LCF 40th Anniversary Dinner
By Tong Suit Chee & Gregory Vijayendran
More than 185 Law Christian Fellowship (LCF) members, friends and students gathered on 5 December 2019 evening to celebrate its 40th anniversary dinner at the National University of Singapore Society Guild House, Kent Ridge.
There were several overseas delegates from South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia/Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar; and representatives from the Indonesia Christian Legal Society, Kingdom International Legal Network, and International leadership team of Faith and Law Around the Globe, vIce president of Advocates International, and executive director of Christian Legal Fellowship Korea.
Honouring the LCF pioneers
The LCF was formed and affiliated as a sectional group to the Graduates’ Christian Fellowship (GCF) on 1 November 1978, and inaugurated on 3 February 1979 at the Shangri-la Hotel. It was formally ratified as a GCF sectional group at the GCF AGM in June 1979.
Messrs Joshua Lim, Francis Lim and William Wan were called onstage and honoured as the pioneers, who were involved in the setting up and became members of the first LCF committee. Mr.Joshua Lim shared on how the LCF was formed and God’s faithfulness in his life.
LCF’s vision — Injustice, Intercession and Inter-generation
Next, LCF chairman Gregory Vijayendran shared on how the LCF executive committee (exco) waited on God during a retreat at the end 2018. He said:”We sensed a divine download from Isaiah 59 of three aspects regarding the future vision for LCF, covering Injustice, Intercession and Inter-generation.” The key points in his sharing were as follows:
“The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.” (Isaiah 59:15b NIV)
In this verse, we see that there was evil and there was no justice and God is displeased with injustice. We need to catch God’s heart for the situations of injustice around us. What evokes His strong emotions of displeasure in this season? The pioneer generation of LCF exco leaders caught God’s heart for situations of injustice in proposed divorce laws and made representations to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Bill.
“He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm achieved salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.” (Isaiah 59:16)
In this verse, God was appalled that there was no one to intervene, no intercessor. This emphasis on prayer is also underscored by a verse that follows shortly thereafter. “When enemies come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will put them to flight.” (Isaiah 59:19) We need to realise that intercession is spiritual warfare. Indeed, we put out enemies to flight even as we pray.
Isaiah 59:16 is symmetrical with Ezekiel 22:30 on “standing in the gap”. Committed intercessor tries to repair the gap. We need to see this verse “standing in the gap” through the finished work of Christ on the cross in the New Testament. Christ stood in the gap through the power of the cross.
So, we do not stand in the gap commando-style in our own strength and steam or else, we will get bombarded by the enemy. God wants us to “stand in the gap” in Christ, who is our lead advocate and senior counsel/spiritual counsel in the courtroom of heaven. Jesus is our advocate making intercession for us. (Hebrews 7:25)
We need to pray. As lawyers, what we do in the natural is symmetrical with the spiritual. All that God has done in the LCF ministry (from legal clinics, mentorship programme, ministry meetings and special events) is precisely because of heavenly advocacy first so the glory is all God’s.
“As for Me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 59:21)
This is an inter-generational covenantal blessing. Malachi 4:6 is a verse that God spoke in different seasons of this ministry – turning the hearts of the fathers to the children first and then turning the hearts of the children to their fathers. This is the foundational verse for our mentorship when Christian seniors mentor juniors. This is a work of the Holy Spirit turning the hearts of the fathers and mothers of the profession to the children of the profession. We are reminded that: “One generation commends your work to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4) There are grandparents, parents and children here tonight and God is knitting our hearts together.
I shall leave you with three reflection points from these three themes in Isaiah 59:
– Discern the heart of God for situations of injustice around us;
– Share with the previous and next generation about the works of God in our generation.
Three phases of LCF’s history
Mr Darius Lee then shared on the LCF’s history which can be divided as follows:
- 1960s to 1992: Establishment of LCF as a sectional group within the Graduates’ Christian Fellowship (GCF)
- 1993 to 2000: Continued engagement
- 2000 till today: Revitalisation of LCF
He went to elaborate on Phase I (1960s to 1992), which focussed on its establishment and social concerns. The key highlights during this phase were:
- 1979, representations to the Government Select Committee on divorce
- Since 1982, Annual Dedication Service
- Since 1984, engagement with Varsity Christian Fellowship
- 1985, representations on abortion to the government
- 1989, started the Christian Conciliation and Arbitration Ministry
- 1990, representations on the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act
Phase II (1993 to 2000) was a period of continued engagement. The period from 1993 to 2000 was relatively inactive due to issues facing LCF and GCF. However, LCF members continued to participate in some activities of significance, for example, Living Wills or Advance Medical Directive (AMD).
Phase III (2000 till today) was focused on the revitalisation of LCF.
- During the AGM on 27 May 2000, a new committee was elected, with Justice Lai Kew Chai re-appointed as chairman and Gregory Vijayendran as vice-chairman
- New committee had modest aims — to set in place some regular events that LCF could carry out from year to year for the benefit of those in the legal profession
- Regular meetings held at TSMP Law Corporation
- Since 2003, involvement in Advocates International and Advocates Asia
- Since 2007, legal clinics (Boscombe, Charis, West)
- 2008, talk by Nicky Gumbel, founder of Alpha
- Since 2009, Angel Tree Project
- Since 2011, Law Students’ Conference
- Since 2013, Mentorship Programme
- Since 2013, Young Lawyers’ Retreat
- 2014, evangelistic outreach event From Death to Life featuring Suzanne Chin
- Change of name to Law Christian Fellowship (2014). On 27 October 2014, the LCF was renamed from the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship to the Law Christian Fellowship. This was because LCF’s ministry extends to non-practising members of the legal fraternity, such as members of the judiciary, legally trained members of the government service, in-house counsel, paralegals and legal secretaries.
Mr Lee concluded his presentation by asking: “What’s next?” for LCF.
Indeed, this challenge thrown to lawyers and others present at the dinner was a good way to end the night’s celebration. As we give thanks for the Lord’s goodness to the LCF over the past 40 years, we also ask for His direction and strength in the years ahead.