26 June 2012

Singapore Pastor Kong Hee Arrested for Alleged Misuse of Church Funds

Agence France-Presse reports:
The founder of one of Singapore's richest churches was arrested Tuesday on allegations of misusing at least $18 million in donations from his congregation of more than 30,000, police said.
Pastor Kong Hee and four senior executives of the City Harvest Church -- a Christian group registered as a charity -- were arrested by the Commercial Affairs Department, a police unit set up to fight financial crime.
Officials said they were suspected of diverting at least Sg$23 million earmarked for charitable projects and spent money on a bid by the pastor's wife, Ho Yeow Sun, to launch an evangelical music career in the United States.
The church, which has affiliates in neighboring Malaysia and other countries, is famous for services that resemble pop concerts.
"It's confirmed that five persons were arrested and Kong Hee is one of them," a police spokesman told AFP.
(Source)
Apparently this investigation has been ongoing since 2010, and the above article concludes by noting:
The five will be charged in court on Wednesday and if convicted, each of them could face life imprisonment as well as a fine. (Source)
Kong Hee has been mentioned previously here before, most recently due to his appearance as a speaker at the Presence 2012 conference in Sydney, Australia, hosted by Phil Pringle of C3 Church. Hee is the founder and pastor of City Harvest Church, whose website notes,
In 2002, Kong received a personal revelation on engaging society fully. He brought the Cultural Mandate teachings all over Asia and the world. To live out the principles of what he preaches, he personally withdrew himself from CHC's staff payroll in 1 November 2005 and started his own business.
Today, he is highly sought after by churches and corporations around the world to speak in their congregation and conferences. Known for his style of candor and wit, his messages carry pertinence and strong conviction.
(Source
Hee was joined at Presence 2012 by such men as Steven Furtick and John Bevere. In fact, it was at this conference that Steven Furtick claimed that he had received direct revelation from God.


Not long before Presence 2012 took place, Kong Hee also appeared alongside prominent Word Faith pastors Brian Houston and T.D. Jakes at the  Vision 2012 Spiritual Life Conference, hosted by pastor Casey and his wife, pastrix Wendy Treat of Christian Faith Center.

It would seem, then, that Kong Hee tends to run with a prosperity gospel preaching crowd. But then, little else may be expected of someone who has preached a message entitled, "Nine Reasons Why Jesus Was Not Poor."


Presumably, then, it is the effects of this type of abuse of Scripture that has led to this investigation and subsequent arrest.


Regarding this situation, City Harvest Church has released the following statement on its website:
Source

Perhaps God will use this situation to bring Kong Hee to repentance and true faith in Christ. As believers, we can most certainly pray for such an outcome.


Further Reading
Interview with [Phil] Pringle Offers Insight Into His Relationship with Kong Hee (C3 Church Watch)
T.D. Jakes Joins Fellow Word Faith-ers at Vision 2012
Steven Furtick and the Presence 2012 Conference
Steven Furtick Twists Scripture, Claims to Hear from God at Presence 2012

1 comment:

  1. Pastor Kong Hee was not the only "Word Faith/Prosperity Preacher" arrested in June. Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International was arrested for beating up his 15 year old daughter. He also is being investigated for fraudulent use of the church's money. Another example of why this "prosperity gospel" message does not bring humility and thus the gospel message is defiled.

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