The Singapore Perspective and Experience
Dr Robert Solomon
“Whether the church is just a token presence or a transforming influence in society depends on its understanding of God’s character and His purposes. The term social holiness, emphasised by the Wesleys and the early Methodists, is deeply rooted in biblical teaching.
“The triune God is a relational God who wants all relationships to reflect His righteousness. The Law, the Psalms and the Prophets all spoke of the necessity of social righteousness in addition to covenantal faithfulness to God. Jesus made this clear in His teachings, miracles, His death and resurrection, and in the mission He entrusted to the church. The early church practised social holiness, and this was imitated by the early Methodists in their emphasis on personal revival and social holiness.
“The Methodists in Singapore are recipients of this great tradition. We must, therefore, draw direction and strength from biblical foundations and historical examples as we face contemporary challenges and respond to them. In this way, we will truly fulfil our vocation to be salt and light in our world as we seek the welfare of our city.”
The Sri Lanka Perspective and
The Rev Asiri Priyalal Perera
“Methodism in Sri Lanka is now 200 years old. From its inception to this day, preaching the Good News of Jesus to our nation has been the primary task of the Methodist Church. This has not been an easy task as we are placed in a Buddhist and Hindu majority society. However, the need felt by seekers to experience the redeeming power of a living God has made our church continue in the ministry of evangelism in the midst of severe opposition.
“While engaging itself in the same, the Church has also responded to the needs of the society in the areas of education, justice and social issues, and ethnic harmony. Such involvement of the church has brought benefits to the elites of the society but also to the ordinary and rural people of the Sri Lankan nation.
“Behind all this, what we find is the ‘warmed heart’ of the people called
Methodist, reaching out to the people of our nation.”
The Malaysia Perspective and
Mr Anthony Row
“Malaysia, once viewed as a reflection of ‘Truly Asia’, has over the years seen its socio-political climate change so much that it now confronts challenges on all fronts: ISIS, corruption, and religious controversy, just to name a few. In the midst of such changes and challenges, the Church has endeavoured to truly be ‘salt and light’.
“Over the last 20 years, much has changed in the life of Malaysia, and the Church (especially the Methodist Church) has had to take a hard look at its role in nation-building. The Methodist Church under the theme ‘Spreading Scriptural Holiness, Transforming the Nation’ put in place a 20-year road map outlining different aspects of its involvement in the life of the nation. The road map which was launched during its 125th Anniversary seeks to help the churches and members be an authentic and living Church after God’s own heart.
“This lecture will seek to review the life of the Methodist Church in Malaysia from the time it parted company with The Methodist Church in Singapore in 1967 till now, and how it has sought to face the various challenges – endemic corruption, politics, interfaith harmony, and much more. In a context where events are spiralling out of control, how has the Methodist Church responded, keeping in mind biblical principles and Wesleyan convictions amidst ground-zero realities?”