This election is significant for Song Yang because he turns 21 this year and can better understand what’s happening in Singapore and around the world. As citizens, voting is a privilege entrusted to us to elect the people we believe will be best positioned to lead our nation forward. However, politics also has the power to divide, and this can be dangerous for the Church. For those of us who are voting in the upcoming election, let us inquire of the Lord to guide us in how to vote. Let us not act prematurely and arrogantly, but humble ourselves. Let us be good listeners who are open to the opinions of others around us – Christian and non-Christian alike. Song Yang's hope for this election – and all future ones – is for us to find common ground and agree to disagree. We will always have differing ideologies. But it is how we deal with them that matters. Let’s guard our hearts and minds, and ground ourselves in godly principles and truths. But as much as we can practise certain postures to prevent our differences from dividing us, we also need to remember God’s hand over everything. Let’s intercede to keep the Church united, so that our identity as redeemed children and our need for Him transcend our differences and bind us closer together. (Contributed by Lee Song Yang) — FOR THE FULL STORY: "Electoral divisions: How to survive GE2020 without letting it tear us apart"
Going public about his identity as a Christian has attracted some criticism, but former Speaker of Parliament* Tan Chuan-Jin takes it in his stride.⠀ ⠀ "It's far easier to be yourself," he said in a recent Instagram live broadcast organised by @impossible413, emphasising the need for authenticity. "Otherwise, you keep putting up a front and start losing track about who you are and what you are."⠀ ⠀ Even though he doesn’t use his position to proselytise, Tan shared that he sometimes receives comments about how he should not be quoting from the Bible on his Facebook page simply because he is a Speaker or Minister.⠀ ⠀ “There will always be naysayers. That’s something that you have to deal with and accept,” he said, revealing that he runs his own social media accounts.⠀ ⠀ However, Tan also offered a word of caution, urging Christians to be careful in how they conducted themselves online.⠀ ⠀ Explaining that what we put up on our pages are a “very public testimony”, he said that it becomes stumbling when one quotes the Bible on one hand and “cast stones” in the other, in ways that do not glorify God. ⠀ ⠀ “Often times, we are the poorest witnesses for Christ,” he observed.⠀ ⠀ But Tan also clarified that simply sharing Christian verses online does not make him a “good Christian” by any means. Instead, it is an aspect of his life that he feels convicted not to hide from the public eye.⠀ ⠀ At the end of the day, Tan shared that he is a Christian who has his shortcomings, with much to learn and do in the pursuit of God’s heart.⠀ ⠀ “I still have my own struggles as a Christian and as an individual,” he said. “But notwithstanding that, in my public role, I do feel there’s a responsibility there to do what I can.”⠀ —⠀ FOR THE FULL STORY: "Can a politician be religious? Tan Chuan-Jin on living out his faith in the public eye"⠀ (*At time of writing, Parliament had not been dissolved.)
When Gracia's friend Z first came out to her, she was upset – not because of what Z had just told her, but because he waited so long to tell her and suffered silently all these years by himself. ⠀ ⠀ She has definitely felt torn. However, she has never thought of walking away from Z. Surely, the strength of their friendship triumphs over sexual orientation.⠀ ⠀ It’s important to note that the two greatest commandments for Christians are: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind; and love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40)⠀ ⠀ While we love God by obeying what He commands, we remember our other mandate: to love others.⠀ ⠀ What does it mean to love?⠀ ⠀ There’s a call going around for us to light up Singapore in pink to “foster a spirit of inclusion and love”. Those are great values to embrace. But let’s also be clear what we might end up inadvertently standing for when we throw our weight behind any movement.⠀ ⠀ Are we being asked to love our family and friends, or are we being asked to support a particular expression of love?⠀ ⠀ Among the requests that have been made by the organisers behind the initiative are for schools to review their sexuality education programmes and to remove the censorship of LGBTQ content in mainstream media.⠀ ⠀ It’s one thing to be against discrimination; it’s another thing to affirm a way of life that contradicts your views on marriage and family.⠀ ⠀ To Gracia, love is reaching out to be a listening ear; love is making time for a meal together; love is offering help even when it is costly…⠀ ⠀ Love is the giving of yourself – the ultimate demonstration of that being God who sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the Cross for all, so that we can freely enter into a relationship with Him and enjoy a new identity as His child (John 3:16).⠀ ⠀ There are so many ways to show love.⠀ ⠀ Gracia hopes her friends with same-sex attraction already know how much she loves them through how she's treated them over the years. Because if she has to show them that they are loved by lighting up her home in pink, then she would have truly failed as a friend.
For those unaware of this 杯 (cup) or 海 (ocean) business, you should consider yourself blessed as one who isn’t part of the graduating batch of 2020. The O-Level Chinese mid-year exam was a terrible one for Samuel. In what felt like the hardest paper of the decade, it was filled with tricky questions that possibly killed off the hopes and dreams of many students who were planning on including Chinese in their L1R5 (the O-Level grading system). As Samuel reminded himself to trust in God and the plan He had for him, these three thoughts above came to mind. Know someone who's having examinations right now? Tag them in the comments to encourage them! (Contributed by Samuel Wan) — FOR THE FULL STORY: "How can I still be a good student if I’ve messed up my exams?"
Entering politics was a huge step of faith for Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin. Reflecting on his own career, he shares his thoughts on discerning one's purpose in life. ⠀ ⠀ Tan admits: “I don’t know where it’s going to go. I’m not going to remain Speaker forever. Who knows what’s going to happen, right?"⠀ ⠀ We have finite control over our own destinies, and yet we can take every step, knowing that it’s in God hands, he said.⠀ ⠀ “You may not know the specific steps and which particular track to take… But you know how you should walk and the things that you need to remain consistent in."⠀ ⠀ In other words, it’s what you do on your journey that’s perhaps more important than the route you take.⠀ —⠀ FOR THE FULL STORY: "Not sure of your purpose in life? Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin shares how things were not always so clear to him"