Bishop’s Messages

In Politics, be the Salt of the Earth

Bishop’s Message Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden…
read more

In the Days of Youth and Vigour

Bishop’s Message Singapore celebrates Youth Day every July! The Bible in Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV) addresses our youth. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and…
read more

Creation Care in Psalm 104

Bishop’s Message Psalm 104 is one of the most extended meditations on Creation Care in the Bible. The Psalmist praises God for both creating, and caring for the many, many different created beings…
read more

“I felt my bowels strangely moved”

Bishop’s Message But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. (Luke 10:33) “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” In the month of…
read more

Good is better than Great!

Bishop’s Message [Apr 2022]. There is a lot that is not good in our world today. But in all these things, the apostle Paul tells us that God wants to work together with those who love him to bring about whatever good we can. Don’t worry about trying to win great and mighty victories for God. Just work together with God to bring about a little bit of good to all neighbours in our troubled world.

read more

Rituals should Help, not Hinder

Bishop’s Message [Mar 2022]. True worship rekindles love for God and neighbour. But the Bible warns pastors and priests (and bishops!) against enforcing those very good rituals in a way that they hinder rather than help people draw near to God. Rather than restrict any from the loving goodness of God, may our rituals and rules help, and not hinder.

read more

God Places the Lonely in Families

Bishop’s Message [Feb 2022]. We live in a world where many of us are, or feel, orphaned and lonely. God wants to set us all in loving families. Let’s work with God to be a family that welcomes orphans and all who are lonely, for we serve a God who is “the father of orphans” and who “sets the lonely in families”.

read more

The Sphere of the Church? A Sphere of Grace

Bishop’s Message [Jan 2022]. The debate whether Christianity has any unique contribution among world religions is the concept of pure grace with no strings or conditions attached. If this is true, may we who are the Church of Jesus Christ be known, pre-eminently, as a family welcoming grace and unconditional love for everybody.

read more

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

Bishop’s Message [Dec 2021]. Whilst it remains obvious that peace on earth remains elusive, let us pray that the Christ Child of Christmas will be born anew in all of our hearts; that we may not only not lose hope, but instead strengthen our hope in God’s promise of, and our desire for, peace on earth for all humanity.

read more

Partners in Mission

Bishop’s Message [Nov 2021]. Everyone can be involved in God’s holy Mission. If we each do what little we can, we can do much more together because “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” That is the beauty and power of partnership. If we are willing to partner with one another or with other churches, we can be partners in the wonderful mission of sharing the Good News of God’s love in Christ Jesus.

read more

God’s Elusive Presence

Bishop’s Message [Oct 2021]. In a COVID-19 pandemic … let us encourage each other—with words and deeds of kindness and compassion—to walk on with hope and faith in the invisible God who is our “very present help in times of trouble”.

read more

Darkness is My Closest Friend

Bishop’s Message [Sep 2021]. “It is okay to not always feel okay” because God understands. Whether it is anguish caused by a physical ailment or an attack on mental wellness, whatever the exact nature of the darkness, what is clear is that God understands.

read more

Sowing in Peace

Bishop’s Message [Aug 2021]. If we hope to reap “a harvest of [God’s] righteousness”, let us try to make peace by sowing in peace because “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God …” May the God of Peace save us from becoming a nation that “turns hate into an asset.”

read more

Train, Start and Dedicate

Bishop’s Message [Jul 2021]. Does the verse Proverbs 22:6 urge us to “train” or to “start” children off in the way they should go? The two actions are closely related in practice. For how does one “train” a child if not by helping them “start” on a good path in life?

read more

The Father of All Families

Bishop’s Message [Jun 2021]. Some are blessed with positive memories of our human fathers; others have never met their fathers, or perhaps have only angry or painful memories of them. But whatever our personal experience of fatherhood might be, the Bible invites everyone to relate with the “one God and Father of all.”

read more

Methodists and the Month of May

Bishop’s Message [May 2021]. “I felt my heart strangely warmed” are the words of John Wesley describing his spiritual encounter with God on the evening of 24 May 1738. This Aldersgate Day, pray that we may renew our commitment to be Methodist Christians who love God with all our “strangely warmed” hearts by loving our neighbours as we love ourselves.

read more

Sacrifices that Do Good

Bishop’s Message (Apr 2021). Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Our response to the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on Good Friday should be to express our thanks and gratitude to God. Are we thanking God by offering sacrifices that do good?

read more

The Year of the Ox that knows God?

Bishop’s Message (Mar 2021) The prophet Isaiah mentions that the ox knows its owner … but God is heartbroken because it seems as if his own human children do not. Isaiah says: If we don’t help our neighbours in need, then we don’t really know God! An ox knows its Master. Do we?

read more

Love God by Loving our Neighbour

Bishop’s Message (Feb 2021) Jesus was prepared to pick one commandment as being the best way of showing that we love the Lord our God with all our heart. Jesus picked ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.

read more

Vision and Ambition

Bishop’s Message (Jan 2021) What are the plans and vision God has given us as a Church? What the world considers to be great is often completely different from what God regards as “great”. What the world deems “little” may be, in God’s eyes, “great”, and vice versa. Perhaps, our vision and ambition for this year should be to be a bit more like Christ in every area of our life.

read more

Have a peaceful Christmas season and a New Year with God’s presence

Bishop’s Message (Dec 2020) Christmas this year will not be celebrated with the usual festive cheer, bustling malls and feasting. In such extraordinary times, continue to pray and know the promise of God’s presence with us despite the world’s strident clatter and clamour. Emmanuel! Indeed, no matter where we are, God is with us!

read more

Big Issues that Methodists are Facing

Bishop’s Message (Nov 2020) MCS’s challenge has always been to bear witness to God’s unchanging truth in a world where situations and people’s thinking and attitudes keep changing. Believers today are challenged by many new social values and norms. Are we remembering what the Bible teaches about not being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds … to discern what is the will of God?

read more

Meeting the Needs of Our Generation

Bishop’s Message (Oct 2020) One’s understanding and cognisance of happenings and situations may vary from others’, such as between those of people from ancient times and today’s generation; it differs even between contemporaries. As a church that reaches out to and lives in the community, we need to constantly evaluate ourselves to see if the form and way we present our faith remains relevant to the people of different eras and regions.

read more

Our Precious Youth

Bishop’s Message (Sep 2020) Because of God’s heart for the young, the Church’s role is to prepare every youth to realise who they are in God’s eyes. Are we helping the youth identify their part in the body of the Church to find and fulfil their calling?

read more

The Post-COVID-19 Challenge for MCS

During the circuit breaker, workers, with a few exceptions, were required to work from home. Although some businesses were affected by reduced on-site coordination of work processes, working from home has been deemed to be generally viable. What will it mean for our church staff?

read more

Women in the Church

The Bible contains many notable narratives of capable women God used to bring about significant results. We can testify that MCS would not be the same without the participation of our women members, our sisters. Let us salute our Methodist women and seek God’s blessing upon them.

read more

Have An Aldersgate Experience

Although I am writing this message on 10 April, the prevailing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic have given me cause to assume that we will most likely not be able to resume worshipping as one congregation by 24 May, and will not be able to hold the Aldersgate SG 2020 Celebration Service at Paya Lebar Methodist Church like we have in the past.

read more

Peace Be With You!

This was the greeting the risen Lord gave His frightened disciples when He appeared among them on the evening of the first day of the week.

read more

Lent Pray and Word

It is the Lent season and we are in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has rattled the world. While it has exposed human failings, it has also shown there is still human goodness in times of tribulation, as seen in the selfless services of the frontline healthcare workers and mutual help among people affected. All these have deepened the significance of the Lent season.

read more

The Significance of Lent

Over the last 25 years, more and more Methodist local conferences have been observing Lent, the 46 days before Easter. The Lent season does not include the six Sundays that fall in this period as churches generally regard Sunday to be the day for commemorating and celebrating the resurrection of the Lord.

read more

The Christmas Gift

Christmas is a holiday with a very important message: one night, as the shepherds watched their sheep on the fields at Bethlehem, an angel came and told them, “Today in the city of David, unto you is born a saviour, that is Christ the Lord!”

read more

Let the Children Come: Methodist Kindergartens

In recent months, there has been much of discussion about the status of early childhood education in Singapore. Educators and researchers agree that a quality preschool programme has a long-term impact on the development of a child’s character and stands them in good stead for their future formal education.

read more

The Church and Mental Health

Whenever we don’t feel well in any part of our body, it is very normal for us to seek the help of a doctor. In the same way, if we suspect that there may be a psychological or mental health issue, then the right thing to do is to seek the attention of a specialist or psychologist or counsellor.

read more

What does it mean to be #Blessed?

The word “blessing” is a very rich word. Everyone hopes to be blessed, but everyone may have a different idea as to what counts as blessings. Most people will feel blessed if they have wealth, health, education, a successful career, a loving marriage, a harmonious family and so on.

read more

Courage in Christ

What is courage? Simply put, it means “having guts”. A courageous person is not afraid. A brave person is without fear. In the New Testament, “courage” and “boldness” are from the Greek word tharreo.

read more

Training Up a Child the Methodist Schools’ Way

Education has always been a vital core ministry of the Methodist Church. Its missionary work in Singapore began in 1885 and the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), a primary school for boys, was established the following year.

read more

Before I die, I want to …

Death comes to everyone. Regardless of the differing views of death owing to race, culture and religion, it is the same for all—a cessation of all the body’s vital functions.

read more

Methodism and Social Concerns during Lent

In Luke 10:27, it is recorded that an expert in the law asked Jesus how one might attain eternal life. Drawing on the Torah books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, the expert in the law was able to find an answer for himself: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

read more

Tradition vs. Faith

“Tradition” is a word that is often disparaged as representing what is passé, old-fashioned, impractical, intransigent or rigid. To some, it even connotes superstition, and handing down a tradition is often deemed regressive and propounding of obsoletes.

read more

New Every Morning: Blessings and Beginnings

A Chinese expression provides a timely reminder: The whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring, and the whole day’s work on a good start in the morning. Time flashes by and unless it is managed and planned, each day passes quickly and leaves us with much regret when night falls. The days and seasons roll by in the same routine and, before we know it, the year has gone by and we have nothing to show for it.

read more

Christian Hospitality

The Christmas story (recounted in the second chapter of Luke) has a very important but often overlooked theme: “receiving”. God gave His precious only Son to the world with all His love. But the world did not receive the Lord, the Word Incarnate.

read more

Unity in Diversity

Every November, the three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) —the Chinese AC (CAC), the Emmanuel Tamil AC (ETAC) and the Trinity AC (TRAC)—hold their separate conferences, which the respective Presidents chair.

read more

From Memory to Faith

For any collective body, rituals embody its memories and fulfill certain conditions. For instance, there is no society whose rituals are open to outsiders. Likewise for the Church, rituals have specific purposes: to serve as a unifying experience for all who identify as Christians; to differentiate between insiders and outsiders; and to remind us of our binding commitment to God.

read more

To be a godly leader

There are many leadership development resources available for business managers, companies and organisations. Outstanding leaders in various fields are often invited by consultancy firms to present seminars, conduct training courses and give talks. Their success stories inspire many, fuelling an industry of books and other media.

read more

A faith well thought through

Each time we proclaim the Apostles’ Creed (the earliest form of which appeared c. 130-200) or the Nicene Creed (c. 325), it is to once again declare to the world that the Christian…
read more

Urban fishers of men

During His ministry on earth, Christ preached the gospel in major towns around the Sea of Galilee as well as cities to the south, including Jericho, Bethany, and Jerusalem. He called His first disciples while they were going about their daily work – Peter and Andrew were fishing, James and John were repairing their nets, and Matthew was collecting taxes. These harvest fields of His, Jesus emphasised to the disciples, were ripe and urgently needed workers.

read more

One Family in God

Back in my youth fellowship days, we used to sing the chorus that goes: “In Jesus Christ we are one family, from now on and forever more”. The chorus, which has a quick and catchy tune, is just this one line repeated several times. At the time, we did not think too much about the words and just accepted the song at face value.

read more

Why must Jesus suffer?

As we reflect on the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion during the season of Lent, we may wonder: Why was it necessary for Jesus to suffer? Was there no other way except for Him to go through such cruelty as He experienced?

read more

Loving as God loves

Being a disciple of Christ has never been easy. While one only needs to believe to be saved since God’s Son Jesus has accomplished the work of salvation, being His disciple is a life-long challenge, and involves continuous learning for believers over their lifetimes.

read more

Obedience in truth and love

Obedience is a form of discipline that requires truth and love to be well-integrated, as well as holding each other in mutual examination. Obeying that which flies in the face of truth is a very dangerous and foolish act, as it either benefits self while doing harm to others, or it leads everyone to ruin.

read more

Remember the Reason for the season

One wonders how long more such words of blessing will be heard. Already in some countries, “Happy Holidays!” has become the standard greeting. In those places, saying “Merry Christmas” to someone who is not a Christian can cause affront and be seen as a challenge to their religious freedom. Who knows how much longer it will be before our Lord Jesus Christ is replaced as the key reason for the celebration of Christmas, in a world so steeped in consumerism and political correctness?

read more

One: The strength of connectionalism

Since assuming office almost a year ago, I have had the opportunity to attend several Methodist regional conferences as well as interdenominational meetings. These were eye-opening experiences for me as I witnessed the wonderful results achieved through various methods employed in the ministries of God’s Kingdom.

read more

Three lessons from a 500-year-old movement

It has been 500 years since the Reformation movement occurred, but the Christian Church has a history that far exceeds that. Although the movement resulted in the emergence of Protestantism which split from the Western Roman Catholic Church, church history was not curtailed. Moreover, the Eastern Orthodox Church based in Constantinople remained relatively unaffected by the movement.

read more

Faith and family life

Paul the Apostle was more than just a missionary and preacher, having founded churches and being the principal theologian of the early Christian Church; he was also a pragmatist. The influence of his teachings on marriage, the family, interpersonal relationships, and their practical application has been profound and far-reaching. He taught that a Christian’s daily lifestyle has to be consistent with his faith.

read more

Social action is integral to Methodism

It was the conviction of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, that a Christian’s mission on earth is to love God and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-34).

read more

The true meaning of education

Many will agree that educating our young goes beyond just basic literacy or even imparting knowledge and skill sets to help them earn a living when they grow up. It should also aim at preparing our youths to function successfully in society, not only academically, but economically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, by equipping them with the requisite life skills, attitudes, aptitudes, knowledge, and skills.

read more

Pursuing holiness through the ‘General Rules’

Many Methodists would have heard of the three ‘General Rules’ of Methodism, often paraphrased as: “Do no harm; do good; stay in love with God.” However, are we aware of the circumstances in which these arose, how they are intended to help believers, and what they really mean?

read more

Meeting God through worship

The late Robert E. Webber, a theologian known for his work on worship, referred to worship as “God meeting His people” in his book Worship Old and New. Clearly, it stands to reason that man must also be willing to meet God for this to happen.

read more

The cost of true discipleship

‘Discipleship’ may seem to be a well-worn topic, but it is the most important and fundamental condition for the continued growth, vigour and vitality of the church. The church disregards discipleship at its own peril.

read more

Advent: Looking back and looking forward

It is December, and we are in the second week of Advent. The end of the year is a time for looking back on what has happened in the months past, and to celebrate and give thanks for what has been accomplished.

read more

Life and death at Christmas

There is a teaching of Jesus missing from many of our pulpits today. It might appear to be out of sync with the mood of this Advent season (but it is not). By its very nature, it is an instruction that makes us flinch, or ignore, if not reject it outright.

read more

Sleeping with frogs

That is something most of us would find unthinkable, squeamish, and will avoid at all costs. Yet some people would choose to do it: sleeping with frogs.

read more

Body Care

This month, our General Conference meets to elect new leaders for the next quadrennium, and enact new or amend existing legislations in our Methodist Book of Discipline, among other matters.

read more

At the Crossroad

A few years ago, during a conference organised by a Methodist Church overseas, I was asked by a member of the host committee what I hoped to learn.

read more

If it is not of God

As Methodists we remember our genesis as a movement that posed a challenge to the religious establishment, its theology and practices.

read more

If it is of God

So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!

read more

We have risen!

Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

read more

The virtue of respect

The erosion of this virtue begins when a higher premium is placed on individual rights. There is something appealing about championing your self-interest as a fundamental human right.

read more

Wholly spiritual

One of the most spiritual things we must do is to take care of our physical body.

read more

The pursuit of hospitality

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted (or tested) as we are, yet without sin.”

read more

Keys of the Kingdom

What are keys for? To lock and unlock doors. We lock in what we want to protect and we lock out what we do not want to enter.

read more

Walking in integrity

Many of us may have seen the TV commercial of a father and his son going to an amusement park. Before entering the merry-go-round, the father paid for tickets for both of them.

read more

Doing What is Right

What happens to us when we choose not to follow God’s way? I do not mean where we might ultimately end up, i.e. heaven or hell, but what happens here and right now.

read more

The secret of facing plenty and lack

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

read more

Honouring our own

It has been 50 years since we became an independent nation. Yet in many ways, we are still dependent on the West.

read more

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

It is just slightly over a month since the passing away of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore on 23 March 2015. We still remember him.

read more

Death’s Defeat

Heaven is a wonderful place
Filled with glory and grace
I want to see my Saviour’s face
Heaven is a wonderful place

read more

Denials and Desires

One of the great themes of Lent is self-denial. It is one so contrary to our culture today. Yet it is what brought about the mighty act of salvation in Jesus Christ.

read more

The Year of the Lord’s Favour

Jubilee is essentially a celebration of God’s favour; the Bible calls it “the year of the Lord’s favour”. If we have been able to last 50 years, it is only because God has been merciful and gracious: gracious in the sense that He had intervened in events so that they turned out for our good when we did not deserve it, and merciful in the sense that when we actually deserved the worst, He withheld judgment, thus sparing us.

read more

Life ‘above the sun’

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

read more

The Methodist Covenant Service

ethodist churches all over the world have habitually observed the Methodist Covenant Service, typically on the first Sunday of each new year. The practice dates back to John Wesley himself.

read more

Name above all names

The naming of a child in different cultures may follow various practices, but the significance is never in doubt.

read more

Quick fixes and slow solutions

s I write this, I am in the midst of the Annual Mission Conference of The Methodist Church in Cambodia (MCC). The MCC was birthed from the union of five missions of Methodist churches from other parts of the world, that had earlier started work in Cambodia independent of each other.

read more

The root of grievance

“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled”

read more

What makes a nation great

“Righteousness exalts a nation”, said the wise man in Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV). The Good News Bible translates the verse simply as: “Righteousness makes a nation great.”

read more

Have we lost our way in worship?

There is so much to read along the information superhighway that sometimes we miss some good articles. I came across one titled “Are We Headed For A Crash? Reflections on the Current State of Evangelical Worship” by Jamie Brown.

read more

A different approach

It has been said that the church in this part of the world should be wary of the influence and infiltration of Western liberal theologies. I believe we should also include in that advisory the conservative dogmas as well.

read more

What’s the big deal about Aldersgate?

Why be bothered about something that happened to an Englishman late one evening on a nondescript street in London almost three hundred years ago? Why do we have such traditions like Aldersgate?

read more

Easter Encounters

Every now and then, I hear the remark that a person has had “an encounter with God”. This is said to account for the noticeable change that has taken place in that person’s life. Often the conversation refers to a person who had been a nominal Christian, a sceptic, or even one who did not believe in God at all.

read more

Celebrate our faith in festivals

Festivals were integral to the lives of people in the Old Testament. There were daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly festivals. Most of these were religious, as instructed by the Law. Even feasts such as birthdays, weddings and other personal events were not purely secular as each event included a divine blessing.

read more

Forever New

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

The love that God has for you this New Year is not last year’s love. It is a 2014 love, not something carried over from the past.

read more

More than just a birthday

Christmas is more than just the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

We read in Romans 8:3 (The Message): “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.”

read more

The God who became a Baby

A LEADER of the early church insisted, “I cannot see how a baby can be the God who created the heavens and the earth.” He was referring to Jesus who was born in Bethlehem. Later this church leader went on to relentlessly pursue his line of thinking and became responsible for a heresy.

read more

Social Holiness

In his earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus preached and taught the truth, healed the sick, and delivered those in bondage from evil. He both proclaimed and practised God’s love. He found time to often pray to the Father in quiet and remote places far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Then he would return to the needy and sin-filled world to bring God’s love to broken people. He showed the way to combine faith and action, personal piety and social concern, love for God and love for neighbour (Mt. 22:37-40).

read more

An Attitude of Gratitude

At this time of National celebration, I call upon all Methodists to a unique expression of our gratitude. The Bible reminds us of the prophet Samuel who, more than 3,000 years ago, set up a stone to celebrate the victory of Israel over the Philistines. Today the memorial stone which Samuel called “Ebenezer” (the stone of help) could still be seen. May we also catch the spirit of celebration by trusting God who is our Ebenezer, our hope for the nation.

read more
Menu