Sunday, June 12, 2011

What does it mean to be a follower of Christ in Singapore?

Here is a nuance suggestion offered by Daniel Koh, Lecturer in Ethics and Pastoral Theology at Trinity Theological College, Singapore:

"The Singaporean followers of Christ are not persecuted, nor are they targeted for discrimination in this plural Asian society, the way Christians in the early church history were discriminated. While it is true that all Christians are 'resident aliens' in the theological sense that we are citizens of God's Kingdom, and therefore our ultimate loyalty should be to God and the demands of his Kingdom, we are also citizens of the world which is God's creation and his gift to humanity. Needless to say, the theological understanding of our identity as 'resident aliens' should remind us not to place too much trust in the principalities and powers of this world, or the status quo, yet it does not require of us to denounce the world or to be preoccupied with a 'hard difference' that emphasises on the peculiarity of our identity. Even in time of undeserved discrimination, Christians were advised to 'do good,' not within the confines of the Christian community, but also for the sake of others who are not Christians. Properly understood, one cannot 'do good' without intentional participation and active engagement in fostering societal well-being, as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ."
(Daniel K. S. Koh, 'Resident Aliens and Alienated Residents', in Pilgrims and Citizens: Christian Social Engagement in East Asia Today, ed. Michael Nai-Chiu Poon [Australia: ATF Press, 2006], p.140-141. Emphasis added.)

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