Articles by Andrew Tan & Rev George Ong (Dated 25 Aug 2021)
Joseph Prince’s Arrogance Towards Critics – By Andrew Tan (Ex New Creation Church Member)
In Pastor Joseph Prince’s sermon last Sunday on 22 August 2021 (three days ago), he said the following (click to view):
“When I hear people speaking against me or writing against me or whatever, one of the things that I do is that I go to God and say ‘Father, I thank you that that person is the righteousness of God in Christ. And I pray that you give the person a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you. And I bless that person in Jesus’ name.’”
Though the above statement is calculated to win over peoples’ hearts, it is misleading and tantamount to a deception for two reasons.
Firstly, it is a publicity stunt to impress listeners that he is practising Christian charity on those who oppose him.
Secondly, this attitude is a far cry from how he responded to his critics in my 20 years (2000-2020) in New Creation Church.
In my many years at New Creation Church, I’ve often heard him speak against those who criticise his grace theology as being Pharisaical. Those who teach on the relevance of the moral law, which is against his core teachings, are called legalists or works-obsessed people.
To make things concrete, let me quote just one example of how he arrogantly responded to critics.
Several years ago, when I was still in New Creation Church, Joseph Prince told the congregation that he was aware that there were pastors who opposed his teaching and wanted to correct him.
But he arrogantly said what can he learn from these pastors whose church membership is much smaller than New Creation Church. To Joseph Prince, having church membership of over 32,000 is proof that what he is teaching must be right.
He chided those pastors who tried to correct his theology by questioning them why their church memberships were not growing. He further added, can 32,000 people be wrong?
In actual fact, biblical history has shown that safety in numbers is a fallacy. In the Old Testament, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah and many other prophets were outnumbered by those who apostatized. Yet, they stood alone and were truthful to their calling.
In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus warned us: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (NIV).
I would rather be in a small church where the truth is preached than to be in a mega church such as New Creation Church where falsehood is being spewed out from the pulpit and the lips of Joseph Prince. The pulpit must be one that pulls people from the pit and not bring people down into the pit of destruction.
Throughout history, God is looking for the remnant who are faithful and loyal to Him. A remnant is a smaller minority of people, the opposite of ‘mega’. We are called to remain faithful until the day of the Lord.
If you feel tempted or seduced by the euphoria of belonging to the majority, never forget the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 – that the few will find life, while the many are headed for destruction.
Andrew C. Tan
Attending Agape Methodist Church, Singapore
If you have missed reading Andrew Tan’s testimony about how he came out of New Creation Church, please read it here (click).
Joseph Prince: The Double Talker – By Rev George Ong
Joseph Prince may deceive naïve believers about how kind he is towards those who oppose him. But he cannot hoodwink those who attended his church before. Andrew Tan who attended New Creation Church for a lengthy 20 years (2000-2020) has given his take on the ‘nice things’ that Joseph Prince said on 22 August 2021 – which is a far cry from the arrogant manner he responded to his critics. Anyone who speaks from an experience amounting to 20 years ought to be given a hearing.
To corroborate the testimony of Andrew Tan, let me quote excerpts of another Ex New Creation Church member, Dr Chris Kang, who wrote the following in his testimony (click to read the entire testimony of how he came out of New Creation Church):
“Defensive attitude and rhetoric against non-hypergrace or ‘legalistic’ churches. Anti-intellectualism that mocks people with a Ph.D. or are professors (I’ve seen and heard Prince do this multiple times).
“There are other hypergrace teachers besides Prince, of course. One cynical statement I’ve heard prosperity pseudo-gospel preachers make goes something like this: “Oh, you religious-minded people, if you don’t like praying for more money, you can always pray for poverty! And I can have your money if you don’t want it!” I’ve heard Prince speak in the same vein. This is absolute garbage, an intellectually dishonest straw-man argument that simultaneously mocks and slanders those who critique the obsession with wealth on the part of prosperity pseudo-gospel devotees.”
What Dr Chris Kang had written seems to be at loggerheads with the nice image that Joseph Prince tries to portray of himself by what he said on 22 August.
If this isn’t enough to convince you, let me give you 2 more pieces of evidence to show you that Joseph Prince does not hesitate to give a dressing down for those who criticise him.
In a sermon delivered at Star Vista (venue of New Creation Church) a few years ago, Joseph Prince made the point that only those with influence like him (meaning having a big congregation and a wide reach), are necessarily speaking for God. (Careful! The devil can also give you influence and make you famous when he tried to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4:8-11.) And he further added that pastors who speak against him but having little or no influence should just keep quiet and not yak like a puppy.
This is an excerpt of what he said (click to view)
“Every pastor listening to me must understand we are what we are, whatever influence because God wants to give us the influence… If God doesn’t (give you the influence), no matter what you say doesn’t amount to a hill of beans… Pastor Prince believes in this but I believe this. Let God give you the influence. But if God doesn’t (give you the influence) I want to know why… If God doesn’t, then don’t just be like a little puppy, yaking a lot. Whereas, a bull dog, big one, quiet.”
So, is Joseph Prince who calls Pastors who contend against his teachings a puppy who yaks a lot, magnanimous to his critics? You decide!
Second, Joseph Prince would often brand those who disagree with his teachings as being Pharisaical.
In an excerpt of another video, Joseph Prince said, (click to view)
“I want to just tell you this. People always like to quote this, okay, and try to bring us into bondage, other than what the author of these verses meant, which is God, the heavenly author. They like to say, ‘Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.’ Have you heard that before? ‘Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.’ And that one quote has robbed us from hearing more because we will say, ‘Hearing is no point. It’s not just hearing, you must do it.’ Almost every sermon you hear, ‘Hearing is not important. It’s doing it.’ Come on. You want to have a Pharisaical look. Have you heard that before? It discourages people from hearing.”
It seems rather evident in this video that Joseph Prince is rather upset and even angry with people who disagree with him. Don’t you think his combative way of responding in the video will undo his reputation as the Super-grace teacher, and all that he is trying to teach about grace and about being gracious to others?
Hitting critics who disagree with him with the Pharisees’ tag publicly, is a rather unceremonious way to respond – definitely not befitting one with a gentle and forbearing spirit that he tries to depict in last Sunday’s sermon on 22 August 2021.
Yet, people are so naïve to believe that Joseph Prince is such a noble fellow who will bend backwards to reach out to his critics – just based purely on one short speech he made last Sunday.
Some of you may protest, “George, are you saying that a person isn’t capable of changing his attitudes towards his critics?”
Sure, anyone is capable of changing for the better.
But it would certainly be more believable, if Joseph Prince would declare that whatever he had said and done in the past to put his critics down is imprudent and that he has now decided to amend his ways.
Furthermore, Joseph Prince has never publicly withdrawn those nasty things he said and wrote against his critics. So, we would have to take it that that is still his prevailing attitude towards them, notwithstanding what he said last Sunday on 22 August 2021 or what he may say from hereon.
If Joseph Prince chooses to say one thing at one time and another at a different time, his reputation as a double-talker or one who speaks on both sides of his mouth will continue to haunt him.
Finally, you may ask, “Is an aggressive and no-nonsense approach against critics always wrong? Is there no place for believers to contend fiercely against others without any apologies?”
Yes, the Bible clearly teaches that when it comes to the preservation of the gospel; when it has to do with false teachers or wolves in sheepskin (such as Joseph Prince) who preach a false gospel, there must be no let-up in our fight against them.
Both the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul demonstrated it.
Jesus pronounced the destiny of hell twice on the Pharisees (Matt 23:15, 33) who were the false teachers of His days. Instead of focussing on and obeying God’s laws, they taught their own doctrines – their rules and regulations, which were man-made.
Paul declared a double curse on the Galatians who had gone into the heresy of preaching Christ (or grace of God) plus circumcision gospel (Gal 1:8-9).
Paul himself had to rebuke Peter by name when he began acting like a hypocrite – as, by Peter’s hypocritical action, the gospel stands the danger of being compromised (Gal 2:11-14).
If Paul had the guts to rebuke Apostle Peter (who is senior to him) by name and publicly because the gospel is being threatened, how much more should we be uncompromising and courageous to do the same with false teachers such as Joseph Prince who is not only corrupting the gospel but also leading the multitudes to hell?
Song: “I will not deny Jesus”
I am very ministered by this touching song, “I will not deny Jesus.” May this song by Panam Percy Paul minister to you and especially your Christian friends who are caught in nations where persecution abounds. (click to view)