Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sad Day 4 Singaporean Churches

I just received news that the six accused in the City Harvest Church's breach of trust case that occupied prime news for the past 2 years have been found guilty. Sentencing will be on a later date. When my Singaporean visitors told me about the case a few days ago, I told them that they would likely be found guilty but the appeal process could go on for years. Further, with the amount involved (SG50 million), the jail term for the senior pastor could be as long as 5 or 6 years or even more. It is a sad day for Singaporean churches. I was right in the thick of action when the case commenced in 2012 with many Christians asking for my opinion or talking about the case. I tried to avoid being personal and looked straight into the issues involved. First, the China Wine video was shown to me in 2007, a year before I went to Singapore in 2008 and my homechurch member asked my opinion whether Christians should sing and dance like that.
After 30 seconds of viewing without knowing the identity of the dancer I was turned off and wrote to my friend that in no way that was Christian. It was sensual, of the flesh and nothing good in it. Anyone who justified it as right or proper is either deceived or totally ignorant of Christian standard of modesty and propriety. It is sinful for any Christian let alone for a pastor's wife to do that. Second, the use of church money and the murky transactions to justify the Crossover project. I have been a Treasurer of a denomination of 500 churches and dealt with millions of dollars and number of financial principles that I held firm to were total accountability and transparency. It is the church's money, the Lord's money and it is sacred.  Whoever deals with the Lord's money must be totally honest and competent to report and account for every cent. Second, whatever purpose the money is designated for by donors must be used according to the said purpose. It is a breach of trust to do otherwise. It is dishonest to use the Lord's money for any other reason other than what it is given for.

It is sad day for Singaporean churches. I know a few churches that came out to condemn the said trangressions when it came to light but the majority of churches I knew chose to keep silent and worse tried to justify what CHC leaders had done.  There was no discernment and by association, these churches are also guilty for not standing up for the truth. Even the non Christians came out to condemn the alleged misappropriation of funds, breach of trust and the vulgarity of the pop and rock culture that undergird some of those dance videos. But to the shame of some Churches they chose to keep silent and failed to stand up for the truth when it is called for.

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