Evildoers and Acts 21

There’s not much I can do but I just hate when evil wins, when schemers and evildoers win. It really pisses me off. And it is really because the good people are too afraid, timid, too nice(?), too weak, too lazy to do anything about it.

The evildoers at church usually are strong willed, cunning people, whereas most churchgoers are somewhat naive, think good of others (as they were taught), have herd mentality, somewhat obedient to authority, nice (I guess) and don’t like to offend others. They don’t like trouble. They get very stressed up with problems.

The evildoers are different, they plan and scheme plots to hurt others, to control a situation. lt’s their mentality. It’s like their nature.

I was sharing in small group that there are fake Christians at church yesterday. We had a new person. There was a miscommunication and I thought I was leading and Cher was actually leading, but I didn’t mind, it forced me to read Acts 21 really carefully.

The greatest lesson I see in Acts 21 is how God would give very difficult calling to His servant. God gave this huge difficult and grudging task to Paul. And although he was warned again and again by his fellow brothers and sisters not to go, Paul willed himself to follow the Spirit’s call for him to go to Jerusalem.

It shows that God sometimes do give very difficult trial for people of God, and people should respond to these very difficult calling that they must do, like Paul.

Paul had a great burden and calling to go to Jerusalem. We know that Paul was bring money he raised from the Asian churches to the needy and poor Christians and church in Jerusalem. It was an effort to reconcile the gentile and Jews Christians in Jerusalem and have the Christians in Jerusalem accept their gentile counterpart. Paul wanted to deliver the “gift” and speak to the Christians at Jerusalem himself, even if it might cost him his very life.

I felt very touched by Paul’s loyalty, selfless sacrifice for God and his people, his fellow brothers and sisters.

I see the problem at my old church. There is problem but nobody is brave enough to tackle the task. They try to hide from it, cover it up.

Church is doing a lot of things but the fundamental problem is still there. It is like a person is sick but instead of seeing or listening to the doctor’s instruction and prescription, he doesn’t take the medicine or take rest but put some make up on to make himself look like he is healthy.

I have no eyes to see and I am getting sick of worrying about it and even the people at my old church because it really stopping me from doing better things.

Another funny thing I noticed in Acts 21 is how many “heroes” or notable people and places made cameos in this chapter. There was Philip, one of the original deacons and Evangelist at Caesarea, Agabus with the gift of prophecy, there was Mnason, one of the early believer and James along with the other elders of the church.

New Pastor

It was announced yesterday after the new head pastor will be one our pastor’s younger brother.

From what I know, he’s a good man and a good pastor. However, I really wonder why he is coming to our church. His sister works here so he knows the problems here and how messy it is. I also find that to be problematic to have two siblings being pastors at the same church. I think he’s a good man and a good pastor but that is not a good policy. It might encourage future practice of cronyism, or just being a first so future practice will be encouraged.

I wonder if they are just so desperate that they would break normal practice and protocol in hiring pastor.

I also don’t think it is a good decision by the incoming pastor because it means both siblings working in the same church, under the same management, perhaps under the same scrutiny.

It’s just all very weird. Man Pastor announced that he will come on or before September, and maybe as early as April.

I also thought about MS and how the ordeal around him haven’t been resolved and it should be resolved before the new pastor comes in, or it will just be very messy.

At fellowship, a young sister was lecturing us, scolding at us for thinking too much about having dinner after small group when we should be listening to God’s calling…I was like what? Is that how she sees us?

I have no idea on what to do? I should, in normal circumstances, talk to her privately or ask a mentor to talk to her together. However, MS and his wife, Shirley, although should not be our mentors, are our mentors. And anything I say will be fired back against me. This is what happen when the leadership is corrupted.

It was really sad how Ali had changed so much and started talking like Cow and Shirley before her. She’s basically their brainchild and mouthpiece. It’s such a waste.

Starting Over

I went to the new church today and as Chinese New Year approaches, I am taking a big step and decision to get more active and involved in the new church. It’s hard. I feel like I lost 7 years of my life at a church and lost a community that was very close to my heart, and it still is.

It’s an emotional toll on me. I have to start over. The funny thing is, I knew this day would happen and I had been emotionally and practically preparing myself for the past 3 years or so, ever since I sensed the change at church and that my dad was going to leave TC. However, I never imagined it would be so bad.

Anyway, the people at the church are friendly, or much friendlier than TC. I went early and sat down at the library of the church and the librarians and I started to have a lively chat. It was spontaneous. I felt welcomed.

I realized that it’s hard for the pastors at this church as well. It’s a really mixed group. Andy the pastor was pretty busy. I ate lunch with Pear and Gay. Just three guys. It was cool. The guys are laid back. I was learning more about different people and the church from them.

They made some comments about the pastor who is taking paternity leave why she is not attending church on Sunday. I suggested that she might be going to a church near her place. I was defending her. But I realize the hard standard the pastors face from another side. They also made comments about pastor’s kid when they talk about how one is at church because his father is working at a different church. I made the comment that it’s probably better for the kid, especially during his teen years to stay in one church. I was talking from my own experience. They said PKs often talk like they are special or important. I revealed that I am a PK too, which I kind of regret because they dropped the topic afterwards and I might be better at understanding their views and be the in-between guy.

Part of me hate this, this change I have to make, but I know it’s good for me. It’s just so tiring. I am not really asking for much, I just want to have a regular life, have a regular church life, I am not asking too much. I want to just be part of a Christ-like community to love, nurture and vice versa. I really feel like 7 years of my life was taken away from me because of some short-sighted selfish insecure pigs.

It kind of renewed my vision and passion for PK ministry in Hong Kong.

I end this post with the last speech from Conan O’Brien during his short time at NBC’s Tonight’s Show.

End of an Era

Sal, my small group contact person called me and see if I was okay with my injury. Sal also told me about the most recent contact person meeting and our small group will split. There will no longer be 3 small groups on Saturday, it will be two and at least two people from my small group will go to one of the Friday’s group. I knew who they are. I wonder if they are going to Jo’s group on Friday. Anyway, I don’t think it will be good for them in the spiritual sense but I have no control. They will be fed a lot of bad theology and teaching.

I knew that they were avoiding the others in small group almost a hurtful way. Pretty selfish to be honest. It was a bit shocking at first. There is discrimination in the group. The ones with higher income, better education and higher cultural level (I guess) don’t hang out or want to be associated with people who are, in their opinion, less. At first, Sal and I along with others were really trying to get the group together but they never responded. Cher would make some nice excuse. It’s very important for girls to be perfect, paper perfect. They never told us the issues but they clearly sent their message with passive-aggressive actions.

One of the worst and most shocking one was when we were planning to listen to the HKKBC and Vin asked questions about which was the closest church to go to and we made all the arrangement. We decided to go after our Saturday afternoon service which Vin didn’t go but she showed up outside and called two of us and asked them to go. Sal noticed but we were still in service, I thought we made it clear to go together as a small group. And it was communion as well, so two left with Vin. I was like, what? We are having communion, you don’t leave in the middle of the communion and why didn’t she make the message in the our small group’s What’s App group? And last time we left after the whole service and we could take a taxi together as well. We had time, we didn’t have to hurry. So I didn’t know what was going on and I still don’t know what the heck. Sal and I were confused.

We went after communion and the end of service. We found them and it was still singing hymns before the speakers started. We sat together with them but afterwards, after waiting for two of them in the toilet, Vin told one of the girls to tell us that they have private conversation and can’t gather to share. Sal and I felt chilliness. We were shocked and upset, like, what the heck?

It wasn’t the first time but I think Vin crossed the line and why? It was small group time and activity.

But yes, that’s the end of Small Group #4. We had great fun, we had three mentors/pastors left in our group in about 3 years. We were just being slaughtered thanks to arrangement by the leadership, Jo and Jayson.

As for the two groups which we will be splitted into, all I know is this, they are manned by MS and his wife, Shir. MS did not get the votes to be a deacon the last election and was found by joint HQ-church committee to be misbehaving. I am afraid that I will be put into a small group surrounded by all his supporters. The leadership is thinking hard to give me a treatment, making me leave, continuing the abuse.

It is an end of an era. I am leaving yet I find it hard to break it to my friends, my fellow soldiers. But yet I can no longer protect them, I can no longer even get to fight with them. And I know this situation is not good for me.

Sal will not be a contact person the coming season and I lose a trusted voice in the contact person meeting and someone who give me insight into what’s going on. I will be in the dark.

So tragic it is when the fellowship and church is under ungodly leadership!

We are sheep.

We are so sheep. I was sharing with my old church friends my frustration and observation from the latest “House Meeting” (family meeting in straight translation) at my old church the past Sunday.

There was a big issue with Pastor Fu leaving during last year’s House Meeting designed to help the Deacon Board communicate with the congregation before the AGM. I also shared something that probably scared some people, including some current deacons.

The format of the past House Meeting was very different. There was no open discussion, no public sharing. Pastor Low basically hosted it and picked people to share. Most of them were unprepared. We did have a small group discussion with a survey which we filled out but they didn’t collect it. Each group had a designated leader to record from the discussion.

It was very programmed and gave no time for open sharing and discussion. No time set for people to speak out on their own. And because of that, there was no controversy.

I left early but at the end, my friend told me some of the female deacons and pastors were crying in happy tears maybe because it went so “smooth.”

I think they changed the format because the deacon board had a hard time last year and did not wanted to put on record what was said in the House Meeting. Many of the conversations last year we had in the House Meeting were missing from the official minute that has to be written down on the report at AGM.

One person I know had to really fight the deacon board behind scene to put those words back on the record and let known to the congregation but the deacon board did it very obscurely. They told that person that they would print out the missing part for all to see only if individual church members go up to the office and ask for it. Yet there was no announcement made in the service or anywhere to tell church members that was even happening. So they were hiding it. Trying not to let it out.

So crooked. Censorship? Suppression? It’s just wicked.

The worst thing is, most people don’t care as long as everybody is happy.

What If’s

I guess it is unhealthy, but I can’t help myself from thinking “What’s if?”

What if I didn’t leave for Australia when I was being groomed to be the next fellowship leader?

What if I took Q’s suggestion at the beginning to start a revolution?

What if I revealed and spilled my guts when I had their trust?

What if I wasn’t so nice and timid?

What if we all said no to MS?

Afriad.

After all the ordeal in my old church and the experience, I am afraid of power freak. I am afraid of ego-centric people. I am afraid of powerful people, afraid of people who think they own a community, a church, an organisation and etc. I am afraid of egoist, narcissist, people who are too full of themselves. I am just very sensitive to these behaviour by people.

And part of me don’t want to be in the limelight. I don’t want to gain too much attention, but even a year ago, my small group leader was seeing if I could be the small group leader at my new church, but then I told him that I am not quite suitable and I think I might get people talking or found it strange when I don’t even attend the church service regularly. I have been going to small group regularly so it makes people feel like I am a regular.

The reverend at the church was my university camp counselor going way back so he knows who I am and trust me, but part of me just want to fit in, enjoy fellowship, get to use my gifts and talents and make friends.

It’s start anew and I don’t want any fight. I don’t want to get into conflict. I guess I am wounded, a wounded soul but people can’t see it. I hide it.