From Senior Pastor’s Desk
I am sure most of you would have heard about the verdict on the City Harvest Church trial where the defendants, including Ps. Kong Hee, were found guilty of the misappropriation of their church building funds. This case affects not just CHC, but all of us Christians and I know that many are wondering how we should respond to it. I would like to suggest the following points for our guidance and consideration.
Let me begin with our attitude towards those found guilty. 1Cor 10:8-12 makes it clear that we should guard our own hearts and learn from the mistakes of CHC. In particular, we need to realise that all of us, as humans, have the propensity to sin and our ability to stand before God is solely because of God’s grace and mercy towards us when we fail. This realisation should cause us to check our attitudes before we join in the chorus of condemnation, be it by Christians or non-Christians alike.
Secondly, there is no escaping the findings of the court and neither should we deny nor minimise the gravity of the infractions. This failing has caused much pain to the Christian community as well as great embarrassment to God and the Church. The law of the land will mete out the appropriate punishment after the process has run its course. We should not feel the need to defend CHC’s mistakes, but we should pray for their restoration in the Lord.
Thirdly, what about our righteous indignation? Or what of our need to demonstrate to the world that we are just as offended as they are by the actions of CHC? My advice is not to stop anyone from speaking on the issue if they feel they must, but to remember that we will be judged by the same measure that we use on others (Matt 7:2). Let us not forget mercy and compassion, least of all because we would want God to be equally merciful and compassionate towards us when we stand judged before Him on that final day.
In short – we should acknowledge the errors of the CHC leadership, but we should also exercise mercy and restraint in coming to our own judgements of the matter. As for answering the resultant public ridicule on Christians, the world cannot wait to see bloodthirsty Christians attacking other Christians, whatever the cause. In the face of such mockery, could we perhaps let our honesty and humility redeem the name of the Lord, through our actions rather than by adding more unnecessary words?
Whatever our views on CHC and/or their leadership, this would be a good time to pray for their repentance and restoration. Pray that something good may emerge from this mess, and for the affected to find closure in their hearts. Many are hurting and some have become disillusioned with Christianity – we need to remember them in our prayers too. This is a dark and painful moment for the church but God is greater than this darkness and His ways higher.