“[…] the price of putting through my church through this trial, through putting all my co-accused, my friends, through all these painful times, there are moments where I do a lot of soul-searching, your Honour, but I knew that we were not disobedient to the heavenly vision given by God to us.”
Source: Kong Hee, City Harvest Trial: Maniam: Kong Drew From The Strategy Of Nehemiah For The Crossover, City News, http://www.citynews.sg/2014/08/city-harvest-trial-maniam-kong-drew-from-the-strategy-of-nehemiah-for-the-crossover/, Updated on August 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm. (Accessed 17/09/2014.)
We hope that the judge considered that statement made by Kong Hee in court earlier this year. The above statement is something worth discussing in light of AR Bernard’s manipulative sermon on the 21st September, 2013. Read part 1 here:
In part 1, we exposed how AR Bernard twisted every scripture to silence CHC leaders and members from questioning or meeting with him. This article will be examining another manipulative dimension to his sermon. That is, how he keeps playing a different Kong Hee ‘card’ to manipulate people.
In this article we will show you how AR Bernard falsely portrayed Kong in two ways to CHC members:
1. That Kong Hee is prone as a human to make mistakes.
2. That Kong Hee is infallible, authoritative and should not be questioned.
As you can see already, the two roles of Kong Hee completely oppose each other. To fuse diametrically opposing views through emotional means is a form of brainwashing. And that is exactly what Bernard was doing to CHC members.
In an attempt to control the damage at CHC with the ongoing trial, both Kong Hee and AR Bernard were using Christian ethics against Christians. But in so doing, tou will say they make God out to be a liar and pervert the gospel in the process.
KONG HEE’S FACADE: PRONE TO MAKE MISTAKES
To begin with, the stunt that Kong Hee and AR Bernard pulled was heavily orchestrated to manipulate people’s feelings into believing that Kong Hee was not only innocent but also just a sinner in need of a saviour. Many cults use this card to justify the sins of the leader. (A good example of this was the Michael Gugglimucci scandal in Hillsong.)
Using this façade, a gospel-lite presentation was given to hide Kong’s more heinous crimes was against God himself and His church – that being his pride, false teachings, false prophetic visions and the totalitarian-like leadership over his church.
Question 1 – The “weakness” card
For instance, when AR Bernard asked, “Would you say that there were some areas of weakness in leadership, and the decision-making that you made, over time”, Kong’s response was “yes”.
What’s wrong with that question? Everyone would give the same response as Kong Hee. This question proves nothing but to deceitfully convince people that Kong is above board with his integrity in leadership. However, unlike Kong Hee, pastors don’t:
1. parade false doctorates around as though they are legitimate
2. pastors don’t plagiarise books or sermons
3. pastors don’t lie about God and His Word.
4. Pastors don’t usually lie to people publicly about their giving.
5. Pastors (and their wives) don’t usually live the high life at the congregations expense.
6. Pastors don’t usually allow their wives to gyrate half naked on music video clips in the name of Jesus.
7. Abuse, ridicule or condemn pastors, Christians or churches for speaking out against your half-naked gyrating wife and her immorality.
But if Christian pastors were caught behaving like Kong Hee- what do you think those CHRISTIAN pastors would do before their congregation? Depending on the nature of the crime before God, the church and the general public, they would publicly recant, repent or step down from ministry. Not so with Kong Hee.
Lastly, wouldn’t it have been helpful if the questions and answers weren’t so vague?
Question 2 – the “being human” card
The line of questioning took a peculiar turn when Bernard asked Kong, “So you’re not pretending to be innocent of being human”.
What kind of question is that? It is worth observing the unbiblical language. If these were Christian pastors, they would be tackling the issue of sin head on. Not Kong Hee and AR Bernard. Kong Hee is just “innocent” of “being human”.
Can you see the deceit they are sowing? Biblically speaking, is “being human” an appropriate justification how “innocent” Kong Hee is? The answer is no. Murder is something that humans do. Adulterers, liars and pedophiles can use this same card as well to justify their innocence. This is not a card Kong Hee and AR Bernard should be appealing too. Why are they appealing to this standard to members in CHC when the standard should be the Word of God?
As you can see, they are appealing to people’s humanity to manipulate their emotions. We do not know how Kong Hee and AR Bernard presented themselves that night. However, it would not surprise us if they dressed down in homely clothes, looking like dads with their families. In any case, Kong Hee is clearly being paraded by A.R Bernard as a lowly human being. Kong’s soft response is simply a guise to his audience to look as though he is a genuine lowly man.
Their authoritarian image has been replaced with this “being human” card. Bernard would not dare present Word of Faith jargon in this setting. Imagine him asking Kong Hee, “So you don’t pretend to always be the head when you are more often than not the tail?”
In this setting – they were very careful not to use the language of their own fraudulent Word of Faith theology.
Question 3 – the “genuine” card
Furthermore it is deceitful for Bernard to then lead with the question, “You’re not pretending to be innocent of making mistakes and unwise judgments along the way as all leaders [points to himself] do”. (Bernards gesture to himself is important here.)
The entire premise is false. Kong Hee and AR Bernard are not genuine Christian leaders. As Jesus points out about false teachers, they are children of the devil and they speak their satanic father’s native language (John 8:44).
This has been the case with A.R. Bernard and Kong Hee since the beginning with their false cultural mandate teaching. They can’t help but twist God’s Word and pervert God and His gospel and ministry for their own lawless, selfish purposes. And the result of them not being accountable from the beginning is WHY these false teachers are behaving the way they are now in this meeting.
Right now they are fulfilling Jesus’ observation of false teachers:
“Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!” Matt 23:24
The camels in the room that are not being addressed are the lies that Kong Hee told his congregation about the Cross over project. Kong Hee and A.R. Bernard are only diverting people’s attention to focus on the insignificant gnats in Kong Hee’s life. They are deliberately trying to make it look as though Kong Hee only has been a gnat swallower and never a camel swallower.
For Bernard to include himself with Kong only further sanitises the idea that it is alright for Kong Hee to behave the way he has. Essentially, Kong Hee lies in his response. He is pretending with Bernard to “be innocent of making mistakes and unwise judgments along the way as all leaders”.
Do you honestly think that genuine church leaders would like to be associated with the conduct of Kong Hee and A.R. Bernard? Do you know genuine church leaders who have ever downplayed their public sins in such a way that they don’t have to repent and encourage people to hurry up and move on?
As the evidence suggests in courts, everything has been orchestrated articulately to further Kong Hee’s wife’s music career. And as we have pointed out, Kong Hee has maliciously duped his congregation and the general public with his plagiarised books, blogs and sermons. These aren’t gnatty mistakes. They are bold camel-swallowing decisions.
Question 4 – the “responsibility” card
This is where the dialogue gets really ugly. Bernard asks if Kong Hee worked those mistakes out in his relationship with the Lord.
For decades, Kong Hee has preached the false prosperity gospel. Kong Hee has even said publicly that he and Phil Pringle preach a gospel contrary to the ‘save me’ gospel AND mocked Christians who hold to the gospel of salvation. Furthermore, Kong Hee mocked Christianity and labeled gospel-centered Christianity ‘shallow Christianity’.
He flat out refuses to preach the biblical gospel and instead insists that the Jesus of the bible is materially rich and wants to make Christians materially rich. But now when he seeks to escape his own congregation for judging him, he appeals to a more biblical gospel and hides his sin behind it without repenting. (It makes us wonder if he does indeed know the gospel but refuses to preach it.)
This is absolutely evil. He’s caught publicly using a more biblical gospel to hide his sins and still not repent of them. And AR Bernard and Kong Hee constructed this deceitful gimmick to convince people that Kong Hee is simply a flawed human being? You couldn’t get more deceitful and ungodly.
It’s true – the gospel keeps you accountable. However, Kong Hee is using this gospel to give the allusion he is accountable, when in matter of fact, if he was – he would not be currently in court over serious financial mismanagement allegations.
KONG HEE’S REAL FACE: THE VISIONARY
In establishing the above, we also need to look at how AR Bernard used control to shut everyone else up and prevent people looking further into the allegations made against Kong Hee. How did he do it? What did he appeal to? The authority of scriptures?
No he didn’t. He twisted those and used scriptures against scripture. (See Part 1.)
Did he appeal to his own authority? No. Instead A.R. Bernard appealed to Kong Hee’s own divine authority.
Let us explore how this was done.
THE NEXT CARD TRICK UP THEIR SLEEVE
As we stated above, A.R. Bernard had to give the impression that Kong Hee was a “non-perfect”, humble, human leader. He appealed to people’s emotions. When we have seen scandals break out in other churches like Hillsong and C3, this is the number one card we see played. That is , the false humility card.
If we sidestep the false humility act Kong Hee and AR Bernard pulled on the CHC congregation and look at what was said around it, you will see some rather disturbing comments made by Bernard:
THE SAVIOUR KONG CARD
“And um [Kong] made a special arrangement for us to sit down and talk about ministry and concepts of theology and cosmology that could be applied to City Harvest Church. And here you are! All these years later. Absolutely amazing what God has done.”
It is comments like this that make mega-churches so cult-like. Basically, thanks to Kong Hee’s “special arrangement” one day, people are saved by all the planning of Kong Hee.
Most churches would not dare take this type of credit. Why? Because Christian churches have always relied on being obedient to God by simply preaching His Word to see people saved. Not so with Kong.
According to Kong Hee, God’s good news is not enough. Kong Hee has gotten something else other than the gospel: the God-given cultural mandate. This was apparently enough for him to build CHC – “And here you are! All these years later”. God is only amazing because of what Kong Hee has done to bring people into his CHC “kingdom of God”. You can see how Bernard is blurring the lines between Jesus and Kong Hee. As Christians, we can only water and plant but God does the growing. Why is this “growing” being attributed to Kong Hee?
By playing this card, A.R. Bernard is silently telling people that they should simply be thankful for Kong Hee’s mighty hand and outstretched arm.
THE KING KONG CARD
“Scripture is very clear on how issues are supposed to be dealt with in the house of God. And there is an honour and a respect that should come for the leadership who is anointed by God. And even David understood this. In spite of the conflict that he had with Saul, he understood that the man, Saul, was anointed king and he had to respect that and let God take His course in dealing with whatever issues are present.”
It is important to understand that a pastor is NOT a king. In the Old Testament, people were anointed by oil into the office of King. In the New Testament, those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour are anointed by God to be apart of his church. As New Testament believers we are made a royal priesthood. CHC, like most other mega-church set-ups treat the system as though they are monarchies. That is – the king has a direct line to God and none can question Kong Hee’s authority and decision making.
Biblically, it is the pastor that is to submit to his sheep. However in CHC, the sheep are being told to submit to their anointed king.
By playing this card, they cannot question or speak against God’s Anointed unrepentant king, Kong Hee.
THE GOD KONG CARD
“You are in a very, very – I’d like to say interesting, but – but you’re in a very interesting place. Because God did not raise up City Harvest Church or bring you this far to leave you.”
Think about what is being said here. If you leave City Harvest Church, what are you leaving? Something God has raised up. But what A.R. Bernard says is more than that. “God did not … bring you this far to leave you.”
Consider that statement. Why would God leave you? Doesn’t God Himself promise to the believer that if they believe in the gospel, He will never leave them or forsake them?
But we’ve already established who raised up City Harvest Church: Kong Hee.
By playing this card, Bernard is reigning in people to see Kong Hee in an infallible light.
FROM GOD CARD TO PROPHET CARD
“He has a reason, a purpose for your existence, and He raised up an individual, infused that individual with a vision; they became the visionary, and of course, they became the fuel, the energy behind the vision.”
The above quote is the very reason why we wanted to write this article. What A.R. Bernard is pushing is totalitarianism. Hillsong’s prophet Brian Houston does this. C3’s prophet Phil Pringle does this. All cults do this. You cannot question Joseph Smith. You cannot question Jim Jones. You cannot question Muhammad. You cannot question Ellen G. White. You cannot question the Pope. Why? Because they are all oracles sent from God.
Hear what A.R. Bernard is actually saying about Kong Hee.
1. God raised up a “visionary”
2. Kong Hee “became the visionary”.
3. This vision (Cultural Mandate) is from God.
4. You cannot question the visionary’s vision or else you are questioning God.
5. The “reason” and the “purpose for your existence” in God is to submit to Kong Hee and his vision.
5. To speak against Kong Hee is to speak against “the fuel, the energy behind the vision”.
To understand the dangers of visionary talk in the church, you need to understand the philsophies of fascism and how this has crept into the church.
You must not question or cause dissent. You must submit and bring unity in CHC or else. The great Kong has spoken.
What this audio exposed were the brilliant minds of deception at work. This crafty duo played their cards brilliantly. They duped the congregation emotionally by first playing false humility cards, appealing to Kong Hee’s sinful nature. Then they bound CHC members under Kong Hee’s iron fist. What was the result?
Kong Hee refusing to repent.
Why should CHC members now listen to anyone outside of their movement? They have their God-given visionary. They know their place. Who are they to challenge the camel-swallowing god of Kong Hee?