An irate Christian writes to us.
Dear New Nation editors,
I am a Christian and I am highly irritated by the recent actions of the National Council of Churches Singapore (NCCS).
The NCCS came out publicly last Friday to slam two articles published in the March edition of FHM Singapore, a lad mag featuring voluptuous women, describing them as “highly objectionable and deplorable”.
The articles in question were entitled, “Which of These Celebs Might Secretly be Jesus?” and “Jesus 2.0: What can we expect?”.
In the former article, celebrities such as Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, ex-Idol judge Simon Cowell and singing sensation Ms. Justin Bieber are assessed for “evidence” to find out which one of them could be Jesus.
The latter article features a photo of a man holding a gun strapped with ammo looking like The Messiah on his return trip here.
In a statement issued and signed by NCCS president Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and its three vice-presidents, NCCS said the FHM articles “make fun of the Lord Jesus Christ” and added: “These articles appear during the holy season of Lent when Christians remember the sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and they cause serious offence and hurt the sensitivities of the Christian community.”
This prompted a swift apology and a promise to pull the magazine off shelves islandwide by FHM’s senior editor, who on hindsight, appears a tad spineless.
Now that we’ve got the facts of the case out, I’ll like to say this: The NCCS shouldn’t have proceeded with this condemnation without first consulting all the Christians from more than 150 churches across denominations in Singapore that the council supposedly represents.
As a representative of its members, the NCCS should have held a referendum with us to see what we vote for before proceeding to denounce FHM Singapore.
Let’s look at the basics: Singapore is a democracy. And abiding by the democratic tradition of voting, we can decide as a majority what should be done.
Because, for Christians who don’t enjoy things being put in the limelight, denouncing something as trivial as a magazine article will only make all the other people around us curious, and Christians as a whole, look ridiculous.
And when people get curious, that’s when things really start to go pear-shaped.
Think about it: Now that the case has been blown completely out of proportion with it being talked about in the media and online, the offending articles have become even more readily accessible.
And viewed more times than it would have, had the NCCS stayed silent.
What could have passed off as a monthly tongue-in-cheek and inconsequential piece, suddenly becomes permanent as it will live on forever more inside the Internet until the real Second Coming of Christ.
All because someone got jumpy about this issue in the first place.
Worse, by choosing what to openly condemn and denounce, the NCCS and Christians as a whole, eventually avail ourselves as targets of other people’s judgement.
I’ve already been asked countless of times by atheists if it is okay for Christians to read FHM.
I don’t even have a ready answer to that question.
And now that NCCS has condemned one article in particular in FHM while staying silent on everything else, what message does it send?
It is not okay to be insensitive to Jesus Christ but okay for Jaymee Ong to be near naked and ogled at by men, Christians or otherwise?
What is the view of the NCCS regarding the recent controversial MCYS ads featuring social workers?
Is there a moral dilemma that the NCCS can address when it comes to high ministerial salaries?
Why isn’t there an ongoing condemnation of the casinos in Singapore?
When all these issues are put into perspective, I fear the day NCCS speaks again to condemn something else.
It will make Christians look truly inconsequential.
An Irate Christian