My learning points from Pastor Rony Tan’s incident

No one had expected that the recent incident of the insensitive comments by Senior Pastor Rony Tan from Lighthouse Evangelism Church would have resulted in such a severe public backlash.

That said, I do believe Pastor Tan never did intend to be demeaning or insulting towards the beliefs of Buddhism or Taoism.

Nonetheless, lessons can be drawn from this incident. And below are some of my personal learning points:

1. The influence of new media

Pastor Tan subjected himself to the online community when the videos with his inappropriate remarks were uploaded on the church’s website.

Unknown to many, he was hauled by the Internal Security Department (ISD) after it had first appeared on Hardware Zone’s online forum which eventually escalated to the authorities.

This incident is a fine example how the new media has become a powerful tool that can either work for you or against you. And it is imperative that we as Christians learn how to use it effectively and strategically with the purpose to engage as salt and light.

2. Be a responsible communicator

I believe being responsible is a better description than being careful when in comes to communication. We not only need to be mindful with what we communicate, but how we communicate. And this is especially so when there is a wide audience who are listening, watching or reading what we’re communicating.

Whether it is on the pulpit, through the media, in a group or with your spouse and even through social media sites like Facebook or blogs, we need to consider the impact of what we want to communicate. And more importantly, as best as we know how, reflect Christ in us with our communication whether in words or in deeds. (c.f. Colossians 4:6, 1 Peter 3:15-16).

3. Let the Church be known for what She stands for

This is another unfortunate incident that has not helped to mitigate the negative perceptions that people have towards God, the Church or Christians in general. You may read this as a reference to some of the general perceptions.

It is time that the Church of Jesus Christ gets to be known for what She stands for rather than for what She is against. And what the Church stands for is LOVE. We need to be known for loving people radically just as how Christ did so and does so.

Till now I can recall how I was won over and reconciled to God, and it was not theology that persuaded me. It was LOVE.

I was drawn to God by Christ’s unconditional love in spite of my sins. He literally love me out of sin and darkness, and I believe that this is how the Church ought to demonstrate His word and be known for, in order to truly advance His Kingdom.


12 thoughts on “My learning points from Pastor Rony Tan’s incident

  1. Most of my story can be read or watched on my testimony page which is located on the top left side of this site.

    Actually there is more to my told story. There’s a 2nd part which I didn’t share as it would be too lengthy.

    Believe it not, after I had received Him and upon my released from prison. I became worse. Adopted more destructive habits.

    Nevertheless, God’s love for me never wavered though I never repented to do what I knew was the right thing to do.

    After 3 years from my release and my distance from God, I landed myself in a mess. And guess who I turn to once again to clear my mess??? Yup… God.

    He was there and never judgemental nor condemned me. I finally caved into His loving arms and was moved by His grace.

    That grace has been working in me since. Everyday I need His grace cos I know I’m not perfect, but He is. And to think He loves me and gives me chance after chance is beyond me.

    I share with you one example of His love in action. I used to be hooked on smoking. My parents, my girlfriend and friends had always tried to coax me into quitting but all failed.

    When I experienced His love, I decided to quit on my own accord as I knew I was not doing God any good or proud with my bad habit.

    Think with me for a second… With ppl around that I can SEE, I wasn’t able to quit. But God whom I CANNOT see, I have the ability/motivation to quit.

    This is just one of personal encounters to testify how real the love of God can be in one’s life =)

  2. You hit the nail on the head. What the church stands for is Love, and this be the preoccupation of church leaders.

  3. Andrew, thanks for your sharing!
    Yup, I did read your testimony last time. After reading your sharing here, I decided to read a bit of your blog around – April 2006, it shocked me that you changed 50 girlfriends like underwear.

    I really love to hear your lengthy story like a book.

  4. @Anonmyous:

    What about it that shocked you? That girls find me actually attractive or I was that disgusting?? heh heh

    Wow… thanks for going through my pages of my HIStory… There’s more that’s yet to be written and more yet to become a reality. Stay tuned =)

    And speaking about book, my hope is to write at least one. But maybe much later when I have more substance and command more credibility for the book to fly off the shelves. In any case, I think I have found my first potential buyer in you… haha… =p

  5. Well, your comment really surprised me. It sounds as if you are grinning. Anyone contrite won’t say such things like that.

    Hmm…can you pls read Matthew 19:4-6 and 1 Cor 6:16?

    It should answer your question. I just like reading the biography of people, you see. Your life story seems to sound interesting.

  6. Not sure which part of my reply comments offended you but on second look I think I know where.

    My mistake lar… I phrased my sentence wrongly that’s y it didn’t come across the way I intended it to be- a joke.

    Anyway, you damn fierce leh… Macham prophet leh… Haha

  7. U wrote, “I guess it is due to my dysfunctional family background (divorced in my teens), influence from peers and my discovery of manhood that led to this rampage with the opposite sex. These factors were the springboard for growth of wrong attitudes, understanding and behaviour in BGR.”

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