I just want you to know that I read your email regarding recent events and I know you wrote it with good intentions. You believe you are protecting Singapore and our society from “those homosexual activists” and “their homosexual agenda”. And I respect your beliefs and convictions. Personally, I don’t believe there is only one Christian response to the issue of homosexuality and the Bible. In fact, I know many Christians who hold a wide spectrum of views regarding this issue. Unfortunately, the loudest voices tend to be the ones heard most clearly, regardless of whether they are the most accurate or representative.
As a fellow Christian, it saddens me greatly that in this discourse, the “us versus them” mentality seems especially distinct. You may not know this but I am technically one of “them”. No, I am not a “homosexual activist” but I am gay. What I mean is I tend to be attracted to and fall in love with people who are of the same gender as me. This is not something that I chose to be (who in their right minds would choose to be rejected and reviled?) and I realized early on that it was more than just a phase. Over the years, I have prayed, fasted and pleaded with God to change me and for a long time, I couldn’t understand why God didn’t do so. So in this sense, I am one of “them”.
At the same time, while I may be one of “them”, I am also one of “us”. I still love and serve God in whichever way He leads and enables me. My relationship with God has always been and still is of utmost importance in my life. My Christian journey is probably not much different from yours. I received Christ when I was 13 and I had a life-changing encounter with God when I was 19. I started getting actively involved in Christian ministry when I was in university and continue to do so till this day. I am the same person that you have always known me to be. I am the same person who served in the mission field together with you. I am the same person who played in the worship team with you. I am the same person who attended Bible College with you. I am the same person who laughed, prayed and cried with you. The only thing that has changed is I am no longer so fearful of your rejection that I cannot speak honestly. And I attribute that solely to God and His loving grace. I know now with deep conviction in my heart that I am as much God’s beloved as you are. I am not a contradiction. I am not a “creation gone wrong”. I am God’s beloved, fearfully and wonderfully made. And so are you.
Honestly, it took me a long time to get here. And believe me, I understand all your beliefs, arguments and convictions regarding homosexuality and the Bible. I truly do because I struggled deeply with all those beliefs and arguments myself for many years. Surprisingly or maybe rightly so, it was in Bible College (a conservative one at that!) that I started reconciling what it meant for me to be Christian and gay. When I began my full-time theological studies, I was shocked at how little I actually knew about the Bible. At that point, I had already received plenty of training in leading Bible studies and I had been training others. So it shocked me that what I thought was black-and-white Christian doctrine was not as simple as it seems. Over the centuries, Christians have debated over major theological issues such as God’s sovereignty, predestination, the atonement of Christ and many others. History has shown us that such heated debates and disagreements sometimes led to disastrous consequences. So it is good that as the body of Christ, we have finally conceded that we need to co-exist peacefully as believers even if we shared different convictions about certain issues. For me, it was in Bible College that I truly understood that God is so much bigger, deeper, wider than our human minds can fully grasp. And I appreciate what Isaiah said, that God’s thoughts and ways are truly higher than our thoughts and ways. I spent laborious hours studying Scripture and it was in this process that I have come to fully accept that I am Christian and gay.
I do not presume to share the same convictions as you. Personally, I don’t believe decriminalizing homosexuality will affect the foundations of our families in an adverse way. In fact, I think it may help many families understand their gay and lesbian children, siblings and cousins better. I know it will definitely help mine. You may think that my being gay has nothing to do with “those homosexual activists” and in a sense, you may be right. But the law and how society thinks of me affects my life in a very real and personal way. It also affects many people like me. And some of them may be your family members or friends in church who are too afraid to tell you because they fear your rejection and disappointment. And in speaking on their behalf, I wonder if that makes me one of “those homosexual activists” in your eyes? You know me and I’m sure you know the reason I am sharing all this with you is out of my deep concern for other Christians who may be gay and struggling.
Thank you for hearing me out and letting me share my journey with you. My hope in this present exchange is that at some point, we will all concede to co-exist peacefully even if we share different points of view. I understand and respect where you are coming from and hope we can stay friends.
In God’s love,