(Report by Shermaine Tan Peck Suan)

We praise and thank God for bringing 27 children to join us for the camp this year. Among them are 4 pre-primary children, 9 lower-primary children, and 14 upper-primary children. We also praise God for 5 new-comers who joined us for the first time.

The camp theme for this year is “Don’t Stop Praying” and the invited speakers are Dr. Jose Lagapa (Upper-primary), Sis Celeste Lagapa (Lower-primary) and Sis Sandra Teo (Pre-primary). Elder John Leong was the speaker for the introductory message and he taught from 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Rev Clement Chew was the final speaker of the camp at the Thanks-giving night on Thursday evening. The children were attentive during lessons and participated actively in the lesson activities and memorising the verses. We pray that the Word of God that has been taught to the children will bear fruit in their prayer lives as they depart the camp.

Apart from the main messages, the children were also led in morning devotions by their respective class teachers using the Junior RPG material as a guide. Before bedtime, the dormitory leaders also led the children in prayer. On Tuesday night, Sis Tammy led the camp in a prayer meeting and taught about the prayer life of George Muller. Indeed, the Lord granted grace in keeping the camp focused on His Word and prayer.

An outing to Pasir Ris Park was organized on Tuesday afternoon. We thank God for the provision of fine weather, that the children may have a good time of wholesome fun, even enjoying ice-cream/cold drinks under the hot sun. A Bible quiz was conducted on Thursday afternoon as a recap of all the lessons learnt during the camp. The camp ended on a high note with Thanksgiving at night. A skit was put up by the youths and young adults of Tabernacle BPC concerning the theme of Daniel’s prayer life. The children received “Certificates of Attendance” for their participation in the camp. At the end of the night, ice-cream and light refreshments were served to the children before they broke camp. We are also thankful for the opportunity to witness to the parents who were able to join us for the Thanksgiving night.

All in all, the Lord God provided abundantly for the camp. About 12 full-time helpers were on the camp site this year, and we thank God for granting us grace for service. We are also encouraged by the children who took turns to wash-up after meals as practical practice of Christian service. We pray for the spiritual well-being and growth of all the children and helpers who participated in the camp. We pray that the Lord will continue to grant grace and wisdom for future planning and execution of the Children’s Bible Camp if the Lord tarries.

All praise and glory to God alone. Amen.

Shermaine Tan Peck Suan
On behalf of Children’s Bible Camp Committee



Text: 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

The practice of eating food offered to idols was widespread in the city of Corinth. When two parties wanted to conclude a business deal, they would often gather in an agora (community square) and seal the contract with a meal. These meals would typically be offered to an idol to procure the blessings of the “deity”. Food offered to idols were also served frequently in feasts and festivals. Failure to eat the food may offend the hosts and cause the individual to be ostracised by society. Thus, some Corinthian Christians in their pride chose the expedient option and ate the food that was offered to idols. This was in contradiction with the injunction of the Jerusalem Council concerning Gentile Christians – “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they ab-stain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20).

On the other hand, there were brethren who were young in the faith. Their lack of understanding and weak conscience led them to fear even eating food that was sold in the market (i.e. “shambles”, 1 Cor. 10:25). They were avoiding food offered to idols because they thought that eating such food would subject them to the power and control of the idols.

How should this confusion in the Corinthian Church be addressed? The solution is not philosophy, nor psychology, but the forever inerrant and infallible Word of everlasting life. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Knowledge Which Destroys
When Paul said in verse 1 that “knowledge puffeth up”, he was not saying that doctrine is unimportant and harmful. Christianity is not a blind faith but based upon the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17). A Christian must be firmly grounded in the knowledge of the Scriptures if we are to experience the fulness of our salvation and walk rightly before the Lord. Thus, the Scriptures declare, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim. 4:16)

The issue concerning food offered to idols arose because of the Corinthian Christians’ lack of spiritual wisdom. They claim that they possess knowledge that God is the one living and true God (see v.4), but much of this knowledge was head knowledge without much depth of spiritual understanding and application. It was used instead to excuse their ill-conduct and compromise of eating food offered to idols.

Some of the Corinthian Christians were young believers, who were still immature in the faith and grappling with this issue. They must be patiently taught and encouraged in the Word of God.

However, there were others who were full of themselves, thinking that they knew better. This arrogance and presumptuousness led to wrong practice. Such pride in their head “knowledge” only led them to harm themselves as well as others. The prideful Corinthians ended up stumbling the weaker brethren when they ate food offered to idols. The Rev. Timothy Tow summed it up well – “Head knowledge that puffs up without heart knowledge is a dangerous thing.” “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” (Prov. 18:12)

The three rules for understanding theology is “Humility, Humility, Humility” (Calvin). No man can understand spiritual things without the help of the Holy Spirit, for spiritual things must be “spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). If we desire to understand theology rightly, we must humble ourselves before God and His Word.

Alas, it is easy for one who has been a professing Christian for some years to become full of himself. He may become presumptuous in his ways, thinking that he knows all things, and forgetting that it is God who grants spiritual sight and understanding. He surmises in his heart, “I’ve known God for so many years, and thus I am better than others. What more have I to know about God’s Word?” It is to such conceited individuals that Paul wrote in verse 2, “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Cor. 8:2)

We must never approach the study of God’s Word simply as an exercise to prove how knowledgeable we are. Such a self-centered and arrogant attitude dishonours God. Simply knowing the answers to questions set on pen and paper is no proof of spirituality. Rather, the proof of spiritual understanding and wisdom is seen in how a man responds to the various circumstances of life. In the case of the Corinthian Christians, their lack of spiritual maturity was seen in how they handled the issue of food offered to idols.

When we study God’s Word with the right attitude, it should lead us to see how great God is and how small we are. One who truly knows God’s Word will be humble before God and man. He will not be boasting about his knowledge, nor will he have a judgemental spirit against fellow brethren. The more he studies God’s Word, the humbler he will be.

Love Which Edifies
The prideful spirit of the Corinthian Christians must be replaced by love. The term “edifieth” (oikodomei) carries the idea of building a structure brick by brick. Pride is destructive, but love is constructive. Pride seeks to put down others at the expense of self, but love will seek the spiritual good of others. He will desire to see his brethren be built up in the most holy faith.

True spiritual knowledge will manifest itself in love and not pride. The spiritual man will (1) love God and His Word and (2) love man. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40)

The lack of love among them caused the prideful Corinthians to be lax concerning food offered to idols. Firstly, their lack of love for God resulted in their disregard of the ill testimony for Christ that may arise from eating such food. Secondly, their lack of love for the brethren caused them to be inconsiderate of how their actions may be stumbling to others. Therefore, they must come back to the right motive for service – to serve God and man constrained by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14).

Paul adds in verse 3, “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (1 Cor. 8:3) Herein is a great comfort to us that God never forsakes those who love Him. It is, however, also a reminder that those who are truly known of God will manifest love in their lives.

Is the love of Christ seen in your life?

Yours affectionately,
Rev Clement Chew