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Posts tagged ‘City Harvest Church’

Kong Hee’s Church Clarifies Pastor’s ‘Apology From God’.


 

Kong Hee
Kong Hee is senior pastor of Singapore’s City Harvest Church. (Facebook)

Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church in Singapore sparked outrage online with a YouTube video in which he seemed to be saying God was apologizing for his struggles. But his church says it is just a misunderstanding.

“As anyone with a basic education in the English language ought to be able to tell that the use of ‘I’m so sorry’ here is not in the context of an apology, but a word of comfort, for example, ‘I’m so sorry about your mother’s suffering,’ or ‘I’m so sorry you need to go through chemotherapy,’” say Pastor Kong’s spokesperson, whose statement was emailed via City Harvest Church’s corporate communications department.

“It is in no way an apology or admission of guilt as has been suggested. The message God gave Pastor Kong was that it is necessary for Pastor to journey through this painful experience because it is a refiner’s fire, meant to prepare him for the work God has in store for him and the church for the future,” the statement continues.

Yahoo! News reports the sermon is most likely from the 2012 C3 Presence conference, held in Sydney last April. This would have been before the news broke last June that Kong and five other church leaders were being investigated for embezzlement. Kong is accused of criminal breach of trust and misappropriating church building funds.

“Father, Father, why, my God, my God, why have You forsaken me and thrown me to the dogs?” Hee asked in the YouTube video after talking about the experience Jesus Christ went through on the cross at His crucifixion and saying he identified with that kind of suffering.

“For the first time in eight months, God—I heard Him cry, and He said, ‘My son, Kong, thank you. Thank you for going through this. I need you to go through this alone so that you and City Harvest Church can be the man and the ministry I call it to be. I’m so sorry, but you need to go through this by yourself to bring a change to your generation,’” Kong continued.

Applause was heard from the audience, and he continued: “I hear God saying, for the first time in eight months, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’ Waves upon waves of God’s love—the love of the Father just saturated me. … And I knew everything was going to be all right. Everything is going to be all right.”

The video has received widely negative reactions. Since its posting on Friday, it was thumbed down more than 3,300 times, compared to less than 200 thumbs up. It has also gotten more than 1,700 comments, many of them scathing.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

GINA MEEKS

Pastor Kong Hee Ignites Outrage After Saying God Apologized for Legal Struggles.


 

Kong Hee
Kong Hee is senior pastor of Singapore‘s City Harvest Church. (Facebook)

Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church in Singapore has caused controversy again, this time because of comments he made in a sermon.

Kong, who is accused of criminal breach of trust and misappropriating church building funds, claimed in aYouTube video that God apologized to him for his struggles.

“Father, Father, why, my God, my God, why have You forsaken me and thrown me to the dogs?” Hee asked after talking about the experience Jesus Christ went through on the cross at His crucifixion and saying he identified with that kind of suffering.

“For the first time in eight months, God—I heard Him cry, and He said, ‘My son, Kong, thank you. Thank you for going through this. I need you to go through this alone so that you and City Harvest Church can be the man and the ministry I call it to be. I’m so sorry, but you need to go through this by yourself to bring a change to your generation,’” Kong continued.

Applause was heard from the audience, and he continued: “I hear God saying, for the first time in eight months, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’ Waves upon waves of God’s love—the love of the Father just saturated me. … And I knew everything was going to be all right. Everything is going to be all right.”

Yahoo! News reports the sermon is most likely from the 2012 C3 Presence conference, held in Sydney last April. This would have been before the news broke last June that Kong and five other church leaders were being investigated for embezzlement.

The video has received widely negative reactions. Since its posting on Friday, it was thumbed down more than 3,300 times, compared to less than 200 thumbs up. It has also gotten more than 1,700 comments, many of them scathing.

“The congregation is being blinded by this pastor who perverted the bible,” Tukang Bubur wrote.

The user nothingbutahound wrote, “Actually what God told Kong was ‘I’m sorry that out of so many people in the world I had to go choose you to pastor CHC. Now you have to go to prison alone so that I can bring a change to this generation with you out of the way. And if you hear anyone talking to you in prison, it’s not me.’”

Kong Hee Faces Accusers in Singapore Trial.


Singapore’s City Harvest Church May Have to Remove Pastor Kong Hee.


 

Kong Hee
Kong Hee is the senior pastor at Singapore’s City Harvest Church. (Facebook)

The commissioner of charities (COC) in Singapore is proposing to remove eight individuals from their positions at City Harvest Church (CHC), including founder Kong Hee. The leaders have until Monday to challenge the decision.

If the leaders are removed from their positions, their executive memberships at CHC will be terminated, and they will not be allowed to resume their memberships for at least two years.

“This is a very challenging time for our eight church leaders and members, their families and our church,” CHC Executive Pastor Aries Zulkarnain said in a statement. “Please continue to pray ceaselessly for them and for the church. Let us remember what our Advisory Chairman Dr AR Bernard has exhorted us to do: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Rom. 12:12, ESV).”

In addition to Hee, the leaders being threatened with removal include Pastor Tan Ye Peng, Serina Wee, Sharon Tan, John Lam, Chew Eng Han, Teo Meng How and Jacqueline Tan.

The COC instituted an inquiry under Section 8 of the Charities Act into the church in May 2010 and named nine individuals following the inquiry—the eight mentioned above plus Sun Ho, Hee’s wife.

In addition to the COC’s investigation, six church officials—Hee, Lam, Peng, Sharon Tan, Han and Wee—were charged in June with misappropriating S$23 million (U.S. $18.6 million) from the church and falsifying accounts to cover it up.

“In December the COC requested that the suspended individuals voluntarily extend their suspension until six months after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings involving six of the eight affected individuals,” said Zulkarnain, who is also a chairman of CHC’s management board.

“Under section 29 of the Act,” he explained, “before the COC makes an order to remove without his consent a governing board member of a charity or trustee for a charity, or an officer, agent or employee of a charity, the COC shall give him not less than one month’s notice of the COC proposal, inviting representations to be made to the COC within a time specified in the notice. The eight have until 13 May 2013 to make their representations to COC on why they should not be removed.”

In the meantime, pastors Hee and Peng will continue to perform pastoral duties.

“I understand that the Commissioner of Charities has assured the CHC Board that I will not be prevented from preaching at CHC’s services,” Hee said in his own statement. “This is only fair as there is no basis for the COC to encroach on the services of the church.”

He continued, “I look forward to being in church to worship God with my friends and family. I hope that you continue to keep me, my family and the church in your thoughts and prayers.”

Hee also says he is confident “that there is no basis for the COC’s actions and [he] will in due course make the appropriate representations to the COC.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

GINA MEEKS

Singapore Megachurch Ordered Not to Pay Pastor Kong Hee’s Legal Fees.


Kong Hee
Kong Hee (City Harvest Church)

Just two months after Singapore megachurch pastorKong Hee was arrested for misappropriating church building funds, the Commissioner of Charities (COC) has warned the 23,000-member City Harvest Church congregants against raising money to support the pastor’s legal fees.

At the center of the issue was a letter sent to members on Aug. 6 seeking donations to be deposited in to two City Harvest pastors bank accounts. Church officials say the correspondence, which had been sent as recently as last week, was no longer being circulated. The Straits Times reports that the COC had previously ordered the church’s board to stop fundraising on the pastors’ behalf.

Hee and four other senior church officials were arrested in late June for funneling at least S$23 million ($18 million) to help finance Hee’s wife, Ho Yeow Sun’s, music career.

The pastor denies the allegations on the church’s website.

“I do maintain my integrity, and will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges,” Hee said in a press statement. “I have and will continue to place my faith and trust in our judicial system. I will explain the facts and circumstances to the court, and am confident that I will be vindicated.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

By FELICIA ABRAHAM

Singapore Megachurch Pastor Kong Hee Arrested on Fraud Charges.


Kong Hee
(City Harvest Church)

Kong Hee, founder of City Harvest Church, was arrested for allegedly using millions of dollars of church funds to help his pop star wife, Ho Yeow Sun, advance her career.

Singapore police plan to charge the founder of one of Singapore’s largest evangelical churches with conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust on Wednesday.

According to a police statement, four other church leaders in the 23,000-member congregation will also be charged with breach of trust and conspiracy to commit falsification of accounts.

“Financial irregularities of at least S$23 million ($18 million) from the charity’s funds have been discovered,” the commissioner of charities said in a statement on its website. “These funds were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music career to connect with people.

City Harvest Church issued a statement on Tuesday.

“This morning, Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Chew Eng Han and Sharon Tan were informed to attend court tomorrow. There is no case that is being brought against the church,” wrote Aries Zulkarnain, executive pastor of City Harvest Church.

“The CHC Advisory Committee, comprising of Dr. Phil Pringle, founder and senior minister of Christian City Church in Sydney, and Dr. A R Bernard, founder and CEO of Christian Cultural Centre in New York, will continue to provide spiritual leadership. Both pastors were appointed advisory senior pastors over CHC,” Zulkarnain wrote.

“The church management board continues to provide guidance on running the church. Church operations and cell group meetings will continue as usual, including all weekend services at Singapore Expo and Jurong West. In the meantime, do keep the church, our pastors, leaders and their families in prayer.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

By Jennifer LeClaire

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