Why I, a Christian, believe 377A should be repealed

(This post by Monica Lim first appeared on her blog on 17 September 2018. It is reproduced with permission.)

Four years ago, I wrote a post in response to the NLB’s banning of the penguin books. Today, I’m writing a post in response to the 377A issue. I struggled with whether to post this because I know it will generate a lot of controversy from all sides, and I dislike conflict. Immensely.

However, I know many Christians have been grappling with this issue and I’ve been feeling a strong urge to share my views as a fellow Christian. I don’t know if you are for, against, or not sure which stance you are supposed to take. I will make it very clear – these are my views and I’m not forcing you to agree with me. We can agree to disagree. But if this post can somehow help you gain clarity on the issue, then that’s all I can ask for.

I believe 377A should be repealed. Here’s why:

1) Sin and crime are two very different things. Even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, as stated in the bible, it is unjust to call it a crime. I’ve said this before: some Christians feel like as long as LGBT is on the cards, they have to always take the other side. Stop and think about how ludicrous this is. If sins should be considered crimes, then why don’t we criminalise adultery? Or premarital sex? Or divorce? Or, as I jokingly mentioned on FB to the horror of my foodie friend, why not criminalise gluttony? Ban buffets!

2) The 377A is a sham because it is openly unenforced. What’s the point of it then? For this reason, having the 377A does not discourage homosexuality. It’s like having a law against speeding, then declaring that the law would never be enforced. Does the law deter speeding then? No. So if I say the law should be dropped, am I then saying that I support speeding? Of course not.

But by keeping 377A, we are legitimising hatred and prejudice towards the LGBT, which impinges on human rights. This is not just a secular issue. In the bible, we are told to seek justice for all as well.

As for the argument that we should uphold Asian values, guess what – 377A is not a law enacted by Singapore (and thus Asian). It is an antiquated British law introduced in 1938 that we inherited from our colonial past. So what Asian values are we talking about?

3) I hope you recognise that Singapore is a secular society. I think it’s terribly obtuse of Christians to insist that laws for a secular society should be in line with their own beliefs. You cannot furtively try to “make” Singapore more Christian by forcing Christian values down the throats of non-believers. That’s incredibly arrogant.

I will even go so far as to say that’s what the Jewish religious leaders in Jesus’ time did. Instead of loving, helping and guiding people, all they did was prescribe a whole lot of laws, police moral conduct and condemn those who did not fall within their circle of acceptability.

Consider the bible story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). The Pharisees wanted to stone her according to the law of Moses. But Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” Note, he didn’t say: “Let him who is without sin of adultery”. The bible clearly states that “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22,23). All sins are equally bad, ie no sin is “better” than another. Why then do we always play up the sin of homosexuality with such indignation without looking at our own sins of greed, pride, anger, envy and so on?

Some Christians think that since the LGBT haven’t obeyed Jesus’ command to “go and sin no more”, they are justified in rejecting the LGBT. Yes, Jesus did say that. And that relationship is between God and the individual. Nothing to do with you. By the way, how are you doing with your own sins? Are you now completely sinless? It makes me incredibly angry that some people think they have the right to judge others in this way, or tell others they are not welcome in church until they repent. Who made you gatekeeper of God’s Kingdom?

Jesus was kind to the woman because she acknowledged her sin and received his grace. But he was harsh to the Pharisees because they condemned her and justified themselves. Contrary to popular belief, the hardened criminals or people struggling with sin are usually not those who are most lost to the gospel. Ironically, these are the ones who generally obey the rules, are quite nice folks and think they’re not so bad, therefore don’t need God’s mercy as much as others. Once we attribute righteousness through our own efforts and not through God, we are rejecting the gospel of grace. I believe that people with spiritual pride are always treated harshly by God because the self takes credit for God’s work.

Supporting the repeal is not equal to endorsing homosexuality

Most Christians would be familiar with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In today’s context, if Jesus had retold the parable, I imagine the priest might be a pastor, the Levite a cell group leader, and the Samaritan a gay man who doesn’t believe in God.

Are you feeling offended? If you are, then perhaps you should ask yourself why. The people who were offended by the story during Jesus’ time were the Jews. They felt insulted because the priests and the Levites were the spiritual leaders of their time, whereas the Samaritans were half-Jew, half-Gentile and had their own religious system.

A guest speaker at my recent church conference was Pastor Peter Tsukahira, who pastors a church in Israel. He shared that we tend to believe the priest and Levite passed the wounded man on the road because they were heartless and uncaring. But at that time, priests had to abide by strict rules to maintain purity of the mind and body. Touching a dead or dying body would have rendered the priest impure and unable to perform his priestly duties, until he was thoroughly cleansed. Likewise for the Levites who performed some religious duties at the temple, touching a corpse was considered unclean. In other words, they could have been avoiding the man just so they could remain pure to perform God’s work.

In contrast, the Samaritans were considered heretics because they had broken away from God’s Word and believed that God could only be worshipped in Samaria.

Yet, Jesus deliberately told this parable in response to the young rabbi’s question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”, and said: “Go and do likewise.” He was contrasting the priest and Levite (who had belief but no action) with the Samaritan (who had the wrong belief but right action).

Some Christians fear that by supporting the repeal of 377A, they are sending the message that homosexuality is acceptable. It is not, the same way that when Jesus told the young rabbi to “go and do likewise”, he wasn’t endorsing the Samaritan’s belief. He was making the point that what we do matters too, not just what we believe.

Other Christians feel that 377A should be upheld, otherwise it will lead to the slippery slope of gay marriage promotion or homosexuality in schools. It bugs me that people think they can use the possibility of dangers in the future to justify them not doing the right thing now. This reminds me of the ancient emperors in China, who would eliminate entire families of their enemies, just to prevent any of them from seeking revenge in the future. We are to do the right thing, always. What may happen in the future does not justify any wrongdoing, ever.

Often, I feel people caricaturise the LGBT out of ignorance and fear. If you don’t have a single LGBT friend, then it’s easy to paint them as villains with a common evil intent (the “Gay Agenda”!) It’s just like how people who don’t have friends from other races tend to be the most racist. It’s easier to draw tribal lines and imagine “others” as a wicked bunch when you don’t know any of them. But the LGBT community, like the Christian community, is far from being a homogeneous group. If you take the time to befriend them and know them personally, you will see that each of them has his own fears, struggles, hopes and dreams. In other words, they are human beings, just like us.

The great commission is to turn people to Christ. And last I checked, trying to impose Christian values on non-believers usually has the opposite effect. Jesus said in no uncertain terms that we are live for Christ by loving God, and our neighbours as ourselves. And yes, our neighbours include the LGBT. Like it or not, this community has been deeply hurt by Christians in the past, even well-meaning ones. It’s time we showed them kindness as God intended it.

Showing them kindness doesn’t mean you are endorsing or encouraging homosexuality. Don’t confuse your actions with outcomes. You are only responsible for the former, not the latter. In fact, if you believe that you somehow have to control the outcome, then you are not only robbing God of His sovereignty, you are demonstrating very little faith in His ability to transform hearts. Be the light and God will take care of the rest.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” – Romans 12:15-18



Writing is my profession and my passion. I run a professional writing outfit, where I do all my corporate writing. Blogging takes care of the miscellaneous excess thoughts. I'm a mother of two completely polar opposite children. Maybe God figures the challenge would do me good. Or perhaps He just likes to have a good laugh. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying the roller coaster ride.


Poll: The National Library Board Withdrew 3 Children's Titles With Homosexual Themes, Then Reinstated 2 of Them On The Instructions of Minister Yaccob Ibrahim. Feelings?

It begins with three books

Viral Letter: Student Concerned About How Sex Education Is Conducted In Her School