If there is one thing we can learn from the Malaysian Airlines MH370 incident is that without solid evidence, we only have unsubstantiated claims, opinions, hearsay, and hypothesis. They make great coffee shop banter and some of us babbling fools, but they do not contribute any meaningful solution or give us any closure.
In the same way, hearsay and opinions cannot resolve the crisis engulfing our Diocese. Before we form any conclusion, it is important we understand the issues and examine the evidences first. In this crisis, we have two main evidences: the management letter and the PAC report. Unless we have read these documents with an open mind and critical thinking, we are making uninformed decisions or unsubstantiated opinions.
Did Bishop Albert Vun abuse his authority and violate the constitution? What were the abuses and violations? This blog was started two years ago to find answers to these questions. With the management letter and PAC report both available to everyone, the answers are in our hands. The objective of this blog is met and its purpose fulfilled.
This is the final blog post, unless there’s any major announcements in the future. This blog with all its content will remain online and public. Comments will continue to be moderated. You can continue to exchange ideas and voice your opinions here.
One may argue this blog still has much to do. The Diocesan constitution needs to be updated and amended; the election of the next Bishop; the construction of the Celebration Center which remains controversial; the upcoming Synod; the promise to re-audit the 2010-2011 Diocesan accounts which remains unfulfilled; the unaccredited ATI and the fate of our future clergy trained by unqualified personnel; Anglican members who refuse to examine the facts of this crisis.
Yes, all these are vital issues that need to be addressed but this blog is not called to solve every problem in our Diocese. Two years ago most of us did not know the truth. Now we do. With knowledge comes responsibilities. What are we going to do now we can confirm the abuses committed by Bishop Albert Vun? What will the Synod, Standing Committee and PCCs do next? This blog is called to find the truth and present it with clarity. The responsibilities to reform and restore the church lay with the Synod, Standing Committee, PCCs and with you who are well informed. Whatever we do, fail to do, ignore to do, refuse to do, we will be held accountable to our Lord.
This blog is not throwing in the towel, but passing on the baton. The truth is established. Now, it’s time for you to step up and be counted for. First, let’s get the right delegates to the Synod which according to the constitution has the authority to decide the “life, work and administration” of the Diocese and make “Standing Orders and Regulations for the proper conduct of the business of the Diocese”. Discuss as a church your concerns for the Diocese. Consult and formulate motions for the Synod. Let’s turn rhetoric into real reform.
The road to reform will be long and hard. Some damages to the Diocese will have long term consequences. The PAC report shows that the predicament we are in stem not only from an abusive bishop but the failure of the Standing Committee and senior clergymen to stop BAV from rampaging the Diocese with impunity. Lies, after lies, after lies. Manipulation, deception, cover-ups all go unchecked. Instead of holding the Bishop accountable to the constitution and the word of God, many Stand Comm members and senior clergy just enabled BAV. This results in distrust between the laity towards the institution and clergy. When the clergy insists everything is alright when there are clearly grave problems, their integrity and moral standing is called to question. In my opinion, a Diocese wide repentance and unqualified apology is the minimum requirement for genuine reconciliation to start.
Lest we blame only our leaders, many ordinary members choose the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” stance to remain oblivious to the crisis. Many believe being Christian means not confronting sins even when our leaders are abusing their office. Instead of examining the evidences and issues with an open mind and critical thinking, they opt to ignore the facts so they can convince themselves they do not have enough evidence to make a stand. This eroded the call for reform and repentance and embolden the abusers.
“Do not touch the Lord’s anointed” and canonical obedience have stopped many people from thinking critically or fact checking the leadership. This expose the shallowness of our biblical understanding and the lack of holistic approach in confronting leaders who live in sin.
Equally worrying is the training of our future clergy under the unaccredited ATI by unqualified personnel. As of today, we are the only Diocese in the Province without a single candidate in an accredited seminary. The future will be more dire if this is not reversed quickly.
We must thank the five complainants. Their initiative to file a case against Bishop Albert Vun had awaken us to the dire conditions of our Diocese. They put their reputation on the line to stand up against a corrupt institution. They faced character assassinations and false accusations, yet they held their ground. Without their brave move, most of us would still be in the dark.
Everyone can only live 2014 once. It’s important we live it for God and make it count for Him and ourselves. Maintaining this blog requires a sacrifice and personal toll that few understand. We must do what’s humanly possible and leave the humanly impossible to God.
Many are discouraged and despondent in this crisis. How can God let this happen to us? Consider what Jesus lived through. The Jewish puppet king responded to Jesus’ birth by massacring babies. The religious leaders of the day were corrupted, out of touch, hypocritical and overbearing. The house of God was turned into a den of robbers. The people of God oppressed, burdened and weary. Yet it was at such a time Jesus came in with the “good news”. We often mistaken the good news as a blessing that we will experience when we go to heaven. But the good news is right now too! Jesus intercedes for us unceasingly. He sends the Holy Spirit to ministers to us. Jesus lived through worse so He understands us. The good news is the Son of God has come for the children of God. In the Old Testament God sent angels and prophets, now He sends his own Son.
If you are lost, Jesus will leave behind the ninety nine to find you. Let Him find you and carry you home. If you are wounded, He can heal you. If you have squandered a great fortune, He will welcome you home with open arms. Jesus saves all of us–including the abusers implicated in this blog. It is never too late to return to Christ. There are no sins too big He cannot forgive.
We know the veil of the holy of holies were torn from top to bottom. Perhaps we have inadvertently replaced the torn veil with a new veil–Anglicanism. Yet make no mistake, God has given us direct access to Him. It is not about worshipping on this mountain or that mountain, it is about worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.
In our despair, we think our church is disgraced and doomed. That’s true but this is not the final chapter of the church of Jesus Christ. The bride groom will return for his bride. His redemptive power is at work to ransom us from what’s holding us in captivity. Throughout church history, Christ has redeemed his church from corruption, heresy, abomination, persecution. He will redeem his church.
The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The keyword here is “IF”. Confession, not denials, leads to forgiveness.
Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, may the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
The truth will set us free.