay man just has a taste for another gay man. That's all. To say it's against God's creation is outrageous!!!

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  10. TL, you said you're a believer am i right?
    When you say such statement, there's gonna be evident and proof to your claim.
    The word of God, is not to blasphemed or neither should His Name be used in vain.

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    1. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. You are the one who has to provide evidence that homosexuality is against God's creation. You allege it and I dispute that. So, it's for you to show evidence that your claim that homosexuality is against God's creation is correct. You have failed to do so except to make a bald statement. I don't understand the bit about blasphemy and using God's name in vain. The only one who used God's name is YOU and I'm merely repeating what you said. I'm saying you are wrong to say that homosexuality is against God's creation.

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  11. I'm praying for you TL. That your eyes shall be opened. Im coming in peace and stating my stand and advise as an ex-gay and as a believer of Lord Jesus Christ.
    Blessings.

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I'm praying for you too. I'm praying that God will show you that you are a wonderful person even if you have lesbian tendencies and you are as much a child of God as a heterosexual person. A person's sexual preference is the least of God's concerns. He does not care if we like to eat mangoes or lychees. He loves us just the same. May our Lord bless you!

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  12. Hi.. I am deeply in pain as well over this. I love my friends and relative who embraced pink life. But I also remember Sodom and Gomorrah. Rmb He taught us that any kingdom if divided within will not stand. If we speak of love then let's go to our brother privately if there are issues we do not agree. By writing this of your fellow brother, how then is the love of God portrayed? I am writing this as a fellow believer as you ..

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    1. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a story to teach the people that they should not be lawless, uncaring and evil. I don't see anything else that you obviously see.
      By writing this, I hope more people will think before they say or do hurtful things against minority groups. The LGBT community is a minority group and they are so easily victimised.

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  13. God love the sinner even though He hates the sin. And do do please realise the bible is very clear the one who chooses sin will have to face consequences. He loves but still needs to judge.

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    1. Of course if someone chooses to sin, he has done wrong. But what has that got to do with the LGBT community? I believe they do sin too but then so do we. I don't think any one group is more prone to sinning than the other. I really don't get your point. Honestly, what has sin got to do with the LGBT community. You sound dreadfully confused.

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  14. Ex-gay? I think that means you are bi.

    Some commenters compares homosexuality to gamblers. I am gay, born that way, and have always been attracted to guys. As far as I know, gambling is a learnt behavior, gambling is not an inborn trait. Plus me loving another person ... How does that compare to a gambler losing his life savings and ignoring his family or worse? It is one thing to be ignorant. It is another to use religion as a shield for the ignorance and to propergate hate as a result.

    Note that being gay is not a lifestyle like being a vegan or a vegetarian. I didn't wake up one day and decide I want to bang a guy. It is not a choice like abortion or wearing a yellow shirt. It's like saying I don't approve of Lawrence Khong because of his lifestyle choice of having two eyes set too close together. I know ludicrous right not to mention its personal because I am disliking someone because of an inborn trait.

    So my question to all those who disapprove of my genetic makeup. Taking away the shield that is the bible, why do you oppose of two males or two females who are in love? Why is that wrong outside of "because the bible says so"? If you cannot think for yourself outside of what the bible says then you are no better than a lemming and I will have to exercise my prejudice and hate you just because.

    As for man+woman = family, let's just take a step back and think what a family is. Stripped it down to the bare basics, a family unit provides an environment where a child or children can grow up in a safe environment. A family provide unconditioned support and love for each and every member of the family. Why is that restricted to only a male and a female? Because the bible says so? Again, lemmings. Why does procreation comes into play here? So a man and woman who cannot conceive due to some biological issue is also not a good family then even though they could adopt kids, loves each other and raise great children? Now replace man and woman to man and man or woman and woman, the statement will still hold true.

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    1. Thanks for thinking through the issues so clearly.

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  15. Thanks TL!! For a christian yourself to have the wisdom to see that an action is truly questionable and ethically wrong you are indeed blessed! I am a pre-believer I have been going to churches and services but i know not much from the bible and thus I cannot argue with verses like how some of you did.

    However I know one very important fact. God wants human to be his tools and his vessels to spread his words and his love. Hope I'm right about this. So here is my question: To all those who wore white or opposed to this article, what have you done for the homosexuals before you even condemn or comment? Did you even put in any effort to try to understand them?

    I would like to quote from an above posting that God made a man and a woman. So did anyone who wore white find out why the 26,000 people who wore pink turned out to be homosexual before saying they are wrong? I'm sure there's no flaws in God's creation and therefore there must be a reason? And by reason I meant the real reasons that changed them and not mere reasons like "they followed satan" or "they are not pure" or "they do not follow God's teaching" blah blah... So... How many of you DID try to understand them?

    I'm sure alot of us actually tried to tell them that according to the bible, what they are doing is wrong. And they brushed us away. I'm sure some of us would try to bring them into our big family. But they preferred to stay in theirs. So what? We gave up? And also gave up being the vessel to spread God's words altogether? How can we claim to be christian if this is what we did? How are we christian if we CHOSE to follow some of the bible that are easy to follow and REFUSED those that are hard to do so 'cos we have no time, we tried our best or it's not my business?

    Tonight in your time alone with God, pray and I'm sure God will tell you to show love, not condemnation. To bring them closer to you, not push them away further. And for those who are in your comfort zone claiming that the homosexuals are sinners, touch yourself and ask yourself: What have you done? What would Jesus do?

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    1. Thanks for posting. To be honest, I don't know many LGBT people but I have read about gay and lesbian Christians who are such wonderful people I'm sure they are more godly and Christ-like than many heterosexual Christians I know. The fact that someone has a different preference does not at all make him any less or any more a Christian than another person.

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  16. Thank you for your insightful article.

    Ephesians 4:14-15
    ...so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ...

    Thank you for speaking the truth in love :)

    God bless!

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  17. I understand your point that God loves us all the same, whether gay or not gay. I have a question, will bring gay please God more or being a heterosexual? It's a simple question that has only 2 choices. And it's about pleasing God not about love ( so please do say no difference as God loves us all the same.)

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    1. I have two kids. One of them loves mangoes more than grapes and the other loves grapes more than mangoes. I am more like the first child. I love mangoes more than grapes. But I love both my kids equally and heaven forbid that I should ever allow one child's preference for grapes to adversely affect my love for him or her. It's the same with God. Being heterosexual or homosexual has no bearing on God's love. Can you not see that?

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    2. I think you're over-simplifying this by comparing this issue to choice of fruits. And I told you that I understood your point already that God loves us the same no matter what. However, we were created by God to glorify him (that includes wanting to please him). Do you agree that God designed us to be heterosexual? That we should lie with the OPPOSITE sex to create new life that is sanctified. Or do you believe God created us without any regard to our sexual orientation?

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    3. It's rather presumptuous of you to suggest that God designed us to be heterosexual. But of course it's an assertion that's totally unsupported by any evidence or rational argument. I don't think God is that obsessed with sex. I'm not sure about the role of God in the minute details of a creature's development but homosexuality is natural - it's found in other primates and other species too.

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    4. And my analogy of a preference for fruits is perfectly correct. If you think the analogy is wrong, you haven't shown why it is wrong.

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    5. First of all, I think you can gather from the creation story that God created the first man and woman to be heterosexuals. He did not create 2 Adams and 2 eves right? He created a man and a woman, granting them the ability to produce more offspring.
      And I'm surprised you said that He does not really care about sex, He even knows the number of hairs on our head. He cares about details as you can see from how He created the world. And I'm surprised that you are now supporting your stand by comparing us with other primates. We are so soo different, humans are created in the image of God, no other living thing is as written in the Bible. This privilege of procreation involves the sanctification of life and how important it is, being a homosexual was not how God designed us to be.

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    6. The creation story is now accepted by rational scholars as a story. In fact it was accepted as long ago as the time of the Early Church Fathers as just a story. It's not uncommon for a story to talk about a man and a woman especially when the story is about procreation. To say further that a procreation story must necessarily mean disapproval of homosexuality is ridiculous. If I tell a story about two Chinese boys, it does not mean I disapprove of girls or Indian boys. Do you see that?

      Even if you are one of those people who believe in the creation story literally and you believe that the stars were hung on the space between the water above the space and the oceans (which is what Genesis says and what ancient Hebrew cosmology accepted before they knew better) and if you believe in Flintstones science (ie humans co-existed with dinosaurs which is what the funny people in the Creation museum advocate), the fact that the first two created persons were man and woman CANNOT mean that homosexuality is wrong. There is no connection. Do you see that?

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    7. For someone who compares human beings to primates and who do not believe in the creation story, it gives me an impression that you're more of Man of science then a man of faith. So you think the early prophets were just making up a story,that the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden was fake? I strongly believe that his account of the creation story was 100% true.
      And you're emphasising too much about procreation, I'm just merely using it to show you that it is natural and God's plan for you to have sexual relationship with the opposite sex. If not, wouldn't God design both man and woman to have sexual organs that permitted them to have "normal/natural" sex to procreate?
      And for the record, I have gay friends as well and they continue to be my friend, just that i believe that their lifestyle is wrong in God's eyes.

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    8. Shawn, a man of faith need not be a man devoid of reason although it's often the case that men of faith especially in Asia and Africa are devoid of reason. And interestingly, the kind of Christianity as practised in many parts of Asia and Africa is the homophobic brand. Reading Genesis literally is something only done by fundamentalists. The reason why a Singaporean Christian like yourself has this literal approach has a lot to do with the aggressiveness of fundamentalists in the US. They write a lot of fundamentalist books and many Singaporean Christians who are new converts to the faith are taken in by these books. Many churches including the RC church accept the truth of evolution.

      Your argument is puerile. This is what you wrote: "And you're emphasising too much about procreation, I'm just merely using it to show you that it is natural and God's plan for you to have sexual relationship with the opposite sex. If not, wouldn't God design both man and woman to have sexual organs that permitted them to have "normal/natural" sex to procreate? "

      Are you unable to see how important procreation is to you and yet you say I emphasize procreation. You use words like "natural" and "unnatural" without having a clear idea what they mean. But from that little quotation of what you wrote, it is clear that you are saying that in order for sex to be natural, one must be able to procreate. That's what you are saying even though it's not very clear. Everyone knows that's nonsense. If natural sex must result in procreation, much of heterosexual sex would be unnatural.

      Funnily, you don't even realise how homophobic your final sentence is. Wow! You have gay friends and they continue to be your friends. Such magnanimity!

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    9. I really do hope you read this article from the Archbishop in SG to give you a better understanding on what i've been trying to say. Thank you.
      http://www.catholicnews.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10241%3Apastoral-letter-to-catholics-with-same-sex-orientation&catid=407&Itemid=207

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    10. Shawn, you said "just that i believe that their lifestyle is wrong in God's eyes." Being gay is not a lifestyle. Like you being straight is not a lifestyle. Starting from the basis that being gay is a lifestyle is ignorant, to put it nicely.

      Okay since we are going there, by your argument, if the bible does not mention something it is unnatural. I don't think Asians are mentioned in the bible. Asians are unnatural!! Science! What a bunch of hocus pocus!!

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    11. As I have said, I normally wouldn't allow links to be posted in the comments section but I made it an exception this time again. Links are a waste of everyone's time. If there is something to be said, one should just say it. What the Archbishop says in his statement is something I have seen earlier. It's nothing new. He's saying the same thing many Singaporean Protestants say - it's all right to be gay but you mustn't have a gay relationship that involves sex. The Archbishop has not shown WHY it is wrong. He merely says it is wrong.That's precisely my point. Homophobic people love to say homosexuality is wrong. My question which is NEVER answered is "Why is it wrong?" That is what I don't like. If you say something is wrong, you had better be prepared to answer the question why it is wrong. If you can't do that, it's dumb to say it's wrong in the first place. I just hope my fellow Christians will stop talking nonsense. If they want to say something is wrong, they must be prepared to explain further and they must be prepared for a rebuttal. Otherwise, we can say anything. The Church in South Africa and in the Southern states of America in the 19th century used to say that blacks deserved to be treated in a certain way because that's God's plan. Any fool can assert something but no fool can defend his stand when it is subjected to public scrutiny.

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  18. Early in his papacy, Pope Francis held an impromptu press conference in the plane. When asked about the LGBT issue, his final answer was "Who am i to judge?"

    Christians often forget that God died for everyone and not just for the select few.
    When we get to Heaven and start chatting with those there, don't be surprised to find murderers, rapists, thieves along side nobel peace prize winners, grandpas, grandmas, uncles and the average Joe. Jesus died to save ALL of God's children. He does not discriminate. And if he doesn't, why are we? (The issue about who gets in is another matter! The answer will surprise you though!)

    But ... but ... we have to uphold God's laws! If that is true, many Christians are reading the wrong page. What do I mean?
    Well, firstly, Christ came to fulfill the old Law. Now that He has done that, why the heck are people still reading from the 2002 Edition of the Street Directory and bitching about things? Before He left Earth (for those who believe in this) He gave 2 new laws that now supercede the old laws. Within the DNA of these new laws, covers everything that the old Laws did not. And the mission statement was (1) Love God (2) Love others.

    The mission of Christians is share the love of God. And we cannot do this wagging our fingers at those who seem to fall short.
    Jesus spoke to prostitues. They went back and screwed more men.
    On other occasions Jesus ate with them. They went back and continued to screw more men.
    He continued to love them and accept them and continually welcomed them.
    Did they repent? Did they convert? These are irrelevant things that our human minds need conclusion and justfications in order to "feel good" for ourselves! We want to feel good about us and not the other guy! The mission of a Christian is to be loving. You can have your opinions, perfect! But How would you feel if someone forced their opinions on you ... for your own good. Doesn't feel good does it?
    But when you act in love ... ah, there people will mean God. The role of the Christian to help people meet God. After that, the results are none of your concerns. In a soccer game, does the linesman push his way onto the podium to celebrate with the winning team? Obviously not. His role and his rewards are different from that of the soccer team. So let's not be confused and take the role of Judge when we are clearly called to be a Helper :)

    Finally And why does sexuality define the worth of a human being? Seriously! Let's turn it around and say ONLY good looks defines your worth as a person. How do you feel about it? Ridiculous? Absolutely! But don't forget that ridiculous done in the name of "good" can do more harm then evil.

    Thanks for posting your thits TY. It certainly helped to crystalise mine!

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    1. Thanks for posting your comment too.

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  19. @fredthen - quote "Did they repent? Did they convert? These are irrelevant things". I would think that being repentant is totally relevant. Based on your explanation, a murderer can go on committing their crimes (because it's in their DNA) and still end up in heaven without repenting?

    @TL has written a thought-provoking article and I give him credit for this. The main argument here seems to be whether God approves of homosexuality. Different camps can argue until the cows come home and there will still be no consensus. However, I do believe we need to differentiate between the "act/issue" itself (e.g. homosexual acts) and the person with that sexual orientation. Regardless of the the stand toward the "act/issue", we need to show care/compassion for the person.

    In my personal opinion, there will be repercussions one way or another. Watch this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXzUpzHLkA

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    1. Hi Andrew,

      Your video is a waste of time and I hope right-thinking people will not waste their time watching it. It's by a fringe prejudiced group. I can show enough accounts from respectable newspapers (and not from some weird fringe extremist groups) that show that children brought up in same-sex marriages are perfectly well adjusted. That's the reason why I normally would not allow links to be posted in the comments. I don't want links from loony groups to appear on my blog.

      I have stated repeatedly that I can't find homosexuality or homosexual acts to be wrong or immoral. The many of you here who seem so jaundiced in your distaste for homosexuality have repeatedly expressed your disapproval but NOT ONE OF YOU has been able to show even the smallest rational argument against homosexuality. And why is that so? Obviously you are all wrong. You are just prejudiced against a minority group that is so easy to make a scapegoat of.

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  20. @TL - that's the reason why I said groups with different ideologies can argue until the cows come home and there will be no consensus still. My point here is that if you put up an article like this, you should be prepared to have differing views from people with different perspectives, and not start lambasting simply because they don't agree with you.

    By your same argument, sex with animals (bestiality) cannot be wrong because it can be a sexual orientation. Same goes for child sex because there are people who are sexually attracted to children too.

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    1. I am harsh to those who are irrational and persistently show an inability to see that they are talking nonsense. It's not because they don't agree with me. My point is clear. If you want to say someone has done something wrong, the onus is on you to show that he has done something wrong. That's how the burden of proof should lie in any debate. Those of you who are so insistent that homosexuality is wrong have not shown the smallest iota of evidence that it is wrong. It's fine if you admit openly that you have no valid argument against homosexuality but you are just a bigot who spurns reason. But I have yet to come across a single person who has the humility to admit that. So far, what homophobes do is just to assert that homosexuality is wrong and that's that. That is something I can't accept as a rational human being.

      Your last paragraph again raises a totally wrong analogy that is absolutely irrelevant to the issues at hand. You talk about cruelty to animals and paedophile sex. Do you see how irrational you are? We are talking about gay relationships between two consenting adults. To compare that to bestiality and paedophile crime is way off. Can you not see it? I'm sure you can if you try a little harder.

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  21. To sum up, if you look at the comments above by those who are anti-gay, you will find that they say the most shocking things. Some compare homosexuality to murder and rape. Some talk about bestiality and paedophile crimes. A friend who saw this exchange of comments exclaimed, "Why are they so STUPID!!!"

    But the truth is these people are not stupid at all. As someone who has served the church all my life, I understand how religious people think. What you are witnessing here is nothing more than a group of people who have already made up their minds. They have decided that come what may, homosexuality is wrong and against God's plan. When they are with their own people in the same churches that teach a homophobic message, they are fine because nobody will challenge them as to why homosexuality is wrong in the first place. But once they leave their little coterie of like-minded friends and they are asked to be rational, they suddenly realise they can't. That's not because they are stupid. It's because the stand they hold is irrational. Hence, in a debate, they sound dumb but really, they are not. Their minds are made up in those areas in which they believe God has made a ruling. No argument can change their minds.

    There is no room for a rational debate with those who have made up their minds. It's often the case that people do make up their minds when they believe God has told them so.

    I can assure you that we can argue until the Second Coming of Christ and they will continue to insist that homosexuality is against nature and against God's plan and they won't substantiate their bald claim. They merely assert that.

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  22. Shawn,

    This "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" logic is silly and spurious. Does it mean that everyone who chooses to be single is not following God's plan? Everyone who is infertile is not following God's plan? Everyone who chooses to have his name to be anything other than Adam or Eve not following God's plan? Because God created them Adam and Eve, not Shawn and Shawna.

    Adam had kids with Eve. And then they reproduced to form the rest of the human race. Does that mean that incest is God's plan for us? Because God created them Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and their non-biologically-related neighbourhood.

    Eve was pulled from Adam's rib. Is every woman who was not pulled from man's rib not part of God's plan? I do hope not, but plenty of people used that logic in the 1900s to deny females the vote.

    Why do we eat meat? Why do we wear clothes? Sure, man sinned and messed up all those bits. But aren't we supposed to strive towards God's perfection? By eating vegetables only and not wearing clothes? Do we practice these things? Because God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Eve and Dolce and Gabbana.

    This is your logic, broken for you.

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    1. Thanks, X. It's always a joy to read something sensible and rational. I've tried to explain to some of those who comment here that their examples and analogies are all wrong and irrelevant. But the way you go about doing it is brilliant.

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  23. Hi

    I've read your entry and how you've asked those "anti-gay" people to prove their anti-gay stance - and it is interesting to read how you've swept their arguments aside.

    I just wonder what Biblical stance/ teaching are your convictions based on? I think it would nice to know exactly where you come from Biblically.

    Also just a comment - though I am no fan of Khong, I do find it objectionable that you've dragged up his daughter's chequered past and raised his grandchild's illegitimate birth.

    While he has made no secret about his family's past, I think it's rather cruel of you to highlight "bastardy" splashed across your blog's title - obviously linked to Khong's granchild, just so you can make a point.

    I just wonder what the child would feel, years down the road when he comes across your blog entry? Too bad for him to be the grandchild of the man who dared voice his stance against homosexuality?

    Didn't you just victimise the child while telling his grandfather not to victimise the gay community?

    Just a thought....

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    1. Hi Serene,

      Thanks for posting your thoughts. With regard to the stand of my anti-gay readers who have posted their comments on this blog, you claim that I’ve “swept their arguments aside”. You can’t be more wrong than that. In the first place, none of them is able to bring out a single coherent argument in their favour. So far, all they have done is to make ludicrously irrelevant statements that can’t even count as an argument that a reasonable man would make. Some of them have likened gay relationships between consenting adults to paedophilia and cruelty to animals while others have spoken of gay sex as similar to murder and rape. At no point has anybody raised a single credible shred of evidence or argument to show that homosexuality is wrong. If you think what I’ve stated is incorrect, please give me just one credible argument that they have come up with or if they have failed, as you must admit they have, perhaps you can come up with one yourself?

      My biblical stance, as you call it, is irrelevant. If I say that eating mangoes is wrong, it’s not for me to ask those who think mangoes are permissible to state their biblical stand. It’s for the person who alleges that something is wrong to show why it’s wrong. That’s the basic commonsensical approach any rational person must take in a debate. Hence, the onus must be on the person alleging that homosexuality is wrong to show that it is wrong.

      You say I have “dragged up his [Khong’s] daughter's chequered past and raised his grandchild's illegitimate birth”. From your choice of words, I think I can’t be faulted if I were to surmise that you are one of those who play the blame game and are by nature judgmental and so you may not understand how I think. Let me explain. In the non-judgmental world that I live in, I don’t point the accusing finger at anyone who does not hurt others. Homosexuals do no wrong in my books by having a relationship, provided it’s between consenting adults. Neither did Khong’s daughter when she had consensual premarital sex. I do not look at her past as “chequered” as you do. And of course in my non-judgmental world (which must be alien to all of you who are anti-gay and anti-fornication if I may use the florid language of the Holy Bible), the “illegitimacy” of a child’s birth is nothing more than descriptive. The “illegitimacy” does not stigmatise the child or his mother in any way and it certainly does not give the mother a chequered past. I brought up illegitimacy because of Deuteronomy 32 and I sought to show that one can't bring up an Old Testament prohibition on homosexuality as a justification to oppose it when all of us would not agree to the victimisation of illegitimate children despite Dt 32.
      ........To be continued in the next post.

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    2. I was initially surprised when you made it seem as if I, by careful design, gave the example of bastardy just to “victimise” Lawrence Khong’s grandchild. But I understood you better as I read more and more of your comment. You see, when you take on your very judgmental stand which informs the entire comment you posted on my blog, it is not surprising that you assume that references to bastardy and to Priscilla must necessarily be cruel acts of victimisation. Honestly, don’t you think that it’s people who look upon Priscilla as having a chequered past whom Lawrence Khong and family must be careful about? These are the people who would consciously or unconsciously discriminate against his family.

      To suggest that my blog post may cause hurt to the grandson years down the road is false, untrue and wholly unjust even if we were all immersed in your culture of blame and fault-finding. The story of Priscilla and her child appears in wikipedia’s account of “Lawrence Khong”. Do you see how unjust and needlessly accusatory you are when you said that the grandchild might stumble upon my blog post and be hurt by it when the full story appears in wikipedia’s account of his grandfather? If he’s to feel hurt by such a story, he would have been crushed years ago. Not only does his story appear online and in more easily accessible websites than my blog, his whole church is fully aware of it. What may be more likely is he may grow up to be ashamed of his grandfather’s (if I may borrow your words) victimization of the gay community. By then, it’s quite likely that even tiny traces of homophobia would be deemed as offensive as racism is today.

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    3. Sorry, I had to break up my reply into two (see above) because I exceeded the word limit for each comment under blogger.com's rules. Please read both comments above as one.

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  24. HI TL,

    Thanks for taking the time to write your reply.

    Goodness. I'm not sure if my choice of words or it's your own coloured lens that made you assume that I am making judgement the predicament or label of Khong's daughter and her child. I will not go into details about myself but suffice to say I am neither homophobic nor am I judging the Khong family's past. I don't know why you need to put labels on me but I suppose, since I made a post, you're entitled to.

    Hopefully, this will make things clearer - all I am saying is I am concerned why is there a need to bring up their situation to substantiate your point when a generic one would suffice. I believe I would have understood you no less.

    I have already made the point that I am aware Khong has made no effort hide this fact but to bring it up even as a matter of discussion or debate, I felt it was unkind because I think no one can be unaffected. Yes, in an ideal world a great number of labels or names would simply be merely for identification but we do not live in that world yet. Just like you're writing for a better, kinder world, I just thought it would have been nice if the child had been left out of it.

    I also concede that I am unable to offer any argument against homosexuality - in part, I am not that learned in the Word and the other, I was never intending to anyway. What I wanted to understand from you is, where are you coming from Biblically? You mentioned that you're a long-time Christian and served in ministry so there must be a Biblical perspective, verse, doctrine, theology or whatever you must base your convictions on, right? I mean, it cannot simply be a situation where "since you cannot prove me wrong, then I must be right", right? Would love to hear you share about that.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Serene,

      Thanks for your further comment. I found it necessary to bring up Lawrence Khong's circumstances as a reminder to him that just as much as he did right to show love and kindness to his daughter and grandson, he should learn to extend that love to others too. Notice that I did not bring up in this article the other incident of his dismissal of an unmarried pregnant employee of his. If blasting him was my intention, I would certainly have included that incident. But no. I wrote this post shortly after the Pink Dot celebration and I was only interested in telling Khong to extend his love to others. The purpose was to edify him and others like him; not to insult them.

      Love cannot be wrong. There was a time when the whole world including the church would have been up in arms if there was a mixed marriage between different ethnic groups. But as time progresses, humanity espouses love and tolerance more and more and today, it's unthinkable for any church to object to a mixed marriage. But bear in mind that as recently as the last century, many churches opposed mixed marriages.

      Today, some churches continue to condemn love between two persons of the same sex. It's so clear to me that any such opposition to love must be wrong. Loving others is the only great commandment Jesus gave us that relates to people.

      Homophobia is a transgression of Christ's command to love. Many of us don't see that because we don't want to. It's very easy to be divisive and to hate. Many Christians hate intensely but they fool themselves into thinking that they don't. I see that all the time. They believe that non-believers will be tortured for all eternity and they believe they deserve the eternal torture and God is right and just and yet they claim they love non-believers. That is a lie. Anyone who believes someone is deserving of eternal torture cannot be so blatantly dishonest as to claim to love him. Yet many of my fellow Christians don't even realise how much hate they possess. It's the same with homophobia. To say that we love the gay person but hate his sexual relationship is nonsense. It's turning a blind eye to reality just so that we can pretend to have love.

      The ability to pretend to have love and not to hate is something the average Christian has honed almost to an art form. When I was a boy, it was very common for us Christians to insist we didn't hate so-and-so but we merely disliked him. This is one negative aspect of religion - it teaches us to dissemble.

      I have shown that homophobia flies in the face of Christ's command to love. It contravenes Jesus' commandment. It's therefore a sin. Can someone show me why he or she thinks homosexuality is wrong? If not, can we all stop pretending that it's a sin just so that we can excuse our propensity to hate?

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  25. Hi TL,

    I am very impressed with the clarity of your argument, good use of language, appropriate analogies, and your patience in responding to the replies.

    I am a Christian (though possibly not as devout as you...) who thinks that it's important for us to discuss or even debate this issue in a fair-minded manner. I am concerned with the recent "colorful" developments in Singapore, and sadden to think that our reactions as Christians may have led to the widening divide and alienation from the gospel. Although i may not totally agree with your perspectives, i think what you are doing is important, and if we are not able discuss this calmly and objectively as Christians, then how do we represent Christ on earth as a body?

    I am especially sorry for the "hate mails" you've received that is totally uncalled for, and i cringed (and slightly amused) at some of them. If there's one thing, I do regret the use of the word "bastard" in your posting in referring to the innocent boy. I looked up Wikipedia on Khong, and the phrase used was a "child out of wedlock". I understand the point you are trying to make, and perhaps you could argue that the b-word means exactly that (out of wedlock), but we both know that it has a much greater negative connotation. I just thought that a man of your talents could have avoided that to make the same point.

    I see the logic of your arguments made earlier, with regard to the creation of men and women not necessarily leading to the conclusion of the rejection of homosexuality. I do hope to get your views on Romans Chapter One which seems to address the issue of homosexuality being unnatural.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Lastly, i think that it's possible to love a person but hate the behaviour/decisions. In fact i experience this every day with my kids! I love them so much, but i really hate it when they start hurting each other or hurting themselves (by not drinking water and wanting to eat candies all day), and i will do my best to prevent that. Hopefully, i'll do better tomorrow!

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    1. Hi Titus,

      Thank you for your very fair comment. Broadly, there are three parts to your comment:

      1. A rebuke for my choice of words in describing an illegitimate child;
      2. My response to Rom 1; and
      3. Is it "possible to love a person but hate the behaviour/decisions" (I'm quoting you verbatim here)?

      Since it's now quite late in the night, I will only address the first part. However, I assure you that I will deal with the other two parts tomorrow when I have more time.

      Now, for my use of the word "bastard", you will recall that I wrote this in my above article:

      "Before I begin, let me make it clear that I have nothing against illegitimate children. To me, an illegitimate child is no different from a child of happily married parents and is no different from a gay child or a child from gay parents. But the world used to be so opposed to illegitimate children that I can't even find a suitable word for them that does not have bad connotations. "Illegitimate" itself is a word fraught with judgment. "Bastards" which the Bible uses is much worse. "Children born out of wedlock" is a bit too long and does have a tinge of disapproval. Perhaps I should call such a child a "love child" which is the most neutral term available."

      I covered all ground and I did consider "born out of wedlock" which incidentally is a term you seem to approve and it's also used in wikipedia in the section on Lawrence Khong. But I dismissed it as "a bit too long" and it "does have a tinge of disapproval". The English language itself does not allow for a perfectly neutral term when describing illegitimate children.

      And I went on to quote the Bible (Dt 23) and of course the Word of God merrily uses the word "bastard" without a care in the world. You will notice that I did try to use the term "love child" for a while but it sounded unnatural and contrived. And as they say, God's wisdom is unparalleled and before long, the brevity of God's choice ("bastard") struck me as unrivalled by any other description of my own devising and I stuck to it. But I did hope that what I'd written about my true unprejudiced feelings for illegitimate children might exonerate me from any blame of harshness or unkindness in using God's choice of words.

      That's my defence for having used the word "bastard". I may have used the same word as God's holy book but I certainly do not share the Bible's view of illegitimate children and I strongly disapprove of the Old Testament's cruel treatment of them.

      I will address your two other points tomorrow.

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    2. Hi Titus,

      As promised, I have written a long reply on my take on biblical verses that appear anti-gay. Your question is precisely the kind of question any rational man might want to ask and it is one that I have been asked repeatedly by many people through private messages and emails and so I thought it best to write in detail my real position on the matter and post it as a separate blog post. Here it is: http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.sg/2014/07/isnt-the-bible-antigay.html

      I believe I have answered your question but if I have failed in any way or if you have any further question, please post a comment either here or in the new blog post.

      Thanks!

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  26. I won't say I totally agree with what Pastor Lawrence did. But if he doesn't make a stand, who will? Besides, when I read all his post, I found him standing on grounds to fight family values.

    I can sympathise with the LGBT community, because I was once like them. I want to bring to you guys 3 things I found out through my journey:
    1) You can go on showing bible verses all you want. Some verses are really out of context. For me I feel homosexuality is wrong because of what God created man and woman to be like after the fall - multiply the earth in His way. Homosexuality itself breaks a moral code that eventually destroys society. I can say my inclination is to have sex with children. I gather a group of pedofiles to campaign and alter the law. Will you all agree it's moral?
    2) Homosexuality states their attraction as their identity. After I realised this. I realised it's not a good stance for me to determine who I really am. Friends, love who God has created you to be - man and woman.
    2) The LGBT community don't need people that will flame up protests or encouraging posts through religious communities/blog posts - they have been hurt, rejected, misunderstood countless times by their family and friends; when they were still in their identity crisis, no one was there for them.

    Friends, I appeal to you. You can go on with your babbling about how this issue is right or wrong - go on with talk; but who will be there to show them the love of Jesus, that they can be transformed? Will you be there?

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    1. Love Chai, I have to be stern because otherwise, I will get comments from a thousand fools who may post their babbling nonsense. My stand is to allow any comment unless it contains an insane link or if it's abusive. But I want to respond to all comments and if there stupid comments, my job will be so much tougher.

      I have said this repeatedly. Any comparison of homosexuality to paedophilia (cruelty to children) or murder or bestiality (cruelty to animals) is a STUPID comparison and can everyone please use your brain before making stupid comments? We are talking about a relationship between consenting adults and nobody who is not totally stupid will analogise that to paedophilia or rape of someone who has a mental problem or a sexual union with animals. Do you see how stupid your comparison is? Don't bring it up again or I will have to tell you in stronger words how stupid your comment is. Before you compare homosexuality to something offensive, please use your brain first and see if it is a fair comparison. If it is not, stop making the comparison or everyone can see how stupid you are and how deeply prejudiced you can be.

      Apart from your stupid remark, you have not explained why homosexuality is wrong. To say that we are to multiply the earth is again another stupid remark. St Paul tells us it's better not to get married, ie not to multiply If what you say is true, singles and that would include our Lord Jesus Christ, St Paul and all the apostles are living a sinful lifestyle because they are not multiplying the earth. Do you see how stupid that remark is?

      Your point (2) shows a complete ignorance of sexuality. A gay man is a man and a lesbian is a woman. They are not confused about their sexual identity. It's the preference that is different from that of heterosexuals.

      Your point (3) is almost insane. The LGBT community doesn't need people like you to upset them even more. You claim to be once like the LGBT community. Let me tell you this. You still are one of them except that you have repressed your sexual feelings because you think it's a sin. That's the truth and you know it too.

      I'm sorry for the strong words I have used but I get really riled up when I see remarks that are totally dumb.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO MAKE A COMMENT, PLEASE THINK THROUGH WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY BEFORE BABBLING. IF YOU HAVE A GOOD REASON WHY HOMOSEXUALITY IS WRONG, PLEASE STATE IT. IF NOT, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE SCURRILOUS COMMENTS THAT ARE TOTALLY UNFAIR AND OFFENSIVELY SO. IF YOUR REMARKS ARE WAY OFF OR IF THEY ARE STUPID, I'M AFRAID I CALL A SPADE A SPADE.

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  27. TL,

    I am writing to thank you for speaking up on behalf of the gay community. I am also writing because I feel the need to tell some of the commenters on your blog that the hate speech and bigotry we regularly hear from evangelical Christians have serious and far-reaching consequences.

    I shall start with some background. My parents are Christian. I have never told them I am gay. In fact, I didn't even fully understand the concept of homosexuality until I was 20. And then I denied my sexuality to myself and others until I was 23.

    I was an active participant in an evangelical church for more than 10 years. And it was only recently, i.e. 1 to 2 years ago, that I understood how badly church had damaged me emotionally and mentally.

    Since I was 10, I was told that homosexuals would go to hell and were sinners. The reasons that all gay people are sinners have been repeated ad nauseam in the comments to this post by many commenters, and it would be clear which those are. At 10, I also started to realise that I was different from everyone else.

    This did not go unnoticed by my peers. At school, I was regularly called a faggot. I dreaded Biology classes - whenever human reproductive organs were discussed, I would be at the receiving end of snide remarks, sometimes even by my teachers. So I started, and then I learnt, to hate the part of myself that others hated too.

    You can imagine I was very depressed for most of my teenage years. Growing up in church is one of the most isolating experiences for a gay teenager. I think it would be fair to say that I considered the option of suicide for many, many years, even after left for England to study.

    It wasn't until I was hospitalised in England for depression, and started seeing a psychiatrist for many, many years, that I started the healing process.

    I am almost 30 now. But I still recall vividly the 10 or so years during which I felt ostracised and was a victim of bullying, even in church (including by some elders and senior church members). I have developed a deep-seated hatred for Christian people, regardless of whether I know them or their thoughts. I know this is both unfair and irrational; I am trying to unlearn this knee-jerk reaction. More importantly, I am trying to learn to forgive.

    I am no longer Christian; I stopped believing the day I realised I could not bring myself to believe in a god everyone said loved me, but who also made me the very person I am told he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for.

    Many Christians don't know that the gay community is a long-suffering one. Christian people come with good intentions, I suppose, even when they tell you that you will burn for eternity for truly and faithfully loving another person. I am worried they will never know that their actions leave behind a trail of destruction, marked by a generation battered and broken by depression and self-loathing.

    That is why, after considering it for a long time, I decided to write this (very long) comment.

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    1. I'm sorry I didn't respond to this comment earlier but it was posted when I was about to board a plane and I didn't have time to read it. I'm even more sorry to read the comment made. This is very sad and it's an indictment on all Christians who are homophobic and who insist that homosexuality is wrong. I don't blame you for hating Christians. If I were not a Christian all my life, I too would hate Christians for all the wrongs that they have done. Christians are, I have to admit, a very unlovable bunch of people. We are very quick to overlook our own faults but we instantly see the wrong in others and if someone is different from us, we are quite prepared to say they are wrong for just being different.

      I have not known a more judgmental group of people in my entire life than my fellow Christians. It's quite all right to hate them. I would too if I were in your shoes.

      I'm not a conventional Christian and because of that, I too am judged by many believers. I know of Christians who openly call me an atheist because I'm not the superstitious kind of Christian. They take strong objection to what they consider to be my non-belief in the existence of God just because they don't fully understand my definition of God.

      I'm a naturist and many Christians especially in Singapore have a jaundiced view of naturism. Many of them are so obsessed with sex that they cannot help but associate nudity with sex. When I tell them I go to a naturist resort, they assume I go to an orgy. I try to explain to them that I am a naturist because I don't subscribe to the nonsensical suggestion that there are parts in my body which are so obscene that I have to cover them up. I only cover them up because the law requires it. But most people find it hard to accept that. That prompted me to write this post in my blog: http://vivitelaeti.blogspot.com/2014/05/why-nudity-is-natural-and-shame-is.html

      But I'm not belittling the struggles of a gay person or equating the problems faced by a naturist with those faced by the LGBT community. I acknowledge that the LGBT community faces a much greater injustice than naturists. I'm just a naturist philosophically and when I'm in a naturist resort or group. I'm perfectly comfortable wearing clothes. But a gay person cannot stop being gay because that's his very nature and being. To legislate that people should be clothed is perfectly all right but to legislate against gay sex is trampling on the rights of the LGBT community because the law is going against the very essence of their humanity.

      So, when I give the example of my naturist activities, I'm not playing down the injustice faced by the LGBT community. This is something I must make clear. I merely want to illustrate how judgmental Christians are. It's their nature.

      My wife has become hooked on yoga and many Christians hate that too. Some think of yoga as demonic because of its Hindu origin. Some Christian friends saw me a couple of years ago in church on Christmas day and they asked me where my wife was and I told them she was worshipping the sun god at her yoga session. One of them told me quite sternly that I shouldn't joke about these things. I really don't know what fundamentalist Christians think of us - a husband who's not ashamed of nudity and is perfectly all right with his naked photos appearing freely on naturist websites and a wife who is always doing yoga. But I don't see Christian groups of Lawrence Khong campaigning against naturism and yoga. They seem to be more keen on attacking the LGBT community. That is why I do not think naturists or yogis face even a fraction of the problems faced by the LGBT community. It's inexplicable why this is so but it's very sad and unjust that it should be so. The rest of the world including fair-minded Christians should stand up against this unwarranted abuse of the LGBT community.

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