Saturday, July 30, 2005

The bounty of New Creation

It is common to praise the Christian god for blessing you and your kin, and especially for healing you when conventional medical techniques have failed. However, reading the testimonies page of the New Creation church is enlightening. Here, the Christian god is portrayed as one who will grant you various favors if you worship him, much like the pagan gods of Greece and Rome.

Among other things, the Christian god is credited with:

- finding a buyer for a piece of property, and offering a good price too
- increasing sales
- healing someone of food poisoning ("I knew that this was not really food poisoning but more of the devil’s sabotage as I was supposed to have my final-year project implementation/presentation at 2.30pm.")
- getting people jobs
- a fellow church member giving someone a red packet
- upgrading someone from a C to B2 ward at no charge
- giving someone a pay raise of 5%
- taking business away from one company and giving it to another ("Talk about the supernatural favour of my Daddy God!")

My favourite, though, was the following:

I won the first prize!

Dear Pastor,

The year started with a big bang for me. My husband and I were among the selected guests invited to a Volkswagon count-down party at the roof-top of The Esplanade.

When I received the invitation card and noticed that there was going to be a lucky draw conducted that night, I was leaping with joy as if I had won the first prize.

I had no idea what the first prize was but simply went ahead to thank the Lord in advance. However, I did remember telling my husband over dinner the day before that I would like to visit Europe with him and that God would make it happen because He heard our conversation!

Just before midnight, when the emcee was about to announce the first prize, I sensed deep down in my spirit that God had thrown this party just for me to receive my prize. My heart was pounding fast and I could not believe it when my name was announced!

I went on stage to collect my return air-tickets for two to Germany with a 3D2N stay at The Ritz Carlton Hotel! The trip includes a visit to the Volkswagon factory.

Praise Jesus for the child-like faith He encourages us to have. We are receiving blessings and joy in abundance as we enter the year 2005!


In times past I was told that going to mediums at Chinese temples, one could be granted whatever one wished, but would have to pay a price to the spirits granting said favors.

21 Comments:

Blogger Ali said...

I don't think that "the Christian god is portrayed as one who will grant you various favors if you worship him".

I think it's more to do if the person is truly needy and they pray to God for His grace and mercy. He may or may not grant it, depending on where He wants to lead you in life. My opinion only!

Saturday, July 30, 2005 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

Woohoo! First post from Gabriel! :)

Yes, it's actually quite funny, the testimonials. hehee... While I know I'm not in a position to say what sort of requests God will or will not grant (I'll still hoping for the million dollar Lotto win!), or even if that's the correct way to view prayers, I'm more intrigued by the tone of the testimonials.

It seems to me that there's a school of thought nowadays that emphasizes the monetary benefits of God (not that there's anything inherently wrong with that!), suggested in the testimonies that Gabriel points out.

Traditionally, the great faiths all emphasize humility and austerity. Jesus says that it's harder for a rich guy to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to enter the eye of a needle. But of course if one doesn't like this POV, can always look to Job who got back most of his farm animals, and much more wealth for being obedient to God!

So I guess it's easier to attract a congregation if folks believe they can also get economic benefit. Not that they can't, but maybe that's not really the main focus of the faith...

Anyhow, I just might visit this church sometime. The whole thing really does sound very interesting. I've walked past the venue once, and there were so many people. It looked almost like a business convention...

Saturday, July 30, 2005 7:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ali, your opinion sucks. and that's my opinion only.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Ooh, my first online argument. How exciting.

Can I ask why you think that?

Monday, August 01, 2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

Yeah alison, usually I'd just ignore the trolls... lol ;)

Monday, August 01, 2005 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Formerly Mr Moron said...

Stumbled upon this blog while checking out Jeff's profile.

Wow, Gabriel I really didn't expect you to be a contributor here. No offence, but you've actually built up quite a rep as the great Anti-Christian crusader. Ok, that generalisation may be a little harsh, you may be simply voicing out your views on what you perceive as inherent flaws in the whole concept of Christianity. I can say even with me persistently disagreeing with some of the things you write (the scientific/logical discourse isn't always the best way to justify the non-existence of a God), I still love your writing style and your blog.

Either way, since you're blogging on a site named "recovering Christians", is it fair to assume you're trying to find your way back to the faith? If so I'm hoping to see some posts coming up on why the desire to do so suddenly.

Also, I love the concept of this blog. It's about time credible (and prominent) bloggers came out and created a blog focusing on the topic of religion.

*****

As for the post, it definitely is heartening to see people getting blessed tremendously by God. Still, a discerning reader/listener of such testimonies would sometimes pick out untruths in a testimony if they were sharp enough. Not to say we go into a church with all this cynicism, but occasionally I try to scrutinise testimonies carefully if the particular church in question as a reputation for fake ( or highly exaggerated) testimonies coming from members.

Monday, August 01, 2005 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger Formerly Mr Moron said...

Sorry Gabriel, my bad. I just read your comment on the first post that said you're a recovered Christian.

Monday, August 01, 2005 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

Hi slayer, nice of you to visit...

Either way, since you're blogging on a site named "recovering Christians", is it fair to assume you're trying to find your way back to the faith? If so I'm hoping to see some posts coming up on why the desire to do so suddenly.

Just a little offtopic, I'm not answering for gabriel, but one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog like this is also to help readers 'find a way back to the faith', especially those who're put off by dogma that is not really correct/reasonable on greater inspection. I think sometimes evangelism has the effect of driving folks away from God, as much as drawing folks to God, and that's most unfortunate if the deficit happens unnecessarily.

So I hope to try and see things in a different perspective, things I feel might be misinterpreted or misunderstood, either intentionally, or unintentionally.

Also, I love the concept of this blog. It's about time credible (and prominent) bloggers came out and created a blog focusing on the topic of religion.

That's too much for me... I won't say I'm 'credible', or even prominent (certainly not as prominent as Gabriel! lol). So I hope readers will have an open mind, and check things out themselves, and also to point out mistakes/sloppiness/etc. in the stuff seen here... ;)

Monday, August 01, 2005 6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ali: well for one the second paragraph of your first post is a complete moronic spewl.

It means nothing, it says nothing. It evades the question and does not even answer anything.

Furthermore, I am irked to see people talk as if they have a direct line to god.

Monday, August 01, 2005 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

If you read the testimonial archives, you'd find other rather funny stuff, like people administering their own Holy Communion, taking it in their cars, or at home 3 times a day, using coca cola for the wine.

Jeff is very open minded to call these people evangelicals. They're simply heretics who, in a better day and age, would've been burnt at the stake by the Catholics or tortured and drowned by the Protestants.

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

I thought everyone had a direct line to God? Because didn't Jesus die on the cross so that we now do have a direct line to God? Or is that wrong to say?

Anyway, to make myself more clear (I hope - don't hold your breath):

Firstly, let me say that it's very nebulous what I'm trying to say!

Secondly, I think it's total crap about how people pray to win the lotto and they do = God answering their prayers. He wouldn't endorse gambling! (this is beside the point though)

So I will say this: He knows all of our futures. Whether He grants our prayers or not is not dependent on whether we worship Him or not.

Hope that clears up what I said earlier. Rebuttal please! :)

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:36:00 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

Who is a heretic depends on your point of view, no?

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

I thought everyone had a direct line to God?

Ah, yes. In the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus gave us his number and said we could call 24/7, that he, and not a recorded message, will personally answer the call and speak to you in Dolby Surround?

Who is a heretic depends on your point of view, no?

Hi there, I would actually be surprised if you didn't contribute to this blog =D

For the purposes of posting/commenting here, I shall adopt one policy (which is not the one I adhere when I write on my own blog) - that there IS a truth, it can be deduced logically, and it's not a matter of point of view.

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

For the purposes of posting/commenting here, I shall adopt one policy (which is not the one I adhere when I write on my own blog) - that there IS a truth, it can be deduced logically, and it's not a matter of point of view.

The trouble, then, is that everyone seems to think that they possess the Infallible Truth, and that everyone else is a heretic.

Monday, August 01, 2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

The trouble, then, is that everyone seems to think that they possess the Infallible Truth, and that everyone else is a heretic.

That's why I added in "deduceable" - the truth shall be known by the logic of its argument and its persuasiveness. No one possesses it automatically, though they can try to work at it. There could be a range of deduceable truths and a further range of improbable postulates, and only some are heretics, who we must burn or drown (depending on our faith) =D

Monday, August 01, 2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

So who do we proclaim heretics, given that everyone has different deductions?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

We might do well to follow the example of Brother Chick, who certainly knows his certainties.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 2:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

"if you feel insulted and hurt, god meant for you to feel this way. Hallelujeh!"

I didn't mean it that way. No one can dictate our feelings except ourselves. The same way that we ourselves choose what road to take in life.

Let's just say that I am feeling hurt (or amused by all this). That doesn't mean that God meant for me to feel hurt. But it does mean that He knew that I would be feeling hurt. He can't make me feel anything I don't want to feel (or do for that matter).

And I don't really know what I'm arguing about anymore. Call me the village idiot, hey, I don't really care. And God knew that I'd feel this way. Hallelujah!

I need to get a life.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

To anonymous: that sort of personal attack is both uncalled for and absolutely unnecessary. Neither is it good form, nor does it help your cause.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to jeffyen:

it's not personal attack. i *was* making a point.

i have heard enough personal attacks from evangelists who question my fundamental existence as it is.

And that is bad because it is an attack without making any intelligent point.

i stand by everything i say.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger jeffyen said...

I'm sure you stand by what you say, and that you were making a point. And I'm also sure that you have been personally attacked by evangelicals, which I think is most unfortunate.

However, no one on this webspace has attacked you personally, and I just don't think it's nice to start. And also bad language...I don't think it's appropriate too...

Thursday, August 04, 2005 1:27:00 AM  

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