|Festival of Praise - the hope.|
FESTIVAL OF PRAISE – The Hope for Transformation
Pastor Che Ahn of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California was the keynote speaker at Singapore’s Festival of Praise 2010. Invited by Kong Hee, Pastor Che is the founder and President of the Harvest International Ministry, a worldwide network of over 5000 churches with a vision of “Changing Lives, Transforming Cities and Discipling Nations.". He is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Rock Church. Pastor Che Ahn called for Singapore to be made a Christian Country, his theology founded on the kingdom of heaven coming down on earth, coming upon Singapore. The FOP is far more than a church coming together to worship God, but seeks to unite the church to a common agenda and focus with former speakers such as Rev Yonggi Cho, Ed Siloso, and Phil Pringle.
Pastor Che Ahn was preaching about Hope in the context (although unsaid) of the several dissapointments that have been experienced by the Christian Community as a whole in the last two years including the Aware, Rony Tan and Pastor Kong Hee sagas. When Pastor Che Ahn mentioned Pastor Kong there was a loud applaud of support. It is Hope that will move us on that God will make a way out.
On a background note, Pastor Che Ahn is associated with Pastor Lou Engle who was a Pastor at the Harvest Rock Church is currently the Prophet to Che Ahn at Harvest International Ministry. Pastor Lou is a radical anti-gay leader leading an organization “The Call” (which he co-founded with Che Ahn) with fasting and prayer rallies against same sex marriage legislation, and also insisting that Gays be put to death in Uganda. Engle has called for Christian "martyrs" to become "God's Avengers of Blood" to stop the "homosexual agenda" at all cost. Engle is calling for a Holy War. He was also featured in one scene in the movie “Jesus Camp” at Christ Triumphant Church preaching and rallying the Youth. Engle has mobilized thousands in the Proposition 8 against gay marriage.
What has started as an anti-abortion platform has become a full scale anti-gay movement (for obviously the abortion issue did not gain much mileage, since many Christians do abortions as well), and gays are far easier to demonized as they are the outsider to be blamed, or hidden in closets.
Such radical religious movements could also happen in Singapore where Che Ahn together with other Christian Right leaders from America who regularly visits Singapore has now fully endorsed Lou Engle’s political action plan to Pray and A.C.T which stands for
The transformation of culture is in full pace as Christians are called to stand up and to put their faith in action to call for change. Pastor Che Ahn is closely associated with Pastor Kong Hee, and had preached at the Research for Leadership on 17 July 2009, at the Riverwalk auditorium that:-
- Christians are to be wealthy as a means to change the world
- Business is the means to develop relationships and extend influence
- Sprit of poverty is to be broken through giving
- We are to make Christian apostles in the marketplace, as leaders so that they can influence and world shakers.
There has been a decade long build up for market place evangelism with Pastor Che Ahn preaching regularly at CHC (on 08 June 2008, 15/16 July 2006) together with other Dominion advocates (also called Transformation, or transforming the culture) such as Peter C Wagner, John Avanzine, and Ed Silvoso. Many have been mistaken that they were giving motivational talks under the guise of seminars on marketplace insights, marketplace luncheon, and marketplace convention when they were all targeted at conquering the business mountain, and at the same time being very prosperous.
Ultimately the goal of FOP (where Kong Hee of CHC is the Executive Director) is for revival and to make Singapore into a Christian nation and following the Christian Right approach by going into the 7 mountains of Business, Media, Education, Family, Government, Arts and Entertainment to exert its own religious cultural influence. By taking away the secular space, we may follow the example in Uganda where gays are criminalized, and killed in the height of their Christian zeal. The FOP unites the church in Singapore to a common purpose and mission, a large Joel’s army.
The issue with the GLBT Christian community is that we are not radicalized like the Christian Right, nor do we have any agenda or ill motives. We just want to live and let live. However, the Christian Right is so well organized, motivated and have a very clear agenda to overtake all secular spaces, raising organizations such as “Focus on the Family”, Exodus and “The Call” to war and battle against gays. Keeping our heads in the sand and ignoring them does not change the facts and before we know it and give them space to organise and freedom to spread, it may be too late.
(Col 3:10 NKJV) and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
(Col 3:11 NKJV) where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
It is time that we proclaim a proper biblical Christianity that is tolerant, humanity based, Spirit filled, Word based, Gay affirming, supports the secular/religious divide, with an Evangelical and holistic Gospel which includes the poor, and the marginalized. We should be “calling” for a solemn gathering, so that we can fast and pray for a new revival amongst GLBT Christians to accept and celebrate their sexual orientation.
Our calling is not primarily to speak out against the “anti-gay” Christian Right movement in Singapore, but we are called to bring a liberating Word of God to the GLBT community that in Christ, all are accepted. Once we accept ourselves and venture outside the closet, we will never be the same again. Those who are liberated will in turn build new churches and places of refuge for the GLBT community. We have so much to learn from Che Ahn, his long term plans, vision, tenacity and energy to push for change into all sectors of society. However, we do not aim to conquer the society, but to speak to the hearts of Gay man and Woman that God truly loves and accepts them, and there is no condemnation in Christ. This is our Hope and Prayer.