Tue, Feb 16, 2010
Pastor: I've let many people down

On Saturday (Feb 13, 2010), Senior Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism church gave  the following speech. A recording was replayed at Sunday services the next day:

'This is the first public statement that I'm making regarding my breach of religious harmony.

After I had offered my sincere apology on Feb 8, 2010, our church took immediate action to review our literature.

Right now, we are in the process of eliminating all possible offensive recorded material from our huge catalogue.

We also urge all members of Lighthouse, and others, not to circulate our past sermons which may provoke religious sensitivity.

Now this is my instruction to all my members. From now on, we must realise that upholding religious harmony is promoting peace, unity and true freedom.

Respecting different religious beliefs means to respect the personhood, or the individual.

Now that doesn't mean that we don't have the freedom to share our Lord's goodness and blessing with others.

We just have to be more sensitive in our approach.

Let there be no criticism of any religion.

One more thing of paramount importance: No matter how deeply you appreciate me, never justify for me. A wrong is a wrong and must be rectified, not justified.

Although I am your spiritual leader, I too, have feet of clay, like you.

The important thing is to be willing to learn from past mistakes and you can help me to set such an example by not justifying for me to those you talk to.

Many people want to know how I feel.

I feel unbearably terrible for my grave error for which I regret deeply.

I've let many people down.

When it first happened, I mentally planned three steps:

One. Sincerely repent and confess.

Two. Bravely face all the consequences from the authorities.

And three. After paying my dues, depart from the very nation that I love.

After much struggle I decided to be true to my heart, because Singapore is my home, no matter what.

I have a purpose in my heart, that this adversity is not going to define Lighthouse.

Instead it will be refined, and grow a bit more like Christ, the prince of peace.

By God's grace, I must redeem myself by promoting religious harmony, while still doing the good works of Christ effectively.

This I vow to do.

Now finally I would like to thank all my faithful Lighters and staff, believers from other churches, and my loving family for their passionate prayers in my darkest hour.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has indeed strengthened me through this ordeal, through your intercession.

Thank you so much, and God bless you.'

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