Thursday, March 25, 2010

On the City Harvest Church and S$310 million

When this author first heard about how City Harvest Church was going to invest S$310 million in a Suntec stake, this author’s initial thoughts were:
  1. Does God need all this money?

  2. I don’t think God needs any part of this money. Why doesn’t the church (being a registered charity) donate the money to charity?
It appears that in these modern times, many religious institutions have immense sums of money sitting in their coffers, and they even go to financial institutions to invest all this money.

But… God (and by God, I mean any god of any religion) doesn’t need money. It’s only human beings who have a need for money. Why don’t these religions institutions donate all the money to charity? That seems to be a benevolent and godly use of the funds. God would have approved.


  1. sorry, i dont think this "god" would have approved. dont get me wrong, poverty need to be resolved but it must be done by getting to the root of the problem.

    the church was never meant to be a medium for charity. the "church" or people has a much higher calling than that.

    cant blame them because they dont even know what they are preaching and therefore serve as puppets to the state.

  2. If the poor need the money, they can always join the Church for help. The Church's money is meant for the Church to help it build more Churches and spread God's word and bring salvation to more of the masses. It is never intended to be squandered on welfare and be given away just like that.

  3. Religion is generally a sensitive topic, and I will try my best to give my thoughts on the second Anonymous’ comments without causing any offense. If any offense is inadvertently caused, I apologise in advance, and I will certainly be willing to listen to any alternative opinions or to be corrected.

    (1) Anonymous’ comments appear to suggest that the church will only help those who join the church, i.e. Christians. Non-Christians who don’t go to church are not deserving of / not entitled to help from Christians / the church. However, Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan suggests otherwise, that one should actually do one’s utmost to help one’s neighbour, even regardless of the neighbour’s religious beliefs (in the parable, the Samaritan helped a Jew who had a separate religion). The parable was to illustrate that to inherit eternal life, one should not only love God, but should also love and care for one’s neighbour. Helping one’s less fortunate neighbour (as the Samaritan did when he gave money to an innkeeper to look after the injured Jew) is not “squandering”.

    (2) Spending money to build bigger or more churches does not in itself spread God's word. It only gives you big churches or many churches. If you wish to convert others to Christianity, you still need to step outside the church compound to reach out to the non-churchgoing public.

    (3) Charity is not the same as welfare, and the two should not be confused. Welfare generally connotes directly giving cash to the unemployed, and I am certainly not advocating a welfare system. Charity is a different concept altogether, and has a far wider application. Most forms of charities are concerned with providing food, water, clothing and shelter, tending the ill, visiting the imprisoned or the homebound, providing education or counselling, protecting and caring for animals etc. rather than simply directly giving cash to the unemployed. Donations to charitable causes will generally benefit the unfortunate indirectly, such as donations to cancer research to benefit cancer victims. Some examples of Singapore charities are:

    (a) Club Rainbow, which helps children and youths suffering from a range of chronic and potentially life-threatening illnesses. They provide a range of free services including a befriender network and counselling, informational talks for parents on medical and family-related issues, free tuition, and providing foodstuffs, milk powder etc.

    (b) Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, which provides counselling, home help, home medical, home nursing and home therapy services to all persons in need.

    (c) Breast Cancer Foundation, which promotes awareness and education of breast cancer, and provides support to women affected by breast cancer.

    I should also highlight that according to Jesus in Luke 18:22, giving money directly to the poor is not “squandering” it, but something which Jesus advocated. He said in response to a query on how to inherit eternal life, that in addition to obeying the 10 commandments: “There is still one thing you haven't done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

  4. Hi Singapore Aspirations,

    Kudos... very well written reply to anonymous #2 in which I totally agree with.

    However, as much as I feel the money could be put to better use, this is still CHC's own money... they raise the fund through willing donors and hence, they are free to use it on whatever purpose that they deem fit.
    So long as they do not step beyond the "boundary", everyone should just leave them alone.

  5. i think, this topic is dead already. singaporeans just need to find something to talk about. gossip here and gossip there. gossip gossip gossip.. once there's no news, its over. seriously, if there's something wrong with the way the church is handling the money, they would have been discovered by now.

    a lie cannot hide for long, it only grows bigger. but if there is no lie, accusing someone for doing nothing wrong is just a waste of time and resources, because we will not find any prove or evidence of wrong-doing. meanwhile, its been so many months already, yet no upcoming news about this issue.

    everyone is answerable to their own conscience. if the church really did something wrong, they have to answer to their own guilt. no point pointing fingers and saying that that person is wrong. that person himself knows better, especially for a church.

    i feel that as humans we should not meddle in other people's affairs. let the government or church do what they have to do. as the typical singaporean should be, we should just be "bo chap". everything just ignore. i think life would be better this way. lesser conflicts and arguements. isn't unity and harmony what singapore wants to achieve? i dun see how squabbling at each other in disagreement helps promote unity and harmony. infact i feel that we should help one another regardless of race language or religion. not bring down each other and accuse each other of wrong doing. like i said, if they have broken the law with evident proof, let the proper authorities handle the issue. we should do our part by ignoring and encouraging one another to be better people. just my opinion.

  6. sir i want made a church in pakistan my E-mail ok.
    (God bless U)