In brief, a pastor and four of his church co-workers began gaol sentences on April 21 for illegal financial activities, following on from being convicted in 2015. A fifth co-worker, who also received a jail sentence, is awaiting a Court of Appeals decision before his sentence will commence.
I’m referring to media reports of Kong Hee, who was the pastor of a megachurch in Singapore – City Harvest Church. Hee and five of his leaders were sentenced to imprisonment for the illegal misuse of around 50 million Singapore dollars. Their revised sentencing is for about half the time originally specified as a consequence of an appeals process.
A wakeup call
I must state that there was no joy in hearing that report – Kong Hee, the other leaders and the shaken City Harvest Church in Singapore need the prayers of caring people. (more…)
(February 17, 2017)Stuart Reynolds brings a timely warning and challenge to newly appointed shepherds of the flock …
The 2017 version of Disney’s popular romantic fantasy Beauty and the Beast is released next month. But – hey churches, and newly appointed pastors, are you aware of a beauty and beast in your church, maybe even more than one? They’re real, not a fantasy or so romantic, in many a church!
We train pastors to look after the people in the church – absolutely right! – but when are churches ever trained in how to look after their pastors, to help guard them, especially from dangers within their very own congregation?
The apostle John expressed a concern in his third letter about something that still occurs in some churches today, one that newly appointed pastors must be aware of!
‘Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come to you, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumours about us. As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to travelling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out’ (3 John 1: 9-10 Message).
Diotrephes types today
Churches, and especially newly appointed pastors, need to be aware that there are Diotrephes types – well-intentioned dragons in their midst! (more…)
(February 15, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, continues his series on selected scripture words…
One of the great words of faith and theology is ‘Redeemer.’ There are three Hebrew words that may be translated as ‘redeemer’ –
First there is paraq which develops from the concept of ‘breaking off’ to ‘deliver’ or to ‘set free.’ This word is used 10 times in the Old Testament. It is translated once with the idea of redeeming in Psalm 136:24 KJV, ‘And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth forever.’ (more…)
August 6, 2016 – Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge both ministers and churchgoers…
Recently we’ve heard Christians comment that they feel God is giving them, their church, our nation, America and the world a wake-up call. Wake-up calls are meant to be acted on!
Decades ago, English bandleader Billy Cotton was particularly known for his rousing catchphrase intro to his BBC radio and television shows – ‘Wakey, Wake-aaaay! ’
A London choirboy, Cotton was awake to living life. Not yet 19 he had seen action in World War 1, become a pilot, worked at several jobs and commenced his own orchestra (even though he couldn’t play an instrument or read a word of music).
Billy Cotton went on to become a boxer and a racing driver and lived life to the full. His was a life regarded as ‘a life less ordinary.’
This first August Encouragement article is a wakey,wake-aaaay call to both ministers and churchgoers!
Don’t miss out Paul encouraged Jesus’ followers not to miss out on life: ‘So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded’ (1 Thes. 5:6NLT). (more…)
One of our ways of relaxing is to watch old movies and selected engaging TV series. Every now and then we hear an actor profoundly share a (whether the script writer realised it or not) great biblical principle or life principle. Such as one we heard recently in a Person of Interestepisode.
Without going into details regarding this hit TV mystery action series, let’s just say that repeatedly the dialogue carried some great life truths, such as this one.
‘We all have free will – and with that comes great responsibility’ explains billionaire software genius Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), creator of ‘the machine’ (a secret government Big Brother surveillance system that watches everyone, everywhere) to his top operative, former CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in The Passion). He adds, ‘Sometimes great loss.’ (more…)
Dr Augusto Zimmermann, professor of law, shares some pertinent biblical principles…
The Bible sees government as an institution established by God (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13). The government’s primary goal is to promote justice for its citizens – protecting the innocent from the aggressor and the lawless. Without security, every other function of government (such as protecting life, liberty, property, reputation) is meaningless. (more…)
Dick Hardy, pastoral leadership consultant, writes:
Organisations that continually improve realise that continual improvement is necessary to thrive. Think about it – every computer and smartphone user experiences this on a regular basis. You can hardly go a week without needing to install another update for your apps or devices.
Becoming a Christian at age 15 my pastors gave me all the support and encouragement I needed to grow in my relationship with God – and to figure out his calling on my life.
A youth leader at 18, I attended a large youth conference resulting in my ambition to replicate that conference in our church so we could also do something great. I didn’t realise that God wants us to get his vision and dream for our place, rather than copy other ministries. (more…)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan recall President Harry S Truman’s famous declaration – and the sign that was prominent on his White House desk.
Passing the buck is the act of attributing to another person or group one’s own responsibility.
Etymologically the expression is said to have originated from the card game poker, in which a marker or counter called ‘the buck’ was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the buck to the next player. (more…)