The fourth day of the International Consultation on Church and Homophobia opened with Rev. Philip Vinod Peacock’s presentation entitled “Qu(e)erying Asian, Qu(e)erying Theology.” He led the participants through an examination of the effects of colonialism, the construction of bodies, capitalism, violence and doing (queer) theology in Asia. Of queer theology, Peacock stressed that “love does not just blur boundaries, it smashes them.”
Dr. Michael J. Adee’s presentation emphasised the toolkits of LGBT justice-based activism is to promote “Compassion for Ourselves & Ourselves Along the Way to LGBT Justice.” Adee, who hails from the United States, argued that storytellings and accounts of real-life journeys of LGBTIQ people can help change the minds of people who are antagonistic towards LGBTIQ people. Adee reminded the participants of the importance of doing faith activism without forgetting take care of oneself. “Together we will create a world that is free and equal”
In his talk entitled “Tongzhi theology: A Queer Theology for Asians,” Malaysian-born, US-based Rev. Dr Ngeo Boon Lin gave a brief rundown of his background as an academic, and explained that his theologising was directed at Chinese-speaking communities. He proposed that “God is the problem,” because “our problem lies in our theology of God.” Ngeo’s presentation investigated the intersectionalities of tongzhi persons, process theology and Confucianism.
In the afternoon, Rev. Miak Siew of Singapore combined theology and pastoral care in his presentation, “Queer Lessons for Churches on the Straight and Narrow.” Siew stressed that he did not believe in “creating ghettos where LGBT people can exist” or “creating faith communities that are limited to serving LGBTQ people.” Instead, he advocated the church Or “Beloved Community” as “a glimpse of the Commonwealth of God [as] a place for all people.”
Rev. Joseph N. Goh’s presentation, “The Sexual Body as Locus Theologicus” was the final talk for the day. Goh, a Malaysian, proposed that theologies seriously consider the lived realities of non-heteronormative persons as potential valuable theological resources. He also asserted that the storytellings and pursuit of human flourishing among non-heteronormative persons are theological acts which echo God’s desire for all human persons to thrive.
The International Consultation on Church and Homophobia ended with a closing service and holy communion, which was presided by Rev. Miak Siew and Pastor Pauline Ong of Singapore. Bread was broken and shared over an open table. Finally, the participants unanimously supported a final statement that emanated from the Consultation. This statement was adapted from the Message to the Indian Christian Communities from the participants of the Theological Roundtable On Churches’ Response to Human Sexuality held in December 2009 in Kolkata, India. The statement was drafted by Rev. Miak Siew and assisted by Rev. Stephen Suleeman from Indonesia, Rev. Dr. Marjorie Lewis from Jamaica, Pearl Wong from Hong Kong and Rev. Joseph N. Goh from Malaysia.
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