Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why Non-NCC Members Are So Worked Up Over Pastor's Pay

I read a report by a The New Paper reporter, Ng Tze Siong and he had an interesting viewpoint about all the outcry over the pay of JP and other religious leaders by people who are not even from the same church or religion.

I append an excerpt below (emphasis in bold mine):

In placid and apathetic Singapore, seeing pastors and monks earn big bucks is one of the few subjects that can get people all fired up.

With former Ren Ci Hospital chief Ming Yi in the dock now for allegedly cooking the books, and revelations of his $20,700 monthly salary surfacing, the questions are flying faster than ever.

With millions starving around the world, why do they have to earn so much?

But there is a more important question to ask.

What is our indignation based on?

Is it envy? Is it disgruntlement?

It may stem purely from our morals, our common sense about what is appropriate for monks and pastors to earn.

But even if it's that, have we subconsciously allowed it to develop into self-righteousness, to cover our own inadequacies?

We say such things should not matter to monks and pastors. But getting worked up over it betrays the fact that somewhere in our own hearts, there may be a corner where it still reigns.

If not, we might not have cared as much, for we know the real treasure lies elsewhere.

Whichever way the verdict goes eventually, this is not about someone else's pay.

It's about our own spiritual journey.

It's about how we are walking around the temptation to feel envious, angry and judgmental.

It's not about the chance to watch a monk being cross-examined on the witness stand, but about the opportunity to examine ourselves.

The Buddhists say: Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults within yourself, and purge them like bad blood.

Similarly, the Bible asks: Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

It warns that we will be judged by the standards with which we judge others.

So before we ask about the pay of our monks and pastors, maybe we should ask about our own.

How much do I earn? How much is enough?

At whose expense has it come?

Our family? Our dreams?

Or our God?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's like saying....a theif steal money aleady and to divert attantion say..why say me steal?...didnt i teach you look at yourself in the mirror first?....you got pimples or not? got right? why say me steal money?

holy teachers jin cleber hor

neber practice teachings but one followers praactice hor

got shame or not? no right so write nonsense right? hehe

you know is crime to cheat money or not?

can go jail one you know. hehe

Malcolm Loh said...

lol. annoy-ny-mouse squeaks again :-D

Mouse said...

If everybody does what Ng Tze Siong says, then there will be no opinions, no Blogs and no comments. Then Mr Ng's article should not be written in the first place ?

Interesting.

By the way, Malcolm. Despite you making fun of Anon, his comment carries much more value than yours.

Malcolm Loh said...

Lol.

Let me treat you and ?him (or you again) to dessert.


Then again, maybe ?both of you won't dare reveal your identities.

You may be able to hide for now, but I look forward to knowing who you are when we are all in heaven some day and have a good laugh.

Meanwhile, your breath sure smells of sour grapes.

Cheers :-)

Mouse said...

Again. Another useless comment that does nothing to enhance the discussion. A greater pest than the Mouse.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Mouse,

If everybody does what Tze Siong says, I believe there will still be opinions, Blogs and comments, and they will be opinions, Blogs and comments that are made after much thought and reflection, rather than mere knee-jerk reactions.

As for Mr Annoy-ny-mouse, I think he misunderstands Tze Siong's point. Tze Siong is not saying that a person who committed wrongdoing use self-examination as an excuse to justify his own wrongdoing. Rather, Tze Siong is saying that before we accuse someone of wrongdoing, we should reflect on ourselves first and then see whether that person is truly doing something wrong.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Geri,

I see you are overflowing with the wonderful sharing we all had during the "tao suan fellowship" ;-)

Mouse said...

Stanley

How does Mr Ng know that people have not already done those "reflections" before they start talking. Does he have supernatural powers ?

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Mouse,

I'm sure not all people have really done that before they shoot their mouths off, how about you?

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Good point Stan =) Not everyone takes time to calm down, think and reflect before they write. Some people write, comment or speak coming from kidneys (emotions) rather than their heart (motivation of the Holy Spirit). There is a huge difference btw what comes out of speaking from the Spirit, and from speaking out when one is highly emotional or high strung. Occassionally the latter reeks of vinegar.

Truly enjoyed yesterday's fellowship session. =D It is a pity that Angie's kind invitations to others to join us were politely turned down. I would have brought some cheese cake had they said yes. There is this bakery near my market that sells these amazing cheese cakes for $3.50 (the whole pound of cake, not just one slice).

Stanley Wong said...

CHEESE cake ... that's a good one, Geri ... intentionally or otherwise ;-)

Ming said...

Thank God. I'm not the group of placid nor apathetic Singaporean.

Admit that there's a large group out there jumping into the scene out of envy.

Me, I just like to point out anything that I think deserves attention. Everything from Ministerial pay, increase in GST, and in this instance Pastor's Pay.

Sure it's not my problem, cos I don't even give to that church. I pay tax so I should jump on the ministerial pay part more.

But... since the issue surfaced and it involves Christian leaders, not an ordinary individual like me, I decided to give it attention just like you are.

Someone pointed me to your blog via a Facebook PM, I read the "defense" that is put up. After today I think I'll give it a rest. It's not edifying anymore. I've written, I've said my piece.

You can either admit there's some reflection to do or continue to believe everything is justified and right.

Many things man start out to do were all in the right intention. But along the way, money fame and power comes in to corrupt. A true brother will tell you when that happens. The others, placid and loyal, will keep their faith. Until someday... it's too late.

Singaporeans like to keep the faith than ask why? When asked why? They like to draw examples on extremes.

Who's asking for Pastors to be broke? I'm sure $5k or even $10k a month is more than enough for a Pastor and his family to survive comfortably in Singapore. Now we're looking at amounts larger than that. And apparently pointing that out is tantamount to treason.

This can go on and on... but I'll just pray for PP, your church (I have too many friends there). God still loves you and honours the work you have done. Me too, but can't you just do something about this little flaw that has surfaced.

Denial is but another form of admission.

Name left so you don't keep thinking that I'm mouse. I just didn't bother to click the name option the first few times.

Mouse said...

Stanley said "I'm sure not all people have really done that before they shoot their mouths off, how about you?"

Actually, we are discussing Mr Ng's article. Are we on the same page ?

Mouse said...

hungribunni

I think you are just speculating what Malcolm is thinking. The point is his comments do not have any value and only shows his true inner self...and I leave it at that... let the readers decide.

Mouse said...

Just curious. Does Christianity make a person more sarcastic ? Cause I see plenty of it here.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Mouse,

No, Christianity does not make me more sarcastic ... it's just my style ... if anything, Christianity tends to hold me back sometimes as I bite my tongue and resist the temptation to rub more salt.

Btw, I was discussing Tze Siong's article. My point is that definitely not all people have "done those 'reflections'", and that includes me and Tze Siong as well. Take note that in his article, Tze Siong used "we" and not "they", which shows that he was also doing some self-reflection even as he was writing the article.

How about you?

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Mouse at least Malcolm is a friend of mine, not some stranger I am speculating about in such a "i am smart alecky i know everything u dun" way.

Sadly people tend to prefer speculating from afar than coming to know the person in the flesh over time and making a conclusion from there.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Oh and i just want to add that it is neither for me, u or the reader to decide... God decides.

To be fair, you were invited to dine with us to give us the chance to know you in person and to discuss in the flesh. We are a friendly lot and dessert would have been on the house too.

Not only did u not take up the offer, u continue to cowardly attack the characters of other bloggers commenting on this blog behind a pseudonym.

I'd say you too reek of sarcasm and a critical, cynical spirit on this blog - so kindly pick out your beam, leave it at the firewall first before you come trying to remove any beams in our eyes.

Malcolm Loh said...

Truth be told, I used to have reservations about blogpastor when angie first put a link on her blog to his.

I am sure he felt the same way about me.

It was only when we met up in person that prejudices began to fade away.

I am reminded of what Thomas said when he was first told about the Messiah being from Nazareth.

So Ming, now that you've taken the first step of identifying yourself, how about taking that second step and meeting up in person, so that we can show you how genuine and sincere we are, and vice versa?

Anonymous said...

put it tis way bunni huney. we dun hv yr fanatic energy to rebutt u pt by pt nether do we want to.

furthermor, u not an honest person.not objactive nor research well. yr argumens full of holes and lacking in facts bordering on absurdety

tell u wat. take tis to court or argu with a good lawyer, i can assue u all yr defences of you leeders will crumber.

talk to somone who know bible well, yr head hide in shame

aiyah,you can't eat roast pig and not have pig entreils coming out of yr rear end lah

understand?

Stanley Wong said...

Dear Anonymous_17April_1019AM,

Can u show us in what way are hungribunni's arguments full of holes and lacking in facts? I am interested to find out and I am sure all readers here will benefit from your insight.

By the way, how come you use "we" instead of "i" in your first para of comment? Are you having a multiple-identity crisis? Or just a plain identity crisis? Is that why u choose to be anonymous coz u don't know who you are?

Anonymous said...

anonymous r legions out there. go search u tube ther u find te philosopy behind anon

lets nt detract.

go tok to good lawyer lah like pap one or maybe not lol

small fee if need pay(church got a lot of money wat) to help u tink straight. lol

Anonymous said...

on second tots if yr leeders dun want end up like durai, better not take me advice
LOL

but then, grace may helch yr leaders if garburmen kind to u lah

butt then, garbue accuse me i insinuate it corrupt force me to accept it findings.keke

si lah. no win like opposition. LOL

Stanley Wong said...

Mark 5:1-13

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Anonymous said...

i tot of tat too and know tat passage well before i commant. LOL

butt hor, u still neber say u go tok good lawyer leh.

btw, good lawyer usually end up quiting open cake shops. LOL

Anonymous said...

lets be remind tat durai was righteous before they put a microscope into his affeirs.


u can say he vedi clean, witch u doing now, since its yr blog but the key is...is he really undar the "microscope"?

if u say yes, u where got honest. LOL

so u all demons lor. LOL

Anonymous said...

u only hv 22000 deluded souls.

sg has a population of 4 to 5 million witch makes u people a frection of the number.

shld i trust the judgmant of a few "good men" or shld i trust the judgment of the PUBLIC into yr affairs?

or u intend to insult the intelligence of the public and see "healing"? LOL

u decide. lol

Ming said...

Poor dude. People give the man (Stanley) a break.

Sorry I'm back cause another friend PMed me about your post so I came back. You are a popular guy. Hahaha...

I'm just saying money, fame and power can corrupt a man. Sooner or later.

Oh yes I said he and the board who took so much money "band of thieves" (personal, angry opinion) which I justified in my comments in my own blog later.

Guys... in the words of our govt. Let's move on already. It's just more and more useless angry words.

The furthur down I read in the comment box the more anger I sense.

More anger less love. No love no use. No matter what you say or do. Not I say. Paul said it.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

I am beginning to really understand the following bible passage:

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." Matthew 7:6

There are certain people not worth spending time to engage in discussions because they bring no substance to the table but hollow accusations.

Like Ming, I believe the comments should stop and we should move on. =p

*hops off singing where is the love*

Stephanie said...

Do not dwell in the Tree of Good and Evil. Go to the Tree of Life! Shalom to All.

Daughter Of Sarah said...

Amen Stephanie. =) Hope to see you at Stan's stall someday soon. =D

Mouse said...

Stanley says "No, Christianity does not make me more sarcastic ... it's just my style ... if anything, Christianity tends to hold me back sometimes as I bite my tongue and resist the temptation to rub more salt."

Since your sarcasm sickness has not been healed, please try harder. And Stanley, I'm not referring to you only. This Blog has plenty of it. I think God will be very disappointed if he reads this Blog.

Stanley says "Btw, I was discussing Tze Siong's article. My point is that definitely not all people have "done those 'reflections'", and that includes me and Tze Siong as well. Take note that in his article, Tze Siong used "we" and not "they", which shows that he was also doing some self-reflection even as he was writing the article."

Stanley, ok. Let me just accept your arguement that Mr Ng is asking us to do self reflection. The next thing I infer from this is that your title and the article is really out of sync. Either the title is wrong or the article quoted is inappropriate. I don't know if this is intentional or not. "Why Non-NCC Members Are So Worked Up Over Pastor's Pay" and the article is about "Reflect first and then comment" just don't seem to gel !

Mouse said...

hungribunni said "There are certain people not worth spending time to engage in discussions because they bring no substance to the table but hollow accusations."

I find this statment describes hungribunni pretty well. She spends quite a lot of time complaining about Anon comments.

Stanley Wong said...

Hi Mouse,

I do not consider sarcasm to be a sickness; in fact it requires a certain level of skill to achieve that effect and also only those with enough intellect can detect it (and you seem to have it since you are complaining about the sarcasm). Sarcasm is wasted on dumb mice since they don't understand your jibes.

I have chatted with Daddy God and He has told me that He likes my Blog. In fact, He says He is the one who gives me inspiration to write the articles (thank you, Daddy!).

The title is meant to attract readers and it is not wrong because Tze Siong's article does question why non-NCC people are so worked up.

If you had read his full article (I had provided a link), Tze Siong started his article by relating how his friend, who was not a Christian, started ranting to him about NCC during a meal together.

If you had read his article carefully, you should have seen the first portion of bold text which shows Tze Siong examining why people are so worked up.

In case you have difficulty finding the relevant text, I reproduce it here:

"What is our indignation based on?

Is it envy? Is it disgruntlement?

It may stem purely from our morals, our common sense about what is appropriate for monks and pastors to earn.

But even if it's that, have we subconsciously allowed it to develop into self-righteousness, to cover our own inadequacies?

We say such things should not matter to monks and pastors. But getting worked up over it betrays the fact that somewhere in our own hearts, there may be a corner where it still reigns.

If not, we might not have cared as much, for we know the real treasure lies elsewhere."

If you still don't understand, maybe you will join us in our next fellowship and we can have a discussion over cheese cake ;-)

Mouse said...

Dear Stanley.... said ""What is our indignation based on?

Is it envy? Is it disgruntlement?

It may stem purely from our morals, our common sense about what is appropriate for monks and pastors to earn.

But even if it's that, have we subconsciously allowed it to develop into self-righteousness, to cover our own inadequacies?"

But you have not got to the bottom of the problem ! You are "blaming" commonsense. So does it mean that commonsense is wrongly applied here ? I see that the focus is just shifted from the problem to commonsense and question the people whether they do reflect or not. It seems like the author tries to hint that they did not and therefore they should not be so "worked out".