Singapore—Kong Hee, is the founder of one of the biggest churches in Singapore who, along with five other members of the church’s leadership, was found guilty of misappropriation of over $50 million in church funds.
He served two-thirds of his prison sentence and was released last Thursday, August 22. He was the last of his cohorts to be set free, save for the church’s former fund manager Chew Eng Han, whose sentence was extended by 13 months after he attempted to leave Singapore via sampan one day before he was scheduled to go to jail.
Mr Kong has proved to be a polarizing figure, with some saying that justice has been served and that he deserves another chance. Some are encouraging the Christian virtue of forgiveness, whether he deserves it or not.
He received what seemed to be a hero’s welcome from City Harvest Church, where on August 24 Mr Kong spoke for the first time since his release from jail. His entrance was greeted with applause and cheers, although later another of the church’s pastors announced that Mr Kong asked that the congregation refrain from clapping their hands for him.
He announced that he would be taking some time off to spend his time with his wife, son, and elderly parents.
Online, the reception toward Mr Kong’s release from jail and his possible return to ministry has been mixed, with some netizens doubtful that Mr Kong has really changed and if he can be trusted again.
Others disagreed, saying that only God can judge people’s hearts.
Netizen Desmond Aw seems to feel this way, writing, “Let’s not be quick to judge his current state of heart and intentions. For if God is a God of second chance, third, forth, fifth, seventh and seventy-seventh chances, who are we, mere fellow sinners to say otherwise?
Be graceful, be merciful for likewise you may also be shown the same when He comes.”
Another netizen who goes by the name Koffee Koffee believes that Mr Kong should resign from the church he founded.
“If CHC want to continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is advisabled Kong Hee should step down and resign from CHC.
He had fooled many christians and even his church workers.
Yes, he said he is sorry that he hurt many.
Yet he still smiles and laughs at the pulpit.
How we know? We are human as we cannot see his heart really is he repentant or remorsed?
Only God know his motives.” Many believed Kong Hee would never change with spots to spotless.
Don’t forget, he and his wife are still in the money materialistic worldly world.
He come from a rich family. He served God and money worshipper as well. Maybe he is.
As expected, he would receive more bombards from the christians. Hopefully many would forget the saddest shames he had caused.
Now he had to work very hard to convince himself to christians that he is truly repented and seek forgiveness if he is bold enough to say out again.
He had smeared his reputation and thus put shames to his beloved ones.
They knew what he had committed but pretended not to probe about it.
Now is up to Kong Hee to decide for his future.
Nobody can except God.”
Kay Foong seemed to agree with him, and wrote that Mr Kong needs to return the money that had been misappropriated. He had some words for the church members of City Harvest, writing, “If any of you reading this is from # CityHarvestChurch # CityHarvest , then please read these following Bible verses, and unless your Bible is different from mine, otherwise please wake up and stop foolishly funding Kong Hee’s sin. If he is truly sorry, don’t just apologize verbally only, he ought to return all those money and properties to the church fund and both Sun Ho and him must resign from their pastoral position as they’re not trustworthy to be in that role anymore…” and even provided verses from the Bible about money and stealing.
Among these Scriptures are, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24), “Commandment #8:You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15) and “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28)”
Netizen Yvonne Chloe Long did not mince her words. “Kong Hee is an utter disgrace to Christians and Singaporeans.
Mark 8:36 “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
???Daily I remind myself to be honest in my business dealings???So that at night, I can sleep in peace and wake up the next morning with a clear conscience.
GREED corrupts the soul.” -/TISG
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