So a Pastor invites a senior parliamentary figure into a church and reads out a homophobic statement.

What was his intent?

Well, we cannot read into the minds of men but we can surely take a potshot.

Some background- the pastor in question is a Pastor Lawrence Khong from Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) and the senior parliamentary figure is none other than ESM Goh Chok Tong who was just innocently doing his rounds as MP for his constituency when he got invited to hear the afore-mentioned speech (full transcript here).

Now, I’m not going to say how stupid his speech is (others more capable have already done that).

I prefer to second guess what his intent was. I mean, why generate all this publicity for your church? 10,000 like minded individuals not contributing enough in tithes? Or dear pastor’s KPI consist of growth rates in tithe-giving churchgoers? Or simply misguided?

Well, if you read his Wikipedia entry (I know. He has his own Wikipedia entry. *guffaw) which reads like it was written by a non-partisan *wink wink* contributor, it says that FCBC is a megachurch and that Pastor Khong performs magic and so on and so forth. Now, megachurches haven’t been put in a good light recently- just last year (and still ongoing) is a court case against the leaders of one of Singapore’s biggest megachurches- City Harvest Church; And just last week, there was a study done on Churches in Singapore that showed that members of megachurches tend to be from working-class or lower middle-class backgrounds (draw your own conclusions; link here). Now, if FCBC were an even more conservative church, I’m pretty sure they would be very much against the rock-esque music that these megachurches sometimes play.

So, really, what’s pastor Lawrence Khong trying to do? He could have read his homophobic statement within the church walls and word wouldn’t have gotten out as it has now. Why put the good ESM in a situation much like wife during the NKF saga?

All for publicity? Or clever ploy to further cement his standing among his flock of 10,000 by creating an us-versus-them mentality?

Only his God will know.