The Greed Foundation.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen for being selected to join the inner ranks of the Greed Foundation. You will find truths about this foundation that are not visible to the public.

 

Here is a brief introduction.

 

I like to compare this foundation to an iceberg floating in the sea. The outside world can only see the parts above the water but of the contents are below it. The Greed Foundation that you know until now are only the visible part. As you are now being inducted into the inner ranks, you will get to know the real mechanism of the whole foundation, its purpose and basically what it is all about.

 

The visible part, as you know is no different from any other charitable foundations. We operate orphanages, set up farming cooperatives, provide clean water, education, training, healthcare and other necessities to the poor around the world but that are only the superficials. Yes, the rumours are true. We have an insidious motive.

 

Here is how we got started. I was trained as an engineer but I made my windfall from taking advantage of the weaknesses of the world’s financial system. After that, my greed has driven me to find more weaknesses in order to exploit them.

 

Part of my plan is to set up a system to predict the future. So, I spared no expenses to get the best minds and machineries to create a model to predict the direction of the world. My investments have paid off very well. I made even more money because I knew of the booms and bursts before they occur. The more money I made, the more I invest to improve the system.

 

Then, as the model gets more sophisticated, it produced something I never expected. To make it short, the model predicted that the human civilisation that we of will end in 30 years with the error of 5 years. By the way we have already passed 5 years.

 

It came as a shock and I decided that I have to do something about it. Thus the Greed Foundation. Its purpose is as follow:

  1. Eliminate or at least reduce the severity of the causes identified by the model.
  2. Should the collapse is inevitable, I seek to delay it in order to make preparations for it.
  3. When it finally happens, I need a strong organisation to hold humanity until a new civilisation is involved.

 

The first objective is executed through our charity works. We seek to set up self-sufficient communities around the world. Those who can live with minimal contact with the rest of the world are the ones most likely to survive the civilisation collapse. So, far we believe that we can only make lesser people suffer but unable to prevent the collapse itself.

 

The 2nd objective is related to the 1st. It is covered by the seemingly charity works we do.

 

The 3rd is the reason you are here. Once governments collapse, there will be anarchy. Humanity might be driven back to the Stone Age. At this time, I hope that this foundation will be in position to organise humanity to sustain all the achievements we have attained.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to be the emperor of the world. I prefer to run things behind the scenes and let someone else be the front man. However, should the situation turns out really bad, the Greed Foundation will have to come forth to save humanity.

 

Now, let us talk about you. As long as you are here, I can assure you that you will not be in want. Nothing you desire will be denied from you. I am referring to thing money can buy, of course. Your families will never starve again.

 

Later, you will be sent to our flagship “Unbridled Greed” for the full introduction of the foundation before you are assigned based on your expertise.

 

Finally, I just want to remind you that you are not serving me. You are serving humanity from destruction.

 

Goodbye and good luck.

Sin Is Good

8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)

 

I have this message in my mind for weeks and I think it is time to let it out.

 

What is your response to sin? By “sin”, I am referring to your own sin, not others. Basically, there are 2 extreme ways people deal with it, which I call:

  1. Paranoid way
  2. Ignore way

 

The first is the type where people behave like they are crazy each time they sin. They will behave like they are going to hell and beg God for forgiveness as though Jesus never died for their sins at the Cross. These folks really believed that a believer must never sin. They forget that according to the above verses, even if they managed to achieve such a “sinless” state, they still commit the sin of lying. So, people like that can’t really live for long.

 

The second type is comparatively better. Each time they sin, they do not make a big deal over it because they believe all their sins have been paid for. However, the problem is they do not make any effort to make corrections. As a result, the sin stays.

 

What is the right way to deal with our sins? The answer is, we should not be paranoid over it but neither should we ignore it. In order to understand it, we need to know its nature. Why is a sin, a sin? Is it because God is trying to pull rank? No, a sin is a sin because it is bad for us.

 

Let me put it another way. Sin hinders our prosperity on earth. Prosperity is more than just having a lot of money. It also covers our ability to enjoy it. Sin is the thing that blocks it.

 

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are addicted to smoking. What is happening to you now? I can guess the following: You are spending quite a lot of money in cigarettes and healthcare.

 

Both items cost money. If you can overcome this addiction, it will be like having an additional sum of money appearing in your bank account.

 

The other one is gambling addiction. If you really have this problem, you will never be rich. Even if you have a mountain of gold, you will still be poor because you will gamble them away. So, the only solution is for you to get rid of this sin in order for you to have a shot of becoming rich.

 

The last example I am giving you is adultery. It cost money and damage families. Having a lot of money will not result in much joy if your family is broken.

 

The above are just some examples I bring up to show that sin is something we need to work on if we are truly serious on living a prosperous life.

 

Why then do I choose the title that says “Sin is good.” The answer is, it points out the area we need to improve on. It is only when we realise we have sin in certain areas, then we know the direction we should go to fix it.

 

This is also the meaning to the above verses. We need to confess our sins. The term “confess” does not mean begging God for forgiveness. All our sins have been forgiven –past, present and future. The only thing left is to deal with it for reasons I stated above. If you can do it, good for you. If not, there is a God to seek help from. The above verses give us the guaranteed assurance that God has committed to help us to deal with our sins. All that is left is our willingness to work with him.

 

The final truth I want to share now is God’s position on sin. God is always on our side against our sins. He will never be against us for our sins. No matter what sins you have, God is on your side working with you to overcome it.

 

This is the truth I am sharing.

Delight In The Law Of The Lord

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

    or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.

2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2 (NLT)

 

I am blogging again after a long break. One night, while my wife was preparing dinner, I was in the room with my son, I just picked up my NLT Bible for no reason and started to read it. For unknown reasons, I was drawn to Psalm 1. As I read it, thoughts came to my mind which I am going to share with you now.

 

Verse 1 is quite clear. Verse 2 is the one I want to elaborate. The magic word here is “delight”. The Lord wants us to delight in his law. We are supposed to be so delightful that we end up meditating on it day and night.

 

The question here is, how to get into the state of being delightful? Can it be achieved through threats and blackmails? Supposed I am to tell you the God commands you to take delight in his laws and if you don’t you are going to face the wrath of his judgement. Will you be able to obey? In other words, can you be threatened into being delightful?

 

The same goes for things like joy and love. No one can be threatened in being joyful and loving.

 

This is the part where incompetent preachers miss it. In their minds, you have to obey everything God says or face his judgement. They can never imagine that the threats can never result in a true relationship with God.

 

God’s desire is to have a true relationship with us. He wants us to spend time with him, study his words and live holy lives but not through threats nor blackmails. He wants us to do all these stuff because we want to do them, not because we force ourselves to do them in order to avoid going to hell. I suspect this truth is too profound for any theologians to understand.

 

The next question is how to achieve them? Is it possible to get people to live godly lives without resorting to blackmails? The answer is “yes” if you do it God’s way. Godly lives can only come from inside out, meaning our hearts must be transformed first before we get into the outward behaviour. This means the correct impression of God.

 

This is the transformation that happened to me. In my first church, I was given the impression that God is a very judgemental, evil and perverse person. He is obsessed with sins. His interest in me was limited to whether I give money to the church and whether I go for missions. This is a very oppressive God. Do you think I will ever take delight in his laws?

 

Through his grace, my impression of him has changed. Now I see God as someone who values me more than any other stuff like sins, giving money to church or going for missions. Today, I can live life without giving any attention to sin, refuse to give a single cent to the church, refuse to go for missions and still able to stand before God as his most beloved son.  Whatever, I do or don’t do will never affect my position as the son of God.

 

Knowing this truth has set me free from the bondage of the devil. As a result, I end up taking delight in the Lord, which includes his law.

 

Next, what does, “they delight in the law of the Lord” means? To those under bondage, the word “law” always refer to the 10 Commandments. Imagine this. Can you meditate on “Do not murder”, “Do not commit adultery” etc and be happy about it? Of course not.

 

The “law of the Lord” in this verse simply refers to God’s desires and dreams for you after you have the correct impression on him.  Those desires and dreams must have been darn good in order to cause you to think about them day and night. This means that this “law of the Lord” must be the same as your deepest desire in order for you to be so obsessed with it.

 

That is all it means. A Christian life is a life of joy which comes from a true relationship with the Creator. It has nothing to do with threats nor blackmail.

 

How to live this way? This is my suggestion. Never allow yourself to do anything out of threats or blackmails. If you feel like you must make time to pray or read the Bible in order to avoid God’s judgement, then I suggest you not to do it. Do the other things you like instead. The only reason you pray or read the Bible is when you have the hunger and thirst for him. If you do them out of threats, you are wasting your own time and God’s.

 

When you read the Bible, focus on how much he loves you and care for you. If you read any words amounting to threats and blackmails, they are not for you. If you are a believer, Jesus has taken all your sins and related punishments on the Cross. All those bad things you read has no effect on you. Once you are convinced of this, you are set free.

Clash Of Clans

This happens to be the latest game that I have been playing. It is both a strategy and role playing game. It is played from my iPhone. So I can keep track of it during my breaks.

The player owns a village. The role is to protect it, develop it and plunder the neighbours for resources.  The neighbours happen to be other players.

Resources

There are 3 different resources here:

  1. Gold
  2. Elixir
  3. Gems.

All of them have different roles and not interchangeable. The exception is the gems where it can be bought with real money. In the beginning of the game, the player is given a few hundred gems. These are useful to speed things up. After they have been used up they are gone unless the player is willing to pay for it. The other way is to clear obstructions where there could be gems under them.

Gold can be used for building most structures and to upgrade them. There are 2 ways to get them: build gold mines and plunder neighbours. It can be stored in gold storage. The Town Hall, which is the headquarters of the village can store up to 1,000 pieces of gold.

The catch here is there is a limit of gold one can accumulate. Once the storage is full, you cannot get more even if you continue to collect from mines or plunder your neighbours. You will have to upgrade the storage capacity or buy more storage units. To do that, you need to use a builder and spend elixir for it.

Elixir is used in training new soldiers, research, upgrade and build certain buildings. Like gold, it can be mined from the ground with extractors or plunder from neighbours. The additional source is the grave of invaders.  When you were attacked, you will inevitably killed some of the enemy’s soldiers. The points that they die on will be marked with grave stones. A single tap on one of them will transfer their elixir into the storage. As gold, the accumulation of elixir is limited by the available storage capacity. In order to store more, you will have to upgrade the storage capacity or buy more storage units. To do that, you need to use a builder and spend gold for it.

One renewable resource is builders. You will be given 2, you are willing to use real money to buy more.  Every act of buying new structures or upgrading requires a builder to execute it and it takes time, from seconds to days. Therefore the player must plan all upgrades and new purchases very carefully.

Town Hall

This is the most important building in this game. Whoever loses his/her Town Hall loses the battle. The amount and type of buildings and weapons available to the player is depended the level of the Town Hall. This means one must upgrade the Town Hall periodically in order to have all the advanced features available. The challenge here is it costs a lot of gold and can take days to complete the upgrade. During this period, one builder is tied up.

Barracks

There are to train soldiers. At the most basic level, it can only trains barbarians. Barbarians are cheap and fast to train. They are good for storming and overwhelming the enemy’s defences. The problem is, once they are released, they will only attack the nearest enemy structures.

Once it is upgraded to higher levels, different soldiers are available. The next stage is archers. They can attack at a distance but less destructive power than the barbarians. Their main strength is their ability to attack structures that are protected by walls.

Next stage, giants. They are more destructive and can sustain more attacks. They have a clear preference to attack weapons. This is good because I like to take out my target’s defensive weapons first so that I can plunder them at leisure. They are good at attracting fire from the enemy. The only drawback is they are very slow. By the time they reach the enemy’s weapons, they would have received quite a number of shots.

There are more but I only reach the next stage, which is wall breakers. These are suicide bombers who bring bombs to the enemy’s wall to blow it up with themselves along. They are good for breaking a hole at the enemy’s fortification but so far I find little use for them. I will explain more later.

Laboratory

This is for improving the ability of the soldiers. It costs a lot of elixir but the good point is, it does not need builders.

Defensive weapons.

When a village is under attack, none of the soldiers can help. You have to depend on walls and weapons. There are a lot of weapons available at different levels of Town Hall but I will only describe the ones I have with me. They are:

  1. Cannons
  2. Archery towers.
  3. Mortar
  4. Air Defence

Cannons are the most basic. They can shoot one at a time and only ground targets. Through upgrades, they can have higher resistance and greater fire power. Archery towers work the same way except they can also shoot at air targets.

Mortar is limited to ground targets but it can damage multiple units at the same time through a system called “area splash”.  This is the weapon of mass destruction.

Meanwhile Air Defence is basically an surface to air rockets firing system.

Walls are a crucial part of my defence system. They are both limited and upgradable. I use them carefully to create the best defence to my weapons, Town Hall and storages. When I decide on which village to plunder, I based my decision on how they use their walls because I hate breaking through them.

Attacks

There are 2 modes for attacks, Single Player and Multi Player. The former is just villages in the programme. They are boring and do not have much to plunder. I go for the latter, which consists of villages built by other players. I look for their weakness and will only attack those with lousy defence which I list down as below:

  1. No walls.
  2. Walls not enclosed.
  3. Enclosed walls with unoccupied space.
  4. Walls enclosing buildings other than weapons.

Case 1 and 2 are basically the same. Having walls with gaps is as good as having none. So, I basically launch my attacks nearest to their main weapons like Mortar and plunder them.

Case 3 is quite special. The game allows the attacker to launch attacks at any area that are not occupied by the defender. Some players surround a huge area with their walls which include some unoccupied areas. This means I can launch my attacks from inside the enclosure. So, their walls don’t matter to me.

As for Case 4, one needs to understand that not everything needs to be enclosed with walls. In my case, I put my Town Hall, storages and weapons behind walls. The others are expendables because even if they are destroyed, they will be restored by the time I switch on the game.

Some players put their Town Hall and storages behind walls but left their weapons unprotected. So, what I will do is to attack their weapons first. Once the weapons are destroyed, I can take my time to jack through the walls and plunder.

The Seed Foundation

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Deep Earth 17, base of the Seed Foundation. For your information, we are currently at more than 150 metres below sea level. I trust our recruitment agents have explained to you the objective of this foundation and the hopes we have on you in our preparation for the survival of the human race.

 

For those of you who have read the science fiction series called “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov, this is the equivalent of the Second Foundation and I am the “Hari Sheldon”. The Greed Foundation is the “First Foundation”. You are recruited for your ability and character because we need you for our mission here. Altogether, we have about 7,000 people in this foundation scattered throughout 24 secret bases throughout the planet. Apart from this, we also have more than 3 million people working for us without knowing it because they were employed through cover institutions that we set up. So, this is quite a big organisation although not as big as the other one.

 

You may also have noticed that we are very secretive here and may wonder why. Here is a simple explanation. Suppose we operate in the open and make the location of our bases known. When nothing happens, we are just the subject of party jokes which is not a problem. However, when something bad really happens, everyone will want to break in. Even governments will want to nationalise them. At that time, all our efforts will go to waste. Therefore it is imperative for the existence of this foundation to remain a secret.

 

Here is something about this base. This is one of 24 bases set up throughout the earth. Each of them was designed to operate independently from the rest. This is to ensure the future of humanity in the event some bases were destroyed in the worldwide catastrophe. As long as one of these bases can survive, there is hope for the future of humanity. You will be given a complete tour of this base later.

 

What will happen if there is really a worldwide disaster? We can deduce the following as something we can be fairly sure of:

  1. Destruction to most infrastructures of civilisation. Water, electricity, communication, transportation of necessities and others will be gone.
  2. As a result, governments and commerce will collapse. Money will be worthless.
  3. Even if most people do not die from the event, they will starve to death due to the above factors. This is more prominent for those who live in cities.

 

The above phenomena can be called “the collapse of civilisation”. One of our functions is to prepare for the restoration of human civilisation. Some of you are recruited for your expertise in this area. You will be linked to our worldwide network for your work in this area.

 

However, there are also many unknowns. After all, we don’t know what kind of global disaster we will face. The worst case scenario is a nuclear war. If it happens, most people on the surface will die and the environment at the surface will be rendered inhabitable. So, the Seed Foundation’s people will have to hold up in this base for some time. How long? I have specified that all the bases must be designed to operate for not less than 100 years when sealed off from the rest of the world. You will not starve or choke for this long.

 

Of course, there will be the problem of the next generation. In the event which the only humans are those in our bases are us, we will have the added responsibility to procreate. The natural way will not be feasible. We will have to rely on genetic engineering for that. This is also why we have genetic experts among us. Your job is to work out the best way to create babies if we really have to stay here for a long time. This is also why there are teachers and caregivers among you. We need real professionals to teach our babies.

 

The better scenario is a mega earthquake or tsunami which will cause a global destruction but the surface itself is breathable. When that happens, we will just go out and restore the civilisation but we will not do it directly. We will restore the Greed Foundation and use it as a front for the restoration works. I want to stress here that our works here can only be effective if the rest of the world knows nothing about us.

 

There can also be in-between scenario. For example, a meteor can strike the earth causing a thick layer of dust covering the sky, preventing sunlight to reach the ground. When that happens, all the plants will die. When the plants die, the production of oxygen will be disrupted. All animals will die of either starvation or suffocation. We have scientists working on a way to remove the dusts in the sky.

 

The other scenario is a global plague. We will only be able to go out with suits on. What we need will be the right vaccine. Medical experts, you are here for this reason.

 

There are many other speculated scenarios which you can read at your pleasure.

 

Now, here are the employment benefits and sacrifices. As long as the world operates as usual, you can have anything money can buy, whether it is for your work or personal pleasure as long as the thing you want will not cause harm. However, if disaster really happens, we have to limit ourselves with what we have. The management of the base will be responsible for the allocation of the resources.

 

Your job is based on your expertise. You are selected not only for your expertise but also for your altruistic tendency like your care for humanity.

 

The drawback is, you will not get any glory from the outside world. They will not know of our existence. As mentioned earlier, even if we go out to restore the civilisation after a disaster, we will not do it in the name of “Seed Foundation”. We will find the remnants of the Greed Foundation and support their works to restore it. If they are completely destroyed, we will set up a new one. The world will only think of Greed Foundation as the saviour of mankind, although it is the Seed Foundation that is working behind the scenes. This is to ensure that the Seed Foundation can continue in its work as the insurance policy of the human race.

 

That is all for now. We will have a break now for half an hour before we start our guided tour of the base.

 

 

My Ideal Life Revision 1

I always start my day with exercise. At my current state of wealth, there is nothing I fear more than overindulgence in food. So, exercising is always my top priority in the morning and evening. I start with some stretching and jogging. Despite the fact that I have a fully equipped gym, my favourite workout has always been martial arts. Basically I just repeat the routines that I was thought by the best fighters that I have hired. These routines give me great satisfaction and excitement although I don’t think I will ever get the opportunity to use it.

Here is my martial arts programme. Every month my assistant will approach a top fighter across various disciplines and fly in my private jet to my mansion. Of course, they were paid in an amount which they can never refuse. This is why they are willing to come to teach me. Their job is to spend 2 hours in the evening with me to teach me everything they knew in their arts. So far, I have learned the fighting skills from almost every part of the world. Revising the setups is a complete workout by itself.

After the workout, I take a shower and join my family for breakfast. I would like to highlight here that just because I can afford any food money can buy, I do not go for the most expensive because the most expensive food does not always good for health. I value health above all when it comes to food. Most of the food in my meals comes from plants planted organically around my mansion.

Despite my achievements, I still live a humble life. I only have one mansion that occupies the area of only 2 football fields, less than 10 stories high and located in the middle of a small garden which is only as large as 10 football fields.  One of the criteria I set for my architect for this mansion is it must be well ventilated to reduce maintenance cost and has lots of plants. The plants are all food producing types. Why is that so? Since, I am having plants, I might as well have plants that produce useful things like food.

After breakfast, I meet my team for work. At my wealth, I can do anything I want without having to work but without work, I will be directionless and purposeless. This is the curse that has ruined the lives of many of my counterparts. When they were poor, they climbed their way up to be rich. Once they got rich, they spent their lives indulging in leisure. However, when they became immune to it, they became lost. They ended up destroying themselves, their families and everything they worked for.

I am not going to follow their path. I still have my greed in me. I have set a purpose for myself and it is not about making money. Speaking of money, I have stopped trying to manage it. My wealth has grown to such a level than I suspect if I am to find out how rich I am, I will go crazy due to brain overload. Suffice to say, I can afford anything money can buy. As for managing them, I have one battalion of accountants in each continent to handle them. This means I can dedicate my life for the purpose I created for myself.

Here is my purpose: To be the Hari Seldon in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series. Here is a brief explanation. In the story, Hari Seldon lives in a human controlled galactic empire. He was able to predict that the empire will collapse and humanity will live in the dark age until the next empire forms again. In order to reduce the duration of this dark age, he sets up 2 foundations situated at the opposite end of the galaxy. The purpose of these foundations is to guide humanity into a new civilisation after the galactic empire has collapsed.

I am doing the same to guide the human species to reach greater height in civilisation. The first foundation I set up is called the “Greed Foundation”. Its purpose is to help humanity to progress. This involves humanitarian aids in many poor countries. I have sent experts to help poor farmers to increase their harvests, set up schools, build hospitals, dig wells and even create industries to give the poor people a chance to live their lives in greed.

I went to a few of the villages myself and witnessed the transformation there. Millions of people are no longer suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Children get to go to schools to learn English, mathematics and science. I may not be able to remove the superstition from the current generation but I want to use education to create a scientific literate generation.  I believe science is what the species need to progress to the next level.

Overall, the achievements of the Greed Foundation have been obvious. Through this foundation, many lives have been saved from starvation, malnutrition and disease. However, there are still people out there who really hate me for what I have done.  I categorise them into 2 groups:

  1. Anti-prosperity fanatics.
  2. Religious fanatics.

These people hated me because I am rich and not ashamed to admit that I am still greedy. The first group are against me for the word “greed”. To them greed means evil despite the fact that I have shown very clearly that greed can also leads to kindness and love to others. I guess they are angry because I defied their definition.

The second group is more creative.  One preacher told his congregation that God revealed to him that I was sent by the devil to mislead people from the true Faith. The humanitarian works done by my Greed Foundation is to blind people’s eyes to the great evil I am supposed to bring to them.

However, the more popular accusation is I am the Antichrist. As I think of it, there is one similarity. I own significant shares in all the major companies dealing in world trade. Other than that, I am not interested in fulfilling the Bible prophecies for the Antichrist. The only prophecy I want to fulfil is my own.

I want to see humanity to reach for the stars. I want my species to be a star faring race. I want human beings to build settlements all over the galaxy. I know I will not live long enough to see it. I just contend to be the one who helped to start it.

This is what my first foundation is doing. I still have a second one which I call the “Seed Foundation”.  It is a backup in case the earth faces a global disaster that wipes out the civilisation that we know of. Let me explain. We have disasters at various places and times. Until now, these disasters are shortlived and localised. For example, if one place has a big earthquake, people from unaffected areas will send aids to help the victims. Meanwhile, other parts of the world continue to progress.

My problem is, what if we have a really big disaster like a mega earthquake, meteor strike, plague or any unexpected event that wipes out 99% of our population? Will the remaining 1% survivors be able to restore our civilisation or will they be sent back into Stone Age until the whole species extinct?

The Seed Foundation is set up for this purpose. While the Greed Foundation does its works openly, the Seed Foundation operates behind the scenes. I have set up secret bases throughout the world stocked with food supplies, technology and information to restore the civilisation in the event we really need it. This is a really big challenge because I don’t know what the big disaster could be. I do not even know I am still alive when it happens. It may happen tomorrow, next year, next decade or even a few hundred years later. Whatever the case, it is good to be prepared.

If there is no global disaster, the Greed Foundation will propel humanity to the stars but if something really deadly happens, I have the Seed Foundation to serve as a beacon of light guiding humanity to its way of progress.

These 2 foundations have giving me a purpose for living. I will cherish every moment of my life living it.

Positive Outcome From The City Harvest Church Saga

This is currently the hottest news in Singapore right now. It inspires lots of conversations, debates on what really happened and the consequence on it. I am contributing my portion in this article. Let me begin by stating clearly that I have no intention to speculate on what will happen to the affected pastor and his friends after the trial. This article is not about the court case but rather on how the response of the church members and the circulated YouTube sermons of the affected pastor can lead to positive result for Christianity as a whole.

Here are the few areas that I will explore on:

  1. Mindless drone syndrome.
  2. Asking for money without shame.
  3. Helplessness of Poverty Gospel

Mindless drone syndrome.

I have mentioned this phrase in many of my articles as well as my ebook “10 Lies Of Religious Christianity”. What I mean is the phenomena where individuals who have been trapped, are incapable of thinking for themselves. They think what they were told to think and believe what they were told to believe.

This sounds like the practice of evil cults but the truth is, many religious churches have been trying to blackmail their members into such drones through their doom and gloom sermons sprinkled with lots of relevant Bible verses. Phases like, “you will answer to God”, “God is not pleased” and “judgement day will come” are among the common tactics used by religious preachers to instil fear into the hearts of their members in hope that they will become obedient sheep (mindless drones) to the church leaders.

Of course, most Christians are too intelligent to fall for such tricks. Most Christians have developed a clear separation between faith and facts. They may go to church every Sunday and listen to the rubbish (sermons) preached but once they set their feet out, they were transformed back into human beings living in the real world. They do not participate in missions and crusades. They respect people who do not share their faith. They may give some money to their church but they will never sell their houses and give all the proceeds to their church. They are sane. Only a small minority in every church really believe in those threats and fell for it.

In this saga, the responses from the church members to the arrest and subsequent charges to their beloved pastor show that this church has achieve great success in doing what its competitors have been trying to do.

Those members are convinced beyond doubt that their pastor is completely innocent regardless of evidence. They are so full of faith that they will not even entertain the slightest “what-ifs”. Based on their comments, it seems that they are determined to fight beside their beloved pastor at all cost.

The question here is on whether their confidence is justified. Some of them tried to share with us the reason of their dedication. All of them have the same theme. They were once living rotten lives. They went to this church. The great pastor ministered to them, showed them the love of God and raised them up to who they are now.

However, none of them ever question on how relevant are such testimonies to the charges of falsifying accounts faced by their pastor. Just because an individual has been inspiring and loving, it has no relation on whether he intentionally or unintentionally put in wrong words in the accounts book.

Can anyone find a better example on the mindless drone syndrome?

So how does this exposure benefit Christianity as a whole? I am hoping that this incident will shock the preachers from the belief that you must be an obedient sheep (Christian term for mindless drone) to be a Christian. The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God. If God can be an independent thinker, why can’t we? Why would God give us the ability to think independently and then created churches to blackmail us into behaving like mindless drones?

This is the time for churches to reform their practice of exalting mindless obedience to the celebration of independent thinking. We are living in the real world and the real world does not follow the Bible. God gives us functional brains because he wants us to use them. The best way to please God is to use the things he gives us. In case somebody might wonder, obeying the preacher without question does not require the use of brains.

It is alright to do things because it is the right thing to do. We don’t need to stick bible verses to justify our actions.

Asking for money without shame

This happens to be the reason I left my first church. The way those pastors used manipulative tricks to squeeze money from the congregation has shown me that these are men without shame.

In this saga, YouTube videos showing the pastor asking for money have been circulated and widely criticised. Many attributed it to the “false teachings of prosperity gospel”. However, they seem to have ignored the fact that “Poverty Gospel” churches also used dirty tricks to ask for money.

My first church belongs to the “Poverty Gospel” camp and the pastors are no less shameless in demanding money from their members. I can still remember the phrase used. “God has provided us the money. It is in your pockets.” Implying that the money in our pockets rightfully belong to the church.

How does this help Christianity as a whole? Perhaps preachers will develop a sense of shame of demanding money from their church members. They will need to understand that their members worked hard in their real jobs to earn their money. They need it to support their families, pay bills and set aside for contingencies. The money does not belong to the church. Preachers should learn to respect that.

If preachers are in need of money, they should either do better jobs, get it from their God or do some other real work to get it. Not using their sermons to demand it from their members.

Helplessness of Poverty Gospel

I have mentioned the term “Poverty Gospel” earlier. Let me give you the meaning now. I created this term based of the relative frame of reference. A observer from Fraction A accuses those from Fraction B of preaching the prosperity gospel. What does he call his “gospel”? He has no name for it because his gospel is the true gospel.

Now, let us shift the frame of reference to the observer from Fraction B.

If he follows the same pattern of thought, he too will call his gospel the true gospel. He will call those in Faction A something gospel.

Poverty Gospel is only a name for the something gospel.

Let me give you the characteristics of this gospel. The common feature is the fear of the promise of health, wealth and any other things that can be proven objectively. They prefer to be safe in things that cannot be proven objectively like the “spiritual” and “treasures in heaven”. This way, they will not face the risk of being wrong.

Within this fraction, there are 2 sub-fractions, the moderates and the fundamentalists.

The moderates do not really hate prosperity. They are just uncomfortable for church and prosperity to be mixed together. As long as prosperity is preached outside the church and with no reference to Bible verses, they are fine.

In contrast, the fundamentalists are totally opposed to Christians living wealthy lives. Any form of comfort and luxury is sin to them.

How does this affect them? For many years, Poverty Gospel churches have been losing members to their Prosperity competitors. Now that the City Harverst Church, (which is from the Prosperity Fraction) is suffering from negative news, it will be an opportunity for them to take advantage on this situation to grab back their market share.

Have they succeeded? My bet is they won’t. At best they can slow down the decline on membership. People may still leave and it is very unlikely for the Prosperity Fraction to cross over to the poverty side. Can you guess why?

Christians are real people living in the real world. They have their dreams and aspirations. They want to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. They want to have things and do things without being constrained by the lack of money. They are also not perverts, meaning they do not delight in suffering from sickness and poverty.

The prosperity fraction has been successful because they treat their believers as real people. So, if the poverty fraction is really serious in surviving in this competitive world, they will have to meet the needs of their members who are real people living in the real world. Hiding behind outdated and impractical doctrines will not help. Neither does the excuse of “serving God” help. You are preaching to people not God.

Therefore, it is my hope that the poverty fraction will start to reform themselves to make themselves relevant to the people whom they expect to give them money.

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