The Mother Ship writes,
Even things got kind of awkward between Kong Hee & a fellow relatively charismatic pastor
Do not lump all Christians as one and the same because they also have their irreconcilable differences.
What’s a sign that things are bound to go pear-shaped one fine day for at least one party?
When things can even get awkward between two pastors supposedly practising the same religion.
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong, from Cornerstone Community Church, has weighed in on the City Harvest Church trial verdict and his past association with Kong Hee via a post on his church’s website on Oct. 23, 2015.
A little background before we get to what he wrote: Both City Harvest Church and Cornerstone Community Church share the same roots — Marine Parade Christian Centre (MPCC).
Before City Harvest Church became City Harvest Church, it was a group filled with young people called Ekklesia led by Kong Hee in 1988.
Pastor Yang led his own group that was called Anastasis, which branched out in 1989, and which later became Bedok Christian Centre that fell under the umbrella of the Anglican Church in Singapore in 1990.
Subsequently, Bedok Christian Centre became Cornerstone Community Church in 1994, but later on in 1995, attained status as an independent Pentecostal church.
Now that we’ve gotten all that background out of the way, all you have to know is that in the 1980s, Kong Hee was Pastor Yang’s protege at one point in time and they were close friends.
Hence, with this background in mind, this post Pastor Yang wrote on his church website commenting on City Harvest Church and Kong Hee will then make more sense:
This week has been a shocking one for all of us. The long running legal battle over the misuse of City Harvest Church funds resulted in all the six key CHC staff accused being convicted of multimillion dollar fraud on Wednesday. The presiding judge ruled that the six had acted dishonestly and were involved in conspiracies to misuse church building funds for the Crossover Project, a church mission to evangelise through the music of the Senior Pastor’s wife, Sun Ho. And something interesting he said, “It has thus been wisely said that the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light, and if they choose not to come into the light, they do so for fear that their deeds will be exposed, as they surely will in time.” Wow. The mammoth trial has captured the attention of the nation and elsewhere, and the verdict has left many wounded, hurting and searching for answers.
I remember when the judge had ruled that Pastor Kong Hee and the rest of his associates were guilty of all the charges leveled against them, like everyone, I had a variety of emotions. The first was grief and sadness. I felt grief welled up inside me. I grieved for Kong and how in one broad stroke, he has lost everything he worked so hard for, his whole life. He didn’t take heed to the proverb that says a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Prov 22:1). It would be later that my grief extended to the many of the people who had left the faith, backslid, stumbled, or who had been so disillusioned by the whole fiasco. The whole episode has brought incredible reproach to the Lord and the distortion it gives concerning God’s heart and ways. It’s given many people an opportunity to profane the Name of the Lord.
In bringing this out to the open, I did wonder if the waters were too muddied or if emotions too high, if I weighed into the discussion. It will be a risk I take, but it’s one I feel should be taken because of my past connections with Kong. Dutch Sheets said that fathers, when given the voice to do so, bear the responsibility of giving correction and wisdom. I hope mine qualifies for the latter.
My association with Pastor Kong Hee goes all the way back to the early 80’s. I was a student in the university and he was still a student in Raffles Institution. He got saved as a student and started attending Marine Parade Christian Centre (MPCC), a church where I had been attending with my family for sometime. Soon after, we became connected and we became close friends. I remember he started coming to my house to study, riding his bicycle, and I must say we got along extremely well. Even at a young age, he was ambitious, highly-driven and very charismatic. It wasn’t long later that I was made the youth leader in the church and he became my assistant. We clicked very well and together, we dreamed of many things. The youth ministry began to flourish under our leadership and soon we had hundreds of youths attending the meetings. Our pastor had recommended that we multiplied the congregation and split it to start three churches – one under me, one under Kong and one under an elder of the church, but that didn’t materialise.
Through the years, a few things started happening and it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for the both of us. We had very different worldview, styles and personality, and to prevent any sort of split, we made a decision to multiply the youth ministry, one under Kong and one under me. Kong called his group Ekklesia, which later became known as City Harvest Church. My group was named Anastasis, which means resurrection, and it eventually formed into Bedok Christian Centre (BCC), a daughter church of MPCC. It was in 1995 that we stepped out of the Anglican Church to become an independent congregation and Cornerstone was launched. City Harvest Church had a 2-year head start. They came out of MPCC to start Ekklesia in 1988 and we started BCC in 1990. Kong and I had very little interaction during those years. We did meet every now and then, but the relationship never really went back to what it was in our younger days.
Fast forward, 2003. The Crossover Project. There’s a prophetic element to all this which I’ll share in more detail over our weekend services.
Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong
23 October 2015
If you were at the weekend service and want to share what Pastor Yang said, feel free to write to us.
Or else, we’ll just camp out at Cornerstone Community Church’s website when this week’s service’s sermon getsuploaded on iTunes.
Source: By Belmont Lay, Even things got kind of awkward between Kong Hee & a fellow relatively charismatic pastor, MotherShip.sg, http://mothership.sg/2015/10/even-things-got-kind-of-awkward-between-kong-hee-a-fellow-relatively-charismatic-pastor/, Published 25/10/2015. (Accessed 16/11/2015.)