Joe Fernandez Oct 3, 09 10:52am
The Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) has warned against embracing misleading teachings that are attributed to Christianity as this could have serious and fatal consequences.
It is learnt that the SCC will also debate the issue at its next meeting in the third week of this month in Kota Kinabalu.
The caution follows the discovery of the body of a "Church With No Walls" (CWNW) cult leader earlier this week in Penampang, in the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu.
The body of the 37-year old cult leader had lain unburied for 13 months as members of the cult waited for his resurrection. Police have since identified the deceased as Ching Chi Vui @ Ivan.
"The emergence of the so-called CWNW should serve as a warning to Christian churches that there are all kinds of teachings out there that are being attributed to Christianity," said SCC vice-president Bishop Thomas Tsen Lip Tet.
"This is something very disturbing to many people who attend the regular churches as usual but keep hearing of other things out there."
Bishop Thomas clarified that although the Church With No Walls concept preached by the CWNW deviants was not wrong, the teachings were not in line with that of Christian churches and border on the bizarre.
The cult's members, he said, believed that their leader would be resurrected if they prayed to God.
No resurrection on demand
The Chinese General Council of the Basel Christian Church Of Malaysia in Kota Kinabalu concurs with Bishop Thomas.
Dean Reverend Alec Chung Hee Ming stressed that Christian teachings don't advocate praying over a corpse to wait for resurrection.
The Bible, it is also stressed, does not teach that Jesus Christ will come someday to resurrect us all and all that Christians need to do is to be on alert.
"The Bible also does not teach us that we should not do anything and just sit around and wait for the arrival of Christ," said Reverend Alec.
"The Bible does not ask its disciples to achieve extraordinary feats either like becoming prophets."
Both Bishop Thomas and Reverend Alec lamented that misleading teachings were taking place, if not spreading, on their watch.
Bishop Thomas, delving into the faith aspects of Christianity, stressed that God performs many miracles in his own way in the lives of ordinary people.
This is evident from the personal testimonies of Christians, and even others, who go public with their experiences. However, resurrection on demand has not been among these miracles so far, he added.
The concept of a Church With No Walls, continued Bishop Thomas, refers to the unification of all churches regardless of the differences at the edges of the Christian faith.
"The unification is made possible", according to Bishop Thomas, "by a unanimous accord among the Christians that it is possible to gather together in one place and worship in Jesus Christ".
No foul play in death
Police have since released three women - two 26-year-old twin sisters and a 46-year-old divorcee -- believed to be followers of the cult leader, after questioning Penampang Police Chief, DSP Madang Usat, disclosed that initial investigations have ruled out foul play.
Instead, police have classified the case as one of "sudden death" and are awaiting post-mortem results to ascertain the cause of death.
The body is expected to be released to his family in Tawau. The followers promised police that they would send two of the deceased's brothers to collect the body.
"The body had already dried up and turned black. There was not much smell," said Usat who released details of the discovery.
Police had to break the lock to gain entry into the house after the occupants refused to open the door, according to Usat.
The three women were found huddled in one room of the house.
"We found the deceased on a mattress in the living room, clad only in a pair of shorts, and wrapped 13 times with blankets and plastic," said Usat.
"The walls of the house where the deceased was found were plastered with religious words written in Chinese."
The 46-year-old woman, named Chu, told police that the deceased had warned them not to bury his body if he died because he will be resurrected again.
She also warned police not to go near the body because "they would die if they did so".
"It was established through the deceased's youngest sibling in Tawau that he had not been home for two years," said Usat.
Talking to a shrine
Neighbours told police that they previously saw Chu and the deceased having fights outside the house. They did not see the deceased for a year.
Sometimes, they saw the woman talking angrily to a mini shrine near the house in the wee hours of the morning between 3 am and 4 am.
were recorded. ... (source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/114129)