Saturday, October 2, 2010
Hope in Thailand is still very much everywhere. Hope Bangkok by Rubina website no longer exist. Ps Nimit has started a new church. PN still trying to get back the church he lost. HIM is still finding its own identity.
A few Hope International Church has left the HIM movement, and churches are finding back their own voice again.
So I shall leave it here and may those who have found new and better church continue to grow in the Lord.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Of all the greatest test, the test of wealth has always been the key. Most of Jesus parables were dealing with the issue of money. Jesus even affirmed this fact in the bible, that we cannot serve two masters and the two He spoke were God and Mammon ( God of money).
Why is money such an important indicator -
Money is neither good nor bad. But everything in this world needs money for it to work
When we are hungry, we pray and someone bring us out to eat or cook for us. Guess what, it cost money to buy food
When we are ill and have to see doctor, Guess what we need money to go to hospital. If we have insurance, it is still money that bought the insurance
When we need a church building, we pray God answers prayer and people give, guess what, money to buy the building.
So money is the medium and the test, but one of the greatest problem with money is that it has an awesome power to corrupt, it is like a drug, when you have, you want more. Because money can buy you things you always wanted and you thought you never could have.
It is note worthy to point out that Judas was the treasurer, the one who controlled the money for the group, the one who got corrupted by the desire. The fact remains, when we are in contact with money, there is always a desire to own it and to want it.
Thus we should always treat money with care and especially if the money belongs to the church, we should make sure no one ends up like Judas because there was no accountability.
If you really want to know your pastor, just see how he handles money, you can tell more about a person in the way they handle money, then a thousand explanation.
I thought I should bring this up because my friend from years back who have returned to Singapore spoke recently about a Church in Singapore called City Harvest. where the pastor and 17 church leaders were brought to CAD regarding on some issues about money. I really hope that when the investigation is done, the church will be clean. Some years back, I think even Hillsongs from Australia was queried over some transactions
What i am trying to say is this, Pastors are still human, if you give them unlimited access to church fund without proper accountability, one day they might turn to Judas. There is always a reason why we need check and balance. Remember that for anyone in finance, if we knowingly do things which are not proper and above board. You might end being implicated as well.
Make sure whatever you do, it is well documented and written. Especially loans, financial packages, special or noteworthy transactions. Keep it as transparent as possible, this way you will not have to always watch your back.
Judas took the test and he failed. Lets not become like him.
Monday, May 17, 2010
As promised way back early in my posting days, i did mention that one day I will give people more voice in what is happening around the Hope Movement.
Be it good or bad. Or even sharing of blessing.
I will slowly transition to a more open forum based blog so that people can give their idea and thoughts rather then just me alone.
Of course blessings or encouragement is greatly welcome too.
But this blog will always serve as a voice for the people to allow all Hope and Ex-hope people a common place to share our thoughts.
It is important too to provide a place to find out about our church history. Maybe who knows this will be a place where the history of hope can be found.
Hopefully this way, when leaders try to hide anything, they will think twice.
I will take some time to do a better upgrade to provide a more friendly webpage
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I will attempt to put some teaching we are taught down and maybe hopefully we can address this.
Hope teaching No 1. - This was Dr.J favourite : As long as you can still walk and not tied to the bed and even if you are sick, you should still come to church. By coming to church, you can be prayed for and be healed.
Hope teaching No.2 - We are christian who happens to be student. So, our aim is to be God's ambassador at school. Therefore, in essence our main duty is to bring people to christ and study is "sort of" secondary.
Hope teaching No.3 - We should believe that our church is the best. Because we should be proud of our church. We should never think that we are not good in anything. We should believe we have the best Worship, best teaching, best ministry.
Hope teaching No.4 - We should come for ever activity that the church organize, and be involve as much as you can, even if you have to give up other activities or sports. Of course, attendance sheet is just to get stats.
Hope teaching No 5. - We must get approval from our leaders and go through "proper channel" in all your BGR issues. Non-approval of relationship will result in severe disciplinary punishment. Technically its like arrange marriage marriage only, this time the shepherd and leaders play the " parents".
Hope teaching No 6 - Leaders always knows best, and if you don't understand their decision just obey. Because they are chosen by God.
I suppose what I would like to say is that there is no absolute right or wrong. Just how things are phased and practiced. Anything taken to extreme will be bad for health. There is no doubt about it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where human beings try to use the principles of God to try and integrate with everyday practical living.
To one total obedience is a virtue to be attained, to another its called being brainwashed. Ultimately, I believe we just have to use our own wisdom and come up with our own personal guideline that you believe are within the confines of God's principle.
Hope may believe that church planting and being a church planter is the key, but if you believe that Pastoral care and mercy mission is the way to win the world, then its what God called you.
Some people believe that music can heal and bring the world closer to God, others believe that prayer is the key. There is no one way, no one answer. God gave us choice, so in it he also created diversity, what works for you may not work for another person.
For one thing, God gave us a brain and he gave us logic and wisdom. I am sure He expects us to use it. I am not advocating that Hope teaching is all bad, nor am i saying its the best thing in the world. God's principle never changes, its people that change when they try to box God's principle into prescribed methods.
What do you believe ? Anyway below is an article that maybe can expand our horizon
Warning signs of a destructive cult
Do you know someone in a destructive cult?
Anyone could attack a group they disagree with by unfairly labeling it a destructive cult. How would you know whether it really were such a cult or not? Isn't there an objective method to evaluate groups for cultic tendencies? Yes. The following early warning signs can help you reasonably determine whether or not a group is likely to be a destructive cult, and if you should be concerned about a friend, coworker, or loved one being involved with it.
The main reason that the following destructive cult tactics are so damaging to both the individual and society is because they debilitate rationality and reduce empathy. Rationality and empathy are indispensable in making good personal and social decisions. History is littered with personal and social catastrophes where a lack of rationality and lack of empathy were its core causes.
Ask yourself if the following criteria apply to the group you are concerned about.
A destructive cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of its members' behavior. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail not only what members believe, but also what members wear and eat, when and where members work, sleep, and bathe, and how members think, speak, and conduct familial, marital, or sexual relationships.
A destructive cult tends to have an ethical double standard. Members are urged to be obedient to the cult, to carefully follow cult rules. They are also encouraged to be revealing and open in the group, confessing all to the leaders. On the other hand, outside the group they are encouraged to act unethically, manipulating outsiders or nonmembers, and either deceiving them or simply revealing very little about themselves or the group. In contrast to destructive cults, honorable groups teach members to abide by one set of ethics and act ethically and truthfully to all people in all situations.
A destructive cult has only two basic purposes: recruiting new members and fund-raising. Altruistic movements, established religions, and other honorable groups also recruit and raise funds. However, these actions are incidental to an honorable group's main purpose of improving the lives of its members and of humankind in general. Destructive cults may claim to make social contributions, but in actuality such claims are superficial and only serve as gestures or fronts for recruiting and fund-raising. A cult's real goal is to increase the prestige and often the wealth of the leader.
A destructive cult appears to be innovative and exclusive. The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the ONLY viable system for change that will solve life's problems or the world's ills. But these claims are empty and only used to recruit members who are then surreptitiously subjected to mind control to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.
A destructive cult is authoritarian in its power structure. The leader is regarded as the supreme authority. He or she may delegate certain power to a few subordinates for the purpose of seeing that members adhere to the leader's wishes. There is no appeal outside his or her system to a greater system of justice. For example, if a schoolteacher feels unjustly treated by a principal, an appeal can be made to the superintendent. In a destructive cult, the leader claims to have the only and final ruling on all matters.
A destructive cult's leader is a self-appointed messianic person claiming to have a special mission in life. For example, leaders of flying saucer cults claim that beings from outer space have commissioned them to lead people away from Earth, so that only the leaders can save them from impending doom.
A destructive cult's leader centers the veneration of members upon himself or herself. Priests, rabbis, ministers, democratic leaders, and other leaders of genuinely altruistic movements focus the veneration of adherents on God or a set of ethical principles. Cult leaders, in contrast, keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves.
A destructive cult's leader tends to be determined, domineering, and charismatic. Such a leader effectively persuades followers to abandon or alter their families, friends, and careers to follow the cult. The leader then takes control over followers' possessions, money, time, and lives.
If you know someone who belongs to a group that demonstrates a significant number of these warning signs and you would like more information on how to deal with destructive cults or mind control, go to www.factnet.org.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I have been observing for awhile now to see any big changes happening in the Hope Movement after the split, I must say we are still getting there.
The Hope Movement have split now for slightly over a year. In Hope Bangkok, there have been big changes happening everyday. Daily you will hear people moving and new churches starting up.
Foundation have split into many smaller churches and are now around 200-300 people. Ps Nimit started a new church as I reported earlier.
Ps PN too have their own issue and split, though its slightly more minor then Foundation. Most split churches have used New Church names to disassociate from Hope Brand name and have either become independent or joined the HIM banner.
Ps PN have been able to go on preaching because no one stood up to make a stand, to inform the Christian circle of his misdeed. In other part of Christiandom, pastor who committed adultery will be asked to step down, but not so for Ps PN.
It does feel every top leader missed the point, PN should never be allowed to take the pulpit without first stepping and proving his integrity and morality. Neither HIM nor Pastors in Thailand have said anything publicly except Ps PK from Hope London, and for that i admire his righteousness, some pastor felt it was too strong, but not me, I call a spade a spade.
Hope's greatest failing is that it always chooses the diplomatic route, instead of standing for what is right. When members sin, we are always quick to pinpoint members sin, but when a leader sin, we are always told to be understanding and be "nice".
In the international scene, under HIM 2 churches have decided to go independent as mentioned in previous article.
Have HIM change ? I think its trying. I see leaders trying to make a difference. We held conference called rediscovering our core. We try to put things right, but as is with big organization everything takes time. Some people have chose to leave Hope instead of waiting, some like me are still waiting to see.
Issues in Hope
Money - Yes money have been a sticking point in Hope, from its inception. We used to have the HGI tithes of 20%, which I have tried asking but no one could account for the money in there. Hope in general have been quite lax in this area i must admit. There is no clear policy or guideline about the use of money in terms of salary package, what is reimbursable cost, etc. Some region do have a guideline on pay package but from my knowledge its up to own church to decide and very region specific - which is all i can say. Some churches are better at handling money and some not so. Hope Singapore would be financially the most stable church. I know this area is a very sticky area and HIM may not want to touch this aspect as of now. I think if i am not wrong, they are trying to set-up a general policy for all HIM churches but its still in the early stage
Shepherding - I don't think anything will change in this area. BGR policy and how we function in the system will always be very subjective. The idea of shepherding is a good one, but the quality and type of advice and shepherding will always be dependent on the shepherd you get. Not all shepherd are the same, because the truth is some do become shepherd too fast and may not have enough experience or understanding to handle sheep. I have always believe, the title of shepherd must be first earned with your life and example.
Transparency and obedience - Transparency is something HIM is trying hard to build. Its still not easy. There is over 20 plus years of Hope Ideology which i must admit are not all good. The problem we have is applying principle into practical everyday living, which is totally impossible. We build rules and regulation we apply across the board, not factoring other circumstances. In principle, we teach people to love and serve God, which is right. But in Hope's understanding serving means - use your time to meet, follow-up, shepherding, leadership training, run care group, church plant, anything else is not important. The truth is God created us all different, with different gifting, different way of life and interest, we love God by putting God central of what we do. We can serve God too by studying doing well at school and be a testimony, we can play music, open business and support the church by other means. Rigidity had always been our problem. We must start to learn from other churches around the world too. Whatever we will be able to break the mold will largely depend on the leaders leading HIM. I suppose this will be awhile before we see any major shift in paradigm
Because Hope HIM is very much still a very "young" organization, which has just gone through a huge split and shaking. I don't foresee significant change that soon. I think we must all understand, if the top leaders hit the wrong note too soon, who knows more churches will decide to come out and become independent. Its really a catch 22 situation . So all i can say is pray and keep faith.
Set a dateline for yourself, if you still don't see the change you desire or course you can go to other church where you can serve better. Don't stay bitter, just become better.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Over the years, in the aim of pushing the 1 million churches by 2015, we have sacrificed many good people pushing them into mission field to reach the ultimate goal. I have lost many good friends burnt out and tired, trying to reach the goal of church planting.
Over more then a decade, I kept the "body count" of burnt out people, because of Dr Joseph and Ps PN pushing their agenda and dreams. Its truly a very fine line between God's call and personal agenda. Jehovah Witness and Mormons are also "Supposedly" spreading the Gospel, sometimes people maybe sincere but sincerely wrong.
For all I know Ps PN and Dr Joseph started out well but got side tracked along the way - one by the love of power ( Dr Joseph ) and one by the love woman ( Ps PN) - the saddest thing is the people in the Hope Bangkok church still don't know or don't believe Ps PN committed adultery.
Even big pastors around the world have absolutely no clue, i don't know if HIM should take a more bold stand - we preach holiness and integrity. What are leader's responsibility when you see our own brother's and sister's still living in a lie, not knowing the severity of the sin the leaders have committed.
I recently read a blog from a non-hope person, stating the Hope Church split because of financial and political issue. It does tell me many people are still unwilling to speak up, but why ? Should the leaders from the ex-hope take a bolder stand and not be too diplomatic and forgo those niceties ?
There are still good leaders in HIM and those that truly walk by faith, over the course of this split and the trials and tribulations of Hope, strong leaders have emerged. I really hope we can get rid of the stigma of the Hope legacy, there are some good principles we can keep but we should set a new direction, a new name hopefully. Its getting confusing sometimes, when you see Hope Church in certain places but they belong to different factions. Can u imagine 2-3 hope churches in one same place calling by the same name, same mission statement but run by different head ?
I do wish besides discovering our core this new chapter, we can set out doing something different. We should keep the Shepherding system, the follow-up and Cell system, but do away with the elitist attitude of " Leaders knows best attitude", because sometimes leaders don't know best. When Peter made mistake regarding partaking of food with Gentiles, Paul still could rebuke him and show him what he did was wrong.
In all honest truth, there were some bad choices and decisions made, leaders were promoted because of loyalty rather then spirituality. By loyalty i mean blind loyalty, Leader is always right and never wrong. When leader is wrong its because God's will changed.
I know in the blog, there have been some heated arguments about churches and pastors, but who am i to judge. God must have His reasons for everything. As leaders of God's flock, we will ultimately be accountable to God himself, no one can blame others and try to shift the responsibility away.
What i am trying to say is this, we should always cover the very area which destroyed Hope, the legacy left by the leaders of the movement. Have anyone every wondered, if blessing flow from Top down, what about curses ? Meaning every Pastor and leader who have been in Hope will ultimately face these test - Money, Power and Lust, Keep watch and pray so that we will pass this test.
I know there have been comments on these issues in the blog, I do pray its not all true, if it is it will be so saddening. I really Hope these is not the legacy we are going to leave behind as a movement.
I am praying this is a start of a new chapter, hopefully for those friends who have left Hope, may God give you strength.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Hope Bangkok now is only about 400-500 people. Ps Nimit has started a new church due to some direction differences. The Hope Bangkok Website has of course changed. There is a new Pastor taking chrage now in Hope Place
There are I think 2-3 new churches which stared 2 i believe from Hope Bangkok and possibly one that came out from PN.
Also internationally, Both Hong Kong and Hope Sydney is not under HIM banner, regardless though I do wish them well. I think in a more positive light at least it allows the Pastor to lead the church and set his own direction. In any case the kingdom of God still advances.
I really do hope the movement will adopt a new name, so that it will avoid any confusion. Seeing that PN is planning to launch his international crusade to win back lost ground. It took them 20 years to establish the Hope Movement. I suppose it will take as long to do that as well.
I will add in the new website links too. So we can see how our movement have changed and grow. I believe positive things will come out
One of the new link is called the Alive Church in Bangkok
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In bangkok now, where there was one huge church Hope Bangkok, there are now at least a dozen or more splinter churches that have started. I think this is a really good thing and i am sure it will be a start of revival in Bangkok
and in case you have not heard Ps Nimit has also started a new church. I will post up the new churches in Bangkok
I will post more details once i have more information.
I have also read article online mentioning about PN but every article seems to miss out the fact that PN had to step down because of adultery.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Apparently now Hope has send people to Hong Kong to start Hope Church. Well, it would be interesting to see 2 different Hope in Hong Kong.
Hope Hong Kong currently I believe decided to go independent, so it would be an interesting development happening in Hong Kong. I wonder if Hope Hong Kong remembered to register.
Opening Hope of Hong Kong
On Nov 27th Pastor EE Nipa Saeboon and team traveled to Hong Kong with the purpose of pioneering the church. As of now our family in Hong Kong already consists of more than 30 people. Pastor Nipa is humble and always willing to sacrifice for the kingdom of God, and she has now been entrusted by Pastor PN who has placed her in charge of Hope of Hong Kong Church. If you are passing through Hong Kong or moving to Hong Kong, you may find more details by contacting
News about PN ....
Pastor PN General Secretary of CFAM
Towards the end of Oct. 2009, Pastor Phisanunart Srithawong [PN] of Hope of Bangkok Church was chosen for the position of General Secretary of “Christ For Asia Movement” [CFAM]. CFAM an organization which many of the large churches in Asia have come together in, has a base in Manila Philippians.
Don’t forget to pray for Pastor PN’s good friend; he will be running for president in the upcoming May 2010 elections. Pastor Eddie is Pastor of the “Jesus is Lord Church” in Manila, Philippians. In March of 2009 Dr Cindy Jacobs Had a word of prophecy for Pastor Eddie and encouraged him. Dr. Cindy is supportive and teaches the concept of the seven Mt. to encourage believers to be a blessing to their society, politics being one of the seven.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The great ambiguity of these 2 terms are often intertwined together, that sometimes we mix the two term up. In my opinion, an allowance is provided on top of any assistance the church gives to its staff.
For example, a full-time staff could choose Cash Salary or simply Church support as a basic remuneration. As both would undoubtedly serve the same function.
Salary is given so that people can use the money to pay for Food, lodging, transport and all daily necessities, if the church provide already provide lodging, transport and reimbursement of food then its considered salary. And amount given beyond these would be termed an allowance.
In my opinion, it is always good to separate Church and personal items as these would create better accountability. As pastor or full-time staff, we should always consider when doing reimbursement if the items are for Church of personal.
Some of the most common gray area during Ps PN days were reimbursement for entertainment expenses, petrol. For smaller churches where church would support the rental of church office and staff housing, it is always important to try and keep the items black and white.
When we buy items and reimbursed it under church we need to consider if the item used is mainly for the church for their own family and persnal use. If church buys a car or van, is the vehicle used more for personal and family purpose or used mainly for church purpose.
My recommendation is always to keep church and personal vehicle separate so that people cannot say we are abusing our authority. Unless the Vehicle is given to the staff and is not part of church repsonsiblity then Staff becomes responsible for its maintenance and insurance.
The issue in Hope is that since everyone is also serving almost at the same capacity as the pastor meaning going to meet people for shepherding, meetings, spending money or their own sheep. If the full-time staff starts to claim reimbursement then everyone in Church would therefore by precedent be able to claim, unless of course, only full-time staff do the shepherding and follow-up.
Thus i think one of the biggest change we must consider is to keep money as black and white as possible so that no one can say we are abusing our authority.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It has always been my belief that as a christian, we have to handle God's finance with utmost integrity and respect. Good financial practice is a sign of maturity in a christian and the key to greater blessing from God
Most parables Jesus dealt with in the bible often relates to the stewardship of money, because Jesus knew that Money though is neither good nor bad has a powerful effect on people and that everything in this world revolves around the use of money from buying a house, tithing, building a church, having enough food to eat and clothes to wear. Nothing in this world is free, thus money is the key medium in this world.
Because money can be such a powerful "drug" when not properly used. It is imperative that as Christian we need to recognise the importance of proper accountability.
Here are some important tips that we must never forget
1. Ensure a good balance in your church board and allow a good mix of people. Hope Singapore have a very good website which have a varied board to ensure impartiality
2. Keep a good budget and try to stay close to it. If expenses deviates too much, ensure that the board is well informed.
3. Have clear Salary package and guideline. This area have been the biggest headache even in the corporate place. We need to ensure that clear salary package is written in the contract to avoid misunderstanding and especially grey areas
4. All churches should have an agreed guideline for reimbursements, so that all staff will know what can and cannot be reimbursed. Providing ambiguous guideline often causes confusion.
Eg. Can we reimbursed food when Church staff meet up the sheep ? Can Church staff claim reimbursement for Church camp ? What about mobile phone, cars and petrol, which is very much a part of church ministry ?
There is no hard and fast rules, but we do need to make it clear to the people. Hope BKK failed in this area that is why Hope Church was split because of how PN and Dr J used Church money.
5. Try and keep personal cost and church cost as separate as possible. The more we mix it up the more dangerous it becomes to cross the line. If unsure, I believe it is always the responsiblity of the church staff or Pastor to ask the board and account before the money is reimbursed.
6. Have annual audit and ensure transparency in all church accounts, this way members will feel that leaders have nothing to hide. When leaders refuse or fail to be forthcoming when approach about church finance usually more often then not, there is something not quite right.
Finally, dont't be afraid to ask, the leaders owe it to the members to be open and accountable in the church finance. Good financial practice are hard to do, even the corporate failed so many times, as a church we need to set and example and be the light to the the way.
If you think that there is something i miss out feel free to add in the comments. Or if you got something to share or a testimony. That would be good too.