Friday, March 26, 2010

Mega-churches ....Mega-finances...

"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. " - Luke 18:22
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When I was in secondary school, I helped out at a Christian charity. I was not a Christian but the Christians in the group liked me so much, they made me their student rep. As the rep, I had to attend workshops, seminars, organise activities etc. What was deeply etched in my mind was the idea of helping the poor and distributing (all) your wealth which was so much a key part of the religion. Distributing ....not accumulating.
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I guess these days things have changed somewhat. New style churches collect tens of millions, invest hundreds of millions in real estate deals including shopping centers & restaurants[Link] and start to look like business enterprises. How much goes to charity?
City Harvest in 2008[Link]:
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Local Community & Charity Work : $2.9M
Staff Salary and Allowances : $9.29M
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City Harvest is now involved in $310M real estate deal [Link]. They are not building a shelter for the homeless or hospital for the sick...
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For Singapore Expo, we are in a lease-only business model. As such, what is being paid out does not have any returns or profit-sharing for CHC. The Board and the Building Committee discussed and concluded that with an ‘ownership-and-license’ business model, the rent we pay out will be recovered by CHC in the form of profits and dividends. It’s perfect for our church”
- Senior Pastor Tan Ye Peng[Link]
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City Harvest Church will fund this mainly through donations from its church goers[Link]. I'm sure CHC will be able to raise the funds given its enthusiastic congregation. What they willingly give out of their own free will is none of our business - many probably consider the religious experience (joy, happiness) invaluable and they will have their spirits elevated to a high every weekend by inpiring sermons. The issue really is it is registered as a charity and enjoys a tax-exempt status because of this. CHC, however, pays out 3 times more as salaries to its staff than it gives to charity. These days it is impractical to expect religious leaders to live in modest homes and take public transport and honour a vow of poverty so they can give out more to those who are poor and sick knowing that what is important are the treasures that await them in heaven...we should, however, have the same level of transparency, accountability and regulation as big business enterprises because some of these mega-churches operate like businesses.

87 comments:

Singapore Short Stories said...

another hot topic in the news recently..

Anonymous said...

The trajectory of the new churches are into that of entertainment industry culminating in sex and prostitution. Jesus will be turning in his grave.

Anonymous said...

"These days it is impractical to expect religious leaders to live in modest homes and take public transport and honour a vow of poverty..."

"Impractical"? Modest homes and public transport is decent living, neither extravagant nor overly unnecessarily prudent, or is this just what mere mortals are just entitled to? I'm afraid, to an extent, you've been brainwashed already.

Agreeing, entities that operate like businesses should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny of their business peers, and should not hide under the facade of charity.

Anonymous said...

"What they willingly give out of their own free will is none of our business "

if that's none of our business, why is it our business to mind how they spend their money and how they get the people to push their limits in giving?

now that they have so much money because it is none of our business they continue in their business of ripping off people, they are now putting all these lovely monies to better use - investing in property.

so what if you tax them because you say they are operating like businesses?assuming that we succeed in getting them to pay taxes, so what? these taxes will be peanuts compared to the unlimited revenues from selling you a mansion in the sky.

so since it is none of our business how they prosper and continue to expand, we can expect to see their interests in properties grow because, the tax portion is unlikely to stand in their glorious vision of serving god.

you know what, MBT should muscle in on the game and sell "mansion in the sky".

read:very low capital investment but very high yield and best part ..none of our business.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe baby,
that one day the churches become property developers and go on a charity drive to sell properties to their believers and followers at no profit, the faiths of the flock to their religious leaders will be worthwhile.

However though, whether their religious leaders are able to give up everything for a place in heaven, me hasth NO FAITH.

Anonymous said...

Even faith is a business these days. Wonder where they got this business model from? ;-)

IwasminfuckedbyCHC said...

Look at a MODEL EXAMPLE of what it means to be a christian wife here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wp1vUe49Lg

That's Pastor Kong Hee's wife. Examplary, ain't it? So this is what it means to be a christian?! As the movie clip progresses, Sun Ho got more raunchy and listen to the lyrics. It's the heart of a spiritual awakening, alright! Pastor Kong should be ashame of himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YOtjRhro5Y

Here you see her dancing as a slut to men asking them to love her.
This is a pastor's wife, you know. Look at her chest and tighs and pray tell me what sort of spirituality is CHC teaching people. What sort of role model is CHC inculcating for young girls. Deplorable!

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can not serve both God and Mammon." — Matthew 6:19-21,24


"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mahatma Gandhi

Money doesn't sound very supernatural to me.

Real estate deals sound especially not supernatural.

Anonymous said...

the authorities are "lenient" toward religious indoctrination thinking perhaps, its "positive influences" in society outweigh the negatives

but we will have to divide and conquer these people as they aim to build their tower towards heaven.

so the sum of their influences may actually be "confusion" and thus, the nett effect, not that "positive".

as a consequence, the entire city, i think, collapsed.

Anonymous said...

I like the pincer-strategy of CHC.

Ex-Pastor Sun Ho is taking the enterainment world for Jesus, while Kong Hee Fatt Choy conquers the business distict for the glory of Jesus.

And for those of you who question CHC's decision to spend so much money for the Suntec acquisition, please remember that Judas Iscariot once questioned why so much money was spent by the woman to glorify Jesus, instead of donating the money to help the poor.

Anonymous said...

helping the poor or not is not the issue. the issue is the mind fcuk.

too much mind fcuking and the poor also get ripped off - let alone feed them!

Anonymous said...

Think about what 10:20 said..carefully.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"I like the pincer-strategy of CHC." - Anon 10:26

Military term.

"Ex-Pastor Sun Ho is taking the enterainment world for Jesus, while Kong Hee Fatt Choy conquers the business distict for the glory of Jesus."

Military terms.

"And for those of you who question CHC's decision to spend so much money for the Suntec acquisition, please remember that Judas Iscariot once questioned why so much money was spent by the woman to glorify Jesus, instead of donating the money to help the poor."

In other words - do not question.

If you question, you are like Judas.

Even if a jar of perfume purchased by an individual's savings to anoint Jesus himself is not quite the same as 310,000,000 dollars of donor funds invested to become a co-owner of a prime piece of real estate.

Anonymous said...

shaolin has a material abbott, singapore has a material pastor couple.

looks like the devils has taken control of some of the religious institutions

Anonymous said...

Let's see how long they can exist. Not like the Catholic Church which invested in schools, hospitals etc..... They can still survive for 2000 years. Perhaps churches like CHC, NCC and FCBC can only exist when their senior pastor is still alive!

Conscious said...

The politician and the priest have been in cahoots for centuries. Each supporting the other in exploiting the society through carrot and stick psychology. The Church with Heaven as its carrot and Hell as its stick. Similarly, the State with its creation of ranks and promotions as carrots. And fear psychology and threats for control and to keep you in line. What's new? Nothing has changed over the years. They each need each other to pattern the minds of the populace to conform and submit to their will.

It's one of the oldest trick in the book. Hitler and the Pope were working hand in hand to the extent that the Catholic Pope granted a holiday for Hitler.

Anonymous said...

The Holy scriptures hv made several mentions of FALSE PROPHETS. Wake up you people of God. You have eyes but cannot see. You hv ears but cannot hear and brain......DEAD. Wake for God's sake least you'd be trampled upon by false prophets.

Alan Wan said...

One thing for sure is the fact that the pastor founder need not worry about unemployment for the rest of his life. Let the money collected generate more money in return and perpetually live happily ever after.

Sounds familiar with the familee concept of our surplus fund investment where more bonuses can be paid out in times of surpluses and during the bad times, doen't really matter because nobody will be retrenched either.

Afterall it's other people's monies that they are investing.

Anonymous said...

Lyrics to Fancy Free, as sung by Sun Ho...

Woke up feeling like a millionaire,
Walking down the street with the wind in my hair,
All the boys stare, say I look so good,
No, I'm not cocky but I knew that they would.

Cause everywhere I go my life is a party,
I don't have a worry, the sun keeps on shining on me,
Look how it's shining on me, (Oh),
You can't tell me nothing, look out cause I'm coming,
The street is my runway and everyone's looking at me,
All of their eyes are on me, (All of their eyes are on me)
And I....

I feel so beautiful, (I'm lovely)
Can't no one tell me no (I'm fancy free)
My life's a circus show (It's lovely)
No matter where I go (I'm fancy free).

I've heard some nice gospel pop and gospel rock music, but i guess this aint one of them?

Anonymous said...

"What's new? Nothing has changed over the years. They each need each other to pattern the minds of the populace to conform and submit to their will.

It's one of the oldest trick in the book. Hitler and the Pope were working hand in hand to the extent that the Catholic Pope granted a holiday for Hitler."

quite true. the irony is that, the bible actually warned about that kind of scenario and how to rectify it.

but the church catch no ball and became the sotongball instead. lol

Anonymous said...

thebible also say they are a stubborn lot. despite all the evidences thrown at them,they still refuse to turn. they deserve whats coming to them for adhering to garbage basically. lol

$makan$ said...

Lucky, perhaps there is a master plan to make Suntec city become SunHO city, a mini vatican city within Singapore.

If you recall Lucky, there is this believe the messiah will return. I actually wonder if he has been keeping abreast of what's going on for the last 2000+ yrs.
The preacher and his wife may be right afterall. I think the messiah would be impress with a grand welcome from CHC, makes no sense to go thru' poverty again.

Nevertheless, I agree there is a gross mismatch between collection and distribution of $$

Anonymous said...

Is the PAP govt lenient to Christians because many senior civil servants and ministers are Christians? ;)

Looks like Tang Liang Hong was right all along.

Anonymous said...

pardon if i misunderstood the table, but why do so many of your readers come from Japan?

http://www.websiteoutlook.com/www.singaporemind.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"Is the PAP govt lenient to Christians because many senior civil servants and ministers are Christians? ;)"

because they support babel

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

LKY=PAP. And LKY is atheist like YOU.

Each time you go on a jihad against Christianity (or any religion) PAP becomes a little stronger and the future of your daughters become a little dimmer.

PS:
On the other hand, Prosperity gospel is as Christian as Richard Dawkins. If you could setup a separate CHC\NCC bashing blog I would be happy to join.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary,LKY is not an atheist.He is in fact a staunch believer of the gods, like himself, as much as the pastors.

Anonymous said...

with such money fattening the wallets of these pastors, its only a matter of time before a scandal breaks out regarding misappropriation of finances.

all this religion on steroids is making me sick in stomach. cant wait for another good show to start after the gd one by Jack Neo.

Anonymous said...

Need to have top pay for top talent, including those of religious groups like monks, priests and pastors. They are also talents what, right or not?

That's how Singapore can continue to survive politically, economically and religiously and the rest will be no problem.

Anonymous said...

when the minarets invaded europe, it created dangerous tension.
everywhere they take roots, be it west or east, troubles followed
here,we think the beast can be managed.
how wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, at 26/3/10 22:25

Good one, thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the writer's remark that it is 'impractical' to live in modest homes and ride the MRT ....... a lot of people do that and there's nothing wrong with it. Church leaders are not exempt. I would be upset if my contribution to the church's coffers enables my pastors to stay in plush places like Four Seasons Condo, drive Ferraris, have chauffeured driven cars and donned in Hugo Boss and Armanis. It doesn't matter how much 'spare' cash the church has after all its expenses and good works, church leaders are also expected to be good stewards. Not being lavish on personal lifestyle is perhaps not too much to ask of them - after all, most of us have to stay in modest HDB dwellings and take the public transport.

Anonymous said...

PIOUS PEOPLE ARE AS VAIN AS ANY DICK, TOM, HARRY, AH LIAN, AH HUAY AND MARY LAH.

None are abnormal as to be saintly pure.

If anyone finds the PIOUS vain; I assure You, they are perfectly normal.

DanielXX said...

Kong Hee Fatt Choy!!

At Home said...

Dear Lucky,

We were born into this world without any knowledge of fear. Then we grew up and learned that our priests and pastors had instilled fear in our parents's hearts. We grew up a little more and we learned that LKY has instilled fear in the heart of many of us. We grew up in fear. The fear to speak what we know is true and righteous. As we grow older, we realised so do our fears. Our habits of fear grow old and we grow more cowardly as we age. When this happens, when you grow in an environment where the undercurrents are deeply ingrained since young, many of us, Singaporeans lose sight of the courage within us that we can indeed make our dreams come true. Instead, may of us fall into the trappings of what it means to be a lop-sided view of what it means to be a good citizen. Too much fear has rendered as immobilised. Many Singaporeans die without becoming or knowing what we truly are.

I can't live in fear anymore. I can't live this way. I can't live with the illusion of a seige mentality all the time in this country.

I want life as it is. Its uncertainties and the trampings that comes with the unknown. The government should encourage us to live courageously and not to instill fear in our hearts that will kill our dreams.

We need to free, autonomous beings once again in our homes.

Anonymous said...

While I question the need for church leaders to live a lavish lifestyle, it is unreasonable to expect them to take public transport due to the nature of their duties. Pastors, besides delivering sermons, travel a fair bit and do house visits, some of which are urgent in nature.

Just like property agents or door to door salemen, while they can take public transport, they will not be as effective as when they have a car at their disposal.

Pastors are human beings too, not machines. They should not indulge, but neither should we deny them a decent existence and make life difficult for them on the job.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon 13:23,

When pastor/priests have decided to carry the cross and follow Christ, it never was meant to be an easy existence. It is a life of sacrifice and giving.

As St. Francis of Asisi once said:
In giving to all men that we receive.

So why the BMW 7 series?

Anonymous said...

it's time we stop being myopic and look beyond the pockets of "good deeds" done by religious organizations.

the main reason why i reject religion is because of what it ultimately represents as a whole(despotism) and the threat to the global community. people like us are not blinded by its exterior pious contribution and forget that a leopard can never change its spots.

bear in mind that religion is unpredictable in nature. we are not fooled by her a pious cloak and forget what she is capable of - a ravenous pedophilliac or a walking time-bomb.

one day, she could be dressing the wounds of the poor of Calcutta, the next she can wage war in the middle east.

if she is not satisfied with doing good, she will transform her sacred manual to "how to be the next madoff billionaire with donor's monies or your children education fund".

so should we risks our future,future generation and world with these nut cases?

i hope logic and common sense prevail.

Anonymous said...

"So why the BMW 7 series?"

Hello, can read my first line again?

The bible did not say pastors have to live lives of slavery.

Pastors have to be prepared for hardships. You think it is that easy to be a pastor, even with a car?

Why subject a pastor to unnecessary torture and deprive him of helping more people more effectively?

That is small-minded thinking.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Kong Hee or Joseph Prince, but for many pastors, theirs is a thankless job.

"Today’s pastors need encouragement"

"The ministry is very demanding and people have unrealistic expectations of their pastors.

"In addition, the pastor pushes himself constantly, and even lays his health and family on the altar of people’s immature expectations.

"Pastors get burnt out from prolonged labour and no sabbaticals; weary from working with meagre fruit to show for sacrifices put in; and from being misunderstood and hurt.

"To worsen things are professional critics who think they are doing the church good by criticizing with disdain and disregard the weaknesses of the church and pastors."

http://www.blogpastor.net/2009/10/todays-pastors-need-encouragement/

When you criticise pastors, ask yourself if you would have stayed the course if you were in their shoes.

And if you have the bible verse that says pastors must live in poverty, kindly quote it here.

It is ironical that while people complain about long work hours and low pay, they lay the same burden on pastors without blinking an eye, as if pastors are sub-human slaves.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twxf2LraoEE&feature=fvw

This is even worse. She is a GEISHA in the MTV. CHC can care to explained? If she is a nobody in the church no one will even bother...but she is founder of CHC 's wife. OMG!

Rich Man said...

I don't think these churches - and many others too - are Christian at all.

For if as they claimed, to believe the bible, then the bible says this plainly:

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days ... " [James 5:1ff]

Of course they will have some argument against the plain reading of this passage, eg that they are not "rich people", or that this passage don't apply to them, but only to non Christians and sinners (which is an irony), or that they are an exception, as their wealth is not for their use but to be given to the poor (or so they say), or it is merely a manifestation of God's blessing upon them (which they deserved) as testimony to the godless world (conveniently forgetting that many of the richest in the world are non Christians), or that the last days is not here yet, and so on and so on.

But that is all too convoluted. To me the bible is understandable by any simple child - for isnt it only the children who will enter the kingdom of heaven?

And so I rather read that rich people means rich people, sinners or not, Christian or not. Period.

BTW I think James is not a very popular book in "Christian" churches these days, except for the part where James wrote that a righteous man's prayer is powerful and effective.

Amused said...

The church has to decide if it wants to be a charity (i.e. church) or a business enterprise (i.e. real estate developer.) It can't have it both ways. The tax-exempt status gives it a tremendous advantage against other tax-paying businesses. If nothing is done, businesses will be dominated by for-profit tax-exempt churches in future. Oops, businesses are already dominated by GLCs today...

FuckCHCandPastorKongthemanipulator said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
God of Wealth said...

Christian go church and pray for money. Pagans go temples pray Tua Pek Kong and pray for money. I think the difference is cosmetic only.

Anonymous said...

No money, no good life. In Singapore, that is.

No good life, no meaning in life.

No meaning in life, better die.

After that no need money.

After that everybody the same. Not just in Singapore.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"You're the skipper now. And the skipper always knows what to do whether he does or not." - Chief Klough (U-571 movie)

In many cases, money is not the cause - it is merely the effect.

And that cause has existed at least as far back as eyespots on the butterfly, most likely longer than that.

Anonymous said...

the issue we need to be concern about is the "soil" here.

what is in our "soil" that allows people like KH (one of hundreds and even thousands of such leader) to grow and thrive

and what is in our "Soil" that tens and thousands of "educated" men and women will flock to these places and lose their minds and money in exchange of "72 virgins" in heaven?

once there is a consensus that KH exaggerated behavior is bad influence on people, maybe we will do something to our "soil".

Anonymous said...

It is so obvious that God is how the man with the big mouth portrays him to be. Just the christian faith alone, you have thousands of version of this single God. If we add up all the religious Gods in the world, goodness, man has certainly created a lot of Gods.

So many people walking around thinking that this God is talking to them and telling them what to do.

No wonder our world is in deep shit! LOL

Anonymous said...

This is why in Europe (and parts of the US), so many people have turned away from religion en masse. What City Harvest need is a dose of bad management of their assets to teach the followers a lesson they shouldn't give $$. They should have Ho Ching (or GIC) run their investment arm.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Bob McClane: What is it that is exactly the same about every single vacation you have ever taken?

Douglas Quaid: I give up.

Bob McClane: You! You're the same. No matter where you go, there you are. It's always the same old you. Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself. I know, it sounds wild. It is the latest thing in travel. We call it the Ego Trip."

- Total Recall (1990)

Face it, why be an ordinary, powerless human being in an impersonal Universe when you can be a Special Agent to the Gods?

You are on a most important mission - unbelievers and false believers are trying to kill you from left and right...

I don't want to spoil it for you, but you rest assured by the time the trip is over, you kill the bad guys, save the entire planet and live happily forever after!

Now you tell me, isn't that worth a measly 300 credits?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

In the words of "sixth sense" the movie, i see "dead people"...

Walk around and take a good look at this breed.

Tell you,it's dead. Like the church, nice to look at from the outside and even grand but inside, brain dead and no soul.

An apt description of its people.

Anonymous said...

the biggest crap from these churches is the dortrine on grace. they tell you, good works apart from grace are trash. generally two version of this teaching stands out, one claim, works must come out of grace otherwise, it means nothing and the other extreme claimed, no need works as all have been accomplished by one man.all you need to do is go auto mode. ha ha ha

with this kind of mind fuk what do you think will happen to people? confusing expereiences! and you can tell this fuking idiots are confused because, they constantly revisit this topc and the fuking idiotic preacher will repeat the same thing from a diifferent screwdriver week after week to give a deeper fuk to his blur aduience of fuking idiots.

and guess what after the deep fuking? they argue somemore between themseles(visit all these fuking christians blogs and you know what i mean) because, there can be no agreement for the fact it is pure nonsense!

good laff yah? ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

the monumental task for any city OF SUBSTANCE is NOT CHARITY as DECEPTIVELY DEFINED/MARKETED IN THIS NATION WHICH IS…MORE MONEY TO ORGANIZATION whilst the people basically do nothing but…”watch charity shows on TV and donate” etc.

the monumental task for our leaders(only leaders of substance need apply and others, kindly exit) is to INSTILL IN PEOPLE A HEART OF LOVE, not ORGANIZED CHARITY(charity is primarily about money used for such activities and the wrong kind of people have been enriched as a result – over the board rewards and material/business cost wastage)

organized charity looks good on some people’s resume and in turn, a very rewarding career for those WHO LEAD. but it also tend to draw people without heart and soul into charitable organization(we see some of them have gotten into trouble with the laws in recent years).

this kind of “charity” makes people think they can “buy love” without doing anything LOVING for their neigbors.

we need to change this mindset or we will perpetuate a nation of soulless people!

that said, COMMERCIAL EVANGELISM is the worse kind of CHRIST LOVE.

christ says you go and feed and help people(like mother teresa) not give money to your leaders so they can take some of the people’s money and LIVE IT UP and use the remainder for “charity” or FOR SHOW.

that’s deceptive and hypocritical

ps: best leave organized charity to the govt to ADMINISTER and regulate. people who just want to help can still do so without being part of a “corporatized charitable foundation” – no need of such scale and complexity.

Anonymous said...

I am sure no more fxxking politics in the name of charity too!

Anonymous said...

I thought this video might have some relevance to the happenings in Singapore: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3791007322683758535#

Anonymous said...

Those qualify to go heaven are born dead because they do not breathe the slightest contaminated air of the human world.

The greatest laughable deed in this world is people committing sins to 'do good'.

And the stupidest act of any human is the lack of the ability to think for oneself.

That's all i have to say, thank You All.

Jeff said...

@IwasminfuckedbyCHC, I don't see anyone "dancing like a slut" on the YouTube clips. What I do see, very clearly, is someone so blinded by his hate and rage that he thinks his singular judgmentalism and name-calling has any bearing on anything. Much as I hate the PAP National Slogan, it is absolutely appropriate here: Sit down and STFU. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

of course lah, you angmoh kow very happy with bitches what. no bitches shake here shake there where got free fuck right?

anyway, yum seng yum seng

Anonymous said...

Is there any truth in some people saying that god make man(kind) a fool so that he/she will believe in him/her(god/goddess) ?????

Anonymous said...

it'slike you have a small dick and you feel insecure about your small dick so you created stories to tell the people your dick is very big but actually very very small one

and people with insecurity about their dick size admire and worship you because of your supposedly big dick

that's how rulers ruled for centuries.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Much as I hate the PAP National Slogan, it is absolutely appropriate here: Sit down and STFU. Thank you." - Jeff

"Shut up and sit down" was never a "PAP National Slogan".

It was actually said by Ms Sally Ang from the COOS during the AWARE saga back in May '09.

Kaffein said...

I have another interpretation of the verse you have quoted. I have now chosen to bold/highlight another part.

Let's read again, "Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. " Luke 18:22 "

Allow me to share another point of view:
The rich young ruler boasted of all that he had done in God's name under the 10 commandments. In fact he was so near perfect as Jesus that I would have thought Jesus would be pleased with such a 'disciple'. But rather Jesus told the rich young ruler told him one thing he still lacked.

When we boast our efforts in keeping the Law in front of Jesus, He will tell you ONE THING YOU LACK. The law was to make a person at the end of himself. Hence we need a Saviour and His name is Jesus.

Flowing on to this train of thought, we would have thought Jesus to rebuke the tax collector Zacchaeus in the next chapter. Not only was Zacchaeus very rich, he was a CHIEF tax collector who had 'cheated' people. Yet not once did we see Jesus rebuking him to repay those he had stolen from.

If going by your article that being rich was a concern to God, Jesus would have openly chided Zacchaeus. Instead Jesus proclaimed that He MUST visit Zacchaeus' house and feast there. A little insight, in that time to feast in someone's house means that he is considering the host a close friend or a partner. That's why the Pharisees are angry that Jesus' ate with the sinners.

From that encounter, Zacchaeus was so moved by Jesus' love and grace in the visit that he made a commitment to repay those he cheated.

"But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

That's what God's grace and love through Jesus does - move a person. That is the main thrust in both the rich young ruler and Zacchaeus story:

When you boast in your effort to be righteous before God, you will fail miserably. When you humble yourself and know you need grace, His love reaches out and explode in you. And blessings will run after you.

Again if being rich was sinful, then Abraham, Job, David, Solomon, Simon the disciple, Lydia, and many others were great sinners because they were rich.

I'm not here for a bible debate. But I hope to shed a new light that you will begin to see the love of Jesus and not condemnation.

Kaffein

PS. God is not against having riches, but He is against those who are put their riches before God. Yet who are we to accuse City Harvest Church for not giving magnaminously to charity?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twxf2LraoEE&feature=fvw


Here is where we see the slutty dances of his holy Pastor Kong's wife. It's amazing how slutty pious women can get.

Anonymous said...

When we see Pastor Kong's wife dress worse than a slut, when we see her gyrating her legs in and out with obvious sexual innuendoes, we are suppose to think that is OK? Would you encourage your young daughters to dance like that in half-naked attires and tight panty shorts? If you do, I think you need an education in morality. Something Pastor Kong need. He has no moral authority on his flock when his first order of business is to set his own house in order.

CHC needs to stop hypnotising people. Anyone who subscribes to it is indeed an uncritical thinker and definitely not the markings of an intelligent nature. I like to think that such individuals are foolish.

Amused said...

Anon 27/3/10 20:37

You're still not getting the point about the BMW remark.

You said that a pastor needs to get around, so a car is fine. Yes, a car is fine. But does it have to be a BMW? A Cherry QQ can get him to his destination just as well.

Anonymous said...

HOLY HLOY. Kongkee really has a NICE nose and so as that believer...hahaha

Well this is a free market and he's got a product people want. Willing seller willing buyers.

Just don't disturb the balance between other believers then is OK lah...

Cheat Grace said...

Pastor Kong behaves in an 'exemplary manner. He copies another man's work and posts it on his own Daily Devotion website without crediting the original author of the article. Check this out. http://cheatgrace.blogspot.com/2010/03/3rd-example-of-cheatgrace-pastyors.html. Isn;t this called plagiarism?

If his SOT student did the same thing, will he have the moral authority to dismiss the dishonest student?

bic_cherry said...

Regulation of large NON-IPC charities, is regulation lax?

http://just-my-observation.blogspot.com/2010/04/regulation-of-large-non-ipc-charities.html

Anonymous said...

An elderly once told me:

Rulers are tyrants if not despots.

Businessmen are either cheats or swindlers.

'Kuan'(pinyin Chinese)-high ranking officials or present day parliamentarians are
likely corrupted or treacherous.

Preachers are soothsayers or liars, people that cannot be relied on, believed in or be depended.

And

the average man will be no better than other animals.

hyom said...
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hyom said...
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hyom said...
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Anonymous said...

All churches, irrespective of sizes can be taken as operating like a 'business' if that is the way you want to put it. A small humble looking church is actually operating like what you guys are accusing the mega churches are doing. The difference is that they are not 'successful' even they are operating in the same way, like selling christian items probably just using a few tables with one or two church members, they also 'ask' their members to contribute money, they also go to promote their church to pull in people, etc, etc. The only difference is many of them still do not grow, and some grow slow, and few grow fast. When those few are successful after the long years of growth, now, you guys come and accused them of being 'business oriented.' or enterprising. You might as well also accuse all churches of whatever size now. Like now if you are just an ordinary level staff in an organsation, not too many people will be jealous or focus on you. One day, when you are promoted to be the high level staff, there you see, many fingers finding faults here and there. People choose to believe whatever they want to believe. Once you were a teenager, whatever you liked, even your parents cannot talk you out of it. Now, you have grown, even without anyone's persuasion some things you used to like and believe has no hold on you anymore. So, likewise,let's not be so workup with others. If you truly believe in GOD, GOD knows all. So, let's stop to become GOD's policemen.

Anonymous said...

I guess the churches are waiting for the government to regulate them like the charities NKF & RENCI. Big chunk not in goverment coffers. :(

Anonymous said...

From a guy from outside looking at CHC and reading the news about CHC accumulating wealth, pastor speaks ill of other religion, imposing mandatory 10% salary donation, Jackass Neo who attended CHC religious teaching that commits adultery so on and so forth. Seems like a cult to me. People need to wise up and start questioning the teaching which may be manipulated by pastors with personal interest.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they love money more than Jesus.

Anonymous said...

“All churches, irrespective of sizes can be taken as operating like a 'business'”

No a church is not a business and should not be run like one.

You seriously believe the teaching of Jesus is to run a church as a business and the aim is to be successful?

You must be joking or you do not know the teachings of Jesus.

The message of running a church as a business and accumulating more money, nothing can be further from the truth of the teaching Jesus.

Now if you want argue other churches are doing it so its ok, now that’s fine. Its your honest opinion and I can respect that.

But please do not say Jesus says churches should be run as a business and its important to be successful and make more money! 

Anonymous said...

“All churches, irrespective of sizes can be taken as operating like a 'business'” What I meant here is, they can be seen and interpreted as one, as to operate a church, cash flow as important as to pay for the rental, the overheads, etc, just like you run a small or big business. I did not quote JESUS or the Bible said so. (that's how quarrel starts when one say something that the other did not say )

For the other comments regarding 'manipulation,' what makes you think it is so easy to manipulate another when these days, even a parent cannot even make his or her children to listen to them? The church has people from all walks of life. You think all of them are so foolish to be manipulated or brain washed to give and give to the church?
Some people might protest & say that why not use the money to help the poor rather than build or have a bigger or grander place?
Simply because, the church follows the Bible & not worldy thinking.
Of course they do donate & help in charities, but the main purpose is to save souls, meaning, if you for example give food or money to the needy, it is a good deed. But that person who receive the help from you will still die and go to hell . Which means, which is more important? Life eternal or just this short life here on earth?
Of course, if you do not believe this, then chances are you are not really a believer and do not know the Bible. The main aim of bigger and better venues is to save more souls for the kingdom of GOD. Churches is not a charitable organisation but they have no choice as the world is run by worldy systems. Like Jesus said in the Bible, "Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser." just like if you need a job, you should approach the labour office and not a charitable organisation. Churches is for GOD's work. GOD wants to save all of us, but will not force people to do so. Therefore no hard feelings, if we do not agree.
Actually it is today's churches that are abiding the Bible not the previous older ones.

Anonymous said...

For those who comment why so expensive venue/place for the church; you can read from the Bible how GOD asked King Solomon to build the temple with all quality & expensive items. Read the Bible for yourself;"For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, but was made poor that you through his poverty might be made rich."
The church will only grow richer, stronger to reach out to those not saved. GOD wants to save us all. If you do not believe in the truth, no one will force you to.
Some of you commented that so and so pastor put other religions down, etc. A pastor merely obeys the Bible's teaching, as it is written in John 3 v 18 (just show u one of the many examples) : "Those who do not believe in JESUS is condemned already,..." Then you will say that the pastor who preach this should apologise and so on. Might as well ban the whole Bible. Might as well see that other items like certain kind of meat should not be sold or eaten in foodstalls or restaurants as it is also sensitive and unrespectable to certain religions and beliefs. Might as well also ban the burning of incense as this shows no consideration for other religions who stay in the neighbouring units n worst still further pollutes the air. The list is endless.
You do not believe, so be it. Go and believe whatever you believe, and let others alone. If you want to pick and find faults, there are plenty; your mother or your wife can tell you that.

Anonymous said...

Alamak, look at this. Megachurch pastor Kong Hee sets good example in how to plagiarize another person’s work.

http://cheatgrace.blogspot.com/2010/03/3rd-example-of-cheatgrace-pastyors.html See the evidence here. its a word-for-word copy

What is the point of talking so much about how many people you have saved when at the basic level, you copy others’ work? Daily Devotion article are normally about how God has spoken to you as you meditate on the verse or character. So then can you honestly say this is what God uniquely said to you only? So what do you call a megachurch pastor who copies another man’s revelation from God and profits from it?

Some more can print in a book and sell @$14. 30,000 pax X $14 = how much

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Anonymous said...

Not all churches are like these; thus please do your homework before pointing fingers. Alot of Catholic churches are maintaining at a very modest budget.

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