THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church (part 2)

Posted by temasektimes on July 3, 2012

It has been two years since I wrote an analysis on the wealth of City Harvest Church (CHC). This week, news broke out that the Pastor has been arrested over alleged misuse of church funds. It is really amazing that the most fervent defenders of the Pastor are the very victims whom he was alleged to have abused – the stakeholders of City Harvest Church. A business with such loyal following among its stakeholders can easily survive adversities. From this single characteristics springs forth strengths that I shall outline in the subsequent paragraphs. Again, please read this article as a business analysis and not an insinuation that CHC is acquiring wealth through questionable means. I apologize upfront if some readers are still offended.

My observation of events that followed after the arrest has reaffirmed my belief on the wonderful business characteristics of CHC. In addition to the 14 points raised in my first article, I have more to add here;

15. Extremely forgiving customers who will keep coming back for more no matter what

CHC members have taken plenty of battering from the public this week. The moment a person reveals he is from City Harvest Church, people will look upon him like a brain-washed idiot who is unable to see the obvious “truth” (verdict is not out yet, so nobody knows the truth. Wait for Pastor to tell his side of the story first). The mere association with CHC brings embarrassment.

When a business has such a firm grip on its customers that they refuse to go away despite suffering lots of abuse, this business is on solid ground.

Any business(even reputable ones) that has been in existence long enough will eventually make a big screw-up or even get indicted in scandalous frauds. However, if that business has loyal and forgiving customers like CHC’s, it can be assured that its customers will probably keep coming back. It is very hard to erode its customer base as they can take a lot of beating before saying goodbye. Such a business is certainly built-to-last.

16. Very easy to raise money from loyal and trusting shareholders

CHC has a special characteristic in that the customers are also the shareholders because CHC raises funds from its church members.

In my first article, I concluded that if CHC were listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, I will surely buy it. With the benefit of hindsight, some netizens sneered at this conclusion. They said that I would have lost lots of money this week if CHC were listed as a stock. If CHC were an average business, I would certainly have lost my pants. Most stocks would have crashed on allegations that the Founder has defrauded its shareholders. Shareholders will sell first and ask questions later. Not CHC. Its loyal and trusting shareholders will probably buy on the dips/crashes and no need to ask questions at all. Their faith alone in the company is enough.

With such loyal shareholders, it is very easy for a company to raise new funds for future expansion. It can set up building funds to buy new buildings to house its ever-rising membership. In fact, this was exactly what CHC did 2 years ago when it bought Suntec City.

17. Highly motivated and loyal employees who will work for little money with great passion

City Harvest Church has a unique stakeholder characteristic. The extremely loyal customers and shareholders as mentioned above are also the same group of people who are the employees. Therefore, it naturally follows that CHC has a very loyal team of employees.

HR departments like to say our greatest assets lie in our human resource. Nothing can be more true when this is applied to CHC. Some CHC members (or employees) work as volunteers for little or no money but carry on their work with great passion and sacrificial spirit. Internet stories abound on how much personal time some members devote to church activities. It is a compliment to CHC members on their self-sacrificial spirit in volunteering their free-time for church work (provided they do not neglect their earthly family duties).

These dedicated volunteers are not paid a salary but perform essential operations for the church. This results in tremendous cost savings for operating the company. The company does not need to pay for this voluntary workforce and yet enjoy amazingly high staff morale. I challenge readers to find me another company in the world with such an amazing workforce. Where can you find a passionate voluntary workforce who not only are not paid a salary but actually are encouraged to pay until tears stream down their cheeks in order to have the privilege to work for the company? Little or no salary, high staff morale, work with passion and dedicaion, even pay to work … WOW!!

The heavy commitment and sacrifice put in by the employees serves yet another advantage to CHC. The more time and money and sacrifice a person puts into an endeavor, the harder it is to let go when the turn of events suggest that he may be wrong. Once he has invested too much, it becomes very hard to “cut loss”. A person faced in such a situation may resort to self-denial as a form of psychological defense mechanism to protect himself from facing the pain of meeting reality head-on. It is this defense mechanism which plays an important role in strengthening employee loyalty to the company in crisis times.

CHC enjoys another advantage with the employee pool. In 2010, 47.3% of its members are below the age of 25 and the majority are young professionals aged 25 to 35. The young workforce injects awesome energy and dynamism into the business at little or no cost because they are mostly volunteers.

Having a young membership works towards enhancing corporate loyalty for a church business. When it comes to transmitting a set of beliefs, it is preferable to start with the young as it is easier to shape and mould young minds. Some friends have jokingly suggested starting an Internet church preaching prosperity gospel to get rich (let’s ignore the morals of such an enterprise for the sake of discussion).It will not work. To have a firmer grip on the minds of its stakeholders, the church should ensure that members’ lives revolve around the church. The more social interaction, the more time/effort put in, the lesser exposure to outside influences from other churches (or even disapproving parents), the tighter will be the bonds. Left alone in front of the computer, people are more discerning and analytical without social pressures from the crowd. Just a few simple searches on Youtube turns out videos highly critical of Prosperity Gospel.

Full-time CHC employees are loyal for a good reason. They are very well rewarded financially. Although CHC is registered as a charity, in the 2008 financial statement, CHC distributed $2.9m out to charity and spent 3.2 times more ($9.29m) on its own employees. This will motivate its volunteer workforce to work hard to get a chance to join its full-time staff.

To sum up, with the extremely team of employees, shareholders and customers, CHC as a business is unbeatable.

18. Need not incur any expense to deliver on customer promises

This business characteristic distinguishes City Harvest from all other businesses I have encountered. If a customer entrusts huge sums of money to a bank which promises 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold returns and the bank does not return a single cent, the customer can sue for fraud. If a Prosperity Gospel church makes similar promises and fails to deliver, the customer will have to die first and find out the truth on Judgment day. In the mean time, the Church can cite the story of Job and tell its followers to be patient. Better still, a sharp businessman can turn adversity into opportunity by telling its followers the reason they are not prosperous is that they have not given enough to the Church. Did you give until your heart breaks? Did you give until tears stream down your cheeks? If not, do not expect God to repay you with prosperity in Harvest proportions.

The CHC business is able to collect revenue on a service offering that does not require expenses to be incurred in its development. Even better, if delivery quality falters, tell the customer it is his fault because he did not pay enough. The customer has no way to verify on this claim. He probably will pay more eventually. What can be more wonderful for a business than that?

PS: Throughout history, religious organizations have a strong controlling power over their followers because they can make claims that cannot be proven (obey me and you shall go to Heaven), promises that need not be delivered (give me and you shall be prosperous) and threats that cannot be verified (defy me and you shall go to Hell). Under such uncertainty, even intelligent people lose their critical faculty to discern out of fear and greed. Christian crusaders were told they will go to heaven if they die in war. Same goes for the Muslim terrorists. More than a thousand years ago, the Roman Catholic Church claimed it could forgive sins on behalf of God so that rich donors can enter the Kingdom of God if they donate enough money to the Church. Since behind every great fortune likely lies a great sin, the business of a Prosperity Gospel Church pales in comparison.

Who knows for sure if they are right? There is no way to know until Judgment day. What we can be sure is that the interpretations of the holy book certainly suits right for those manipulative religious leaders. I believe religions are good with the best of intentions for their followers. Having a religion is better than not having one but be mindful of manipulation by people who use religion as a tool to advance their own interest. I have no doubt these people truly believe in their own message, otherwise they could not have been so convincing. Intelligent and even kind people have a way of inventing reasons to convince themselves to justify means that benefit themselves at the expense of others. All of us are guilty of this sin to some extent, including myself.

We are blessed by God with a brain to think for ourselves. European civilization was held back by their religious leaders because they let the religious leaders do the thinking for them for the benefit of the few at the expense of the rest. Try to think freely but fairly for yourself. We can interpret the Bible our own way if we feel uncomfortable with that of our religious leaders. Why should I donate 10% of my income if what is left is insufficient for my parents and personal savings? Instead of 10% of my revenue (salary), would it be better if it were 10% of free cashflow (salary – necessary expenses for my earthly obligations and survival)? Family obligations such as parents’ allowance have to come before the church.

I cannot agree with the Prosperity Gospel. It insults my concept of a loving God. If a God who claims to love me rewards me only after I have to give until my heart is broken, then He is lesser than my parents who has been giving to me starting from the moment I was born even before I knew how to give at all.

The above article was sent to us by the writer for publication and was first posted here.

60 Responses to “Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church (part 2)”

  1. can someone tell me why he can live in Sentosa Cove while he encourage others to downgrade your HDB flat so as to donate to the building fund?

    • kaypoh said

      Because…because he can! Since they are so easily fooled, the “building fund” is for building his Sentosa palace mah!

    • kaypoh said

      AND he is enjoying the “Swiss standard of living” promised by a former prophet… :)

    • Delacroix said

      ok because he will say he is servant of god…so need xtra treatment

      so nobody in chc will challenge him because of the explanation you can find in above article…

      as to Temasek Times…>SUCH A GREAT elaboration….love it

  2. Jardel said

    Well said. Intriguing piece of article. However, Christainty is not alone. Other religions have a share as well. In the end, it is you who decide whom to become. Religion…..it can teach you but it cannot manipulate you.

    • Delacroix said

      Yeap….Religion is always teach us good things….God is real…..
      but sad to say…some human manipulate it…for their own benefit….

      we human are sinful………

  3. carolpoh said

    Why does an almighty god need anything from us? Doesn’t the wealth you parted go into the pockets of the thugs for them to buy more expensive women and wine? Are you sure the money from your pocket go to the poor as claimed by the thugs? Have you ever auditted their books?

  4. bb said

    Pappy gov would like all sg ppl to be like this -need to learn how CHC does it. So the Pappy will return every election.
    May be because the gov get fearful of them just lKe China scarce Falun Gong

  5. kong man fuck sun said

    Brainwashing centre

  6. joy said

    Totally. Agree. With. The. Last. Paragraph.

  7. jf said

    Once a tv program on crime in Malaysia showed victims were temporary mesmerised and gave their money to the criminals. In another incident a whole family at home was under a spell for many hours.

    We know the story of The Sleeping Beauty.
    A whole Kingdom was under a spell for many years. Thanks to Roland the spell is broken at CHC. Counsellors, parents watch out for withdrawal symptoms and the “lost” as the members are no longer spellbound.

  8. Keep it up said

    I really love to read these series of articles on CHC wealth analysis. Logical, very clear thinking. By analyzing the issue from a business angle, it actually frames our mind to look at this emotional issue rationally. I hope to read more of these kind of quality articles on alternative media. Thank you, Temasek Times, for providing an outlet for our best Singaporean bloggers to reach out to us. Otherwise, they will remain as Hidden Dragons, Crouching Tigers.

  9. edwin said

    people who fall for this prosperity preaching are really stupid. read your Bible. don’t listen to the preachers’ false and twisted interpretations.

  10. matthew said

    this sounds exactly like our singaporean electorate!
    time and time again we voted them in even after they screwed us up.
    we are also really forgiving despite they pay themselves millions.

  11. My definition of Prosperity Gospel

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103949/a-dollar-for-god

  12. I too do not understand that why some churches preach that god promises returns by giving money, shouldn’t it be by performing good deeds? All other religions will ask their followers to do good and donations are always voluntary. And like you said, there is no way to prove until judgement day. As a thinking human being, I too have lots of doubts in that.

    Yes, it seems that their strategy is to start recruiting their followers from young and this makes it easier to convince what they preached. The young will always believe and follow what the adults do or say. In a psychological viewpoint, this looks like the same tactics used by terrorists group to train their followers, convincing them since young that there is nothing wrong to kill for the sake of the well-being of their country. I am just citing a comparison to emphasize the danger of entrusting our children to a certain group without checks, I do not mean to offend.

    And if god really exist and is a good god, he will definitely not want his followers and their family to suffer by making it compulsory to tithe even if they cannot afford to. I had thought god will accept anyone who has faith in him and it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor?

    • FC said

      It is easier to control young minds as the writer has already mentioned. You put them in a social circle like the church and you can control them like your TV remote control. Bao jiak!

  13. jealous because not prosperous said

    Are those critical of Prosperity Gospel jealous of those who are prosperous? Is the writer an Ex-CHC member who gave and gave but remained poor?

    Please reflect on yourself first.

    • kaypoh said

      haha, brainwashed sheeple alert! If gave & still poor, then obviously the doctrine is sham, isn’t it?? Any idiot with a god given brain can see that.

    • I Hate Stupid People said

      Ever heard “It’s better to shut your mouth & seem a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubts”? If this article is too long, or too complexed for your understanding, just keep quiet, and no one will suspect your lack-of-intelligence o.k.?

    • Delacroix said

      first of all we need to define what you mean by prosperous in Prosperity Gospel?
      My definition is as an individual you PROSPER with God teaching & share the teaching to others….Share the joyful news to others….That’s all…no more no less……

      but the way CHC portray is Prosperity Gospel is about prosper in $$$$ kinda stuff…….you can see from their website……..

      How can we as a human give $$$ and expect to return $$$ if you are talking about religious organization?

    • Jaded said

      hmm… did anyone else give and give until he is now living in a Sentosa Cove penthouse?

    • Unbelieveable said

      OMG!!! I do not know what is your real intention for being a Christian and going to the church. Is it your hope and desire to get rich and prosperous at the end of the day for being one. Then I feel Sorry for you.

    • S said

      I guess you are about 13 years old?

  14. I too do not understand why some Church preaches that god promises returns if followers give money, shouldn’t it be by doing good deeds? Why do god need so much money? And like you said, there is is no way to prove if the promises are delivered till judgement day.

    Yes, majority of CHC members are young, most started going there since they are still schooling. I guess this is why followers are so devoted and trusting (to the point they do not question whether it’s right or wrong) since it is much easier to brainwash since young. This looks like the same tactic used by terrorist groups to brainwash their followers since young, that it is ok to kill for the sake of the well-being of their country. I am stating this comparison to explain the danger of entrusting our children to certain groups without checks, not to offend anybody.

    And if god really exist and is a good god, he will definitely not want his followers and families to suffer by making it compulsory to tithe if they cannot afford to. I thought god will accept anyone who has faith in him and it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor?

    • Parents beware ... said

      Exactly. I am a parent and experienced another mega-church memers trying to induce my children to join them. I said ‘No’ of course. But those pests are real pests – just won’t take ‘No’ for an answer. And these ‘inducers’ are children themselves – late teen is my guess!

    • UdayHussein said

      Theologically speaking, Christianity does not even require you to do “good deeds”. Salvation is already assured as a Christian. Doing good deeds is a very “karma”, Buddhistic sort of concept.

      Many of the members are young, but they’re not THAT young. A large proportion of them would be young working professionals with some disposable income and rapidly rising payscales.

      I suppose there’s no compulsory tithing, as in you could always walk away if you wanted to. But the peer pressure to give is very intense, and conversely, the pressure when you don’t give is probably a factor to consider to. Plus most of them won’t think of walking away, because many of their friends are there and the congregation forms a large part of their social network for many.

      But hey, what do I know? I’m just a dead dictator’s son. Damn American soldiers. Should never have trusted that kebab delivery boy also…

      • Faith&Reason said

        You need good works for salvation, faith alone isn’t enough.

        “In short, there are three things that last; faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.”
        1 Corinthians 13:13

        Love, being the works of love and so times called charity, is what earns merit in heaven.

        What CHC has done is manipulate the message and interpret it wrongly. I blame the leaders, but the people are devoted and aren’t at fault. It isn’t “herd behaviour” as some critics would call it, but their own devotions to God.

      • John said

        Salvation is by faith alone, by the grace of God. You cannot earn salvation by good work. Please don’t give the wrong theology. Eph 2: 8. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”

    • TTTrang said

      God dont need the money but the pastors and elders and board members of the churches need every cent that you gave.

  15. Cute said

    Is this means that CHC member gave and gave because they hope to be rich one day? Like buying 4D hoping the number we bought will strike one day? Then what actually is Christainty all about?????

  16. Faith&Reason said

    While you dear readers are looking at this well written article, please do not attack Christianity because of this incident.

  17. Gambler said

    Are CHC members joining the church for love of wealth or for the love of God? If God says Prosperity Gospel only makes the leaders rich but the followers poor, will the followers still give and give?

  18. Q said

    Aristotle described 3 routes to change the mind of others – ethos, pathos and logos.

    Most religious “leaders” use all 3

    Ethos – They build trust with audience and show that are people of integrity and good character, albeit with human flaws (not critical to audience)

    Pathos – appeal to emotions, passion and values. Music, crowd behaviour, peer pressure (sounds familar?)

    Logo – logic and evidence which is largely through anecdotal “experience recounting” with selection bias.

    Con artist do the same and we need to equip all our kids with mental self-defence.

    Religious men are even more powerful by leveraging on power of a higher being which followers have complied with.

    • Actualization said

      You are absolutely correct! Kong and his gang are extremely unscrupulous, despicable schemers. Well planned, well package, systematically with concerted effort from their respective modern mafia groups to perform coercive persuasions, love bombing tactics to put pressure on gullible followers to donate beyond their means. In the name of Jesus and God!

  19. Ron said

    Amazing Disgrace. I have been to and also watched Pentecostal sermons like these… they are all the same, plenty of theatrics, loud, repeated exhortations and frequently end with ….give me money. No, give God the money…but through me or this church. The above clips demonstrate too well how such pastors can whip up the hysteria and create temporary hypnotism. Some will faint, some will shout or start to act in ways they would not normally have done.

    And behind that is the fear…if I do not give, I am offending God and I may suffer. So better give. This snake oil business of creating fear and false hope has migrated to Spore too.

    I am a Catholic and has NEVER heard the Pope, Cardinal, Bishop or Priest ever said… God Spoke to Me and wants me to tell you this, etc. NEVER. The Church may be boring, solemn but the Church does not exhort people to give and suffer the financial hardship. Yes give but let God guide you in your giving.

    I hope something will done to eradicate the abuse of the freedom of religion and to get tax-free donations. Even the Charity Act has been well-exploited.

  20. What you complain when I don't said

    The money is mine and I am not complaining. Why are you outsiders complaining? I even have to defend the accuser from the regulator who is supposed to protect me.

    Something is seriously wrong with this system. Shake head. Sigh …

    • What you complain when I don't said

      The money is mine and I am not complaining. Why are you outsiders complaining? I even have to defend the accused from the regulator who is supposed to protect me.

      Something is seriously wrong with this system. Shake head. Sigh …

  21. Ron said

    The Jehovah’s Witneses were banned not because they raise plenty of money and squandered them but because they opposed National Service and donating blood. I think the Falungong is also banned here. As a teenager I once attended the JW’s sessions. They are bible oriented and did not ask for money. It was their politcal stance that got them kicked out.

    So, why not ban some churches that are going way overboard in the zeal to convert and creating a near cult situation? Is this healthy for a secular, multi-religious, multi-cultural Singapore? Why not have a code of conduct for all religions?

    There are requests asking the Government to take a broader look at the situation. Just swatting a few flies will not solve the problem.

  22. Enjoyable read until ..... said

    “Having a religion is better than not having one” — really?

    • Think Free and Fair said

      On reflection, I think this statement is offensive to atheists who behave respectably and much better than those who profess to be strict followers of their religion. I have revised the statement to “having a religion has its advantages …” in my original article.

  23. UdayHussein said

    @ Ron

    A code of conduct for all religions?? Have you gone bonkers? Matters of faith cannot be regulated. There will be incessant opposition, dissatisfaction and even riots. Even a control-freak government like Singapore knows this, and wisely stays away from controlling the religious sphere (except when it obviously threatens the State of course, or when it is politically unrisky to do so, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses).

  24. dodo said

    I know a Christian who donated beyond his due tithe, and God blessed him back by making him successful and very rich…

    … then one day he was struck by a car and went to heaven.

    Explain why we need prosperity gospel.

  25. Fatt Chai said

    Counterfeits always want to imitate what is real. In this case God is real and not possible to copy. It points to a real GOD and not those fashioned by man’s hands.

    In the end, they will be ultimately be judged by a true GOD.

    Such charlatans and fakes are always around. In not fearing GOD they misuse, slanders, make fools, unholy, dishonest and no integrity at all – Kong Hee says he has integrity. What a joke!

    Turn to a real GOD people and not be taken in by counterfeits and con artists.

  26. Sitti Bom said

    Police and CAD should investigate past years of fund siphoning during KH and his mentor Canon JW, ncss where they ran the Festival of Praise and money given to Kong to start his church! His links goes to ex-methodist Isaac, god father who also plagarise his paper with a college.

    How KH got his funds to buy suntec shares is also a wonder, Sentosa cove bungalow, horoizon 15 units condos etc ….

  27. Edmund ching said

    A friend once told me that he gives to the church weekly for years.He said that he did not see anything happening or the church being upgraded.He wondered where the money gone to? The only thing that is very noticeable is that the pastor keep changing cars like changing his shirt.

    • Actualization said

      Refer to one post God is real!
      God is the Creator !
      All Christians believe that there is God!
      Who is the creator of God?
      Then the Christian may argue God is Omnipresent.
      Absolutely and totally Imagination!
      Mind game. If there is God, there never be such a Ass Kong around.

  28. dogmeat said

    being an agnostic, my rationalising mind says that god cannot possibly be obsessed with what we do with some fiat money, but rather a holistic approach to life.

    I guess CHC’s god is not for me.

  29. CHC member gives a point-by-point rebuttal said

    A CHC member wrote a point-by-point rebuttal to the article on CHC wealth analysis. Temasek Times may consider republishing this articleto provide a balance by showing opposing viewpoints.

    http://onepunchinch.tumblr.com/post/26600795041/an-analysis-into-the-wealth-of-city-harvest-church-my#disqus_thread

    An analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church : My response

    This is my take on the post found on;

    http://thinking-free-and-fair.blogspot.sg/2010/03/analysis-into-wealth-of-city-harvest.html

    Thank you for writing such an amazing post on your take on the whole City Harvest Church saga. I respect your views but I would not take yours as a business case as its biased and you merely conveniently connecting the dots backwards.

    So I would like to correct certain misconceptions and assumptions you made. I may not not address everything but I will try the best I can with what I what I know.

    To begin let me first say that I am a member of City Harvest Church. If you feel I’m biased just take it as a view from the other side of the coin. As a believer my views will be based on my total reliance on my faith, hope you understand.

    1. Clever packaging of Sunday services.

    I totally agree with you! I love the CHC does it services. Being from a Christian family and coming from an Orthodox Church background I always felt Sunday services boring and unrelatable. Everyday weekend certain sounded like story telling than learning anything from it. When I first joined CHC I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that being a Christian was an in-thing and you could learn life lessons that could be applied in our daily lives! I was drawn by Pastor Kong’s sermon on being a problem solver and making an impact in this world.

    As Christians you believe in a God who is omniscient, all knowing and all powerful, the church always encouraged the congregation to think and do big think as far as your imagination can take. This indeed will increase followers as no one has ever taught these things in a church before. This may increase retention but if it was just a fad how long can the church keep bluffing people with these? It has brought a positive impact in their lives hence they continue to join services and continue giving because to run a church with all the stuffs that you’ve mentioned is not free. People continued supporting it because they love it and want the church to continue.

    You make it sound easy retaining and having a huge following but then why is there still only a few who can do this and why do many of them fail?

    2. Extra revenue in the form of advertisements, sales of CDs

    Church does maximize it revenue with advertising and selling related contents. If the church has a bookstore built with it definitely I would go and buy as I was to read more or wish to share it with family and friends.

    If Universal Studios has a souvenir shop after every ride, why can’t the church do the same? If the secular can do it why can’t religion?

    3. Efficient collection of tithes

    We do give our tithe out our free will, its not paying. No one is forced to pay. So since i said free will it is indeed a monthly giving that is given by each member of the church. It is given in cash and via electronic payment. Online payments encourage our overseas members to continue giving as they believe in our church and its activities.

    But…not GIRO! Church doesn’t have a GIRO system and I do not know where you get your facts from. Instead of watching services online you my wanna come down and see it yourself.

    4. 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold returns on your church donations

    Pastor indeed preaches on the 100-fold blessings. Its biblical and thats what church does, teach the Bible. Of course there are other churches who slam it as each and every church has it own focus.

    I have been with the church for over a number of years and I have seen the blessing and that’s why I continue to give. If the scripture did not hold any water and people didn’t feel any of this were true then shouldn’t the people already stop giving? I mean it common sense right?

    Like any religion “The 10 Laws Of The Harvest” promises each and every believer a blessing in return which is biblical. Isn’t every Christian promised heaven in his/her after life? Is that being greedy and self centered?

    5. Quality of customers

    How many organizations claim because they were asked to give 10% of their earnings they had a huge membership?

    If the church has attracted an ambitious bunch then why is there so much focus on fasting and prayer? I don’t see you even mention about that in here. Its convenient to take a slice of a weekend service out of context instead of seeing what were the focus of each and every week.

    You won’t get 33,000 blind people to follow that unless these people had an encounter. Like any organization if the claim didn’t hold water would you continue giving?

    Yes CHC members are ambitious and always looking to be somebody in the marketplace. There is nothing wrong with that.

    6. Kill off competition

    How would one know what is a good or a bad ground? Its in its fruits.

    Similarly the sermon tells each and every believer that since you all have experienced the goodness of God in this church this is indeed the good ground to give. The church does give to the poor and needy around the world. It does practice what it preaches. You can check on CHC website to see the reports.

    Is it killing off competition? I don’t know. If the church impresses a believer he/she will sure follow. It pure free will.

    7. Providing a place where the rich can network

    Church is indeed about fellowship and networking. But is every weekend about networking and name card exchanges? No.

    I do have friends in the business and insurance. If i find my friend reliable with whatever they do, definitely I would recommend and use their services.

    As a member I am flattered when you say its a network of the rich and powerful.

    8. Preach what people like to hear.

    Clearly Matthew 19:23-24 speaks of putting your money above God. We preach on that and that’s exactly the reason why we have no qualms over giving money to the church. As members its no big deal, we put God’s work above wealth.

    But from your post you claim that we are blinded and brainwashed to give away money.

    You wrote;

    In the video “Rich God? Poor God?”, the Pastor preaches that it is absolutely ok to be rich. Some prophets of God were very rich. (Abraham, David, Solomon)

    There is nothing more musical to a money-minded person than to hear that God is on your side in your pursuit of money. The church-members who are more money-minded will love this and donate even more.

    Pastor stated that the men of God were wealthy people and that is what the Bible says. He’s not making stuff up and as Christians we ought to be self sufficient and wealthy so that you can continue to give for good causes. Good causes according to the believers will.

    9. God pays for the returns, not the church.

    Here we go again. Blabbering the same ol’ thing.

    The church doesn’t owe anyone any money. If you want returns from the same organization you give money to, engage a broker.

    Donations are all out of free will, simple as that. The principle applies to any charity, people work and donate, the charity takes and continues working.

    10. Social pressure to conform in church settings and ease of influence

    Free wIll again, whether you are turned off by people or no people its up to you. We still receive donation via our online portal and those people are disconnected as they can be. But we still continue giving as we believe in what the church is doing.

    11. Tremendous future earning power

    I was in debt when I first came to church but few years later I am now living a debt free life. The church actively teaches the congregation on “How to get out of debt”, “Building Financial Excellence” and so on. I was always blessed by that and applied Biblical Principles which you call “Prosperity Gospel” and it worked!

    I love this!

    In the Pastor’s words, “You may be poor today, but you will not be poor all your life”.

    I totally abide by what he says ‘coz its true! Poverty is a mindset if you can overcome this, you can overcome your debt.

    12. Stable earnings in times of depression

    Besides being a growth stock, CHC can also be viewed as a defensive and safe stock. People pray hardest when they fall in hard times. Strangely, some people have an urge to tithe when they are in financial troubles.

    We should continue tithing no matter what financial condition you are in because the Bible says so. Its a curse to hold on it. I have personally held on to it to pay our my loans and it has never done any good.

    People who have tasted the blessings on giving will never go back again. May be you should give it shot! Give 10% of what you earn to any charity you like, I can guarantee you will feel the difference.

    Psalms 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

    13. Using Prosperity as a theme to appeal to customers

    Here we go again! Prosperity gospel is only preached during offering. This year our theme is “Relationship and Discipleship” and last year our theme was “Love”. I don’t see you speak about those programs we did. All you claim you see is Money, Money and Money.

    Money is integral for all charities. If you cant bring in the money, your work to spread the Gospel in an effective manner will stop. You cant help the poor and the needy. You cant bring in Guest Speakers, you cant run simulcast to people all over the world!

    We don’t love money, we love God. Money is the enabler unless we are all living in Willy Wonka’s world. Reality is you still need to pay the bills.

    14. Tax benefits as church is registered as a charity

    Tax breaks helps uses that extra to do more. This is same for all charities, its not a CHC exception.

    Pastor indeed is runs a business, you should may be consider investing since you already has confessed you love for his business acumen.

    Here my challenge for you.

    Join City Harvest Church for a year and in the end if it has not changed your life for the good. Please come back and write again.

  30. I am the writer of the articles. I have replied to the rebuttal. Still waiting for a reply.


    Hi One Punch Inch,

    I am grateful to any reader who take the time to read my long analysis on City Harvest. I feel even more grateful to have someone who not only read it thoroughly, but created a blog to write a long point-by-point rebuttal. For this, I am very grateful to you. I am indebted to reply you.

    The thrust of my analysis lies in laying out the reasons for the immense wealth of City Harvest Church. Your response does not contradict my conclusion that City Harvest is a wonderful business. I am glad that a customer of City Harvest emphasize several times that his giving is out of free will. No business is sustainable if the customer is coerced to pay. He will pay once and that is the end. A good business is one with customers who keep paying for the services and still feel very happy about it.

    A really excellent business is one in which customers not only pay but even defend it when it is under attack. You are an excellent example of such a fine customer. You have reinforced my belief that City Harvest has a very good business model because of great customers like you.

    I could sense from your post that you benefited as a member of CHC. The decent thing to do then is to stay loyal to the church which you have demonstrated. A decent person should return favors and repay moral debts. However, repayment of moral debts should be fair. There is a perception among netizens that some CHC members are paying more to the church than to their own parents. This is totally out of line with our sense of fairness, Christians or non-Christians. If it is fine with you, I would like to hear from a CHC member on this issue. Thank you.

  31. koo said

    Kong Hee stay in Sentosa cove while his flock stay in HDB heartland. this reminds me in SAF they have special mess for SAF officers while the man stay in mosqutos infested bunks.

    Both CHC and SAF are just there to exploit the masses gullibility.

    • J said

      too right man!…..BOTH CHC AND SAFs are all CON JOBS!!…..GREEDY MFers!! WOE to the GREED! may GOD Really save you from your own sin!

  32. two cents said

    My two cents of opinion….personally I think the programs from CHC is very effective. They have managed to combined all those high octane power seminars programs into a church perspective. Indeed it has become a very successful model whether for business or otherwise. The sad thing is that, this kind of mind altering and manipulating programming is really very bad to the society as a whole. I fear for my children’s future where such programming tools were to fall into the hands of the unscrupulous such as what we are seeing now.

    As a Christian, my church encourage us to tithes. Indeed the old Testaments of the Bible teaches about the “first fruit” and tithing where the Jews gave their first produce as an offering to GOD and they are also commanded to pay a tenth of their INCREASE and such tithes are to be put into the storehouse meant for GOD’s people and a portion of of given to the priesthood as they have no inheritance or means of income (contrast this to Christ and the apostles in the new Testament where Christ was a carpenter and apostle Paul was a tent maker). In fact, the apostle have to work and earned their keeps (wages) although the apostle did received love offerings.

    NO such commandments of tithing was given to the Christians in the New Testament. Can any of the proponents of the so called laws of harvest show us that such commandments of tithing was given to the Christians in the new Testaments?

    Well, many Old Testaments prophets were indeed blessed by GOD. But were there any apostles in the new Testaments became rich for preaching the Gospels? Did the apostles enforced the tithes?

    If the laws of harvest is true, does that means Jesus Christ died on the cross for nothing? Isn’t that Jesus died so that we may have life and life in abundance? (That doesn’t mean if we just sits idle God will prospers us. We are need to work hard to earn our wages and GOD will bless our hands)

    Is His grace on the cross useless to us since we can do it by our own efforts i.e by tithing? Does that means that the rich in world comprises of Christians who tithes only?

    Are Christians Jews? If so why not Christians starts to practice all the laws of the Jews and Torahs? Shouldn’t then Christians be circumcised like the Jews? In fact, the Muslims who adopted part of the old Testaments did better by adopting some of the laws of the Jews by circumcision and not eating pork! THE FACT IS THAT TITHING IS FOR THE JEWS but no such commandments was given to the Christians.

    If any Christian is reading this, please search the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Tithing and giving your offering is required of every able Christians to support the church and its ministries. Such Tithes and offerings are given to the church and not given to GOD per se. It is not a commandment in the Bible as Christ paid it all on the cross. If Christ is not enough, then what else is enough?

    We should give generously (within our means) to the church and the church should donate wisely to support charities and for the poor and needy. These monies are NOT meant to be used to support any other activities (pastors’ worldly business, secular singing career of pastor’s wife included, etc).

    My GOD JEHOVAH is a GOD of Justice, of grace and full of mercy. I hope Christians reading this would continue to be loving to the world and continue to be strengthen and give to the poor and needy (within our means) as our focus is on CHRIST and not on any worldly idol (Kong Hee included) no matter how indebted you are to the church.

    Also, your Pastors do not need live to be a poor church mouse neither are they suppose to be living an extravagance life from your tithes and offerings. True Pastors will bless others with the excess given to them (living in a multi-million penthouse is excessive comparatively and is not of good stewardship to GOD’s blessings.

    Remember, we are the church but the church and its pastors are not God. Test the spirit and see the fruits of every leaders as we are living in the end times where the angel of darkness may even appear as the angel of light to deceive many.

    May GOD’s peace be with you, even so for Kong Hee and CHC members and all those Christians traumatized with the subtle indoctrination of the principles of tithing (whether the law of harvest or otherwise).

  33. Simple Christian said

    I’m a christian too and i subscribe to you reasoning on tithing.

    Matthew 6
    New International Version (NIV)

    Giving to the Needy
    6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    Pastor are people too, if you tithe with church knowing how much you giving, there is always a tenancy of special treatment.

    Thus, we should give weekly when bag is passed during church service without anyone knowing how much we gave.

  34. Koolman said

    Very well written. In business perspective this is the Company that will never fail….. It is truly amazing and you know what??? He will make a great PM…. Country will prosper!!!!! Every citizen will work for free……… Fantastic!!!!!!!

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