Coming Up

Human Sexuality, Marriage and the Church

Jun 2016    

One of the most important issues in contemporary society is that of human sexuality and marriage. In recent decades, significant shifts in society’s views on marriage and family have resulted in the introduction of unprecedented changes to its oldest institution. How should Christians respond to these changes? What does the Bible and Christian tradition have to say about sexuality, marriage and family? Should the Christian understanding be subjected to revision amidst this sea change in society?

An upcoming conference by the ETHOS Institute™ for Public Christianity, co-organised by seven seminaries, aims to address these questions. The following will be covered:

Gay Science and Gay Politics
Is homosexuality innate or acquired? Are there grounds to conclude that there is a genetic or neurological basis for homosexual orientation? In this talk, Dr Roland Chia (Trinity Theological College) will discuss the scientific research on homosexuality conducted by Bailey, Pillard, Hamer, King, McDonald, Kinsey, and LaVey and analyse their findings and conclusions. He will also examine the role that gay activists have played in radically changing public perceptions of homosexuality.

Marriage and Family
What is a family? The word “family” used to enjoy a stable and definite meaning, i.e. a married man and woman with or without their children. It is nevertheless faced with a grave challenge in the contemporary world as there is heightened pressure to extend the definition to include any formation of males or females, living together under one roof. Hence, what are the repercussions of this idea of family, or open families?

In his lecture, Dr Clement Chia (Singapore Bible College) will touch on the biblical and theological foundation of family in accordance to the Creation account, and give a historical survey of the family law, which is shaped by the Canon Law in the Medieval Christendom.

Bible and Homosexuality
“So what does the Bible really say about homosexuality?” Opposing answers have been given to this question, with proponents on both sides accusing the other of doing violence to the text. What has come under increasing dispute – even among Christians –are the related questions: “What kindof homosexual activity?”and “What does that mean for a Christian ethic for human sexuality today?”

This session by Mr Quek Tze-Ming (Biblical Graduate School of Theology) is an introduction to these interpretive questions over texts such as Genesis 19:1–9, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10. He will attempt to do so by honouring the authority of Scripture, obeying the call to love people, and humbly depending on the Spirit.

Pastoral Concerns

Amid heated debates about homosexuality, a pastoral response would focus on homosexuals as persons. This discussion by Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon (Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000-2012) will focus on those who seek or are open to pastoral care from the church.

In providing care, the church must clarify its understanding of issues such as identity, desire and actions, and of what the Bible says about our inherent sinfulness and the grace of God that operates in our lives. Often, the issues connected with providing pastoral care to homosexuals would be similar to that provided for others in the church. Dr Solomon will examine the issues by reflecting on healing, reconciliation, sustenance and guidance, and explore questions that may arise.

6 July 2016 (Wednesday), 9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
St Andrew’s Cathedral, New Sanctuary
11 St Andrew’s Road, S178959 (Next to City Hall MRT)
Entry by registration only– visit ethosinstitute.sg/events/conference2016/.
FREE ADMISSION, though a love offering will be collected.
For more info, visit www.ethosinstitute.sg, call 6304-3765 or email info@ethosinstitute.sg

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