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"Pastor" Kong Hee Found Guilty of Defrauding His Sheep of 50 Million Dollars

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"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. - Matthew 6: 24 (ESV)

Perhaps the story went under-reported because it occurred on the other side of the globe. The longest trial in the history of Singapore ended this week with a guilty verdict on all counts against mega-church pastor, Kong Hee. The disgraced pastor is now facing as much as life in prison. Before you think that too harsh realize what it is that he has done. The offense to the body of Christ alone, let alone the secular world who clearly understands better than many Christians. Kong Hee was a regular preacher of the prosperity gospel. I recently heard an old sermon of his where he gave nine absurdly heretical reasons why Jesus was actually a very wealthy man. He was an abusive tithing preacher. Singapore is ranked the second worst country for income inequality yet that never stopped Mr. Hee from fleecing his flock. His church, City Harvest boasts in excess of 17,000 attendees each week. According to the Bible Mr. Hee had responsibilities as a pastor over these people:

shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. - 1Peter 5: 2-4 (ESV)

But Kong Hee did not want the unfading crown of glory. He wanted the fading crown of material wealth that is pursued and passed off as acceptable Christian doctrine in this country for far too long now. As the key verse says, you cannot serve two masters and make no mistake beloved. Kong Hee and his American counterparts adhere to this Scripture. They have to because God said it. By choosing to serve mammon, they by default do not serve God. I am not even sure they know God because the beginning, the mere starting point of wisdom itself, is a healthy fear of the Lord. It is clear that Kong Hee had no such fear. He took the money given to the church by the sheep of the Lord and he stole it. Not just nickels and dimes either. He defrauded the sheep God entrusted to him of 50 million dollars. What did he do with so much money? He used it to buy a secular singing career for his wife, Ho Yeow Sun. It was revealed during the trial that 24 million dollars of church monies was used to finance her music career and another 26 million was used to cover it up. Yes you read that right. That is 50 million dollars misused. Then we wonder why the world mocks the notion of Christianity. Not only because of charlatans like Kong Hee but because Christians do not unite to protect the sheep and the good name of Jesus and instead issue statements such as this, before the even verdict came in:

When you're building the Church, you're never going to be found without a fight. Our job as fellow believers is to stand with each other when we are facing trouble. At the end of the day, it's easy to stand for Jesus, but it's more challenging to stand for one of his servants when they are facing difficulty. In this coming week, our good friend Pastor Kong Hee (Senior Pastor of City Harvest Church, Singapore) is going to be standing in a courtroom and a verdict will be passed on him after a 5 year long trial -- the longest trial in Singapore's history. I know Pastor Kong Hee to be an honest, true and faithful minister of Christ. He has also been extraordinarily effective in raising up one of the truly great churches (CHC) in the world, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to Christ. Jesus has told us this kind of advancement would not go uncontested. We must be prepared to be immovable, strong and faithful to Christ through all the challenges we face in building His Church. Ultimately, it is the Courts job to arrive at a verdict. But we are praying for victory. There is a sentiment against believers, but the devil has always got it wrong. He thinks if he attacks the church it's going to die, he even tried it with Jesus, but He just came up out of the ground again. I believe we have a victorious Christ ruling over His house, His Church and His Kingdom. - Pastor Phil Pringle

Phil Pringle is an internationally known mega church pastor from Australia who is opening churches across the globe. According to this blog post from Pringle he was not praying for the truth but for "victory" in the court proceedings. Furthermore, he likens the entire thing to a work of the devil coming against the "advancement" of the church. What utter nonsense. Where is the concern for the sheep? Where is the concern for the defrauded? Pringle however saved his most absurd comments for after the verdict:

"So, in the light of all these events, we remain filled with faith, that the promises of God are not deactivated by negative circumstances. All of us have made mistakes. We can be thankful to God that He continues to work with us through grace despite our shortcomings"The Bible says, don't revile people who revile us, but bless those who curse us. And leave any negative response in the hands of God. Our calling is to love, to love those who hate us. We shouldn't try to engage those who have only negative things to say--if we can't say anything constructive, we should be silent"The church is more together and more resilient than you think it is. It survives any kind of persecution. The worst kind is when Christians fight against each other, when ministers criticize each other. It's the worst kind because it's confusing for the younger believers."

Notice the code-speak beloved. Negative circumstances and we all have made mistakes. Anything to avoid the obvious. These are not negative circumstances Pastor Pringle. Kong Hee did not make mistakes. He willfully sinned against the very sheep God entrusted to him. It is not "negative" to say that Kong Hee needs to desperately repent. It is not "hate" to side with the defrauded sheep who lost 50 million dollars of their money to prop up their pastor's wife's failing music career. If we cannot say anything constructive we should be silent? What Scripture is that imperative found in? Oh that's right, none. How about this one:

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. - Titus 1: 9 (ESV)

The glaring problem in Christianity today is that too many are silent in the face of sin such as this. Too many ascribe to the Pringle Doctrine instead of this command from the Bible. If you are a minister of the Gospel and you refuse to rebuke the Kong Hee's of the world then you are in violation of Scripture, period. The church is not being persecuted because someone is trying to hold Kong Hee accountable. It should be embarrassing to us that the world had to police us where we refused to. I am not "fighting against other Christians." I am speaking the truth. Kong Hee was a charlatan and like the Bible says, God brought to light what he spent 26 million dollars of the sheep's money to try and cover up. The fact that he stole another 24 million to finance his wife's secular music career.

Christians everywhere should be appalled at the actions of Kong Hee and the immense betrayal of the sheep of the Lord. They should be appalled that people like Phil Pringle care more about money than they do God and His people. Appalled but not surprised. As the key verse teaches us, we can only serve one master. Kong Hee made his choice 50 million dollars ago. Phil Pringle has now publicly sided with the same master. We need to make sure that we stand with the real Master.

Rev. Anthony.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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