I read the responses from aggrieved supporters of the accused following the outcome of the CHC trial.

Sun Ho is calling this a further test by God. CHC says it still “has an unshakeable calling from God”. City News says the accused “loved CHC, were motivated by Cultural Mandate, believed in the Crossover Project and were convinced that what they did was morally permissible”. Some CHC members said the accused had “good intentions” but had simply used “methods not directly abiding with the law, in the judge’s opinion.”

The common thread appears to be this: The accused had a pure motive and did what they did in the name of and for the glory of God. In so doing, they may have violated the laws of man. But they did not violate the laws of God. And that is what matters.

This is dangerous. And it underscores a deeper, perennial problem with religious extremism and blinded religious devotion in society.

You may believe that God is supreme. But just because something is done by a human with the best of intentions in the name of God doesn’t thereby make it right. A religious zealot harming innocents via holy wars, suicide bomb attacks and passenger plane missiles also says he does it with a pure motive for his God. Why would you condemn the said zealot and his reasoning but yet see nothing wrong with others who harm people by falsifying accounts, cheating and defrauding, also in the name of their God?

There is a lot less discrepancy in principle between the laws of God (or your interpretation of the same) and the laws of man than you think. Or between religious ethics and legal ethics for that matter. And we are not dealing with some minor infraction of some technical or procedural law here. It’s criminal. Once we start justifying what people do and the harm that society suffers in the name of faith, we start walking down this very dangerous, very slippery slope.

Support the accused as friends, people or fellow Christians who have gone astray if you must. But please don’t excuse what they did or exonerate them because (they say) they did it in the name of God.

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