Thursday, April 07, 2016

Singapore Church History: Introduction

As someone brought up in Singapore and who grew up in the Singapore church environment, knowing the history of the Singapore churches would make for some interesting reading, even though I have by and large separated myself from them. My crushing disappointment in the level of compromise and the lack of discernment and fortitude of the Singapore churches in general disgusts me, and thus I no longer consider myself part of it, even if I were to stay in Singapore. After all, just look at the broad spectrum of Singapore churches, the so-called "Evangelicals" who joyously join in the apostate Global Day of Prayer events. As far as I am concerned, Singapore churches are compromised by heresy within the churches, and partnership with heretics and trans-national heretical movements without, and a false piety that values toleration of heresy in being "nice" and non-confrontational rather than standing for the truth of God.

The president of the Bible Society of Singapore, Bobby E.K. Sng, has written a history of the Church in Singapore from 1819-2002. I am sure he attempted to be neutral in this writing of Singapore's church history, but, this side of post-moderneity, we know there is no such as absolute neutrality. Sure enough, the church history by Sng is progressivist and at times triumphalistic, almost hagiographical in nature. All "renewal" efforts by all kinds of churches are noted positively. Growth in numbers is the only good thing to be celebrated in this account of Singapore's history. A growth in Roman Catholic adherents is treated positively alongside growth among charismatics, or growth in baptists. Even Trinity Theological College has undergone a makeover in Sng's portrayal, so as they are seen to be a force for good in Singapore and the surrounding nations.

In the next few posts, I would like to look at the major episodes mentioned in Sng's portrayal of Singapore church history, and comment on it. Sng comes at the task from an essentially Neo-evangelical point of view, but I will come to the task from a Reformed point of view. I would like to point out the various problems in the Singapore church history narratives and the consequences they have had or will have on the Singapore churches.

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