Monday 27 May 2013

God And City Harvest Church.

City Harvest Church in Jurong West

"I'm going to City Harvest Church in Jurong West. Do you know the place?," the young man asked politely.

"Yes, I certainly do. This church is very famous in Singapore". I answered with a smile.

He boarded my taxi at Jurong Point Shopping Mall, a short distance to the church. Short, long distance, it doesn't make a difference to me. You don't get to pick and choose your fares. Taxi drivers are like debris moving with the current of the river, with no destination of their own.

"Will it take long to reach the church?" he asked with a Malaysian accent. "I need to be there before 7pm."

"Hard to tell at this peak hour, with lots of traffic," I answered for what should be less than ten minute ride. "You might be a bit late."

He look scholarly with black rim glass and neat hair in his early twenties. He sat quietly at the back with what looks like a bible in his hand. I couldn't tell for sure, but I sense he was studying me.

"You speak and look different from other drivers," he said. "You seem at peace with yourself, calmer and happier. The other drivers all seem in a hurry and angry."

Frankly, I wasn't surprised at his comments. I knew from years of existence that whenever someone wants to sell you something, they would give you a nice pat on the shoulder and then begin their sales talk. I wasn't going to take his bait and get hooked.

"Most drivers work 10-hours a day, five or six days a week", I explained. "They have a hard life. They don't have much time with their family. They're usually tired and understandably a little grouchy.

"Yes, of course. I understand" he said, in an appreciative tone.

"Do you believe in God?" he asked, in his next breath.

Oh, no, I told myself, he's one of those guy who knock at my door on early Sunday morning to force me out of bedHe will be a pain in my neck.

"You really what to know?", I replied with a cheeky grin.

"Yes, please tell me, Uncle", he implored.

"I don't believe in one God but many Gods. But at times, none at all. Like LKY said he would not call himself an atheist. He neither deny nor accept that there is a God". I replied honestly.

"Don't you get confused? Who will guide you to which heaven after you die? he asked.

Now I was feeling weird, annoyed and definitely in a hurry.

"No, I'm never confused. I don't know and I don't care what happens to me after I die. Right now, I believe in doing only whatever is right " I said.

"Who and what guide you spiritually?" he began to preach.

"Simple," I said. "I just lead a simple life and don't think too deeply into to many things. I try to make the most of every day and treat other people as I want them to treat me," I said.

"Well, not bad," he said. At this point I was expecting him to hand over a pamplet or launch into some passage of scripture.

Instead, he asked softly "Could I be your friend?"

"No," I said sternly. "You can find many like-minded friends inside the church."

Soon, we reached the church and I was relieved. Whatever this guy wanted, whatever he needed he wasn't going to get from me.

He paid me, opened the door and said, "Thank you. Come in whenever you're ready. God bless."

As I drove away from that church to hunt for my next fare, many unpleasant thoughts of C.H.C. floated through my simple mind. For one, to use the name of God to fulfill one selfish agenda is definitely wrong and yet in this century, many are still so gullible, to say the least. Here is a confession of believer in CHC's leaders. (Link)  
                                  Sun Ho's China Wine


gm . 绿效精神 said...

I had read Bible Knowledge (during secondary school)/ Buddhist Teaching (through free publication) from religious leader on miracle/ good deed, but still like more on Philosophy Study (through self-reading) from great thinker towards best practice/ way of life.

Just few days ago, an elderly man met me (twice on same day) at HDB void deck and told me he believed in many religions. He first shook hand with me, but kept talking in the negative sense. I reminded him frankly that it would not be good for him, especially when mentioning of God.

Anonymous said...

a good read. scams come in all forms and shapes. i say they are rather successful in their marketing strategy, even now embroiled in court. i expect they will get away lightly, their penalties being the legal fees they have to cough up, of course subsidised by church members.

Anonymous said...

Sue the government for giving them the license to preach anything they like to the point of whitewashing cheat and religious fraud

Anonymous said...

By law, religious people enjoy a certain right to ply their business in Sin. They have the right to preach anything from their holy books. They have the legal latitude to even exaggerate or creatively expand on their sources of spiritual knowledge. To the vast majority of non adherents, these folks are preaching and indulging in the purest form of nonsense. To some religious people, the cow that you feast on your dinner plate is sacred, and to be worshipped. Whatever form of beliefs they come in, they are welcome by the government. 

Since the government is responsible for their presence and the religious business of inseminating and propagating the purest form of nonsense( to the vast majority of non adherents) in society, shouldn't the government be held accountable  for...religious frauds and the negative  consequences of religious fantasy?( this piece of chicken shit was denied publication by chicken shit TRE)

Anonymous said...

Just how sincere is a faith that says, "Well, if I believe there is a god, and he actually turns out to exist, then I'm on my way to heaven. And, furthermore, if I believe there is a god, but it turns out he is not real, then I haven't really lost anything." Sounds to me that you don't actually "believe." You're just playing it safe. After all, who would want to take the risk of thinking for oneself if the punishment is eternal damnation, right?

This logic is similar to placing a bet of an unusual kind: If you win, you win...and if you lose you don't really lose anything.

One more thing, your claim that the bible has never ever been proven wrong, is astonishing.
Let's turn this around. I say, THE BIBLE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN PROVEN RIGHT. After all, has anybody ever proven

--that god created the world in six days?
--that Eve was made from a rib?
--that Moses parted the Red Sea?
--that Jesus walked on water?
--that he raised the dead?
--that he himself rose from out of his grave?

Anonymous said...

CHC has been harvesting in Malaysia and is even in the political scene jn Malaysia.

The Malaysia harvesg are compelled to pay 10% of their salary to the CHC Dream Centre.

Anonymous said...

CHC huat ah!

Anonymous said...

If that young man feels like he needs to be "guided spiritually" by money-grubbing, accounts-doctoring, Hollywood-smooching, false prophecy-spouting charlatans, then we should all feel sorry for him.

I'm not defending Christianity of course: all of it is untrue. But the "prosperity gospel" sects like his CHC are especially irksome.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you are so concerned or malicious about a fallen church subscribing to the Prosperity Gospel. Its their money to give, and I'd say those who can't curb their tongues are no better than those who stand on a pedestal to preach while practicing otherwise.

R.C.T. said...

First of all, it's not your money to give away - and if people are willing to give their money away, then let them. What the other party, on side of receiving that money, chooses to do with that money - is their business with God

Furthermore, the "sincere" Faith you are referring to is Christianity. Above all, and yes with the many flaws of people who claim to be Christian, it teaches forgiveness and Love. What that quote actually means is that in if you believe in God and turns out you're right - then great - and that's what we firmly believe in, because yes you can't prove it right, but you can't prove it wrong either - that's why it's called Faith and not science. Science needs to be proven wrong in order to be proven right, it's logical. Faith is faith - you simply believe it, and who are you to criticize what others believe? Finally, in the same quote, which later says "then i haven't really lost anything"; it's trying to imply that every good deed is it's own reward. If you've lived your life by Faith, then you've probably been in touch with your soul, have a good sense of morality, and always try to love, forgive, and help others (and yes, again, there are many exceptions and example that go against this).

Christianity is the most criticized Faith in the world. For centuries not any other Faith has been criticized so much as the Christian Faith. You don't see people complaining or debating about Islam theology, or Buddhism - in fact they're mostly considered either Terrorist by many ignorant fools, or peaceful monks in monasteries by other ignorant fools. You criticize Christianity for what it is, yet you live in a Gregorian Calendar, implied by the Church in your every day life - Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday off, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Musical notation is also another great influence in today's modern society. Without Gregorian monks you probably wouldn't be finding tabs online.

To close, there are simply things we can't debate or argue about because of one thing: Faith. When you live your life by Faith, you do what is right, despite all the critics, and the haters, and all the thousand "no's" (like in apple's recent commercial) that lead to that one "yes". You just keep on carrying on, because you have FAITH that God will not fail you, even when other people do (because they are Human, and Humans are flawed - like this Pastor Kong fella) - but we LOVE, and we FORGIVE, because that's the whole point of being a Christian and following Christ. To some they confuse this with ignorance, when it's actually a choice. We choose to be ignorant you say? Well yes, and that's something I simply cannot explain further to a man without faith. There are no reasons for Love, just Love.

Anonymous said...

Hello RCT,
What is faith? There are faithful ones who got to the wrong side - Yes ask yourself.

Did not the Bible asked the faithful to read their Bibles.

Be wise - yes !

The Bible did not preach steal from the church fund.

The Bible said My House if not of Thieves.

The Bible said Build me a House, not an investment where the full 20 days is trodden in business as is sold to be dirted - Yes !

The Bible said cannot serve money and GOD - Yes !

The Bible said even from the old testament - Levite are to be set apart and shall have no property and the others Yes shall feed them.

So do you not agree and also the Bible said the people in the church authorities can judge any wrong doers and sack them - Yes !

So what is wrong to look into the church build fund when it is wrongly used for personnal gain - look at it - you think $50 million is peanuts ??

Anonymous said...

To forgive is so far away when stealing from church funds.

What is due to Ceasar and what is due to GOD - is it not clearly said !

So it is also said Build your treasures in Heaven Yes !

God did mention "asked and you shall received" Yes !

If not enough can asked the Church for more in the way it has been like a tithe for the priest.

so why steal thru invisible hidden transactions and invisible hidden transactions where your cronies got benefits - who made the custumes/wardrobes for the singing whore house where all that shaking until the pubic hairs seems to drop out.Man what a cross over if ever it was Man it sure did not cross over " the Sea water and the Fresh water shall ever meet"
Man all that false what is it called "round tripping" and with it it comes to mind - did the old building at Jurong West - Did all that money went to that building or it seems like what is now happening - going into related sub contractors who had tendered for the building or other works - which then inflated the huge 46 million dollars church - You never know what is now been revealled in the courts, could have their beginings way back already- example relatives/cronies set up dummy companys for the works. - Yes - it is possible.
So it is begining to tell, the members are not getting enough money to spread around as all money easy to come means easy to spend away with all that fast cars, houses, property and all that travelling. All not enough means those who had got more have to cough out for those who had spend their share of the illegal loot. So "money no enough" - they should now ask the magic formula from their famous chc member - like lend me your money lor !!!

Or else cough up!You who had the most. If you do not cough out - those who got little go and report lor or make a scene/or drama for all to see.
Infact what was heard correct me if wrong, there is a whole lot of CDs packed at the warehouse belonging to the church - well where did all that royalties go ?? Disappeared ?? No someone got it and that is to be shared among all those that help the scheme, to take out the money.

In fact all those who had help should ask for this share too as if you do not ask now - when the law closed in - no more time to ask and have no more chance to spend it - So better to ask now your share and spend so that you can have a wonderful time before your get that punishment -- what the Law said any cheat on such money can go to jail - as can be read in the papers all those that stole money as reported recently in the news got Jailed a few months to years - so for your part in the million dollars say - 3 years to five year ?? I do not know. Read the law up.
- well who is to feed your families and if you lost, the lawyers will have the lion's share as usually in a court case.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother James Lim, I am reading your weblog for the 1st time and would like to say I enjoy you sharing your thoughts with others. I also want to say that you should not let these city harvest church members discourage you from reading the bible, which I sincerely believe to be truly the word of God. I would like to encourage you to get to know the God of the bible and Jesus Christ, His Son, the Saviour of the world, by reading the bible yourself and forming your own opinion about it. I would say judge what the bible says for itself and do not let anyone or their wrong behaviour, christian or not, be the reason why you believe or do not believe what the bible says. CHC church is a cult because they do not follow & practise what the bible teaches & there are many, many christian cults. Also be warned that the catholic church is also a cult because for e.g. they pray to idols which is forbidden by the bible. That's why you must read the bible for yourself. Many unbelievers would always exclaim..." if this is how christian believers behave, I do not want to be a believer ". In saying this, they have erred because they should have judged and put their faith in what the bible said, rather than the behaviour of christian believers, who are still flesh and blood, and who can still fall into the temptations of the devil. I hope my comment makes sense to you. May God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Firstly the Catholic Church is the church from which all denominations split from. It has its faults and still do but one cannot deny it is the main church where everyone else split from.

Secondly they do not worship idols so please get the facts right. The statues are called Icons or symbols, Catholics do not pray to them.

It would be wise to read more and not just from one source for that is the reason why we have blind followers.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lim, I agree. I'm from Europe and am really astonished that CHC is so popular here in Singapore and that people rather go blind in the face of very obvious realities in the news paper. The west, mainly USA, is a little further down the experience curve when it comes to rebadged Christianity and Christians taking your money. Your gut feeling is absolutely right and they are also flocking in defense (with their money) of this church. I've probably spent more time in a traditional christian church then most of these folks (up until 18/forced) and while it does bring happiness to many people it comes at a great expense, they are brainwashed and weirdoes to communicate and work with. Plus they try to indoctrinate you into their church, it is built into their psychotic but cheap sales model/process.

Anonymous said...

I feel that everyone should stop all this bickering and trying to put christianity down. Neither God nor the Word of God advocates the way CHC had done.Everyone has sinned and yet God forgives. We must let the law takes its course. The truth WILL surface. Yes, I do agree that the main objective of the crossover was side tracked. Just mind your language on this site and be careful of what you expressed.

Anonymous said...

The creator of the universe is not blind & mute. God is Righteous and He will not let those who abused His name go free. Truth will be force out.

I predict someone will commit suicide next year.

Ivando said...

You up there, who used foul language, mind your language. you're the only one here who curse.

Anonymous said...

Watch more DarkMatter2525, VeganAtheist, and The Amazing Atheist. You'll know how to counter their ridiculous questions with logical answers backed up with evidence.

Anonymous said...

to the outside world they think chc is a prosperity church and dont understand why these people still give and give . they think they are the black sheep in the church world .they think sun ho is a whore . but they is always two side to a story , unless you know and understand their story, we will always look like those old aunty that gossip at the wet market.

concerned citizen said...

i agree with you that CHC is abusing God's name to get money - from the rich and the poor.

Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle,

I've just left CHC and in fact I never regret making this decision to leave CHC for these reasons:

- Prosperity Gospel

- Mismanagement of funds & the mismatch of the church's report on how the funds were being misused & the media, which is based on the evidence presented in the court.

- Lack of remorse from the church leaders as Kong Hee's apology in the church service days after the court verdict was released are not genuine.

- All 6 charged appealed for lighter sentence, which I find it absurd because if they are truly repentant, they should accept this punishment as a consequence for their actions as though God forgives them, but yet He wants them to accept their punishment as a consequences for their actions before moving on to walk right with Him.

- Obligating members to give tithes and offerings (as the church tithes and offerings envelope on the front side which looks like a corporate envelope, and on the back of the envelope, there is a form indicating to write your personal particulars and cell group name and cell group leader, and also with the option to pay tithes using credit card payment (which I find it intrusive especially when it is supposed to be privately between you/I and God)

- Crossover project, even if right now they did not proceed with that anymore, but their emphasis on "cultural mandate", which they termed it as, are tied and often they "justified" it as God's mandate over cultural mandate through the means of the crossover project, which I felt contradicted especially when a wife of a senior pastor (Sun Ho), sang secular pop songs and dress scandalously that it is too revealing and stumbles many for her so-called faith in Christ.

- Sun Ho's ordained as reverend pastor in CHC is indeed disturbing to me as well as mentioned in my previous point which has her name tarnished in 2007, and eight years later in 2015 she was being ordained as a reverend pastor is "total absurd" especially when her controversy has not waned due to the 5 year long CHC court trial.

Lastly, I agree with all the previous comments as basically this has to be warned as though CHC currently has 39.2% of Suntec shares, and I felt that members of CHC are still ultimately God's people, just that they are being steered into the wrong direction as they were mislead by their leaders, thanks to this fatal doctrine of prosperity gospel & their emphasis on materialism and status, which is contrary to God's standard of being wholehearted unto Him by fully focus on Him instead of these temporal things on earth, which these people have all failed, and that is that CHC members have failed to understand that their treasures and riches are all stored in heaven, and not on earth.

Anonymous said...

If God has a way to find you out, He will. Anyway that guy is only human,what you expect? Angels...chuckle...impossible, go other churches lah...and if you don't want, not even He can force you because He respects FREEWILL.