Friday, 29 June 2012

Mega-church = mega-ego. Beware!

Some notes before I forget:

What's the point of a mega-church?  I commented about this in previous two posts.

Some observations:

When members of a church devote themselves to one charismatic leader it is not a church any more. By sociological definition - if I remember my SOC 309 (or whatever it was) - it has acquired a cult existence.

Some members of this church however have truly been touched by the work of Christ and I do not wish to belittle this. There is a danger for anyone looking in from the outside to assume any kind of homogeneity. No, not all members are carbon copies of one another.

There are some who have a true faith, probably gained at another church, and have found a home in this church, for now. Their faith will be bigger than the history of this church. They will move on and continue their journey of faith, elsewhere if necessary.

There are some who have known no other church. These are the ones who need nurture and comfort during this trying time. Some amongst these might lose their faith, like the plants derived from seeds sown on shallow ground in the parable of the sower.

There are others who form various types of "groups", children of parents who have true faith, children of those who had blind faith, etc. They would have to find their own faith.

Shaken, not stirred

God is a God bigger, much BIGGER, than all of these. Man's (and woman's) failings notwithstanding, God has allowed growth amongst those who heeded his Word, no matter how thin or tenuous the teachings from the pulpit might have been.

God promised that his Word will not return to him "void". From Isaiah 55:11:

"... so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Even God's word that was preached by a man who might in due course be found in a court of law to be unworthy of his title would not return "empty". It shall "accomplish".

This is why I have faith that even in the largest, most mega of churches where the pastors have proven to be something less than godly, the word of God could still take root and grow. God's word is not limited by human failings. There will be true believers even in such churches.

These true believers might be leading small groups and doing a really wonderful work amongst the sheep of their small flocks.

Some might have been shaken in their faith. Let us pray that many more will be stirred to right actions.

Power/Money corrupts

I am trained to view the world in context. When I read about the achievements of Mr Kong I have no doubt that he was (once) used by God to draw people to him. There was a point in history when this servant of God had his heart in the right place. (One could say the same for his wife.)

Comments have been made that suggest (to me) that he remains deluded about his current situation. It is almost like those British politicians we know who have told their lies so frequently, so consistently that they had begun to believe them.

Mr Kong seems to be blinded ... by what?

Honestly which husband would want to see his wife gyrating in skimpy clothing in music videos mouthing words that are not spiritually uplifting? Let alone a pastor of a mega-church. Hey! Reality check needed, mate. Urgently.

Too late now.

I want to give this man the credit that is due him, for those times that he really made God's Word real to those who need it most. But then, at some point, it seemed he stopped worshipping God.

Instead he worshipped his wife, or her potential, or money that might come with it, or fame, or what? I am not sure. Could early success have led to an ego trip that went too far?

This does not mean that I have already judged him guilty of the crimes that he has been accused . I am merely making a statement about his lifestyle (the expensive clothes and homes) that was clear for all to see.

Sun/Son of God

I learned a significant lesson while travelling 16 hours "hard seat" from Guilin to Beijing many years ago: "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Luke 9:58)

Even King David was not immune to temptation.

The critical point for me is: would he do a Zacchaeus?

Like Jesus said, those who are not sick, they do not need doctors.

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)

Are my inconclusive thoughts at the moment.

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