Can we forgive Pastor Kong?
Can we forgive Pastor Kong?

 

 

Ps 15:1 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly,  And works righteousness,     And speaks the truth in his heart;

The Commissioner of Charities (COC) in Singapore is currently intending to permanently remove the City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders currently under suspension and criminal investigtion from any charity position/membership. It was to protect the charities (ie CHC) assets.

An impression was given that COC was somehow unreasonable since Pastor Kong had already agreed to the extension of the suspension they had asked and surely one cannot expect Pastor Kong to ask the others to comply!

However, it was only an impression ... for the COC has now clarified that it was Pastor Kong Hee didn't provide written consent by the 25 Mar 13 dateline. The others did.

It reminds me of the frequent assertions by CHC that all the CHC accounts were dutifully audited! and accounts being openly published which gave an impression that all was proper.

What is truth?

The church in Singapore has taken truth very lightly. Perhaps now it faces a day of reckoning where her skeletons are exposed!

It reminds me of all the wild assertions spoken by the mega churches about how gays going to destroy the family, marriage, and ultimately even destroy Christianity itself as justification to put gays in prison.

Fake scientific reports were made up by Christian organizations and quoted by the mega churches to support their assertions that homosexuality is caused by a deprived childhood and can be changed, or healed by the love of God.

Why does truth matters so much?

Because the lack of honesty will undermine the Gospel message and the bible as the Word of God.

The gay community that has been harmed by our false witness, has a demand for justice. It's not only about gay rights and equality, but what about the harm that has been caused!

Is the COC decision reasonable?

The CHC church members seems to be perturbed by the reason of protecting the assets of the charity (ie CHC) given to remove Pastor Kong Hee and gang. This implies that they are at risk to mis-use their authority.

The money is "theirs", and so the church should be free to decide how they use the money. But freedom here is subject to the many thousands who gave money and sacrificed on the premises that it was for the charitable building fund and not for the Cross Over or for business beyond charity purposes.

The bar of judgement and evidence here is low, unlike a criminal case where there are severe penalties. Hence, the decision to remove them from being members of charities and office holders seems reasonable.

Can the church complain when her judgements have been severe!

We often use very weak evidence and arguable at best against the gay community that they are the result of wrong upbringing, a "lifestyle" choice, and will harm society and marriage.

We have set the bar of judgement very low against gays even though the penalties are severe because it harms gay people. Many have died, love stolen from them.

We have got no moral right to make any presentations. The church has already made all her presentations to the law minister for 377a.

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The few thousands of dollars given to CHC for the bulding fund is a lot of money for me, and would be useful in my life now.

The issue here is not about the COC removing them from office, or a criminal investigation, but it comes back to me, whether I am willing to forgive and forget and give grace.

The test is to go back to CHC, enjoy the worship service led by Pastor Sun, visit my cell group friends there, and have good fellowship and not bearing any bitterness nor judgement.

Forgiveness is not a decision. It is not even love. It is solely founded on the premises Christ has forgiven me, and has given me grace and mercy.

The relationship with the Holy Spirit is important to me, to let go and let God do the necesarry. It's not my call to judge, it never was even when harm was done to me and by the church who has always put up a high moral front against gays.

  We are called to forgive, for Christ came not to condemn but to give us eternal life.   If I do not forgive, I will be no different to those that have caused me harm and injury.

 

 

 

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Statement from Commissioner of Charities Office
10 April 2013

We refer to the media reports on the City Harvest Church case which quoted the statement by Kong Hee that he and Ho Yeow Sun had already agreed to the voluntary suspension on
COC’s terms, and would like to make several clarifications.

In view of the concurrent criminal proceedings, the COC had on 28 December 2012 proposed to all nine individuals that the COC would defer the next stage of any regulatory action should they collectively agree to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders.

The deadline for the consent was extended twice, and by 7 February 2013, eight out of the nine suspended individuals, including Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun, had initially consented to this proposal.

Even though one of the suspended individuals had declined to give consent, the COC was at that time still prepared to defer regulatory action, as he felt that the risks of that single individual’s lapse of suspension order could be managed.

To avoid any doubt, the COC asked the 8 individuals on 14 March 2013 to confirm in writing that they would still agree to voluntarily extend their suspension, notwithstanding the lack
of consent by the remaining individual.

However, by the final deadline of 25 March 2013, only 5 of the 8 individuals provided their consents. Kong Hee and Ho Yeow Sun were not amongst the 5 who consented, even though they had agreed to do so earlier. Please refer to Annex A for the timeline of events.

The COC could not extend the suspension of just these 5 individuals and initiate removal proceeding on the others. This is because the individual cases are linked, and adverse findings may be made which may indirectly affect or implicate those who are not part of the removal process.

Hence given the circumstances, and the lack of collective agreement among the individuals, the COC had no choice but to proceed with regulatory action.

Office of Commissioner of Charities

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Annex A

Timeline of Events

Date Event
31 May 2010 COC commenced investigations into the City Harvest Church (“the Charity”).
7 February 2011 Date of the Report of the Inquiry.
26 June 2012 The COC issued a press statement:
• Inquiry revealed misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the Charity and released details of the
misconduct and mismanagement.
• The COC suspended 8 individuals – Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng, Kelvin Teo Meng How, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Chew Eng Han, Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline and Ho Yeow Sun.
• This is separate and independent from criminal investigations carried out by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).
24 July 2012 The COC suspended Serina Wee Gek Yin.
24 August 2012 The COC suspended Ho Yeow Sun in her capacity as an employee of the Charity.
28 December 2012 In view of concurrent criminal proceedings, the COC made a goodwill proposal to all the 9 suspended individuals to collectively agree to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders so that he may defer the next stage of regulatory action.
By 7 February 2013  8 of the 9 suspended individuals agreed to a voluntary extension of their suspension orders.
From 22 February to
25 March 2013

• The COC was prepared to defer the next stage of regulatory action against all the 9 suspended individuals, as a concession to the 8 consenting individuals.
• Given that the premise for which consent provided by the 8 consenting individuals had changed, the COC felt that it was necessary to check with the 8 consenting individuals whether they would remain agreeable to voluntarily extend their suspension.
• During this period, the COC communicated with, and sought confirmation from the 8 consenting individuals if they would remain agreeable to voluntarily extend their suspension, notwithstanding the lack of consent by one individual. Extensions were given for the individuals to properly consider their decision.
• Only 5 out of the 8 consenting individuals eventually agreed to
confirm their agreement to voluntarily extend their suspension.
9 April 2013 The COC gave notice of his intention to remove 8 individuals (Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng, Kelvin Teo Meng How, Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, Chew Eng Han, Tan Su Pheng Jacqueline and Serina Wee Gek Yin) from their positions in the Charity.
13 May 2013 Deadline for the 8 individuals to make representations with respect to themselves, and for members of the public to make
representations regarding the proposed removal of Kong Hee, Lam Leng Hung, Tan Ye Peng and Kelvin Teo Meng How.
   

 

 









 

 

 

 

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