Update 22 May 2020:
The testimony below was written almost 6 and a half years ago. It reflects the state of my own knowledge, role and relationship at that time. It is important for anyone reading this to realise that:
- I do not have any first-hand knowledge about whether the present state of things is the same as it was 6 and a half years ago. This is because I have sought multiple times over this period to contact the elder about these issues, but the elder has not responded to me (I am praying and hoping that he will do so).
- This is my own personal (historical) testimony about my role and relationship with the church. It needs to be treated as such, i.e. as one testimony among others. It does not necessarily reflect the views, experience, roles and relationships of others with the church.
- Nevertheless, the statement stands as something that I can testify was true 6 and a half years ago.
Hence, I would urge anyone reading this not to make a firm conclusion about the present state of the church or its leadership merely based upon one piece of (historical) testimony such as this one. If you need to reach a decision or come to a conclusion in this regard, you must investigate for yourself, and you should seek multiple testimonies, not only from the past but also from the present. Please take the testimony below for what it is–a single testimony from the past that I believe is accurate but that needs to be read alongside others.
Update 2 September 2013:
I need to clarify my role with Christ Evangelical Reformed Church, Malaysia in light of recent confusion, and to explain briefly why I am no longer associated with the church in any formal sense.
Although I was not involved directly in starting the church, from 2009-2012, I was asked to be CERC’s “consultant elder”. This was supposed to be a position where I provided both advice and also a level of formal accountability for CERC’s elder (this is how my role was explained to me, and to a number of others).
Recently I have been seeking to hold the elder accountable on certain matters of church polity that I deem important. I have also been seeking to clarify the exact nature of my formal role. I have come to understand that:
- The church is now fully committed to a structure in which the eldership has full control over the membership and finances of the church–apart from large matters involving dissolution, major property decisions or debt, in which case members will have a vote.
- For now and for the foreseeable future, the church has only one elder.
- I have strongly advised the church / elder against this arrangement.
- My advice in this area has been rejected.
- The church / elder now no longer deems me to be an “elder” in any sense, nor to have any role in exercising accountability in the church.
I am grieved by this state of affairs, but am continuing to trust in God’s sovereignty over his people in Malaysia.