Faith has no price tag

Places of worship should not demand that followers contribute a certain percentage of their wages ("Controversy over church's 'prosperity gospel'"; Nov 11).

Saying that one would be rewarded materially and spiritually if one gives financially to God is as good as saying one has to be wealthy in order to receive God's grace, which is absurd.

Churchgoers should keep in mind that religion is based on spiritual devotion and has nothing to do with sacrificing financially.

An individual's monetary contribution does not translate into how much faith he has.

A church does not need to be extravagant to denote its faith.

It is not unheard of for pastors to take advantage of church budgets to fund their lavish private lifestyles.

Perhaps the pay of pastors should be monitored or standardised to prevent church leaders from going astray.

Churches should be mandated to inform churchgoers how much they receive in donations every month and how these funds are put to use.

Government officials should also be authorised to do frequent checks on these places of worship to make sure that donations are not misused.

How much an individual contributes should be kept private. Religious leaders also should not try to invade followers' privacy and dictate their lives.

Most importantly, followers ought to be wise about their church's operations and not obey authority blindly.

Believers should be rational and know that they have a choice in their actions. If a person ever feels compelled to do something against his will, it should set alarm bells ringing.

Poh Wei Ling (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Faith has no price tag'. Print Edition | Subscribe