Recently, a Singaporean man made headlines internationally for singing worship songs midflight.
The incident garnered mixed reactions — some condemned his actions while others defended the man.
On Tuesday (19 Apr), 3:16 Church, located along Robinson Road, addressed the now-viral video via a Facebook post.
The church’s pastor, Pastor Norman Ng, acknowledged the criticism raised but encouraged believers to instead focus on the bravery of the act.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (19 Apr), 3:16 Church addressed the viral incident involving Jonathan Neo, a Singaporean, singing worship songs during a flight.
The statement, written by Pastor Norman Ng, praised Neo’s bravery in performing during the flight.
He acknowledged Singaporeans’ criticism of Neo’s actions but stated that as a multicultural society, we should be more accepting of Neo’s expression of faith.
After all, Mr Ng said,
The beauty of this nation is not in the exclusion of religious practices and views but a neutral platform for the free exercise of all cultural diversities.
For those who insisted that Neo was forcing his faith on the flight passengers, Mr Ng admits they have the right to their opinion.
However, he reminds netizens that the flight crew gave Jon permission to sing. Furthermore, many passengers appeared to be appreciative of his efforts and joined in the singing.
In any case, Mr Ng said that passengers also had the “agency” to voice their disapproval should they have wanted him to stop.
Responding to some Christians who disapproved of Neo’s actions, Mr Ng encouraged them to focus on Neo’s courage instead of passing judgement.
He added that fear often masquerades well as wisdom and proclaimed that instead of commentating on the sidelines, he would rather “stay inspired by his courage”.
Neo’s worship session on the flight has gone viral with many netizens chiming in with their two cents on the issue.
Many condemned Neo for supposedly imposing his faith on the passengers of the flight. While some praised him for his performance, the vast majority remained critical.
A TikTok user has also publicly called out Neo in a video, posting his social media accounts. Neo has since deleted most of them — his Instagram account remains ‘private’.
The incident comes on the heels of Neo similarly singing worship songs for Ukrainian refugees in train stations and shelters.
Mr Ng highlighted these actions as well, stating that Neo is merely sharing his faith with thousands of refugees currently in a dire situation.
At the end of the day, everyone’s opinions on the matter are valid and should be acknowledged.
But when all is said and done, it is important to remember that Neo’s singing of the worship songs on the flight was well-intentioned, even if lacking in tact.
Hopefully, with Pastor Norman’s statement, Singaporeans will better understand that mutual respect for our religions and expressions of faith is crucial in every interaction, be it in person or online.
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