Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. – Jude 1:3 What has the Singapore Council of Christian Churches (SCCC) got to do with the Reformation?
Everything … well, nearly everything.
The verse in Jude clearly advocates that the “common salvation” has to be struggled (“contended”) for! In a nutshell, this is what the SCCC has been all about.
First, something brief about the Reformation. Scandalized by the non-biblical and patently self-serving practices of the church in the sixteenth century, God-fearing and scripture-upholding men started the movement to reform the church. This is referred to as the Reformation Movement which spanned many years. The movement returned us to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its central tenet is the truth that people are inveterate sinners; and hence, no one can be worthy of forgiveness on the basis of his or her actions; and so the only source of salvation is God's grace.
The International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) and the SCCC were formed and organized to continue this struggle. Briefly, a “big picture” snapshot of this historical movement is:
• In the 1940’s the ICCC was formed to be the 20th Century Reformation movement and to counter the unbiblical movement that tended towards a one-world religion, commonly came to be called “ecumenicalism”, championed by the World Council of Churches.
• In the 1950’s the Far Eastern Regional Council was formed in Manila, Philippines. The late Rev Timothy Tow, Rev Quek Kiok Chiang and Deacon Hsu Chiang Tai from Life Church English Congregation were delegates to this event.
• In the 1960’s the Far Eastern Office was established in Singapore with Rev Quek Kiok Chiang serving as its president.
• And, in the 1970’s, the SCCC, was formed and registered with the Singapore Registrar of Societies with all the then BP Churches as its constituent members, to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Since then the SCCC has been operating on a low-key basis, organizing several yearly events like the Reformation Rally, World Day of Prayer, Easter Sunrise services, and the occasional mercy relief in response to natural disasters in the region.
Today, the organization is in transition. The founding pioneers are handing the baton over to a younger group of ministers who, with renewed vigour, will continue to carry on the noble effort of contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.
May God help and bless them in this undertaking. Pastor Robert Chew