Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Future ahead

I notice a lot of comments have been added to the blog, which is good because are asking questions. The one major aim of this blog is to give everyone a chance to read what is going on. Alot of the stuff are from the Hope Discussion forum which unfortunately is mostly in thai, the letters, the comments and general things are already available but only from the Thai mother church.

I suppose, one of the biggest reason is I wanted to give people evidence and information, and let people make their own decision. Alot of times things comes out in drips and draps and people often get wrong information along the way because it is just hearsay.

You will hear for example in the place where i am , HGI has choosen to leave Foundation and that PN and Dr.J have been stepped down, but not much details are provided, its always the less you know the better unless of course you are a leader. People only hear the conclusion but they do not know how the conclusion came about, so this what the blog is for.

Actually not many people will know the reason why HGI choose to stay independent and not join either PN nor foundation ?PN of course I understand, as for Foundation side what would be the reason ? the official reason was foundation did not follow standard procedure, but yet on foundation side they said they did. I do not think the leaders in Thailand would have followed foundation if what they did was wrong. Maybe the execution was not ideal but keeping issues of such magnitude would be tantamount to a grave sin. - Remember the catholic church who choose to keep Priest's indiscretion with boys a secret ? In the end the church was made to pay billions of dollars. Financial mismangment, idolatory and adultery were no small issues.

In fact, i know of people in HGI who would have preferred to stay with foundation. Would they actually start another Hope Church under foundation ? I dont know. Because now its a three-way split. PN Church, Foundation and HGI.

There are many other things to also consider for those who initially joined Hope because of the vision. Ok i must be the first to admit, sometimes it does feel weird when you go to Bangkok and you meet friends who used to be in the same Hope family now in different family.

My aim besides providing already available information from Thailand is to give people the information to make sound judgment.

In fact beyond the split there will be alot of tough questions to deal with

Eg. Is the 1 million 2015 still the same ? Will we be using the same V&P and mission statment ?
The name Hope of God is also a registered name so we might have to change name or Logo, we cannot be using the same as PN it will certainly cause confusion. It used to be a Theocracy where Bangkok was the ultimate elders, but without them how will we run ? Is it like Assembly of God style rotational or the same Hope Style ? What about the finance ?

One of the main reason for the split was because previously nobody ask question, if something did not seem right, we will sit down and hope the the problem will go away. This church belongs as much to the leaders as to the members who contribute our time, our effort and also our finances. Maybe that is why so many of us are so passionate and work up over this split. Trust me when you spend all your available time Mon-Sun .. going for shepherding, meeting, CG, outreach and give the best part of your life to build the church. People tend to be more interested to know they have not been led down the wrong path, that we are actually walking the talk, not just empty promises we cannot keep. Of course the opposite would have been true, if Hope is just your typical church where only the lay pastors serve and most members attend church and do nothing of course things might have been different. This blog might not happen at all.

In all whatever path we will all take in the future, I think the key thing is this - Every Church and movment have their own unique flavour, each have a role in overall body of Christ's church. Going independent is like taking the same ingredient of teachings, philosophy and structure but now with the ability to add a new twist along the way, i do believe every member who decide to stay with HGI can contribute in this rebuilding project. Its not easy but it can be done

So i shall leave you with the words of Dr.J - "One man can change the world"


PS - I am still working on the video and should be ready end of this week. The video by foundation is very detailed and covers all the grounds, i otherwise would have find hard to cover.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed several who question why this info is public.

Think about it. That's how the church got into trouble in the first place. It was not transparent enough. The communications (in Thai) only further divide people.

This english translation in the blog brings us all on the same page. For now, it makes a lot of sense. Without it, you would have no idea what is going on and would unknowingly still be following Dr. J.

ex-member said...

You can't blame those who don't like this style of openness and transparency of leadership because we have all been subtly conditioned to response in a "sweet spirit" manner.

I wonder who started to teach and impart that to our movement?

Anyway, some of us are still in that mode and will not change unless we realise there are deeper issues to uncover than just move on.

Or else we can be assured that a repeat will happened because we have not learned anything from this experience.

The devil crushed us because we allowed him to and you can bet that he won't stop unless we do something about it.

Anonymous said...

there are many opinions, i suppose because there are so many camps, its also good to know what we believe and why.

ex-member said...

Agreed. That is why I think HGI should be saying something instead of it coming out in drips and draps.

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's sad that all these things happened. No one would have wished or thought that such things would happen in Hope Church. The devil definitely is happy over this but let's remember that the ultimate battle belongs to our Lord Jesus!

Remember that this vision began with God and He wants us to fulfill the Great Commission by building strong and biblical people to plant strong and biblical churches in our city, nation and all over the world. There's no doubt that this vision is from God because it is spelled so clearly in the Bible.

Of course when our leaders fall, people would be wondering why and others trying to bring out the facts. There's nothing wrong to that. But, how many of us are truly and sincerely PRAYING for our leaders and the movement? It's not enough just to bring out the facts. We must pray for our leaders, including those who have fallen. Afterall, they were really sincere when they started off. Let's not condemn them for there is no condemnation in Christ.

I'd urge all of us this: Let's pray for all the leaders, be it in Foundation, HGI or even PN&DJ. Let's be the armor bearer of our leaders. For most members, we can't do much but the least is to PRAY and intercede. Don't let the devil get away with this.

I certainly hope and pray that one day, all 3 camps and factions will be reunited to fulfill the vision of God. Let's move forward. The Kingdom of God has to advance forcefully and the kingdom of darkness shall not prevail.

Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hades shall not prevail" Let's fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus, who died for the Church and waiting for the Bride to prepare herself to be glorious! Amen!

Anonymous said...

No matter what have happened, I urge all of us to stay put and

SUBMIT TO THE WORD OF GOD

REMEMBER THE GREAT COMISSION IS GOD’S COMMISSION.

I suggest the neutral camp to continue to disciple and account to each other within the camp.

Think of what will happen if a persecution swept across Thailand and kill 2/3 of the Hope movement? Will we continue to follow God and spur each other to follow God’s Commission?

As God is worthy, let’s serve God, not man’s agendas now.

However, I pray for unity and reconcillation within our movement. No matter how intense we feel now, the Holy Spirit is able to help us to discern His will if we allow Him to.

The recent events, surprisingly, emulates the situation in 1CORINTHIANS !!!!

Biblical Example:

1CORINTHIANS 3
1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

GALATIANS 2:11-17
When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

The above example shows that it isn’t the first time we see division in the church-it’s how we come together NOT BY HUMAN PERSUASION but by the WORD OF GOD!

IF our leader fails the test, it’s God who deals with him, not our flawed human judgement.

We need to pray and intercede for God’s direction and LOVE for 3 specific issues:

- discernment on how to move on to heal the rift, be good Salt & Light and expand God’s kingdom.

- love for those who had shaken our trust and within our own CAREGROUPS.

- personal relationship with God to grow. This incident exposes many issues within our hearts-bitterness, ambivalence, judgemental, lack of faith-if we take time to observe our response to this situation. Let the Holy Spirit search the depths of our hearts (1CORINTHIANS 2:10 and Psalm 139:23-24).
Let’s continue to live and act for God and His Kingdom-not the earthly organisation but HIS Kingdom!

MATTHEW 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Don’t forget that God is the reason we even exist in the first place!

It is during this time we need to apply the Word of God even more!

1 PETER 1:22-25
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

Man may fail us, but God never fails us!

As children of God and no other identity, I want to strongly encourage all who love God to follow Him, pray and depend on His guidance.

GALATIANS 5:16-25
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

It is a priveilage to serve in God’s Kingdom with imperfect people who cared intensely for the things and family of God. He is everywhere and surely He will be with us as our hearts remain soft and zealous for Him!1 PETER 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Love,

a brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all those who posted comments and information so that many people will know rather than being kept in the dark.

The whole problem with the Hope authoritarian style of leadership is that many, many things can be done without much questioning. So as long as the leader is submitted and obedient to God and really do everything according to biblical principles, then things will be ok. But unfortunately, we are all far from perfect, even leaders. So this has happened with things being hidden for a long time.

Hope really needs to change its leadership style instead of this meek sheep and master shepherd system which everyone in Hope is so used to. It eventually leads to abuse of authority as we see in this case.

I hope that HGI and Hope Foundation will do that.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a Hope thing. It's the same with all churches, or even worse with other churches, esp. the traditional ones. My friend in a methodist church says it's even more non-transparent in his church and don't even allow any changes or questioning. He actually is very happy with Hope's way of doing things. So i don't think we can generalise Hope's way coz' across churches, churches do it differently. Across Hope Churches, also different. Even in the same Hope Church e.g. Hope Singapore, different leaders also do it differently... For me, i do like my Hope leaders because my leaders are transparent and do answer my questions. Can't generalise... God allows different leaders above us to mold us in His timing. I think we shouldn't blame people. If you want to blame, you should blame God for allowing it to happen. But since we know all things work for the good of those who love Him, we should then thank God for allowing things to happen so that we learn from mistakes and grow not to repeat them.

Anonymous said...

"...previously nobody ask question, if something did not seem right, we will sit down and hope the the problem will go away... Trust me when you spend all your available time Mon-Sun going for shepherding, meeting, CG, outreach and give the best part of your life to build the church. People tend to be more interested to know they have not been led down the wrong path, that we are actually walking the talk, not just empty promises we cannot keep."

Hey I so agree with this. That we cannot be people who keep quiet when we notice something is wrong, for that would only lead to more misunderstandings and less clarity. If there is something we do not agree with our leaders, we need to clarify with them, ask God, if what they are doing is indeed the will of God. We cannot assume that leaders are always right, for as my CL tells us and from personal experience, leaders fail and make mistakes as well.

This is done not out of a spirit of disobedience, but out of a fear of God. We don't want to be doing things God does not want us to do.

I actually experienced a similar phase in my life when I question the motives and ways of my leaders (I believe it is possible to serve at a Hope leader when one is actually very distant from God, since some choose leaders sometimes based on their doing and not their being) because if they do not truly believe in what they say and do, and yet they preach it to their people, how much truth is there to what they say?

In the first place, I should not be blindly following my leaders, and I need to be close to God, to know His will and ways, so I will know whether my leader's ways are consistent with God's.

Yet I am very grateful for my leaders. For they repeatedly bring be back to the ways of God, when I have gone astray. Their unlimited patience and love, only make the reality of God even clearer to me. So I am prone to respect and obey what they tell me, but I will do my best to voice out and clarify whenever I do not agree, instead of ignore it!