Just to clarify:
C3ChurchWatch only exists to examine the C3 Movement, its pastors and it’s head mover and shaker: Phil Pringle. We do not oversee “good practices at Christian organizations globally”. We do not know where this article got this information.
The BikyaMasr reports,
Singapore church controversy continues as new pastor under watchdog scrutiny…
City Harvest Church facing corruption, misuse of funds charges.
KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore’s City Harvest Church has a new pastor, but not without controversy. Last week, as the church was charged with misusing some $50 million of church money, they appointed New Zealand’s Reverend Phil Pringle and Reverend A.R. Bernard to function as advisory pastors in order to maintain services for worshipers without break.
Pringle is the founder and senior minister of Christian City Church in Sydney, Australia.
But now that he is in Singapore, working for a church embattled with corruption charges, he has become targeted by the Christian watchdog organization C3 Church Watch, which tasks itself with overseeing good practices at Christian organizations globally.
The group’s blog said that it was “designed to watch and monitor C3 Church and its pastors, specifically Phil Pringle.”
It has raised questions about the New Zealand-born pastor’s religious credentials and teachings.
It is the latest in a weeklong battle over embezzlement charges and fears that the situation could potentially see the end of City Harvest, which hosted some 14,000 over the weekend in services.
The church’s founder Kong Hee was quick to acknowledge why some 8,000 people had packed into the church on Saturday for his sermon.
“I also know that you are all here tonight to hear something from me.
“As you know, the past few days have been very challenging for me, my family and my team, and many allegations have been made in the media.
“Obviously, as this is an ongoing case, I cannot comment on the details, but please know that there are always two sides to every story. I look forward to the day when I can tell you my side of the story in court,” he said.
Seven minutes into his sermon about a woman who had worshiped Jesus humbly, Kong stopped and told his congregation, “Yes, I do maintain my integrity.”
But it comes on the back of much controversy and uncertainty regarding the church’s future.
Singapore’s City Harvest Church Executive Pastor Aries Zulkarnain said on Thursday evening that he and his Church stand by members accused of embezzling and misusing funds.
He said the Church will maintain support for the accused throughout the court proceedings.
Another pastor from the Church, Bobby Chaw, added that City Harvest has “actively worked to ensure good governance and have complied with codes set by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.”
Five members of City Harvest Church were charged by a court on Wednesday of corruption, misuse of funds and embezzlement, Channel NewsAsia reported.
The report said the court charged City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee with three charges, while senior pastor Tan Ye Peng faces 10 charges. Finance manager Tan Shao Yuen faces seven charges.
Senior member Chew Eng Han also faces 10 charges and former secretary of the church’s management board Lam Leng Hung faces three charges.
The five allegedly diverted some S$23 million (RM57 million) of the church’s money to fund Ho Yeow Sun’s music career in the United States. Ho is Kong Hee’s wife.
CNA said they were charged for another S$26.6 million (RM66 million) of misappropriated funds, used to redeem “sham bonds” to cover their tracks.
The case was adjourned and the next session will take place in July.
The Straits Times had reported that Kong, Tan Ye Peng and three other church leaders were detained by police at their homes early on Tuesday morning and taken in for questioning over the alleged misuse of church funds as well as alleged “breaches under charity laws.”
This latest development comes two years after the Commercial Affairs Department started a probe into the alleged misuse of church funds in May 2010.
(From: From Alisha Hassan, Singapore church controversy continues as new pastor under watchdog scrutiny, http://www.bikyamasr.com/71527/singapore-church-controversy-continues-as-new-pastor-under-watchdog-scrutiny/, 03/07/2012. (Accessed 03/07/2012.))