RECOGNISING the Bible as the authoritative standard for its faith and practice, the Church has historically and consistently held the view that the practice of homosexuality is clearly incompatible with the teachings of the Christian faith.
This is spelt out in a statement on homosexuality issued by the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS), which adds that “the only sexual relationship, sanctioned by God and given as a gift from God, is between a male and a female within the bounds of a monogamous marriage”.
The NCCS comprises mainstream Protestant churches such as the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches.
This is the full statement:
There has recently been wide discussion in the Press and the Internet on the issue of homosexuality with different views expressed. Christians, like other thoughtful citizens, are also concerned about this issue. We present our position below as a guide to Christians in our member churches and as our witness, as concerned citizens, to the society in which we belong.
1) Recognising the Bible as the authoritative standard for its faith and practice the Church has historically and consistently held the view that the practice of homosexuality is clearly incompatible with the teachings of the Christian faith. The only sexual relationship, sanctioned by God and given as a gift from God, is between a male and a female within the bounds of a monogamous marriage.
2) Therefore, we do not condone homosexual practice and we consider homosexual lifestyle as sinful and unacceptable. However, this does not mean that we reject or despise homosexuals (homophobia). We acknowledge that every person is loved by God and we all live under the grace of God. Homosexuals should be regarded and treated no less as persons of worth and dignity.
3) The Church is called to be a caring community and a sanctuary, always extending ministry to all persons. As sinners ourselves, we are committed to the path of true freedom made possible by the grace of God and found in and through obedience to Jesus Christ. Without minimising their struggles, the Church offers those beset with homosexual desire the same opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness and fulfilment in Jesus Christ and to experience His transforming power. Not accepting homosexual practice and lifestyle must not be confused with homophobia.
4) In public debate about homosexuality scientific data have sometimes been used to support certain claims. To the layperson, science has been unsuspectingly regarded as an objective discipline and conclusions based on its findings have been assumed as irrefutable and authoritative. But that is an assumption we do not accept especially with regard to attempts to give biological explanations to homosexual inclination and behaviour. We note that there is no clear evidence that homosexuality is biologically determined.
5) Though we deem homosexual lifestyle totally unacceptable on the basis of the Bible and our faith, we believe that unless there are legitimate reasons homosexuals, as individuals, should not be discriminated against in areas such as employment. It does not follow, however, that our society should be re-ordered or allowed to evolve to the extent that eventually homosexual practice is endorsed, permitted or encouraged as an alternative lifestyle. In this regard, we urge our Government to maintain:
a) current legislation concerning homosexuality;
b) its policy of not permitting the registration of homosexual societies or clubs;
c) its policy of not allowing the promotion of homosexual lifestyle and activities.
6) As churches we seek to remain faithful to our Christian faith and practice. We shall strengthen the education of our members in the teachings and practices of our faith. We are committed to serving our nation by helping to preserve and promote wholesome values and lifestyles that will contribute to the well-being of our society.”