Tragic Saturday.

It was so wonderful. I don’t know how many lies were spoken. I have overheard the couple who yelled at me for about 5 minutes last year told the head deacons that they are going to worship at another church, Shat Bap. I was told by brother who no longer attend fellowship that MS asked him to join him at Shat Bap and he did but he didn’t hang out with him because MS have lunch on Sunday with his followers after service.

However MS and his wife, Shirley still come to fellowship, and Shir still lead worship and speaks a lot. The past Saturday, I was at Saturday service, I was serving. I am serving a lot more now I believe because some of the people in the fellowship have stopped service. It’s a bit funny because for a while I wasn’t serving as usher, but I am scheduled in to serve both again.

I told some deacons that MS was still at fellowship along with Shir and they are still being bad influence. I messaged the fellowship head that it’s wrong to put more people into MS’ small group especially when they knew he was problematic and has bad teaching since his wife is a deacon and knew everything.

Anyway after service, I was contemplating whether to go to fellowship afterwards or not, I was moving so I had a lot of stuff to do as well as work. Pretty much nobody showed up at fellowship. It was MS and Shir, a couple, ML and Funyin, and that’s it. HP and his new wife, Cher were also there. So from a good number of 30, only about 6 people turned up.

It’s pretty tragic. I left too.

I just thought to myself, it’s just so wasteful. It was so much better several years ago. Now all the relationships are torn apart. For what? Because this guy wants to have things his way so much that he basically torn the whole thing apart. I wonder if his supporters have learned their lesson yet and realize what was wrong.

I really don’t mind them going to Sha Bap, I think it might do them good to get some exposure, but it’s just so sad because it shouldn’t be this way. We failed, we are divided because we didn’t follow God.

As for me, I am so tire. I am so tire of all of this. There is still attachment. It is out of my hands. It’s like a tug of war. I know I am important to some of the people who told me not to leave, and that I can’t leave. But man, am I tire. It seems that many people have moved on. Some small group members no longer want a relationship, we are just pretending. Sometimes I feel like we are just people who go to, I don’t know what, together for the past 8 years or so and I don’t know why the relationships have gone so sour.

Bad leadership

I haven’t posted in over a month. Mostly because I have been really busy with the new school year and taking part in a drama performance.

Leadership is very very important, the senior leadership is very important in a church. If the senior leadership have bad teaching, make compromise with teachings of the Bible, do things away from biblical principles, the people will follow.

The unhealthy trend in the church is that the deacons actually is the head leadership and the pastors follow the deacons because deacons are the ones who decide whether they will stay in the job or not. And some of the deacons do use pretty ruthless ways to get rid of pastors who don’t fall in line.

I have seen pastors either changing to fall in line, or stood their ground and were forced out or left on their own terms.

Worst is that I am even seeing intern seminary student changing, compromising to appease the senior leaderships to help their job outlook at this church.

I get really sad myself when I see this. 7 pastors have left ever since I first came to this church.

I see bad people who are ignorant of biblical truth and are non-practicing Christians taking senior leadership positions in the deacon board based on their status and popularity. They think they are doing the right thing (I don’t know how that is possible if they understand the Bible) but are killing the church, hurting people’s spiritual lives.

The worst thing is, most people aren’t aware.

I also feel very disappointed with the brothers and sisters I have cared for about 8 years. I find the failure of the fellowship has to do with selfishness and self-centeredness. There was a sister who said to me that people leave and go, it’s their business. It’s not our business to interfere. That hurts. People just don’t care when people leave. I think in our small group, we used to have 4 newer comers who haven’t been coming for pretty much half a year.

Some of us, a few of us have made effort to meet up with them, to see what’s going on and we found out that they have been going to other churches. One told me that he found that people are selfish here. He just wanted to have a regular fellowship with people. And we had that, we had a good time together having fellowship and then the people attacked, made a lot of moves to separate us.

People are not dumb, they can smell and see selfishness.

And I think the case in my fellowship is mostly some of the sisters. I am not trying to be sexist but this is really what I think from my reflection and observation. The guys are easy going, but the girls are more picky, practical and selfish. It’s not just me but a few guys have shared this with me.

I realized that some girls come to church to hook up with guys and for them I think church is a good place to find a guy. My church being much better than most other church with an almost 50/50 ratio. And most of the guys have stable income, decent people, I would say kind, polite, not assertive. I would say a good bunch of guys.

In the past few years, I am saying 3 years or so, I found the sisters have been very bossy as they were given many serving posts, mostly middle leadership roles. And the guys have mostly accepted the truth that the girls run things around here, that’s the Hong Kong reality.

As for me, I see that the leadership in fellowship is using the girls as tools to make us all obedient to the senior leadership. I think I might offend someone here but sometimes these things have to be discussed, I think the leadership see that church going girls are quite submissive to authority figures. Guys are more independent thinker, riskier being more natural risk-takers, girls like stability and they don’t like conflict, so they would protect authority which for them might be equivalent to safety and stability.

The relationships between the guys have drifted really far. I think the two guys who I used to refer to brothers haven’t meet up for like a year. A big part of it is because of the girls’ influence on their boyfriends. At this stage, what’s most important for the girls is stability and getting married, and not offending the authority figures who would help in the wedding and etc.

Saturday Meeting

The past Saturday, September 13th, we had a sharing meeting. He was a sudden change that just happened two weeks ago. I think we were suppose to do Bible study and it changed into this.

I guess it is because the fellowship found out that the deacon board might officially ask MS to stop his service as fellowship mentor. The fellowship leader asked us to be open and share about the complaint MS received and we should deal with it as a group.

I found it smelled funny and knew that it was going to cause conflict. I thought it might turn out to be a MS support rally. The thing was if we do say what we think honestly, there will be conflict.

All of the deacons were invited and before the meeting I asked one sister in the core group who’s thought the idea up. He said the fellowship leader. Just before the meeting I told the fellowship leader that I think it is a very bad idea and asked who thought it up? He told me in Chinese (the problem in Chinese is that there is no specific plural or singular word, we have number words some sometimes the number is not clear) that there was/were experienced pastors from other churches and senior fellowship member. I asked for names and he wouldn’t give them to me. I actually can guess who. I think Joe, maybe their old pastor, his wife and probably FY and Goldfish.

The open meeting was a set up and it was a show to the deacons there that if they support MS and if they order him to stop serving, they might as well tell them to stop serving as well, causing manpower problem.

From serving on Saturday service, I realized a few have pulled out from audio duty and I was asked to be an usher after no call for a year which I found bizarre. And I also found it surprising that the piano player, Ally went MIA just before the Saturday service and luckily we had our youth worker there who substituted for her.

I think the fellowship is threatening the deacons with walking out from serving, and many of them are put into worship roles in the past two years. I can say that between one-third and just below half of manpower for service roles come from my fellowship and it really post a threat.

I was very disappointed by the senior members’ position and how they were supporting MS despite the relevant charges and acknowledgement of his misconducts. The worst was that the younger members just kind of followed them as well so there is a real crisis in church discipline and a real moral problem. It seems like if you have enough support, you can do anything you want.

I told some deacons what was going to happen and how the meeting was going to be bias just before the meeting. But at the meeting, Nar asked some tough questions and I could see the deacons shaking. MS even teased them by telling them to speak up. MS was a happy man that night. He won.

Should Christians Participate in Politics

In Hong Kong, it has been politically tense with the debate over whether Hong Kongers should have a say in who get nominated in the proposed “universal suffrage” in 2017. Hong Kong people in general want to have universal suffrage, the rights to vote for their own Chief Executive Officer and their Legislative Counsellors. The pan-democratic legislative counsellors have been pushing for it for decades, and finally it’s pretty much assure that we would at least get to vote for our CEO in 2017, however, the discussion now rest upon who actually decide who will get nominated and voted for. 

From the situation right now, Beijing is saying that its self-appointed nomination committee will nominate candidates for the election with 50% approval. 

The general population in Hong Kong and especially the pan-democratic parties are afraid that we would end up with candidates that we don’t want to vote for anyway, and thus is proposing citizen nomination, and a lower percentage of votes from the nomination committee rather than the 50%. I think we are going for maybe 30% of the Beijing appointed nomination committee vote. 

To push for what the pan-democratic called “real” universal suffrage, three men, Rev. Chu Yiu-ming , HKU Law Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting , CUHK Sociology Professor Chan Kin-man,started the “Occupy Central with Peace and Love” movement. Which is basically a movement to literally hold rally and sit in at Central to ask for “real” universal suffrage. There is no seat in and rally yet, but they said there would be one if there wouldn’t be an election for Hong Kong CEO which abides by “international” standard.  

All three of them are Christians and they are asking others to follow them, if necessary, to participate in civil disobedient. 

My church is a very politically lukewarm congregation and its leaders interpret Romans 13 that we, Christians should obey all authorities. 

The debate over universal suffrage and being for and against the government is so strong that it does drift people apart at church, especially when a group preaches their stance. Currently, the leaders do promote the “obey all authority” and don’t complain and voice out stance. I find that to be outrageous, we, Christians, no matter what our views are, should discuss these things so I really welcomed the political issue talk at church even though I do find it to be rather late. 

After the talk there was a Q & A session and a well-respected older brother asked, “Would Jesus occupy Central if He was here?” The speaker said, “No.” 

Another asked, “Is it problematic to be politically indifferent?” 

“No, there is no problem.” 

I found these questions to be very interesting. The second one seems to be very self-assuring. I am not too satisfied with the answers however but I understand that the speaker was in a difficult spot, but I wish he was more comprehensive and complete in his answer. 

Robin Williams

It’s been a tragic week with the passing of the great American actor, Robin Williams. I grew up watching Robin Willams like many people of my generation. The lost of this phenomenal human being a great shockwave of sadness across the world. It’s hard to imagine someone as funny, kind and generous like him could end up hanging himself. Yes, it did seem that he was from another planet and we knew he had problem but never imagined it would end up like this.

Williams is someone who offered and gave the world a lot. He made people laugh but he was struggling with depression. I do think that people like him take a great toll on their emotional health, life in general.

We know he is a sympathetic, generous and kind man. People have nothing bad to say about him. He failed in his previous marriages, was addicted to cocaine and alcohol, he fought both of them, won the first and was still battling the second. Aside from his memorable movies and TV shows, he did a lot for others discreetly. He made Christopher Reeve laugh after the accident, he visited the troops, he bought a bike for Conan O’Brien when he left Today’s Show, he used his star power to help others with their projects. He had sympathy for the homeless and made a film about them. Maybe the diagnose of Parkinson Disease and seemingly slow down in his career was too much for him. Why was he depressed? In his performance, he was often seem as he was possessed. 

In turn, I think pastors, those with hearts for God are the same. They give. They give so much, sometimes as if possessed and it does take a great toll on their lives and families. 

I feel like I am like Robin Williams at times too. During the short-term mission I went with TC Church with some brothers and sisters and I really had a great time. I had a great fellowship with bros and sis at my “old” church but at the same time I am hiding a lot of sadness and even depression. To them I am this sunny, shinny, funny, hilarious, optimistic guy but deep down there is a sadness. There is a thought in my head that I am leaving, but I really don’t want to, but if I don’t leave, it might hurt a lot more and more permanent and I might end up in a place I can’t get out of. And it’s really out of my hands because there are leaders, powerful people in church who have made a mission out of hurting me. 

Pastors, pastor’s kids, we often hide the pain, the rough ends, the shits, the crap, the evil from others. But we don’t get treatment, most of us can’t afford professional treatment and are afraid what others might think of us if we do but we do get hurt really bad. 

I really do think there should be confidential counseling program for clergy and family. We really need it. Maybe that is something I will do.

I have decided to leave my “old” TC church as I start this new academic year. It’s coming up really soon and I find it really hard.  

Thank you so much Robin Williams. 

What to do with these people?

What do you do with these people?

This is a question that I have been pondering. So I have this guy, old mentor who just bash pastor and deacons yet he still shows up at the fellowship as a leader. He is clearly not a role model, he’s out of control yet he and his wife still influence the fellowship tremendously and the worst thing is that they have a strong group of people who support them.

Has the world gone wild? That one night after worship I asked about his health and then told him that I didn’t think it was good to insult deacons and pastors at AGM. Before I could finished he was hailing insults at me. I later found out that even people from the 3rd floor heard it. Some friends asked me a few weeks later on a trip.

They don’t understand why people follow him as well. I actually know but I still don’t get it. MS and his wife takes really good care of their followers. They are very good at manipulating people, looking at people’s weaknesses and exploiting them. They would coke abalones for their birthday. Be like their mom and dad. Buy medicine for them, cook lunch and take them to their work. Treat them to nice dinner, etc. It’s really sick. And people would just forget their principles, Jesus’ teaching, the Bible and everything else to support them. I find it really scary.

I get getting mighty tire from all these. What’s wrong with these people?

However, come to think of it, I feel like I have done enough. They need to take responsibility for themselves. 

Discovering Love

I discovered one of my loves. I like bringing people together. I could be content and just watch people playing and having a good time.

I like bringing people together and hate it when people start to discriminate, exclude and look down on others.

Why do I detest it so much? It is probably because of personal experience of being racially discriminated somewhat in Australia when I was a kid, an Asian kid in a very white dominated Australia back then. My peers then, other children weren’t hatefully racists. Most of them were good people but they were not used to seeing Asian people at the time. They were ignorant and stereotyped people like me. There were a lot of incorrect perception. I don’t blame them. Most of them were good-natured, kind and decent people, but there were a few bad kids who were mean and were racists.

Another come with me growing up in church and seeing some of my friends being treated as second class by some families at church. Some of them left the church because of this and I became really upset. There is actually a good number of my childhood friends who left church because of that and some of them I didn’t get to see for a very long time, some I never seen again and lost touch with and it just makes me very upset.

A lot of it has to do with family background, income, their parents and some other stupid things that we shouldn’t take so much attention to. Even after over a decade, these wounds still affect people. I did get to meet up with some of them and it still hurt them. They find church goers to be phonies and lost faith in church and people.

So yes, probably because of these, I get really upset and angry when people exclude others and treat others badly as second class. I get very uncomfortable and it actually tears the relationship with people who are treat others bad, even when they are not excluding me but others, I just get really uncomfortable and upset.

It’s a big contrast. I love people coming together to do good and just play yet I hate divisions and having people treated badly.