A few years ago a guy called Todd Bentley was attracting all the attention in Christian circles. He had a show on in America for a while. He was on a “prophetic” trail and all those “prophetic ministry” people went gaga over the excitement Todd Bentley was creating. A preacher in our church was extolling that work and saying what wonderful work God was doing. The dubious nature of his so called healing meetings was ignored, on the basis that he was doing good and the greater good should be upheld and we shouldn’t focus on the little flaws along the way. Those little flaws included his marital issue – he had an affair with a staff member and left his wife to remarry that staff.
At our local church board, I raised the issue of publicly supporting the work of someone like Todd Bentley – I said we should refrain from doing that and should let speakers know we don’t endorse those sorts of activities. I was of course, ignored
Along came Guglielmucci. He who faked cancer to hide his addition to porn. Go figure, but again, we had a preacher in church who defended him and said we shouldn’t believe all the media condemnation of Guglielmucci. I said we shouldn’t be publicly endorsing the likes of Guglielmucci but again I was shot down.
Then there was a Malaysian miraculous healing fellow (William Lau) who sought to peddle his trade in Australia and a couple of people supported that and he was introduced to our church. I went into his website to read about him and found his exegesis of key passages which he used to support the rationale of his ministry, totally bewildering. I asked the leaders of the church to cancel the meeting planned for this guy to preach and said we should understand and uphold what the bible teaches about the gospel and not be side tracked by this sort of snake oil peddlers. I was of course ignored. That nearly got me out of the church. We started planning to transit out and go to another church. We had a plan and was about to execute it but a series of events then took place which made us stay.
A few others in US have since attracted the wrong limelight but when someone like Kong Hee from City Harvest church in Singapore tumbles into the same cesspool, it is a screaming wake up call to all who are involved in church work. Leave your core calling of preaching and teaching the word of God and helping others to know His word and walk closer to Him from there, and turn towards flash sounding ideas, trends, concepts and the like which reflect more of where the world is heading than what the word of God dictates, and you start to head down the paths of the likes of Todd, Mike, Bill and Kong Hee.
- City Harvest Pastor Arrested (theredskweekly.wordpress.com)
- Singapore mega-church founder charged with fraud (mysanantonio.com)
- Singapore church founder arrested in fraud case (kansascity.com)
- 5 arrested for misuse of City Harvest Church building fund (todayonline.com)
- Singapore church founder ‘misused £11.5 million in donations’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- 5 charged with misuse of City Harvest funds, offered S$500,000 bail (todayonline.com)
- Commissioner of Charities suspends 8 members of City Harvest board (todayonline.com)
- Singapore church founder charged (bbc.co.uk)
- Singapore Church Founder Arrested in Fraud Case (abcnews.go.com)
- Pastor Kong Hee Arrested For Fraud In Singapore, Financing Wife Ho Yeow Sun’s Career (planetizen1network.wordpress.com)