|City Harvest under Investigation – Worshiping our Heroes/Idols|
10:13 NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to
man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond
what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of
escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The incredible support by the members of City Harvest Church was a surprise to many at the Church Service last Sunday at Expo with big placards seen declaring “I Love Pastor Kong”, the remarks at Razor TV showing incredible loyalty by many of the teenage members such as “He is a good Pastor because he is my hero”, and “He laid down his life for us and for people in many countries”. Such terms of endearment and undying loyalty can be seen from the City Harvest face book where there was a call for unity and prayer to stand up to the works of the devil.
Such unwavering loyalty may have raised concerns with the authorities that the complete surrender to a cult religious figure will result in the members doing something irrational causing harm. The replies to the CHC face book from a “Zhen Yi Kiew” exalting how “CHC is half as the strength of the SAF ….”, although emotionally immature raises questions of Pastor Kong’s potential influence into the marketplace – into politics, business, and religious world with a large voting block of 33,000 members. They were willing to fight in the “name of God”.
That said, their loyalty and commitment to Pastor Kong Hee despite all, is admirable. In Babel, where mankind had one heart and one mind, they almost succeeded in building a temple to raise their heights to the heavenlies. Therefore, with one vision and one mind, full of unity, there is great potential in City Harvest for good (and also for harm). Who can stop City Harvest from taking over Raffles City after Suntec? But God had other plans to change the tongues of the nations so that they will disperse.
Many years ago, when I remarked that CHC and NCC were legalistic concerning Gays, I was criticized by some who took it as a criticism of Pastor Joseph Prince. I am not sure why we were sensitive especially since they have not been perturbed by CHC criticizing NCC in their sermons (implicitly) over a decade. Are the members of NCC any different and show more grace than CHC members, hopefully grace changes people. We are all sinners, worshipping our heroes and idols who can do no wrong. Any criticism is “heresy”. It is sad that our Christianity may be so fragile that any minor criticisms of our heroes may stumble us. “You have stumbled a Child of God whom Jesus died for” they cried when I dared criticize their hero. We sometimes stumble only to fall and trip over the Rock, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
If we were indeed “a child of God whom Jesus died for”, then our worship is to Christ alone and not Pastor Joseph Prince, nor Pastor Kong Hee, great and mighty men of God as they are. They are God’s anointed, but they are not God and we should not give glory to men as if we give Glory to God. When we do so, we are a party to causing them to fall. The higher one is lifted up, the higher they fall. We are to worship the ONE, Jesus Christ alone. He will not share his glory, neither with men, nor even with the Pope. We have a pyramid structure in many mega churches, where everything leads to the top, to a Prince, with many gentle lambs following obediently. There is an extreme of reflective theology even questioning the physical death and resurrection of Christ our Savior. Perhaps over questioning shows our lack of faith. On the other extreme is having blind faith in mortal men. Both extremes may not be beneficial.
Some of the comments by City Harvest Church members that it was an attack of the devil may be partly true. We are all sinners, but many of us are close to sainthood but still have weak points common to all men and women. The bible says that “No temptation has over taken you, but what is common to men”, and exalts us to flee from it. They were generals for God, and will undergo great testing than mere mortals just as Jesus was tested 40 days and nights in the desert. The greatest temptation is worship idols, our Singaporean Mega Church Idols.
The greatest strength of Pastor Kong Hee, is his greatest temptation as well. It is his wife, Pastor Sun Ho. Pastor Sun was the women behind this great men of God. She was a really good pastor, a person of integrity, and full of wisdom. Pastor Kong gave so much to support her, bearing criticisms of many for her decision to go into the music industry. However, it was in this industry that temptation came, the temptation of wealth, glamour, and worship. The pop stars are all worshipped as mini-gods each with a large following. In such environment, it is easy to rationalize that we deserve all the worship, wealth and honor, our God given rights as Christians. I first met Pastor Sun, some 20 years ago, when I was a young teenager, before she got married to Pastor Kong. She was so gentle, simple, and humble. I somehow wish to return to those innocent days, when we were so young and innocent. We wanted to change the world. Yet, unknowingly and slowly with the sands of time, the world may have conquered us as we got older.
We are reminded of the old hymn, “were you there, when they crucified the Lord”. When I first heard this song many years ago, I cried, for I love God, and the sight of Him suffering so great a pain for me, makes me tremble - my heart and soul weeping. For His pain, became my pain and anguish because they were hurting and harming my hero Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was naked at the Cross, His life, His wealth, His Honor and Glory all forsaken for my sake. I cried when “they crucified the Lord”, for I am touched by His amazing love for me. Our mega church pastors had everything, large mega star status, money, many condors, but Christ gave it all up and much more. It is time for the Christian Church in Singapore to give, to love, for He first Loved Us that He gave Himself for Us. He was naked, being scorned and abused at the Cross, despised by all, His followers all but left Him, yet strangely, I find myself bowing down at the Cross of Calvary as if I was there. Even in His great pain, He still smiled at me whilst I was crying for Him, for one day when I return to heaven, I will finally “Come Home” to be with Him in His Heavenly abode and all of life’s suffering and pain will be a distant past.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?