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.