berthahenson

The business of harvest

In Money, News Reports, Society on June 27, 2012 at 12:51 am

I am a little confused over the City Harvest story. So the church embarked on a Crossover Project to promote Sun Ho’s secular music to the masses. I suppose with the aim of converting them…Sounds like something any church (if it has a star singer) would say okay to.  Thing is, how was this project supposed to be financed in the first place? Was it to come from church donations? If the Church says yes and followers know, then there’s nothing wrong right? Why this need to funnel through Malaysia and some dark underground Multi-purpose fund?

Two years ago, when ST was checking on the story, the thing that blew us away was the businesses that the church was into. It led to some comments on the role of the church in business and what’s allowed or not. Time, I think to talk about this again. I, for one, can’t remember much of that issue. What sort of State rules are in place on this? Just normal ACRA accounting rules? Is this the business of the church and nobody else’s business?  Even members of the faithful would appreciate some help in navigating this.

Just as the NKF scandal led to changes in charity governance rules, perhaps the City Harvest case would give some clarity on this religion-business nexus. That would be the most useful outcome of the case, even as it provides plentiful colourful copy…

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  1. I’m guessing you may have not sampled any of the secular music of Sun Ho? May I start you off with China Wine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twxf2LraoEE), and Kill Bill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZKEsa80k68)? I’m not even sure how this is supposed to convert people to the religion.

  2. I’m curious about how the money was used to promote Sun Ho’s music. I haven’t done the sums but it seems like a lot of money to pay off radio stations, music producers and rent.

    But I’d like to say, separately, that it’s not true that every church would be keen on Project Crossover. The bible is quite clear about the church’s business: to tell people about the good news of Jesus, so that they can decide for themselves if they want to follow Jesus and be reconciled with God. The focus is on Jesus, thus an emphasis on any other human personality runs the real risk of distracting from the core message, thus hindering true faith and discipleship of Jesus.

    The bible is also clear about the method by which the church is to go about this business of telling people the good news. It is the plain proclamation of the good news, because by God’s power, the message alone is sufficient, and the church should not lose confidence in it.

    “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:1-2.

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