Kiasu-ism, the secret of City Harvest Church’s success / And Hannah was there

Julai 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm 36 comments

Forrestcat commented it’s “pretty dumfounding that Singaporeans flocked to this denomination”.

The Christians we’re discussing are the City Harvest Church congregation hogging the headlines for the following reason — Skandal gereja Singapura-KL, murtad, superstar dan gejala cuci otak

Who are they and why do they do it? i.e. make this church the richest one in the Little Red Dot.

An article in the online portal TR Emeritus titled ‘An analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church (Revisited)‘ provides some insight.

The author of the article lists 14 reasons which I’ve condensed below. Please read the article in full at the original website for details.

I found his point No.8 – “Preach what people like to hear” – most notable.

The blogger who uses the pseudonym ‘Think free and fair’ also had this to say, “A charming smooth talker can easily sway minds with his interpretation of the Bible. In the final analysis, Faith is about simply believing.”

These worshippers at Singapore’s City Harvest Church possess a kind of look which recalls to us a certain group of Malaysians we’re well acquainted with, yes?

Reasons why City Harvest Church is able to become so wealthy

1. Clever packaging of Sunday services

2. Revenue in the form of advertisements, sales of CDs

They even have an online shopping cart!

3. Efficient collection of tithes

Church members can pay online via credit card or Giro.

4. Promising excellent returns on the church donations

“The pastor preaches that God will give 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold returns on your tithe. But, you have to be generous in your donations first so that you will receive in harvest proportions. I guess that is the origin of the name City Harvest,” writes the Singapore blogger.

5. Quality of customers

With the 100-fold return message, money-minded people will be attracted to the church.

“To the credit of the Pastor, I think he has devised a wonderful process of filtering out non-profitable customers and sucking in the lucrative ones”, i.e. from this money-minded customer base, those who got rich will donate even more because they think their source of wealth comes from their donations and it is most unlikely they will cut back on their tithes because they will be afraid God will punish them if they do so.

6. Kill off the competition

It is very hard for City Harvest Church’s competitors to get its customers to switch over.

7. Providing a place where the rich can network

“For property agents or insurance agents trying to hit their sales quota, City Harvest Church will be an ideal place to hunt for lucrative clients.”

8. Preach what people like to hear

City Harvest Church targets young Chinese prepared to do gospel with fanatical fervour — see their slogan on the karaoke screen

9. God pays for the returns, not the church

10. Social pressure to conform

11. Large number of young people

12. People pray hardest when they fall on hard times

13. Money has universal appeal

“The Pastor preaches Prosperity Gospel which resolves ['revolves' also?] around money. His business genius lies in choosing this theme for his church,” according to the analysis by blogger ‘Think free and fair’ (a pseudonym).

14. Tax benefits as church is registered as a charity

The above analysis was done two years ago by the Singapore blogger. He has updated with a further four reasons at his own blog, http://thinking-free-and-fair.blogspot.com/2012/07/city-harvest-saga-continues-analysis.html#comment-form

Photo said to be taken at the opening of the City Harvest Church Subang Jaya

In light of the current developments, ‘Think free and fair’ can see how a defense mechanism has kicked in.

In this period of crisis, members of the parish have further strengthened their loyalty to The Company — “self-denial as a form of psychological defense mechanism to protect himself from facing the pain of meeting reality head-on”.

Reasons why City Harvest Church may remain a profitable business

15. Customers who keep coming back for more (no matter what)

16. Loyal and trusting shareholders

17. Highly motivated human resource

18. Customers will not sue for fraud if church fails to deliver on promises

Meanwhile in Malaysia …

There are Twits born every minute

See the speed at which Twit Meter numbers keeps rising.

Calvin Sankaran wonders whether Malaysia’s most pious politician was actually sponsored by the City Harvest Church to be a political popstar in Malaysia?

Did the Subang Jaya state assemblyman receive public relations lessons from the City Harvest Church, asks Calvin.

One Bernard Ho blogged on 31 July 2011 that Hannah Yeoh was the guest of honour at the opening of the City Harvest Church Subang Jaya. According to Bernard, Hannah also gave a short speech.

Bernard described the service as packed and the worship fantastic. “The presence of God and the HS [Holy Spirit] was tangible,” he wrote. See Bernard’s blog at http://my.opera.com/holee0101/blog/2011/07/31/city-harvest-church-kl-soft-opening

Rev Kong Hee of City Harvest Church

Doesn’t the female figure on stage (3rd from left) look so familiar?

Related:

Link between City Harvest Church and DUMC’s Dream Center

Skandal gereja Singapura-KL, murtad, superstar dan gejala cuci otak

Duit kerajaan Selangor disalurkan kepada Gereja City Harvest yang skandal itu

Enter the fire-breathing, condescending Christian

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Entry filed under: SUCKER. Tags: , , .

Skandal gereja Singapura-KL, murtad, superstar dan gejala cuci otak Dear Leader mentors Khalid

36 Komen Add your own

  • 1. calvinsankaran  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Things get more and more intriguing….

    Voter registeration at CHC….

    —————————————————–
    Subang Jaya’s newly elected assemblywoman YB Hannah Yeoh got a pleasant surprise on Monday (17th March) when our very own Lim Wen Dee and Yong Shao Hen – both staff of City Harvest Church – turned up at her office to volunteer help, cleaning, vacuuming and everything else that made our wakil rakyat beamed:

    “I found out that it was their day of rest yesterday but they sacrificed that and came to serve. They too, like many others, are walking the talk. Wendy and Shaohen – thank you so much!”

    Wen Dee was my senior at uni while Shao Hen and I grew up in the same secondary school in Subang Jaya. While Hannah (she was a head prefect at my rival neighbourhood school by the way) stands up for righteouness in our constituency and nation, my friends here are fine examples of servanthood leadership. I am equally proud of all three of them, that being young and relatively inexperienced doesn’t mean they should be deprived of the opportunity to make a difference in the world we live

    http://desmondngai.multiply.com/journal/item/8

    ———————————————————–

    Blood donation drive at CHC…

    http://symphonyofmine.wordpress.com/tag/making-a-difference/page/5/

    Balas
  • 2. Joe  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Bow to the leper messiah… to quote Metallica :)

    My eyesight is very bad; but is that one of our MPs on the stage? During her pre-fat days?
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Altho’ you’re jumping the gun to call her MP yet I’m afraid it may be quite so the next round. — Helen

    Balas
    • 3. Joe  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      “backhanded”, bak kata orang Johor. Hoping to jinx her by mentioning it…

      Balas
  • 4. Cucu Tulang Padang  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Sdri Helen,

    Saya sering tertanya diri saya sendiri setelah ratusan tahun kristian berada di tanah Melayu dan hidup harmoni dgn masyarakat Melayu Islam, kenapa hanya kebelakangan ini isu2 murtad dan pengunaan nama Allah dan sebagainya timbul dan semakin menjadi-jadi?

    Apakah ia ada kaitan dengan kebangkitan evangelis-eveangelis yang tidak memahami dan menghormati lagi batasan2 yang selama ini wujud diantara kedua2 masyarakat ini.

    Ini adalah perkembangan yang amat merbahaya dan harus ditangani dengan serius sebelum ia menjadi barah.

    Apa pun, t.kasih dan syabas Helen atas pendedahan dan analisa anda yang bernas.

    Balas
    • 5. Helen Ang  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

      TQ Cucu Tulang Padang.

      “Ratusan tahun Kristian berada di Tanah Melayu” — mereka Kristian pribumi di Sabah & Sarawak. Mereka berbahasa Melayu (atas sebab itulah mereka mahukan al-Kitab dicetak dalam BM).

      Kristian yang berada ratusan tahun di semenanjung adalah serani — kacukan keturunan askar Portugis berkahwin dengan wanita tempatan.

      Kristian evangelis DAP sekarang adalah orang Damansara Utama, Subang Jaya dan Kepong macam jenis si Hosanna Roket tu.

      Yang evangelis DAP ada jenis Hannah yang berbahasa Inggeris dan Teresa yang berbahasa Mandarin.

      Orang Cina memiliki sejarah tamadun 5,000 tahun. Sepanjang lima alaf itu, setakat mana pengaruh atau kesan Kristian ke atas masyarakat Cina di Tanah Besar Cina ataupun di kalangan diaspora?

      Maka dengan ini kita lihat Hannah berkiblatkan barat: Sampul angpow yang diedarkannya sewaktu Tahun Baru Cina pun dicetak dengan ayat yang dipetik dari surah al-Kitab.

      Teresa yang berbahasa dan berpendidikan sekolah Cina pula mewarisi budaya Cina tetapi agamanya Kristian yang tidak sebati dengan tamadun Cina.

      Saya rasa sebab-sebab yang saya sebutkan di atas sedikit banyak mencelarukan politik pembangkang masa kini yang berciri memperdagangkan agama Kristian. (Politik Islam PAS sudah lama ada, gejala evangelis unsur baru).

      Balas
      • 6. Ahmad Ibrahim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

        Helen, I don’t think Christian Evangelism is a new phenomenon. It has been around for a long time. The reason why it is now so visible is due to the DAP’s high profile Christian Evangelist politicians.

        Balas
        • 7. Helen Ang  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

          Have you noticed that although Si Gunting admittedly featured a few straight news items on this scandal, it has not carried any critical stories but instead published a number of defensive and damage control statements by the various, including Malaysian, churches?

          This issue is very hot in S’pore, especially in their Twitterverse and social media, yet Si Gunting yesterday had this headline, ‘Don’t gossip about case, Christians urged‘.

          Just like how the same paper buried some potentially negative stories on DAP personalities, it very evident here that Si Gunting is deliberately downplaying this case which broke in S’pore some 10 days ago.

          Local coverage, especially in English media which Malaysian Christians read, has been exceptionally muted.

          Balas
      • 8. Ahmad Ibrahim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

        Helen, their strategy, when confronted by negative news, is first evasion followed by diversion. When both failed, they apply the tried and tested method of suing people accusing them of this and that.

        Just look at what they are doing to the MCA after Chua Tee Yong exposed the Selangor state government’s misdeeds involving Talam Corp. Khalid said a few days earlier that he will make an announcement on the Talam Corp issue and yesterday, instead of doing some explaining, he came out, all guns blazing, that the state government will sue the MCA.

        This holier than thou attitude is prevalent not only among the Christian Evangelicals of the DAP. It is prevalent among all the Pakatan goons.

        When they can’t defend themselves, they cry wolf, calling everything that’s directed against them as conspiracy, evil plots, slander etc.

        So Helen, regarding this City Harvest Church scandal, don’t expect the Christian dominated print media in Malaysia to report anything at all. Its their “standard practice”.

        Balas
  • 9. Julie  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

    the God must be angry with u, helen

    your article are too biased

    at least, they preached about love & hope. not about hating other people, just what u had did now!

    my advice, learn Bible & convert now, while u still have a time!

    Jesus will bless u!

    Balas
    • 10. kpee  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

      julie suggest ,you convert PASissmm. Have a nice day (is that for love and hope enough)

      Balas
      • 11. Sharifah  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Betul tu Helen! Julie tu convert lah to PAS, lebih kurang saja dengan evangelist … got money, got religion! Wake up lah Julie, City harvest”s pastor punya wife sudah kebas terang2 pun, you masih nak support lagi ke???

        Balas
    • 12. MalaysianinNewYork  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Really Julie, which GOD? Muslim, Chinese, Indian, Buddhist or Christianity. An article by Helen is going to cast a stone over her. So it is not sinful what the Pastor had done. Aaiyah!!!! ini pun double standard.

      ‘judge not lest you be judged’. Yes Julie I have been reading King James Bible, it says a man is forbidden by GOD to have sex with his mother, his wife’s mother, his sister, his aunt, with an animal with another man or with a woman having period. It mentioned everything except sex between a father and his daughter. So how is this okay?

      Please don’t preach religion if you fail to understand or comprehend that religion is a way of life for how we treat each other, rather than being used as a tool. I think Helen is doing a great job in exposing how religion is used to enhance political needs in Malaysia for brainwashed and brain dead Malaysians.

      Balas
      • 13. Anwar Penipu  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        apek, you ke mana selama ni ? busy kerja kat restoran new york ke ? gaji ok ?
        helen, you rasa kes gereja ni boleh menjejaskan imej dap ke memandangkan hasnah yeop pun ada kat gereja tu ?

        Balas
        • 14. Helen Ang  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

          Saya rasa The Star patut buat ‘investigative reporting’ sebab wang berjuta itu disalurkan melalui gereja City Harvest Kuala Lumpur (pada nama sahaja ‘KL’) tetapi sebenarnya beralamatkan Lot 3, SS13/4, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia (link sini, http://www.chc.org.sg/_eng/ministries/affiliate_CHCKL.php)

          Adakah The Star akan sekali lagi menenggelamkan cerita ini? Dah lah dalam rencana Star kelmarin, disuruh dema pula supaya orangramai usah membincangkan kes ini.

          Balas
    • 15. Ahmad Ibrahim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

      they preached love and hope ?

      err….did you know what Christians did to the indigenous peoples of the American continent, to Africa, to the natives of Australasia ?

      Robert Jensen, of the School of Journalism, University of Texas, Austin, has this to say. The genocide of Native Americans = the first American Holocaust. Slavery of African Americans = the second American Holocaust. American Empire = the third American Holocaust.

      American Empire since 1945 = countless wars, both hot and cold, Korea 1950-1953. Vietnam 1961-1975, Bombing of Libya 1986, Invasion of Panama 1989, etc.

      Love and Hope ? L O L !
      _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      After 1989, there’s still more. Afghanistan. Iraq. — Helen

      Balas
    • 16. Joe  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Jesus will bless you, while the pastor sneaks away with $23 million? “bow to leper messiah…” say Metallica.

      Balas
  • 17. Halim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 8:32 am

    hi helen,

    saya membesar di kaw. perumahan cina. Hubungan sy dengan jiran2 cina sangat baik, w/pun kami blainan agama & kaum.

    Tapi bila sy bhijrah ke bandar slps dpt kerja, perangai kaum Cina yg ada nama2 ‘orang putih’ di sini sgt2 berbeza.

    bukan setakat tak nak bcakap dialect cina (sy faham bbrp dialek cina w/pun x boleh bertutur), malah perangai pun kadang2 lebih barat dari orang putih.

    Kadang2 saya wonder mereka ni memang orang Malaysia ke, atau Singaporean? sikit2, bandingkan dengan singapore…

    Tak hairan kalau orang cina sendiri gelarkan mereka ni ‘Cina Pisang’.

    saya rasa, DAP dah kena hijack dgn golongan ‘orang Putih’ yang berkulit kuning & berwajah Cina ni.

    p/s: jangan ambil hati ye! just nak berterus terang shj….
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Tak ambil hati. Sebaliknya saya pun bersetuju dengan pandangan Halim. DAP sebenarnya tak jahat tapi jika dibiarkan puak evangelis terus memegang tampuk kemimpinan parti, ianya pasti mengundang malapetaka bagi masyarakat Cina sendiri. — Helen

    Balas
  • 18. calvinsankaran  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

    It is not really surprising.The Christian Church is highly organised and very strong financially. This business of Church runs to billions in revenue. They have their own TV stations even,

    Singaporeans are suckers, previously they were conned of millions by NKF. But they never learnt.

    Balas
    • 19. Ahmad Ibrahim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

      The Christian Church, wherever they are, are not only highly organized and very strong financially, but also very vocal politically.

      The Christian Church’s first and only business, the purpose of its very existence, is political. In order to be a powerful political player, the Church must be highly organized and financially strong.

      Balas
      • 20. Helen Ang  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

        If I may add, the several factors you’ve highlighted has also allowed the Christian voice to control vast swathes of media real estate. They may not be the property owners (e.g. case of Si Gunting) but in the English media at least, other people than DAPsters are unable to get in a word edgewise.

        The Perkasa ‘brushing’ against the Beloved Chief Minister elicited 2,668 ‘Angry’ responses from FMT readers.

        Against that kind of strong current, how can any contrary opinion be heard?

        And you’re right about the Christian tradition of fusing politics and religion. The Popes and the Cardinals in continental Europe and Great Britain have historically wielded great political power and they were political dynasties too, like the Borgias.

        Balas
      • 21. tebing tinggi  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        Is that so,does pork “haram ” at that time.

        Balas
  • 22. Halia Eng  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

    wow, even have a concert to attract young chinese??? WOW!!!

    Maybe after this the evangelist in Malaysia can invite KPop Band to perform in their church. Singing ‘The Boys’ together in the gospel version maybe?

    Sometimes I even wonder wether Christian religion today are the same as what Jesus had teach before. Because they have a various version of Bible and sect also..

    Remember, the moslem says that Jesus is one of their Prophet, just like Mohammed, and not the son of the God.

    Thats answered my question why the Moslem never insult Jesus, like what the Christian had done to Mohammed.

    aiyah, Helen, better stay as Buddhist lah, even not so pious one. hahaha…..

    Balas
    • 23. Ahmad Ibrahim  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Halia Eng,

      Jesus is one of our Prophets. We hold him in high regards.

      The Christian religion we see today, has nothing to do with Jesus, or prophets before him.

      If Christians really follow the teachings of Jesus, as they always claim they do, then I have 2 questions for them.

      (1) Jesus never ate pork, so why so many Christians today eat pork ?

      (2) Jesus was circumcised, so today, why are there so many so-called Christians not circumcised ?

      My fellow Muslims, you can also answer these 2 questions if you choose to. To Helen, and those that are not Christians, you guys too can choose to answer these 2 questions. More answers create more spaces for discussion and dialogue.

      Balas
      • 24. goodoo  |  Julai 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

        Nak tambah sikit… Jesus believe in one God,& cara dia sembahyang pun cara orang Islam.

        Christians pulak percaya trinity, cara sembahyang yang berbeza,boleh makan babi dan tidak bersunat.

        Antara orang Islam dan Kristian, siapa sebenarnya lebih dekat dengan amalan Jesus. Jesus kalau disebut oleh orang Islam akan dipanggil Isa alaihi wasalam ..lebih kurang Jesus (peace be upon him) sebagai tanda hormat pada Nabi Isa, one of the revered prohets in Islam.

        Lagi satu, nabi Isa tidak dihantar untuk berdakwah kepada yang bukan ahli keluarga “house of Israel”, bukan kepada keturunan bukan Yahudi

        Tak percaya cakap saya, rujuk Bible..

        Balas
    • 25. Iqraq  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Halia Eng, in the Qur’an, surah (chapter) 19 is called Surah Maryam, named after Mary, mother of Jesus (peace and blessings upon them both). No other woman has a whole chapter in the Qur’an named after her. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that Mary is one of the four women who have perfected their faith (iman).

      Jesus (Isa, pbuh) is a mighty prophet of Islam who preached the worship of one God (Mark 12:29), same as what Muslims believe. Jesus was elevated to ‘God’ status by Christian priests more than 300 years after his presumed crucifixion at the Council of Nicea. His followers who insisted that he is not ‘God’ were labeled heretics. This information is published and acknowledged by Christian authorities.

      There is no original copy of the Bible left on earth. The Qur’an however is intact in the original language and committed to memory by thousands of people. A hafidz (one who has memorized the Qur’an) from China can check and correct the recitation of a hafidz from Senegal.

      Christianity is popular because they give a ‘get out of jail free’ card: ‘Accept Jesus as your saviour and you go to heaven’. No need to pray or fast or pay zakat or wear tudung etc. Very easy. But try and read Qur’an and see what happens to you. Same as thousands of Americans after 9/11. They were curious about the Mozzzlems, they bought and read the Qur’an and became Muslim even though everyone labeled Muslims as terrorists. Once you read Qur’an with sincerity, you will see.

      Balas
      • 26. Servant of God  |  Julai 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        Have always wondered if Helen could do that.

        No offense Helen, I’m just wondering what you’re capable of with your obvious intellect.

        Balas
      • 27. Iqraq  |  Julai 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

        Do you know the story of Abu Talib? Abu Talib was the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) beloved uncle who raised him as an orphan and protected him as an adult from the Quraish tribes. Despite the Prophet’s pleadings and prayers, Abu Talib did not accept Islam before he died, this made the Prophet very depressed as he did not want his beloved uncle to go to the Fire.

        The important lesson is that no human can make another accept Islam, not even the Messenger. Those whom Allah guides, none can misguide. Those whom He misguides, none can guide.

        If Helen Ang, Calvin Sankaran, Mr Alphabet man or even William or Hannah Yeoh receive hidayah, they will accept Islam. The duty of a Muslim is just to pass the message ie Qur’an. No need to bribe with charity or trick people like Christians and Alkitab.

        Balas
  • 28. the real Rainbow  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    What’s happening at City is happening in M’sia as well. Many are easily sucked into their “gospel” or vortex of greed and success, with City controlling every facet of their lives.

    The only difference is that in S’pore, Kong Hee and wife is very clear about their agenda, thus steering clear of political affiliations, even tho some PAP big guns are members. City is clearly a cult, have a look at some of the dreadful music and dance recorded by his wifey.

    Here, PKR is firmly entrenched in the evangelical movements even though politics is strictly forbidden in the church as stated clearly in the Bible. The likes of Ngeh and Ngah and Hannah and Lillian et al, is testimony of the evangelicals’ support of PKR. Jesus preached about love and peace, yet, in the same breath, church members are urged to join the mobs, creating chaos and destruction.

    Balas
  • 29. Iqraq  |  Julai 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Kesian betul tengok orang-orang dalam gambar pertama. Nyata sekali kekosongan dalam jiwa tidak terisi meskipun berharta dari segi kekayaan dan kebendaan. Mungkin sebab itu ramai terdorong memasuki ‘cult’ sebegini. Apa bezanya dengan Scientology church dan lain-lain ‘cult’ yang memangsa manusia berjiwa kosong? Kesian sungguh.

    Balas
    • 30. Servant of God  |  Julai 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Mereka yang kosong jiwanya akan cuba memaparkan konon betapa terisinya sanubari diri?

      Begitu ke maksud saudara Iqraq?

      Balas
      • 31. Iqraq  |  Julai 7, 2012 at 12:34 am

        Pada hemat saya, walaupun menyertai ‘cult’ ini, jiwa mereka masih nampak kosong dan mencari-cari sesuatu. Jiwa manusia hanya boleh tenteram dengan tauhid. [YouTube]

        Balas
    • 32. Dave  |  Julai 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      iqraq, sebelum anda mengatakan orang lain, sila lihatlah diri anda dulu.

      dan lain-lain/by the way, ada sekumpulan yang tak selesa dengan kehadiran kaum, cara hidup, budaya & agama lain. walaupun mereka sebahagian kelompok majoriti negara kita.

      mereka ini berfikir golongan ini perly dikekang dengan undang2 atau keganasan.. ada satu dua orang disini yang sudah mencadang menubuhkan boko haram atau alqaeda versi malaysia.

      orang seperti inilah yang jiwanya kosong. dalam lubuk mindanya, dia tidak dapat menerima hakikat bahawa bagi ramai orang, konsep hidayah & kebenaran ialah berbeza.

      Balas
  • 33. Iqraq  |  Julai 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Salaams Dave, I believe Forrestcat was being sarcastic, maybe the sarcasm does not come through on electronic media so perhaps you didn’t appreciate it. Thank you for the reminder to ‘muhasabah diri dahulu’.

    Truth be told, my du’a after every single prayer is for guidance from Allah. If ever Allah wills that I will stray from His path, misguided will I be. With regards to my opinion, that is the beauty of Helen’s blog. I do not want to hide behind political correctness. We need to learn about each other. It is my honest opinion that the only way to achieve peace within yourself is through true monotheism. Worship the Creator, do not worship creation. This is what Jesus (pbuh) and all the other prophets taught.

    Maybe some people are uncomfortable with Islam because it is something they don’t understand or are persuaded by aggressive Western Islamophobia propaganda. Let me share with you what makes me more uncomfortable than living in a Muslim-majority country with alcohol and pork sold openly everywhere, my own countrymen purposely speaking a language I do not understand in front of me, women in various states of undress that I can barely see where I am going because I keep needing to lower my gaze:

    what I find most uncomfortable is the worship of creation instead of the Creator. The statues in Catholic churches, statues of Ganesha, ancestor worship, statues of Buddha etc. It may sound strange to you but I have to look away from these things more so than any other thing.

    Yet I remind myself of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Madinah, where there was true religious tolerance and the command from Allah that churches and synagogues must not be destroyed. Islam is perfect. Sometimes the followers of Islam hide its perfection because of their lack of knowledge and that is a tragedy.

    But human beings will not find lasting peace worshipping other than the Creator, be it money, success, celebrities, their children, or man-made deities like the Trinity. Go ahead and worship them, no one will stop you. But you will not be truly happy and you will not overcome trials in this life with peace. This is my honest opinion. You don’t have to accept my opinion but I certainly do not want to hide it or make apologies for its ‘lack of political correctness’. Peace be with you Dave. Try read the Qur’an :-)

    Balas
  • 34. Dave  |  Julai 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    hello iqraq, if one has found lasting peace surely he or she will not be disturbed by others who have found theirs in other ways… in form of christian, hinduism, buddhism, taoism, paganism, jewish, or even athist humanism?

    if one is secure and firm in faith surely it will not be easily shaken by taboo food & drink, uncovered heads, n different religion & culture?

    Balas
  • 35. Iqraq  |  Julai 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    That’s an interesting point. I don’t want to say it for fear of being rude, but since you asked, idol-worship feels ‘abhorrent’ to me. I remember visiting a Catholic church in Spain and I felt horrible looking at all the statues, like it was an abomination.

    I hope you can understand. Muslims believe that our default condition is true monotheism, we are born this way. It is the nature or ‘fitrah’ of the human being and of all creation to worship one God. That’s why converts to Islam are called reverts, because they are returning to their default state.

    As far as being disturbed goes, it follows that anything that is against being obedient to our Creator will create discomfort in our hearts. Allah has specified how we should deal with this discomfort (such as lowering the gaze which a lot of Malay Muslim men don’t seem to understand) and He specifically instructed NOT to destroy other places of worship.

    But going against our fitrah will of course make us uncomfortable. Hope that makes some sense. I attach this video [YouTube] to explain in a bit more detail. I hope you can watch it and the other one I attached before, just so we may learn and understand each other better. Peace be with you.

    Balas
  • 36. Dave  |  Julai 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    i understand your belief, but i also know muslims who do not feel the way you do when encountering things that make you uncomfortable. their belief on certain aspects are even different.

    and in the world and this country, there will be millions who have reached spiritual peace through one or another religion/worldview different from you or mine. who is to say that his/her religion is the one true faith? if we understand and accept this, we will feel less unconfortable n more tolerant of others.

    Balas

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