Thursday, August 26, 2010

Disposable cars?!

It seems like The Onion just can't stop taking a dig at General Motors. They published an 'article' (fake, of course) about General Motors selling disposable cars in 2001, and they've now done it again as a podcast on 23 August:

The posts were no doubt sparked by GM's spate of car recalls and customer complaints - flammable heated windshield wipers, seatbelts that didn't work, engines that sounded like a train was pulling your car, and poor customer service to boot. Not good, not good indeed.

Now, if someone could come up with a real disposable car, that'd be interesting. But I can already imagine all the problems that would come with a disposable car... Poor safety standards, low power, no power steering, people dumping their unused cars at the side of the road.... woah, that would really suck!

But what about religion? Are we in the process of creating a 'disposable religion' as well, one that you dump the moment it doesn't cater to you? Imagine the following:

SINGAPORE - "The Emerging Church of Singapore (TECS) has announced an overwhelming 500% increase in its church attendance in the first quarter of 2010. Church attendance spiked after the announcement of their new mission statement - "Everyone is precious in God's eyes. We meet your every need."

With this mission statement comes a well structured approach towards outreach. The church has adopted a new attitude that is open to people from all walks of life. "It doesn't matter if you lie, cheat or are gay", says Senior Pastor Jing Swee. "God loves you all the same, and that's what really counts. We will continue to support you emotionally for as long as you need." Senior Pastor Jing Swee is married to Senior Pastor Jing Ho, and the couple now runs a workshop that caters to other LGBT relationships.

"I've been blessed greatly in this church," enthused Lee Pai Kia, a businessman who travels from Sixth Avenue to the Singapore Expo every week for service, "It doesn't matter what I've done wrong -I know that I'm accepted and loved for who I am. Going to TECS is a weekly must - It sets my conscience free, knowing that God will work in me somehow and that all things are in God's hands."

"I used to be a staunch Buddhist, but I now alternate between Buddhism and Christianity because both cater to my value system," recalls Ms Sui Sap Sap. "I'm leaning more towards TECS now, though. It's really what I'm looking for when it comes to catering to my spiritual life."

TECS unexpected boom in its weekend attendance forced them to relocate from their previously small, 50,000 square feet site in Jurong. "It's a pity that we can no longer continue to use the old premises, but we are thinking of using it as a day care center instead", says Elder Ai Swee. "The move to the Singapore Expo is estimated to cost us S$350 million, but our church members have been contributing freely and generously to facilitate God's work in our church. It's amazing to see God at work." The Jurong premises were originally built for a price of S$150 million in 1995.

The best news for the burgeoning congregation may be the fact that with the space already built and available, TECS was able to make the shift almost instantly, since there had been no lease on their previous site.

Other churches have also started to adopt a similar mission statement, recognizing the need for Christianity to be as flexible as other religions in order to maintain and grow its congregation.

As Senior Pastor Jing Swee explains, "These are troubled times. It is here we can provide an opportunity to show others how much God cares, no matter what you do. If people don't see that, they leave. We have to make sure that they are always assured of their faith."

What about you? How disposable is your faith?

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