An ex-C3 member writes,
“Today, after 5 long, drawn-out years, the longest criminal trial in Singaporean history, the executive leadership of City Harvest Church, including pastor Kong Hee, were found guilty of misappropriating $50 Million worth of church funds.
Sentencing has been postponed to a later date, but already I have witnessed a flurry of Christians online all resolved to stand by Kong Hee throughout this process. And I just need to ask, for the sake of clarity, what exactly do you all mean by “stand by”?
Do you mean “pray for” Kong Hee? “Help support the distraught family of” Kong Hee? “Encourage and pray for the disappointed, also distraught church family of” Kong Hee? If that’s what you mean then that’s all fine, highly commendable, and I’ll happily join you in that, feel free to read no further.
But if you mean “Protest the Court’s ruling and insist upon the exoneration of” Kong Hee, I just need to ask, on what basis? I’ve seen a persistent narrative at play here, promoted by many Christians and even Christian leaders, in which this entire 5-year trial has essentially been dismissed as a complete smokescreen, an entirely groundless, deceitful attempt by an unbelieving nation’s Courts to act as tools of Satan and oppose Christ’s church, because of the great work Pastor Kong has been doing.
Brothers and sisters, I know this is a far more comforting way of looking at the situation, but… what if Kong Hee actually IS guilty? What if the same charming, smiling man who you’ve seen preaching at conferences, the same man who is so close and friendly with and vouched for by… certain OTHER pastors you respect, actually DID commit this awful, awful crime and awful, awful sin, of which he is still yet to repent?
Should secular courts not be allowed to convict Christians of crimes as long as those Christians maintain that they were doing the Lord’s work? Should Christians continue to voice unqualified public approval of men who, by their actions, demonstrate themselves to be THOROUGHLY disqualified for leadership in Christ’s church, as long as we like their preaching? No, we must be honest, and live our lives with integrity as good citizens as well as good Christians.
The Courts have spoken, and those who wish to oppose their ruling must first demonstrate a fault in their reasoning or provide evidence of corruption serious enough to support the idea that they seriously just spent 5 years of their time building a thoroughly false case on non-existent evidence.
Christ’s name has been dragged through the mud of Asia for long enough because of this trial. If you want to express an opinion on the verdict, get off the bandwagons and do some research for yourselves.”