A Christian defends Kong Hee: Let us not be quick to make a judgement
Posted by temasektimes on July 5, 2012
A friend of mine tweeted a link of this article, with the line ”CHC saga put in a rationale way”. Seeing as the title of the article stated that it was written by a Christian, I was expecting to find something more objective and measured. Sadly, when i reached the 2nd paragraph i knew it was headed in a different direction from what i had expected.
Firstly I would like to clarify that i am not a CHC member, but I have been following my parents to CHC for the last couple of years. I am not attached to any cell group or ministry in the church as I feel that I can’t fit in with the congregation there. In fact, at the start of this year i actually started attending another church, but I occasionally visited CHC during special services like Easter, Fathers and Mothers day. I admit that sometimes the way the services were run made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable, but growing up in a Christian home, I was taught that we are not to judge a church or any other thing based on our own personal preferences. For me, I accepted that CHC was not my preferred church, and therefore I chose to leave. However the few years of sitting through CHC services have allowed me to experience first-hand what many people, including the writer of this article have misunderstood.
With regard to Michelle’s first point that CHC ”kept emphasizing giving money”, I have to say that she is horribly mistaken. While it is true that they do invite several members to give testimonies on how God has blessed them financially since they increased their giving, it is completely untrue that CHC believes and preaches that Christians are to give to God because we want God to give us more. These testimonies are given as an encouragement and proof of God’s faithfulness to His people when they obey Him.
In the Bible it is written as a command to tithe, not as a suggestion. As a church, they are encouraging people to obey God, not forcing them, and definitely not saying that they should give only because they want to receive more from God and prosper. When asking for tithes and offering i remember often hearing the pastor reminding the congregation that we give because we want to be more like Jesus and we want to obey Him. Also throughout all my years there, I have never once ”received a different gospel from the one (I) know”. Everything is congruent with the Bible.
Addressing her second point about how the defensive behaviour of CHC members has disgraced Christians, I personally feel that to use such a strong word as ”disgrace” is unfair for the members as they are just showing their support for their leader. It is only natural for members to want to defend their pastor as they as a congregation have seen him week after week speaking God’s word and they would know better than members of the public what kind of a man he is. The mention of Kong Hee never goes without the mention of the church. The church was in the headlines and I’m sure as a member you would have felt that the church name was defamed.
The church members are also certainly not ”blindly continuing to profess their faith in Pastor Kong Hee”. The church worships God, not Kong Hee. I remember i would always find it strange that the congregation would cheer and clap when Kong Hee went on stage, but he, like other pastors, would remind them to give an even louder applause to God, the God that they gathered in church to worship. They clapped and cheered for God even louder than they ever did for any man. And then I realised it is just in their culture to show support and love to their leaders and fellow members. It doesn’t mean that they idolize him.
The following few paragraphs of the above article were really disappointing. Michelle started off the article by saying that she was writing ”not to judge the people involved in the saga” but as I read on i felt like there was actually a judgement made. If you are expecting an apology from Pastor Kong and his church members, am i wrong to say that Michelle has already made the judgement that Pastor Kong is guilty and that the members are supporting his sinful actions? He has not been proven guilty, and until the day it can be proven, i don’t think that it makes sense for a Christian to be making that statement. It is obvious that he hasn\’t made an apology because from his side of the story he doesn’t think he has committed a sin, and likewise the church members choose to believe that he is innocent and hence see no need for an apology.
I am not saying that I believe Pastor Kong is innocent or guilty, but i believe that if he is found guilty, he would definitely confess his sins because this is what he has taught me and thousand others through the many sermons we have sat through.
I agree that actions speak louder than words, and I have seen this lived out through Pastor Kong’s life. He speaks of choosing love and reaching out to those who need God. And CHC is the biggest example of how he turned his words into action and brought hundreds of thousands to Christ through his church and ministries all over the world.
I hope you understand that as a young Christian I still have a lot to learn about God and His word, but everything I have written here is based on what i have learnt growing up and it is what i believe in. Also I am not using this as a attack against anyone who agrees with Michelle here, neither am i supporting the actions of CHC members. I just wanted to correct some things that I believe are mistaken.
Till the verdict is out, we shouldn’t be quick to make our own judgement.
*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.