Sunday, August 28, 2005

Spooked, I Am Not

FCBC's The Spook Show

Was invited by Daniel Kuan to attend his church's The Spook Show at Suntec City yesterday. Although the event is an evangelistic one, it is not immediately apparent. Upon stepping into the hall, one is greeted by eerie lighting, wandering ghouls & spirits, and too many screaming girls. The spook-themed show eventually begins with an hour of magic tricks and illusions performed by Rev Lawrence Khong, the church's senior pastor.

Even as a visiting Christian, I feel unsettled and questions are abuzz in my mind - especially during one segment where Rev Khong "calls upon a spirit" to perform tasks in a "Spirit Chamber". Such a reaction is ironic because controversy isn't new to my church either. But by the end of the show, it's clear to me how both the theme and purpose of the show come together to deliver the same salvation message preached at churches all over.

We can certainly compare these two local mega-churches to determine if there is indeed a winning formula. But ultimately it's not the means that matter - as long as the means do not violate biblical principles. The Spook Show and a preaching magician, the Gospel Concert Tour and a singing pastor, a church building with a titanium body... all these are external facets. It's the congregation's attitude and spiritual hunger that matters.

I've come to realize that it takes maturity and a godly open-mindedness to engage in such secular and contemporary methods of outreach. Most importantly, it takes a calling sanctioned by God himself or else they simply become another of Man's vain activities.

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