Convenient Christianity?

In this ‘new normal’ of the post-Covid 19 era, companies, organisations, and churches must rethink their strategies and reinvent themselves from being a ‘physical organisation with digital presence’ to a ‘digital organisation with physical expressions and locations’. We’re very grateful that our weekday programmes featured on our social media platforms, our online teaching classes, and weekend services have reached people and places far and wide.

Now, with most things being accessible online and on-demand, I can have them delivered to me without leaving home, whenever I want it. But herein lies my concern – the ‘Oh, so convenient’, on-demand, instant gratification mentality.

I’ve not heard of anyone who changed their world (secular or sacred) and impacted their generation by living a ‘convenient life’. All paid a high price to see their dreams, visions, and burdens come to pass.

Imagine waking up late on Sunday morning and missing the 10.15am service. But you tell yourself it’s ok because you can still catch the worship service at 12.30pm on your phone while having lunch at the same time. We’ve probably forgotten that worship service is for the Lord and unto the Lord, not just for us. We gather around Him. If we’re not careful, I’m afraid we could end up replacing our convictions with convenience, thereby shifting our focus from God to ourselves!

C.S. Lewis said (and I paraphrase), “There are two kinds of people in this world – those who submit themselves to God and say to Him, “Your will be done” or those who refused to submit themselves to God and God says to them, “your will be done”.”

Much of the ramifications we experience in our world today, or sometimes even in our own lives, happen when we say to God, “my will be done”.

So how can we move forward to reach this world, with the agility to stay culturally relevant and have a heightened sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to stay spiritually reverent? I believe one of the keys is in honouring God.

1 Samuel 2 tells us that Eli’s sons were corrupt and, after being patient with them and giving them repeated warnings, God finally cut off Eli’s family line and said, “I will honour those who honour Me, and I will despise those who think lightly of Me.” (1 Samuel 2:30). So how do you honour God?

You honour God by valuing what He values.

Eli’s sons had no regard for the Lord, nor did they respect their duties as priests. They despised their lineage and profaned the sacrifices of the people who were considered precious and holy to God. We need to value what God holds dear. God values ‘family time’ where His people come together to worship Him and connect with one another. So let’s continue to honour the time set aside to meet ‘online’ for our cell meetings and weekend services, even though we’re not able to meet physically for now.

When it comes to the things of God, don’t settle for what’s convenient and miss the mark of what God has in store for you. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll always be there or you can get it back at a later time. Some things won’t come back to you once you’ve missed the window of opportunity to respond. Just ask Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup (Gen 25). That one impulsive act forfeited him eternally from inheriting the blessing, even though he sought it diligently with bitter tears. (Heb 12:17)

You honour God by waiting on Him.

God is not a ‘genie in the lamp’ Whom you summon ‘on-demand’ and watch Him appear from the smoke and say to you, “your wish is my command”. Yet we could be unknowingly doing that when we treat the online worship services as ‘another programme’ we watch, at our convenience. God is honoured when we take time to prepare ourselves and our hearts to meet Him, and not flippantly stumbling into His Presence.

The beautiful part about waiting on the Lord is the promise of a divine exchange taking place. He renews your strength and you shall soar high on wings like eagles, you shall run and not grow weary, you shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Let’s use this ‘online, on-demand’ accessibility like a sword in our hand, to extend God’s work, not as a crutch we lean on when we feel sloppy. Let’s be led by our convictions, not convenience. Upholding what’s dear to God and saying to Him, “nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done!”


Ps. Kevin Koh

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Andy Goh is a pilot who has been in Cornerstone for many years. This week, he posted on his Facebook page a bulletin from the church dated Dec 10, 1995. That brought back so many sweet memories. I love that he has kept this for over 25 years and, if you want to buy it, I hear he is selling it at $10,000. Good buy! Mint condition. 
 
I recall in those days, our bulletins were photocopied, our songs were projected on an overhead projector, and we all had funny haircuts and wore strange clothes. Who could forget the bright and loud fuchsia pink and yellow blazers our ushers donned while proudly serving? But what was so timely was, just a few days ago, we quietly crossed our 25 years as a church. June 2, 1995 was the read more…

Radical Discipleship

Recently, while reading the Acts of the Apostles and preparing to teach a class on it, two characters in the book caught my attention – Stephen, the first martyr of the New Testament Church, and the Evangelist Philip (not to be conflated with the Apostle Philip) were not part of the apostolic leadership. Some may even argue that they’re peripheral to the main narrative of the Book of Acts. Yet their significant acts left a deep impact on my heart.

Stephen was described as being full of faith, power, and the Holy Spirit. He did great wonders and signs among the people. The men who opposed him were not able to resist the wisdom and the anointing by which he spoke. They were cut to the heart as Stephen preached, Saul being one of them. As they stoned him, the read more…

A Mind-Blowing Truth

It seems so easy to gloss over the weightiness of Scriptures because we’ve become so familiar in our Christian walk. I think one Scripture deserves much more attention from all of us.

“To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Rev 1:5-6

With one and half verses and 37 words, John the Revelator postulates something so profound and earth-shaking (I don’t mean to exaggerate here, but I mean it earnestly).
 
Consider the magnitude of what Christ has done for us here:
 
He loved us.
He washed us from our sins.
He washed us with His own blood.
He elevated us to become read more…

Words of Truth

I’ve heard this said, “Don’t mix your words with your mood, you can change your mood but you can’t take back your words.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently complimented our Prime Minister for controlling the Covid-19 situation effectively. It said his words turned out to be meaningful compared to other leaders. Two months after his first speech, we got over some huge bumps in the ‘controlled’ environment.

He communicated the situation to Singaporeans and I don’t think they’ve an easy job manoeuvring through some of the landmines. But what was key was their commitment to communicate, to keep the country in a state of peace and security amid uncertainties.

Our Lord Jesus was a master communicator and people were always amazed at His authority, power, and insights. His words evoked mental and emotional read more…

Caves of Hope

“David… escaped to the cave of Adullam.” 1 Sam 22:1

While you may not necessarily think so at the moment, staying home for a few weeks may not be so bad. Consider 3,000 years ago, David was involuntarily quarantined in a cave called Adullam. Now, a cave is not a very inviting nor desirous habitat. The indoor plumbing is horrendous. Beds are rock hard. Even a 2-watt bulb would be cause for celebration. Your wife will definitely not like the kitchen. And, no Netflix.

Still, if you plan to be there for long, you ought to head over to the stores to pick up a broom, mop, and a few supplies to make your cave a bit more homey. Put a few pictures up on the walls (if you can figure out how!) You shouldn’t have to walk far to read more…

Fulfilling The Great Commission Amidst Covid-19

For the past 10 years, our Couriers short-term missions programme would’ve been launched around this time to send our people out to the nations. Without fail, God always shows up in wondrous ways as they go – thousands are saved, healed, and blessed. Our Couriers volunteers come back rejoicing and transformed!

However, the Great Commission is not just an annual short-term missions programme. If that was our perspective and endpoint of missions, we’d have greatly failed. The Great Commission is Jesus’ final commandment to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:16-20). Mission opportunities abound around us while we’re homemaking, working, commuting, etc, in Singapore or anywhere in the world. It’s to be our daily mission.

There’s a greater urgency for The Great Commission in the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many people read more…

The Key Is In The ‘Beginning’

If you’re like me during this ‘Circuit Breaker’ lock-in with young children, you start your day early with your morning devotions and emerge full of faith and grace. Then, when the clock strikes 8am, the first giant called ‘Home-Based Learning (HBL)’ is unleashed, followed by the second giant called ‘Work From Home (WFH)’ at 9am.

As the day wears on, these giants often end up fighting each other, competing for the trophy called ‘Wi-Fi connectivity’, with the winner enjoying smooth and seamless video conference calls and online streaming.

If you and your spouse are working, there’ll be this internal struggle within you – “Whose job is more important?”, so that the one with the ‘less important’ job will have to fight that HBL giant and rescue the helpless child. When it’s lunch-time, you think it was just read more…

’Ritardando’* Time

2020 began with a bang for me. On the first day of the New Year, I was caught on camera for speeding and slapped with a hefty fine and demerit points for failing to conform to a red light signal. The traffic light had just turned amber and I had thought I could make it across at my current speed. I was wrong! It wasn’t the happiest way to start the year, but I felt that the Lord was teaching me some precious lessons in preparation for the coming days of peril. 

Slow Down to Stop

For those like me who need a refresher course, amber means slow down and prepare to stop! Period. 

One of the characteristics of modern life is that of ever-increasing speed. Let’s be honest; even during this period of quarantine and enforced rest, it’s still very read more…

Unprecedented

In all my life as a believer, I’ve never seen what I’m witnessing right now – this Covid-19 crisis is certainly setting the Church up for the ‘Return of the King’!

Everywhere in the world, there’s a spiritual awakening. It’s unprecedented. Various ministries are launching major global prayer initiatives, and seers are exploding with incredible visions. I believe this growing crescendo is building up to that one moment where we’ll see the spark light up a massive global revival. Yup, the day we’ve all been speaking about is now here. It has come!
 
For starters, this week we celebrate Passover on Apr 8. It’s epic. For the first time in 2,000 years, Passover 2020 will be celebrated the way they did on the 1st Passover evening in Egypt, in family units. I find this remarkable. In the read more…

Presence & Provision

The Parable of the Prodigal Son comprises three central figures – the father, the prodigal, and the older brother. While a substantial portion of the narrative focused on the prodigal, the title of the parable in fact points to the real target audience rightly being the older brother. After all, the Lord was addressing a complaint from the Pharisees and scribes about the sinful company Jesus was keeping.

I point our attention to Luke15: 31 – the father’s response to the older brother who complained about his once-profligate sibling. The father said, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”

Let me categorise the reality that escaped the older brother – he had presence and provision without limit. He had the two most highly-prized assets in the household, and yet, neither realised it nor luxuriated read more…

Maturing Through Crisis

This Covid-19 pandemic is like a huge reset button that ‘rudely and forcefully’ interrupted our routined lives; without ample warning and without our consent. It’s heavily featured on every country’s news headlines and dashboards. Suddenly, things that once mattered to us don’t really matter anymore.

Every day, we’re forced to evaluate and decide on what are the truly important priorities in life. Our values & convictions are constantly challenged against this backdrop. And just when you think one wave has subsided, another wave sweeps in. Our National Development Minister Lawrence Wong just said on 25 March 2020 that Singapore is only at the “beginning of a very long fight” against Covid-19.

The fight against Covid-19 is not just a collective battle, but an individual and a personal one. Perhaps the greatest revelation during this crisis – one that has eternal value – is not the medical read more…

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