Archive for July 16, 2012

Thought on Festival of Praise 2012 Cancellation

Festival of Praise (FOP) is an annual event in which Christians from different churches in Singapore gather together.
They then worship God and pray together as one body.  There is teaching from God’s Word too.
Typically, the committee will invite guest bands and preachers from outside Singapore to lead the event.
This year FOP 2012 has been cancelled due to challenging period Pastor Kong and City Harvest Church are experiencing.
Some people raise many negative comments on different forums, Facebook and Twitter.
However, really, can these negative comments be justified?

Let’s imagine this scenario.
You and a group of friends conduct a weekly prayer meeting. The usual venue is at City Hall.
However, in the whole month of August, the venue will not be available for some reason.
Then your friend offers his house, near Marina Bay, to be used as a venue.
Initially, you all agree to have it on 3, August.

2 days before the prayer meeting, your friend’s son experiences a major car accident.
Now, 1 day before the prayer meeting, will you have a heart to tell your friend,
“I know what happened to your son. Nevertheless, can we still use your house for a prayer meeting tomorrow?”
I believe you will not do that. Your friend needs some rest from the situation.
So, either you manage to find an alternative venue in the last minute or simply cancel the usual prayer meeting altogether.

Ironically, there are many complaints on FOP 2012 cancellation due to difficult period Pastor Kong and CHC are having now.

Some blame Canon James Wong as he is a close friend of Pastor Kong.
However, these critics forget to take into account that Canon James just happens to be the announcer.
Surely Canon James had discussed this matter with the whole FOP committee before announcing the cancellation.

Some questioned the motive of FOP: is it for God or for man?
However, these critics forget to realize that it is all an issue of venue.
Do they really think FOP committee would have a heart to ask CHC about Suntec availability?
Furthermore, they forget to compare FOP 2012 with FOP 2010.
In 2010, Pastor Kong and CHC went through difficult period but FOP was still conducted because there was venue available.

A more neutral comment was that FOP in Suntec could be used to pray even for CHC.
However, even Christians out there condemn CHC. It is then a doubt whether they would be willing to pray for CHC.

Another neutral comment suggested the idea of having a decentralized venues.
However, it will be difficult for the bands and preacher to move from one place to another
(unless there are multiple bands and preachers).
I do think that FOP committee has considered the matter and the possible solution thoroughly before finally cancelling it.

So, in the end, the complaints made out there really have no ground (neutral comments above are not complaints, btw).
CHC is my church, my life, my family.
Like what Canon James has written, would you mind praying for my family?