Sunday, November 01, 2015

City Harvest Church - a moral issue

Mr. Tan
The question that I like to ask you can be quite sensitive, so you do not need to answer it if you find it too controversial.

You have written many times about bad practices in the financial industry, and that many people were "cheated". I did not see you write any comment about City Harvest Church. Do you think that the church leaders were morally wrong in abusing the funds contributed by their followers for the church? As you know, they have been found to be guilty by the court..

What are your views?

The first question that has to be asked is - why is this church able to collect so much money? Sure, they are a mega church with many tens of thousand of followers, but still the funds are of a staggering amount.

My Christian friend told me that in the bible, there is a command from God that each person must contribute 10% of the income to the church. Although this is a high percentage of income, especially as the earnings are not sufficient to meet the high cost of living in Singapore, many fervent followers struggle to meet this command in the bible.

Although I am not familiar with the teaching in the bible, I believe that the church in the old days use the money to help the needy and the poor and to provide education and other services for the community.

The world today is different from the world when the bible was written. We now have a government that provide many of the welfare and education services that were done by the church of the old days. The government collect taxes to meet these needs.

If the church does not provide many of the traditional services, there is no need for the church to collect such a large percentage of the earnings. A smaller percentage would be sufficient.

Your question is - were the leaders morally wrong?

I guess that this question has to be answered by each member of the church, especially those who struggled to meet the expectation of the church. I will leave it to their judgement.

Perhaps, there are other churches that interpret the command in the bible more flexibly to allow for modern day circumstances.

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