Sunday, January 11, 2009

There Is Now No Condemnation In Christ

I have been sharing with my wife the plagiarism episode and "to-ing and fro-ing" of comments, and she asked me why I am still not letting up on the issue?

I think she, and maybe many others too, don't understand the focus of my attention.  I am actually not focused on Rev Peter Koh after I have examined the two articles and cleared any doubts that plagiarism was indeed committed.

God has already forgiven what Rev Koh did.  There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Rev Koh still is and always has been righteous before God because he is in Christ. This is the core of Christ-centered antinomianism which, judging from the article he published, Rev Koh does not believe in and is actually against.  However, while his place in heaven is in no way affected, there are earthly consequences that he has to face.  He will have to account for his actions to his boss and his church members.   

My continued postings on this plagiarism episode is not focused on Rev Koh but rather on those who try to mitigate or water down the plagiarism. For example Sze Zeng tried to portray the plagiarism as a less serious level of plagiarism by implying that the use of quotation marks by Rev Koh in the article should have sort of alerted the average reader to the fact that Rev Koh was quoting from an external source.  

In other words, the reader should be able to infer that Rev Koh was not using his own words and his mistake was merely that he did not inform the reader the source of those quotes.  How ludicrous is that!  Sze Zeng himself had no idea that Rev Koh plagiarized from P G Mathew's article until Malcolm unwittingly dug it up!

Another example is the article which described the article as "re-written" by Rev Koh (afternote: the reporter has now re-amended his report to reflect Rev Koh's plagiarism after I published my previous post "Correction Made Easy").  They are so afraid to say clearly that a pastor has blatantly commited plagiarism. Why?  I suspect it is due to the "law-abiding" preaching that they have been listening to all this while which condition them to be in the self-righteous mode.  

I suspect they must be thinking "How could Rev Koh have done that? He is a pastor!"  They see the pastor as the standard bearer and therefore feel compelled to mitigate the "damage" when the standard bearer misses the mark. 

Whether or not Rev Koh is a pastor is irrelevant.  God does not have one standard for pastors and another one for the ordinary Christian.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Rev Koh is a man just like any of us and we all fail at one time or another. 

It is at times like this that we learn to appreciate how blessed we are that we are under grace. We are able to "draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)  Our Heavenly Father will help us weather the storm stirred up by our own mistake. 

I still address Rev Koh as Reverend as his standing, just as my standing, before God has never changed.  We are both righteous before God because we are in Christ.

I will talk about this in more detail when I discuss Christ-centered antinomianism later.  

1 comment:

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Stanley

Now I know where we talk across each other. You thought that I deem Koh plagiarize because he didn't acknowledge merely the passages in quotations.

But I think he plagiarize not for merely that, but the whole article. The point that I again and again is saying is that those quotations are indication of an external source. Period.

I had no idea in the same way as you were about Koh's plagiarism until Malcolm's notification. So both of us are grateful to Malcolm :)

Anyway, now it's clearer that we have been talking across each other! And it's our first blogosphere interaction. And I do hope to gain one more friend than an enemy. Hope that our first correspondence will not prevent two creatures live by the same divine grace from looking eye to eye. :)