Marrying Joseph Prince with Kong Hee

Two megachurch pastors

Someone who had been listening to messages of both Joseph Prince of New Creation Church and Kong Hee of City Harvest Church (pastors of the two largest churches in Singapore), made an interesting comment to me.

He said, “When I listen to Joseph Prince, I feel confidence and empowered.” “When I listen to Kong Hee, I feel challenged and want to live for the Lord”.

Marry their preaching strengths

The way he said it made me think: we should marry the two of them. Pastor Joseph Prince is Kong Heegreat at preaching the indicatives. He loves exalting who Christ is and what He has accomplished for us through His death and resurrection.  Pastor Kong Hee, on the other hand is great at preaching the imperatives- what believers can do now that they are in Christ. He is an inspiring Joseph Princeand persuasive speaker. You inevitably feel motivated about doing whatever he is exhorting you to do: the will of God. All indicatives and no imperatives give rise to under-challenged, passive Christians; and too much imperatives give rise to over-worked, joyless Christians. If the two strengths can be married in regular pastoral preaching and teaching, it will grow Christians who are steadfast and  joyful  in witness and service.

St Paul’s way

The book of Romans has most of its indicatives in chapters 3-11 and its imperatives in chapters 12-15. St Paul talked about what Christ had accomplished and who we are in Christ, and then went on to show us how then we needed to respond. The pivotal verse was Romans 12: 1,2. “Now that I have talked about the indicatives, here are the imperatives!”(the blogpastor translation). A good balance of indicatives and imperatives informed his letter writing to the churches. This should inform our preaching. The indicatives empower us by inspiring and strengthening our faith, hope and love. The imperatives give direction to our spiritual energies and renewed love.

Wise “one talent” pastors

Even if God may not have given all pastors “five talent” abilities like these two have been given, “one or three talents” pastors can still learn to optimise their effectiveness by preaching the indicatives and imperatives according to the needs of the congregations.

Most churches have been influenced in the past decade to give the people imperatives, or as Martin Luther would call, “Law” messages – what you should do and shouldn’t do as Christians; or moralistic sermons, as others would characterize them. These churches should start preaching more of the indicatives, about what Christ has done for and in us, to redress the imbalance in the past diet.

Great, healthy churches need a wise dosage of indicatives and imperatives.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

86 Comments »

 
  • lyn says:

    In my humble opinion also, the two pastors, Prince and Kong Hee was raised by God to represent the two camps.

    One is God’s service to men (i.e. pure Grace, all of God and none of self)
    and the other one emphasizes men’s service to God.

    The fall of Kong Hee is God’s way of showing the people that the emphasis on our service to Him is NOT the way to go.

    In these last days, the Father wants to show that His Son is the ONLY ONE that has ALL the power and has COMPLETED ALL works.

    SPOTLIGHT on Jesus, ALL Jesus and nothing, no one else.

    Two churches, one of pure Grace and the other is of Works and He’ll tear down our works and from now is PURE GRACE.

    Jump on the bandwagon, everyone!

    All hail JESUS, YOU are our EVERYTHING.

    Amen.

  • Evelyn Oei says:

    I know nothing about theology.
    But one thing I know, with his so called indicative (and indicative only) teaching, Pastor Joseph Prince ministry has transformed a whole lot of people life. People see numerous of good fruits keep coming out of the ABUNDANCE of grace and the gift of righteousness through our Lord Savior Jesus Christ (including mine).
    Good tree is judged by its good fruits,it’s just as simple as that.
    So I don’t think any marriage, or merge, or combo. or whatever change is needed, at all, for JP’s teaching. I believe grace, and grace alone, is more than sufficient for God’s people, because really, God’s way is not our way. What seems to be ‘imperfect’ in man’s eyes, many times turn out to be the perfect way in His. Amen. Praise you Jesus!

  • Dominiclim says:

    1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV
    We remember before our God and Father your work PRODUCED by faith, your labor PROMPTED by love, and your endurance INSPIRED by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    (KJV)Romans 10:17
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Hearing the Word leads to faith and faith leads to works for God, instruction give direction to work, not intended for legalistic purposes but for effective good works)

    (KJV)1 John 4:10
    Herein is love, NOT that we loved God, but that HE loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (True Love is God’s love for us that leads to 1 John 4:19)

    Hope is found in Christ Jesus and His Finished work on the cross, not a finishing work. (John 19:10)

    Our part is to receive the Truth as a whole because there are doctrines in one Truth (Jesus Christ), doctrines leading to assurance, living faith and works / labor produced, prompted and inspired by Jesus Christ.

    Unless one believes wholeheartedly that the entire bible is the true and undeniable Word of God, there is no point arguing when one does not embrace doctrines found in the Truth. Doctrine leads to practicality. Law leads to sin (1 corinthian 15:56)

    1) Abraham believed God and it was credited to Him as righteous.

    2) Abraham’s faith produces work which involves placing Issac on the altar for the sacrifice.

    Question: which one came first?
    Refer to James 2.

    In my opinion, NCC is a church well rooted in the doctrines / knowledge of God. Just one more doctrine to remember for this church would be to encourage and spur one another toward good deeds, not just pastors and leaders but EVERY beloved members of NCC, from the smallest to the greatest, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (Grace and Truth in john 1:17), even your life testimonies leads to the gospel!

    In my opinion, CHC are extremely zealous for the Lord and serve Him ferverently! It would also greatly improve the effectiveness and quality of service to God towards fellow believers and non believers by being abundantly rooted in EVERY doctrine of the Word. (Romans 10:2-3)

    In conclusion, I accept and love both pastors and churches AS LONG AS THEY PREACHED THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, the Jesus that is both servant and king, beauty and majesty, steel and velvet, gentle and powerful. He is all together lovely. Preach no other jesus than the One mentioned in the Word.

    Let me end off with this and may this verse bless all abundantly.
    1 Corinthians 2:2
    For I resolved to know NOTHING among you except Jesus Christ and Him CRUCIFIED.

    Peace and Grace be all yours in abundance in God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.

  • lyn says:

    It’s a matter of EMPHASIS though.

    Isaiah 64:6 says that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags in God’s eyes!

    A friend of mine loves to do good works. But her temper is short and it’s just a matter of time that the ‘recipient’ of her good works know exactly what she thinks of them!

    That is why it is never a good idea to look to ourselves or our good works.

    We ‘zealously’ give and give to a church and when something bad happens to the pastor, many are quick to point out that the church extorts money from the people!

    These are the money that they so willingly give as a means to serve the Lord in the first place! That is why wise pastors who has enough from the Lord don’t take salaries.

    It is really a bad idea to to preach good works and service to the people. One sermon is ok. Every week, every month? Not so much.

    Not when there is so much to preach about subject that brings pleasure to the Father’s heart. His Son! The fulfillment of the law that fills the entire old testament!

    Preach Jesus for He is ‘perfect’ and as Christians we cannot point fingers at Him!

    I do not know CHC or its preaching but from what I read and hear.

    God gave 10 commandments in the beginning. He wanted 100% obedience which His people were never able to keep.

    God gave His Son at the end. Let’s give Him 100% for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

    We can do service to God but this is nothing to shout about. We can only effectively serve Him if we allow Him to serve us first.

    When the people are “ready” (eyes to Him and glory to Him) then He will ’send’ us good works. Some of these ‘assignments’ we reject, some we accept but we are still ‘perfect’ in His eyes through His Son.

    We should neither feel proud or disappointed that we do or don’t do.

    We feel happy that we do and elated God use us but this is all. Our part is minute.

    In the old it was all about us. We failed (big time).

    This time around it is not about us…… at all.

  • Glory Lamb says:

    i have personally met both of them, and also attended their services before, the mood is ‘cultic’ to say the least,& Prince will harp and say so much about his family, “show off” his wife and daughter, whereas Kong will harp of ‘grace giving’ give more till you drop! i have witnessed both harping of thing ain’t that ‘christian’ and while this maybe my view, asking for MONEY (both did!) is a no no thing…by saying that “giving to God (really?)” rather by going to their pockets, this is tantamount to soliciting such like prostitution save the difference is ’skin trade’ with an open arm (at least with respect to their absolute honestly of wanting to making a living), the other as PASTORS are lying through thick skin and hard bone asking his followers to live poorly and give till you drop, or even dead, declaring without “salary” but really, stealing openly without balance and check of such giving like “love offering” & “gift offering” and so forth…Prince is more ‘worthy’ than Kong, Sun have openly denied God and she dance with the devil and i did witness how members of CHC cheated every penny from poor students going to services and cell groups, giving them peer pressure in giving away their pocket monies and asking them to skip meals even if it means being attacked by hunger pang! anyway, GOD or no GOD, is so easy to say that they will be Judge one or some day BUT for now, their glory of living and EXTREMELY luxury living off the giving of people in the name of God is enough to warrant their PRINCE & KING of their domain which stupid giver are asking to be slapped not on just one side of their faces but both, to say idiots, is just under statement…