It seems C3 Church Global had their ‘keyboard’ at the ready, very quickly publishing a response to the recent ‘A Current Affair’ coverage of their movement. Given the speed and content of their response, within minutes of Part 2 being aired, did they consider how this response would be viewed by the world at large?
Rather than examine what was written at this juncture, we are going to highlight just what’s missing. Like Brian Houston and Hillsong with Brett Sengstock, – Phil Pringle and C3 fail to understand the damage they have caused to one of God’s ‘wounded sheep’. Failing ‘basic Christianity 101’ and it seems, failing ‘basic humanity 101’. So we ask the question:
What about the VICTIMS?
Twenty years on, Hillsong are still making the lives of their pedophile apostle’s victims miserable. For Kerri Ferguson – thirty years. Where was Phil Pringle’s ‘pastoral heart’ or compassion regarding how he and his ministry contributed to the emotional destruction of both Kerri and her family? These clips highlight just how unqualfied he is to be a pastor, an under shepherd of God’s flock:
In the clip above, you have people applauding a man who just tore apart the biblical description of a pastor, a man confessing he has no empathy in his body, a man who has no time for counselling or hearing people’s problems.
“You’ve gotta know what your sweet spot is and what your sweet spot is not. I have found that my life is more about the ‘not do’ list than the ‘to do’ list. When I first became a pastor, there were all kinds of expectations on me. In my own head mostly – about what a pastor is meant to be. He’s meant to visit people in hospital, he’s meant to counsel people, he’s meant to bring a sermon, meant to sit in committees, he’s meant to do this and that. All these things were in my head.”
“But the first time somebody came to me for counsel, I felt the whole anointing that I had, go. Everything left me, my shoulders slumped, all the energy went out of me. This woman started talking, I felt that I had no answers, I didn’t know what to do! And I’m so tired, she had been speaking to for two minutes and I was worn out!”
“So I put my hands in my head as though I was deeply concerned but I went to sleep! The weird thing was that when I woke up she was still talking! It killed me! I’m not a counsellor! Do not come to me for counsel, you will be worse at the end of the session! I had no empathy bone in my body, I feel for some things but I’ve gotta make decisions! And I can’t be worried about all the little feelings of people all the time! I’m sending people into war! Couples like this to cities I’ve never been to, San Diego! I go ‘whooo, what’s gonna happen there! GO!”
This is the senior leader of the C3 Church Global movement, who authorised the publication of this media response, who is only thinking of his own reputation and NOT the people he has damaged – and definitely not Kerri Fergusson, who was labelled a ‘nutter’, left emotionally distraught, and offered no prayer, support or church counselling. Phil Pringle has always been in a position to correct this situation. Instead he deliberately withheld his ‘hand’ and his prayers. Who does that? And he did this with her sexually abused child present. More evidence that this man is not above reproach, a hireling rather than a true shepherd of God’s flock.
That is the ‘pastoral’ heart of this man. That is how much he cares for brothers and sisters in Christ, if indeed he, himself, is a brother. If you are rich – he will keep company with you. Praise god! If you are sick, dying, or in need – Pringle will avoid you. But that’s alright – see! He gives to charities and community events. He must be good!
“Hospital visitation! Oh Lord. Hospital visitation! Pastors are meant to go to the hospital. “Pastor, can you come? Our baby is about to die! Oh we just want you to be here with us!” It’s just a terrible situation! I drive over like this and I run up the stairs!”
“Now, you know, I’m just not good with blood, and medical things. I was talking to a nurse in New Zealand, we were having a meeting, we had our New Zealand conference recently. 800 pastors and their wives at this thing, just two weeks ago. Then one of the pastors’ wives tells us she’s a nurse, she says, ‘it’s so wonderful when you’re in surgery, to hold the lungs of a patient there, feel them breathing’. I go -‘gag, gag’, I don’t cope! Oh, I go all weak you know? Even when a woman comes and she says I’m pregnant, I go ‘oh oh’ all over, you know? I get a shiver, you know? I can’t handle all that stuff. Someone says ‘I’ve got a little problem up here in my mouth’ – and they show me abscesses and I go ‘aww aw aw’! I’m not, I’m not good with that!”
“So I run up this thing, and there’s this poor little baby this couple has had, the terrible problems it’s had and it’s only being kept alive by machine and they’re gonna take the machinery off. ‘Oh oh’. It’s just terrible, but I walk in and the room is, like dark, and it’s an Intensive Care room and there’s babies in the incubators all round and there’s this ‘beep beep beep’, and all these sounds going like this! And I walk in. and there’s not a lot of air in there! And I start seeing these little dots, you know? In your eyes, you know, when you gonna to faint? The little stars, they go ‘boom boom’ and, and, I thought, ‘good God I’m going to faint!’ And I said ‘hi everybody’ and I can hardly see them, it’s like a snow storm now! I go like ‘ah ah ah’, and I thought, I’ll just reach out and I’ll lean on this bench and let the faint pass. I won’t be able to talk, I’ll just stare at them and I’ll be fine. And I lean out and put my hand on the bench but it’s not a bench, it’s a trolley! And the trolley starts like this, and I go right out through the swinging doors, ‘bang bang’, right into the hallway! Bang, I’m lying on the ground and the nurse’s knees are in my face and she says ‘can you hear, Pastor Phil?’ I can hear her, I can see her, but I can’t talk! ‘Oh oh oh’! I’m trying to do something!”
“Not a sweet spot. Not a sweet spot. You don’t want me visiting you in hospital.”
“I know what I’m meant to do. I went to India to be a missionary at one stage, people said it will break your heart, a six week tour of India preaching. I hated it so much! I didn’t like the people, I didn’t like…I thought, am I a Christian? My God, this is awful! This is so awful, I come back through Sydney, Australia, and I see this guy’s ‘mullet’, you know, hair hanging out here? Pushing a shopping trolley, arguing with his wife, and I start weeping! My God, I love these people! And I knew where I was called. The ‘to not do’ list becomes more important than the ‘to do’ list because everybody will try to get you to do stuff that’s got nothing to do with what are He ordained you for, before you were born, in Jesus’ name.”
“It takes a lot of courage to not do some things, it takes more courage to say ‘no’ than to say ‘yes’ and try and be a people-pleaser. The secret to misery in life is trying to keep everybody happy. You’ve gotta stop trying to keep everybody happy, and say ‘look I just can’t do that’. This person can do that, they’re much better at it. When people come to me and ask me to heal the sick, you know, I can do it every now and then, pray for them and it happens. But Andrew Kubala is far better! Why do I wanna be the hero? Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Clergyman.”
In light of the above transcripts, the lack of compassion in the following C3 media response is very revealing.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-45
Media Response to A Current Affair
Tuesday, 1 October 2019
Over the past two nights, a story aired on A Current Affair raising a number of issues relating to C3 Australia, including our governance policies and an extremely unfortunate situation which occurred last year relating to marital infidelity by one of our former pastors.
We do not believe the portrayal of the facts by A Current Affair is reasonable and set out below are our detailed responses to the key issues raised on the program:
In June 2018, a C3 pastor was removed from his Church after allegations emerged of marital infidelity.
As soon as C3 Church became aware of these allegations, a comprehensive investigation was commenced and the allegations were confirmed as true. C3 Church acted decisively to remove the pastor from his role and to support people affected, with external counselling support.
C3 Church takes claims of sexual misconduct seriously and our primary concern in such matters is for the wellbeing of the person who has brought a claim to our attention.
An independent consultant was also engaged to implement a full review of the Church’s policies and procedures resulting in a range of additional measures, including implementing a hotline for people to report abuse in a confidential forum.
The pastor concerned died earlier this year.
We expect all of our pastors to live according to scriptural standards. Our focus is on supporting survivors of abuse situations, including providing access to counselling and ongoing support.
Ps Kong Hee
Ps Kong was convicted in 2015 in the Singapore courts and was sentenced to imprisonment in Changi Prison until 22 August 2019.
Ps Kong has served his sentence and has publicly apologised to his congregation for his actions.
C3 Church and Ps Phil have stood with him during his dark hours believing this to be consistent with our ongoing relationship and as a Christian Brother.
National Redress Scheme
C3 Church takes the safety of Children as of paramount importance and has robust policies and procedures in place regarding the protection of Children.
The deadline to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme is June 2020.
The C3 Church movement comprises a number of autonomous churches operating under the C3 umbrella: each church operates as an independent entity with its own pastor and governance arrangements including a board. Each church has been encouraged to consider its response to the National Redress Scheme.
C3 Church is evaluating the best way for churches within the C3 Church movement to meet best practice guidelines with respect to child protection, including but not limited to whether to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme.
C3 Church is in advanced discussions with its insurer, ACS Mutual, about a mechanism for individual C3 Churches to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme via ACS.
C3 Church has robust governance policies in place regarding remuneration of Pastors which extends to the remuneration of Ps Phil Pringle. All remuneration is set by an independent board of Directors and the quantum is benchmarked to organisations of a comparable size in the Education sector and he is paid the equivalent of a Headmaster’s salary.
C3 Church complies with the disclosure guidelines articulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
C3 has a regular program of giving to important causes which over the past 7 years has seen more than $3.6 million donated to external causes.
C3 Cares, a mission to the community in Sydney, has over the past 7 years:
•Cooked and served over 125,000 meals to people in need
•Distributed 55,000 food hampers
•Distributed 30,000 items of clothing
•Facilitated 250 work placements
•Given over $1million of goods, furniture, clothing and assistance
As a movement, C3 has been very active in supporting a diverse group of organisations bringing care into the community, including well known groups like “Humptys” and Surf Life Saving Australia.
More recently, C3 Australia has been extensively involved in bringing drought relief assistance to farmers impacted by the national drought.
(02) 9972 8688
Source: http://myc3church.net/media-response/?fbclid=IwAR0ncWmUeccGFNN33dCEg0ZL06YUuVYFWAswSOrJHrn3POjW2E27WmUXceM, Published October 01, 2019. (Accessed October 01, 2019.)
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“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16