Friday, September 18, 2009

BGR part 2

I know BGR is a really big topic to most people. As I know from experience out of 10 people who leave Hope during my days 6-7 are because of BGR issues. Because we seem to teach that falling in love is a sin, but we often forget that people have feelings and teenagers from 15-25 are human’s with feelings too.

I know that in Hope we teach that students should not be involved in relationship and we actively discouraged it, but the awful truth is .. how many teenagers have the gift of celibacy ??? Seriously I think many times out of our eagerness we go about it the wrong way. Kids will always be kids, crushes are part and parcel of life.

When I was leading the youth group many years back, I learnt one important lesson. Feelings are uncontrollable. How do you tell a guy not to have crush and stop liking a girl, never seen it happen in my whole time. God make us creatures with feelings, so it is crazy to tell a guy to stop have feelings.

That is why I fully agree with some of the comments, we need to teach positive ways to dating and courtship. I like one of the point out we are not their parents and should not overrule the parents decision.

There was another point that brought to my attention while I was reading the comments. I do not know if anyone has experienced it but I certainly have… there seems to be an unspoken rule that we should only find Christian partners in our Hope Church, it sometimes seem that other churches people are not as good as Hope. The reasoning I always get is they have different vision and better to find from within then outside… but what happens if the guys or girls in the church are not what we are looking for ? And don’t forget there are always more female leaders than guys leaders… so… what happen to those unlucky to not find one by 30 ??

I also have heard and seen people saying that because one couple holds a much higher leadership position therefore they are unequally yoke.. I feel sad for them because my friend was under so much stress. So many people were initially against them, but just for me… who are we to judge who is closer to God ?? Just because you have the title that does not make a person more spiritual, probably maybe just that they joined Hope movement much earlier. Titles are given by Men not by God, title do not make a person holier, look at PN and Dr. Kriengsak, they are a good testimony on the irrelevance of title.

Anyway.. I fully agree that BGR is a very hot topic because in essence there are only 2 things which are crucial to a human need..

1. Love and relationship – family, friends, and a partner and of course God

2. Money and career – to buy a house, food and essentials

And I agree with the comments from John – that we should start giving good positive principles instead of scaring people away from relationship. I know Hope Singapore is changing and some Hope Churches are starting to take the lead in this area.

Hopefully we can start to change from the Hope Movement of Old.. and move away from the dogmatic and controlling system under the Old Hope Movement.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The BGR reviewed

I was really interested to read about our Hope BGR policies in the the comments section and thought I should share something on my perspective.

I suppose every organisation will have their policies and guideline as to how christian should court each other. Unfortunately, though many Churches have attempted to set guidelines and steps on how to have the ideal courtship, the world is a less than ideal place and to try and put human guidelines of dos and dont's we sometimes add more burden on every courting couples.

On hindsight, we can see the wisdom of God, God did not set any binding methods or his ideal courtship program in the bible . God spoke alot on many other issues but apparently dating or courtship is not in the top most important priority. You must wonder why... maybe God realise that it is almost impossible to have a perfect step or ideal courtship.

I think we should take a leaf out of the bible and provide principles instead of methods to dating. Songs of Solomon actually have great insights on how to find your true love.

So what is most church doing wrong ? Well, we often try to give many do's and donts like I know in Hope we should be chaperon on our first date. Or we should try to go out in group dates rather than single dates, we have to be home by 10pm and please call your shepherd when you are home. Now I have been in Hope 17 years and more .. and have seen countless people leave because people are so disillusioned.

The BGR method in the shepherding structure in reality often do not work. Out of every 100, my estimate is only 1 or 2 couple ever gone through the full courtship process. Now let me share some problems which i have faced and maybe we can identify why this system is not ideal

1. How often if you share who you have an interest in, that your shepherd may also be interested in ? The worst to find out is the person you like, your shepherd is also interested... so what should a shepherd do ??? ... I have seen this episode.. and wont elaborate.. but i am sure we can all imagine...

2. How often this happens - you share your interest with your shepherd and in the end ... almost the whole leadership knows who you like.. and when you sit close to "the" person the whole leadership starts to look over you.

3. You share your interest and your leader prematurely let the cat out of the bag... and the other person know. and things becomes awkward.... and wierd....

4. You share with your shepherd your interest and your leader ask you to pray and tells you he is not the one for you.. granted that some cases the person is a new christian but.... seriously... isn't shepherd row just to guide.. and not to play God ? Even i don't know what is going to happen 1 second from now...

5. How often have you attended a BGR seminar and the summary is what you should "not do" and that we all need to keep waiting. You keep getting examples of people who is willing to wait... often times.. somone in their late 30s.... will come up and share the joy of singlehood...seriously.. i dont if i should be happy for them or feel pity for them...

I am sure many people will have faced similar issues, i have seen it, heard about it and experience it. And all i can say from experience is, we should start to teach people how to find the perfect partner and what to look out for in a good partner.

No relationship will be perfect on the first go, I must admit there is always issues we need to deal, and not every one is mature, but we MUST learn to trust people and not have the "they will sin" attitude... towards every relationship. We need to learn to bless to encourage, in Hope i don't know if it is just me but when i first came to Hope i though relationship is a sin.... only later when i grew up, i learnt that it is not true....

We do need to start trusting people, encourage Godly relationship through reinforcing the positives and also allow relationship to develop naturally... We are not God and therefore should not do "arrange marriage". And tell our sheep who they should and should not see.

Hopefully things in the BGR area will change soon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Purpose of the poll

From the many post and comments I was initially quite curious to see where the readers are from. So if you are posting a comments, it would also be good to see the demograph.

Its hard to say where the troublespot is or where issues still need to be resolve. I am hoping by conducting the poll.

Hopefully someone from HGI who is reading this blog will be able to resolve some of the issues mention by the people.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

HIM Questions answered

As for those wondering about HIM, I believe Ps Simon is the president for HIM. At present from my understanding, the structure is pretty much the same, which means I believe there will be some inner core eldership which I believe is the directors for the different region.
The new HIM website should reveal more the leadership structure. As for accountability, I am still unsure who we account to. I know there is still a lot of re-structuring to be done. And I know it will take time.
Beyond that, I do think its still too early to tell what the new impetus would be and how things will be done. I am not sure if there is going to be wholesale change.
I read many comments from people, regarding pastor’s still keeping to the old ways of Hope. I really hope that things do change.
Anyway, like I have mentioned before Hope’s biggest failing is its failure to put principles into practical day to day use. That is why even PN and Dr.J themselves are burned out leading them to commit sin and refusing to acknowledge it.

The worst thing that could happen is HIM not learning from the go-go style of the previous Hope Movement. I think if we do our maths properly, Hope style approach to running a church destroys more Christian life then building them up

Some stats to consider – If what Hope Bangkok say is correct in the last 20 yrs assuming that they will have an average of just 100 converts every week. That would mean there should be 104000 new Christians entering the Kingdom of God,

I wonder what is the real retention rate, it is sad to think that for every 100 people saved maybe only 3 or 5 will make the distance

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The end purpose - Would HIM or Hope change ?

Just to answer a query, I suppose this blog was designed so that people will know what has happened to Hope and what PN and Dr Joseph did.

Though there have been a major split , everything takes time to change I suppose

Would the leaders respond to this blog, well, i suppose my main aim is not to force a change, but provide an avenue for discussion, and possible change. Information is power and the more people know and understand the issue, the easier it is for change.

You know when people know that they are being watched and policies are being scrutinized, I am sure one day things will change. The problem with Hope Bangkok is no one was watching them and holding them accountable.

So I suppose, as long as this blog is running, people from all over HIM and Hope have a common place to discuss issues.

And i am sure leaders will be reading this site..

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A relook at shepherding

Been thinking about this for awhile, but i think its important to redfine or re-look at our shepherding understanding. Personally i do believe having a mentoring program in Church is a good thing and one when done correctly can encourage the younger christians to grow.

What is the role of a shepherd ?

I do believe as a shepherd one's role is to provide guidance to the person they are mentoring. The important thing is to make sure we do not dictate or tell them what to do.. We are not God and are not suppose to be God over our sheep's life. The aim is to give guidance and advice and allow the sheep to make their own decision.

I have shepherd i know, that actually dictate who and what the sheep should do, where they should study and even who they should marry. That is very dangerous because then we are assuming the role of God.

The greatest problem of a shepherd and leaders

One issue that has been a constant of pain is this, sometimes members tell their shepherd some personal issue in confidence and then in the process, suddenly they found out the whole leadership knows about their issue.

We teach in Hope that if we talk about people without the person's approval then its gossip, but i tell you if a leader talks about a member without the member's knowledge its also gossip. The worst thing i have encountered is when leaders are found out, their excuse is so that we can help the person and learn. I think this is totally wrong, because principle cannot change, if you want to discuss about a member's issue make sure you let the member's know. Personally as a shepherd, if my sheep tell me something in confidence I will not let it out, unless i cannot handle then i would actually ask the sheep's permission or ask them to bring the case up.

I never like telling people's issue upwards without the presence of the person i am discussing because you can either misquote or misunderstood the issue and in the end make a mountain our of a molehill.

Therefore this saying that - every secret has to go upwards is wrong if - the person you are talking about, never knew or is not informed. I tend to dislike it when i attend leader's meeting and leader's discuss personal issues of people in their group. To me i consider it gossip, because the person do not know that this issue has become an open secret.

As leaders we need to uphold the standards we ourselves expect of others. To me I do agree that pastor's should know things happening in church and "if" it relates to the church but alot of times its people's personal struggle so unless permission is first sought before passing on the message, don't just assume pastors have the right to know at the expense of your own personal integrity.

Make sure that when discussing about issues in leadership meeting, no names are used and if a situation becomes too big just ask the person to speak to someone more mature and then pass it on upwards properly.

How to treat the person you are mentoring

Always treat the person you are mentoring with respect and understand that just because they may be our mentee, it does not automatically means they are not intelligent. we somehow have this assumption that all sheep are dumb, its just a paraphase, in reality not everybody would be as dumb as a sheep.

Sometimes we get this false precept that just because they are our mentee, they are not as smart as the leaders, but the problem is that as pointed out by some people, leaders sometimes are raised up very fast, resulting in people with the title but not necessary the experience nor skill to handle issues. I have met many people who i have mentored, who are well-adjusted, intelligent and smart people. They maybe new to the christian faith and lack the knowledge and that is sometimes about it.

Therefore always treat people with respect and in turn your mentee will respect you as a mentor.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is Dr Kreingsak a Politician with a difference ???

I have been following some of the developments in the Thai Politics and our so-called founder of Hope of God. Though there are people still in awe of him and how he supposedly spell a new generation of good politicians in Thailand that can make a change.

No doubt I must admit Dr Kriengsak Chareonwongsak is a highly intelligent person who have written more articles I can remember, but to me he is just a typically politicians. By that i mean, I have come to some conclusions that most if not all politicians in Thailand are only able to have power simply because some corners have to be bent. Whatever they maybe yellow or red supporters, the truth is unless you are willing to bend some rules, there is absolutely no way you can be a politican.

For one thing, I know Kriengsak is the same. A typical politician who try to portray himself as a great alternative. Why do i say that :

1. He was willing to lie about his association with Hope even under oath when queried in the courts
2. He moved people in Hope to his electorate to help him gain votes even though it is illegal to do so.
3. He used church money to fund his campaign even though it was illegal
4. He got church people to help him got to temple to perform Buddhist rite

A man driven by the passion to see thailand at the cost of his moral conviction with God and total disregard for his family and the people who had to sin in order to help him.

Would Dr kriengsak be able to make a difference in thailand, i have no doubt that he has the ability and I have no doubt that he can possible use some of his solutions to build thailand. But for me its not the end that is important, but the journey we take to reach our destination, would he be able to shine God's name in a Buddisht Thailand ? I doubt it though.

Yes he may win the battle for Thailand but in the process he would have lost the war to bring people in Thailand closer to God.

His sory is a good reminder to everyone that as we pursue the path that we believe God called us, be it in the marketplace, in Education, in Science, Media, or politics. Never allow your goals to be your God, and in the process forget why you were there in the first place.

Indeed if we do aim to shine for Jesus in the workplace, lets not forget that our final destination is our heavenly home.


Clarification on HGI and HIM as well as PS PN and Hope

It does seem that many people are still confused about the affiliation of the different churches and movement that came about due to the split. This is because Hope used to have many minor websites and links which are still not updated, even some of the Hope Churches website still show affiliation to Hope Movement under HGI which is entirely not true. So here is the breakdown

In thailand there are mainly 4 big split

1. Hope of God Bangkok - Under PN
- Operates a number of websites :

In these websites PN still claims to be HGI president and the ultimate authority

2. Hope of Bangkok - Under Ps Nimit ( Rubina )


3. Neutral Party - Churches who broke all affiliation ( Not many )

4. Hope of God Churches ( Under HIM )

-= Includes Hope Chiangmai, and a couple of other Churches in Thailand and in Bangkok

Hope Churches internationally : ALL the Hope Churches internationally all decide to follow Ps Simon to form HIM, no church from my knowledge was willing to follow PN and that include Hope Singapore

We call ourselves Hope International Ministries
- Unfortunately at this moment we still do not have a main website but i believe is in the midst of being set-up

Hope of Nation is a name we previously registered long time ago.. but have not used for a long time. But is not a new movement.