It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming to read about what has been dubbed the City Harvest Church trials.
A government minister had said, Its not about the church. It’s about the 6 church leaders. However, the Straits Times(ST) headlines screamed City Harvest Church trials. Not even City Harvest Church leaders’ trials. We live in a digital age and to catch eyeballs we have to have the right titles: the one that people are likely to use when they google for news. Looks like what the minister has separated, the ST have joined together, and so they will be. Anyway, in the minds of many, the trial of the church leaders is the trial of the church. Not only City Harvest Church, but all who worship under the Cross of Christ.
I find it heartbreaking because we are talking about people who went about doing good and with good intentions. These people have mothers and fathers, uncles and cousins. They have spouses and children. They are people who are faithful and loving in their relationships and inspiring to the faith of many. Though imperfect, they have found forgiveness in Jesus Christ and experienced a life transforming change in their lives that they are eager for many to experience as well. Though transformed, they are still flawed. If we had a chance to know them personally, and even to hear about how their lives are like, or how they had impacted others, we would have seen how they are like many good Christians who sit in the pews of our churches, or like the pastors who preach in our pulpits. Except for these issues that the trials will examine. How it will all pan out will be seen in this run of trials and the next run in the first quarter of 2014. How stressful all this must be for all concerned, especially the 6 leaders and their families and the City Harvest Church. Wear their skins for just a day. And don’t say I want Serina Wee’s skin.
That is why I am perturbed that the online buzz is about superficial mudslinging of Ho Yeow Sun and the $$$$ poured into catapulting her into fame for the sake of Christ and winning souls, and the sensationalizing of the looks and the style of Serina Wee. There are even salacious comments that compare the two of them. Haven’t the cyber piranhas had their fill of blood and flesh of these our sisters in Christ? Why don’t they stick to the issues that arise in the trials or think more deeply, perhaps about the church’s underlying philosophy, organizational culture, or theology (or lack of it) that fueled these issues in the first place?
It’s also very heartbreaking to read the expositions of the prosecution.
On the other hand, my heart has been warmed by some audacious show of support by a church. Surprisingly a Presbyterian church – Bethany Presbyterian Church. Now if you know about churches: the Presbyterians and the Pentecostals are as alike in relations as the Samaritans and the Jews(some would reverse the order) in Jesus’ time . They have some points of disagreements in doctrine and practice. Yet this particular church put up a huge sign that read: “Bethany Presbyterian Church is upholding City Harvest Church, Rev Kong Hee & the leaders in prayer”. When I first heard this from one of our church’s leaders, I cried out in disbelief, Cannot be lah! But now that I have googled and seen the photo, I am amazed at this church along Upper Paya Lebar Road. When my website is fully repaired, I will be able to upload the picture. Until then please click HERE. May this church be blessed.
Of course we Christians do not support what is illegal or wrong. The verdict has not been given out yet, and even if these 6 leaders were found to be guilty, can we not still pray for them? Wouldn’t we pray for our loved ones if they had to go to court for something they have been accused of? Those who do not know God think that when Christians pray in such circumstances, they are always praying for miraculous acquittal or a suspension of justice. That may be so. However Jesus taught us to pray, Father, May Your name be glorified and hallowed. May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done. Amen. And this is how we too should pray throughout this trial.