Monday, February 16, 2009

A website dedicated to PN

Here is a site dedicated to PN by his supporters :

http://www.welovepn.net

Anyway, just to provide some feedback on some reasons why people choose to follow PN.

I have spoken with a number of thai people who decide to join PN, and here are the main reasons that is often mentioned

1. We need to submit to authority and obey the leaders, they know what they are doing

2. Dr.J is doing God's work and we should support him

3. RB and the rest are rebellious and what they did is not right.


Its really sad that many of the people who choose to follow PN do not realise what they are doing. I remember Dr.J used to say sometimes people can be sincere but sincerely wrong, and in this case, i think this phase really sums it all up.

Its of course good to see such undying loyalty to the founder and the leaders but at what cost? If you were to ask the people who support PN about

1. The money ? Was it no.1 legal to do what they did ? Did they know giving money to Dr.J for election is illegal and doing illegal things even if in the name of God is still wrong.

2. What about the leaders life ? How could they preach immediately without restoration after what happen?

3. There was a teaching about idolatory. The example used was i am sure not coincidental, i think an intelligent person can put 2 and 2 together and figure out why this was taught during election period and particularly on this example. I think people are not foolish enough to accept an explanation that its only an example.

I am really very curious as to why people would still support PN and i hope some thai bro or sis could give their reasons. Why would they say RB and the rest are rebels ? When all they did was to bring the truth. Hopefully "riveroflife" can provide some insight.

The bible say if you did nothing wrong. No one can accuse you, for they will heap coals of fire on their own forehead. So if PN leave does it mean he isn't able to answer the questions ?

Following leaders blindly and without questioning their actions is very dangerous. There is always a chance what started out as a wonderful movement could turn into a cult or one where the leader is the pope and can seemly do no wrong.

Maybe all the people missed out something but hopefully we can get some comments from them. Then maybe we will know why they choose this decision

18 comments:

andrew-ong.com said...

You asked, "I am really very curious as to why people would still support PN and i hope some thai bro or sis could give their reasons. Why would they say RB and the rest are rebels ?"

Maybe you can find the answer here- http://andrew-ong.com/2008/07/16/being-godly-followers/

I wrote that piece before I made a decision to move out from Hope. So

Andrew Ong
Ex Hope Singapore

andrew-ong.com said...

Sorry I need to clarify on my previous comments.

I meant you might find some answers or insights to your question in my written piece.

Bless

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I was just curious as riveroflife posted a comment on the chat. I presume he or she supports PN. He called them rebel and mention that the timeline was not entirely true.

In it he/she ask HGI to come out and say something

I have never been able to understand why they would choose to follow PN.

eagleicee

andrew-ong.com said...

Maybe you can wait for HGI to set up official communication lines such as a website or a newsletter for members. Then, some of your questions should be addressed.

C.L. said...

Hi, i'm from Hope Singapore. I may not be a long Christian but i do have friends from Hope Thailand and have heard many things from different people.

Definitely i am very saddened. Not just because of the fallen leaders, but more because i know the devil must be laughing the loudest now, to see that he has successfully:
1. tempted leaders to fall so that it affects the thousands of sheeps
2. split the church
3. cause believers to be so affected that they are not moving on for God, instead, they are just trying to prove who's right and wrong.

no matter how i feel, i choose to honor God and move forward to continue to outreach, disciple and accomplish the great commission. i know my God has the final judgement so i would rather not judge anyone, since i'm imperfect myself.

i wonder if the writer of this blog has time to do God's work of outreach and discipleship, prayer & reading God's word? coz' it seems like all your time is pre-occupied with the saga. David fell in adultery and even murdered someone, but God still allowed him to be king till the right timing came, and we still obey and follow David's teaching.
I just want to say, we shouldn't spend time on this saga anymore but let God do His work. I KNOW my God will make the church right again. We are not helping the church and situation AT ALL by just talking about it, because it does not extend God's kingdom in anyway.

Some of the info on this blog is facts, but alot more of it is just views and hear-say. I can also tell you that my hope thai friend told me he heard that Ps PN is staying on and doing what he's doing because Dr J asked him to.

SO, CONCLUSION is, we don't know what are facts and what are not, and i'll rather not believe in anything i HEAR and READ from others, esp. if they are just personal views and conclusions and assumptions.

I am accountable to God for my words, thoughts, actions, so i choose to spend my time in moving forward for Him, and maybe pray for my fallen leaders and pray for God's will to be done, rather than get self-righteous and judge my fallen leader.

No matter what church you are in, the truth is that no leader is perfect, no church is perfect. Better just be sure that you yourself are not sinning and pray for your leaders who are sinners too, to not be tempted by the devil. If any church pastor/ leader fall, our response should be to pray for them and be stronger to move on individually and as a church, even if the outcome is not what you think is the best. We cannot let the devil win in anyway.

Anonymous said...

Dear yourverdict writer,

Putting doubt in readers' minds with all these entries is not of God.

Wendy

C.L. said...

oh, i forgot to add in that in the past year, my group have seen a number of christians from other mega churches (CHC, FCBC, VFC) coming to join us because they say that they have fallen leaders in their church too. From what they say, it sounds convincing. However, i'd rather just take it with a pinch of salt.

Personally, if it is true and if the christian coming over is very sure that God has called him/her to come over to our church, i'm ok with it. However, i'm more more saddened with the fact that the devil is really trying very hard to disunite every church. This is written in the bible about end times - that family and churches will split because of the devil's work. It's not good news to see people joining your church because of fallen leaders in other churches. It's not good news to see christians changing church just because of a fallen leader too, because they failed to see that no church is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hi C.L.

This happens at the very top leadership of our church and we need to address it. I'm sure you have heard that everything rises or falls with leadership.

You quoting the example of David does not fit in here. The leadership qualifications to be a king in the OT and to be a church leader in the NT are very different. Leadership qualifications in NT are written in 1 Tim chapter 3.

You saying that PN stayed on because DJ asked him to do so. You want to listen to someone who misappropriate church funds for his own political career? Did the principles in the Bible permit PN to stay on? In fact, the Bible teaches us that leaders who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that others may take warning. 1 Tim 5:19-20. Yes, we need to forgive PN and pray for him. But he needs to step down, take time off to be healed and restored.

Who chose to split the church? PN did so! He did not want to face the consequences and chose the easy way out by rallying whoever wants to follow him to start a new church.

Having unity in the church does not mean blind unity. You sure you want to follow a leader who can't be trusted with money? you sure you want to follow a leader who is not faithful to his wife? you want to follow a leader who teaches idol worship? I'm not looking for a perfect leader because there is NONE but HIM who is perfect. But a church leader ought to have the moral standing stated in 1 Tim chapter 3.

And judging this does not mean being self-righteous. There's a difference between judging matters and being judgemental. And God calls us to judge matters according to the Bible.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

My wife is heavily influenced by years of teaching and dare I say brainwashing of blind submission. I think there is cultural aspects to consider.

In my home country, it is natural to immediately leave an organization when corruption is so clear. But my spouse (who is Thai) has a feeling of family and loyalty. Whe feels that talking about church issues is equivalent to talking publicly about your own marital issues.

I want to leave Hope. But my wife insists to stay and take the kids there too. It scares me that she would easily follow someone else other than the head of the house hold. I feel like we're in a cult.

C.L. said...

Hi Stephen, i think you have misunderstood my point. Well see, this's an example that even in words, we can misunderstand one another :)

My point is not whether we should follow PN or not. Afterall, i'm glad that HGI decided to breakaway from him.

My point is that after we have made our decision (no matter what side we take), and have explained to those we care about why we made that decision, then we should move on and not spend more time than necessary to convince them to follow our decision. Afterall, we are all accountable to any decision we make to God. I believe that even those who chose to follow PN now, if they're hearts/ motivation, are to honor God and extend His kingdom, God will honor them because of their hearts for Him, regardless of them following PN. There's no need to go on and on about why we follow PN or not follow PN, and try to convince each other we are right, because God looks at our hearts towards Him. Who are we to judge others' hearts? Who knows, maybe God did tell those following PN now to follow Him? We won't know.

Hope you understand my point better. hope it's sufficient coz' i don't think i want to spend anymore time typing ;p

Anonymous said...

Hi C.L.

You said "Afterall, i'm glad that HGI decided to breakaway from him."

So i suppose you are glad we did not join PN. Why are you glad about this decision? Is it because we did not follow an ungodly and corrupt person?

If so, all the more we should warn those who follow him. We should take a stand and because PN was a top leader. He is able to sway people to follow him with his influence and persuasive words.

If they were to follow him, I'm sure they will be led astray. You sure you want your fellow brothers and sisters to practice idol worship?

You said "Who knows, maybe God did tell those following PN now to follow Him? We don't know"

I certainly don't know any verse in the Bible that God tells us to follow and submit to leaders who are corrupt and ungodly. And I don't think God will channel much of his blessings to PN's ministry and his congregation. I'm sure you know anointing and blessings flow from the top.

The things he has done is not just some minor personal weaknesses. Its a major moral failing. Even in the corporate world, top executives can be removed if they commit adultery or misappropriate funds. What more in a church setting?

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,

This is Jon Tan from Singapore.

Looks like this site is very helpful to the international congregations as we are able to find out what is happening in Bangkok. It also seems like many of our Singapore congregation is also paying a lot of attention in this site. Having said that, I would like to thank Eagle Eye for been our “journalist”. It is our blessing to have a servant like you doing this out of love for the church. I pray that you would continue to present facts and truth in the most Godly way so that more people could benefit from it and understand this situation in a factual manner.

Stephen, glad that you are showing your concerns. Stay vigilant and faithful. Remember to focus on your strength and not let this affect you.

Hey Andrew, I hope you left Hope Church Singapore not because of this matter, but because God has shown you a way for your next level of spiritual growth, amen? I pray that you would be greatly blessed at CHC and be a salt and light to the marketplace that you truly have your heart on. =)

Lastly to our poor mess in Bangkok...

Frankly, everyone can argue till the cows come home... however I learnt one thing from Titus 1:6-7 “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” Yes, the keyword is “BLAMELESS”. A search of this word will reveal 53 results in biblegateway.com. At present situation, a verdict seems like a distance away. It does not matter who is right or wrong, good or bad, sinners or righteous right now as the sheep are already scattering around with confusions all over. One thing we all know for sure is that those “accused” are definitely not blameless enough to be our leaders at this moment. It is important to have someone with integrity and people can still trust to step up and unite everyone. The walls need to be rebuilt again, and we require a “Nehemiah” to step up now.

Also as we are dealing with some serious matters such as the accountability of money issue among different churches from different nations, it is time our leaders demonstrate the frequently preached message of Hebrew 13:17 (Submission to authority). It is always arguable when it comes to everyone doing things for God’s Kingdom. However there are different standards of stepping over the lines. The only answer we can be accountable is to allow the relevant governing body of each nation to tell us whether we (the churches) has done it right? If we do not operate our churches within the boundaries of the nation, aren’t we practising lawlessness among ourselves? How then can we be united and extend the Kingdom of God?

We all know that law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for the lawbreakers, ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for adulterers and perverts and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which He entrusted to us. So I would suggest that if we want to be salt and light of the world, present our actions to the governing bodies and let them tell us if we have managed our finance rightfully. If not, how then can we go on and build church buildings, businesses, communities, media / banks (as prophesied) or any other icons that can extend God’s Kingdom in one’s nation?

Lastly, my prayer is for every God fearing Christians to mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of Godliness but denying its power. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. Trust the Lord, they will not get very far because in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

May the Lord be with our spirits and may Grace be among us.

Jesuafreak said...

Well pple, all has bene said and done.

Lets move on.

ECC 12:13-14

Agape

Anonymous said...

this is not the first time we are experiencing a church split. IN Melb alone, we have had 2!

I think it's good that we come together and talk about this and get to the bottom of it.

Not sure if many know but Dr J was saved in a church in Melb where he received his vision to go back to Thailand to plant churches. Then 1 year later, he came back to Melb and began to share his "vision" with members of that church and THEN announce to the leaders of that church that he was starting a new church in Melb and by the way, a quater of the congregation has decided to follow him. As a result, that church lost a quarter of the congregation. How do I know? My aunt was one of them who stayed and did not follow Dr J because she felt it was not right.

This is the kind of spirit that has been imparted from the start. This is NOT the kind of foundation we want to continue to build on..it's like letting a termite survive in the foundation of a house.

I think this blog is good. We need to know the truth and LEARN from it.

Paul was npt afraid to stand up to Peter when he saw Peter doing the wrong thing - shunning the gentiles and siding the Jewish Christians about being circumcised and all.

I hope that everyone can learn from this....and yes! Move on to continue the work on God because it WILL GO ON no matter what. But it's not just about "making disciples" who are blind but with a strength and wisdom in character to know what is right and wrong in God's eyes...this is the mark of a Godly / biblical Christian....or have we forgotten the core of our belief? To make "Biblical" disciples and churches....not just make disciples and churches to fulfil a number!

Thank you for your efforts Eagle Eye.

Anonymous said...

In response to the Anonymous about "the church splits" in Melbourne. It wasn't a church split. All the people who went to start a new church actually spent hours waiting upon God and wrote positive things to the church leadership before they left. Some remained behind. They left with the blessing of the leadership. As we submit to God in humility God did bless the new church and we grew in every area- spiritually, gifts of the Holy Spirit, worship, outreach, acts of service, etc. We had beautiful times of God's presence, fellowship with one another and tremedous times of Holy Spirit visitation in the prayer meetings. I treasure my time there for 9 years before I sensed God leading me to another church. There are still many beautiful godly people still serving God in the same church that I left and I love and appreciate them dearly. No this wasn't a church split at all!

Anonymous
9 March 2009

Anonymous said...

Well said Anonymous. I too was in Hope Melb. and have experienced many times of God's presence upon us in the early days. I believe our motive in following the Great Commission was sincere. By the way there was no split in starting Hope Melb, we had the blessings from the Senior Pastor.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I concur.

I am another ex hope melb member.

Anonymous said...

To the brother who wrote about feeling that you are in a cult, both my wife & I left because we felt Hope was a cult in some ways!

We felt so stressed out going to church on Sundays. We were mentally, physically & spiritually worn out!

I don't agree to church split unless the church culture tolerates sin & teaches wrong doctrines.

Whenever a senior pastor sins against God and doesn't want to repent, he or she MUST be removed! It is biblical.

There should not be loyalty to men, only to God.

When these people start to worship regular men like PN or J, then we will know where this would lead to!

Blind loyalty is not Thai culture per se. I believe it is the culture within Hope churches. Every week, the leaders would drum in "Divine Authority" where they expect unquestioning, blind obedience.

It is still happening.

Joshua & Irene
ex-Hope members