The verdict after 7 years of agonizing court case, a week from Good Friday, ended with a half successful appeal for stealing $50 million with the sentence reduced from 8 years to 3 years. Kong Hee never fully repented, never admitted his full guilt but it will be a jail term nevertheless. And his sad countenance tells it all as he left the courthouse. He was really expecting to be let off jail free. The irony is that the vast majority thought the short sentence was just unbelievable.
The China Wine could not conceivably be for church purpose. It was really a cross over, belly dancing to pagan seductive tunes. It was all for personal gain and status of fame and appearance of success, the first class flights, the good living, the luxury apartments, they want the appearance of a rock superstar rising up the dance bill boards, the staged/free concerts and the buy back CD sales. They gave themselves bonuses in the millions. At the same time announcing great success in church of making it by her own talent in Hollywood whilst charging to building fund/moving costs repackaged as bonds in a related party transaction to own company.
The very generous judgement was not unanimous and could be faulted on many grounds being far too lenient. Hence, it was really an Amazing Grace. At the end of his 3 years term would Kong Hee find remorse and go from lawlessness to grace? They still havent really admitted any wrong other than causing pain!
It is easy to criticise the decision for the case is a well planned criminal cover up intent not just a technicality and the third party benefits so obvious yet unsaid. But this lingering doubt of injustice will weaken the church position as they battle against gays and called for stiff 2 year terms against gays for their only crime of love. Hence, the injustice against gays will be further magnified by the very light sentence.
Not all the church would have supported the Cross Over if they had known it was supported by the building fund, a fact repeatedly denied. In the last 7 years, the attendance of 28k seemed to have dropped to well below 10k with only two services at Suntec.
They lied about the funding and the success not to protect the church but to protect themselves from condemnation and accusation of failure in the marketplace. There is no repentance, no pleading of guilt even after being caught red handed because they didn’t understand grace. They lied so vehemently to the point of Bible bashing other ministries and threatening to sue whistle blowers. They were ultimately protecting Sun Ho and not the church nor her congregation.
At the end, Kong Hee is a good man like all of us fallen in many ways. He was tempted far more than most of us with unchecked power and money at his disposal. They couldn’t lose face and admit failure in their market place theology. He should come to a place of grace not only to confess for the pain and disappointment he had caused to his members, but also to acknowledge his sin of deep deceit and misuse of church funds for fame and glory rooted in pride.
When asked by friends, i was deeply saddened by the fact that Kong Hee had to go jail. He had also pulled the rest like Pastor Tan in. It was all so unnecessary and meaningless in the end, the Cross Over. For if we are salt and light, the world would surely come to our communion table. This is indeed a deep tragedy.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
And He delights in his way
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down,
For the Lord upholds him with His hand
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