Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rony Tan saga and what it means for Christians

I asked a much older friend, "Why are people still calling for more blood after Rony Tan has apologised, seek forgiveness from Buddhist n Taoist Federation, and basically lose his credibility as a church leader?" The friend replied, because you young people take our inter-religious peace for granted and you dun know the consequence or sensitiivity of a religious leader being charged in open court by govt, moreover the Buddhist and Taoist chiefs have forgiven him...either that or they have benefits outta religious tensions, like arms manufacturers from wars.

In any case, once 'touched' by ISD, you're marked for life, that's what we know during our time, he said. He added with a chuckle that things shouldn't have changed much since we haven't had a change of government since independence when the intelligence department was already very much into politics. A wink he added - means what?? Am I suppose to fear them? haha I only fear God.

By calling for more punishments for Rony and posting the videos of the sermons, we are aggravating the situation as the nameless public or even foreigners might take take this on another spin or see it as an opportunity to further strain the tenuous social fabric. Don't be mistaken, it's very wrong to run the other religion down just to glorify our own. In fact, it is rather distasteful, like bad mouthing about your neighbours and relatives behind closed doors.

But, Christians, instead of feeling remorseful or embarrassed, we should see this as an opening to push forth the need of frank dialogue between the different religions. Yes, we should share part of Rony's blame because we carry the cross too but we shouldn't go into hiding as this is a good chance to share about what Christianity is about - forgiveness and repentance and salvation. We can makan together with individuals of other faiths but do we really know the philosophy behind other religions. If we don't know, how can we fulfill God's and his son's mission to spread the good word?

Like many of you, with the Bible close to my heart and Jesus in my thoughts, I know I hardly need to look further to find the answers. But I too studied Buddhist philosophy, in fact, it is quite an interesting philosophy and it has many similarities like turning the other cheek and de-emphasizing materialism. Sure, you might not agree with the Karma part, but don't run it down and learn to appreciate the other finer parts of Buddhism as a way of life.

Alright, I will write more when I have time, meanwhile I really need to move that mop and broom for spring cleaning. =)


  1. Hi there, thoughtful comments. I think people are generally in unision over how inappropriate his comments were. But the contention seems to be how we ought to deal with it. Should we resort to the strong arm of the law? Many seem to want it. But when the same laws are used to crush political dissent, people complain. What happens if the law is used for political oppression next time, and the govt uses this Rony Tan scenario as justification? I shudder to think.

  2. "Am I suppose to fear them? haha I only fear God."

    the leaders in churches already feared the ISD or the government so don't be quick to boast or you may have to eat your words when the time comes - just like Rony did.

    "Don't be mistaken, it's very wrong to run the other religion down just to glorify our own. In fact, it is rather distasteful, like bad mouthing about your neighbours and relatives behind closed doors."

    nope, it is NOT WRONG to run others down(i did not say this, it is in your bible). because god is absolute, he punishes those who go against him - Ananias and Sapphira were struck down by god because they opposed his will. jesus denigrated the jewish priest goodness, there are simply too many examples to imitate from. too many to justify god's punishment on those who would oppose him.that said, what rony did was true to his faith, teachings and doctrines. now if the authorities want to pick bones, they should go to the root of the problem which is the bible. do they dare to burn the bible? i don't think so. so what it means is, there is a clear distinction of those who will be true to the bible and those who pick and choose what they want to believe.rony started being true to christianity but when comes to the crunch, he caved in and discredited his faith and teachings- like many others who would similarly COMPROMISE when the time comes.

    "Yes, we should share part of Rony's blame because we carry the cross too but we shouldn't go into hiding as this is a good chance to share about what Christianity is about - forgiveness and repentance."

    forgiveness and repentance are all nice but what are we repenting from according to the bible? IDOLATRY and FALSE TEACHINGS.

    that was what Rony did when he slammed "idolatry" and "false teachings". it is ALL in your bible. again, i said he was consistent with the teaching of the bible. if so, why should he apologized? he apologized because he feared for his life and for his family etc, and the best thing to do is to compromise his faith. what a shame - shame to christianity because this is a testimony that the christian faith in God is POWERLESS.

    that said, i stand with the authority in reigning over this religious issue. but we need to be honest and call a spade a spade if we are to address this problem. let's not kid ourselves here. the bible is essentially contentious. either you go right to the root of the problem or you are lying to yourself.

    i am just a neutral observer who believes in...peace.

    (sorry, your piece is not objective)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. 38 Point-by-point Clarifications of Misconceptions
    in Pastor Rony Tan’s Vids can be seen @

  5. deleted links to rony tan youtube videos. those who want to see it can still view it at youtube. personally, i won't want the bigoted videos to be on my blog. in any case, it spreads more hate than facilitating inter-faith dialogue.

  6. Thanks for posting the point-by-point clarifications - very useful and educational.

    Kent Ridge Common's article is an easier read and equally educational.

  7. Anonymous @ 12 Feb 1037am

    Fyi, blogs are not meant to be might also think the Straits Times, Wall Street Journal or New York Times is objective (fat hope). On the other hand, the American President, PRC President and Dalai Lama have their own objectives. Everyone has their own agenda and point of view...even the authors of the bible.

    Neutral observer? Anyone who claims that position is no different from another claiming the moral high ground. Read the right hand column of this blog (about me) for more info. Let's be honest with our prejudices. We might not agree but we can respect one another.

    There is nothing wrong with evangelism; but in a multi-religious society we must do so with care and respect. And there is nothing wrong to tell your own congregation that idol worship is a sin. To run down another religion and post it on the church's website - now that's stupid and wrong.

    If your deepest hatred is for the Holy Bible, I can only say hopefully you will find the Truth some day, be it Christianity or something else. If you want to deconstruct the Bible (like Derrida), there are numerous of such online, not only of the Bible but of other religious and classical texts as well. Unfortunately, this is not the blog for such an exercise.

    It doesn't change the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Christians in Spore and how we can educate them to be more responsible. An uncalled for attack on Christianity and Bible would only further the rift and replicate the behaviour of Rony Tan.


    btw, care to leave your name or email, Anonymous?