|New Creation Church – A joke gone too far – justice at last|
(Job 32:9 NKJV) Great men are not always wise, Nor do the aged always understand justice.
(Psa 72:4 NKJV) He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor.
On 15 June 2010, another Christian Pastor Mark Ng of New Creation Mega Church at Suntec has been implicated for preaching against another religion, following the debacle in Feb 2010 at Light House Evangelism by Rony Tan. During the height of the Rony Tan Saga, I visited the bookshop at New Creation and realized that the tapes by Pastor Mark were taken off the shelves. As he was known for his colorful preaching with many jokes, this was not surprising. We are also reminded that the Senior Pastor of NCC, Pastor Prince was also known for his jokes, particularly against gays.
Some have said that the Pastor should not be talking about other faiths that he knew little of. However, the Pastor was an ex-Taoist and was only talking to his flock on his personnel experiences. The church service was nevertheless a public church service with a mega audience of thousands with the sermons tapes being sold as resource materials for an extended audience. If the tapes had not been sold, we would have never known or have solid evidence of the indiscretion. That was why, the NCC Pastors appear to be perturbed by the “leak” into the internet.
The incident was all meant to be kept quietly under wraps (under grace?). NCC would not have apologized nor highlight this incident by itself, If it had not been for the whistle blower. Blaming the messenger for causing “further offense” is not helpful. New Creation Church was fortunate not having “live” broadcasts where the video sermons could be extracted to Youtube. The sins of NCC have at last been “uncovered”.
Whilst there are some similarities with Pastor Rony Tan, there were major differences. The Pastor was speaking in his usual joking manner and not in the serious tone by Pastor Rony. There was no ex-Taoist on stage giving their testimony, nor was the faith mentioned explicitly. It was only the mentioning of some of the ghostly scenes of the 7th month including:-
a) Chinese people being selectively dragged down in swimming pools but not Ang Mo or Indians,
b) The fear of turning back your head when your name is called, lest one may be prosessed!
c) Calling the “long” tongue deity a street gangster demanding homage
Some friends listening to Pastor’s sermon discontinued half way through saying that Pastor would surely be in trouble. Luckily it was not the 7th month, for the Pastor seemingly had a strong grudge against some deities and it would be a big spiritual battle.
(Psa 10:17 NKJV) LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,
(Psa 10:18 NKJV) To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
We are reminded that Pastor Joseph Prince also regularly joke but about gays and has therefore oppressed them, his mimicking of an effeminate king of Sodom. If the Sodomites were effeminate as claimed by Pastor Joseph Prince, surely the People of Sodom would not have broken down Lot’s doors, killed many people, conquered surrounding cities and put people into slavery. They were rough neck hooligans, brutal and cruel, people you see in prisons raping other men to subjugate them and not that they “loved” them. Pastor Joseph Prince should apologize to gays as well for distorting the Word of God and misrepresenting gays.
(Prov 21:3 NKJV) To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
(Eccl 5:8 NKJV) If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
Biblical Justice is linked to oppression of minorities and those without a voice. In 2003, a Christian group did question Pastor Prince on his offensive “jokes” and wanted to meet him but no response was given. It was simply brushed off and Pastor Prince has since continued to joke and talk down about gays, saying that Pastor Henry would handle them if they ever come to New Creation to seek their prey. NCC were given 7 years to repent and had not, and they are now taken to task and had to apologize in public for the jokes about other faiths. Grace may not cover us when we willfully sin and take God’s grace for granted.
One can be an ex-Taoist but not an ex-gay. Our religious faith is a matter of personnel choice, but whether we are born male or female, and our sexual orientation is innate. These incidents have no doubt taken the intense focus off Pastor Kong Hee of CHC and have given him a short respite from the intense media scrutiny. Ironically, NCC through its indiscretion may have given grace to CHC. All are guilty and fall far short of the glory of God. Their jokes on the gay community were devoid of the basic tenets of Christian of love for all, and were instead based on hate and homophobia.
It was not Pastor Henry who managed to sought gays out at NCC lest they “corrupt” the flock, but the hand of Justice seeking out the hidden sins of the New Creation Church. NCC has misinterpreted justice to mean being taken to task by not abiding by the law. Justice in the OT context refers to recompensing those who have been oppressed and denied justice – the poor, the outcasts, the vulnerable, the foreigner, being taken advantage off and persecuted by the powerful, rich, and the mob majority.
The GLBT community has been crying out to God for justice, for the sufferings and discrimination endured by the community at the hands of the Christian Right. Even our basic rights of existence are taken away with the threat of criminalization whilst the mega churches work around the charity rules to be involved in big businesses and buy over big commercial sites. They have given us very little rights, yet demanded all the rights for themselves, and to promote their brand of Christianity from the Quad towers of Suntec where the mega churches (NCC and CHC) would soon reside. Gays are the weak party easily abused and oppressed without the avenue or strength to stand up for themselves.
God is a God of justice, and sooner or later justice will flow down from the mountain of God rushing down to the valleys below to fill the land and those who put up barricades will be flooded over. Like the Orchard floods, it will come suddenly. Justice is making right the wrongs and oppression that have been committed against “the other”, and Justice is coming for the GLBT community when those who take grace for granted use this grace to persecute the GLBT community will be reprimanded. Not too long ago, NCC had a testimony of a gay man (under religious confusion) deciding to give “dating girls” a go. Perhaps, NCC should not neglect “love” and “justice”, whilst preaching a message of grace, for our God is a God of Justice which shall not be denied to the weak.
(Psa 37:27 NKJV) Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.
(Psa 37:28 NKJV) For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
O Lord God, may You redeem Your Church that it may be a spotless
bride ready for the coming back of Your Son Jesus Christ.
O Lord God, may You redeem Your Church that it may be a spotless bride ready for the coming back of Your Son Jesus Christ.
There is a Redeemer - Keith Green
There is a Redeemer - Keith Green
Jesus My Redemmer
Response To Recent Circulation Of Audio Clips Of A Sermon Preached By Pastor Mark Ng In August 2008
New Creation Church (NCC) would like to express our deepest apologies to any person who may have been offended by the remarks made by Pastor Mark Ng during a sermon delivered in August 2008. Pastor Mark has explained to us that his intention was to highlight what he viewed as some inconsistencies in the local Chinese practices, and not meant to cause disrespect to any race or religion.
Following the widely covered media reports in February 2010 of another incident not related to NCC, we initiated an internal review of all past and ongoing sermons. In the course of this review, we realised that Pastor Mark had in this sermon, inadvertently spoken in a manner that could be regarded as slighting these practices.
Arising from this review, we immediately stopped the circulation and sale of this and several other sermons that were deemed insensitive. We also strongly emphasised to all our pastors that sermons of this nature are not acceptable and should not be repeated.
We recognise our responsibility in this major oversight in allowing this sermon not only to be preached, but also, as a usual practice, to be made available as a resource for sale. It is unfortunate that while we have endeavoured in every way to stop the circulation of this sermon, its recent appearance on the Internet continues to possibly cause offence when it was never Pastor Mark’s intention to do so. We assure the public that NCC has no part in the current surfacing of this sermon.
Pastor Mark offers his unreserved and unmitigated apology to the public for his insensitive comments and for failing to observe the basic tenet of Christianity, which is founded on love for one and all. He humbly appeals to those whom he has offended to forgive him of this serious indiscretion.
NCC takes this opportunity to affirm our commitment to the public that we place a high premium on the value of both racial and religious harmony in our multi-faceted society. This is evidenced by our years of consistent support for the many nation-wide programmes on racial and religious harmony.
Jun 17, 2010, Straits Times
'Now we are friends'
By Yen Feng
NOTHING beats a good hug when it comes to making up.
Taoist Federation chairman Tan Thiam Lye and New Creation pastor Mark Ng demonstrated this when Mr Ng showed up at the federation to apologise yesterday.
'With this, everything is yi bi gou xiao,' said Mr Tan, meaning Mr Ng's personal visit had wiped the slate clean between the two parties.
'It's good that we had a chance to talk face-to-face. Now we are friends.'
Mr Ng said: 'A wrong is a wrong. I have to take responsibility.'
The one-hour, private meeting held yesterday afternoon at the federation office in Bedok was initiated by New Creation. The request came after Mr Tan said on Tuesday that Mr Ng could do more to express contrition over remarks he made in 2008 that belittled Taoist beliefs.