Yes, everybody, WHAT A FOOL I'VE BEEN!
I had written a parable "A Family Dinner" to illustrate the absurdity of people making a big fuss over Pastor Prince's $500,000 pay. I used the setting of a restaurant with customers representing people attending the church and the chef representing Pastor Prince.
I subsequently wrote a follow-up article "The Curious Case Of The Half A Million Dollar Chef". A Mr Anonymous then wrote the comment on this article - "This confirms it. Religion and business do get mixed up in some places." - and I had a series of exchanges with him based on that.
When I read that comment, I thought Mr Anonymous was criticizing Pastor Prince for the one-North building project which is a commercial building and in that context mixing religion and business ie. I thought he meant that Pastor Prince should not lead the church into engaging in commercial activity.
However, from Mr Anonymous' latest comment, I just realized that he was just simply referring to me using a restaurant to illustrate a church in my article! Restaurant = Business, Church = Religion, so therefore I mixed up religion and business!
What a fool I have been! I have been trying talk some sense to Mr Anonymous but I simply couldn't get through to him because we were on the wrong frequency! In one comment, Mr Anonymous said,"Just limited intellect on my part." I thought he was just being falsely modest or sarcastic but I realize now that he wasn't kidding! (well, to his credit, at least he's smart enough to remain anonymous)
I mean, I use a restaurant in a parable and he says I am mixing up religion and business! How about Jesus using a vineyard in his parable in Luke 20: 9-16? Was Jesus mixing up religion and business too?
What a fool I have been, not realizing that all the while I was trying to talk to somone on a frequency way below mine. I shall append my exchanges with Mr Anonymous below, and you can see for yourself what a fool I've been (Anonymous in blue, I in red because of my red face now):
This confirms it. Religion and business do get mixed up in some places.
Blessing by god. Decision by people.
Are you the same anonymous of 1137AM and 1143AM?
Are you choosing to remain anonymous for fear of being poisoned for speaking nonsense?
All the chefs in Singapore are using the same pool of ingredients to cook their food. However, it is important to note that while certain ingredients are harmless on their own, mixing them together can have a poisonous effect.
I'm sure the Half A Million Dollar Chef doesn't do that because the many thousands who have tasted his cooking are alive and well-nourished and coming back again and again for more.
A case in point is Bro Timothy Tan who testifies to being well fed and growing stronger each day. Perhaps you might want to join him and drop by the restaurant and taste the food yourself.
Don't worry, I don't think you would be singled out for targeted poisoning since you would be anonymous in the midst of a 20,000 strong crowd.
Business and religion normally should not get mixed up, may be when you add some poison, they do. Look like it's wasn't the boss who decided the salary but some boss assistants who did.
Wait till JD comes, the boss will be really angry with the assistants and those who spoke up for them ! Ha ha
You said,"Business and religion normally should not get mixed up, may be when you add some poison, they do."
Let's take a look at Luke 5:1-11.
Jesus made use of Simon Peter's fishing boat as a platform to preach to the crowds.
After He finished preaching, Jesus directed Peter to move the boat into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.
And what a catch they had! They caught so much fish that the nets began to break, so much fish that filled the boats so full until they began to sink, so much fish that Peter was moved to leave everything to follow Jesus.
A curious mix of business and religion by Jesus, don't you think?
Here's the complete parable.
Yes, the news of the Half a Million Dollar Chef is out. Now, more and more people start talking about him.
Some of these people happen to have patronised the restaurant before. Some of them, only one time but for others, over a period of time. They explain why they don’t visit the place anymore. They all say the food taste good but just different.
The Boss of this restaurant actually has many more of such restaurants. He anticipates that he will have very good business. So he wants to control the standard of his food by making sure that they use the right ingredients. The Boss has written 2 books: 1) Old Ingredient Book, 2) New Ingredient Book. He has sent his Son to all the restaurants to instruct them to use the New Ingredient Book.
For those people have patronised other restaurants before, they find that the food here does taste good and the texture is excellent but it’s just different. The food at other branches is largely similar, but this one is just different. They take the food and analyse it. They find that the food is loaded with Trans Fat!
Previously, people don’t know much about Trans Fat. They all think that margarine is better than butter. But now, it’s proven that Trans Fat is harmful for the body. It does not kill immediately though and because it gives a better texture, people like it and think that the food is more nutritious.
How does this Trans Fat come about? It’s because the Chef does not follow the full instructions from the Son of the Boss. He chooses and picks the ingredient according to his own experimentation.
But people who patronise other branches deliberately stay away as they now know that the food contains Trans Fat. They try to tell those who partronise this branch about it but they are too mesmerized by the texture. Some patrons actually do not eat the food. They come to this branch to socialise as they just want to maintain their business contacts who find this place very conducive for networking.
After hearing these comments, the Boss assistants and the restaurant patrons try to defend their Chef. They ask those who have not visited this branch and thus could not have tasted the food to shut up. They do not realise that many patrons have bought take away and posted them on the internet, such as YouTube. In fact, many can be found there! The Boss does not blame those who do not come to this restaurant but comment. He is very happy that they do make those comments. By commenting, it helps the public to stay away from this branch and go to those branches that cook truly what He intends the Chef to do.
So what is the Boss going to do about this? He is really a smart Boss. He has already anticipated that some Chefs would defy His orders. He has fixed a date to meet up with them and he would mete out the harshest sentence ever. But isn’t He the One who rewards this Chef with the handsome pay? Actually, no. It isn’t the Boss but His assistants who also eat the Chef’s cooking. They would face the same sentence.
What about those who continue to eat the food? Same sentence.
And what will happen to those who commented? He will reward them far beyond the imagination of the Chef, the assistants and those grudging patrons.
It's interesting that you actually select “The Calling of the First Disciples”! There could be 2 outcomes:
1.Simon did not follow Jesus and continue catching his fish (Business)
2. Simon left everything and followed Jesus (Religion)
Simon had chosen number 2. Therefore, there was no mixed up of Business and Religion. In fact, by not selecting number 1, Simon had demonstrated that Business and Religion should not get mixed up!
It's interesting that even though I cited the scripture passage to demonstrate the mixing of business and religion by JESUS, you chose to twist my point and shift the focus on Simon.
Your point of business and religion should not be mixed was originally meant to be directed at the preacher, wasn't it? But now you conveniently choose to redirect it at the follower?
I couldn't find the part on the preacher doing business in your citation. So naturally, I found it in Simon. So sorry for that. It's wasn't intentional. Just limited intellect on my part.
Let's then focus back on the preacher which is Jesus. Are you trying to convince me that Jesus was doing business when he was preaching ? Where was the transaction ?
For Simon, I can see that he gave up his business.
My apologies, it seems that I have over-estimated your intellect.
Jesus was preaching (religion) from a fishing boat (commercial craft) and later directed Simon Peter to go fishing (business).
I hope I have clarified my point sufficiently, otherwise my apologies again, I may have once again over-estimated my already lowered estimation of your intellect ;-)
I'm amazed at your ability to do connections, Stanley.
First you linked tax and donation and can't tell the difference. Now you manage to call anything a Business.
A fishing boat is a commercial craft, may be. But I don't suppose you sell anything there. You probably take the fish to the market to sell them. That's where the business is done.
Neither is the act of fishing considered a Business. The act of selling the fish is the Business.
If I were to apply your logic, then a drink seller in a school canteen can be considered working in the "Education Business".
Wow. I'm getting a taste of the effect of this Trans Fat.
My apologies, I guess I have to lower my estimation of your intellect further.
I suppose you are expecting Simon Peter and his mates to haul the nets-breaking, boats-sinking load of fishes home and eat them for one whole month?! You mean to say they are fishing only for leisure or self-sufficiency but not for commercial profit?!
You yourself implied that NCC building a commercial building in order to hold its services in the 5,000-seater auditorium in one-north is mixing business and religion, so I draw a parallel of Jesus preaching on a commercial craft, is there no connection?
Going by your logic, since there is no commercial activity conducted in the auditorium, then there is no mixing of business and religion then.
"I suppose you are expecting Simon Peter and his mates to haul the nets-breaking, boats-sinking load of fishes home and eat them for one whole month?! You mean to say they are fishing only for leisure or self-sufficiency but not for commercial profit?!" - No. I didn't say that. Jesus was preaching and he happened to demonostrate God's power on a fishing boat. Jesus already knew that he will leave everything and follow Him. He does not intent to eat them or sell them. He only wanted to demonstrate his power to bring Simon to Him. But how you link it to Business.... I really shake head.
"You yourself implied that NCC building a commercial building in order to hold its services in the 5,000-seater auditorium in one-north is mixing business and religion, so I draw a parallel of Jesus preaching on a commercial craft, is there no connection?" - I thought this thread is about the Chef's salary ? When did I imply this ? My intellect is low and I'm beginning to forget things. Please just point to me where I implied this. I'm not being sarcastic. I've searched and couldn't find it, honestly.
Dear Stanley, question for you.
Initially, you were flabbergasted by the Chef's high pay "What? $500,000 just to cook food? This is too much! I am never coming to this restaurant again!" but later, you try to justify his pay by comparing it to a profession in a totally different field.
I guess for the sake of your self-admitted low intellect, I shall "imitate Christ" and explain the whole context of my article.
I was writing a parable ... a story ... to illustrate the absurdity of people making a big fuss of Pastor Prince's $500k a year salary; I was not writing a factual account of an actual visit to a restaurant.
I used the analogy of a restaurant because I felt that it was appropriate since a pastor is dishing out spiritual food to the congregation every Sunday.
I wrote that I was flabbergasted ... it is a technique of story-telling ... my character in the story is representative of the typical view of people outside the church. I used the character of my wife in the story to say why that view is wrong.
I thought you implied about one-North based on your very first comment:"This confirms it. Religion and business do get mixed up in some places."
Since you say you did not imply this, could you explain in what way did my parable about Pastor Prince's salary confirm for you that "religion and business do get mixed up in some places"?
>> I was writing a parable ... a story ... to illustrate the absurdity of people making a big fuss of Pastor Prince's $500k a year salary; I was not writing a factual account of an actual visit to a restaurant. <<
I find that this statement itself is absurd. You think that fussing over a Chef's high pay is absurd, but do you realise why there is a fuss? The pay! No wind, no tide. The wind causes the tide and now people blames the tide!
>> I used the analogy of a restaurant because I felt that it was appropriate since a pastor is dishing out spiritual food to the congregation every Sunday. <<
Stanley, I’m beginning to get better acquainted with your thinking process now. Spiritual food… ah … food … ah…. restaurant! There, the link is made again. There you start writing a parable on restaurant without considering the fact that a restaurant is a Business while a Church is religion! This is what I meant by mixing Business and Religion. Making use of a situation in a different context to validate another. Business is about making money. Is the Church also? I guess in your mind, the answer is yes. That’s why you can make the connection. But I think many people don’t think like that (except for those who awe, brilliant, great, bravo you)!
>> I wrote that I was flabbergasted ... it is a technique of story-telling ... my character in the story is representative of the typical view of people outside the church. I used the character of my wife in the story to say why that view is wrong. <<
Technique or what, is not the matter. The content has shown that you were flabbergasted as the *patron* and not as an outsider looking in. You also said “I am never coming to this restaurant again!” You can’t run away from these facts. Is your character representing all the patrons of this restaurant? If yes, then I take it that the patrons of this restaurant are also flabbergasted by the pay and will not come back again. The above facts reveal that this is the true spontaneous thinking in your mind when you first write this. As a patron, it’s too much and I won’t come back again. And I guess you review your parable before publishing? After reviewing, you still think that way and publish it. But I wonder why you change your stand in the follow up article. Ok. You don’t need to follow up on this one. I just take it as a Technique issue.
>> I thought you implied about one-North based on your very first comment:"This confirms it. Religion and business do get mixed up in some places."
Since you say you did not imply this, could you explain in what way did my parable about Pastor Prince's salary confirm for you that "religion and business do get mixed up in some places"? <<
Mixing Business and Religion… read above. And aiyo… when does One-North ever come in? The article is about the restaurant. And the comment is about One-North? Faint!
Putting aside our differences in the Chef’s pay... I want to share something with you: Praises don’t make you a better writer. Criticism DOES.
no wind, no waves.
no moon, no tide.