Thoughts on City Harvest Church and Pastor Kong Hee’s arrest

I don’t attend City Harvest Church in Singapore, but it’s very sad and heartbreaking to see a senior and founding pastor who you respect, become a target for endless investigations. It culminated in his arrest this morning, along with a few other of his church members.

My heart goes out to the City Harvest Church congregation – remember, you don’t go to church for one man, you go to church for one God.


Full article here.

How true is the law that convicts its people? Why did God let this happen? Did Pastor Kong Hee deserve it, or is he to be pitied?

In a society which demands clarity in black and white, we find that most of what we get is blurred.

No man can answer all this or will know for sure.

It’s $50mil now? Fresh exposé in the local news hatelines I mean headlines today –

*Update from 28/6/2012*

So, for the $50m of donations invested in “The Crossover Project” – publicly and loosely now referred to as Sun Ho’s music career – if it helped Sun Ho to get a big house to get chummy with celebrity neighbours, and this led to her reaching out to 5x non-believers who each have a net worth of, say, S$10mil, does that mean that the charges will be dropped because she would be able to prove the Return of Investment? Hmm, no, probably not.

There has been a lot of comments, jokes, and opinions, from Christians and non-Christians. Seriously, who hasn’t seen the “Kill Bill” YouTube video going around that she made with Wyclef Jean? I’m sure your Facebook feed is filled with it.

$50m is an obscene amount of money to misuse, if it was misused (for it to be “misused”, all of the people of City Harvest church has to agree, that the money that they tithed or donated, had not been used for the intended cause). Many people have been chiding the City Harvest followers calling them “blind”, “brainwashed”, or asking them to stop living in denial.

However, to date, Kong Hee has reportedly retained his integrity on the matter, ergo, not pleaded guilty. Are we listening to one side of the facts-fence, or are we listening to those in-the-know who have faith? I really do not know how this ending will go – the recent published FACTS against this man seems to offer a different opinion from those who have FAITH in the man.

The single most complex thing about this case, is the difference between a church and a charity.

I have not been as actively involved in charities as some other people, but from what I have learnt, a charity collects money and it usually goes directly back into the community to do the greater good. When a church collects money, sometimes yes, it goes to poor people. Helping the unfortunate, maybe the disabled or even the depressed. When a church collects money, it is majorly for evangelical purposes, sometimes including the expansion of the church, which Christians intend for reaching out to non-believers.

So yes, you can do a lot with $50m and that can feed many starving mouths, but the purpose of collecting it in the first place might have been something else.

It fascinates me that the people on my Facebook feed who are making the most noise are NOT members of City Harvest Church itself, but bystanders and bored users who have never stepped into City Harvest Church nor given them a dollar. (This is what a City Harvest member says as well on her blog post – read it here for insider/deeper thought.)

I regularly attend a big church as well and it has filled me with guidelines on how I live my life. I have attended to City Harvest a few times, but not enough to comment on the doctrines that they preach. I really don’t know much on “the crossover project”, or the lessons their preacher teaches, but chances are if you are not hugely involved with City Harvest Church – then neither do you.

Pastor Kong Hee should still remember the Bible verse that we’re not under law, but we are here by God’s grace.
Romans 6:14 – “And sin has no authority over you, for you not under The Written Law, but under grace.” In any circumstance, it always brings me down to ground when I am reminded that my life is full of grace.

I am not going to defend a pastor/man I don’t really know and whatever he has done, I really am not clearly sure. Anyway, who am I to judge him?

Life is full of uncertainty, and it seems sooner rather than later, there is shake up in the Christian community in SG today. All we can really do is keep calm, and look up. It sure beats running around like headless ducks. Also, I have other things to worry about!

Amidst questions and confusion, if there’s ONE thing that’s for sure in this whole case, it’s that I won’t let it change anything about the God I believe in. Will you?


32 thoughts on “Thoughts on City Harvest Church and Pastor Kong Hee’s arrest

  1. If he’s guilty for misappropriating funds and breaking the law, he has to answer to the country’s laws and cannot claim immunity just because he thinks he’s under God’s laws. I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t teach us to steal money that doesn’t belong to us (and it is exactly that – stealing *8th commandment*). How ever good the man, sin is still sin. And each person must bear the consequences of our sin. Christians should uphold righteousness at all times, or they will be just like any other person.

  2. I pray that in this episode and whatever may unfold, all will be humble and be full of grace, to show the world what true Christianity is about. It will require humility for those who are in the wrong to admit that God is our judge and to submit to His discipline, and it will require grace from us fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to bring about reconciliation and restoration. May God have mercy on us.

  3. Well, I suppose City Harvest Church could have put its wealth to better use helping the poor, rather than helping some ex-pastor-turned-songstress’ celebrity lifestyle,

    Isn’t there also a famous bible verse that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich pastor, I mean songstress, sorry I mean man, to enter the gates of heaven ? Or something like that? I may not remember the exact words translated from Hebrew, but I surely understand and agree with the meaning of that verse. I am not a church-goer, as I spend most of my time working to make ends meet, and the rest learning about human nature and trying to discover the meaning of life.

  4. “It fascinates me that the people on my Facebook feed who are making the most noise are NOT members of City Harvest Church itself, but bystanders and bored users who have never stepped into City Harvest Church nor given them a dollar. ”

    Such a statement is outrightly ridiculous.

    Going by the same line, you have absolutely no right to ever disparage or express disdain at rapists because you have never been raped. You have absolutely no right to feel outrage by Kony because you have never been kidnapped and ordered to kill your parents. You have no right to feel a sense of outrage or disgust when you first found out that T. T. Durai squandered away NKF’s money.

    One does not need to be a victim to understand and to be outraged by something as low ball as what your beloved pastor has done. It takes simple common sense, a minimal form of unified (and VERY basic) moral code to figure that he messed up. If change is to be effected by only those who are affected, then I’m afraid we would still be living in an age where shit goes down and nothing changes.

    • Hey Kenny, hmm good point. I didn’t think of it that way, or that you’d akin it to being disgusted by rapists if we’ve never been raped. All I’m saying is that it seems that those making the loudest noise are those who have nothing to do with the situation. It’s a bit annoying. That’s all.

      • Then has it occurred to you there is less “noise” from those within CHC than without, is because those within aren’t being entirely objective?

        As you so reminded us “don’t go to church for one man, you go to church for one God”?

        And the fact you find those who supposedly have nothing to do it with making the most noise “annoying”, means that you are just paying lip service to kenny’s reply.

    • Dear Kenny, we clearly have to understand the cross over project before we can comment on its validity. Agree? It is a project that has been announced full and frank since years ago and it has been endorsed by several christian bodies…please go learn more…
      please do not compare to rape,kidnap etc. which are direct infringement of human morality…you do not need to under the rapist project because it is an obvious crime and thus the rapist would not announce full and frank in public in advance about his project for people to scrutinize and endorse…

      • Dear Kenny, we clearly have to understand the cross over project before we can comment on its validity. Agree? It is a project that has been announced full and frank since years ago and it has been endorsed by several christian bodies…please go learn more…
        please do not compare to rape,kidnap etc. which are direct infringement of human morality…you do not need to understand the rapist project because it is an obvious crime and thus the rapist would not announce full and frank in public in advance about his project for people to scrutinize and endorse…

      • You silly, silly human.

        I’m afraid you have failed miserably in trying to grasp the crux of my comment.

        The comment does not seek to address the validity of the accusations leveled against CHC. The verdict will be out soon enough, and it shall be amusing to see the responses of some people who have commented here.

        More importantly, what I was addressing was simply that the argument leveled against commentators who are NOT from CHC is fallacious in nature. (just in case you haven’t caught on, the argument which I found to be fallacious stated implicitly that if a person is not a victim of a situation, then he should not feel outraged/any emotions about it.) While the tone of the comment hints strongly at my inherent bias in this matter, the core logical argument in my comment was targeted specifically at the argument and construct of the author’s post.

        While the comparison to rape and murder might seem a little offensive and excessive, they nonetheless serve their intended purpose – to illustrate how extrapolating such fallacious arguments to other facets of society and civilization would immediately ring a great deal of alarm bells in most (I was tempted to say all, but hey, who am I to make that assertion?) people’s minds.

        Now that that’s clear, I just thought it might be interesting to poke at the strength of YOUR argument.

        1. You speak of the Cross-over project being announced full and frank. Sure. But to go on to imply that this necessarily guarantees the righteousness of this project is plain silly. (i was gonna explain why, but this is gonna take some time and I’m assuming you possess a certain level of intellect)

        Oh btw, I would love to see you explain how that sad excuse for music, China Wine, can help spread our faith. Amuse me, please.

        2. Fact check: Too many idiots have gone around blabbering on and on about how maligned the crossover project is, and they’re being targeted and yada yada.

        Shut up, and take just 5 bloody minutes to look through the case.

        The most prominent charges are directed at specifically fraudulent transfer of funds between various over “branches”, as well as misuse of fund. it is NOT using-churchgoers-money-to-fund-shitty-ass-music-from-a-pop-star-wannabe.

        So no, no, no, no. Noone’s giving you guys shit for the Crossover project. Want to spread our Faith? I say yes, Glory to our God. Think that MTV like China Wine is gonna help us do that? *deep breath* right……………………………

  5. just confirms this one truth..we need Jesus back, yesterday.
    Because He alone with the martyrs are worthy to reign on the earth. Every day we delay His return, because we want God’s word to fulfill our lives before we go to heaven, is another day of indescribable suffering for millions.
    I hope God will raise up ministries in Singapore that teach you, wno are amongst the most fortunate of asians to use you lives to fulfill God’s words instead of using God’s words to fulfill your lives.
    For 50 million sing dollars, 50000 philipino pastors could be supported for one year to minister to 5,000,000 families…that’s almost the size of S’pore.
    No wonder the Lord said, the people of the world are wiser with worldly wealth.

  6. If their hands are clean and they have not used God’s Name in vain, then all the so-called endless investigation ‘targeted’ at CHC will eventually turn up nothing.
    So before we are quick to defend the church or alleged that CHC or the pastor is being targeted, It is only prudent to wait till all the facts are revealed.

    And if they are found guilty, it will be an apt reminder for believers not to put any man on a pinnacle.

    • There’s some truth in what you’re saying.. I am not going to defend someone I don’t know, especially because I don’t clearly know for sure what he’s done. Allegedly he has miused an obscene amount of money in an obscene way, so perhaps one day the truth will come to light. Is the “one day” now? I don’t know.

  7. With so much hard evidence that he has misappropriated the funds, there is still no sign of remorse from him. The fact that he covered them up implies his awareness of their illegality. As a man of faith, he should answer for his deeds but this is impeded by the 200 supporters that shielded him from the media – a mob of truly brainwashed people in my opinion.

    I don’t expect much comments from the followers at all because its their faith in their church at question – must be a truly confusing and trying moment for the members. Its so much easier for bystanders to hurl our criticisms at the man especially when encounters with his followers in the past are not pleasant.

  8. Church people are downright stupid and they will never change.No matter how great a man/woman sounds-they will have their private struggles- which is usually cleverly concealed from the public eye.This is the fact of our existence.I fear those preachers who have the fear of God about them.There is nothing to fear from someone who dresses like a prostitute, craves money and recognition and claim to be ambassadors for Christ.

  9. Pingback: Part 2 of Religion, Donation, and Alleged Corruption: Media’s Battle Lines | Zareth Writes At: Blog

  10. Based on the Only Newspaper reports,can we trust them?It was said of Siphoning,misuse,and misappropriate;and Crminal breach of trust.The Church has clarified that there was no misuse,no misappropriation,and their Trust was not breach,and the money was not siphoned and they can proved,i guessed.So who is right?

    It was said the funds transfered to Invesment Companies,as invested by City Harvest Church,and the funds return to City Harvest Church is considered as misuse,misappropriate?If that is true then all our money in the Banks also were misuse by Banks,they use our monies and invested elsewhere,without our approval.

    If people who don’t know how to manage funds,knew nothing about Idle Funds,and Yields,we are to believe their stories,those amateurs..are we not really dumb?People who do this type of Investments were normally check with Accountants and Auditors first,and make sure they don’t break any Laws.You mean Kong Hee is so dumb and the Board were uneducated folks?Those who believe in nonsense,they are truly dumb!

    • You will be shocked to your core when the truth is revealed during trial in April 2013…..
      When the board is packed with friendly parties, they can do anything until they get caught by the authority.

  11. Even if you are a pastor doesn’t mean you have the right to steal money in Singapore. Its okay to psycho church members to sell their HDB flats to give to “god”. Everyone in Singapore has to pay ten percent income tax to CHC before you can be a member. If this goes on our ruling party may have to change its name from PAP to CHC.

  12. Stupid to some degree but more so an unwillingness to admit that one has really ‘screwed’ up big time. Selfish pride is inherent in man. For gung-ho the church followers to admit that they have been led astray will be too much to expect and that is why the show of support for KH and the church.

    I suppose the support will fizzle out and dwindle when and if they are found guilty which will ‘officially’ provide a way out for the followers to quit the church or distant themselves from CHC. Chinese say ‘ A way to come down from the stage’.

    Right now, all the Ra-Ra going on and KH saying he will defend his integrity and so forth…so members must show solidarity…200 o 33000 of them doesn’t matter. What can they shed KH from? The stench of his wrong doings have reached high heaven just like when God says to Cain, ‘the blood of your brother cries out to Me’. Same case for Sodom and Gomorrah, the sins of the cities were so bad that it reaches heaven.

    And what happens next? Judgement from above.

    So all is not lost, there is always a cleaner horizon after a storm.
    And hopefully, the church members will have a better and clearer understanding of their faith in God not the man or the church.

  13. The purpose of going to church is to worship God and not to exalt the ‘greatness’ of an organistaion or to exalt the ‘greatest’ man but the young people of CHC seems to think otherwise in their new song on youtube which exalts CHC and the leaders without a single mention of God, Very troubling indeed.

  14. You steal you go prison dude. Nobody care a damn who you are and no god can protect you.

    You steal and cheat you deserve prison time.

    I hope they give you 25 years!

  15. In Spore when the authorities got your guilty balls, they will never let go until you are punished like shit.

    I hope they put them in prisons for 100 years!!!

    Big liar and cheat deserve such punishment.

    How can Jesus saves them. The Bible Jesus can’t even save himself from being crucifixed naked on the cross. And the father can’t even save his son. What a pathetic state of affair.

  16. Kong, you days of harvesting people hard earned money is over.

    Now you will go into the prison. They rape and sodomise your arse.

  17. I despise people who earned their living through religious charity. These people are low down skunk who are so lazy to do honest work that the have to use their religious bullshit to get money from hard working folks.

    They are no better than the con-men.

    I hope each of them get 25 years in prison. They will be sodomised and raped by other prisoners.

    You deserve it bullshiters!!!!

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