|A New kind of Mega Christianity|
We would have expected a rise of the liberals and liberal churches with their liberation theology challenging the Anglicans and Methodists but instead we got the mega churches with its unique blend of counter intuitive approaches in the last three decades.
A recent survey of the churches reveal some surprising findings:-
a. Properity is a blessing from God
b. Government is not becoming too liberal
c. Not likely to enforce their moral view points on others collectively
d. Greater self rigthteousness in condeming gays yet more agreeable to pre-marital sex and are comfortable interacting with gays
In view of the fact that the Church of Our Saviour, the most prominent anti-gay church in Singapore would have been classed under the Anglicans rather than a mega church, the main mega churches left are CHC, NCC, Trinity, FCBC, Hope, Cornerstone and Lighthouse Evangelism. We would have expected them to be less anti-gay. Yet, the mega churches are 6% higher in their anti-gay attitudes at 85.7% (cmpared to the Anglicans at 79.7%).
The anti-gay attitudes of the mega churches are balanced by only 33% desiring to make this public policy compared to the Methodists at 56.7%. They would be less treatening to the secular nation.
The Methodist church is more consistent than the mega churches with 81% agreeing to pre-marital sex as compared to the mega churches at 91%. Nevertheless, this is a very high number and seems hypocritical in light of their strong anti-gay message. Do their opinions on abortions likewise? eg due to teen pregnancies of these heterosexual sex.
What is obvious is that the mega church, Anglican, and Methodist pastors are preaching to their congregation with an religious law based message (which is intrinsically anti-gay), with the added properity emphasis by the mega churches.
It was not too long ago that Pastor Rony Tan of the mega churches preached that Satan is trying to use homosexuals to destroy the church. He is correct! but it is not that gay activist will be chasing down Christians in the walkways of Orchard. Somehow, it makes us more self righteous and self centered on our own morality, righteousness and wealth even when we permit pre-marital sex and abortions.
We are going down a dangerous road to perdition where Christianity is law centered and prosperity based. That's what got the bible believing Pharisees undone and Jesus called them very strong words.
There is a simplicity of Jesus rising early morning in the desert, without much but a tunic and preaching that the Kingdom of God is here not that the kingdom is in loving relationships per say but that Jesus brings the rulership of God into our hearts through His death and resurrection that we may be called sons and daughters of God by faith.
The disciples and the apostles didn't end up rich. At the end Paul was preaching a message of grace that it was not by the Jewish laws but by grace that we are saved. Yes, prosperity will come because we are blessed just like Abraham was, but it is important to use our blessings to bless others and this is the kingdom of God where the last is first and the first last.
We have put gays the most despised, with 10.9% disgreeing that homosexuality is morally wrong. God has the habbit of putting the least in the community, the first. It was the poor and the outcasts who saw Jesus and was with Jesus throughout His time on earth. Perhaps the greatest move of God in history will start with who we have called the vilest sinners, for they may be more righteous than the mega churches in their love for others and care and concern for the marginalised.
Most from megachurches see wealth as sign of blessing
Data collated from the money-and-finance section showed that 85 per cent of those from megachurches agreed that they will be blessed with prosperity if they are faithful Christians. In addition, 71.7 per cent of the same group felt that the financial growth of the church is a sign of God's blessing. That compares with next-highest results for both questions, 40.8 per cent and 46.1 per cent respect- ively, both from Anglican respondents.
Compared to other church goers, 28 per cent of those who attend the megachurches agreed with a statement that the Government "is becoming too liberal in terms of moral values". The figure contrasts with 46 per cent of those who attend Methodist churches, 42.7 per cent of those who attend
Anglican churches and 45.2 per cent of those who attend independent churches. The survey also indicated that, while the respondents from megachurches are as conservative, if not more, compared to other churchgoers with regard to values related to sex and sexuality - such as pre-marital sex, the moral status of homosexuality and abortion - they are more willing to interact with, and have friends who are homosexuals.
from Straits ttimes