9 Reasons Why City Harvest Church Was the Devil To Me

I’ll probably receive some flak from City Harvest people – but through my years I’ve learnt that all they know is to spout out loud their blinded ‘opinions’.

People: They’re not opinions if you were brainwashed into it; that just makes it an influence over a weak mind.

I dare say this.
Why? Because I was one of them.

It was quite a number of years back, when I was still in secondary school. To be honest, I didn’t grow up in a happy home and endless hopes of getting out of my abyss was just part of my daily routine. While there were others who asked me to join their ‘gangs’, I didn’t want my daddy to look down from Heaven and be disappointed that he didn’t live long enough to love & protect me.

Soon enough I was invited to City Harvest Church and was quite intrigued by their style of worship. At that time, Charismatic churches weren’t very well-known in Singapore. So when songs had strong beats, fast rhythms and people grooving to them – it all seemed really new.

And deep down I wanted to believe that maybe, just maybe… They were the family that I lost. Oh, how stupid I was.

It wasn’t too long before the whole hype of their music tuned down a little and other ugly things started to sprout.

Disclaimer: Whatever I share here is entirely my own experiences and from my perspective, which can be limited. So if you experienced anything otherwise or feel that I’m spouting nonsense – you’re welcome to leave. Thank you.

First, I’ll start with offerings.
Quite a norm of the church, yes? So unlike the typical church that lets you put in the money into the little pouches and pass it on – they make you put the money into envelopes, then you put it into the pouches.

I didn’t think too much about it at first, but slowly I began to question – “Why was there this need?” Honestly it just didn’t make sense to spend money printing envelopes with the logos, etc. And the manpower spent inserting those envelopes to every newsletter (granted free labour, anyway).

Then one day I thought to myself, “It just seems like they want to obligate you to give. You were given a wrapping for a present; so therefore you feel you ought to give the present. It is also a way to monitor how much an average person gives during service. So why is there this obligation when it’s supposed to be freewill?”

So the next service, I tried something out – I didn’t give an offering. Oh, badass! 😀

Then my mentor (everyone is assigned one) looked at me when I just passed the pouch over, asking me why didn’t I give an offering. I said I have no more money left for the week, so can’t give anymore. After which, she gave a very disapproving glare.

After service at fellowship (dinner), the cell group leader requested to speak to me. He said he was informed that I didn’t give an offering because I had no more money left. Then he told me it was my duty to put aside money for God every week, it was to show God my love and sincerity in worshipping Him. 

HAHAHA! Okay, I’m sorry. Right now I’m just laughing at how pathetic it sounds. But he really did say that! And at that age, I actually thought I did something gravely wrong to God. I failed to realise that it was between me & God.

The following week onwards, they monitored if I gave offerings closely. Even with the friendly reminder before service started.

Second, tithings.
Somewhere in the bible it says something about giving God 10% of your fortune or harvest… Truthfully quite vague about this. I just know the 10%.

So then every month, you’re supposed to give 10% of your salary/allowance to the church – on top of offerings.

“Whatever you have, actually belongs to God. Even your money. But God is so magnanimous that He only wants 10% of it.” Remember those words crystal clear.

So like I said, I didn’t grow up in a happy home. Sometimes my remaining parent would not give me money or take what little savings I had – sometimes I had no money to even eat. Therefore giving away 10% was asking a lot of me.

And on those envelopes that give you for offerings are forms as well. There you will fill up your name, cell group number, contact number and amount you are giving for your tithe.

Yes, they monitor your tithings.

So quite a few times my cell group leader said he was notified that I didn’t give my tithing for this month, or my tithing seemed significantly lesser than usual.

Again – I bought into it and felt like I could do better for God. I failed to realise I wasn’t chasing God; I was stupidly chasing their approval for God knows what reason.

Third, pledging monies.
Everyone should know more or less that the church has building funds. I was there when they just moved to the church in Jurong, near NTU. It was entirely brand new, nice facilities with obviously pricey construction. “Nothing but the best for God,” they said.

Then before I knew it, they had new ideas to build a stadium of some sort. Citing the rapid growth of church members as a reason. There was about a 20 to 30 minute speech on how we should contribute to building the house of God.

Nice words, eh? House of God. So of course I’d want to help! Pledge money that I rely on getting occasionally from concerned relatives? Sure!

What an idiot I was.

And the best part was that they even set a benchmark of how much they encouraged each church member to give. If I remember correctly, it was about $200 a month.

My mentor even sat down with me to plan out how I can somehow give $200 every month – on top of 10% tithing and very compulsory offering… to build the house of God.

Then I started to think, “Am I just here to give them free money; buying the illusion of a family that I crave for?”

Fourth, God the investment banker.
Every time before offering, we were told this – if you give to God, God will give you back 10 times.

So even if you do not have much money, just give what little you have… And somehow God will multiply it and give it back to you.

They preached that God wants all of us to be rich. And also that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. So therefore – to show your sincere love to God, you must give him your money.

I tried asking what if my treasure isn’t money? Then they said, “The bible meant money.”

Fifth, bringing in new people.
Every week we are expected to always bring in new people to service. ALWAYS expected to.

They even presented charts of who brought in new people and who didn’t. Those who didn’t were mildly humiliated, of course.

But it was really difficult and rather ironic. When I had too many close friends outside church, they were unhappy and told me that it was ungodly influence. I should surround myself with spiritual people.

Oh, but still must have a good enough relationship with these non-spiritual people to convince them to come to a religious event.

There was this time my mentor called another cell group member and myself to her house. There, she sat us both down and made us call each and every person on our handphone contact list – asking them to come to church. ‘No’ is not an answer.

If they were sick, we’d give a mask. If they were not free, plan the following weekend or the next. If they were not willing, ask why until they couldn’t give a legit reason.

I don’t know how many people I pissed off, how many friends I lost that day… but I know that month my phone bill was really high. 😦 And those people I called became even more guarded against anything to do with Christianity.

When we didn’t manage to get people, she scolded us. When I said this isn’t the right thing to do, she said I was being selfish and not sharing salvation. When my cell group member managed to get someone, they both said I didn’t care about this hard enough.

Then I asked, “What’s the point of bringing in people who are unwilling? Won’t this just shut their hearts to God even more when you force them like this?”

Needless to say, I was rebuked for not having child-like faith.

Sixth, accountability.
Basically what happened here was my mentor was to be kept informed of my whereabouts at all times.

After school, what I was doing… Who I’m hanging out with… It was a tad invasive.

And I wasn’t allowed to meet boys. Other church members in the school were to tell immediately if any of us did something the church won’t approve of.

I was in a girls’ school, but somehow I still got to know boys through friends or sometimes the Internet. However I wasn’t allowed to go out with boys because they do not approve of it. And according to them, I cannot start dating till I turned 21.

And when I asked the cell group leader, “Then why did you start dating your girlfriend at 16?” I was rebuked and told not to question my leader.

There was once I met this boy after school for a movie, it was supposed to be with another girl but she had to go home. So it was just the both of us. A cell group member in school saw and immediately informed our mentor, of which I quickly got a phone call to ask me what in the world I was doing.

Next service, I was rebuked again and I actually felt guilty for it even though I knew clearly he and I were just good friends.

I tried reasoning with my mentor that it didn’t start out this way, that the other girl was suddenly called to go home.

“Oh what a coincidence. How do I know that you’re speaking the truth? You always had boys, so maybe this was your way to go on a date. If it really wasn’t a date, you would’ve left when the other girl left as well. You don’t respect yourself.”

Seventh, buying Sun Ho’s albums.
Ah, everyone’s favourite.

So our pastor’s wife wanted to enter the music industry to preach the Word of God. Using songs to lead the people honestly didn’t sound like a bad idea.

Then it got to her albums. Every single person in church had to have her album. It was compulsory, really. If you didn’t have her album, then you don’t love your church family. And back then we still used portable CD players. Everyone was supposed to have the CD in their bags.

It seemed quite ridiculous to me at this point. Especially when they pushed us to buy several albums at service. Yes, several copies of the exact same album. Why? To give Sun Ho the support to spread the Word of God.

Everyone had to buy at least 3 to 5 albums. Cell group members collected money from the members to buy the albums. And told them to give the albums to other people to spread the Word.

Slowly, the number of albums each church member had to buy was increasing. Pastors and cell group leaders kept on pushing and pressurising everyone to buy the albums. It got to a point whereby another cell group member actually sold his car in order to buy more albums.

Eighth, Sun Ho’s crossovers.
True to her word, she did go overseas and preached the gospel through her concerts. She would sing some songs, share her testimony and call on people to receive Jesus as their one true saviour.

Every now and then we were shown numbers of souls she saved – tens of thousands at a time.

Then I asked, “Do these people have a church to go to, to continue building their relationship with God?”

“Not sure. We already shared the Word with them. It’s up to them now.”

“But without a spiritually supportive environment it’s easy to lose faith. Won’t they then be condemned to hell for knowing the Word but not believing in it?”

Yup. Got rebuked again.

Ninth, outcasting.
Back then there was a man (yes, Mr Roland Poon) who told the public about the church forcing members to buy Sun Ho’s albums, of which he was fiercely dealt with in church. His cell group leader and mentor rebuked him to no end, his cell group members ostracised him.

Of which then he was pressured to give a public apology to the church and was definitely treated differently. And to give due credit, Kong Hee did announce in service to forgive and accept him back.

However this social outcasting happened to me when I started asking questions. I started mentally calculating how much money the church was making (10% tithe + offerings of $2 at a conservative amount of per pax), it gave me a rather high number. After thinking through it all, I realised every month the church should have a bit of money left after operational costs. Then why did they constantly ask for money all the time?  So how much were they paying the pastors? What else are they spending on? Shouldn’t the leftover money be put into the church’s own building fund, instead of asking for more from the people? Wasn’t the money given to God, for God’s people?

They also showed how well Sun Ho was doing overseas – claiming she was popular in Taiwan and America. Showing us hit charts where she was #1. To me, if she was so popular… Then why did the church make everyone buy about 9-12 albums each to support her? So with the help of the Internet, I went to look around. Only to find that every weekend I was buying into a scam. I chatted up some Americans on IRC and asked about Sun Ho, where 100% response I got was along the lines of, “Who the f**k is that?”

They said the money goes to God. Fantastic. So tell me, do you actually give the money to God? I’m sure our Earthly money means to nothing to Him, who is in Heaven. So if you don’t actually give the money to God… What on Earth do you spend on that you deem worthy enough to be ‘God’?

It was just downright ludicrous.

If they did things the public disapproved of, they’ll say that Jesus also faced this and they need to move on. The devil was fighting against them. Resistance meant they were doing the right thing.

If they did things the public approved of, they’ll shout Hallelujah and how they are bringing God to the world.

In full honesty, they did very good marketing right there. They brainwashed the people into believing every single thing they did, no matter what other facts might state. The people in the church aren’t the bad guys – they were just steered the wrong direction.

To me, I saw the devil doing an excellent job there. I saw so many people leave and strongly shutting their hearts away from the very idea of God. And I saw how those people in church don’t worship God; they worship Kong Hee and the prosperity gospel they’re fed.

Feeling frustrated and powerless, I left and prayed, “God, if You do exist – please save these people.”

I’m thankful for the strength Mr Roland Poon found to stand up for what he believes in, despite all the opposing forces. And I’m glad that at least there’s a little justice out there.

9 Reasons Why City Harvest Church Was the Devil to Me
Photo Credit: Channel NewsAsia

XOXO, G.

543 thoughts on “9 Reasons Why City Harvest Church Was the Devil To Me”

  1. I am not sure why some need to suggest you to continue to other church..not considering trauma associated with it..

    I have noticed this thing related with charismatic church for quite long time ago..was already against church as my brother try to force me to attend it. when my friend asked me to come to church,i follow them to take a look.. they also talk about how god will give you 100 ,1000,million times of the money you gave..
    i noticed this kind of thing happens alot with the religions that require you to believe.
    not to say that it do not happen on other religions..people like to manipulate other, using religion is probably the best and easiest tool possible..

    anyway,if you still interested with religion, probably take step back and understand about religion…and maybe you can find the one suitable for you.. understand is the key…

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      1. I think really the house of God need money to continue preaching His word and and evangelizing people around the world. And continouse saving souls ,For me what is the I gave because I love God ,because whatever belongs to God is for Him. Bible only ask us a 10% from our money. I had experienced that every time I gave He blessed me more because I believed Him. Open your mind and don’t doubt. God bless you go back to worship God.

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      2. Christianity is NOT a religon,personally for those Born Again it is an Experience with the Living GOD!!!!!!!!!
        For formality sake when people ask what u believe or what religon are you, we say “Christian”

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  2. Only trust yourself. Question whichever faith possible until you are confident. Only when the answers to the questions come fully reflective to your values and heart, then you fully embrace it. No person is denied of the right to question his/her own faith.

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  3. Hi Gera,
    Came across your post and I’m a Christian myself, so I feel for the people trapped in this unhealthy environment. I find it saddening to know that different churches have different blibical doctrines but I hope that your heart isn’t turned away from Christianity.
    Do try another church, find one that you feel teaches from the Bible, with minimal digressions from the Scripture.
    Hope all is well at your side too xx

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  4. Thank you for standing up and bravely speak out.

    I am a Malaysian and have went to CHKL for a few times. I am a ChristIan. Honestly, in my opinion, I felt CHC does not glorify God at all. The people there glorify themselves indirectly. Yes, their buildings are all very on point. Architecture on point. They have Christmas plays and all. Amazing sound system and dramas. As a Christian, I did not get any clear message after the plays, how would non Christians who got invited there get the message of God?
    I’ve always learn from church that everything you do in church, is just to glorify God. Nothing else. CHC seems to have rock concerts with LED screens and VERY HIPSTER pastors and leaders.
    Every time Imy invited to go for CHC’s events, I feel so insecure. Not sure the members in Sg, people don’t just dress well for God, they actually really dress up like it’s a competition. Don’t get me wrong, no problem if you dress very well. But,sigh, I can’t explain this unless you have been to CHC in subang .
    My nonChristian friends actually told me they don’t think CHC is even a church. Its more like a HIPSTER club! Honestly, CHC changes people lifestyle to hippy than just seeking more for God.
    Recently they have an event called Euphoria, very big event. CHC has these very cool temporary tattoos. Everyone had it on their arms and face. This, doesn’t God disagree tattoos? Aren’t they encouraging teens to have permanent tattoos when they grow up?

    It is very sad to see how people misuse the name of church and God.
    If i am not mistaken or if I did not read wrongly from thw STAR newspaper,two years back, they had an event called Man Hunt and a beauty contest. The entire two paged STAR newspapers was filled with long passages and attractive pictures. But not a line that say anything about Christianity and not even saying it is a church organizEd event.
    Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not too sure on the tattoos actually… But it sounds pretty similar to what we have in SG. It’s quite sad that people are worshipping the wrong thing. It’s like idolizing.

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  5. Hey Gera,
    I hardly read on blogs, and I never knew about you. I happen to read across yours from the straits times and spent some time to read through. Well, if these were my experiences, I would also have left or changed another cell group leader or mentor.

    But I do observe, my experiences are also the reasons why I stayed – and were quite different from yours. Please feel free to read as it does not have anything against you. It offers my perspective on your predicament.

    #1 offering
    – Nothing wrong with envelope if it was for the corporate way to account for various types of giving (mission, sponsor, offering, tithe, donations to CHCSA).
    It never occurred to my own cgs members or my leaders since I joined in Hollywood threate days until now, that we are forced to give. I think this has to do with your mentor and leaders you have been brought up in. Why does not the whole church preach this way of forcing? Even pastors don’t do that, they would not ever approve these leaders to force in any way. This has not been the way the church allow to work until now. (Later I would say if he or she is accountable for his or her actions in these areas to their leaders, it would have been re-addressed appropriately).
    -You know you are right, offering is between you and God, and it has always been this way.

    #2 Tithing
    -Giving does not equate to holiness. That’s being too legalistic. Our church in the past used to be very legalistic until they started preaching the dangers of legalism and antinomianism. (Sorry for the bombardistic words). It’s not easy being a cg leader as various aspects of them are being molded and shaped and discipled. But they must be aware of the spiritual maturity levels of each of their members instead of being presumptuous what they know and impose on the members. They are there to guide, not force.
    -it is true that the earth and all the resources we have comes from God. The breathe, and your growth and success too. While there’s a good difference n receiving an open heaven when you tithe faithfully, it should only be between you and God. The church and cg leaders exist to lead, guide, educate and challenge their people to tithe, not to force. Even my cgl and ZS don’t do such things. Your mentor has been too controlling instead of allowing you to trust God more.
    -is he/she still in church? Because he or she must have realized the difference and the appropriate way.

    #3 Pledging monies/ Building fund
    Your mentor should be sitting down with you to see if the amount you plan to pledge is realistic for you and out of faith (which means giving your best arrangement while trusting in God, instead of giving an amount you cannot fulfill or manage throughout the pledging months).
    -they always say and emphasized “different amounts, but equal sacrifices”. Why Jesus commended the widow when the rich put in their riches in the temple? Because of the widow’s attitude for God, even though hers is two mites. Your giving has never been in vain if they were given to God. Not for pastor or so and so for their pocket use. In spite of all that happened, as the judge See Kee Oon himself said, no monies proceeds went in to any of the accused for their personal gain at any point. He narrowed down that was not the point of contention. The church leadership has not taken any past donations like yours for granted.
    Why?
    -this Church is still a House of God. Maybe you are badly offended by these leaders who are volunteers, although they were sincere then, that there was no resolve and reconciliation or redress. No leaders who are sincere are ever perfect at any point of their lives. Yet, like a family at home, there need to be a reconciliation from both parties. I assume your mentor must have been someone who’s not very sensitive enough. Regardless of how many leaders live imperfectly in early generations, we got to seek God for answer. While the leaders give counsel, it’s God who gives the ultimate answer. The word of God is sound, and his presence is still real in our midst, as the church keeps growing into His image. “What would Jesus do?” There’s nothing glorious about being cg leaders, all glory should still go up to Him.
    -because of your giving and ours, we all could have a central location as church, with more facilities for the people visiting and attending. You can still see the fruits, the testimonies despite of some of our leaders’ predicament. This church still belongs for God and His work among people.

    The charity works (these are just some examples)

    #4 God, the investment banker?
    Money is a precious commodity. What the verse “where your treasure is” means where your money really goes into, is also where your heart goes into.”
    It does not equate that you must give 100% as tithe and offering. Nothing in the bible imposed on you. The bible says when your financial priorities are for God, as a steward for Him, God will allow His faithful stewards to receive and acquire more and manages more of His blessings, and to meet their needs.
    -besides your time, it’s true that you show your love for God through giving unto Him. Giving is an attitude of the heart. You will realized loving someone naturally compels you to give, no matter how much sacrifice you have to make, you would still give. That person is an investment you made for your future.

    #5 bringing in new people
    OMG… Not only your mentor did not exemplify Jesus would to His disciples, she is too hard on you. That could be the reason why her friends might reject her invitation to church right? You never read Jesus being like this hard on His disciples right? This is too much according to what you say..
    As I said earlier, leaders need to be accountable to their leaders (ZS, pastors) to realized their fault and insensitivity. My cgl often encourages us to call our friends on our own as she would. And it should never to the point we bomb our bills or being unfriendly or insensitive to our friends.
    -friends sometimes are not open immediately and we don’t need to ask them why.nif we are close to them, we know there are other things on their mind we can offer help as friends.
    -you will often become the persons who influences you the most, and mostly are the people you hang it with. I think you might agree on that, but not to the controlling environment. Even I can’t live with that.
    As you are becoming a Christian, you need to realise there are difference in values between you and non-Christian friends have. Yet, your faith is not just about bringing them to church…. Or religious event.. Your faith then is to help them and love them the way Jesus would and sat with them,if you believed Christ’s testimony in your life. This has been the way my past cgls and our svcs preachers have taught us until now.

    #6 accountability
    Your mentor was overboard, overbearing according to what you say. Too much man-made rules which even the bible did not record them as the way. Living a Christian life, you would realized is often the attitudes and motives of the heart. Yet with the most sincere and pure heart, one needs to know how to adept with the government’s policies and so on. It’s not easy. It will always be a journey and God will also reward those who live to the end – the finishing line.
    -you can do anything that is amoral with a clear conscience of your heart, while being accountable. If you have done something wrong before, it would be natural that your leaders are there to protect you and their members with whatever they know how. If boys feel attracted to you in a wrong way, you got to admit that is a problem. If you know it’s not the appropriate season of your time, you must learn to exercise measures for your own good. It does not mean 21 is the age to date… Unless that’s what your parents decided for you and told your mentor too. Otherwise, there’s nothing to be scolded for unless you broke the promise or that you lived under a very controlling environment.

    #7 buying albums of Sun?
    Not everyone I know bought the albums. My cg friend who is still in my cg did not get one of these at that time too. Your mentor must have been hard on you. For me I only bought one album of each to listen and share. There’s no need to buy up to 3-5 albums unless you are sure you can afford and that your friends will be blessed by it.
    -if that cg member sold his car, there could be other various reasons of “why he sold” so he conveniently sold and bought that much of albums (???) or partial amount to bless his family and friends. This one needs more clarity actually. Is he that rich?

    #8 Sun’s crossover
    The people whom Sun reached out to was not just a single effort by our church. In numerous places. Our church collaborated with the churches in overseas to host the events, so that these people can find their needs met, requests prayed for, and various needs to be ministered. Although it’s not easy, if the churches work together, it can be possible.
    -your concern is right and a valid one, but the mentor you have did not wisely answered your concern…

    Yet if you have time, do watch these videos and links,
    These people wouldn’t go out of their way to shame themselves, as they too have been integrated into the church they worked with, and being a testimony despite what happened in the court trial..
    http://ent.sina.com.cn/y/p/2007-03-19/10071483516.html

    It felt nobody understood how these famous entertainers and celebrities feel going to church. Until Sun came into her life..and ministers to her, we may not know all the people Sun has touched privately
    Sun Ho & celebrity DJ Rosita Chu are the best of friends … since her debut pop album in 2002!  耀珊和藝人好朋友朱衛茵……她們的友誼就從她2002發行首張流行專輯開始!

    #9 Outcasting?
    I have not seen Roland Pooh before. I don’t know his character or behavior or his cgl’s. Our church as a whole encourages us to support and give a platform for us to support the crossover vision in this way, not to the extent of forcing or even threatening. What he or you experienced, might be an individual experience with certain leaders and volunteers. His concerns need not escalate into a news complain if his leaders did not do anything wrong. He could choose whether to apologize or not. It was then the auditor Foong Faw Ching announced that no monies from building fund has been used for the sales of Sun Ho’s albums, that result in his apology. It was then the auditor advised this response to avoid misunderstanding. The church always publishes their annual report, monies given to God for His work and on His people.

    -the billboard success: the Amercians may not all know this new Asian singer as Sun’s crossover project was not entirely for U.S. only. But it allowed a doorway gospel into China, and able to build schools and resources for the children out of the royalties she earned.

    -the devil, the attacks, doing the right thing and so on, are spiritual perspectives, since that time there were little evidence in the news to show the misappropriation of monies. The prosecution finally points to the monies from the crossover project should technically draw from the church’s general fund instead of the building fund, even though no monies was lost but a profit was made back to the church. The church saw it as part of the investment to find a new suitable worship location instead of the expensive rentals in Expo. The church lawyers argued that since crossover project has been the church’s objective since 2001/2002, the transaction should by right deemed as legal transaction, obviously nothing sinister. The judge has no issue with the church operations, except borrowing down to it as wrong use of building fund in his perspective. As the result of this trial, the church faced a lot of opposition, many of the social work groups have their funds cut because of this. It is indeed one way devil uses these experiences to discourage a church to serve God’s purposes in the world, or to keep trusting Him. Simple technical issue can be escalated to a nationwide news. If it’s any one of our family members in their shoes, it is very discouraging to be laughed at, being God’s stewards. Yet like all the man of God who are shamed, ultimately God judges and is faithful to those who do not trust in their own riches or abilities. The accused leaders made a stand not because they are perfect and well-versed with every law, but because they did not have a sinister or criminal mind to do a loss for their church and family. Their reputation is critical enough to make an appeal.
    -whether Pst Kong, Pst Tan and the four others can remain pastors or staffs in this church or not, we will allow God to continue to mold His leaders and prune this church for His Kingdom and glory forever.

    Thank God for your prayers, since there might be some who has the same difficult experiences as you had. You have come a long way and God has not abandoned you. I might have left too if all my leaders and church pastors are like your mentor. It is saddening to hear leaders and volunteers being legalistic like that. But the most important thing for you is to really seek God in these circumstances, be it in the past and now, via your devotion time now and then. What does God really says to you matters to you, in all the experiences He allowed you to go through is not in vain or for negative results. No bad experiences God can’t use to shape and make you a better and careful person.
    Maybe you ask how can you still believe in God or church? Because you have come a long way, I see God does not abandon you while you’re still here. He can still speak in your life if you allow Him.

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      1. @Gera: thanks. Well, regardless of what happened, I will pray for you and whomever have been offended. Christ is the One that matters, and if it’s what keeps the church together, He can keep anyone.

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    1. Alvin, after reading your comments I wish to briefly restate what i wrote in a previous reply. As a former member of a cult here in Singapore, I have seen first-hand how members are recruited and manipulated. Members who have a strong will are given different treatment as compared with more vulnerable members who are easier to manipulate. Perhaps your strong will has put you in the favourable position that you are not easily manipulated into purchasing many Sun Ho music CDs. In the cult I was in, one member was convinced that she should sell her house and ‘invest’ the profit into the ‘business’. She was a single mother going through difficult times, so she was very easy to manipulate. Unlike many other members of that cult, she was fortunate to escape before she became a bankrupt. For those who stayed on, life savings were lost, and when the whole scam eventually fell apart, many had to pick up the pieces and start from scratch. Surprisingly, a handful to this day continue here in Singapore and in Australia, with the same scam/system, just a different company name. That was a valuable lesson for me, and I remain grateful that my inner critical voice and common sense finally got me out of there before I was also financially ruined. I also remain astonished that such practices take place in Singapore, but the more research I did into the phenomena, the more it became clear that this is a global problem.

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      1. Hi nemesisthree, whoever you are, I think the cult which you mentioned you’re a part of earlier does not refer to CHC. Our church leaders, most are volunteers, with different personalities yet imperfect. But they don’t just lead people, they serve them the best they know how. In our church, we rather people give willingly than being manipulated or give grudging. That’s why they say if you give, “give with a big wide smile”, because bible says God loves a cheerful giver. Even in human gifts receiving aspects, you would not want to receive a gift from someone who is forced or gave you grudging, right? Hence such practices you mentioned is not from God. We don’t lay down burdens on others which even Jesus did not lay down. But it’s amazing when people gave willingly, like the Macedonian church Paul spoke of, even though they did not have much, have supplied the needs in time. So you got to be wise in knowing where to give/ sow. See the fruits of the ministry or the organization that you plan to give to. If you are a Christian, you first need to understand the biblical economics of sowing and reaping, which applies to every aspect of life.

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  6. Dear Gera,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I begun to notice that many churches has implemented 10% extraction from salary and forcing people to donate money in the past. I walked away from cell group leaders who forced me to bring in friends every week. I made my peace with Jesus recently and realized that Jesus is always with me. I believe that Asian people in general are very vulnerable for approval and it is not uncommon phenomena. It was unethical that the cell group leaders was not a real leader and they are actually real bullies in disguise. Thank you again for sharing your post.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dear Gera
    I hav to say, at such a young age u are a braveheart and so discerning.
    I am formerly from chkl
    I felt some similarity to u as i dispised some of the things they do.
    1) 15 mins to talk about giving.
    2) kong hee and kevin dyed hair
    3)unfriendly people around the church.
    4) Go hollywood to spread massage.
    1)A true church does not talk money because God will fund the church
    2) Dying hair to serve God is madness. If u want to serve, u have to gave up the world. If u want the world, serve the world and go hollywood.
    3)If u see nice people u are in the right0place.
    4)when they talk hollywood, clear sign it is a cult.
    philchin

    Liked by 3 people

  8. hello gera! (your name reminds me of a geranium. hahaha ok offtopic)

    wanted to say I’ve read both your original “9 reasons” post when my friends shared it & consequently, the follow up “what have you done” one, where you listed other “extra features” that CHC had in them.

    some background, I am a Christian young adult (probably around your age? started working a couple of yrs ago) who comes from a relatively small & conservative church (? I would think so, cos we’re not charismatic) .. which probably shapes the views I’m gonna share. I’ve also never been to CHC, (that I can recall) so most of what I know of it is what I have heard from friends who’ve left, blogs like yours, comments left on your blog/social media pages ..

    I’m not sure why/how CHC led you to see that offerings/tithings are not the same(!?!), cos growing up I always was taught they were. I grew up believing that a tithe is 10% of what you have, which you give to God as a token of gratitude for what He has given you. So .. yeah when I put money into the bag I consider myself having tithed for the week’s offering collection.

    giving offerings in church – the church I currently attend DOES allow for GIRO giving for offering, although it is highly discouraged actually. Haha. So I don’t know why they have it, perhaps for those living/studying abroad & wish to continue giving even though they are not physically present for service, maybe/I think?!

    But they’ve explained to us before, that putting money into the bag (the old school kind that looks like a net with the metal handle :p) is preferred bcos it honours the commandment to give in secret (Matthew 6:4 – I believe it means that what we give to God is between us & Him alone) .. presumably cos GIRO will show who gave how much ..

    Speaking of offering – haha half the time the bag comes around I’m either looking out for it to make sure I don’t miss/I pass it in the right direction/glancing through church bulletin/counting attendance if I am on duty – I’m definitely not smiling at the offering bag lolololol. I think the verse means giving willingly & not under compulsion, not abt smiling at the money. So .. yeah, I find that ridiculous too.

    On supporting church projects – my church has a sponsorship thing as part of mission work, but they’ve never explicitly asked anyone to contribute, nor stated a specific amount haha. Like they do state the required cost but it’s perfectly okay to say you can’t afford & give whatever you can. They do put a note in the bulletin encouraging those who haven’t participated to do so, but don’t pressure & are very much willing to work things out 🙂 In fact that’s what I did, I told them I am keen but can only afford $xxx. They allowed the total sum to split multiple ways to allow me to contribute within my means .. yay.

    Of course I’m not saying that my church is model & perfect – the pastors often remind us that church hurts, because what else happens when a group of broken people come together? they hurt each other over & over again. but I’m thankful that in spite of their brokenness & mine, & all our imperfections – they take the effort to love the church community all the same. I’m thankful for a church who continually reminds me of the gospel every week, that it is Jesus & His finished work on the Cross that saves, not my tithing/money/clothes .. on that note I really don’t think the money I give to God goes to Heaven, hahahaha unless Heaven also must bring money to pay ERP :p (ok not that funny stoppit self …) But well, then it goes into gospel work & evangelism, to bring the gospel into the neighbourhood & to the countries abroad, that people may come to hear of Jesus & His gospel too!

    Lastly, felt that regarding what you said abt “must bring new people to church every week” … haha oh man if that were true I’d have been kicked out long ago. We shouldn’t have to use such things as a measurement/turn it into a requirement/obligation, & what my church emphasizes instead is to be a welcoming church family. So it’s completely okay if you haven’t managed to invite friends for special/evangelistic events, but we are still encouraged to attend, to get to know the friends our friends have brought. After all, when new guests know more familiar faces they’re more inclined to return 🙂

    In short –

    – Nope I don’t think what CHC did was correct & I’m glad you could recognise that & speak up
    – not every church is like CHC so if your heart is still inclined to believe that the God of the Bible is real, find a church that can help you restore your faith
    – taking time away to heal is okay, it really is. I’ve kept away from church for awhile when I was younger (before my current church) too, & there’s bound to be naysayers but I think the hurt is real & keeping a distance for breathing space until you’re readier, is completely okay.

    Jiayou xx

    In His love & mine,

    Dee ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Gera,

    thank you for speaking up. I am glad I made the correct decision of not joining CHC that many many years ago. The CHC affair have just reminded the logical thing that “Religion exists to serve people, people do not exist to serve religion. – quoted from Daisaku Ikeda”

    Allow me to give myself an introduction and my brushings with CHC. I am not of Christian faith but a Buddhist since young. Though I excel in Buddhist history but never had true faith in it (don’t believe in mumbo jumbos). I’m a logical person, show me proof. The only thing I do believe in, is Karma (Make logical sense… I plant apple seeds, I get apple trees. Never orange trees). That was when a close primary school friend introduced me to try our CHC. CHC then was at it’s infant state and it is still in Paya Lebar. The first service was a total culture shock for me… Dance… Music… Testimonials… For the next four months, I attended the services and the cell group meetings as a guest… I felt free(er) and happier but something does not feels right… like why donations must put in envelopes and cell group leader will ask how much is given… Like you Gera, I also found out, the leaders don’t like smart alecks that ask questions (I asked the earlier two things I don’t felt right). Slowly from sweet talking to convince me to join became bad mouthing Buddhism and finally THREATEN me (all within four months).

    The last meeting was the ultimatum. Cell group leader (an a few other guys) blocked me from leaving unless I accept God in my heart. What can a poly student do verses 5 other guys. That is when I faked my acceptance and also break off with CHC. The minute I exit the door, “I said screw you.” The next few months I refused to listen to their calls until their calls had become nuisance and my parents have to change their house phone number (we don’t have mobiles back then, at best is pager). Unfortunately… a few more months later, I had to call the cell group leader to ask for my primary school friend’s new phone number (to inform her of primary school gathering, no other intention), but the cell group leader said my friend don’t need such an “unspiritual” friend and hung me up. Till now, I still have no make re-contact with her.

    A few more years later, I was unfortunate enough to bump into a group of CHC youths asking passerby outside Bukit Merah public library to join. Like hard selling… (it was still allowed then but no longer allowed now). I was engaged in the dialogue with one of the boys and it slowly became heated up as he kept bad mouthing other religion. I end up being punched in the face when I said “That is why I hate CHC (for bad mouthing other religions)”. A fight broke out between the boy and me, only pulled apart by other CHC youths and members of public. I can only count the lucky stars that police was not brought in (thus, no record).

    I cut off all interest with CHC. I don’t want to know and care what they do or what they want. I always make clear with new CHC people I bumped into (be it friends/colleagues/classmates…) never to talk to me about CHC, Till now, is still the same. Unfortunately, news these days keep popping up CHC news, like being forced to know.

    After being punched in the face, I had wondered before, what type of leaders does CHC have. Seem like I got the answer on 21st November 2015. Fallible ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Gera, I’ve no idea how I stumbled upon this post. And my apologies for digging this old post up, just felt like it to add some things.

    I’m currently a member of CHC, and has been for slightly more than 8 years, and from your experiences, I reckon you joined way earlier compared to me. However, I think there is still some similar experiences common between you and I. I would like to first mention that this post would be a mix of sharing experiences, my perspectives and also to “correct” certain impressions.

    Regarding tithing, well first it is indeed a command to give at least a tenth of income/allowance. I’ve always given my tithes, used to be very on time but now I sometimes will forget to and give either on the 2nd or 3rd week of the month, but never missed one. I really can’t be exact but I think I’ve been blessed and it’s because of tithing. Sure I’ve heard of friends who don’t tithe and are super blessed also…but then since i”m a believer, and tithing is a command..I’ll just give anyway. If it’s true, good. If it’s false, well..shit. Haha..

    Regarding the envelopes, I guess it’s a way for people to indicate what money is for tithe and what is for offering. Sure, it’ll be better if the whole thing is done away with and completed using a pouch/bag as I’ve seen in other churches do, and I’ll personally prefer it to be that way since money stuff is between the person and God. I personally don’t understand why do people continue using envelope when money can be given electronically…probably to show to show, or to keep people’s judgment away…I don’t know… But on the other hand, it’s also for accounting purposes on the church’s end. I do believe that keeping proper records is good, but to turn it to monitor who gives what is just some form of abuse..

    Pledging money, the prosperity gospel…yeah..I’m getting sick of it. Every year when the time draws near, you’ll start seeing people come on stage with their testimonies of how God challenged them to pledge 1 dollar and they got blessed with 50 bungalows (Exaggerated lol). It really pains me when I think of how I’ve sacrificed my investments to give to which there doesn’t seem to be any returns at all…and recently we were challenged to give from our most precious like fixed savings..investments..whatever..to which I said, “Nope, leave my investments the hell alone, I’ll give what I can from the surface.”

    Like you, I’ve also challenged the teachings at church. I know how they love to quote Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you, running over, shaken together…” to challenge members to give. But the freaking context of that verse in the bible is “Judging”. I got some reply that tried to skirt around and bullshit me but I just didn’t buy it. Every time that verse is quoted in times of giving I just laugh to myself. And in recent years, that verse hasn’t been quoted for a while…

    And on the topic of bad/wrong/misleading teaching. Probably 2 – 4 years ago, I don’t know which genius started saying “Your tithe will open the windows of heaven and your offerings will bring down the blessings.” To which I was briefly influenced but then very quickly called it bullshit because I remembered that Malachi 3:10 clearly said tithes will do both.

    Bringing in new people, yeah I got that too..had to write names of people in a prospect list. I’m a person with very little friends, quality over quantity. I struggle to write like 2 names and there was a minimum number to it, can’t remember what though. I just wrote names of imaginary friends 😀

    Your points on accountability, no dating, buying albums were beyond my time of membership, but hearing people recount those experiences…it really bewilders me. Same sentiments as you, what the hell are people going to do with multiples of the same CD…

    Outcasting…I’m not too sure about this, I haven’t experienced it…

    CHC certainly has changed much in the recent years. There’s no more hounding to attend “make-up cellgroups” if you miss one. I haven’t tried missing tithes and offerings yet so I can’t comment on that. There is still encouragement of inviting friends, but there’s no more prospect list to fill. I’m sure I’ve missed some things..but, CHC is certainly more laxed now than when I first joined.

    There are good things I’ve experienced like making new genuine friends. I”m so glad I”m finally in an adult cellgroup…I hated my time in youth cellgroups..holy shit…and there are also bad things like some points mentioned above…and how the leaders in the church are like so stupidly brainwashed…like CHC is their life or something…seriously…

    Hope this hasn’t been too long a reply but yeah..some thoughts from me…

    By the way, I think you kind of look like Jean Yip’s Ambassador, Cheryl Wee..at least from your picture on the top right of the page…just thought I’ll mention it haha!

    Bye bye!

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    1. Hello, vampyreq! 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to write this comment with your honest point-of-view. I hope that you’re doing well there!
      Haha, do I look like her?? Hmm.. Oh well. Thanks!

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  11. Hi Gera,

    Thanks for your courage in posting the TRUTH of the matter.

    In fact you rightly listed all the KEY REASONS, those who left had left, and many more will leave.

    Back in 1999, I also made the decision to leave after 3 years with them.

    And this was my main reason for leaving, which made them scream and yell and even sue me for sedition –

    “I SHOULD SERVE GOD AND NOT MEN”

    That’s right, I left and found my rightful ministry in mission field and church planting work.

    Much of what I do can be found in my own blog here –

    http://followchristtoday.com/

    What’s happening at this church had hurt many people, and indeed vengeance belongs to God, one of the leader “Tan” who enforced his view of sedition against me, is now handed years of jail sentence.

    What an irony and contradiction, the very church leaders who used legal power to sue me for “sedition” against the church, is now going to spent his years behind bars.

    I rest my case with God.

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  12. Very long ‘thesis’ indeed, but stops me after reading tithing. While a lot of ‘definition’ of tithing, but it’s definitely a ‘sacrifice’ to obey. Your childhood experience, no money, etc is just an excuse of not giving a tithe, same as Judas said why not give tat money to the needy.

    I was grew up in traditional church, moved to charismatic and now if one of mega churches. All of these churches said the same thing about tithing, it’s just how they convey or ‘educate’ congregation differently.

    The other points for me are just exaggerate excuses … hope you are ‘landed’ in nice church now

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    1. If you stopped reading after “Tithing” which is the second point, then how would you know if the remaining 6 are excuses?

      And if you really read closely, her money was sometimes taken away from her. Are you not supposed to not tithe with negative increase? So her case was valid and yet still disapproved.

      All in all, she had already made a disclaimer that she wrote from her perspective, and she’s already tried to meet expectations. Think it is unwise to say one is making excuses when there has been effort put in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww thanks for this! No worries lah. This is just proof that I’m right about how they “brainwash” their people 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      1. God loves a cheerful giver, that’s a bible verse. God would never force anyone to give money. God doesn’t force people to believe becoz He gave us free will to choose between right and wrong. If God truly wanted to force ppl He would have us all in chains now forcing us to bow down to Him. But no. He doesn’t need our money. Man needs money, but God wants YOU. To sacrifice our lives in holiness and purity. He came to earth to die a bloodied poor death to save our souls. To crucify the sinful nature and be filled with love joy peace etc the fruits of the Spirit. God teaches us neither money nor fame nor power can make one happy, these are not what we really need but God. The human hear is sick and dead when alienated from God, thinking idols of gold can replace the Living God. A church need not be built out of silver or gold, we r the Church. We r the house of God. Anyone who twists the gospel for mercenary gain is pitiful indeed for they are bound by lies and not set free in Christ. Those ppl tried to shake your faith. Will you let them win?

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  13. hmm typical prosperity gospel church , lacking bibilical teaching , overly loud music , Tongue without interpretation , been there done that.. though i am maybe lucky i was first in protestant church who lack the whizbang of charismatic style and more grounded in teaching and not “feeling” the spirit

    during my journey to other churces, pentacostal style , i find plenty of real christians in that churches and plenty of spirit filled people , but these new phenomenon the prosperity gospel is poisoning the church with their name-it-claim-it, give-10-receive-100 unbiblical teachings.. and it worked because many many pentacostal and charismatic members are mostly skin deep in the bible knowledge..

    CHC definitely fits the mold of prosperity style gospel , with cult like behaviour from its seniors and disregard of real biblical teaching.. after all what is a church ? it is not a building , it is gathering of people in the name of Jesus Christ.. where there’s no tithe except voluntary donation , and Jesus stressed it must be done without pressure..

    I read your testimony and i am glad you came out with a bang sparing nothing.. Those still brainwashed will just label you as heretic or worse , because they dont serve the Lord but their worldly church..

    thanks for sharing

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    1. Yup got called traitor, Satan, devil, Judas etc… Which just proves my point, really. And sometimes the disapproval some certain man is the approval of God

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  14. Great post! I learnt quite alot about the inner workings of CHC now and am rather disappointed. I believe many people who go to church think they are Christians but are actually not (Matthew 7:21-23). This is because the true gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus is not taught. Instead teaching wrong doctrines such as using God like an ATM for their own benefit (as if manipulating God like a formula) does not help a person be saved or grow in Christ.
    Thanks for your sharing and God bless you richly!

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  15. CHC has no credibility. The pastor is very pitiful. Blast my senior pastor few years ago, and trying to gain US attention. In the end, end up in courts. LOLx. Joker.

    Attend the other church! The one that Kong Hee refer as cheap grace preacher!

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  16. Thank you so much for posting this and I felt really lucky that I left the church. Actually my ex cell group members did not force or anything. The church is supposed to be a happy place but these members should stop forcing people because thalve up to you how much you want to give but eventually one of my member said don’t need give also can. Everyone here gains freedom not being controlled by people.

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  17. Sadly, instead of being truly religious institutions, many churches/temples etc are now run like corporations with chief executives ( aka pastor ) , managers ( aka cell leaders ) etc, with sales targets ( = recruiting new members ) and many other KPIs. The original good intentions of belief and faith in a higher and supreme presence and doing good for humankind like helping the less fortunate are all but forgotten in the pursuit of all the material manifestations such as bigger churches, fancy worship through song and dance ( all the way to Hollywood no less ! ), and pastors making millions and living it up in seafront penthouses in Sentosa because of his ability to “grow” the congregation. From the outside, just reading the commentaries is sufficient for one to sense the competitive environment and pressures attending church. At the end, why is it so tough just to honor God? Many have correctly pointed out that isn’t believing in God a relationship between oneself and God ? Does one really need to be taught how to worship and is it so difficult to follow God if the basic premise of all religious teachings is to do good? So long as one’s conscience is clear, isn’t this more important than worrying about not giving ” enough monies to God” so that a bigger and grander church can be built? In the first instance, does one really need a mega-bucks church to worship? Always remember, one only need to be accountable to God, and not to any of the mortal beings running the churches claiming to be God’s representatives ( or at times God’s manifestation ). The true workers of God will not need anything ( i.e. $ Million dollar salary ) and luxuries possessions ( Armani suit? ) to help spread God’s teachings. I am no pro-Buddhism but I have yet to see any true and respectable monk wearing anything more than a robe and slippers, or for that matter, drawing a “salary” when answering a religious calling.

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  18. Well Gera, lucky you woke up! Better than those others who are still hypnotized!!
    Remember KH asked his congregation members to sell their homes and give the money to GOD?
    While he and his family upgraded to a multi million condo?
    GOD BLESS U for seeing the TRUTH. Humans ask. GOD NEVER ask. GOD gives in return to his children what HE deems fit and therefore never equal.

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  19. I think.. Chc was run like some mlm company… ha ha.. brainwashing in the name of prosperity .. check… influence by stronger personality.. check.. notion that it is the only place u can find wat u need.. check…btw it is the same ideas in the cheap grace church too… the church goers quote the pastor n not the bible… man worship…

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  20. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. What you describe sounds more like a highly organized multilevel marketing machinery oiled with a heavy dose of twisted spiritual programming. I hope your testimony helps others wake up. I’m sure they’ve help lots of people, but I’m not sure if they done more harm along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hello there… i dont know much of CHC.. but after reading your blog i was shocked. Because first i dont see why you are to write your names on those envolopes and how much you give because God already know that and its enough since its all for Him..
    And to be honest we people seem to misunderstand this God doesn’t take pleasure in those offerings and tithes NO.. the greatest gift a Christian can give is living a righteous life for his glory..
    And the CDs being sold and advertised in church, if its not a church product like maybe messages or Notepads for the Church then Hell NO to that nonsense people shouldn’t even be asked to buy it, for its not for the goodness of God.. Thats why when Jesus found people selling in His Fathers house He had to scatter everything and beat them up…

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  22. Hi,
    I have recently just left CHC, after having similar thoughts you had when you first left CHC… And have so happened to have read your post…

    In fact, I too this similar experience as yours as I was told not to be too ‘judgmental’ about CHC’s leadership, despite that I felt something is very wrong with the church doctrines especially when seeing the church leadership not repenting but instead on appeal and currently out on bail. And since then I was somehow being “outcast” by them which explains why I eventually left CHC abruptly and did not regret making that decision since then.

    And lastly, thanks for sharing this as it really does make some CHC leavers to really consider leaving CHC for good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hang in there and be strong! And God does love every single one of us 🙂 Don’t let those wankers ruin it for you too much

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  23. Gera,

    im from malaysia and im following a great church called new creations church in singapore. i have never been there, only download sermons and watch from youtube. really changed my life. lots of miracles. i have been doing this for the past 7 years. and never go to church.

    i met the pastor, joseph prince in KL. i offered to pay my 10% tithe and he rejected, asked me to pay to my local church. i said i dont have a local church. He still rejected it.

    thats the only church i trust and benefits alot from. great teachings and never controlling.

    pls check it out

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  24. I cant believe they are saying such thing in City Harvest sg. I highly doubt what u shared cos its different in city harvest kl

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  25. Hi thanks for sharing this and I applaud you for speaking when churches and their pastors give false teachings about the bible. The prosperity gospel is not the real gospel, and the bible phrases they throw in sermons are out of context and therefore misleading. Everything that you said here, was mentioned in 1 Corinthians when Paul condemned the Church the Christians.
    I was in a similar situation – trying to find a church that teaches the true gospel, filled with people who are genuinely caring and loving. Again from 1st Corinthians, whatever goods you do and whatever language you speak, no matter how great they are, if there is no love, they’re meaningless and nothing but noise.

    I hope that you have found a new church by now and able to grow in it.
    It does take lots of trials and errors, but do pray you’ll find it eventually. Yes, it took me many years and now I am very happy that I’ve finally settled into a small neighbourhood church that has everything I wanted and I can also willingly help to build it up (without pressure, of course!).
    If you are keen, there are some good sermons online that I can recommend:
    – Armstrong from Verse by Verse Ministry (https://www.versebyverseministry.org)
    – MacArthur (From grace to you) – he likes to dispel the gospel gospel

    Lastly do have hope and keep up your faith. Churches that preach the real gospel and do not put monetary value and fame on top of their priorities do exist in Singapore. Hope you’ll find one soon and god bless.

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  26. I hope u still loving God now and get closer to him. I encourage you to read his words (Bible) more offen and pray God for wisdom that you able to understand his Words.

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  27. Hi Sis,You are an intelligent JESUS girl with wisdom
    Go and find out more of this
    End Times messages
    Cathedral of Glory in Your place-S’pore

    Like

  28. Same here for me Gera.
    Im also use to be from chc.
    At lme time when cant fulfill the build fund,my leader came to me and ask why and I told her that i had difficulty to fulfill it andhe said if cant fulfill it,I will be curse by God.
    On and on when I came to knw no matter hw much i did,its still nt enough for them so i decided leave chc.
    And for u to leave chc coz at least u don’t have to be tied up by them.

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  29. Dear Gera
    Thank you for bringing us into the dark world you went through in CHC. Thank God you were strong and wise enough to leave this cult. Yes, it’s a ” cult”, not a “church” ( as the ones our Lord call us to establish).
    My only prayer for you is not to be bitter to God or to the church. They did you no harm. It’s people who are wolves dressed in sheepskins , that pursue their personal selfish greed that harmed you. Trust in Jesus and walk with Him.

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  30. I remember that one time when my cg leader called my mum and complained that i wasn’t giving enough. I was 17 at that time and giving almost half of my allowance.

    Apparently my cell leader had a “KPI” to achieve, when it comes to money. He would literally FORCE us to think of ways to come up with the money, that son of a bitch.

    Greed knows no bounds….glad i left for another church.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi G,

    First off, as a Christian not from City Harvest, I would like to offer you an apology for what you have went through.

    I grow up a Christian. Tithes, Offerings, Church building pledge is not unfamiliar to me — even bringing in new members.

    I’m sorry to say that it felt like you were forced into all of these, especially about Sun Ho’s CDs.

    I have never once in my growing up in a church felt this way. I have never been monitored, sounded when I don’t give my tithes or offering. I was never forced to call anyone to bring them to church. I don’t need to contribute to building pledge if i don’t want to.

    Perhaps now I understand from your article why City Harvest grew so quick, perhaps too you are not the only one experiencing all these.

    Thank you for being brave enough to speak up. But one thing, do not lose faith in God. Go to another church where you feel like you finally belong. Take care now.

    Concern sister from Malaysia church,
    C.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. You did a good thing leaving CHC, but it would all be for nothing if you went on to another church that also preaches the “prosperity gospel”.

    Back when I was still religious, the thing that I found most important about Christianity was salvation. Theologically, Christians nowadays could go about seeking it in two ways – following what Jesus said, or following what St Paul said. I have no doubt that most of the people reading this blog (let alone those who fall under the umbrella term ‘Christians’) don’t even know the difference between the two.

    For example, Jesus’s proclamation of heaven and how to enter it was always very specific. He often likened it to an actual kingdom with strict restrictions on entry: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”.

    Paul’s version of Christianity, on the other hand, was much more free-form. Devotees needed only to have faith and they were guaranteed to be saved.

    A plain reading of the two approaches presents very obvious conflicts. In fact the stark differences between them has been a matter of debate in theological circles for the longest time. However I know the intricacies of the topic would elude most, if not all, of the participants here, so I shan’t bother getting into it.

    So you might be wondering – why do I even bring this up?

    My purpose is to highlight the disgusting blight that is the “prosperity gospel”, and how the immoral and greedy leaders of churches like CHC use it to fleece their gullible and brainwashed followers for their own personal gain.

    Absolutely nowhere in Jesus’s or Paul’s teachings can you find them promising earthly riches to believers, nor would you be able to locate a single verse wherein they chastise a follower who didn’t contribute to their wealth. And yet, thousands upon thousands of sheep-brained Christians today willingly give in to the demands of avaricious pastors like Kong Hee, Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar who make empty promises that their flock will be rewarded – in earthly blessings – by god.

    Seriously, how stupid are the people in such congregations? They are charmed by song, dance, and the “feelings” of god’s presence these pastors promote within their ostentatious palaces of worship, all the while oblivious to the ravenous tentacles slowly twisting around them and enveloping their families and friends for cash, as you have so clearly recounted in your blog.

    To all those people I say: Wake up! Jesus and Paul disavowed earthly wealth – exemplified by the former in his throwing out of merchants and moneymen from the temple, and by the latter in him giving up his cushy tax-collector’s job – so why would any Christian even think that their god’s plan concerns earthly bounty in the slightest?

    If anyone who considers themselves a Christian should come across a church that stresses prosperity so much, the only acceptable response is to walk away and never turn back. I include in this number other megachurches in Singapore like New Creation.

    Oh, and maybe these so-called Christians should start actually reading the bible.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I think this is more of a lesson for you. It is actually good that you experienced the bad kind of church so you have a standard as to examine one that’s right for you. I have been to many different ones, catholic protestant mostly. Then I settled into non denomination. They are very lax with the standards. Basic universal doctrines (bible based, baptism salvation, repentance etc) the rest is up to you. Offerings attendance and all the stuff you mentioned are all personal decisions that you have to check for yourself based on the amount of joy you have in your heart in doing them, not obligation, this is basic bible doctrine too because God loves a cheerful giver, if your giving isnt making you happy, you bet God isn’t happy even if you sell your kidney and offer the money, because God doesn’t look at the amount. Remember the story of the girl who offered 2 pennies and jesus said, she gave more than anyone else? For some people 1 dollar is as big as 1,000. For others, the 200 you mentioned are easy for them, and its quick for them to judge you based on that… It’s not biblical to set a value demand cds and so on. Because God is in charge… I hope it doesnt push you away from christianity but instead make you more eager to find one that has the positives you wanted in this church without the negatives you saw in this church. God Bless.

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  34. Those days during MPCC (Marine Parade Christian Center) and the preaching area located in a house at Amber Road and Sunday service at the Marine Parade Cinema. Then it was where I knew Kong Hee and he was already a well spoken preacher. Somehow, it could be misunderstood by the public or that success has taken the aggressive nature by CHC members to cross the line in their activities of preach the gospel. Comments should be reserve as judgement is now in THE EYE OF THE LAW. I’m a Christian and is not a member of the CHC.

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  35. Interesting read. The strategy to use Sun Ho’s ‘whitney houston’ pull sounds a lot like flirty fishing. It was a technique used by another cult who called themselves ‘Children of God’.

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  36. Agree with your post. Another sister church of CHC would be ‘Heart of God’ church. They aren’t happy when I mixed around with my other Christian friends of another churches. Members of Heart of God often criticize other churches.
    Like CHC, Heart of God church members have been brainwashed to idolize their Pastors and think that their church pastors gave the best sermons in the entire world. More than often, instead of praising how great God is, you will never fail to hear them praising how good Ps How & Ps Lia (who are husband & wife as well) are.
    Those who attend that Church are only allowed to buy their very own sermon CDs and albums. It’s like a sin if I were to miss a service and not buy the sermon CD of that week. I was also forced to meet them every week to text my prebelieving friends immediately in front of them. It came to a point when I was the only who could not bring any friend to church and I was being ostracized. So much unfounded guilt in me.
    Soon after 1 year, I left.

    Ultimately, everyone, including myself, will be judged. The bible also stated that ‘not everyone who calls me, Lord, I will save.’
    I’m sure God sees our hearts and still loves us of who we are.

    Thank God for my close friends from various churches who supported me in prayers during my tough times. It took almost 2 years to recover and I’m still recovering. I’ve only just started to visit another church last year. Made some new and really good, Godly friends but I haven’t permanently settled down in a church yet. I’m still praying about it as well.

    So, Gera, please take your time and allow God to heal your heart.
    Above all, God sees your heart and desires our heart and longs for an intimate relationship with Him. You don’t have to rush in looking for another church, but do commune with God daily, spend time reading His word, and singing praises and worship songs as well! Eventually, you’ll find a supportive likeminded community to keep you going in your faith too! 🙂

    Let’s press on together in this journey of seeking God earnestly,yeah! ❤️

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  37. On tithing… a church need to have a budget so that they can priotising their spending and know if they have the capacity for outreach etc. Members are asked to give a pledge, which is a commitment. When u fill out details in the envelope it is so that the Pledge Secretary could update the record. I get statements regulary, and it helps me to keep track (because I sometimes forget!). Only the pledge secretary has the details and perhaps the people who are opening up the offering bags. The fact that your mentor knows is because they are spying on you. It is not the church, the problem lies wit the people!! We give because we love God and know that the work needs funding. He does not love us more or less as a result. Dont’ let these few rob you of your peace and joy with God, who loves all of us regardless….

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  38. I respect your opinions and the sharing of your experiences while in City Harvest Church.
    First off, offerings or tithing is not a must. Yes, this is an envelope for you to put whatever amount you feel comfortable in giving BUT it is NOT a must that you need to write down your name and which cell group you were from.
    There are other lapses in your sharing.
    Please refrain from spreading untruth. It is not morally ethical.
    Thank you.
    PS. For those of you who remained skeptical, go and attend one of the services at Suntec Convention Centre, level 6 and experience it for yourself. Thank you!

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  39. I respect your opinions and the sharing of your experiences while in City Harvest Church.
    First off, offerings or tithing is not a must. Yes, this is an envelope for you to put whatever amount you feel comfortable in giving BUT it is NOT a must that you need to write down your name and which cell group you were from.
    There are other lapses in your sharing.
    Please refrain from spreading untruth. It is not morally ethical.
    Thank you.
    PS. For those of you who remained skeptical, go and attend one of the services at Suntec Convention Centre, level 6 and experience it for yourself. Thank you!

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    1. Hello Malvyn,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post and share a comment. 🙂 I’m glad that your experiences and I’m even more glad that you had more positive experiences than I had. And I hope this continues for you.

      Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

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