Scandals and Learning
As a result of what my lecturer mentioned last week about him going to an overseas church which has been previously split apart by a scandal to preach to them about faith, I began reading up on a church split that I have heard about some years back. The incident was not that high profile internationally and therefore it was not being widely reported in international Christian news site. Moreover, despite the apparent success of the church internationally, the church remained isolated for most part of its history from other churches. Nevertheless, the church was considered one of the most successful churches in its own home country and had been pretty controversial in terms of its practices.
The summary of the whole incident stemmed from accountability. This is one concept that most people do not like to hear but unfortunately, it remains so important in our Christian life, especially when we are dealing with money in church and human lives in our koinonia. In the church, financial lapses worse than what we see in City Harvest was reported and the leaders began to preach on stuff which will make a certain Joseph Singh looks tamed in his teachings. But no one was able to hold the main leaders accountable and eventually, the church split into three major factions and today, it remains a shadow of its former 'glory' though I am reading that the remnant churches are being used by God in different ways.
This makes me think about accountability as a leader. How should he account his own behaviour to his members and how should he account his life to his overseers? How much do we allow people to question our lives and how much do we allow them to step in and correct us? Do we need to choose who and do we need to exclude people?
It is sad to read a story of church split and as I was reading, I was just praying that I do not end up like the leaders involved. The truth is that no one knows the whole story and the reports I read came from fragmented records and are fairly one-sided. But if the reports are true, and paper documents seem to suggest so, then it presents a lesson, in my opinion, on how a striving ministry can go wrong due to the waywardness of leaders leading the ministry.