Why do we speak up?
"With the unfolding of accusations and charges made pinpointing Pastor Kong Hee and 4 other church management staffs in the breach of trust issue, critics have been thundering. Many mocked at the ignorance of the church members; others expressed their disapprovals of charitable organizations holding on to huge sum of funds. Social media was quickly flooded with the negative judgments and condemnation following the release of the news.
The usual stance from the church is to remain silent and keep mum about the situation, no matter how awful the critiques may be. 2 years ago, when the news broke, critics were unmercifully putting down the church. But, there was minimal retaliation. However, it is vastly contrasted to the recent incident. Within hours, Singapore Twitter was trending #IBelieveInCHCCrossover, #MyChurchMyLife, #mytrustisnotbreached. Many church members openly declare their support and trust in the church management. Hundreds and thousands expressed their unwavering certainty. Another group set up a Facebook group “Testimonies from the Hearts of City Harvest Members”, a platform, which the church members share, their personal experience with the church. Unlike the silence 2 years ago, there is an uproar and declaration of support for the church leaders. Question is: Why do we speak up?
The primary reason got to be because we love. Love, a concept so far-fetched in our society. How many people can relate to this concept anymore? Our society has become one that is so pragmatic. Our actions and words are often motivated by our self-interest. The questions we ask ourselves are usually: What do I stand to gain from this? Why should I waste my precious time and money on this?
How often have our actions and words been a result of our love? Rarely, I dare say. Even in our relationships with our parents and our spouses are many times diluted to one that is pragmatic and calculative. We choose to love certain people because we stand to gain the most out of that relationship. Yet, in City Harvest Church, I know it’s different. Why do we speak up? Because we love. We love our church leaders. We love our church. It is not that we are brainwashed as many critics suggested. It is a love and bond that has been developed over time that we share. City Harvest Church is our spiritual family. And unlike the broken families that are common in our society, our spiritual family will back each other up in times of crisis. We do not abandon our loved ones when they are in dire situations; we do not brushed off our familial ties just because the other members are in an awkward position. The greater the crisis is, the stronger you will see our bond. Because we love.
Maybe it is difficult to comprehend, yet, if you experience this for yourself, you will understand. I am deeply touched by the numerous stories of transformation that are shared on the Facebook group. Because the church leaders have showered us with love and so much patience, they are the ones who accepted us as who we are when no one else wanted to be associated with us. They are the ones who groomed us to be where we are right now. If you have experienced this for yourself, you will understand why we speak up. It is an unselfish love that we have received, the church leaders did not love us because they stand to gain something from us (money you may say, but no), the time and love they invested into our lives is not one that can be put a price to.
Pastor Kong is one of the busiest men I’ve ever known. In one week, he can be in 3 different cities of the world, yet, his busyness did not hinder him from loving people. Just one phone call, and you will see Pastor Kong rushing down to the hospitals to visit the sick and pray for them. On stage, he is a charismatic pastor. But down the stage, he is a warmth and loving father figure to all of us. He is just so full of compassion and love. To us, he is a superman. No matter how tired he is, he still put us first because he genuinely cares.
Sun is our spiritual mother. For a woman, it is never easy to live apart from her family. Yet, because of the Crossover Project, Sun has to live in LA while Pastor Kong resides in Singapore. And why does she have to do so? Because she is living out the vision that the church has, that is to use popular culture to influence the world and win the lost. Having to take care of a young kid all by herself without her husband in a foreign land for the vision of the church, Sun is our role model. Maybe you don’t agree with this vision, but who is to judge to numerous orphanages and schools built because of Sun’s effort? Who is to judge the humanitarian works in Haiti, Japan and China that saved the lives of many?
We have seen how they sacrifice their money, time and love, even much more than what we can give. These are our church leaders who have given so much for our sake. Hence, we defend and speak up for them. It's time for us to speak up, we want to tell the world that our leaders are not cheats and they are our family."