Friday, October 23, 2015

The City Harvest Church Trial

The courts have found a pastor of a mega church here in Singapore guilty of fraud. Together with a team of accomplices  he used $50 million dollars - $50,000,000.00 - that's roughly about $40million USD to fund the secular music career of his wife in America.

I'm sure that when he started the church - he and his wife were humble people - desiring only to serve God.

Somewhere along the way they got sidetracked. Why?

Its simple really. Power corrupts. Look at the Catholic Church history. Protestants like to smirk at the old institution and laugh at their corruption. But humans are humans. We sin.

There has to be a transparent accountability system to avoid this sort of thing.

But the teachings in the Bible tend to gravitate towards placing too much power into the hands of individuals. Maybe that's the way with most religions.

I've been in some churches where the preachers are treated like demigods. Why?

Nowadays I tend to stay away from churches because my idea of the Bible is not similar. I believe God has given all of us the freedom to live life. He made us the way we are. He has given us a beautiful world to live in. We have to live a life that does not hurt other people in their path to also be happy. Dominating people, acquiring too much wealth at the expense of others, or abusing your position of authority for personal gain is all wrong.

I think the CH Church should dismantle itself - sell all its assets and distribute them to the poor in accordance with Christ teaching. If they can't even do that - they should not bother preaching the gospel to others.

Critical thinking is not fostered in most churches. Instead there is an emphasise on obedience to rigid rules - some of the charismatic churches even discourage thinking - instead they emphasise a life lived in "faith" - instead its one ruled by emotion and your own personal neurosis.

God gave all of us a brain and a heart for a reason. Churches should encourage its members to train that up. Blindly following your leaders and uncritical acceptance of church teachings - even sections of the Bible is foolish. Think about it. Don't let your mind be ruled by what someone else believes.


Luke said...

God gives to us so that we can give to others. The act of giving is glorious. It looks like you're seeing the failure mode, the refusal to heed Mt 20:20–28 and Jn 13:1–20. If we have too much and are not giving to our brothers and sisters in need (James 2, 5), I think it's obvious that there will be bad consequences, for we'll be trying to operate in a regime of reality which God never intended. Surely he designed reality to have restorative forces, back toward the kind of unity spoken of in Eph 4 and 1 Cor 12.

Does that make sense?

Yau Chiam said...

God gives to us so that we can be stewarts of what we have. He or She also gave us brains, intelligence and if we ask nicely, wisdom as well to decide how to give. You could give gloriously to some worthless cause. Or you could equally happily throw all your money into the sea as a gift to some imaginary deity as well.

I hope you choose wisely.