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Posts Tagged ‘City Harvest Church’

COC warns Board of City Harvest Church not to raise funds for Kong Hee and other accused

Posted by temasektimes on August 22, 2012

The Commissioner of Charities (COC) has issued a Restriction Order to the Board of City Harvest Church (CHC) to restrict CHC from paying the legal fees of its disgraced pastor Kong Hee and five other accused persons and entering into transactions relating to payment of services to the suspended individuals and their related entities, without the approval of the COC.

The COC has informed CHC that the church and/or its employees should not be involved in raising funds for the legal expenses or setting up a specific fund for this purpose.

Earlier reports by the state media claimed that several members of City Harvest Church (CHC) are privately raising funds to help pay for the legal fees of Kong Hee as well as five other leaders who were charged for misusing up to $50 million dollars of the church’s funds to further the music career of his wife Ho Yeow Sun.

The unofficial fundraising campaign was reportedly started by an executive member named Dawn Lee who mobilized individuals who wanted to offer Kong and others financial support during CHC’s AGM three weeks ago.

She then suggested that interested members meet her after the meeting before distributing her contact details.

Executive pastor Aries Zulkarnain had earlier rejected four proposals from other members suggesting the use of church funds to bankroll the six charged leaders’ legal fees.

Despite the gravity of the criminal charges slapped on him, Kong Hee remains defiant and maintains his ‘integrity’.

In his latest posting on Facebook, Kong Hee wrote:

“信靠順服,別無他途;靠耶穌喜樂 .”

(Faith depends on submission, there is no other way; depend on Jesus for happiness)

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Related articles:

Are CHC members privately raising funds to help Kong Hee fight his case?

CHC member scolds critics: Stop blabbering f**king nonsense about our church

CHC video: Kong Hee is the greatest man on earth

Kong Hee allowed to travel overseas on $1 million dollar bail

Defiant Kong Hee declares: I am confident I will be vindicated

Kong Hee asks Jesus to be his shpeherd

Christian festival cancelled due to City Harvest Church’s recent woes

Concerned Indian parent writes to Heng Swee Kiat on CHC’s proselytizing activities in Singapore schools

CHC members rally behind Kong Hee: You will never walk alone

Kong Hee pleads to God to protect him

Diarysg Youtube channel closed down after Kong Hee filed copyright claims against it

CHC member challenges detractors to join City Harvest Church for a year

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

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Posted in News | Tagged: , | 47 Comments »

Concerned Indian parent writes to Heng Swee Kiat on CHC’s proselytizing activities in Singapore schools

Posted by temasektimes on July 13, 2012

An Indian parent Harveen Narulla has written to Education Minister Heng Swee Kiat express his concerns about the proselytizing activities of City Harvest Church (CHC) in Singapore schools.

Mr Harveen Narulla began his letter by expressing his concerns at CHC’s specific targeting of children in schools:

“As a parent of 2 young children this targeting of children and young persons in schools concerns me extremely. Ideally my wife and I want our family and community, and the modeling we provide, to have the guiding say over my children’s religious choices. At the very least, we do not expect them to be subject to influence in a place we had thought to be a safe space from religions influence.”

He urged Mr Heng to take ‘decisive action’ against City Harvest Church:

“I hope you and others in a position to do so, act to stamp out this unwarranted influencing of children and young persons by mega churches (and indeed by other religious organisations). Please do not ignore this. CHC claims to have penetrated 70% of schools in Singapore. I think it’s about time your Ministry acted decisively on this. “

CHC has been under intense public scrutiny of late after its founder Kong Hee was charged along with four other board members last Wednesday for misusing S$50 million dollars of the church funds to further the music career of his singer wife Ho Yeow Sun.

Read Mr Harveen’s full letter here.

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Related articles:

CHC members rally behind Kong Hee: You will never walk alone

Kong Hee pleads to God to protect him

Diarysg Youtube channel closed down after Kong Hee filed copyright claims against it

CHC member challenges detractors to join City Harvest Church for a year

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 34 Comments »

CHC members rally behind Kong Hee: You will never be alone

Posted by temasektimes on July 12, 2012

Despite the gravity of the charges leveled against him, City Harvest Church (CHC)members have rallied behind their disgraced founder pastor Kong Hee who was charged along with four others last week for misusing up to S$50 million dollars of the church’s funds to further the music career of his singer wife Ho Yeow Sun.

CHC has since issued a public statement proclaiming their belief and support in Kong Hee who told a packed audience during a service last Sunday that he maintained his ‘integrity’.

A post by Kong Hee on his Facebook yesterday triggered an outpouring of support from CHC members as they promise they will not let him walk alone:

“Yes Pastor! You are not alone as we are a Body of Christ that nothing can detach us! I have received many sms from brothers and sisters in other churches both in Singapore and overseas saying that they are praying for you and our church. We are ONE United Body!” – Lawrence Kong Hock Chye

“You are never alone as apart from Jesus never leaving you, you have planted so many seeds that there are hundreds of thousands of your spiritual children out here interceding and praying for you.” – Oliver Tham

“Pastor Kong.. God is with you.. He will never leave you nor forsake you.. we are with you too.. praying for you!” – Karen Kwan

“Yes, Pastor Kong, you are stronger than you think, and you are never alone…You keep company with the wise and you are wise…No one has a talent and hides it, we multiply our talents so that we will be found faithful when we face the LORD…This came to me when I was typing this and I know it holds meaning to you… I LOVE YOU PASTOR KONG…I HAVE BEEN IN CHURCH FOR 23 LONG YEARS AND IT WILL BE SO..” – Constance Wong

Kong Hee was ‘escorted’ by 200 CHC members and supporters to the Subordinate Court last week when he was first charged. The number is expected to rise when the case goes on trial on 25 July.

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Related articles:

Kong Hee pleads to God to protect him

Diarysg Youtube channel closed down after Kong Hee filed copyright claims against it

CHC member challenges detractors to join City Harvest Church for a year

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 44 Comments »

Kong Hee pleads to God to ‘protect’ him

Posted by temasektimes on July 11, 2012

Disgraced founder of City Harvest Church (CHC) Kong Hee has called on God to ‘protect’ him in the face of his legal troubles.

Kong Hee was charged along with four other board members of CHC for misusing up to S$50 million dollars of the church’s funds to further the music career of his singer wife Ho Yeow Sun, a charge which he has strenuously denied.

In a post on his Facebook, Kong Hee pleaded to God to ‘protect’ him:

His call was answered by many fellow CHC members who prayed for him:

“Amen! Because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy.. who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.. Amen! Keep believing and trusting in Him, Pastor Kong!” – Karen Kwan

“Amen! God will hide you under the shadow of His wings and bring to nought all your adversaries…” – Constance Wong

Kong will return to court again on 25 July. If convicted, he could face life imprisonment.

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Related articles:

CHC member challenges detractors to join City Harvest Church for a year

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 83 Comments »

Chan Chun Sing: ‘Not possible’ to detect fraud in government review of charities

Posted by temasektimes on July 9, 2012

The charging of pastor Kong Hee and four other members of City Harvest Church for misusing the church funds last week raised serious questions on why government review of seven charities in 2008 failed to uncover the lack of compliance with regulations in the church.

In response to the question from Nominated MP Lawrence Lien in Parliament today, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing explained that “governance reviews carried out on a charity should not be seen as an audit or investigation to detect fraud or mismanagement of funds.”

Instead, such a review is aimed at improving governance and regulatory compliance, while not overburdening or stifling charities.

“While we would like a governance review to detect as many signs of trouble before it arises, I must say that because of the limited nature of the governance review, it may not be able to uncover everything altogether,” Mr Chan said.

Mr Chan also clarified that the inquiry into City Harvest Church initiated in May 2010 was not triggered by the 2008 governance review, but by feedback and complaints on possible misuse of church funds received in early 2010.

The sensational case shocked the entire nation, further denting public confidence in Singapore’s charities following the NKF and Ren Ci scandals.

Posted in News | Tagged: | 21 Comments »

CHC member challenges detractors to join City Harvest Church for a year

Posted by temasektimes on July 8, 2012

This is my take on the post found here

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.

*The above was first posted on this blog

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Related articles:

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | Tagged: , | 139 Comments »

Kong Hee got ‘suaned’ by disgusted Singaporeans on his Facebook

Posted by temasektimes on July 7, 2012

Disgraced founder of City Harvest Church (CHC) pastor Kong Hee has been actively posting on his Facebook of late to reach out to his supporters.

Kong Hee was charged with four other board members of CHC last Wednesday for misusing the church’s funds to further the music career of his singer wife Kong Hee, a charge which he has strenuously denied so far.

Speaking to his congregation during a service last Sunday, Kong Hee said he ‘maintained his integrity’ and would reveal his side of the story in court on 25 July when his trial is expected to commence.

In a post on his Facebook today, Kong Hee wrote:

The post brought a torrent of criticisms from irate Singaporeans who ‘suaned’ him:

“I’m sorry that it has taken so much TIME to reveal yours.” – Jarrod Luo

“god know what you did , be truth to him ..” – Alvin Tam

“Face the truth, kong hee, and let court judge you, not god!” – Chen Longtai

Though some critical comments have been deleted, netizens continue to post their frank ‘feedback’ to Kong Hee who is currently out on a $500,000 bail paid for by his wife.

If convicted, Kong Hee can face life imprisonment.

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Related articles:

Kong Hee reaches out to supporters on Facebook

A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »

Ex-CHC member claimed church refuses to help him pay medical bill of mother and asked for donations instead

Posted by temasektimes on July 3, 2012

A self-proclaimed former member of City Harvest Church accused the church of not doing enough to help him pay the medical bills of his mother on Hardwarezone forum today.

Using the moniker of ‘rash8silvers’, he started a thread in the forum to raise funds for his mother’s medical bills:

“i need to say that i need help for my family which is only me and my mother. i come from a single parent family. i need help to raise up a sum of money for my mother for her medication. i know to many people u guys may feel either i am a cheat or i am bull shyting.. truth is, i dun mind meeting people up and bringing u all to either hospital or my home to show u.”

When a fellow forummer advised him to seek assistance from City Harvest Church, he retorted:

“bro i am from chc.. i left there because even i told them i need to save the money for my mother’s medication, they force me to give offerring.. the next thing i did was i left cause all they say is they will pray for me.. no point at all..”

City Harvest Church was in public spotlight of late after its founder pastor Kong Hee was charged with four other members for misusing up to S$50 million dollars of the church funds to further the music career of his singer wife Ho Yeow Sun.

“rash8silvers”‘s claims could not be independently verified.

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Related articles:

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

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

A Christian speaks out against defensive behavior of Kong Hee and CHC

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

City Harvest Church issues warning to media

My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 29 Comments »

Churches ask followers not to blog about City Harvest Church saga

Posted by temasektimes on July 2, 2012

The ongoing battle between Singapore’s biggest church City Harvest Church (CHC) and the establishment has polarized opinion within the Christian community.

CHC founder Kong Hee was charged with four other members last Wednesday for misusing the church’s funds to further the music career of his singer wife Ho Yeow Sun.

Though the case is not heard in court yet, CHC has defended its accused members staunchly with some prominent pastors expressing their support for them even as the National Council of Churches reiterated that the law must be allowed to take its course.

According to reliable information we received, at least two churches had asked their members during services over the weekend not to blog about the case online or to give any public statements on it.

Kong Hee, who had been posting updates on his Facebook and Twitter, had stopped doing so for the last two days while CHC has not issued any new statements.

The case will be heard again on 25 July.

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Posted in News | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

A Christian speaks out against the defensive behavior of Kong Hee and City Harvest Church

Posted by temasektimes on July 2, 2012

On the recent CHC saga, I would like to offer my humble two cents worth, as a Christian – not to judge the people involved in the saga – but to correct any erroneous views about Christianity to the public that may have arose through this saga, for the sake of the God I worship.

Firstly, I was surprised that people found this saga surprising. CHC has been known in Christian circles as being a prosperity sideline church for many years now. I know of several people who have dropped out of CHC for that reasons. They went there to seek Jesus but instead received a different gospel from the one they know. Having visited the church a couple of times, I was uncomfortable with the fact that they kept emphasizing giving money.

Tithing to God is definitely important, but what they claim – tithe, and you will get much more financial blessings back in return – is an erroneous way to appeal to the lustful greed in people’s hearts (sort of like gambling and 4D), but not at all biblical. They also constantly back this strange philosophy with many testimonies for people who have prospered financially after giving to the church. The Bible never teaches getting more money as the motivation of tithing. The Bible does say that we will be blessed if we give, but we give to help God’s work, not to expect money in return. Also, the blessings in return may not necessarily be monentary. In China, there are churches where poor believers still tithe every cent from their pocket to fund their church missionaries (who truly need and money and literally risk life limb and jail to preach the gospel). However, they do so, rejoicing in the fact that God’s work can continue, not that they expect to get back money in return!

Secondly, I was surprised at the defensive behaviour of City Harvest members. I thought this issue was about the church’s pastor, and not the church? Initially when the news about Pastor Kong Hee being arrested broke out, I had never felt the church’s name was defamed in any way – neither do I think the public feels this way. The public seems to know the church is the victim not fellow consipirators. However, the overboard reactionary behaviour of CHC members, and not their pastor’s charges, now has made the public eye the church in a disapproving manner. We are not told to put our faith in men, who are untrustworthy, but in God.

The sad thing is that I see the CHC members blindly continuing to profess their faith in Pastor Kong Hee rather than professing their faith in a just God who would let justice, whatever the outcome be, prevail. God taught us to be respectful and submit to authorities because their power is given by God above. Whatever happens, good or bad, is in God’s Will as well. As a Christian, I feel it is disgraceful to see CHC members pushing and shoving and saying nasty things to reporters outside the court to protect their beloved ‘pastor’. What does this convey to the non Christian world, who see us as messengers of God? What impression of the God we profess to worship does it convey to them? Why are they sacrificing their testimony of God to the world, for the sake of a mere man? What lengths would they go to protect their idol?

Christians throughout the ages have been no strangers to going to court and getting into trouble with the law. The difference is that such things normally happen because the authorities has issues with them preaching the gospel. However, to be charged by the law for mishandling God’s money, that is altogether a different kind of ‘persecution’. It is just and honourable for us Christians to be persecuted for righteousness and for God’s sake…but to be persecuted for our own foolishness and sinful behaviour, is just plain shameful. For the former, God is on our side; for the latter, it is His judgment upon a professed ‘Christian’ who continues to disobey him and indulge in sinful behaviour.

The saddest thing I have felt throughout this whole saga is that I have yet to see an apology from Pastor Kong Hee to God and his church members for commiting a wrong. And also that I have yet to see an apology from CHC members to the non-Christian public observers for their ridiculous ruckus outside the court (as well as writing letters alleging their church has been defamed by the authorities??) giving such a flawed testimony of God to the non Christian public observers. The crux of Christianity is to acknowlege we are utterly depraved, sinful and flawed, and calls for true repentance. Christianity without true repentance and confessing of sins is meaningless. We should be unashamed of acknowleging our wrongdoings because doing so will set us free.

According to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” What is so hard about apologizing? What is this wretched pride (perhaps stemmed from our face-saving culture?) that Pastor Kong Hee is protecting? That his congregation is protecting for him? Is this pride more important than God? Jesus forsake his pride and died shamefully on the Cross. Because of that He was resurrected and given authority over all men, and millions of Christians honour and revere him today and praise Him with our lips. Can’t Pastor Kong Hee and his church do the same?

If not, let humble me apologize to the public on their behalf. I am sorry for the negative impressions Christians in the media have been giving you recently. I know we Christians normally try to convince you to come to church and to show you that God is living inside of us (of that I respectfully will not apologize for as that is what God calls us to know). But sometimes you see our actions going contrary to what we try to show, and for that I apologize. I would like you to know, that true Christians are not necessarily those who say they are Christians with their lips, nor those who do a lot of volunteer and charity work.

True Christians are those who mean what they say, who obey what Jesus says, who worship Him in Spirit and in truth. We Christians may say a million theological words about Christianity to you that you probably think is gibberish, but I would like you to know – indeed – actions speak louder than words. What we do is more important that what we say to you. If ever our actions contradict what we say – if we do not practise what we preach – you are right to label us as hypocrites.

MICHELLE TAN

*The above article was contributed to us for publication by the writer. We thank her for taking the effort to write such a well-thought article.

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Related articles:

Concerned parents attend City Harvest Church with their children

Kong Hee receives standing ovation from CHC members

Kong Hee speaks out against charges: I maintain my integrity

U.S. Pastor defends Kong Hee

‘Celebrity culture’ at CHC does not fit into biblical principles

SPH hits back at CHC

PAP MP Sam Tan: It is ‘understandable’ for CHC to support its leaders

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My unpleasant experience at City Harvest Church

City Harvest Church stands by Pastor Kong Hee

CHC blogger defends Kong Hee

Pastor Lawrence Khong urges fellow pastors to pray for Kong Hee

Kong Hee’s family upgraded from 5-room HDB flat to Sentosa Cove Penthouse

An Analysis into the wealth of City Harvest Church

Defiant Kohg Hee places his faith in God

Ex-CHC member: I donated more than $10,000 to the church in the last five years

Overwhelming support for Pastor Kong Hee by CHC members

Kong Hee charged for misuse of funds at City Harvest Church

23 million dollars of CHC funds used to finance Ho Yeow San’s music career

Pastor Kong Hee arrested for criminal breach of trust

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | Tagged: , , | 308 Comments »

 
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