Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pastor Phil’s Story

When Dr Lum shared the story of what happened to Pastor Phil Stevenson when he came to minister at one of our Calvary youth camps several years ago, many Calvarites were shocked at the victimization dished out by our Church on Pastor Phil. As you may recall the story, at the end of the youth camp, a love offering was collected from the youth for Pastor Phil. Many young people gave sacrificially because they were very blessed by his ministry at the camp. However, the love offering collected was never given to him, instead, it was kept by the Church. One of our associate Pastors apparently explained to Pastor Phil that the money would be used to offset his airfare here, which was “expensive”.

This ill-treatment of an invited speaker is despicable, no matter how hard, our pastors and deacons may try to explain their actions. But it is consistent with how our Church treats those they can take advantage of, whether they are visiting pastors, Calvary staff or mission workers. On the other hand, our Church is generous to those who can benefit them. How else can one explain why our Senior Pastor and Deacons gave US$10,000 to Dr Guynes for coming to chair our EGM last year and why our Senior Pastor gave S$10,000 to Rev Robert Lim for preaching in our Church for one Sunday?

As you all know, that EGM was held to “clear” all the allegations against Senior Pastor and Dr Guynes chaired and guided the EGM accordingly. As for Rev Robert, his Church was subsequently purported to have given Senior Pastor a brand new Volvo costing more than RM300,000 and Senior Pastor’s wife a brand new Honda Civic. It may be something our MACC may want to look at, if they come across our blog.

Back to Pastor Phil. Several months ago, a few core TTG brothers & sisters felt that what happened to Pastor Phil ought to be put right and so, collectively they sent a love gift to him. He responded through the email as follows:

“I am writing this email to express my thanks and heart felt love to all those who put together to give the financial gift I received when --- and--- came to Perth recently, I was humbled to see such an act of generosity and honor for the preaching of the Word of God amongst the youth of Calvary, and it appears to me that there are many sincere and wonderful people at Calvary church to whom I would love you to pass on my thanks and love.

Let me take a few moments to let you know how I have dealt with what happened at the camp. When I was told that I would not be receiving the love offering I was shocked as you can imagine. Mostly because they had told the kids that it would be given to me and I know many would have given sacrificially towards this financial gift. But God used this to help me check my motives. Why did I go and speak places? Was the gospel free as far as I was concerned? I decided that my motives were to be to bless the kids at Calvary or anywhere in fact and I should expect no financial reward for this, So a lot of good came from a bad situation as you can see.

Then a few weeks ago --- and --- arrive with your card and the financial gift that was taken up by yourself and some of the church members. I was deeply touched by this selfless act, I felt honored for the small part I played in the camp those few years ago and I was reminded that there are God's people everywhere who just want to act with integrity and righteousness. I will be telling our church community of how you have blessed me. The money by the way came at just the right time and with the exchange rate I know this is not a small amount in malaysian terms.”

Pastor Phil also shared the story of this bad experience and how God turned the situation
around into something good, in one of his sermons in his Church.

Click on the link below to hear the full sermon entitled “'3 targets of Christian Generosity' dated 19 May 2009.

God is Always Good in All Situations To All Who Love Him and are Called By HIM!

For your easy listening, we have downloaded the sermon here. Ps Phil's sharing of his experience in Calvary is about 33mins 40 seconds into his sermon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Reasons why PG will not repent

14.9.09 : Read another interesting observation by "Ampang Calvarite" (Comment no 15). Go to end of this article. Click on xx Comments. A list of Comments will appear, then scroll down to read the latest comments.


This was an e-mail we received from a Concerned Calvarite who is not known personally by the CT & BC administrators. We received this brief reply when we wrote in for permission to publish.
"O.k, go ahead...I discovered the blog Calvary Today only recently about few months ago, and i felt like Elijah knowing that there are 500 other faithful prophets hiding in the caves. It bring relief and comfort that i am not alone. I am not the only one who see what i saw in Calvary Church. I heard rumours that people left Calvary Church but i do not know them or who. Some of my friends are still there who very much support PG, but others are no more. i think we lost contact somehow : ( "

from :
to :
date : Sep 3, 2009 10:45 PM
subject : Reasons why PG will not repent

Reasons why PG will not repent.

1. He still have multitude of supporters locally and worldwide
While many support Truth, Transparency and Godly church governance, many still support the lordship of PG. Many in church still give to his dynasty. Offering bags can still be heavy. The wayward spending of the senior executive pastor on gym and other luxury facilities are ongoing. His Judas hand over the church account continue. Even churches of his good friends are still contributing fund for his endeavor. Why people still support him?
a) People believe pastor is always correct.
People evaluate on the basis of position. This is true in the world and sadly true in churches too. People see status, not hear reasoning. This happen because Christian in church today are merely taught to obey, not evaluate. The Berean heart is almost extinct in many churches today. We live in a trend of success orientation. Whoever has status, whichever side has more number or whoever more successful will be looked as correct. People look at the appearance more than the matter. People have a general assumption that pastor, called by God for His service is always right. Everyone who support him is indirectly feeding to his arrogant and pride and thus stopping him from repenting. If we love our pastors, we would want them to repent and be restored.

b) Calvarites were too proud of the church institution
Many Calvarites are too proud of church institution that they often distinguish themselves from Christians from other churches solely on the basis of church institution. Such pride create an unhealthy sense of belonging that stir competition among churches. This spirit many times are seem to be intentional stirred by the leaders and pastors in church. Such is seen not just in Calvary church but also in many AOG churches today.

Today many churches tend to have a cold war among themselves with a secret vision of which churches has the largest building, the most beautiful building, jump the highest, shout the loudest, live the most liberal, get most recognition from foreign churches, has the most number of congregation, or which pastor is more popular. Because of such institution pride, many Calvarites tend to ignore the sin of senior executive pastor(PG). To many, they rather have success although in mere appearance, than to have real truth but loosing the chances to boast over other churches. The pride that allow them to boast as member of the biggest and wealthiest church that often has event in stadium and luxury places, own great number of property with the most beautiful building, and church that is recognized by many foreign churches is too tempting, that they would rather ignore righteousness for it. They rather save face than to face truth. This is much so for those who serve as leader. Due to such institution pride, it is a predicted response that they will support CCC, a glamorous monument exalted like tower of Babel that dominate and minimize all other churches in size, luxury and architectural beauty – a license to boast over all and make doctrine that none dare to confront.

Calvary Today does not cause division. Division is just a product of what actually happen. But there is good in this division, to my opinion that the Lord has allowed it to happen – that is that Calvarites can finally learn to be humble. We finally came to realize that we are actually “Christian” just like others, not “Calvarite” as we used to think. Church institution is just a shell. Wealth and glamour do not distinguish us from the rest. We are as weak as other Christians in Malaysia.

c) People tend to pretend to be peacemakers
Not everyone are like those in Calvary Today who are willing to scar their face to go against evil. Many would rather be peacemaker, a “neutral” side where its end is easy to be accepted, no matter what is the outcome. This is the “free thinker” of Christianity. Their motto is like the Chinese say, “If many matters, why not rather less matters; and if less matters, why not no matter at all?”. Rather than righteousness and justice, they see peace merely as zero matter or activities. These are the people who strike for peace at all cost, even to compromise evil; not knowing that division is not the source, it is actually the product of conflict.

We cannot remove the result of something without remove that very thing. We cannot eliminate the product of a problem without dealing with the source of the problem. People try to remove product of the problem by not producing the product of the problem, that is by ignoring the problem itself, although the problem did exist. This is irresponsible, as we Christians are not called tent of thieves but watch tower and light of the world. Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt 10:34). Many times, it is easier to be peacemaker (of artificial peace) than to fight for real peace. But we are not in a game.

The outcome of every wars that we fight will affect us. It could means that the loser may be called heresy, banished from church community, punished under some sort of church ISA, or even labeled as cult. Because of such fear, many would rather not openly against the dictatorship of senior pastor. They would rather play peacemaker, a neutral party, that call for blind forgiveness (means compromise), have faith in pastor (means just do what you are told), and everything will be alright (means be ignorance). These peacemakers are tend to stand for chief senior pastor, since whoever do not disagree with his wayward spending is for him.

d) People are in ignoranceWhen there is strife and dispute, what is actually happening and where do we get reliable information? Since no pastor support TT&G and all associate pastors support PG, the only voice for TT&G is through websites and spread word of mouth from individual to individual. There is no pastor stand on stage to preach for truth and transparency or against church finance secrecy and deception. Not everyone serve internet and if they do, they may not find CalvaryToday or Berita Calvary. He may not know anyone who support TT&G, so he remain unaware of the truth, whereas there is much can be done by PG to justify himself. He can preach on stage heard by many, manipulate Bible verses to justify himself or criticize those oppose him.

His link and relationship with other pastors whether local or foreign is also a privilege for him to explain situation away, the way he want it to be, and those who heard from him does not verify the info from the congregation. Not every pastors from other churches who support him do so merely because of their good friend relationship with him. Many do not really know what actually happen in Calvary Church today. People are in ignorance, not knowing what is actually happenning and believe whatever has been told to them. Their only source of info is from pastor himself. They hear from one side without hearing from the other.

Perhaps people are being explained that the situation in Calvary church is just a faith measurement issue, where SP has high faith, so high that he has no worry spending church money waywardly because he has faith that he will not fail; whereas those who oppose him have low faith, fearing that the church will bankrupt due to wasting just a couple of millions ringgit.

People may be told that it is just a over-worry issue, a misunderstanding between two parties of different faith level. Perhaps that is why some pastors still support him, and even help him to preach to his congregation the impression they get from SP. They thought it is just a lack of faith issue, a miscommunication problem, where the congregation could not cope with SP’s faith level. So just preach faith and it will solve the problem. Preach to the people not to worry, just trust and the problem will be solved, so they think.

Others may be told that it is just a feeling issue. It may be told that some people simply over sensitive at what SP is saying and offended by it. So just preach forgiveness and it will solve the problem. This is the impression given. We see reaction from some pastors that reflect that they have such impression. It’s explained as though as it is another miscommunication problem, where there is no one right or wrong, just a misunderstanding. This is so that other churches or foreign Christian community do not think Calvary Church has a serious problem. But we do have a serious problem, so serious that if it prolongs, the negative impact and the solution required can grow too big, so much so that even if SP and his whole family would step down, it does not improve the situation.

Is the problem merely an issue of lack of faith (worry) or someone offended (feeling issues) ? No. If senior pastor would apologize yet continue to be who he is, it does not solve the problem. If the congregation would simply trust and silent its voice, it does not solve the problem. The problem is not relative, but absolute. Repentance is called for and is necessary. It ought to be seen in real action, not merely in show acting..

2. He is well established in status and ministry
It is easy to criticize a nobody, but if you criticize someone of great wealth and high position in society, you better have a reason worth sacrificing yourself. PG has a title Tan Sri and Dr (I think mean he obtain a PhD). All these were not casually comes. It is intentionally, it is priority (contradict to this year theme). All these are possible because he is careful to ensure every project, every activities, every money or effort spent by the church were spent to gain honor and polish that reputation of his.

He don’t mind giving church money to other church, because he will be known for such charity. But he will not give to a needy beggars in the street, because such has no benefit to his career. He don’t mind adopting a village when the government require because all such effort will add to his credit to achieve Tan Sri, but to speak against injustice in this land, he would rather not. You see, everything that he plan for the church, he ensure that he has benefited, although he claim they are doing for God.

As the result of all these years of church effort in all these planned events, projects and activities, we see PG has gain much power, wealth and fame. He has title, he has wealth and he has great influence among churches in AOG and even other denominations. Thanks to all the sincere effort of our serving, a monster is born. Special thanks also to all the pastors and leaders who throughout the years have constantly polish his shoe and pampering his arrogant, quoting, “Senior Pastor say that, senior pastor say this”, a haughty prince emerged.
With the fame, wealth and power both among Christian community and the world, it is not surprising that he is reluctant to repent despite much reasoning. After all, what can people do to him? He has the authority with him. With our money, he has impressed many churches through giving and winning their heart of support. With his profession as pastor and once a superintendent of AOG, he has clothed himself with immunity against protest. It is very diffcult for leaders of other churches to go against him. It is like a ministry suicide, because of his influence among the pastor network. People would rather be quiet and step aside. This Tan Sri’s dependence on status, fame and wealth has made him greed so much, will he give up now? Who can really shake him? Or so he thinks.

3. He knows the weakness of men
The SP knows the weakness of men as do our enemy. In a long term dispute, the weak will tend to faint, give up and either disappear or join the other side. It does not matter if we stop giving, it does not matter if we jump into a lake either. If he can build CCC with wide hall and beautiful architectural, people will go to church and tend to forget his sin. If many attend CCC, impressed by the beauty of it, and satisfy with the thrive of having a wide worship hall, it does not matter to him how many jump into the lake. The new numerous members will replace those who had jumped into the lake. All that is matter to him is number, as such indicates power and fame. When many who are impressed by the structures of CCC begin to support him, attend church and start giving to PG so that they could claim a sense of ownership of CCC, and the number grow again, then the prince will has every reasons to claim as king. He can preach as though as Calvary Today is wrong, and that every picture he falsely paint to the public is then “proven” correct.

We humans are weak in many ways. We tend to see success in wealth or numeric as a justification of oneself. If PG would just silent the protest now until CCC is built and the number recovered (including the money, of course), there is no need then for him to repent. He can even prove that he is right thus far. You see, he who had carefully done everything merely for the sake of fame and wealth is cunning. From Calvary land to the project of adopt a village, everything were done for himself. Although done by people in church, it is claimed for his own credit. He who climbed to be Tan Sri and chased for every ministry awards, is crafty enough to know the weakness of men. He knows what normal people will fall into. Calvary Today is dealing with an usual men who throughout the years has carefully ensured that everything the church has done will eventually feed himself with power, fame and wealth. He who has established himself and his fortress through your sincere hard labor, is not naïve. And he think he can again escape.

4. He loves his comfortable & luxury life more than the sheep
He who loves his life with all that is with it, will he has compassion or even has consideration on you? No. Appeal does no difference. So is reasoning. It is not that the point is confused, it is purposefully refused. No matter what truth or how transparent it is desired, it will not be entertained. It is intentional, not accidental rejected. No passive action will prevail. Don’t hope to receive compassion, don’t hope to be pitied. For the ambassador of mammon know no pity, clothed no compassion and gives no consideration to the hurt. He who love wealth and fame will hold to the position where he can simply put his Judas’ hand into the account when ever and however he wanted.

Will he step down to save your faith in God? No. Will he repent and accept godly governance? No. Money and fame had lifted him up, money and fame is what he will hold onto. He will rather plunder wealth from the church than to merely give it up, unless one day it runs dry. God’s kingdom is not His priority, it is his propaganda. Therefore, do not jump into the lake as he instructed, he will not have pity on you because the sheep is not his priority either. They are just number to him, an asset of fame and a source of income.

Having to mention this, it is appropriate that Calvary Today help those who have left to other churches. It is not known if they are accepted as normal or being seen as Christians who “jump church”.
a) Calvary Today ought to bring awareness that not all who jump church are bad Christians. In fact, many who did have a valid and godly reasons.

b) Calvary Today ought to help those who left to other church to continue to walk with God without haunted by the hurt of the present Calvary situation. They ought to learn to move on, learning from the past hurt but not carrying it along.

I remember many years ago, when a brother in my office’s fellowship express the membership scandal in Calvary Church (that is long before Calvary Today exist), a sister who is a visitor to our fellowship begin to express the jump church scenario that she faced. She told us that she jumped church because of some church leadership problem. At first, she seem like just wish to be quiet in the fellowship, giving no comment. But when the brother express such dissatisfaction, she can’t help but to tell her experience and hurt. She can express such because it is a small fellowship and thank God the believers in the fellowship understand her.

We ought to be sensitive to those who are hurting. Many are victims of church leadership, jump to other church, but afraid to tell of the problem they face in previous church because of fear that the Christian community (which many are church orientated and prosperity gospel influenced) would criticize them just because they jump church, without finding out why.

c) Calvary Today should not just look to bring PG down, but also to lift those who are hurt by him. Do not expect CLM under Pam G would play such a role. CLM would rather address homosexuality, a relatively irrelevant issue in Malaysia than to address many major direct hot issues in Malaysia; because in my opinion, it may be established to impress foreign church community only, not really wish to minister to people.

There are so many issues in the past few years that happened in our Malaysian community as well as in Christian community that ought to be addressed. Sadly, Christian leaders seem to be ignorant, with few merely focus on collecting money for church building. There is no one would care for those church jumpers now other than Calvary Today. This ministry is presumed on you because only you know and can care.