Just recently last weekend in Singapore (5th-6th Aug 2011), the annual Festival of Praise (FOP) event happened. The FOP is an annual event created to express Christian unity and foster reconciliation and synergy in the various Christian churches and denominations in Singapore, which is done through the instrument of combined [contemporary] praise and worship of members in churches in Singapore, and the outward expressions of unity between Christian pastors of different churches and denominations. Originally an Anglican event, the founder of FOP Rev. Dr. Canon James Wong seems to have left the Anglican Church and is now serving in various capacities in Charismatic circles, being currently on the board of Tung Ling Bible School.
I have been to the FOP since the late 1990s, especially remembering the hype surrounding 2000 where there were previously given (failed, and thus false) prophecies of multitudes of people turning to Christ. Since then, I have not gone to the FOP event as I deemed it too hyped up and the public speaking of "tongues" was very stumbling to me, not to mention the ridiculously high volume level of the event itself. Later, when the LORD in 2003 opened my eyes to His truths in His Word and rejuvenated my soul, I threw out most of my previously held [charismatic] views as they were the teachings which caused my soul to shrivel and my spiritual growth to be stunted in the first place.
My last attended FOP event was FOP2006, as I was curious to find out what has happened to the FOP since the last time I went for it. That event was terrible, with a total violation of the Regulative Principle (and maybe even the Normative Principle) of Worship, and outrageously heretical teachings by so-called "Apostle" Ed Silvoso. I have blogged about it previously here and here. From then on, I regarded FOP events not only as being a waste of time, but a violation of Scripture. The embrace of heretics of course does not help their reputation at all.
Fast forward to the year 2011, in which I did not go for the FOP event. This year's speaker was John Bevere. While I did not go for the event, some people I know of went for it, and I have heard that some of them were outraged by what they saw during the event.
In a seemingly public Facebook note (the contents of which I do not necessarily endorse), a person by the name of "James Kuan" commented as follows:
To be honest i was really shocked when they said take up your wallets, lift it up and pray to be wealthier and call it a blessing. We really need the spirit to discern such things because it might seem alright and ok but isnt ...
While saddening, this development in the FOP does not shock or surprise me. After all, they had Ed Silvoso on for 2006, Phil Pringle on for 2007, and Che Ahn for 2010. Whoever the "pastor" is who blasphemed God by this abominable action, his action is part and parcel of charismaniac Word-faith and Third Wave pseudo-biblical nonsense.
This brings me to my main point: Given the devolution of the FOP from a reasonably orthodox event into an event where heresy is regularly celebrated, no Bible-believing Christian should ever continue to go for that event. Upon what biblical basis can someone continue to go for an event which blasphemes the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and distorts and maligns His Word? None! Rather,
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6:17-18)
The FOP is an abomination to God, and it stinks in His sight. When the Gospel is being compromised into a teaching of health, wealth and prosperity, then Ichabod has been already written on the door. As it is written,
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1: 8-9)
The capitulation of the FOP event organizers into heresy is plain for all to see. It is "another gospel" indeed, and it does not save. Christians are well-advised to avoid any association with this event, and to call on the event organizers to repent of their compromise of the Gospel with the leaven of "another gospel," which is not another like it but a repudiation of the Gospel itself. Amen.