ST: Churches: Don’t get involved


30 April 2009

THE National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) says it does not condone churches getting involved in recent matters related to the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).

In a statement on Thursday, it said it did not condone pulpits being used for this purpose.

‘Our member churches are not involved in the present saga. In fact, our heads of churches have very recently reiterated to their clergy the standing instruction on the proper use of the pulpit,’ said the statement issued by Archbishop John Chew, president of the NCCS, and Mr Lim K Tham, NCSS general secretary.

The NCCS brings together Christian groups like the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Salvation Army and Syrian Orthodox churches, among others. Dr Chew is also the head of the Anglican church in Singapore.

Last week, it emerged that staff and members of the Church of Our Saviour in Margaret Drive, which is under the Anglican communion, were encouraging people to join Aware and support the new team in the society’s leadership dispute.

They said the old team at Aware had been promoting lesbianism and homosexuality, a charge the team has rejected.

In a weekend sermon, Senior Pastor Derek Hong urged the women in his flock to ‘be engaged’ and support new president Josie Lau and ‘her sisters’ at Aware.

The NCCS said it had been following the recent events related to Aware.

‘We are concerned that religion has been dragged into the unfortunate situation. The matters related to Aware should be solved by its own members,’ it said.

Some Christians are however uncomfortable that the saga has thrust their religion in the limelight, for the wrong reasons. In blogs and forums, many Christian netizens said religion has no role in secular organisations.


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