The Armageddon Factor in Singapore
The Armageddon Factor in Singapore

 

 

“… the American movement has had more than three decades to take shape and flourish; by the time scholars and the mainstream media noticed, it had already infiltrated nearly every level of government from school boards to the Senate, often by stealth.” The Armageddon Factor. Marci McDonald

(Rom 4:14 NKJV)  For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

(Rom 4:15 NKJV)  because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

(Rom 5:20 NKJV)  Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

When Senator Sen. Charles Grassley tried to question Pastor Benny Hinn for his compliance to internal revenue service’s requirements, the good Senator was effectively ignored. Benny Hinn was a favorite at the Singaporean mega churches. However, the Senator did not have the same powers for a pre-dawn “visit” to obtain evidences required for persecution. “Just follow the Law”, we insist. When we appeal to the Government to apply strictly an unjust 377A law against gays for something innate and not their fault, we will be judged in the manner. This is God’s moral law

In Singapore, in the CHC investigation, the Commercial Affairs Department was also involved rather than only the Commissioner of Charity signifying a focus on commercial crimes rather than charity. The temporary step down of Pastor Kong as Senior Pastor was also first published in the “Business Times” rather than other news sources. The reaction by members was also amazing, no drop in church attendance but instead the faithful were queuing up with pledges of support for the senior pastor. Such faithful support and unity by tens of thousands would have made many worried. Perhaps, some had previously been prepared to accommodate the mega churches, but the latest events would have confirmed many fears. We are reminded that:-

a) Since the late 1980s, there was a deliberate push by Christians in the United States into the secular world, into Government, Media and Business. It was a militant agenda with secretive meetings and agreements such as the GLEN EYRIE protocol, the united strategy to declare war on gays and to use this as a stepping stone to gain power. President Bush was elected and re-elected based on this conservative block voting. Could this happen in Singapore?

b) The success of the Christian Right in America into Political power, was being matched by their increasing associations with big businesses and wall street where a unique prosperity theology came about to have the church blessings for being mega rich. The Bush Administration with their Christian backers had de-regulated the Wall Street allowing “liberty” to cheat legally. The recession was caused by greed. Could we allow such greed to compromise Singapore as a financial centre?

c) With success of taking over the secular Government, Business and media in United States, the American Christian Right then targeted Africa, and Asia. We see Pastors Benny Hinn, AR Bernard, John Avanzini, Ed Silvoso, Peter Wagner frequently visiting the mega churches. These were giants of Prosperity Theology, and Marketplace evangelism into the secular space. They were the New Apostles going to war rallying the churches here with their “American” theology. Could they spark of a new religious battle? Destroying the peace and unity necessary for growth and prosperity?

d) Nobody thought the American Christian Right experience could have happened in Singapore, until the organized manner in which they carried out the agenda to block any repealing of 377A (a law criminalizing gay sex). Thousands of letters were apparently sent to the local MPs following the given samples at Churches. The mitigating reason then was that it was a once off hot button issue which had galvanized the “conservative” population, and they would quickly return to their mountain of religion and keep their distance once the issue was over.  Could such interference into the secular occur again?

e) The Aware takeover by the Anglican Church shocked many because it confirmed that the organized Christian political movement in the 377A debate was not just an aberration. Like the American counterpart, gays would be used as an excuse to take over the secular space. They were so well organized, strategic, decisive and clinical. There was no leak even with hundreds involved. As they were so united, they could have been a strong political, media and business challenge into the existing secular spaces. Gays were easy victims, but any party could be next. They could even have voted out a Town Council or an electoral area.

f) The notion that any group could be next victim soon became reality, as Pastor Rony Tan, did not hold back his direct and prolonged criticism of another faith causing a serious community back lash when it was broadcast over the internet.   This issue could have galvanized the community and impact public order and peace. Although the issue was quickly settled, it may not end up well the next time.

g) The part ownership of Suntec Convention sounded the final trumpet. They were building their own tower of Babel. It represents an achievement of financial wealth and incredible unity of strength and support unseen in Singapore. However, the buy over also resulted in increasing public disquiet and questions were raised on their financial dealings. If they could take over Suntec, what other mountains could they have taken over next?

There is nothing wrong for a mega church to be involved substantially in business or even politics, as long as it does not consider/register itself as a tax free charity. It will be treated then as a business, a media organization, and a political party etc and not be given special rights as a charity. How could we reasonably apply laws of charity on a mega church when it is involved in a very large scale complicated business transactions involving tens of millions? Or be involved in political lobbying against the gay community.

With the incredible support of the mega churches, their leaders were protected. Pastor Rony Tan for example was given only a warning. If they were taken to tasks, it could be seen by many as harshly targeting their faith. The backlash is dangerous since the Christian Right has a strong persecution mentality. The Senior Pastors of the mega churches stood above the clouds claiming righteousness and morality far above the common people where even the sight of gay people would compromise their holiness and said to bring Singapore down the slippery slope of immorality! By their own immorality, they are now falling from great heights.

(Rom 2:21 NKJV)  You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?

(Rom 2:22 NKJV)  You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

(Rom 2:23 NKJV)  You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?

The bible says that those who obtain justification by the Law shall also fall by it. They had judged without mercy nor grace and had caused great harm eg in the California to insist that the existing gay marriages be annulled, or advocating the hunting down and killing of gays in Africa.   Whatever they sow, they may also reap. The Jewish biblical laws were given for the purpose of finding or invoking evidence for judgment. If one can be perfect by the Law, then why need a redeemer, a Savior. When one emphasized or boasts in the OT Laws, it has the power to bring out the worst in people that they may be judged and be found lacking, and therefore needing God’s grace. They preached regularly on OT laws in the mega churches, used it to the very letter to condemn gays, and it now returns to bite them.

Paul’s strong warning against the religious Jews in the bible who criticized his preaching of God’s grace is prophetic. In Rom 2:21, and 22, they have stolen from people and robed temples whilst boasting of the law. The Gay Community have long felt being used, manipulated and abused by the Christian Right, who stood at the sidewalks wagging their finger whilst gays are condemned by the majority and persecuted and put in jails. Perhaps, they have forgotten the summary or intention of the Law to lead us to Loving God, and loving others just as we love ourselves. We have ultimately failed as a church to love the outcasts.

We are reminded of a beautiful song sung by Amy Grant, "We're marching to Zion". We are supposed to march to the mountain of God, and not to march into the secular world. We can't serve two masters, and should be single minded to worship our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are to wait for thy Kingdom come, and not to grow weary of waiting nor create our own kingdom of God on earth as the Catholic Church have done.

Thy Kingdom Come
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in Heaven

 

 

 
We're Marching to Zion (Isaac Watts, 1674–1748)
1. Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known,
Join in a song with sweet accord,
Join in a song with sweet accord
And thus surround the throne,
And thus surround the throne.

2. Let those refuse to sing
Who never knew our God,
But children of the heav'nly King,
But children of the heav'nly King,
May speak their joys abroad,
May speak their joys abroad.

3. The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heav'nly fields,
Before we reach the heav'nly fields,
Or walk the golden streets,
Or walk the golden streets.

4. Then let our songs abound
And every tear be dry;
We're marching through Immanuel's ground,
We're marching through Immanuel's ground,
To fairer worlds on high,
To fairer worlds on high.

Chorus:
We're marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We're marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.

 

 

 

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