The CHC Arrest

Looking at the recent arrest of the five leaders from City Harvest Church, one of them being the founder pastor, Kong Hee, I just have to comment a little bit on the incident.

In some sense, this incident reminds me of another incident that happened to the whole Hope movement sometime back in early 2009. While I shall not comment further what happened then, I will say that the incident was similar to what CHC is going through now and involved the top leaders, including the founder of the Hope movement and the president of the movement then. Therefore, as a member of Hope who has been through that period, sat in conferences where the leaders of the movement began to teach and admit to the members how we need to rethink the way we manage our church, I am not totally unsympathetic to what CHC is going through at the moment.

Probably more difficult for CHC members at this current moment is the fact that the incident is so widely reported in the media that everyone has the opportunity to comment about it on Facebook, Twitter and may I say even the walls if people will not be charged with vandalism. Simply put it, not only they are the one who has to undergo a painful time trying to cope with the charges towards their leaders, the whole of Christianity in Singapore is likely to be put under scrutiny of the eyes of the media and the irrational and trigger-friendly critics of everything and anything (which incidentally includes some Christians as well).

One of the common thing I see on Facebook now is that people are quoting John 8:7 in response to the news. As disturbing as it is, the verse makes sense but I think at the end of the day, this only applies to Christians and God-fearers in the first place. Why? Because simply put it, non-believers have no obligation not to throw the proverbial stone even if they believe in sin. For us as the Church (with the capital letter), it is essential for us to realise that by criticising one another and throwing the 'proverbial stone' at one another, we only serve to show the world that we are no different from the world. We show that we are in the world and we are also of the world since we act no different from those of the world. Perhaps as a fellow Christ believer, I am more inclined to quote verses such as Psalm 42:11 to direct people back to the source of our hope. Amidst crisis and negative publicity, we need to remember and be reminded ourselves that God remains in control. Just because we, as His people, are not in control doesn't mean He is not. Remember what the bible says, that the Kingdom has been forcefully advancing and as God builds His church on the rock, the gate of Hades will not prevail against it. This must mean something to His followers for we worship not a God who cannot help or defend Himself.

One last thing I would hope to address. This incident will no doubt draw negative attention from people and I have already heard people saying things about the Christianity as a whole. My question and response is this: would they say the same thing to people from other worldviews if the same thing happens to their religious leaders? If it is their (these people) religious leaders who are involved, will they say things about their own faith the same way they criticise Christianity as a result of this incident? The same question applies to us Christians as well.

Well, enough comments about the incident. The charges are there but not proclaimed guilty yet. I don't think it is right therefore for us to think that the five leaders are guilty.


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