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Phil Pringle endorses the Crossover Project as a mission to reach the world. Pringle might want to rethink his statement. This is an article that both CHC and C3 pastors can learn from.

Why the Crossover Project should cost $0…

I am not a Christian.

I am the target audience of the Crossover Project.

The Crossover Project is at the heart of the ongoing saga of City Harvest Church (CHC) Charity in Singapore. The case goes that Pastor Kong Hee and friends had misused funds from CHC to fund his wife Ho Yeow Sun’s music career. And the amount used was a shocking $23 million.

I am not going to ponder on whether or not Pastor Kong Hee and friends are innocent or not – that is all going to be proven in due course.

The problem I have with the whole issue is that I have trouble understanding why there would actually be Christians supporting the hefty bill of $23 million of the Crossover Project. Why do some Christians feel that there is a need to buy over non-Christians with money or anything is a concept I cannot accept.

I can’t understand why some Christians would believe that faith can be bought over through the usage of music and weird music videos. If such faith, if any, was bought over, would such faith be actually true faith?

My first brush with Christianity happened when I was still in Primary One. One of my classmates nonchalantly asked me a question, “Are you a Christian?”

“No.”
“Then you will go to Hell. Since I am a Christian, I get to go to Heaven.”

Till today, I still have no idea what were her intentions behind such a statement. Was it to cower me into submission? All I felt was unfairness.

Both of us were then 7-year-old girls. We led similar lives. Why I should be condemned to an afterlife of eternal damnation was a concept I couldn’t wrap my head around. My mum was aghast when she found out that someone told her precious little girl she was going to Hell.

She didn’t have to worry. I didn’t believe in that comment. Not for a second.

So why didn’t I believe in that comment? I probably didn’t even know myself at that time but as I grew up, I came to the realization that I am an Agnostic. I don’t deny the existence of God, Heaven and Hell but I don’t know for certain whether or not they exist. And I believe that it is impossible to know for real, at least not in my lifetime.

So, like every non-Christian living in Singapore, I had my usual run-ins with the nice and the not-so-nice Christians trying really hard to convert me.

Fear had no effect on me. So what is the next method then? Well, the highest success rate of converting non-Christians would be through using relationships.

As a secondary school student, I was invited to go for a BBQ outing by a friend. It was only until I reached the destination did I realize that it was a CHC cell group outing. I didn’t think too much of it, after all, there was good food and everyone seemed nice.

It was only after the outing did I realize that I have fallen into a trap. It started innocently enough. One of them would call me out for a church outing. After I politely declined, another would call me. It took months of rejections before it finally stopped.

Later on, as I talked to my Christian friends about the reason behind why they chose Christianity, I realized that many of them had the same experiences as me. They were initiated in by a friend. The only difference was that they had continued contact with the group. They had at that period of time been going through the awkward stages of their teenage lives and welcomed the camaraderie and friendship. They felt like they had found a community that they belonged to.

I am grateful that they had received help by the churches’ communities in their times of need. I am thankful that because of the bonding, they became wonderful people I would end up being friends with. I wouldn’t deny that Christianity has helped a lot of people. I often wonder about their faith though – were they a Christian because they had a relationship with God or were they a Christian because they had relationships with other Christians? It seemed as though it was more of a social club than anything else.

If you have been a relationship with a Christian as a non-Christian, the odds are you might have heard something or felt the pressure along the lines of, “If you love me, you would become a Christian.”

Shouldn’t one become a Christian because they love God and have a relationship with God? Why should one become a Christian just because they have a relationship with other Christians?

It seemed as though some Christians have gotten their priorities all wrong. Christians shouldn’t use fear to convert people. Christians shouldn’t use relationships to convert people. Christians shouldn’t use music to convert people. Christians shouldn’t use money to convert people.

Please don’t say that you would need to be a believer to have a relationship with God. That is a paradoxical argument. In fact, the truth is Mother Teresa, one of the biggest icon of Christianity, did not feel God’s presence despite her unwavering faith and belief in him.

So what can Christians do to convert non-Christians then? I believe Christians should use God to convert people. Hm… I guess they can go around giving out the Bible and spreading the word of God.

Now, being an Agnostic made me open to the idea of both religion and Atheism. And like any bookworm, I was curious about the all-time bestseller book in the world – the Bible. I have read the Bible.

Ironically, the main problem I have with Christianity lies with the Bible. As a good Literature student, I believe in different interpretations of text.  To me, the Bible is just a book. And like any other book, there are countless of ways to interpret what was written in the Bible. It probably didn’t help that the Bible was written in such a confusing manner. I had so many questions that nobody could answer. Am I supposed to take a pastor’s words as the words of God? Ironically, every pastor was preaching different things – everyone had their own interpretations.

Who could possibly answer all of my queries? I doubt any pastor or anyone would be able to give me the right answers. So yes, I look forward to meeting the very man itself – God (if he did exist).

I have tons of questions to ask him. From serious questions like, “Do you actually have the power to help all people who are suffering or in need, at no cost or effort to yourself? If yes, why haven’t you done it yet?” to cheeky questions like, “Why do I need to fulfil certain conditions to get unconditional love?”

I am definitely not going to let him get away with the commonly used vague answer such as “God works in mysterious ways.” Not when it is so hard to book an appointment with him.

And once I have a meaningful heart to heart conversation with God – I would definitely wholeheartedly, without doubt, believe in him and his teachings.

The only way Christians can help me meet God?

Well, could you help me get hold of his personal secretary to let me make an appointment with him?

If not, please pray hard that one day God would grace me with his presence.

And like most good things in life – praying is absolutely free.

(From: Why the Crossover Project should cost $0, The Happiness Obsession, http://thehappinessobsession.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/why-the-crossover-project-should-cost-0/, 30/06/2012. (Accessed 02/07/2012.))