Ashley Madison in Singapore: When Even Negative Publicity Is Great Publicity

The Straits Times, 7 Nov 2013, B4.
The Straits Times, Thursday, 7 Nov 2013, B4.

It is not surprising that Ashley Madison is pushing its way into Singapore despite protests. But does this concern the website that promotes extra-marital affairs at all? Does it even bother them that our minister has openly declared that such websites are not welcomed in Singapore? Absolutely not!

And that is precisely the point. Evil has no regard for morals! They don’t care one bit. Greed knows no bounds. As far as they are concerned, it is a legitimate business and as long as there is a demand for such services, they will supply it. Simple Economics101. And being the devious website it is, even negative publicity is great publicity. They just got thousands more hits for free.

In today’s online world, sadly, anything goes. The authorities can attempt to block it but there are still ways around it. In these last days, we must be aware that evil will stop at nothing for the time is short. We who know and understand biblical prophecy must not be caught off-guard. These things will take place at increasing and alarming proportions! Let’s face it. Regardless the efforts and restrictions of the government, needful and helpful as these may be, it is the sinful lustful heart of the individual that must still be dealt with. Businesses like Ashley Madison know this only too well and are capitalising on it big time.

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In my post, “Say No to Ashley Madison in Singapore“, I remarked that Christians have a responsibility to speak out in the public arena against such filth. At the same time, in our private lives, we must determine to work at our marriages and families, refusing to give any ground to the evil that pervades our society more and more.

I believe we will see more of Ashley Madison, or the likes of it. Whilst I do not support it one bit, I must be careful not to give them all the credit. In some crazy sense, the founder of Ashley Madison is not inaccurate when he said that the breakdown of marital cannot be entirely attributed to his website. With or without this website, sin rules in the lives of those who have not known the saving work of Jesus Christ. Clearly, the wages of sin is death; and in this case, it is bringing death to marriages and families. It is only the transforming work of Jesus in men and women that will make the difference.

As a minister, it breaks my heart to see marriages and families affected and devastated by such adulterous liaisons. I will do my part to help as many as possible, sharing with them the hope and victory they can have in and through Jesus. That, I believe, would be time and energy better spent than giving more publicity to Ashley Madison.

To join the petition against Ashley Madison in Singapore, LIKE the Facebook Page “BLOCK ASHLEY MADISON FROM CORRUPTING SINGAPORE“.

Say “No” to Ashley Madison in Singapore

IMG_6313
Source: http://mypaper.sg/news/it-shatters-marriages-its-business-its-coming-20131023

Related Articles:
Asia One: Business of Ruining Marriages
Ashley Madison: Why the Cheating Website is Successful
Ashley Madison in Singapore: When Even Negative Publicity Is Great Publicity

Was I surprised when told about the impending launch of Ashley Madison in Singapore? Well, yes and no.

Firstly, no, because recently, there has been more and more talk about affairs and extra-marital relationships, or just plainly — adultery. It seems that adultery today is fair game amongst consenting adults. So, no, I was not surprised by yet another report on adultery.

But, yes, I was caught a little off-guard to learn that the promotion of adultery has now become a full-fledged business around the world! This was also the first time I had heard of the name, Ashley Madison. And to my horror, and disgust, this company is blatantly open about adultery. Its slogan is simply, “Life is short. Have an affair.” This is outright in-your-face hedonism. To those in worldview circles, it’s referred to as sexual libertinism. And unfortunately, it is attempting to weave its smutty way into our neighbourhood 😦

Source: http://www.parable.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ashleymadison.jpg
Source: http://www.parable.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ashleymadison.jpg

All said, this is really quite expected as morality has been on a slide, and we know things aren’t going to get any better. And yet, one cannot but baulk at the way it is happening, through seemingly legitimate businesses where as long as there are willing customers, there will be a ready market for such businesses to thrive in. The question is, will or can our government regulate such businesses? Should these even be allowed to register and operate in the first place?

The Bible warns that in the last days, more and more people will be lovers of themselves and of pleasure (2 Tim 3:1-5). These would herald these as times of freedom and expression as humanity comes of age. Sadly, that would be totally inaccurate, for the Bible refers to these times as perilous times, as those before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, as those before Noah entered the ark and the flood waters covered the earth. Yes, we are living in those days the Bible talks about.

As Christians, we cannot and must not stay silent for we have been appointed to preserve society as salt and to shine the way of righteousness as light. We must take a stand, and at times, this calls for us to speak up and speak out against such decadent practices. This is not the time for apathy or nonchalance.

At the same time, we must protect our own marriages and families for these are under tremendous attack like never before. We must not presume that things are ok between husband and wife but instead work at strengthening and building the marital relationship. And lest you think children in Christian households are exempted from such negative influences, think again! By the time you realise that theirs is a totally different environment from what we grew up in, it might just be too late. The discipling of our children has taken on a new level of urgency. And as parents, that responsibility is squarely ours (and not the children or youth ministry’s)!

Well, Ashley Madison may have made it their business to break and destroy marriages and families. Let’s make it entirely our business to ensure that doesn’t happen on our watch!

To join the petition against Ashley Madison in Singapore, LIKE the Facebook Page “BLOCK ASHLEY MADISON FROM CORRUPTING SINGAPORE“.

Saturday 29 June 2013: Family Day?

Saturday 29 June 2013. This would be an interesting date and day to watch. Not only in the natural, but also in the spiritual.

NFC Family Day Article
The Straits Times, Tuesday 23 May 2013, Home, B10.

This date will mark the end of Singapore’s National Family Council‘s (NFC) month-long National Family Celebrations 2013. They have designated it as Family Day Out, and families are encouraged to spend that day together, visiting places of interest or participating in activities and events together as a family unit. And specifically at 6:29pm, the NFC hopes everyone would call, tweet, text or hug their family members because “6:29 is Family Time”.

Pink Dot Article
The Straits Times, Tuesday 23 May 2013, Home, B12.

Coincidentally, or otherwise, the Pink Dot Movement will also be holding their 5th rally at Hong Lim Park on 29 June. As we know, this group that represents the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders) seeks to establish these ‘alternative’ expressions of love and relationships as fully acceptable and mainstream. Put another way, LGBT relationships that include same-sex unions and marriages are hoping to be recognised as “family units” by society, not to be frowned upon nor discriminated against at all. This rally has been gaining momentum and popularity since its first event in 2009. The high point is when congregants, comprising LGBTs and non-LBGTs, adults and children (family), form a giant Pink Dot to show their support for this cause.

Without thinking too much, these are simply two separate events. But are they? Events and dates are not determined overnight, at least not for these of such scale, size and significance. The question is, which came first? Is the Pink Dot Movement riding on and taking advantage of the NFC’s efforts, cleverly positioning themselves as a family-related event to the unsuspecting man-on-the-street? Or might the NFC be subtly supporting the Pink Dot Movement’s event, thereby sending a message that the family is being re-defined to include LGBT relationships? If not, would the national agency change anything so as not to send a wrong signal? Or would they gently request the Pink Dot Movement to consider shifting their Hong Lim event, at the risk of appearing as discriminating against LGBTs?

Surely, there are no easy answers or solutions, not that these are necessarily desiring to find any alternative (no pun intended). Am I suggesting that I know something, that I might have an idea that there is more than meets the eye? No, not at all. I am just a concerned Christian Singaporean parent, wondering where all this is leading to and how I am to respond. Indeed, 29 June is a date to watch. I may have no control over these events taking place in the natural, but I can and will pray because the authority I have is in the spiritual.

All said, I guess I shouldn’t make too big a deal of it. After all, it might really just be pure coincidence that both events are taking place on the exact same day. But why then did the two articles appear on the exact same day in the Straits Times, one page after another!? Sigh, there I go again — I will just wait and watch to see if the Pink Dot will be formed — at 6:29pm.

Related Post: The Need To Rebuild the Walls Around Families

The Need to Rebuild the Walls Around Families

When I received the invitation to LoveSingapore’s Family Foundation Future Symposium, I thought I had to give it a miss as the dates coincided with our 18th Wedding Anniversary and our youngest’s 4th birthday. However, when Serene saw the key topic, she immediately said that I should go. So, with her understanding and blessings, I spent the whole of yesterday and this morning listening to the line up of speakers. So many points hit home, and I was challenged on so many fronts. I found myself evaluating my own personal ministry and that which I am involved in at Covenant Vision.

The points weren’t exactly new. I had heard and even preached some of the same points before but it was still quite an emotional time for me as I was reminded and made even more aware of the times we live in and the threats families face. At the same time, I felt my heart stirred and my mind opened to views and positions I had never considered before. I had to repent of my own pride, prejudice and self-righteousness! I now understand why the Lord instructed me to fast the entire week before.

What kept coming across was the need to rebuild the walls around families, as in the Nehemiah account in the Bible. This shot straight into my heart like arrows from the Lord! Since 2006, I have been teaching the seminar, “Building a Household of Faith”, more recently re-titled to “Raising Christian Families in Today’s World“. In this three hour seminar, I present seven points drawn from Nehemiah 4: Purpose, Prayer, Partnership, Position, Preparedness, People and Prophetic. Through these points, I bring awareness to the threats and challenges Christian families face in these perilous times, and how parents are to respond accordingly. Whilst response and feedback have been encouraging, it is not as well as attended as I feel it could or should be. Is the Lord affirming and encouraging me through this symposium? Is He nudging me to offer this seminar again now that a prophetic momentum has been initiated through our country’s foremost church leaders? Have I been rehearsing for a time such as this?

At the close of the symposium, the Spirit gently prompted me to examine the plank in my eye, convicting me through the speaker’s sharing of how God has already opened doors for a Fathers Movement in Singapore. Once again, this idea of Elijah turning the hearts of the fathers back to their children is not new to me. I had preached about the same Elijah spirit in the message “The Spirit of the Forerunner” some years before. And as a father of seven children, I am fully aware of my role, even as I challenge others to rise up into theirs. But we all know it’s one thing to preach it and yet another to live it. And this morning, I was convicted to take steps to address and plug certain gaps in my own marriage and family. When the symposium ended, I immediately messaged Serene, “I feel we should take time to seriously discuss what we want to address in our family. Not just a chit chat but a purposeful session with clear points of action.” Interestingly, Serene had just attended a seminar on “Preserving Purity” by Generations of Virtue last Saturday. I believe God has prepared our hearts accordingly.

Oblivious to many Christians, things are happening at breakneck speed and at an increasing rate. Our families have been sitting ducks in the schemes and ploys of the enemy. And sadly, we have played into his court without even realising it. Yet, this should not come as a surprise because we have been too caught up with our own brand of Christianity, one that panders to our desires and agendas. This is the deception that we have fallen prey to, thinking we are okay when we are not. Clearly, when we are not focused on God’s agenda, we will be distracted by the world’s agenda!

Thankfully, the trumpet has been sounded through God’s prophetic voices. I have heard and I will heed. Indeed, I am solely responsible for the raising of my family. That said, I acknowledge that it is not a journey to be made alone. I will align myself with those who are gathered for battle, and will do my part to rally others.  Will you join me?

“When you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Neh 4:20

Raising Christian Families in Today’s World

At the invitation of Wesley Methodist Church’s Family Life Ministry, I will be sharing this family seminar, “Raising Christian Families in Today’s World”*, on Saturday 18 August 2012, 9am to 12nn. Registration Fee: S$5.00 per person. For more information, you can contact Priscilla Shin at 6837 8610 or priscillas@wesleymc.org

Synopsis: Families today are under extreme pressure as they face new challenges in a fast-changing landscape. The enemy knows that if he hits the family unit, relationships will be broken and the testimony of the church will be weakened. What then are our roles as Christian parents? How do we protect our families from the spiritual and moral decline that is prevalent in societies today?  Indeed, parenting skills are important; but even more critical is a return to God’s Word and His mandate for parents to raise godly families for His Kingdom and glory!

If you can make it to attend, I’d strongly encourage you to; even better if both parents can make it. I won’t position this as a parenting talk, but a talk to and with parents. Feel free to share this seminar with others from your Christian community. It’d be a wonderful time of interaction, learning from one another and being made aware of the challenges that surround the Christian family in these perilous times.

*formerly titled, “Building a Household of Faith”

A Provoking Two Hours With Paul Washer

Some weeks ago, a dear sister sent me a link to a message by Paul Washer.  Deep in my spirit, I had a notion that this would not be an ordinary message but one the Lord would have me listen to.  Being a two-hour message, I knew I had to have the time and space to fully concentrate on the contents.  Most certainly, I wouldn’t want to be flippant to gloss over a sermon entitled “Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church”.

This afternoon, the opportunity presented itself.  There was work to be done, but I didn’t have the mind nor heart to do anything.  This message came to mind so I retrieved the email, clicked on the link and listened to the entire two-hour discourse by Paul Washer.  I was deeply challenged and provoked by each of the ten indictments.  Without doubt, I have been guilty of many of the points Washer raised.  That said, I also found many answers to the issues I had been wrestling with; issues which many like myself have taken for granted having grown up in the church but no less clear about certain critical doctrines and beliefs.

I love the way Washer challenged with the statement, “It’s one thing to believe the Bible is inspired and inerrant, but another to believe it is sufficient.”  His declaration that Christians are totally ignorant of God and His attributes struck such a chord in my heart, for of late, I have been crying out to understand and grow “in the knowledge of God”.  And because there is no knowledge of who God is, there is no fear of Him.  How true!

I also fully agree that there is such a failure today to address the depravity of humanity and sin.  Washer states, and rightly, that without a true awareness of self, there can be no repentance and no desire to be saved.  We have treated sin superficially and blocked the work of the Holy Spirit who comes to convict the world of sin!

Washer went on to contend that we have misrepresented the gospel of Jesus Christ, replacing regeneration for decisionism!  Without a clear understanding of the doctrine of regeneration, we have reduced salvation to a decision rather than a sovereign work of God.  No wonder there is no evidence of the supernatural re-creative work of the Holy Spirit in lives!  What’s more, for many, the motive for salvation is to get to heaven where there are no more problems. That sounds like a great deal but is unbiblical.  As mentioned earlier, it is our recognition of our hopelessness and depravity that renders salvation necessary.

According to Washer, there is no remnant in the Church.  Instead, the Church is the remnant!  Depending on how we see regeneration and salvation, our definition of the Church will also be affected.  Following his argument, only those who are truly saved and regenerated are the Church.  These are the ones who truly love the Lord and are being changed into the image of His Son, and being prepared as His Bride.  Makes you think harder about the parables about the tares and the goats, doesn’t it?

At the same time, I thank God for affirming me in how I have been preaching and teaching.  Issues like church discipline, holiness and godliness are all topics I challenge myself and my students with.  It’s encouraging to hear someone else stand on the same points.  Yet, it is sad to also note that he also observes the same thing across churches – that church discipline is not administered, that holiness is something frowned upon and that godliness is not being pursued.

Finally, as a husband and a father, I really appreciated Washer’s challenge to Christian families.  Instead of standing on God’s principles, we have resorted to worldly advice and perspectives where marriages and families are concerned.  No wonder then that we are seeing so many problems in our relationships.  He issued the same challenge as I have been raising … that effort should be put into raising and teaching fathers and men!  Instead, we see the reverse in our churches.  More time, money and effort is being put into our Sunday School programmes than in the lives of our fathers and men.

What a provoking two hours.  But time well spent, I must say.  It’s been a long while since I heard strong and solid preaching.  Dear Lord, enable me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to respond in the way I must.  Forgive me for where I have also gone off-track.  That said, thank You for stirring in my heart, the same issues and convictions.  Draw me deeper and bring my closer in my walk with You.  Help me to preach and teach without compromise so that others too can enjoy the relationship I have with you.  Amen!