Some of you may have seen it, but there is someone who posts calumny against me in the church website or website of House Church Ministries International (HCMI).  The writer writes his name as ‘Truth’ and claims that I deliberately broke the church audio system and as the new system was installed, I received a huge rebate (last year, it said that the contractor received the rebate but then recently the recipient was changed to me.), that I received a kickback from the purchase of the land in Katy, that I stole a church contribution from the 3rd service before I became a senior pastor, and now it claims that I took money from donations for flood victims.

We get upset over something which has some probability and if it is completely unlikely, it should not be bothersome.  Anyone who knows the SBC church system little bit will know that these allegations are totally groundless, so we should just laugh about it, but it still hurts when this continues.  Whenever this kind of writing is posted on the website of HCMI, Reverend Chai texts me right away.  I am sure that is because he is concerned, but sometimes I wake up with such texts in 2 or 3 in the morning and have hard time to go back to sleep.

As I consider why I am upset, it may be due to a disappointment.  If I seek money, SBC is not the right church.  Even a church about half the size of SBC often offers a lots of benefit including vehicle to the senior pastor.  Compared to that, SBC pays the same amount of compensation to all the pastors, so my paycheck is about the same as the head associate pastor of a similar size church.  Since SBC does not have an associate pastor, my work load is much bigger than other churches.  Last year, church finance was not in stress in any way, but since there were many church members who were laid off, to share their hardship, all SBC pastors returned the yearly raise of paycheck to the church.

So far, I usually did not accept the invitations for revival speaker.  The places I normally go are like mission fields, which there is no pay for speaking.  If I go to speak for a revival, I return any fee paid me to pastor’s wife, if that church is not financially stable so that pastor’s compensation is not enough, or distribute to associate pastors or to pastors who started missional church around that area. I really want to be transparent in financial matters and I consider myself as making due sacrifices, but when I hear such accusations, I am disappointed and lose sleep.

Another reason that I am upset is that it is unfair to SBC and misunderstandings it will receive.  I understand that not 100% of the congregation likes me and aggressively supports me.  Nevertheless, we do not have any movement against me or church in general.  All of our congregation value church, respect pastors, and are happy with church life.  That is why there are many happy and smiling faces in the church.  When adversity comes, the whole church comes together to help.  Therefore, we could still smile during Hurricane Harvey and recovery efforts.  That is why I do not believe this accuser is a SBC member.

However, when such writing keep being posted, some may respond negatively, ‘Yes, the church is known to be a good, but it still has a rotten part…’ or ‘Well, there must be a reason for such stories…’  Since there are many visitors in church or HCMI websites, it is quite probable for them to have such notions, which hurts and upsets me.

However, if the reason that I get upset is because I cannot stand my reputation being tarnished, this could be my idol or due to arrogance, so I try to ignore it.  One thing for sure is this is due to my lack of affability, I suppose.  Jesus said, ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.’  It may not be because of Jesus, but I am still ‘falsely accused’.  Since those will receive’ reward in heaven’, I take comfort in His words.



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