Okay, I’ll pass one more comment before leaving the CHC thing for good tonight.
I’ve always emphasized from the beginning to the end, that I am not concerned with the individual persons involved, the pastor or whatever. As I said in my formal thoughts on the issue, I know none of them, it is humbug to speak of forgiving people you don’t know. We can pray for God to have mercy on them, but that’s just about it.
My focus and the rightful focus of ALL Christians should be on the *issues* raised, of which I see two very major ones (but not unrelated).
(1) The Prosperity Gospel, as heresy and distortion of the Apostolic Gospel. The Prosperity Gospel is a systematic violation of the third commandment and blasphemes against the name of God. And in so far as there has been no contrition, no repentance and no recantation of this blasphemy, the Church must exercise the power of the keys against those who claim the name of brother and judge this false Gospel. And as long as they persist in their false Gospel, there is no Christian fellowship or solidarity in the faith once received, no communion of saints.
(2) The Meaning of Missions and Christian Religious practice. This one is the much more pertinent and relevant question at hand. The fact is that CHC has invoked the Christian religion and faith as a pretext or reason to get tax exemption for Sun’s secular music career, claiming that it is part of their “missions” work.
This tax exemption which is granted to churches by the government is given in good faith that we *are* using them for religious purposes and not as a cover to evade taxes. The government has NOT required or demanded that we define exactly what constitutes religious activity according to the Christian faith, the tax exemptions are simply a public trust.
It is evident that this public trust has been severely compromised in the recent events. The Church and the Christian community CANNOT evade the responsibility which is laid upon us, both by Almighty God, and the government, to testify, define and clarify what is our Gospel and what constitutes Christian religious practice. When CHC invokes the Christian faith and Christian religion to get something out of the government, it is both our duty and our right, as those who bear the name of Christ and who claim to be part of the communion of faith, to test those claims, and the reject the distortion and misuse of Christ’s name to extort and cheat the government and the broader Singapore society of it’s money.
This is a question of both divine duty and morality. Even if legally any religious entity can define whatever it wants as “religious activity”, but we have a higher obligation than that of merely the legal. All the world can see, and judge for themselves, the hypocrisy of Christians who claim tax exemptions for a secular enterprise, and that we are merely cheats and swindlers who use the guise of religion for commercial advancement.
If we say nothing, pray tell, what difference is there between us, and NKF’s golden taps?