06 November, 2015

Sh*tty Conclusion for "C*ty" Harvest Church

People were approaching me about my reaction to the scandal that rocked City Harvest Church in Singapore because of my deep love and appreciation of Singapore, my spiritual background, and the fact that if you were Christian, visited or lived in Singapore, you were expected to have attended at least one service there.  Attending a City Harvest Church service was sort of like a "bucket list" item for Singaporean Christians.

Honestly, I have no reaction.  Like I stated on the previous post, church scandals will come and go.  People place some sort of artificial meaning to the church.  It is an enterprise that's no different from a government agency, a business, a school, or any other organization that has people in it.  Yes, it is SUPPOSED TO BE the responsibility and function of a church to create an optimal environment for it's attenders to connect with Spirit, Divine, God, ect, but they don't always create such an environment and/or different people have differing needs.  I have stated indirectly on almost all my blogs on spirituality that the function of any religious or spiritual institution boils down to 2 functions/purposes:

1) Enable the follower to connect with Spirit
2) Enable the follower to optimize their life experience through the teachings and application of spiritual principles.  (See #1)

Hence why I left the mainstream Christian church and embraced New Thought Christianity.  It's a lot more challenging to learn and apply in life, but at least the negative dogma of us versus everyone else is out the door.

Let me re-visit my only experience at City Harvest Church to offer a background into my borderline reaction of indifference and jubilation:

In November of 2008, actually Thanksgiving week of 2008, I trekked to Singapore as I've done twice annually from 2005-2010.  At that point, I confessed my interest in a young lady whom I've attempted to court from 2006-08 only to find out her interest in me was merely as a shopping tool.  (She had a taste for Coach bags)  Anyhow, she began to attend church service at City Harvest and invited me to attend service with her one Sunday morning.  In the slight possibility of any sliver of hope that our relationship would somehow blossom, I accepted her invitation.

Upon entering the Singapore Expo Centre (where Sunday services were held at that time for both City Harvest aka Sh*tty Harvest Church and Faith Community Baptist Church, aka Fake Community Baptist Church) our seats were covered by an envelope.  During the service, the senior pastor Kong introduced a guest speaker from Texas who proceeded to explain the meaning of the envelope.  For those who will pledge in the envelope a minimum of at least $1500 SGD, God will prosper them and anyone who doesn't place anything in the envelope and turn in the envelope was going to receive the wrath of God through a devastating financial curse. (The "curse" applied to those who turned in nothing and/or any significant lesser amount)  I found that quite disturbing and confused because he was addressing the members of CHC.  He didn't leave any explanation on how to apply this to the visitor or guest which was the category I fell into.

At the conclusion of service, I did what I always done when I visited a church for the first time: Introduce myself to the pastor.  At that point, I was "handled" by the pastors' bodyguards.  Apparently since I did not make an appointment to talk with the pastor, I was forbidden to go near him.  I was then continued to be "handled" by the bodyguards (shoved back) It was a shock for me personally to the point that for the remaining part of the trip, I skipped church on Sundays, and upon returning to the States, I was also MIA at my regular church for about a month.

That's my 1st (ONLY) impression of CHC

It is my personal opinion and observation that both megachurches in Singapore (CHC and FCBC) is more showmanship and speak in pseudo-Christianese/Sin-glish rhetoric than actual Christian teaching even for the "standard brand" mainstream Christian "holy-roller" dogma.  I personally question the sincerity and integrity of the leadership for both organizations.  So in light of the guilty verdicts in Singapore against Kong and the CHC leaders, I simply shrug.  As a New Thought practitioner,I don't have issues with how much a minister decides to pay him or herself.

I even predict a much more bigger scandal to emerge out of the FCBC camp, simply because of the "he doth protest too much," rhetoric coming from the pastor.  Normally the "s/he doth protest much" rhetoric tends to proceed a scandal of irony and hypocrisy.

If there's ever a true spiritual harvest to emerge out of Singapore, it's a ripe moment to plant seeds of New Thought there.  That has been a vision of mine since I finished reading Eric Butterworth's Discover the Power Within You back in 2011.  Like I stated, what's categorized as The Prosperity Gospel "heavily borrowed" from New Thought, and The Prosperity Gospel is the dominant Christian ideology/paradigm in Singapore, plus New Thought does have a respect for other faiths including the Hindu, Buddhist, and various local spiritual traditions whereas most other Christians do not.

And yes, I am looking for an excuse to be over there again.  I miss my kaya toast, duck rice, teh tarik, and chicken rice!

No comments:

Post a Comment