#273 Is City Harvest Church a social enterprise, financial institution or place of worship?

I had to read and re-read to make sure I had not misread City Harvest Church (CHC) offering loans to needy church members; that some churches gave loans to pastors to pay mortgages on their homes; and instances of offering loans between sister churches — from the afternoon edition of Today!

Sacrilegious! How could money given to tithes and the sacrifices of worshippers be honored for such purposes? Is this not making a mockery of the church as a place where individuals can find solace and to meet with God?

Gone are the days when the church actually help the poor and needy.

In the past, bursaries were awarded to those needy for education and individual members who own companies gave a tenth of earnings in support of the church — a classic example was ‘Tithes Dental’ that was located in Middle Road owned by Elder Goh Ewe Kheng. (Naturally his children could not understand their father’s benevolence toward Christian pastors and missionaries and needs of the church.)

I believe the mainstream church denominations like the Presbyterian still offers bursaries to the needy members’ children for education.

Is helping the poor means treating the old folks and needy to a meal or ferry those elderly to church weekly? Are members of CHC satisfied that the church offers such services?

The Christian Bible has clear understanding on members making loans and never loans offered from the institutional church or temple.

Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.”

Psalm 15:1,5 The psalmist asks in verse 1 — “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? The psalmist outlines standards throughout the remaining psalm and this is one…

      “…who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. (v.5)”

Exodus 23:8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous.”

Leviticus 25:35-37 “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you (v.35). Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God so that your countryman may continue to live among you (v.36). You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit (v.37).

These guidelines were given to God’s chosen people, i.e. the Israelites. Lest there be misunderstanding, the Israel referred to in the Bible is NOT about the nation Israel today.

Today, God’s chosen people are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

#236 church pastor paid 500K per year?

Fancy that..I read that New Creation Church pays her leaders — pastor, Joseph Prince — an annual sum of 500K and 2 others for sums of 100K each for work done in the church!

Mind you, when the pastor marries a couple in church, he gets an angpaw; at funeral wakes he is given an offering or gift; as a matter of fact for any occasion, even speaking engagements — a pastor receives extras! On top of that, he is given housing allowances, children’s education and transport allowance. Wow! Half a million dollars of pocket money! Does the pastor have to pay income tax for that he receives? All those gifts he receives — are these accounted for or these go into his own pocket?

Furthermore, the New Creation has to pay the venue used for Sunday services at Suntec City and other overhead costs. Where does this money come from?

I believe the money comes from the sacrificial giving of believers. Do believers know how much their pastor and some staff-workers are paid?

I thought the church ministers receive a stipend!

Is this what the Lord Jesus Christ taught His people to tithe — 10% of the monthly income — for the salaries of the pastor and senior church staff-workers or administrator or accountant?

This is sacrilegious! Is there judgment of God on this at the end of world? Can these ‘servants of God’ be at peace with God?

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, God gave word on sin offering in chapter 4…

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in the Lord’s command —

If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring…(v.3)

If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty (v.13)…when some become aware of the sin they committed…

When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the Lord his God, he is guilty (v.22)…

If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s command, he is guilty (v.27)…

Is the church pastor not aware this portion of scriptures? Or these are not applicable today?

#31

Last Saturday March 8th was International Women’s Day.

Women championed her cause since “…in 1908 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.”

(Links: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/about.asp )

Glad we are given equal rights and access to education since Singapore was first founded.

Today, women are found in almost every arena of vocations and professions in developed countries. Naturally, in developing countries, that depends on its cultures and mores.

The woman expressed in the Christian Bible in Proverbs 31 is resourceful and liberated:

“…She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…”

Why is there the feminist movement in the West? Why has the church contained a narrow view of the place of woman?

Proverbs 31:11, 12 clearly suggest she is not a threat:

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

and “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (verse 28).