I only started writing in this blog a lot about New Creation Church and theology related to grace the past 2 years or so. That’s because I started attending New Creation more regularly 2 years ago. I felt that because of my theological struggles and interest in the topic of grace (Lordship Salvation, etc.) that started years ago, I had something to contribute to the discussion and so I started writing all these posts related to grace. And the more I started to attend New Creation and the more I started to learn from Pastor Prince and New Creation and the more I started reflecting on everything I’m hearing at Church, the more I blogged on these topics.
But if anyone ventures beyond my blog posts on New Creation and grace to the other parts of this website with all my previous articles and biographical writings, you’ll see a different side of me. That’s the social justice / missions side which I’m hugely passionate about. Maybe it’s taken a bit of a backseat the past 2 years as I focus more on grace. But I’ve also purposely not mentioned a lot of things happening in my life on the blog because I know how controversial it is to write posts about New Creation. Most of the posts about New Creation’s theology has been more positive in nature. And New Creation Church is still very far from being accepted in many places – though things are slowly changing. Therefore, I’ve kept my identity mostly a secret here and not written about other aspects of my life because many Christians still can’t accept someone from New Creation.
I know a lot of people wonder why the name of this website is stillhaventfound. After all, haven’t I already found everything in Christ? Well, the reason for the name is here so I won’t elaborate further suffice to say that the reason has to do with my interest in social justice and seeing this world become a better place – and of course, Christians have a role to play in that. The truth is that a large part of my life concerns social justice (and also missions). Read my past articles on social justice issues like poverty (e.g. Encountering Peter Singer which explains my view of what the Bible says regarding helping the poor) and you’ll understand why some friends who know me from old wonder if I’ve lost that passion for social justice. They wonder about this because recently I’ve been writing so much positively about New Creation and grace and the New Creation message seems so self-centered and prosperity-centered and a contradiction to the altruistic, other-centered, social justice mindset I’d been advocating in my previous writings. What gives? Have I completely changed my mind on this issue?
Well, a big “NO”! The purpose of this whole post is actually to explain how I reconcile my recent writings in defense of New Creation’s theology with my old writings on social justice and helping the poor. To start, let me first talk a bit about the issue of prosperity (and blessings). I believe God desires to prosper us but it’s not always true that those who don’t prosper lack faith. I think a lot of it has to do with unjust social structures and I’ll leave a part of it to the mystery of God. But this doesn’t mean we have no responsibility to exercise faith and ask and believe – faith plays a role and a lot of times we don’t get because we don’t ask. (Regarding the issue of suffering, I’m still reflecting how that fits into the Christian’s life).
I’ve never written much in support of New Creation’s view of prosperity. Nor have I written much against it. I strongly disagree with using so much money on a new building, but what would I know anyway and you can still respect and honour the leadership while disagreeing with certain things.
I’m against Christians living extravagant lifestyles. I dunno about New Creation’s view on this. But I disagree with Christians being too rich not because it’s a sin to be rich. It’s definitely not! It’s just that it’s way better (i.e. more loving) to live more simply and give your additional money to bless those who need it. But if prosperity preachers could be faulted for living too extravagantly and not thinking about better ways of using their money (instead of using it on themselves) like using their money to bless others and reach the lost, let me just say that to be fair the same accusation can to be leveled against most Christians in the developed world – most of whom are middle-class and can easily do more to help the poor and contribute to missions. But of course we don’t look at it this way, do we :) We love to take pot shots at churches like New Creation and City Harvest (which, by the way, easily talks more about prosperity than New Creation), but the truth is that all Christians fall short of the ideal.
I may not be entirely comfortable with New Creation’s teaching on prosperity, but it’s not because they are like the extreme prosperity (tele-evangelistic) churches / preachers. They aren’t – they are much, much more moderate and those who lump New Creation in with the other prosperity churches / preachers have no clue what they are talking about. And there happens to be many such heresy hunters and self-proclaimed watchmen of God out there who have no understanding of the nuances involved, but just love to criticize New Creation and pronounce guilt by association. No doubt New Creation would claim to be of the Word of Faith (Prosperity) movement, but they are of a very different kind. New Creation doesn’t continually ask for money or manipulate Christians to give (see here). If it does, I wouldn’t be there listening to Pastor Prince and I would suspect the majority of the church wouldn’t be there too. We’re there because of the strong preaching on Jesus and God’s grace and love and this helps us see the beauty of Jesus. That’s why we’re there for.
Yet still I’m not entirely comfortable with some of the teachings on prosperity in New Creation. But neither am I entirely comfortable with the Methodist Churches (English speaking) which contain easily the richest Christians in Singapore. The preaching may not be prosperity-centered one bit, but it’s not about the preaching, but the lifestyles of the Christians.
Here’s the kind of prosperity teaching I believe in. While New Creation isn’t like the extreme prosperity preachers, I don’t think it’s up to this level yet either. I’ve spoken approvingly of Andrew Wommack’s view of prosperity (Wommack comes from the Word of Faith / Prosperity tradition) when he said:
Prosperity is how much of a blessing are you to someone else. That’s the way that God evaluates it.
When you get to where the priority on your finances isn’t for you, but rather it’s to bless someone else, then God will assume the liability of taking care of you.
I’ve also quoted approvingly of P.G. Vargis (another prosperity dude):
I live a simple life. Do not misunderstand me – I am not preaching a poverty gospel, neither do I practice it… I spend money if it is really necessary. I have not saved any thing [sic], money, land or a house for me or my children. Whatever I get for the ministry is put into the ministry… Live a simple life and give all the rest to the mission – that is my policy.
I think the above two people are wonderful representations of the so-called Prosperity Gospel. They may preach that God wants to prosper us, but that’s not wrong when they truly believe in prosperity for a purpose, money for missions and blessed to be a blessing. Now, these are wonderful phrases that many prosperity churches like to throw around, but I know very few that actually truly believe them to the extent that it’s so clear through how their lives are lived. From what I know of the above two people (admittedly not a lot so I may be wrong), I think they truly try to live those phrases out – at least to a much greater extent than other Christians, whether from the prosperity tradition or not.
In my opinion, a person who truly believes all the above phrases would live a simple life, just as P.G. Vargis put it. As I argued here,
In the light of almost unending poverty in the world and endless opportunities to help the poor, what justification do we have to live a luxurious lifestyle when by cutting down on such a lifestyle we could bless and love the poor?
I would add to the above giving to missions to reach the lost – not just helping the poor. To me, then, living up to the ideal that God calls us would require us to live a simple life. This doesn’t earn us favour or blessings or salvation for that is all for us in Christ. We ought to strive to such a life simply because we desire to love God and people. Even if we fail, that’s OK. We all will. God won’t punish us. There’s always grace available. So this isn’t something that’s meant to be legalistic. We will never attain the ideal because we’re not perfect. But, on the other hand, let us not deceive ourselves to think that we can be passive and it doesn’t matter how we live. We still ought to strive to be Christlike in every way, even though we will fall short. In this regard, prosperity church or not, we’ve all failed. The majority (if not all) of middle-class Christians in Singapore have fallen short of this ideal, whether your church is for or against the so-called prosperity gospel.
So me being in New Creation doesn’t actually reflect that I’ve changed my view from old that we Christians as a whole have failed terribly in helping the poor and reaching the lost and that we can and should do a whole lot more in this area. I still believe that. If I were in any other church in Singapore, I’d still be faced with Christians who live the middle-class, me-centered lifestyle, in spite of what is preached in the church.
(Perhaps the Christian tradition that most identifies with social justice and poverty issues is the emerging or emergent church movement. Their passion for social justice is admirable, but many verge on compromising the gospel and that’s something I can’t accept.)
I still have my passion for social justice and missions. I still wanna see more Christians standing up for the rights of the poor and marginalized and oppressed and giving their lives to reach the lost. I like the radical message calling people to give up their lives for the lost and dying. Oh, we need more preachers who preach the radical message of self-sacrifice and other-centeredness, who will preach on the Christian’s responsibility to missions and social justice. Surely that will transform the church into other-centered Christians who will do God’s work even if it cost them everything… Or will it?
And here’s the crux of the matter. This is what I’ve been reflecting a lot upon: If your preaching focuses more on calling Christians to sacrifice and to help the poor and do missions, will it actually result in that happening? I don’t think so. As I reflect on my life and talk to people, I find it’s not preaching such messages that will transform lives. It’s not harping on the fact that Christians should work out our salvation that will result in transformed sacrificial lives. I don’t even think that was the focus of the New Testament Epistles in the first place. Instinctively, we think that telling your members that they should do more will change their minds and their lives. But really, does it?
My passion for social justice came through reading secular books and understanding the world. My passion for missions came through understanding more about grace. I’m sure other people will have different experiences but I certainly don’t want to go to church and listen to the pastor telling me how much more I should do for the poor and the lost. Why not? Because I ALREADY KNOW THAT! And for those who don’t already know that and don’t have much concern for the poor and lost, I don’t think it’ll help if we keep on reminding them what the Bible says about this area. There’s a place I think to preach what the Bible says about all this every once in a while, but I think it’s really understanding and experiencing grace that empowers Christians to do the above.
Some people have told me they’ve appreciated some of the articles I’ve written on poverty as it’s challenged them. That’s all good. But challenging them to think is one thing. It’s a good start. But that doesn’t empower one to take action – the gospel does. And that’s why we go to church – to listen to the gospel that empowers us, more than to listen to what we should do and how short we’ve fallen (we already know all that).
I think together with the empowerment that comes through hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need opportunities to experience serving. This is where I think New Creation is extremely weak in for a church of 20,000 people. City Harvest Church is a model for providing myriads of opportunities to serve. If we could somehow bring together New Creation’s gospel empowerment with City Harvest’s opportunities and passion for serving, that would be way awesome!
great post. so much of it agrees with what i believe.
“If your preaching focuses more on calling Christians to sacrifice and to help the poor and do missions, will it actually result in that happening?”
this really is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? and it isn’t just social justice, it’s the same with spiritual warfare/dealing with sin, with faith, with walking in the light of God’s word here and now. sometimes i feel that i’m hearing too many shoulds/shouldnots, and while they can be and often do challenge me, they do not empower in the same way experiencing grace daily does.
“I may not be entirely comfortable with New Creation’s teaching on prosperity,”
Is this because of what you wrote later on on prosperity with a purpose, etc?
I just read Lip Kee’s latest post and I think what he said about contentment best describes NCC’s prosperity preaching:
Thanks for your responses:
Jared, yes, I think that’s one reason. I’m sure there are others but I have to reflect more and can’t put it into words yet. I think there could be a good argument that the material blessings promised in the OT to Abraham (and used often to support the case that God desires to prosper us) is presented differently in the NT – it seems the focus is less material and more spiritual. If that’s true (and I still have to reflect more on this), that doesn’t mean there aren’t Scriptures to support the fact that God does want New Covenant Christians to prosper. I think there are.
Stanley, thanks for Lip Kee’s post. I like what he wrote. However, I do also think that contentment is to be satisfied even though supply doesn’t and will not come. That seems to be what Paul talks about in Scripture. He faced many bad things and did not have all his needs/wants met. Yet he was contented and satisfied. So I think there’s a place for that.
Having said that, I do believe that our posture should be to expect good from God and not to just passively accept our lot without actively seeking God to supply us with His abundance. This is where I disagree with those Christians who are overly critical of the prosperity message. They are afraid to expect much from a good God and will just accept anything that comes their way without expecting anything of God. And if they don’t ask, they don’t get. We should always seek His Kingdom come on this earth and His Kingdom and reign is accompanied with wonderful blessings. But if we don’t get it, we ought to still be satisfied and contented.
I am a singaporean and i am now 37 years of age and i am facing great financial difficulty and evicted out of my rental flat because i am unemployed and cannot make rents.
I called and made appointments to see the pastor and he told me a lot of advise that were not what i needed from the church. and he asked me to lower my expectations with my thoughts on how the church can help me. i give tithes to this church and now when i need financial help from them they told me no and should go to CDC and ask them instead. what kind of a church helps thousands and thousands of charity groups when they don’t even want to help just one. Now i am penniless and don’t even have anything to eat and have been starving. and what did they tell me? we will stand in faith with your situation and pray…i have done all that!!!! don’t they think i have done all that? praying, reading the bible, believing? i have approached CDC and they rejected my application because last year i already applied for aid. and for 2 years i could not get a permanent job. and to think that i didn’t pray for a miracle? i prayed all day all night, and nothing seems to happened. i am alone and without family. they were divorced when i was 18 years ago and have been living alone ever since.
i am the only child and know no relatives. my friends have all left me and i have no one else to help me except Jesus and God. and is not the body of christ the church? for once i thought that even if the world rejected me and not helped me i could have at least have the church to help me, a place where i can depend on, and this is the first time i have approached the church for help and they turn me down. All the things mentioned in the bible of how the church represents in a christian’s life has suddenly turned 180 degrees on me when all they say was call the cdc to help you. they collected $21 million dollars from the last miracle seed sunday this year which i also gave with the last of my money and now not even a single cent trickle out of their pockets to help me…all i got after 8 years of tidings is $110, $100 for the first appointment and $10 yesterday. how much can this last me until? i have to work for a full month before i get paid than and nothing else was given to me. is this how a church helps its members? all i wanted to asked the pastor was to help me with my back rents amounting to $3700 so that i wont get evicted but it seems too much for them, though they are pouring millions and millions into a new building which means nothing to me now because that building is not going to feed me or help me with my rents. I have been tiding and I am not exaggerating but it is more than the amount I required to help me along. For 8 years every time I get paid, regardless of how much, I would tithe. Am I ashamed to be asking it back, honestly no one cares if I live or die, I am alone when it comes to my problems, so I really don’t care either. I used to but now with the church’s attitude towards me, I really don’t care anymore.
I don’t know why i am writing this email to you, or how it can help me but i guess i just want to know is it right for a church not to help its members? I am not like some other who owns condo, cars and fancy hand iphones and yet asked for financial aid. i have no phone because i sold it, no gold, no car, no home. I sold all I have that were sellable and gave a portion to new creation church as well and the pastor knows it and yet nothing came out except the reply was ” we will stand in faith with you in prayers” about your financial situation, but we cant help you with money. how can this be? how can a church that preaches grace, generosity and truth suddenly turn their back to me? i prayed to God to help me everyday and feed me. the last thing i wanted to do was to ask the church for help but after all that i can think of finally run out, i thought perhaps the church will help after all that is where i get my bread from. but not even crumbs did they give. what kind of church does pastor joseph prince runs? i was very hurt and sad by the way they treated me. and as i was waiting to see the pastor, the staff can even boast about taking long holidays while i was hungry and tired from walking all the way to church to seek help. the only kind person that gave me food was DAVID CHEN, who is not a pastor, he was the only one who bought me macdonald’s food, something i have not eaten for almost a year. but than he was not the decision maker, he told me all the decisions are done by the pastors. They said no. please explain to me the rational when it comes to tidings, its so fast for the churches to collect but it comes to giving and helping others they just say go to CDC or is it just me. what is the meaning of this. By the way I joined one of their care groups and to my surprise one of its members told me after hearing about my situation, ” I am glad you did not ask me for money, actually I am very relieved that you did not mentioned it.” At that point I just lost my appetite even though I was so hungry before and I just gave up attending.
One non believer who knows me even asked me, why is your church not helping you? you give so much to the church and now when your really in need they turn you down? do you know how shameful it feels like for me to hear that? and they ask me to join their religion instead. but i did not because deep down inside i know GOD is good and kind and merciful and generous but the church is making me hate how i feel right now towards God because the church is the body of christ and to see how cold and selfish new creation church has been to my situation has left me dry to the born towards God’s love for me. By the way I have gone to chinese temples and even they give me food and money to find work and travel. They did not say to me “call CDC” and I don’t even tithe to them.
I contacted SOS and even they asked me to approach my church for financial aid. And yet I still tithe to new creation church believing in the goodness of christ, but never did I know that at the last day of my greatest challenges, they would tell me call CDC and a lot of “should have done this and that and this and that” advices. like i quote pastor prince phrases” i don’t need an actor to act out my drowning when i KNOW i am drowning”, I need a helping hand. But it seems that in my case, Jesus has choose not to use the church as the channel to help me, according to the church that is.
By the way i don’t think new creation church knows how CDC processes each case files. It usually takes a month before you know if the request for financial aid is accepted or not and the maximum they will aid you with is $200 (for a one time only). I find it ridicules again because CDC is not the body of christ but the government. So why don’t they ask CDC to bless them when it comes to raising funds to help spread the gospel by building a new church at one north at the costs of $billion of dollars. Yes I love to see more and more people getting saved by Jesus but after getting saved who will helped them if they are in need? like myself? push everything to Jesus and the CDC, because this is what the church is for? Free advise and not a single cent to spare? Is this faith and grace? or just faith no grace, and a reason not to get involve into other people’s sad stories, again maybe it is just me they choose not to help. By the way new creation church could and probably will ban me from coming again but I have no intention to return.
I have not given up on Jesus or God but I have given up on the church and its people because all they can say is “you have to make appointment to see the pastor because he is very busy, to talk and advise you what to do, the rest is out of the question especially money but please ask CDC to help you with that”. God bless and Shalom. Whether you are hungry or penniless is not our problem but Jesus your savior’s problem and the CDC because we have the financial assistance policy. GOD knows what this policy is because I don’t.
I thought when I was young I had lost my only family, but when I found this church I was hopeful at least here I found brothers and sisters, but in the end I only found people who treated me as a stranger and a burden to their time tables except DAVID CHEN whom not knowing me is the only one in new creation church in all my 8 years, treated me like a human being who is hungry and bought me lunch.
I’m really sorry to hear about your experience. I’m not surprised by the way you’ve been treated by churches and Christians because I think most churches and Christians would respond similarly – not just NCC. I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that we Christians all fall short – and especially big organizational churches. And thus I’ve learned not to expect much from organizations and churches and even Christian individuals, even though we should – Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:32-35.
This is of course not the way Christianity should be, but I guess it’s a sad reality that it’s this way. It only goes to show that only God is good and we thank God for people like David Chen.
I’ll contact you as I want to help as much as I can. And if anyone reading this wants to help Joseph, drop me an email at idealist at stillhaventfound.org
hi, just saw the msg Joseph left on yr blog. Do let me know if there is anything i cn do to help. Peter
I just saw your article about you being jobless. But it was written in 2010.
It is 2014 today and I’m wondering how you’re holding up.
If you need some help, drop me a message. You can email me at email@example.com
I’m not from New Creation Church but from another church in Singapore.
It’s really sad to spend such ridiculous amount of money on a building when a child dies every 6 seconds from hunger related issues; and the richest 1% of the world’s population own 40% of its wealth, according to a research done by the London GUARDIAN. Of the richest, 37% live in the United States, 27% live in Japan, and 6% live in the United Kingdom. The poorer half own barely 1% of the wealth. According to researcher Duncan Greene, “These levels of inequality are grotesque. It is impossible to justify such wealth when 800 million people go to bed hungry every night” It goes to show that how money can make one insensitive to the needs of his/ her fellow human being. Money is a drug.
I totally agree with you. In my website I’ve written tons of articles on poverty and the responsibility of the rich to the poor. Just search under Thoughts – Poverty. I studied development studies in University because I wanted to help the poor in the world. To me, it’s absolutely ridiculous how many of us live – especially for the majority of Christians in the developed world because we as Christians are called to demonstrate the love of God to the world and we really aren’t doing much of that as can be seen by how much we spend on ourselves and how much we spend on helping those less fortunate than us.
I read Joseph’s post and hope he’s getting by now. Anyhow, the best way to help such people is to give him the means to make a living for himself. Perhaps finding out his skills set would be better than simply giving him some money to pay his bills. It’s also tricky for the church to handle such situations as the money that they loan to him may be difficult to retrieve as it’s after all not a bank. And it may set a precedent on members borrowing from it. That’s why I don’t think churches should be considered as charities and be tax exempt. There’s nothing in their administration that makes them help people in financial need, unlike CDC. Yes, the money they donate can be tax exempt, but as an organisation itself, it should not be.
Lastly, if Joseph is still reading this- stand up for yourself. No one is going to feed you anymore than you need to feed yourself. Unless you’re handicap, you have the means to make a living, be it blue collar, white collar, there are jobs available. As for tithing, I personally don’t believe in tithing to my church. I give a portion of my earnings to charities and give a freewill offering to the church. And it’s good you learnt a harsh lesson of not getting anything back after giving to your church as that’s never the point of giving. If you want to give to get, you’re probably better off in the stock market or other financial instruments where at least, it won’t hit zero when you want it back. All the best and don’t stop believing. At the end of the day, NCC has a pastor with a great and life changing message. But it just about stops there. When the message changes your life, it’s all down to you after that if you can maintain that change. Some churches have a less than great message, but they may have a better support structure. But it doesn’t change the fact only you and you alone can work out your issues. And my best advice is CDC is actually not a bad place to channel donations to, as long as you don’t think you should be profiting from it eventually.
I dont know if it’s true but I heard that Joseph Prince is paid millions through a charity fund set up by New Creation. Dont know if it’s true. Joseph Prince stays near Sixth Avenue in a bungalow and has 2 continental sports car.
To ask for donation for a $500 million church when the place, The Star is used for secular purposes and not for holy purposes. Then Joseph Prince said on 11 Nov 2012 that a church is not a building: then may I ask, why ask the congregation to donate to the building fund of ONE NORTH?
I’ve been in this church for more than a decade. I saw a man truly gifted with great charisma & extremely street smart after many long years being one of the thousands idolizing the preacher without realizing it. Yes, he has what it takes to lift people up, but sadly at the same time, this man by far extremely subtle & I do not wish to use negative words here, if you were to compare him with CHC’s ex pastor when it comes to twisting or manipulating some bible verses to get funds,, etc.
The new venue, Star Perf Arts ctr, needs huge maintenance & running cost. He would use out of context tithing messages to achieve his agenda in the most sublte and crafty manner as usual. The manner or trick so far is the same, skip the context, skip some verses, and select few verses & with his superb convincing voice, story telling, charisma, etc, thousands just swallow whatever he preaches without further analyzing or studying. Abraham gave the remaining 90 % to King Sodom, Jacob gave God conditions if he were to tithe. The Levites worked in the temple and recieve tithes for only a few weeks in a year and share everything to the fatherless, the widows, the poor etc, In the new convennant, Paul never mention tithing at all. And all tithes in the entire bible is never money. This preacher will cleverly skip all these. Same in other teachings. He will not even show the people the whole verse. For example, he will teach with great conviction and passion, ” The qualilty to look for in a man is ‘kindness,” in greek is ‘Hesed.’ and he will show this line and intentionally drop the last line where the verse have not end yet. Actually the last line is ‘ it is better to be poor than to be a liar.” Why? Very obvious. This is a prosperity preaching church, learning from great successful prosperity preachers from the States. They are all the same. Posh private property, luxurious car, etc. where all the money is from the sincere church people’s givings. They will never let you know their income (until the authorities make it public in the papers years ago). All the bad news they will never show the church people. You will never see or know the church’s income & exp annual stmts. Even the most recent givings to the new building called the ‘mircale seed,’ the amount collected was not declared to the church givers but instead it was cleverly announced that the church top up to the collected amount and now the cummulative figure is such. Why? Very obvious too. You will never learnt the bible in context here even if you have been sitting for 20 years in this church. You will hear repetitive lines, seeing same stage performance and gesture by the same pastor, and after a number of years you realised that most of the stuff were actually from other sources where you see similiar lines from books of Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Warren, etc. One outstanding thing is his charisma that can entice a lot of people. Very few pastors can match his showmanship on stage. He really could preach superbly, but sadly for so many long years, I couldn’t describe how a man of God could stand in the puplit exalting God at the same time, ……………….. . You go and find out and wake up. See a prominent vain, materialistic, and greedy figure, in the church? Love God, love the church people? Or love money, so that a man of God is so blessed that, say, an exec condo, or the top Jap or Korean car is too lowly for him? Be careful, many in the church idolised him so much that they could mimic what he says, “You must be jealous!” What honesty there is before GOD?
Josh, I have the same views as you…but what I do not understand is how this man can influence the herd so much? That everything they quote is from him rather than the word of God?
It appears that they had been brainwash somehow by the sermons….
I do not think it is simply “this man influencing the herd”… Many of the people experienced God’s touch, in many areas of their lives, which cannot be explained by science.
Eg, patients whom doctors have given up hope were miraculously healed, INSTANTANEOUSLY; God’s protection in a car accident with physical impact, yet the passengers and the CAR remain PERFECTLY FINE (not a scratch found) – not a single cent spent on medical and mechanic services… I quoted these examples because no one can explain them off any other way, except that there was Godly intervention.
God sees each person right into a person’s heart. After hearing him preach, one has to search the scripture and exercise our own faith to experience God’s power and love in our own lives. He is also a human being… no one is perfect. Let God grade him. As for each of us, let us make sure we are on the right track ourselves.
JESUS . . Help me !
Hi Josh, you are not alone experiencing the fleecing subtly without deducted. Sad to find out from here that there is really a church member being turn down financially which I have heard some rumors but with no solid proof , but I experienced they turn down to help those who are not church members even came as a visitor. Few years back, my relative’s daughter was in ICU, her condition was critical, I sought help for church pastor to come to hospital to pray for her ( which they do have such hospital ministry), to my shocking surprise, they asked much questions : is my relative attending NCC .. If not I should get her own church to pray for her. After much confrontation, they inclined to my request . They drop by as if they are having some kind of outing, their gestures made my relative rather upset. Such a shame, I felt! There appeared from nowhere, came these 3 men, not knowing which church are they from pray for my relative, they drop by a few times, with no relationship with their church but with The Lord. That make me open eyes to see the reality of a mega church they only go after $ anyway they are very commercial , means no love . Since moving to the Star which supposing to be a place of worship and healing ministry that JP made his speech on miracle seed Sunday, sad to see he brain washed the members on the term ‘church’ on one Sunday . The only thing I have been doing since is praying for them, may The Lord have mercy.
Just to share something I had to share. I dun really know where to start, but I just probably start with how I became a believer of Christ, and accepted the fact the Jesus died on the cross, and by believing in the finished work of God, I am now saved, and without in any way have the ability to fall out of God’s grace, because for God the heavenly father, so loved us, and gave us Jesus, so as to never perish, but to have eternal life.
A little background of myself, I was raised and born in a christian family, and had many questions in my head since young. Back then my family and I were having so many problems in walk of life, and the church we attended was FCBC, where they preach a teaching on a mixture on grace and law. Our family faced many problems, be it business or relationship problems, and I have, even up til now having a resentment against my father.
To be honest, I have in fact backslided from christ himself, meaning to reject God, when I saw the problems. Why did our heavenly father that made us, allow things like death to happen in our family. I had a tough life, when my father’s sister husband died due to heart attack, I reproached myself. The reason being, if I had not ask my aunt to come over to my house to resolve the problems that I had with my dad, he would not had die. On top of that, my youngest brother is diagnose with autism at the very age of 3, and our family was dealt with another great blow.
Ever since young, my mom and dad neglected me and my second brother alot, and would have to spend more time and attention to him. I was immature back then, and i resented my brother, more even so God, that had “made” our family to have such sufferings. There are even more sufferings and pains, throughout my walk in life, which I don’t really feel like explaining here, as typing is just a chore to me. All in all, I resented God.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” From FCBC, even though it was a mixture of the law and grace of God, I only came to understand this one verse. All the things that were taught, doesn’t seem to sit well with me, because it contradicts this very verse in the bible.
And then, when I was Primary 5, my parents forced me to go to NCC. From there I learn many things, and felt the touch of God. I did not know from what verse, what line that compelled me to believe God loves me, or whatever the topic, I came to understand this very fact. God is above all entity of the world. Having that said, whatever he does or do, is something that we cannot change, for he is greater than us. Back then I felt the thirst of understanding his word. I came to found out that at that very moment, I believed in John 3:16, I was saved. I was saved very since very young, because he promised us that, who ever believes in the work of God, Jesus sacrifice, from the very bottom of my heart, and those that was unveiled the veil, will be saved. I saw my life turning for the better. Goals that I set for myself, direction of what I want to do, making th change in my family problems.
And then another problem came, guess what. I backslided again. And again. And again. The first few weeks of going to NCC gave me a very new revelation of being love by the heavenly father, but I did not know what I needed to know. Something that people have been missing out. My life failed badly, even though I still have my ups, like for example, being able to earn 4k a month, at the very age of 20, WHILE I WAS STUDYING IN POLYTECHNIC, made me feel like, wow, God really love me..
I remember once Pastor Prince said about the testimonial about the pastor that set sailed to a conference and there was a storm. He wanted to get to the place on time, and prayed to the lord to calm the storm for he did not want to be late. Upon hearing that, on my way to work one day, when it was raining heavily, I prayed “Lord, Abba Father, let me witness your tender loving care and make me not drenched, for being drenched at work is not what I want.” My faith was shabby back then to be honest, but guess what? The rain was still brewing, and the very moment i STEPPED OUT OF SHELTER, the rain stop. And then I said, “Praise the Lord. Thank you Abba Father for letting me know so true that you love me.”
In my walk of this 22 years, (I am 22 years old now), yes, I do admit that I am young, but I have experienced so many miracles of God, even though, I have not fully understand what God is conveying to me. But again, guess what, each time upon receiving this unmerited favour, this grace of God, I BACKSLIDED. I was sad, depressed, and was diagnosed with insomnia. I yearn for knowing God’s work, but I did not have the courage to pick up the bible, because I was afraid of various things; backsliding again, not being able to comprehend what He wanted me to comprehend, punishing me for backsliding, and etc and etc.
After several years of backsliding and being truly blessed by the miracles that I seen, I have concluded to the fact that I did not have the faith in believe God. And that’s when I started looking for other religions, trying to learn more about science, doing alot of things to understand my purpose. You know, I the kind of person that tend to think more about stuff, but I probably won’t want to add what I have concluded for worldly stuff here. But all in all, I could not find GOD anywhere.
But just recently, I have a fresh encounter with God. And that shook my very heart. No churches, no funny nonsense, something that explains everything that I explained everything I am facing. Somewhere deep in my heart, when I listened to the sermons that my friend introduced to me, I became enlightened, and at that very night when I heard, I felt the fear of the Lord. But it also embraced me with everlasting love and peace. I realised that what I have been searching by myself, had been self effort, self effort all the very time. But no, when I came into the Gospel of Grace. I was moved by God’s tremendous work at the cross. I was not the one that chose to accept God, but God who is all knowing, knowing very well, that I will surely sin in this life, chose me.
I realised the very fact that only the truth can set you free from any religious teachings, or any other “ways of life”. And this very truth varies from person to person I believe. And it is only the will of God that will dictates that truth presented to you. Whether you are listening from a church that is preaching the wrong stuff, probably it might be bad here and there, but as you seek to find God. He will reveal himself. The revelations that I received in 3 days was far greater than what I recieved 21 years of my life. And I am still learning, seeking to understand God’s will, and pray that he will lead me to his will, his grace, and be a testimonial to everyone around me, that God is good.
I will share this website that I learned so much, and have been truly blessed by the sermons preached. http://www.versebyverseministry.org/
Maybe to some, this sermons might not impact the way of your thinking, maybe it would. I just pray that God might unveil the eyes of his people soon.
Just this simple verse, of John 3:16, that I believe every christian know from the very bottom of their heart, as long as you believe, God will one day reveal who he is, what he has for you, and what he want to do for you, with you. Be part of God’s plan. And when you submit, you can never describe the joy that you have finally found.
Lastly, I thank God for taking away my pride day by day. I have too much pride in me. All glory to God. I am nothing in front of you lord.
P.S. At some point of my life, I in fact did believed the prosperity gospel. But I now know that, be it rich or poor, healthy or sick, in the end times, I will surely be with God, for he loved me so much.