A falling Church reputation in Singapore - The slippery slope into abyss
A falling Church reputation in Singapore - The slippery slope into abyss

 

It is with incredible irony that 2 years ago in 2008, during the 377A debate, that the Christian Right in Singapore were basking in glory with their NMP Thio thumping the gay population at Parliament House, warning of the slippery slope of moral abyss if Singapore was to ever legalize gay sex. Two years later, the slippery slope did come, the revelations of major transgressions in the Christian churches one after another.  The Government decided not to proactively persecute gays for having sex, but the church is now under investigation and scrutiny.

A blogpastor asked “City Harvest Probe – Why is this happening”, on 02 June 2010, and re-iterating much of what has been felt by mainstream Christianity:-

  1. It was said that CHC is being “kicked in the teeth” unfairly, and that CHC is innocent until proven guilty. Is the Christian Right being taken to tasks after having rights to do whatever they like to criticize others, and oppress the gay community, and do business despite being a charity. They had special rights because they were God’s anointed, whilst gays had no rights with the keys being thrown away from the closets

  2. It was said that the media has a hidden agenda to over play the news of the fallen pastors making it front page news. However, the Christian Right has made the gay issue front page news in 377A, Aware Saga, and continually oppressed gays even though gays had nothing to do with the church. Gays were picked upon and targeted.  Why blame the media on “picking” on Christians when it was news worthy, and a major event in light of the fact that CHC is a mega church with 33,000 strong followers.

  3. It was said that there was no deliberate "sin" rather poor management rather than any deliberate sin because the Pastor’s intentions are good, noble, and pure. We whitewashed our sins, and paint white on our tombstones rather than addressing the sins and rotten skeletons within. The churches have been so legalistic, judgmental, without love, mercy nor grace, and so focused on power and money and glam influence.  Our intentions may be good, but do we have the fear of God to constrain us.

The descent into the abyss of the reputation of Christianity in Singapore in the past 16 months is unbelievable. It started during the Transformation 2009 conference where the mega churches gathered together to plan to take over and influence all the mountains of Government, Business, Media, etc in Singapore in the guise of “transformation”. Then something happened: -

  • In Apr 2009, we have the attempt by the Anglican Anti-gay mega “Church of Our Savior” to take over a well known secular organization called Aware on the pretext that they supported gays when this was a pro-women group. Their militant and fundamentalist agenda and immoral coup de-tat to grab power were exposed in the public, and they had to apologize with their reputation in tatters.

  • Next came the downfall of Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism in Feb 2010, the mega church, pastor known for his outrageous lies and false testimony spoken against gays. He spoke too much it seems targeting Buddhists as if gays were too easy a target. They were arrogant enough to publish the video and it became a hit resulting in a big debate in the forums between Christians and Buddhists with the Government stepping in and Pastor Rony apologizing. His reputation suffered a big bruising.

  • In March 2010, the Christian Right penetration into the media suffered a fatal blow with their movie director, Jack Neo (said by Pastor Kong to be one of the best in Asia), who frequently lectured Singaporeans about money and morality was found to have a few mistresses. One of the mistress decided to talk to the media resulting in a real life drama series, a dramatic new conference, and many more alleged mistresses coming forward. A few years ago, when he was cheating on his wife, Jack Neo stood at the platform at City Harvest being praised by Pastor Kong for how loving he was, and how good he had treated his wife. His reputation and influence suffered a fatal blow.

  • Then in May 2010, came the biggest shell shock, that Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church together with 16 other Church leaders were under investigation by the Government for financial matters. This was immediately after they hosted the Asia Conference 2010, where they rose to the pillar of being an example to 2500 churches and their leaders of how to run, grow and manage a church. The conference had an Asia wide influence with some of the biggest names in Christianity. The very next day came the massive fall with Pastor Kong being interviewed for hours after the pre-dawn “raid” at the City Harvest offices to gather evidence.

  • Finally, in June 2010, news that Pastor Ng of New Creation also spoke against the Taoist. It was a joke one too much, much alike the many jokes this church gets away with against gays. The jokes returned to them and they have had to apologize. They tried to cover it up by grace, but somehow it was leaked.

The hearts and minds of the Pastors were indeed good, noble, and pure but they were distracted by Satan on the Gay issue, isolated and said and did things far beyond the core Christian faith and the gospel message, the honey coated temptations leveraging on their zeal for God that the end justifies the means even lies and half truths opening the gate for sin to come through. In Neh 6:2, Sanballat and Geshem called for a seemingly innocent meeting but it was an ambush to lure Nehemiah out of Jerusalem to a remote village. The response to such attack of the enemy was to remind ourselves the good work and progress that we have done so far, and not to be distracted by conversations or issues which are not necessary. We are to be mindful not to move out of our position of destiny and God’s purpose in our lives. The Anglican Church is now distracted by the gay issue which will one day cause them to lose much face.

We are always to be aware the boundaries of God’s love, mercy and grace and that our actions as a church conforms to it. When our actions move out of this boundary, we will be exposed to attacks and compromised our righteousness, morality and integrity. Nehemiah’s strength was the fear of the Lord. In Neh 6:10, Shemaih was sent by Tobiah and Sanballat to pronounce a prophecy against Nehemiah. It was leveraging on Nehemiah's “fear of God”, in the same way as many of us treat with respect when it is said “Thus saith the Lord ….”. Yet, it was not from God.

We are to check clearly the facts of the prophecy for how could God contradict His own Word. In this case, only the priests can enter the Temple of God, not even Nehemiah even though his own life may be threatened. If Nehemiah had entered the temple of God, he would have violated one of the key laws and hence his leadership and influence would be call into doubt. Likewise when we oppress the gay tribe in God’s name, we were invoking judgment for ourselves. The lesson here is to be slow to act, always wise to reflect what people say, checking their motives and agenda, not always assuming that they are of God and perhaps may be even agents of the enemy. Our reputation must be protected at all cost, for we are proclaiming a God of righteousness.

Leaders are especially targeted because they are in a position of influence and their fall would impact the purpose of God they are spearheading to be disrupted and for the followers to be disheartened and discouraged, their faith impacted. It was also destroy the legacy and many great and good works of the leader. People look up to leaders for source of courage, and inspiration of what God can do in their own lives. If the leaders fall, people lose the vision and mission from God that came with these leaders.

The leaders represent the public face of Christianity. If they fall, so will the name and reputation of Jesus Christ and the Word of God be tarnished, and hence the integrity and basis of the Gospel message. The enemy often attacks the leaders at the height of their fame and influence (hence maximum damage) leveraging on the areas of the walls of their lives which have not be built up, or the gates in the lives which have been left open without gate keepers.

Lord God, redeem the church in Singapore again. Pour out Your grace, Redeemer, Saviour, Friend. Remember mercy O Lord.

 

 

Redeemer Savior Friend (Darrell Evans)


VERSE 1:
I know You had me on your mind
When You climbed up on that hill
For You saw me with eternal eyes
While I was yet in sin
Redeemer Savior Friend

VERSE 2:
Every stripe upon Your battered back
Every thorn that pierced Your brow
Every nail drove deep through guiltless hands
Said that Your love knows no end
Redeemer Savior Friend

CHORUS:
Redeemer, redeem my heart again
Savior, shelter me from sin
You're familiar with my weaknesses
Devoted to the end
Redeemer Savior Friend

VERSE 3:
So the grace you poured out on my life
Will return to You in praise
I'll gladly lay down all my crowns
For the name of which I'm saved
Redeemer Savior Friend


 

 

 

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