Section S377A of the Penal Code of the Singapore Constitution, which criminalizes homosexuality, is back in the news, as various liberals have (again) renewed their call to repeal what they perceive to be an archaic and "discriminatory" law. As times changed, and society have become more liberal, so perhaps the liberals think that now is the time to attempt a repeal of this law. Liberals are liberals, and thus, as much as we can put forward a case from natural law and from science as to why S377A should be kept, the liberals are not my main concern here.
More worrying however is the weakening response from Christians in Singapore. This is not to say that many Christians do not stridently support this law, but rather, that it is not at all clear to me that the younger generation is both able and willing to support it. I am of course open to evidence to the contrary, but at least from my limited point of view, I perceive that many younger Christians have been exposed to various aspects of liberal thought and are not as strong in their views on biblical law and biblical sexuality as the older generation, who have built their opposition from both traditional culture and Christianity. This is not to say that traditional cultures are definitely true and to be accepted uncritically, because I myself do not do so. But rather, without tradition, and with little knowledge of Christianity, it is unclear what is capable of grounding their support of S377A. After all, just because the Bible says homosexuality is sin does not necessarily in itself lead one to think that S377A should be upheld, or at least that is what a simplistic understanding of Scripture seems to indicate.
There are two issues here that Christians should think about: (1) Does society owe God anything? (2) What is the nature and goal of societal censure? Firstly, does society owe God anything? Here, I would like to remind believers that according to Scripture, this world is made by God and God is sovereign over everything on this earth, including Singapore. If you do not believe that, you do not believe in the Christian God. But if God is sovereign over all the nations of the world as their Creator, then that means that the nations owe God homage and obedience to His law. However, now is the time of the New Covenant whereby God is building His Kingdom through the Church. The Church proclaims the Gospel message of salvation, and therefore in all matters concerning spiritual things, the nations are temporarily "exempted" from paying God homage, in the sense that God is not dealing with them on this issue right now. Concerning spiritual things, due to the Noahic Covenant, the nations are left to their own devices for the moment, only to be dealt with at the final judgment (Acts 17:30-31; Rev. 19:15).
That said, God is not absent from the world and only present at church. Rather, God continues to demand the ethical demands of His law (what is called the Second Table of the Ten Commandments - Commandments 5-10). We notice in for example the Old Testament that God judged the pagan nations for gross violations of these laws. Besides the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, whereby not even ten outwardly righteous people could be found in Sodom, God judged the Canaanites only when their iniquities are full (Gen. 15:16). During the time of the exile of the Jews, God judged the various other countries around Israel for their cruelty towards Israel (Amos 1-2). These judgments are not just meted out because the victim is Israel, as we can see in the strange case of God judging Moab for what seemed to be a minor sin (to us) of desecrating the bones of the king of Edom (Amos 2:1), who is definitely not an Israelite neither a friend of Israel.
As we see in Scripture, God deals with the secular nations by overlooking their idolatry while inflicting punishments when their moral iniquities are too great. This restraint of judgment is not because God's law does not apply to them, but rather that this age is not the time of judgment. But just because God is gracious now in not immediately wiping sinners out does not mean that His law can be disregarded in society. All nations are obligated to obey God's ethical commands, because God is Creator. It matters not whether they will or will not acknowledge God and His sovereignty, for God is sovereign and all will answer to him one day whether they like it or not.
So society, even secular societies, owes God obedience to His ethical commands. Society therefore is obligated to pass laws that restrains sins and promote the ethical commands of God. Any society that does not do that, or that passes laws contrary to God's commands, is a wicked society, and will incur the wrath of God, which will come on all regardless of whether that society believes in Him or not.
Secondly, what is the nature and goal of societal censure? "Discrimination" is one of the few sins that postmodern society acknowledges. However, "discrimination" in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. All laws discriminate, against criminals. The law that states that stealing is a sin discriminates against the thief. The law that states that drug trafficking is wrong discriminates against drug traffickers. So what if something is "discriminatory"? The question is not whether a law is discriminatory, but rather whether what is discriminated against deserves to be discriminated against. Wrongful discrimination is wrong because it discriminates against what is morally good or neutral. But right discrimination discriminates against what is evil and wicked. Similarly, the word "stigma" or the phrase "social stigma" does not necessarily mean that the stigmatizing itself is wrong. Theft should be stigmatized. Murder should be stigmatized. And murderers should bear the opprobrium of their wicked deeds. Therefore, societal censure is correct if it is directed at that which is wicked, and wrong if directed at that which is not evil. Just because societal censure exists does not mean that it is wrong. Societal censure is meant to guide people to avoid that which is wrong and to do what is right, imperfectly yet truly.
Therefore, in the case of S377A, Christians who are grounded in Scripture should know that Singapore being a secular society is no excuse for thinking that biblical morality is irrelevant. Furthermore, since we live in a democracy, we have the right as citizens to ask our government to keep that statute, and indeed to seek to make our country's law as moral and just as it is possible. What is wrong is if the church as an institution act as a lobbying group, because that would violate the secular nature of our country. But calling on the government to have just laws that conform to God's moral standards is not "fundamentist," "bringing religion into a secular state" or whatever slurs opponents of S377A can come up with. In fact, as long as we remain a democracy, Christians can make their views known on the subject and push for our laws to be moral.
Moreover, Christians should be mature enough to see past the rhetoric of the wicked (which is what they are). This has nothing to do with allowing homosexuals to live in sin, because they can do so without punishment, for who is such a busybody to go around asking everyone whether they are engaging in homosexual sex acts in their homes?! Rather, this is all about the LGBTQ+++ lobby seeking social acceptance for their wickedness. In other words, they want US to approve of their actions. That this is the end game can be seen in the Western nations, where decades of moral decay and retreat have shown us that the LGBTQIA+++ lobby is not interested in just committing sin in private, but they want everyone to approve of their sin, or they will seek to destroy our livelihoods. Do not be swayed by their appeal to mercy and pity, because they are hiding their claws in kids' gloves. Or to use a biblical metaphor, they are wolves in sheep's clothing. Do NOT believe anything they say, for they know that if we know what their end game is, almost nobody will support them as "allies."
The challenge to Singapore Christianity is that few have a understanding of how society relates to God, as Christianity is just seen to be about "spiritual things" only, and that, due to the imbibing of liberalism-lite in the Singapore education system, many young people have no idea how to deal with accusations of "discimination" and "stigmatization." The problem with Singapore Christianity for the young is that they do not have even an inkling of the intellectual tradition that stands parallel to Christianity, which is found within the Western Classical liberal arts tradition. We are ignorant, and we do not know it. We have no idea what "human rights" are as they were originally based upon Scripture, and how secular humanism has distorted the concept into a monstrousity. We have no idea of the amount of de-programming we would need to do to our own minds from the lies our society has taught us. And even if we do, we are just too afraid of the world's opinions, too afraid to rock the boat, too afraid of controversy. As an example, when I did a private post concerning how homosexuality is an abomination, a Christian called me out on it! Not an unbeliever, but someone who professes Christ! Think about that for a moment! Who should we fear more: God or Man?
For Singapore Christianity, it is ultimately insufficient to just deal with LGBTQ and S377A. If we really want to have a robust response to this issue, we need to have solid Christian education, on the Bible but also on Christian worldview, philosophy and theology. It is manifestly insufficient to just "read the Bible," not because the Bible is insufficient, but because the Bible was never meant to be read as a mere devotional text on only spiritual matters. For Singapore Christianity to truly thrive, we need a reformation and a renaissance of learning, of the heart and of the mind.