National Council Of Churches Does Not Condone LGBT Lifestyles But Rejects Discrimination Against Homosexuals
From Section 377A to the Pink Dot rally, talking points for the advancement of LGBT rights aren’t in short supply.
But have you personally encountered a gay person who’s seeking forgiveness from the church?
If so, the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) wants them to know that it still considers the homosexual lifestyle as sinful and unacceptable.
A Straits Times article published on Sunday (17 Dec) entitled ‘Churches building bridges with LGBT Christians‘ apparently suggested that NCCS’ acceptance of the LGBT community was imminent.
This prompted many member churches to ask NCCS if there had been a change their stance on homosexuality.
NCCS swiftly issued a statement just five days later, confirming that they do not condone homosexual practices and “[consider] the homosexual lifestyle as sinful and unacceptable”.
We’re frankly not surprised at all. But here’s how it went down anyway.
Same old, same old
The NCCS acted quickly to quash these murmurings, declaring that they stand proudly exactly where they’ve always been. The statement can be read in full here.
They go on to state that while homosexual acts are considered sinful, homosexuals “should be regarded and treated no less as persons of worth and dignity”, echoing the sentiments voiced in a statement made way back in 2003.
They end off their statement by reaffirming the life-changing power of the gospel of forgiveness.
Hardly groundbreaking stuff, but it seems more like just another fork in the long, winding and seemingly never-ending road towards equal LGBT rights.
One thing they got right… kinda.
Credit to NCCS, though for stating that homosexuals should not be discriminated against in church or the workplace. It’s a line they have sought to emphasise in their various LGBT-related statements for 14 years.
Full marks for consistency, if anything.
However, this doesn’t exactly gel with the whole “unacceptable lifestyle” part of the statement.
If they are so against homophobia and want to reach out to the LGBT community, surely declaring that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful and unacceptable goes against those aims.
You can’t just go around declaring a part of the population as sinful while also rejecting discrimination on these same individuals.
And that’s before taking into account the troubles LGBT youths face when trying to navigate their sexuality and religion at the same time.
Doing it without the support of one’s church can be very mentally draining.
Keeping the old ways alive
This isn’t exactly the first time the NCCS have made a sweeping declaration.
Earlier this year in March, they issued a strongly-worded statement decrying the ‘Gay Agenda’ in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. The uproar was over a ‘gay moment’ in the film which, according to them, was totally unnecessary.
Accompanied with a stern wag of the finger.
Thing is, the scene they were so worried about clocked in at just under a second. You’ll literally miss it if you blink during the scene.
Evidently, those who aren’t accepting of LGBT rights are quickly becoming a minority in today’s society.
What does the NSSC have to do?
Well, simply, more. Even netizens, while often divided on various issues, came together to agree that churches need to do more to include the LGBT community.
Most of them agreed that it is in the best interests of the churches to adopt a different mindset.
Some were justifiably skeptical about the amount of actual progress made.
One user in particular, was all about that #staywoke lifestyle.
The Wrong Side of History
Homosexuality remains a tough topic to tackle in Christian environments, be it in the households or in churches. But no one can deny the rising tide of acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Singapore.
This rings especially true for millennials.
Last year, Pope Francis called for all transsexuals and homosexuals to be accepted and embraced by the Catholic Church. Admittedly, statements from a higher religious authorities do go a long way in shifting attitudes and mindsets of the general populace.
It may be an incredibly tough mental transition to make, but it is 2017, with 2018 right around the corner.
Homophobia is long past its best before date and should be discarded before someone else suffers from it.