Events & News Archive
Synod Moderator's "Gospel Word in Season"
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ of our Presbyterian family of churches in Singapore. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the official end to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
How are you? How is your family, your work, your church and your ministry before and after this pandemic? My prayerful concern is the spiritual tragedy if we entered and came out of this pandemic with no greater love, worship and trust in Jesus as our Saviour Lord. The book of Revelation declares Jesus as the Alpha and Omega of history (22:13). He is the one to whom God has handed all authority and before whom every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:5-11). We need to ask: “Is Jesus increasingly Lord of my story?”
1. Our historic moment as a Nation(Romans 13:1-7 & 1 Timothy 2:1-8)
We praise God that Singapore has passed laws to protect the definition of marriage against legal challenge. Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam reiterated that the constitutional change would protect the heterosexual definition of marriage along with laws and policies based on that.
He said: "Just as we have been clear about repealing 377A - we took a clear position - we are equally clear, and this government is very clear, that we will protect the heterosexual marriage as a key institution in our society."
2. Our historic moment as Singapore churchesThis is an answer to our humble prayer to God and our sincere plea to our government as Singapore embarked on a national discourse on repealing s377A last year. It is a small window of God's sovereignty and our human responsibility to be prayerful, responsible and measured as fellow citizens of Singapore in seeking to retain our faith distinctiveness while carving out common space in the midst of our diversity.
Minister Shanmugam - in an interview with The Straits Times - referred to The Presbyterian Church in Singapore (PCS) Statement of 2018, which was written in the aftermath of the Penal Code being struck down in India. The gist of our PCS Statement requested for s377A not to be repealed unless and until these are guaranteed in our Constitution:
3. Our historic AGM and watershed moment for PCSThis historic legislative moral milestone of preserving family coincides with God's blessing upon us in PCS. We stand at the cusp of a Golden Age or opportunity to share the gospel in our nation and our region. It is, therefore, no coincidence that our theme for our Synod & Presbyteries is "Strengthening Faith, Strengthening Family".
A) Praise God for his blessing to “unlock” our Telok Kurau (TK) land for his salvation purposes.We must really praise God that we can finally monetise our TK land - one of the few physical assets that he has graciously blessed us our denomination with historically. Never in our PCS history have we ever had $40m! I like to acknowledge the many people who were part of God's story to be good stewards to optimize our TK land.
Much thanks to Rev Stephen Gan who led the Hub Committee so doggedly over the years to explore many possible proposals but each was sadly met with statutory roadblocks. I quote from the proposal he wrote in 2011 to promote the Hub.
Thus, at our 2023 Synod AGM in March, our delegates overwhelmingly approved setting up a new Synod Investment Committee, which is so ably led Dr Ho Yew Kee. We also endorsed a financial roadmap that was presented to retain the value of our capital while having enough annual returns to finance our Synod and Presbytery staff, ministries and offices to serve our PCS.
B) We must turn God's blessings into God's GloryWe must now pray against three Satanic temptations of our flesh:
Instead, we should pray earnestly for three Godly passions:
May we beseech Jesus our great high priest to be faithful stewards who long to hear the most precious commendation from Jesus: "Well done, good and faithful servant" and to fear the most terrifying words of the Lord Jesus: "I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers!" (Matthew 7:23).
There is unanimous consensus that this more true than it is not. The most explosive gospel growth is in South America and Africa. The latter will have the most Christians this century, overtaking USA and China.
4. Our PCS Futures Roadmap & Your Part
Our PCS churches, like most churches around the world, have been caught up in a Covid19 "fire-fighting" crisis mode. Let us see this as God’s sovereignty to awaken us to our strengths and weaknesses as God’s church.
This disruption to many of our churches' stagnant mode can be turned by God through fire-fighting this pandemic to embark on a "Futures Roadmap" (see right).
We need to ask: "What might God want to disrupt of our lives, homes and churches"? Conversely, we also need to reflect on what might God want to accelerate.
What God hates and loves of his people is clear from the Old to the New Testament. God has always hated nominal worship.
In the New Testament, James puts our sinful half-hearted worship this way: "You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).
We must confess and repent of nominal worship. We must close the gap between "churching on Sunday" and "churching at home". We must stop decoupling Sunday from every day discipleship. We must recouple every aspect of our redeemed lives to Jesus as Lord. He is over all and in all. He is all that matters. (Colossians 3:11).
What you can do personallyGod tells us to put on the full armour of God to take our stand against the Devil's many schemes. We are called to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people" (Ephesians 6:18). In obeying God's call, let us embark on this weekly habit:
Your brother & fellow servant,
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