|City Harvest under Investigation – pleading for Grace|
(Zec 4:6 NKJV) So he answered and said to me: "This
is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but
by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.
With the news of the City Harvest being under investigation getting stale and over reported without new leads, coupled by the “no show” of Pastor Kong Hee on Sunday service apparently recuperating from assisting the investigation, their fellow mega church New Creation showed itself to be openly proactive and transparent by explaining the companies linked to them. “Be nice”, Pastor Joseph Prince said in relation to City Harvest Church especially if you were a blogger. NCC hidden message was that they were transparent without needing to be investigated.
Being one of the riches mega church (in terms of revenue), the New Creation Church has a reason to be concerned, yet always they were at rest, resting in God’s grace. In contrast to City Harvest, they seemingly does nothing much, laid back, and almost complacent as compared to the City Harvest Church full of high pressure building funds (round after rounds), seminars, and events where cell groups members are strongly encouraged to attend and taken to task if they fail to attend any services or seminars. Yet, at the end, the funds came in also for NCC.
In contrast to CHC where there is a regular emphasis for tithing and gifts to the church, with strong messages invoking the name of God, and dire responsibility of each member to tithe and give to “build God’s house”, there was little of such affirmative action in NCC. In CHC, a friend of mine did not tithe regularly (the CG leaders monitors all the tithing and gifts) and was told in no uncertain term that he was stealing from God. God the CG leader said will demand 4 fold repayment if he did not repent.
In NCC, it is with God’s amazing grace that they received so much money even without asking. There was no work involving, no sweating, just trusting and believing. There was no need for strong messages, or strong encouragement of members to give (or else), but the freedom to give as the Lord leads and as you are able.
There is a rule in the bible of being judged the same way as you have
judged others, ie the same measurement of rule of law will be made, in
particular context to the religious Pharisees who demanded that others
follow the law strictly. In NCC, where the grace of God is preached,
grace is received. When we sow grace, we receive grace. As the money is
freely given, in the millions, not solicited in any manner, there is
much less demand for the money to be used correctly and strictly.
Some years ago whilst in was CHC, I was sick and had to pay expensive medical bills. Yet for this period, the CG leaders demanded that I must continue to tithe. When I got well, I left the church. I felt they cheated me, for I have given much. It was God’s grace that released me from bitterness, when I chose to forgive. Some years later, I went back to CHC at Jurong, and donated money to them and in that moment of grace, I was released of any resentment. When we are sinned against, we can give back an eye for an eye according to the law, or we can chose the bless them. This is grace and it is completely opposite to the law.
We should not be praying only that truth will come out, but for God’s grace and mercy. Both Pastor Kong, and Pastor Tan has done so much for the growth of Christianity in Singapore. We can pray for the truth, but do we really want the truth for every single transgression to be revealed under the Law. For the bible, says that the law is a good school master able to convict and judge us that we are sinners requiring God’s grace of redemption.
In Ming Yi’s case (a financial fraud case involving a famous monk), during the investigation, everything was revealed even unrelated facts that he owned a horse, gambled, stayed in condominiums, had expensive luxury cars and a “toy boy”. All was revealed and his case involved not only defending the financial fraud, but his credibility and claims of innocence all but destroyed by his extravagant lifestyle for a charity head using public funds. Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church now faces the same credibility challenge, perhaps much greater for he had much more in wealth on account of public charity funds.
We need to pray for Pastor Kong for he was not only the Senior Pastor of CHC, for he represents the public face of Christianity that he will received God’s amazing grace and will be “let off” even if he was guilty. Saul became Paul in the road to Damascus, likewise may Pastor Kong sees the light that God’s grace and mercy matters much more than the Law of God. Sure, the Law of God will never pass away because justice is demanded for the wrongs we did to the weak and the outcasts, but God’s Grace and mercy came through Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour. By the Law, we deserved to be punished even death, yet Jesus even though innocent took our place and bore our sins and burdens. This is God’s Amazing Grace.