Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

In Uncategorized on 06/07/2012 at 6:02 am

(Or “CHC members: Why should tax-payers subsidise Sun Ho’s Hollywood life-style?” or “We are subsidising CHC in Crossover Project”)

In this, I pointed out, among a few other things, some in favour of CHC members, some against, that CHC members were wrong in thinking that CHC’s money could be spent as they wished: that it was not their grandfather’s money. This post expands the point I was trying to make because based on their media comments, some CHC members are showing a great deal of entitlement over spending taxpayers’ money over Sun Ho’s Hollywood life-style and Crossover Project. 

Maybe, they don’t realise they are using the money of other S’poreans, who may not share their idea of Christianity, or who may believe in other gods, or even no god. 

Methinks the members of the City Harvest Church in expressing their love and support of Kong, the other four accused and Geisha Sun are forgetting what Jesus is reported to have said in Luke 20:25,  Matthew 22:21 and Mark 12:17 about the relationship that should exist between the church and the state. Luke’s version reads, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s”.

In this saying, Jesus was establishing  the limits, regulating  the rights, and distinguishing “the jurisdiction of the two empires of heaven and earth” according to a famous American biblical commentator of the 19th century

I’ll try to explain the relevance of this quote to the CHC situation.

CHC management and members are saying that how the money spent by the five is a CHC internal affair and nothing to do with others, implying that the Commissioner of Charities should leave them alone: it’s their money and if they want to spend it on their Auntie Sun and her hollywood buddies so be it.

But the problem with this view is that the status of a charity is granted not by God but by Caesar (the state).

CHC could have opted not to become a charity, but it chose to register as a charity (presumably because it was greedy for — OK taking advantage of — the tax benefits and reputational branding of being a charity). It becomes subject to the Commissioner of Charities, and all that entails.

It is no longer a private organisation, and the laws and regulations relating to charities applies.

In return for the tax benefits and seal of gd corporate governance that CHC gets by being designated as a charity, it has to play by S’pore’s (Caesar’s) laws, and in particular, the laws and regulations that CoC’s enforces. These include not “misusing” (as defined by Caesar’s laws, not the laws of God as understood by CHC) the charity’s funds . It cannot pick and choose which laws and regulations it has to obey.

Not their grandfather’s money.

Because of the exemptions from tax that a charity and donors get, the tax-paying public is subsidising Geriatric Gyrating Geisha’s Hollywood life-style and music performances. This explains how the state subsidises a charity, any charity.

As Christians, CHC church members accept that it’s either God’s way or the highway to Hell. Likewise they must accept that by becoming a charity, CHC and its managers have to obey the laws of Caesar. And that if the managers fail to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, they will be punished by Caesar’s courts. At least there are courts. Their God is prosectuor, judge and executor (OK, also the defender).

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up,” as Hosea 8:7 says.

No wonder other Christians are worried. CHC members should listen to this lady and “sit down and shut up” before they upset other S’poreans with their sense of entitlement that other S’poreans must subsidise Auntie Ho’s Hollywood life-style and Crossover Project.

CHC management and members, and Kong and his Geisha seem unable to appreciate that hard times for the many mean greater scrutiny of the few who flaunt living in Sentosa Cove penthouses or Hollywood mansions, especially when the former are subsidising the latter’s lavish life-style.

They shouldn’t forget that one reason why the PAP government is unpopular is because of its perceived indifference to the widening income gap. And remember, the PAP ministers don’t show-off their life-styles unlike Auntie Ho.

In a coming post (hopefully next week), I will prophesie  that Kong and the management of CHC are preparing the way to take a course of action more usually associated with a certain political party.

  1. Some CHC members do have their own twisted logic,but they are Jesus’ people,they should follow his instruction,and accept the decision of Caesar’s courts which will be under the alert eyes all almost Singapore citizens.
    I am looking forward to your coming prophecy to see whether you have what I now have in mind,Thanks.

  2. How did you link the Doners’ (of CHC) money to that of Taxpayers’ money?
    Your correlation or explanation is not clear, I’m afraid.

    • I don’t link donors’ money, you linked it.

      Premise 1: All charities are subsidised by tax-payers.
      Premise 2:CHC is a charity

      Conclusion: CHC is subsidised by tax-payers.

      • Donors to registered charities get deductions of 2.5X if memory serves me – a high income person wud use this as part of their wealth management strategy

    • If I may attempt to share:

      Companies pay taxes. They are taxed on their earnings.( Earnings come from people who buy their products.)Taxes are used to pay for shared infrastructure such as roads leading to the company’s premises. To pay for lighting along the roads. To pay for maintenance of the roads. To pay for police that may patrol that road. The drains along the roads, the trees that provide shade and beauty of the road.

      When the company is registered as a business and at the same time registered as a charitable organisation,they are exempt from paying taxes. (Charities earn from donations, the product is religious or do good deeds for society. We just don’t describe the action of paying as “buying”, so we say “donate”) So they enjoy all the infrastructure for free. Who has paid for these?

      If there are 10 people who live on an island, and 1 is exempted from paying for his share of the communal facilities yet enjoy them,would you remain silent? Perhaps the 1st year.

      You may not like it if that 1 person enjoys the facilities for free in perpetuity.

      Hope it helps. these are my perspectives but others may be able to explain it better.

      • From Iras website … This says it all

        Tax Deduction of 2.5 Times the Amount of Donation made from 2009 to 2015New!
        It was announced in Budget 2009 and 2010 that all donations that qualify for double tax deductions and made in calendar year 2009 and 2010 (i.e. 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010) would temporarily qualify for 2.5 times tax deduction.

  3. […] Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s – ALVINOLOGY: Prosperity Theology – Tan Seow How on the importance of getting young people […]

  4. To be more precise, all IPCs (Institutions of Public Character) are subsidized by tax-payers. Not all charities are IPCs, but I believe CHC is an IPC.

    • But all charities get tax benefits, so are subsidised by the tax-payers. IPCs have the added adv that donors too get tax deduction, not juz the IPCs. Not as sure as you that CHC is IPC. IPCs cannot be juz for the propogation of religion.Got to do gd deeds, not juz promote Auntie sun as Auntie Geisha, and provide Sentosa Penthse for Kong. Charity can under the remit of promoting religion.

  5. […] all willing donors and they knew that monies were being channelled to this project but atans has a very good take on that too. Share this:FacebookEmailTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories Everything […]

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