March 23, 2005: The fundraising concert - affect 05 organised by Safehaven has been axed by MDA, Singapore's licensing authorities citing that the event would be “against public interest.”. Affect05 – "Saving Lives, Transforming Mindsets,” was to be a charity concert to raise funds for AfA and pass on the message of HIV awareness.
The message for Safehaven is that,
Safehaven have stepped out in the right manner to do the right thing by organizing the concert in order to promote safe sex and monogamous relationships. It is a step of courage, and risk, to be exposed to the community at large, to be 'outed' so to say from the closest. Yet, it doing so, it has suffered a clear rejection from the community.
Though Safehaven did not succeed in this occasion, I believe that the decision to organize the concert was of God. and the rejection thereof by the community especially the mainstream christianity is itself a rejecting God's move. As Safehaven have stepped out in faith, I believe that God will honor this and uphold, built up, and strengtened it to be a channel whom the love of God would flow to the gay community in Singapore. On the contrary, if it did not do so, in time, it will not grow..
Safehaven will now be opened to more critisms and ridicule. Yet, our defence comes not from ourselves but from God. We have a big God who will not forsake us. i.e. He will stand by us and fight for us, and not leave us especially in the time of adversity. We will not be succumbed.
Many years to come, Singapore will reflect back and be astonished that such an innocent event will one day change Singapore because the Gay Christians stepped out in faith. It only takes one person, one group, one voice because our God can make something out of almost nothing because He is a good God.
The daring step by Safehaven has been in the pipeline for sometime since it progressed to a church, the Free Community Church. FCC held its services from a Art Gallery, then to the Attic above MOX Cafe, and finally to the amusement centre at Yangtze Building.
At the attic, it grew strongly. Hidden away in Tanjong Pagar Road, in the upper floor amonst the pub area. there was a group of people alienated from society, but who loved Jesus despite being Gays, a hiding place of sorts where they may worship God in peace without condemnation from main stream christianity, a place where Christians are free to be who they are, be-it Gay or Straight bounded by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ their saviour, and friend. It was a place of coming out from the closest to a safe place where one can speak freely about who they are without prejudice. Jesus touched them just as Holy Spirit did in the book of Acts.
After Jesus resurrection, the disciples stayed and lived for sometime in the upper room in Acts 1:13. In unity, they continued to build up each other in the sharing of faith, and in prayer. They have had to, for being a Christian is not like converting from Buddist to Christianity in modern Singapore contact, but it is a departure from a faith that has held the Jews as a people of distinct believes for the last 2000 years prior. Therefore believing in Christ, is a believe in another' god' for the Jews in direct volation of Deut 5:7, for which the Jews are commanded to seek out the destroy such religion in Deut 7:5, and not even to consider them part of the family and to kill them in Deut 13:8,9. For they were under the law, and have to expose such Christian 'sects' if not the entire nation was to fall under the curse of the law.
To a lesser extent, but no less real, so is the Gay Christians at FCC. They are hidden just like the first Christians. Exposure as a Gay would result in much condemnation from the family, from their pastors, immediate relatives, and from friends and collegues. They lived a dual life with constant nagging of "when they are getting married", and the trying to hide their relatiohsips with their boyfriends. So hundled up in the attic, they were free at last, liberated to enter into freedom that Christ gave them, free to worship God as who they are. But the attic was too small, and too hidden for Christ to use, a place of 'surviving only' rather than victory, a place so small to make an effective impact and so insignificant that the community could tolerate and be out of sight.
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1, the Holy Spirit came, touched the disciples mightly with baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the chruch grew over night by 3000 in Acts 2:40. The church was exposed. It had to moved out from the attic into public scrutiny. Great persecution by the Religious authorities or Pharasees followed in Jerusalem in Acts 8:1. Led by Saul, who in Acts 8:3, entered from house to house searching for Christians and jailing them, the Christians fled from Jerusalem to outlining towns.
Similarly for FCC, the move to Yagtze has brought about new people, and also Affect05. It has brough to attention the Christian religious authorities of our day. Still very much bounded by self righteousness, and obedience to the law ( though Jesus came to fulfill it), the attention of many radical evangelical churches such as City Harvest Church is now on FCC. They have become the topic of the day, the target for condemnation and scorn with questions raised such as "how can Christians be gay", forgetting enitrely that the concert was about supporting action for aids for funds used to buy medicine for those dying of aids. Many a times religion so blinded people, that they care more about observing laws rather than helping people.
In mark 2:24, the Pharisees condemed Jesus for healing on Sunday. They were not rejoicing over the great of work of God in Christ Jesus in healing the sick on a Sunday in Mark 3:1-3, rather were angered because this was against their notion of religion. They were more keen to feed on their self righteousness, looking on to their own wretched holiness and good works, instead of God's amazing grace to heal. So is the Church In Singapore, so keen to condemn, yet so indifferent to the plight of aids sufferers. For indeed many are so morally proud condeming that Aids victims as being 'justifiedbly sick' because the 'sins' committed. Saul was the Pharisees of Pharisees i.e. the most zealous to oberving the Law. Likewise, is the Anglican Church and its offshoot, City Harvest Church, zealots for law instead of God's grace, not knowing that law brings by itself automatically curses.
As FCC moves from the Attic to the Yangtze, it moves from the high mountains in tibet, the world's attic where a small stream trickles of water, gaining volume downstream, and finally becomes the mighty yantze river. The Yangtze is a spiritual picture of the following:-
a) It has a humble beginning,
the Yangtze River rises from the Tanggula Ranges. The river winds 6,300 kilometers (3,900 miles) through the country. Its estuary is north of Shanghai, where it is 13 km wide when it flows into the Yellow Sea. At its source, it is perhaps a tiny stream of a few metres across, but at its end point it is 13,000 metres across - say 10,000 times bigger.
Likewise is FCC and Safehaven. It has a attendance less than 100 as compared to the mega churches which is up gainats such as City Harvest Church with more than 15,000 attendees, the Anglican Diocese of Singapore and Malaysia with a total weekly attendance of 50,000.
b) The river speed up.
c) The Yangtze talks about the world
There is a river mentioned in the bible in Eze 43:3. This river has its source from from the very throne room of God. in Eze 43:12. It's foundations are built by God in every precise measurements in Eze 43:13-17. Jesus is saying in that where two or three Gay Christians gather such as in Safehaven and FCC, I will be in the midst on them (Mat 18:20). It is where the presence of God is, that is the Holy ground, the temple of God. Hence the Worhsip services becomes the trone room of God for which the waters of Salvation will flow to the Gays in Singapore. The waters will apear shallow at first (Ez 47:3), the the ankles only with not much results. But as the river moves deeper and deeper it reaches the sea in Eze 47:8, at there will be healing for the Gays, the hearts so wounded by the discrimination and injustice suffered, and healing of reconcialition with God. Out of that healing, in Exe 47:9, will there be a multitude of life set free which in return brings life or revival to Singapore.
Father God, I thank you for the River of God, your river of Salvation to the Gays in Singapore. Let there be life, let the desert be revived. Let wounded hearts be healed in Jesus name. Let there be revival. Father God, we do not derserved it. We have walked recklessly. We have blamed you many a times when Churches rejected us. It was not you Lord who rejected us. Like a father, you longed to embrace us, to say, "It is OK, I understand and I love you". Father we do not derserve your mercies and your Grace. It is because of son Jesus only, and only becuase of Him that we are favoured. Thank you Jesus, touch us, for we are so wounded and dry, we have been left bebind, rejected and an outcast, totally despised. Touch every Gay person in Singapore, because every single soul matters, and you love every single one of us, and desire for us to know you.