Free to act now I guess


I wrote this in July 2012, about a month after an incident which precipitated my departure from LifeGate church.

I wonder if it would go anywhere near this again…

—————-

(dear TF)

 I write this reluctantly, and out of necessity. These recent weeks have been some of the most challenging in my church life. I sincerely hope you have not had the same experience.

 I hope this note will pave the way for us to have a normal brotherly relationship again, as much as possible. I sense, and therefore assume, that you too have had to struggle through this issue, if not more than me then at least as much as I have. I have not been able to look at you as a brother in the Lord the way I used to and I need to stop this.  I need to know very clearly that I am no longer grieving the Spirit. I am guessing we both have to. If I have assumed wrongly and this is a unilateral matter on my part, then I apologise.

 Whatever the outcome of the church leadership changes in the months ahead and whatever the church ends up practicing, adopting or becoming is a matter for you and the leadership to come. I only hope you do not shy away from forming a team that is not simply “not disagreeable” but that will assist you to shape this church to be the shining light it needs to be and can be.  I will remain an ordinary member after the next AGM, if not sooner. You will be free of my presence and input but I hope you will never be free of ideas and opinions that continue to challenge you.

——————————

I guess maybe he really didnt want to be challenged to much, and he’d much rather avoid such challenges. Maybe then the calling is somewhere else, not a local church with clear thinking adults who invariably will require constant and deep and meaningful engagement.

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Battle at Bernabeu; Battered at (by?) LifeGate Church


It’s supposed to reach 31 deg today and when I got out of the house this morning it was already about 20deg.

So, my decision to hop on the treadmill when I got into the gym this morning, wasnt the best. Everytime I run, i dont stop sweating for easiliy an hour. So I might have stopped at about 7.20am, but I was in the office about 5 to 8, but was still sweating for the next half hour.

It’s also not the best day for a run because of course, United was playing Real Madrid. It was a long anticipated match and though I caught the last 30 minutes or so in the tea room at work, I could only watch under very unpleasant conditions – I was still sweating…

The 1-1 draw was obviously satisfying in a way – being an away tie of a 2-leg context. But when I started to look at work after the match however, the sweating became the least of my challenges.

A few emails were in my inbox, all of which had chunky attachments with swathes of mark-ups I had to plough through. The bigger issue appears to be a couple of other emails from a mate of mine. He sounded really tired and maybe disillusioned. How a pastor can have such effect on a normally positive and rallying, gathering sort of lay leader, has been an eye-opening lesson for me.

The fact that the church this pastor came with, tipped in a paltry $80+k into the collective kitty – less than 40% of the total reserve, not to mention zero contribution to the multi-million dollar asset base – was the furthest issue in my mind when the merger took place. Now, with this pastor and the bulk of his people from the Cornerstone church calling the shots (and missing the mark) I’m beginning to wonder how far off my mind this issue should have been. The pastor (Tham Fuan) said something about this in the early days, apparently in jest. That he said this (in jest or otherwise) without any prompting or cause, should have been a giveaway then.

I was too naive to think because it is church property, no one would begrudge new believers sharing in the benefits.

There were so many things we gave the pastor the benefit of the doubt for. I wonder if we should have been stricter with him and apply the same standard of probity. The lesson from TA Securities in Malaysia and their purported Christian business ethics should have been remembered. Fool me twice… guess I’m the fool.