Pastor badmouths Buddhism, regrets

Rony Tan, the founder of Lighthouse Evangelism, badmouthed Buddhism and was called up by the Internal Security Department, Singapore (ISD) regarding remarks that he has made which has lacked sensitivity.

Rony Tan made the following comments:

  • When we talk about religion, false religion [in context of Buddhism], we are not talking about a set of teaching, we are talking about a spiritual war, we are talking about satan and his demons.
  • A demonic power has supernaturally put some ideas into her mind [refers to the interviewee]. And the same demonic power you cannot see put the same kind of thoughts into the Tibetan monk. So when they check out the facts, it dazzles us. But if you have to look behind the scene, it is a cheap David Copperfield trick. Nothing more; nothing more. So conclusion, there is no truth in reincarnation.
  • [Referring to Buddhism] When you do good, then you will go higher. Then the definition of ‘higher’ is always a man; higher than a lady. Of course a lady is higher than a cow. That’s their scale of things.
  • The theory of reincarnation is rubbish.
  • When Buddha is dying, he says “I am still searching for the way.” But when Jesus comes, he says “I am the way.” [audience laughs]
  • [In the context of reincarnation] I tell you, ladies should be very offended — they tell me, one of the Buddhist — if you want to argue and you are such an unbeliever he said, next life, next life, Pastor Rony, you will be born as a woman. Ladies are of a lower stature to God. You ladies should say a good “Amen” to the God. We are equal.
  • If the men is the high of the home, it is not because of his higher status, it is because of a greater responsibility for the household.
  • According to Buddhism, if you are a lady and you behave yourself, you become a man. But some of you ladies you don’t want to be man. Right? You just don’t want to be a man. I see lots of ladies shaking their heads. You don’t want to be a man. I don’t want to be a woman too.

Actually the interviewees are quite funny if you watch it with an open mind. One of the interviewees revealed that he had some bowel problems causing blood during defecation. In a moment of fear, he prayed to Jesus and was totally healed.

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 1

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 2

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 3

Pastor Rony Tan blasts Buddhism Part 4


Here’s the news report:

Pastor apologises personally to Buddhist & Taoist federations

SINGAPORE: The pastor who was called up by the Internal Security Department (ISD) for making insensitive remarks against the Buddhist and Taoist faiths has apologised personally to the leaders of the two religions.

The leaders of the two faiths accepted Pastor Rony Tan’s apology, and wish to let the matter rest.

Pastor Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism made the comments at his church sessions. These sessions were video—recorded and made available on Lighthouse Evangelism’s website.

In response to MediaCorp’s query, the Singapore Bible College said it trains would—be pastors to be mindful of what they say, especially in a multi—religious society.

Dr Albert Ting, principal of Singapore Bible College, said: “You can talk about your uniqueness, you can talk about your values, you can talk about your doctrines, you can talk about what constitutes the basis of your faith.

“That is all within the allowable discussion. That is your faith, you can’t change it. But whenever you’re engaged with others, then you want to show your respect.”

In a statement, the National Council of Churches said an advisory was issued to Christians in 2008 “not to denounce other religions” even as they evangelise. (Source: Yahoo News)

I should point out that religion is a sensitive issue, especially in Singapore, where the risks of tensions are high. We will not want to jeopardize peace in the process. Singapore has been strict on religious harmony.

In the church I frequented, there is a strong belief that Christianity is the only true religion and all other religions are Satan attempting to bring away people from the Christian God.

Religion is a highly personal position, evangelize with care. Most of the things brought up by Rony Tan are badly delivered. Christians indeed do not believe in the concept of reincarnation. Regarding men and women having similar stature, the Christian Bible has preached otherwise. It has, however, been explained that many of these Bible teachings were applicable to the society in the past and is not meant for literal practice today. The general consensus is that man and woman are of equal level although more progress is required in reforming the church leadership selection process which has barred women from key positions.

[Disclaimer: I come from a Christian background, however, I currently show no interest in any theological positions.]

26 thoughts on “Pastor badmouths Buddhism, regrets”

  1. Just a thought: religion and race are sensitive subjects only if the people are offended by it; if you are truly secure in what you believe in, it doesn’t matter what others say about your religion. I hope for a day when people stop getting offended by other people’s opinions

  2. pkchukiss, it does matter and it’s not just about the sense of security. The more people believe in their religion, the more they want to protect it. Religion, after all, is most sacred to the strongest of believers.

  3. It does matter! If my children can tell what’s right & what’s wrong, then it’s ok. If my children can’t, it would be disaster, he has taught my children running others down…

  4. If the God you believe is true and you are secure in your belief you will not be offended by what being said about your God. If your God is true He can defend His Own Name. What can man do to your God if your God is real. You don’t have to defend Him.

  5. This Ex-monk is unlucky because he comment of Buddha teachings, may be he is Maras of Buddha, Karma will punish your acting, you can’t escape in what done.

    If you(Ex-) not trust in Buddhist, why you can be monk for 23 years and you complaint your High Priest(Sri Lanka monk) and why not complaint yourself.

    When you in monk, you are eat free, use anythings also free, now you married with Christian woman, then now you said Buddhist is bad, like this person go anywhere also can’t peaceful and happy.

    Recently, you happiness but next coming you will received in you already done, you can’t escape in what you done, Buddhist is 2553 years but now how old of you? You go anywhere also the others human will unlike you(reject you).

    Peter Cheng

  6. It’s the same theory: If the God you believe is true and you are secure in your belief, do you have to resort to “put down”?

    People of cos have to speak up for 2 reasons: respect & religious harmony.

  7. It may not be the intention of “put down” when the subject of reincarnation was brought up. It was being said in a not polite way characterized by showing disrespect that caused the uproar. A secure believer will not be alarmed and agitated and disturbed to the point of getting excited emotionally. Of cos if someone does not like what was being said can and should protests and do it civilly The video clips was taken from the church web site. The person who did that should have discreetly inform the authorithy but chose to upload it to YouTube and it became public. That person who uploaded the video clips to youtube is a trouble maker.

  8. I didn’t say “I know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation.”

    I said: “Tell that to Rony cos I know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation.”

  9. What?

    In your second-latest post, you said this: “Tell that to Rony cos I know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation.”

    So, since you said you knew why Rony brought up the subject of reincarnation (apparently, that was the words you said) I requested for your explanation by asking you to “bring it on”.

    However, in your latest post you failed to clarify your argument or explain what you meant when you said you know why he brought the subject up. You said “I didn’t say “I know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation.”” and then went on to repeat the EXACT words you used in your second-latest post which CLEARLY mentioned that you know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation. Your argument makes little to no sense at all.

    How interesting that you said you didn’t say anything of that sort.

    Anyway, I don’t have to tell Rony anything. Today’s Straits Times speaks for itself: The newspaper reported that Lighthouse uploaded the video clips to youtube. If this is true, then I guess it really wasn’t a case of an anonymous person taking the video clips off the website and uploaded them toYoutube which I initially thought, which meant that the mass dissemination of the information across the net caused the uproar. Nevertheless, that being said it is still really stupid for the church to do that. Rony Tan may have the gift of the gab but no wisdom on such matters. He should have realised the uploaded videos would have caused an uproar.

    Also, I will also add that although it wasn’t an anonymous person who uploaded the videos, the anon person re-posted the videos after Rony Tan took them down. This would naturally have perpetuated and worsened the uproar, and obviously the church couldn’t do anything about it because the videos were re-uploaded by another user. So, I can still blame this person for adding more oil to the fire.

  10. Quote: “If you understand, I don’t have to explain.

    If you don’t understand, there’s no need for me to explain.”

    Now, clearly you are trying to say that whether I understand or not understand, you don’t need to explain.

    If you don’t know what to say, please do me a favour and say nothing, for you make no sense.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but is it your clarity of thought (or the lack thereof), your poor language skills or failing eyesight that is causing me not to comprehend practically everything you’re putting forth? So far what you have given me is a whole lot of indecipherable information.

    Please chew on this quote by a very famous philosopher:
    “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius

  11. Also, I’m sure that it is basic understanding that when you do not know something, you ask so you can learn.

    “If you don’t understand, there’s no need for me to explain.”

    I pray that that is not the kind of values you are teaching your children. The thought of this makes me shudder in fear.

  12. The Rise Of Buddhism In New Zealand
    Voxy News Engine, 18 January, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand — What happens when two religions and two world views collide?

    That was the question Victoria University graduate Hugh Kemp sought to answer via research that focused on how and why New Zealanders convert to Buddhism.

    “Buddhism is gaining traction in New Zealand, so my interest was in what makes a New Zealander become a Buddhist and the variety of pathways they take as they journey towards, and embrace, Buddhism,” says Mr Kemp.

    As part of his PhD research, he also focused on the identity that convert Buddhists construct for themselves as New Zealanders.

    Mr Kemp interviewed around 70 new Buddhists from all over New Zealand and attended 27 Buddhist events and gatherings. His interviews explored four factors of inter-relationships: practice and ritual, selfhood, belief and involvement.

    “It was essentially a qualitative sociology project that tracked why New Zealanders take up the practice of Buddhism and how they continue to find meaning, chiefly in regular practice, ritual and involvement.”

    Although Mr Kemp says he was surprised that numbers of New Zealand converts hadn’t increased as much as he’d expected, or as much as overseas trends indicated, Buddhism remained a popular religion here.

    “It’s down to a number of factors – the increasing profile of the Dalai Lama, New Zealand’s closer ties with Asia and the fact that we’re quite open to new religions and have a history in New Zealand of people experimenting with new religions.”

    Mr Kemp, who also has a Masters of Theology degree, says interviewees’ stories were placed in a social-historical narrative of Arcadia.

    “If New Zealand is Arcadia – clean, green, 100% pure and the ideal place to live – then it can be conceived of as a Buddhist Pure Land. Arcadia and the Pure Land come together in notions of ‘home’, offering a new imaginative order for Buddhist practitioners.” Overall, he says his research indicates that new converts overwhelmingly believe New Zealand is a good place to practice Buddhism.

    “Buddhists in New Zealand say they will continue to create their own identity and find a turangawaewae or place of identity in which to stand.”

    One of Mr Kemp’s supervisors Professor Paul Morris says, “Dr Kemp’s pioneering work, which is the first systematic study of New Zealanders who become Buddhist, tells us both about religion and spirituality in our country and the specific manifestations of Buddhism here.” Mr Kemp graduates with a PhD in Religious Studies and is hoping to teach Religious or Asian Studies. His supervisors were Dr Rick Weiss and Professor Paul Morris.

  13. @peter cheng: out of curiosity, why did you post that article?

    it is just to talk abt how new zealand ppl are bcoming buddhists, but nothing abt religious insensitivity.

  14. Needless to say, you don’t owe me an explanation. It’s because you have none!

    Interesting, to take a whole day to come out with such a ridiculous answer. After everything has been said, are these the only words you have left?

    “…I know why he brought up the subject of reincarnation.” Clearly you do not know the reason. if you had known, you would already have brought it up, instead trying to avoid the argument by making absurd posts of repeated sentences, then proceeding on to saying you’re not obliged to answer my questions. This is an internet forum and everyone is entitled to give his or her opinions. You should not be afraid of giving yours; the only reason to be afraid is because you have absolutely nothing to say to rebutt my arguments.

    Also, if you refuse to explain yourself (or attempt to find something to say because you have nothing), why bother saying it in the first place?

    I’ll give you a crutch: if you do not know how to address a query, just admit that you are unable to, and I’ll accept it. It is no point trying to beat around the bush in a futile attempt to escape,because you’re making a fool of yourself.

    I have the higher ground; I am able to rebutt every argument you throw at me, but you seem to be having a terrible time doing so. Just face it that you’ve nothing sensible answers to give.

    If you don’t know, say you don’t know and I’ll accept it.

  15. Comment by yao siew Lian — March 9, 2010 @ 8:03 PM | Reply

    2.Ven. Phra Piya Thammo,
    Rumah Pangsa
    Blk A-7-9- Jln Padang Tembak,
    11400 Pulau Pinang,

    Dear Devotees,

    Before I commence of my letter-writing toward. All of you, I would like to inform all of you that I am not satisfy with the lawyer, Dato YIP KUM FOOK due to his bad inspirit impressions because he sent an inspector to come to our Buddhist Temple to arrest me without any good reason, moreover, the lawyer, YIP KUM FOOK is not satisfy with Chief monk.

    When the Chief monk had me to go to his Temple already and he went away and left me alone to take care until Chief monk come back to the Temple first and he also told me not to leave the Temple if any committees or the chairman want to chase me out, you don’t leave the Temple at all understand? Then I said, alright? To the chief monk! On the second Day, YIP KUM FOOK came to our Temple and talk to me. He tired to make some inquiry from me and he asked me, where I come from? I told him that I came from Penang.

    Then, I told to the lawyer (YIP KUM FOOK) that the chief monk came to Penang and fetch me and invited me to accompany him to go to his temple in K.L. I am not aware that YIP KUM FOOK is not in a good terms with the chief monk, chief monk already in this way, YIP KUM FOOK try to create trouble with me unnecessary. That is why, the lawyer want to chase me out of the Temple. Then I asked the lawyer, why you want to chase me out of the temple? Moreover, the Temple is not belonging to you, UNDERSATAND? Then, I asked him, who are you? I don’t know you at all, you have no right to chase me or control me at all, UNDERSTAND? You are just like a layman only. Do you know the regulations that any the chairman or committee cannot control the monks and the Nuns at all, also UNDERSTAND?

    I scolded him like that. Then the lawyer (YIP KUM FOOK) is not satisfy with me and he told me that he will called the police to come to the Temple and arrest me. I told him to go ahead and called the police to come and arrest me. I won’t run away, I said to him like that. I have done nothing wrong toward you, why you want to arrest me? He said, he doesn’t like me to stay here. I asked him, why? Again. After this he got very angry with me, then he phoned up to the police and the police came to the Temple and told me to leave the Temple.

    I told to the inspector of the again, 1 am sorry, I won’t leave the Temple because the chief monk had instructed me not to leave the Temple without his consent, UNDERSTAND? Then the inspector told me to leave, again. I told him I cannot leave the Temple because the Chief Monk hasn’t come back yet. This time, the inspector got very angry with me and he took out his handcuff and try to threaten me, then I immediately show off my hands for him to lock me up but he scare, then again, the inspector told me leave the Temple again but I still don’t want to leave the Temple.

    Then I phoned up to the chief monk again and I told him that the inspector insisted want to arrest me, you better come back to settle the case for me. After this incident, Chief Monk came back to the Temple and take me to go to another temple and stay their. That’s all about this incidents! Last of all, I would like to inform all of you, that no committees or the chairman can control all the monks and Nuns at all also UNDERSTAND? “They are higher than the King,” also! So how can the laymen, the committees and the chairman to control them: – EVEN THE KING ALSO RESPECTED THE MONKS AND NUNS. Why the chairman doesn’t respect the monks and nuns? They will carry the sins later on, UNDERSTAND?

    Yours in Dhamma

    Ven. Phra Piya Thammo
    Penang, Malaysia
    Tel: 04-48272710

    00Rate This

    Comment by andy fong — March 1, 2010 @ 7:28 PM | Reply
    .-March 10th, 2010 at 8:54 am
    andy fong said:

    Comment by andy fong — March 1, 2010 @ 7:28 PM | Reply
    We always recieved news messages from Myanmar people, they are complainted about committees of temple and please see at below.
    Dear Sir and Madam,
    We are Myanmar group in Malaysia; we lived in Malaysia over decade and always went to one of temple in Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and we were very sad and regreting with the committees of temple because they are using our monks in wrong conception of Buddhist teaching or Buddhist rules. We came to temple to help our monks and respected of our religion.
    That temple is president of name:Yip Kum Fook, that our monks said and he is invited our monks from Myanmar to in charge of that temple but without pay anything to our monks, added he and his not respecting of our monks and sometime he ordered of his people to collected item such as paper, mineral water etc. without inform any words to our monks. In our religious believed we can’t take anything of holy place, if we done we are sin.
    In pervious, our monk said the committees always asked money from him, when our monks gave RM20,000.00 in cash on 2001 to the committees, then committees keep silent, later committees make problem with our monk again and cancelled of our monk Visa permit to stayed in Malaysia, then our monks( Sadayaw Nandiya) go to Australia and our monk not come that temple at long time. “Yip Kom Fook gave our monk notebook computer for to cover of that amount of money our monk said”
    Many local people around temple said, now no more people come to this temple because committees is always make problem and we are heard from local people said: Yip Kum Fook ordered of his people to put fire of Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong because he needed that place to make his business about many years ago. “Everybody known what he done for Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong”
    Last time also he invited police to arrest the monks at holy place(temple) and locked the temple without afraid and shameful of people because he believed committee is big and has more authority, also his son always say to people: this temple is belonging of his father. “This temple donated from public, we are work hard for this temple”
    This temple the committees always changed the monks, now they change the new monk to in charge of temple, this new monk also complaint the bad things of committees because committees also wait for donation box only, they without help anything to our monks. And committees controlled of our monks not to talk more or complaint more, our monks lived there as slaver and afraid of committees members.
    In new building where remaining of Buddha statue marble; we have renovation of Buddha statue because that Buddha statue is put very low, we lift to highest the committees don’t like and unhappy. In our country, anyone be able to come temple to worship the Buddha but in Malaysia is different temple controlling by committees.
    We hope everyone preserve of Buddhist teachings, and please safety of our monks, not see only money as this of temple. When we asked some of our people ( Myanmar) and local people, the committees are very low of idea because is very narrow mind and without education of religions. And committees will not disturbing of our monks, monks are like our father to take care of Buddhism and temple is like our place of resolving of our problem.
    Recently, our monk(Sadayaw Ashin Indaka original from Madalay, Myanmar) has been staying in this temple also unhappy because the committees are not pay anythings to him, he is working in hardly to advise people and we also unhappy and very sad when heard the bad news from our monks. Sometime the committees people came and shouting in the temple without have any reason and done what they need to do, our monk said, the committees of this temple don’t have Buddhist teachings in their mind, may be next time Buddhist can destroy.
    From Myanmar Buddhist group in Malaysia but many word complaint by local Buddhist community in Malaysia. If anyone receive of this message(email), please forward or send to your friends to protection Buddhism in Malaysia.
    .-March 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am

  16. liew said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May be he(Yip) don’t know what the Buddha, if he know may be he is do like that, the Buddhist monks are students from Buddha times until today but students of Buddha have done well and done bad and but when they created good or bad they will response

    But not only this Datuk Yip come to advise them, all the monks have their teachers(Masters) and their monastry to resident, this Datuk Yip kum Fook unmindfulness or may be he proud in himself because he thought(think) he is Datuk

    Many people are very angry when go to read this article by Myanmar people and some said if my country(Myanmar) this Datuk Yip will people put fire on his house because so very dirty human
    .-March 20th, 2010 at 9:24 am

  17. heng said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I heard people and monks said, Datuk Yip Kum Fook(MCA Man) came to disturbed monks with his people as inspector(police) and one group of his people hand to rejected of Ven. Piya Thammo who is from Penang, Ven. Piya Thamma now in Penang but he spreaded about his incident so widely

    Datuk Yip Kum Fook destroyed of Buddhist monks, I heard also insulted of Buddhist monks, this kind of Datuk useless, also Ven. Piya Thammo said, he needed removed to stayed at his devotees house fro over night, this is very bad, the Temple for Stayed and learn of meditation, not for Datuk Yip Kum Fook

    Ven. Piya said, Datuk Yip kum Fook will recieve sin and he can not run from sin(Karma)
    .-March 26th, 2010 at 9:10 am
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  18. Re: pastor caught on video – The issue at hand is not about people who are at the receiving end of the ridicule being insecure. It is about people whose God is love shows little or no regard for others. Disrespectfulness is the hallmark of pride and ecocentricity.. Putting people down, making fun of people and what is important to them as well as mocking has no place among Christians. In intercultural issues or in reaching out, the willingness to understand people who are different from ourselves, who hold different views, religions and experiences is important. We don’t have to agree but we do have to be respectful. What is more disturbing is such behaviour comes from the top which will build a culture of disrespect among people who are different from ourselves.

  19. Dear Brothers and Sisters

    What Rony Tan said about other religions is correct but would like to add this , anyone takes Christianity as religion then is very , very sad… Christ comes not to give religion but to save .

    If All religion can “save” then please read carefully the Chapter on JESUS in The Garden where he sweat blood … Read it carefully with the guidance of the Holy Ghost


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