Faith

In an age of AI, IVF and NFTs, are Christian social principles still relevant?

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong, The Methodist Church in Singapore // April 1, 2024, 9:00 am

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More than ever before, biblical social guidelines can help believers live by God’s firm principles in today’s volatile and complex world, says Bishop Dr Gordon Wong. Photo by Michelangelo Buonarroti on Pexels.

Every Christian aspires to obey God, avoid evil and do good. But some modern day predicaments are not discussed specifically in the Bible. How, then, can we apply biblical principles to our lives?

In this new series, The Methodist Church in Singapore shares reflections on its Social Principles which, more than ever before, can help believers live by God’s firm principles in today’s volatile and complex world. 

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong kicks off the series with this overview.

Made for good works 

Bible verses like Ephesians 2:10 and Romans 8:28 fuel and fire our passion for social work and social concerns.

For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (NRSV)

We are not saved by, but we have been created for, good works.

Doing good works in Christ Jesus for our world and neighbourhood is a commission given to us by God.

This is not a theory of earning salvation by doing good works. The two preceding verses make clear that “it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We are not saved by, but we have been created for good works.

Romans 8:28 reinforces the same point.

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (RSV)

The better-known English translation, “God works for the good of those who love him”, (NIV) obscures the emphasis of the Greek verb which is “to work” or, more literally, “to synergise with” someone rather than for someone.

The God of the Bible works “with those who love him”, and God is working with us “for good”.

Our Social Principles inspire us to work with God to do whatever good we can in the different spheres of life in today’s world.

All things for good

Secondly, to do whatever good we can introduces a traditional paraphrase attributed to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism:

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

There are eight spheres of modern life in which we can encourage one another to do all the social good that we can.

  1. The Family
  2. Economics
  3. Politics
  4. Community Life
  5. The Internet, Sciences and Technologies
  6. Social Well-being
  7. Creation Care
  8. The Church

In these and all spheres of life, “in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good.”


The Methodist Social Principles on the Sphere of the Family articulate The Methodist Church in Singapore’s response to the issues that families face today. These are not rules, but guidelines drawn from scriptural and theological foundations as well as Methodist traditions. 

Watch this space for the first social principles article: “The Bible doesn’t talk about 21st century family struggles, so what should we do?” 


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About the author

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong, The Methodist Church in Singapore

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020. He began service as a Methodist pastor in 1986, and served as TRAC president from 2013 to 2020.

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