Of God and Wealth
You constantly preach to your congregation about the importance of giving money to God. That somehow their value to God is determined by the amount of money that they donate to the church. But instead of donating it to the needy or using it for ministry work, oh wait, he did use it for ministry work, only that it involves dressing up his wife sexily for the sake of "bringing people to Christ", but going back to the story, despite asking his congregation to give as much as possible to God, Kong Hee ended up living in Sentosa Cove penthouse.
I don't know what he says about where he gets his money from, but as a full time church leader who is not supposed to be earning anything other than relying on the donations from the church, owning a few million dollars home is suspicious indeed. Even though he does have channel to earn that much amount of money, what message are you conveying when you yourself are living in a luxurious lifestyle? In addition to that, has anyone ever seen proof of him donating to the church before for the sake of ministry?
|a church pastor living in a place like this... righttt|
Then again, if people want to willingly donate money to him, I'm still fine with that, because after all, I'm no one to judge who wants to be stupid. But likening his struggle to Christ's? So that him and City Harvest Church can be the ministry "God wants it to be"? That he needs to go through it in order to bring a "change to our generation"?
The only ministry and change that he can bring through this incident is showing how dangerous religious can be sometimes. Or showing an example of the false prophets in the end times look like as cautioned in the bible. Well he's not entirely wrong though in that matter.
|"I will be the change", the one that shows the ugly side of Christianity|
Just to put in the nail in the coffin before people start defending him. I'll just use hims comparison of himself with Jesus. While it was never mentioned in the Bible that Jesus never lived in poverty, it was never mentioned that he lived in wealth either. Everywhere he went, he had to stay in other people's houses and depend on their kindness to continue his ministry. The same could be said for all the apostles such as Paul and Peter. They didn't own a single house. Everywhere they preached, they had to rely on staying in believers home.
On the other hand, the pharisees are the ones gave off the impression of more wealth as compared to Jesus. They controlled the synagogues, staying put in one place, and because of their relationship with the Romans, they are more likely to hold position of power and may be a little wealthier than the average Israelite. I have no direct confirmation of this but from readings around the internet, the pharisees are undoubtedly a group that would advocate seeking wealth. In Luke for example, it was written that, "The Pharisees who were lovers of money heard all these things and they derided Him.”(Luke 16:14)
So in comparison in today's world, who would be closer to Jesus? A pastor who lives in a normal HDB flat or one who lives in a multi million dollars home?
|rich or poor?|
And as the final final nail, Jesus specifically warned about seeking wealth itself and the dangers of being rich. I don't need to specifically quote the bible because the internet is aplenty with them and I would say that it is okay to be rich, but if you're merely believing in Jesus in the hopes of him making you rich, isn't that like making him a tool in order to fulfill your own needs?
A lot of CHC members argue that Jesus would want his flock to be well to do, but do not forget of what he said to the rich man about the rich having a harder time to enter heaven and stuff. This whole idea of giving more to earn more, like an investment or "Prosperity Gospel", is a dangerous notion. While Jesus did mention about giving your wealth away, I think He did so hoping that we would live based on His provisions alone, not that we would earn more by giving more.
But that's my attack on Kong Hee's message itself, the notion of prosperity gospel. If you want to read up more on this, you could just do a quick search on the internet about the dangers of prosperity gospel. A lot of better qualified people have written extensively on the topic which gives a much better explanation than me. But just to get started, here's one at Guardian.
|have you ever seen a rich saint?|
If you know what the indulgence is during the medieval times, where you can pay to have your sins cleansed, prosperity gospel comes quite close to it.
This blog post was made in reply to Kong Hee's latest sermon where he claimed that God said "I'm so sorry" to him for having him undergo his latest trials. Video can be found in Youtube.