How time flies.
August has flown by and we’re in the middle of September already! Like always, I never really had the time to write something up here and the two – wheeled post that I said I would do never materialised … so sorry about that! Perhaps another time. I have been constantly drained trying to balance out and fit everything into 7 x 24 hour days and I have found myself in need of more sleep as each day goes by.
One thing that has grabbed my full attention happened this week, when the Pastor of my church announced his resignation on Sunday. A couple of church leaders stepped down from their posts as well and have left the church. Certain members of the church left as well, my parents included. Some have been shocked at the announcement, some have been fully aware of what has been brewing since months ago.
It wasn’t a shock to me because I belong to the latter group and have been observing developments quietly on the sidelines. I wouldn’t bore you with the details, neither do I want to get into the whole messy jumble. What matters is: The church has spilt.
I have been in this church since my childhood days. It is deeply edged in my memory, all the stuff I used to do as a kid, the people that I have grown up with, the ministries that I have and am serving in, the lessons that I have gleaned from the preaching of God’s Word, in Sunday School, Fellowship Groups, Sunday services. I also remember the conflicts that have happened within, the fiery arguments and cold shoulders, the tough times.
This incident is definitely the worse that I have seen in my church’s history, and no doubt the worst ‘war’ that has affected me directly. I am not a man who likes politics. Words mean little to me, and shrewd games do not sit well with me. I believe more in action, doing something takes more guts. Watching people trying to argue their way, yet afraid to back up their words with direct action makes it hard to respect them.
Political games are common in this world, but it is disappointing to see children of God behave in such a way.
Of course, as I grow older I have learnt to keep an open mind of everyone I meet because I believe there are always at least 2 sides to an individual, me included. Nothing really surprises me especially after I have been vastly exposed to all sorts of people and characters, through the world of cycling, school, work, and national service. As much as Christians like to think church is a place of serenity and escape from the world, it is still made up of imperfect humans. This imperfection leads to conflicts and crisis and tension happens.
In any war, there are bound to be casualties. In this case, the causalities are those who have not been directly involved in one way or another, sitting on the sidelines, and have been forced to deal with the whole shock of the situation … Some are the newcomers, the youths, the kids, the members. Many don’t understand what it going on.
Most people are interested in digging out the truth of the whole matter. In my honest opinion, trying to determine who’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ … trying to figure out the ‘true story’ of the matter and confirm that it is 100% ‘guaranteed plus chop’ truthful is a waste of time and energy.
So what if you’ve figured out the whole situation? So what if a ‘winner’ and ‘loser’ is determined? So what if you had a 100% grasp on the whole situation and understood the intricacies of the situation?
In order to do so would require a huge amount of time and energy spent, coupled with a state of mental and emotional stress, anxiety, pouring your heart into ensuring that ‘no stone is left unturned’, trying to sift out what’s ‘truth’ and ‘lie’. At the end of the day, you might not even be able to fully pinpoint and separate everything into these 2 categories. Why? Because if I were a liar, I’d ensure that my story adds up with the evidence that I can provide. If I were truthful, my story will also be able to add up with the evidence that I provide. So, how do you then decide? It will be extremely difficult to do so and your mini investigation would have drained so much time and energy away from you.
Trying to determine and questioning others whose side that person is on is also an illogical thing to do. It is NOT about choosing sides or which human being to follow. It is and always has been a spiritual battle, God vs Devil. Good vs Evil. If you do view the other ‘side’ as evil, you should be happy if someone chooses not to stay there, even if he/she didn’t come over to your ‘side’ anyhow.
There are other sound churches in Singapore, why only ask if he/she is going over to where you are?
Time and energy are 2 precious resources that shouldn’t be frivolously wasted away. The time and energy that you put into your ‘mini investigation’ could have probably been spent doing something better, for example, ensuring you are not spiritually malnourished. To spend so much effort and time on something that results to something that you can’t really use to help in your progress as a child of God is not too good a use of your 2 precious resources. If you, however, deem it worth your time and energy to chase after people and conduct your own ‘investigation’, then please do. After all, who am I to control you … these are just my opinions.
Whatever the case is, I don’t think it is so much of my personal needs that I have to give attention to. As much as I would like to, there are people out there who are more ‘injured’ that I am. These casualties of war require much tending to and attention should be given to them, first priority. The war can rage on, but who is out there to attend to the ‘injuries’ of the hurt?
I would advice though, is that as individuals you ensure you are right with God. Because whoever is behind all these is certainly not, and if that is you … well, let’s just say that God is all – powerful and in control of every single thing.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12 : 17 – 19