My thoughts on Kong Hee and City Harvest

I better write a disclaimer before I get left, right and centre for “failing as a Christian” or whatever.

Disclaimer: This is NOT in any way, an attack on Kong Hee or City Harvest members. This is just my opinion on the saga.

If by now you still have no idea what is going on, this graphic by ChannelNewsAsia on the chronology of events, clears things up.

When I tweeted that the whole saga was a disgrace after news broke that Kong Hee and four others were arrested, I was suddenly getting a lot of brickbrats from members of City Harvest for “judging” Kong Hee as a fellow brother in Christ. One even went to the extent of arguing with me that getting “picked by the police” was different from being arrested. Ridiculous.

I stand by what I say, but I want to explain why I feel this whole saga is disgrace to us Christians.

I’m very puzzled as to why I’m being accused of “judging”. The authorities took 2 full years to investigate the claims that the funds were being misused. Surely they wouldn’t take action unless they didn’t had concrete proof?

Yes, I’m a Christian and I should be keeping my fellow brethren in prayers. But at the same time I feel that as a Christian and as a member of the public, I should be impartial and objective. Luke 17:3 says: “If your brother sins, rebuke them, if they repent, forgive them”.

The facts are laid bare for all to see. And that no one, not even Kong Hee himself has come out and proclaimed their innocence, just drills home my point.

What saddens and appalls me is that a man who claims to be a man of God and an ordained leader is “stealing” from the Church. I believe Kong Hee had/still has good intentions when he first started City Harvest, but somehow, somewhere along the years, he allowed himself to be taken in by greed.

No doubt, he is only human and to err is only natural. But a Pastor, of all people should know better. I mean, how does a Pastor who is suppose to exercise spiritual guidance over his people, telling them stealing is wrong, does it himself? And with the members tithes and offerings.

It is fair to point out that three great men in the Bible, David, Moses, and Paul, were all criminals. Their mistakes are chronicled in the Bible and there are many lessons for us to learn. As someone who is suppose to be a teacher of the Bible, Kong Hee should know better than the rest of us what it is like to incur the wrath of God. He is supposed to be our role model

Of course, God forgives all who have sinned and as Christians, we are called to do likewise. But does that mean we close our eyes and pretend nothing has happened?

Which brings me to why I’m shocked and dismayed when I see how some City Harvest members are defending Kong Hee and criticising other Christians for voicing out against him. I admire their faith and loyalty in their Pastor. But it has come to a point that they have started worshiping him and not God. Have they forgotten what is the main purpose of going to Church? Do they not remember God’s reminder to put their faith and trust in him and not in Man? (Psalm 146:3)

It confounds me why they criticised other Christians for voicing out. Again, Luke 17:3 comes to mind. Have they forgotten that the money that Kong Hee misused is their tithes and offerings, their 10 percent of their allowance/pay, and that it belongs to God?

And do they not understand our frustrations? How are we supposed to bring our friends to church and spread the Gospel to people when we are being stereotyped because of Kong Hee?

While I absolutely do not condone the mocking and the abuse people not of the faith has thrown on City Harvest members and Christians in general, I do not blame them, in part because of the ‘cult personality’ and the blind faith of City Harvest members, which is better explained in this blog post.

My prayer is for Pastor Kong Hee and those involved to repent and account for the money that he misused, that the members his congregation see the truth and not waver in their faith. And for my fellow believers to forgive Kong Hee and let go of any bitterness and rage in their hearts. Because if he is unrepentant and refuses to acknowledge his wrongdoings, he will be judged by God on Judgement Day. I’m at peace knowing that.



Filed under Christianity, Singapore

15 responses to “My thoughts on Kong Hee and City Harvest

  1. tshace

    He’s a “good” example of Matthew 7:15-23
    15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
    23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  2. I’m with you in the view that KongHee and his board members are guilty. 2 years of investigations leading up to arrests kind of says it all. To call them a cult might be abit strong though. Many of them just find alot of comfort and strong support within the group (I think) and its natural as such for them to want to support their leader. But again, their vehemence in denial, in the face of stark evidence, is really astonishing and I don’t think my hypothesis cuts it for the extreme cases. I would really like to speak to a CHC member and see how they think.

  3. Mabel

    It takes courage to say the things you said.

  4. Jack

    Think deeper,God/Jesus have intended some really important lessons for Singaporeans at this critical junction.
    Do not forget,God/Jesus always works in mysterious ways.
    note that he used Ah Kong to refer to Pastor Kong Hee.

  5. Ann

    yes, ignorance is NOT bliss; read our Bibles and don’t just follow any pastors blindly…….only the Lord is perfect, everyone else, fallible

  6. Ann

    having said that, vengeance belongs to God……these people would not simply get away with it

  7. christy丽婷

    Refreshing view that is different from some of the other Christians’ perspectives blogs I have read. Very brave. I agree that CHC members should see the truth but hopefully they would not keep their faith in the prosperity gospel that Kong Hee preaches.

  8. Joseph Daniel - the imprisoned

    I have hearing the same old news over last 2 years and it is getting frustrating that people are blindly believing the stories just because they are printed, just as people are believing TV adverts and buying stuffs with cleverly-crafted marketing but do not work.

    From your position of a Christian and by the stuff you written here, I sympathize you, that you have uttered stuff publicly based on unreliable, single-sided, skewed and sensationalized media reports.

    Let me explain your “puzzle”.

    Have you heard the full story from the other side?? No? then how sure are you of the news reports that they are the truth?? Have you not heard what everybody is saying about how full of lies our media is during GE2011?? Sorry.. you must be a minor.

    Neutral ground requires one to keep silent, observe, listen, check all sides and formulate your position (not others). In your case, you are not neutral. which side are you on? have you ever thought you could have made a mistake based on FALSE reports? And where does it put you before your God if you might be wrong? “i’m sorry” and you move on thinking it is alright that you have only cast a few stones??

    if you think media and government authority is THE truth, think again: how did Jesus and all his remaining 11 disciples died? Boy, think again.

    What can you do then? Retract your words if you are not 100% sure. This is wisdom.

  9. Wish Rich&Famous

    Totally agree your points… Good! Keep posting to encourage those who get affected of this saga!

  10. billy

    “Because if he is unrepentant and refuses to acknowledge his wrongdoings, he will be judged by God on Judgement Day.”

    Isn’t he already guaranteed a place in heaven because all his past, present and future sins have been forgiven?

  11. Tee Kay Hetch

    Don’t forget the profits he made from plagiarism of other writers’ article which he old in a book. The ‘book’ was translated into Mandarin and Malay which opened up bigger ekes in Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia. At $14 a pop, I reckon at least more than a mill $ there.

  12. Hong

    God will do the judgment. It’s not our right to judge someone especially not our expertise in investigating crime. I’m a newly reborn Christian and I’m not from Singapore. Just surfing the net and found this news. I’d rather not said any commend publicly especially with some sound like saying who is wrong and who is right. I’d rather propose we surrender this to our God almighty. Posting commend is just a point of view, but it may not represent the overview of the whole scenario. Stay balance in life and surely we’ll be a better person. Reviewing what Pastor Kong had done for the Christian community, he still earn my respect.

  13. kanaconned

    One of the main contentions was how CHC gave money to one of the Board’s member, Chew Eng Han, as the investment manager.
    Now it has been disclosed Chew Eng Han’s company, AMAC Capital, owns 443m shares of Transcu, a highly speculative stock on SGX, that was suspended for over a year and just re-listed on the SGX.
    Is the Church money being used to invest in speculative counter like Transcu?

  14. David Ong

    If u have an issue with the media reports and fought report of investigations flash on the platform of media such as newspaper, Internet, social platforms, radios in general any form of media you have the rights to engage a lawyer and look into the avenue of defamation. However there has not been any Final verdict so we just keep mum and observe. Following the usual practice of news report are usually true because in big organizations there will usually be a legal advice on any contact which the organization will be going into. I think as a news media arm of Singapore I trust and choose to believe that there are legal advice on such matter else the issue of defamation will catch up with them one day. Anyway dude you do not need to be so defensive, uncalled for.

  15. okshresla

    Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

    City harvest is not christian in my opinion because they preach the prosperity gospel which is the anti christ message

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