City Harvest Tales
City Harvest Tales

 

 

Ps 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

City Harvest Church is one of the biggest church in Singapore whose Senior Pastor, Kong Hee had been the international face of S'pores Christianity with over 47 linked churches. He was instrumental in the market place ministry of crossing over to the secular pop music for evangelism.

Pastor Kong has been a strong advocate in following moral faith laws, in particular, emphasising that without the law, the people will be lawless. Those who emphasised on grace were said to be peddling in "Cheap Grace" and even accussed of "antimonianism".

The Ten commandments were strongly emphasised as the way of living and conduct, and the members encouraged to tithe and give large amounts to the building funds. There were cell group "encouragment", moral and biblical arguments, and promises of abundant returns by faith!. 

Hence, the trial of alleged systematic corruption of charity funds by the CHC leaders is ironic in view of their strong emphasis on following the religious laws and judgements from God!

There is a surreal silence from the likes of FCBC, Love Singapore, Cornerstone, Mehtodist Church and NCCS camp who has hitherto been the moral defenders of Singapore against gays limiting even their basic rights. 

The more we emphasised on the obedience of the law and gaining morality from the law, we are baking yeast that will puff up pride in the church, with a great sense of self righteousness against the ungodly gay sinners. 

The trial of the City Harvest leaders appear to show the charities close working relationships with two supposedly independent and external companies where millions of the building funds went to. In particular,

  • The City Harvest accountant would also sign off as a representative of Xtron Productions which the church is paying millions to.

  • When City Harvest decided to increase the interest amount the church church would be receving, the City Harvest accountant needed to work backwards to derive the interest rate, for the related investment firm AMAC to change the original investment documents. AMAC was founded by the former church board VP and treasurer, and who was also the churches fund manager.

  • Emails showed that the church external auditor was finding major firewalls when he queried the massive transactions. The auditor was hard pressed :-

    • "hard to settle the issue of giving 46 million to a third party", ie payments to Xtron which also managed Sun Ho's singing career.

    • had concerns over millions invested in AMAC, a small investment company - protection of the principal amount, and where the investment went to.

    •  "not convinced by the reasons" CHC gave for putting million in Xtron Productions. He said that the investments were "obviously related". The e-mail records showed: "(The auditor) said that, no matter how we put the story, it still does not eliminate the obvious. "So, he chose to stop asking because he knows that we will give more stories that will trigger more questions from him."

The churches have accused gays of having immoral relationships just because it is with the same sex, but obviously some churches are having relationships with themselves. It is difficult even for the best counsel to argue two sides of the story because no mitigation can explain the obvious.

The strong emphasis on the religious law and morality is like opium which can take away our senses and let sin multiply in our lives because we cannot see our wrong doings when we maintain our integrity and righteousness based on the law. It builds up our pride on how well we can abide by the law until we could not see the sin in our own lives, and therefore let sin multiply.

The trial is on-going, and is not supossed to be a trial on the Christian Faith. Yet, all Christians will be impacted one way or another. Our integrity is questioned and laid raw before the nations and the world.

It's a tough times for City Harvest church and in a way there is some theological legitimacy for the Cross Over because it had resulted in revival for the church and abroad in many nations. It is after all their money and their church but being a tax deductible charity complicate matters legally.

The court case is set to continue until early next year, and each day will be a revelations which questions the integrity of the church as a whole. 

The seriousness of the issues and the possible penalties are reflected on the haggard faces of the accused CHC leaders, yet surely we are all sinners under grace.

It is sad, but the good work of Pastor Sun appears to be tainted. She had endured so much in the Cross Over.

The more we fight to defend our innocence and integrity, the more gulity we may look, for our righteousness in found in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

 

 

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