It has been about 3 weeks since my post on 9 Reasons Why City Harvest Church Was the Devil To Me and till this day I’m still receiving messages & emails from readers.
And while some were super encouraging, with the occasional hate mail here & there… I was more drawn to those who shared with me their own traumatic experiences.
Ahem. I’m not a sadist ah…
Some of you shared your own similar experiences in CHC:
To be honest, I was quite consoled when I read it – because it meant I wasn’t alone. At that time it felt like I was being the difficult one; being rebuked all the time & all that. 😛
However as much as I’m not alone… You guys aren’t either. 🐻
So many people went through similar experiences; so many people understand first-hand what you went through as well. You are not alone here. You weren’t some rotten fruit that deserved to be mistreated, you were’t some suay (unlucky) person that was singled out to be picked on.
…Okay, actually maybe there was a certain level of suay-ness here. I consider myself quite suay to spent years of my youth there. Sigh. No refund, y’know. *heart shatters*
But you’re not alone. You’re not a rotten fruit, you’re not that suay… Haha! You just gathered some interesting experiences and you had the brains & guts to say, “Enough of this shit, I’m out.” And for that, you’re super awesome in my eyes. 😉
Some of you shared your own similar experiences in other megachurches:
I was quite depressed when I saw this.
People say I’m quite an idealist…
But the fact is – the world is beautiful. 🙂
Sure, there are weeds in the garden, but look at it this way. After sharing my story, I received tonnes of encouragements to stay strong, be happy & maybe even go back to God. See? There are more lovely flowers than weeds here.
Sure, I received the occasional hate mail – but they totally pale in comparison to all the encouragement & love I got from readers.
And I tried my best to pass it on by replying each of you when the message had something for me to say. 🙂 Stayed up till 4AM for a few days for you guys y’know… 😛
Some of you said you’ve turned your back on God:
Honestly I’m no one to say anything holy… I don’t have a church I really attend, I’m not baptised, I curse & swear, I sometimes really hate people… So if you turned your back… Then oh well. Can’t blame you.
I did as well, somewhat.
However the Old Dude (yes, God) stood by me through some trying periods, so He’s pretty real in my books. But this is entirely my own thing.
Turn your back on God – okay, fine.
But don’t turn your back on your own life.
You still have a life to lead. Take it as an expensive & painful lesson and gear up with the skills you learned. So you learned that even religion can be manipulated; that ‘holy’ people can be tempted; that you cannot buy into everything people say.
That’s why you have eyes, ears and a brain – you understand what’s going on.
And that’s why you have a mouth – you speak up.
I’m not one to shut up when I feel something not right is going on. To me, inaction is an action of advocation in itself.
Some of you reminded me of some ‘extra’ CHC features:
They’re actually quite amusing.
Looking good for God: Haha! Some ladies shared how they were expected to doll up to attend church. I remember this as well! Makeup and nice clothes – must look good for God. And make the church look like town. Very smart, create a ‘happening’ environment which will encourage people to return.
I understand some churches would like presentable-looking attires; fully understandable. But I got rebuked before for not being ‘as dolled up as the week before’, as it seems like I don’t care about how I look for God. HAHA. Oh gosh.
Money-saving lessons: My favourite. They would teach you ways to save money like don’t eat out so often, don’t shop… (Oh, but must show up in nice clothes and makeup!)
During fellowship (meal times) I was also told not to order drinks, so I can save money to give the church.
Because apparently the Ribena juice served during holy communion will quench my thirst or something. *shrugs*
Financial tier giving: To give due credit, they did take into consideration people’s financial limitations. So if you’re a student, you give $xx; if you’re retired, $xx; if you’re working & earning this much; $xx…
GIRO your tithe: Can’t believe I didn’t write about this one; guess because I didn’t use it. But yes, you can GIRO your tithing to God when you’re in CHC! They say you cannot be late when giving to God, because that shows lack of sincerity. So the church helps you along by automatically deducting money from your bank account every month to give to God, or whatever god-worthy-status-thingy.
Think of it like insurance – except for this, you pay for your entry into Heaven rather than your potential accidents etc.
Must SMILE when putting your offering/tithing/pledge fund envelope into the bucket: Apologies – I wrote ‘pouch’ the other time. CHC actually uses buckets to collect the envelopes.
So yes, must SMILE ah! “God loves a cheerful giver!”
Seriously, people. What the royal f**k.
Giving an amount that’s beyond your comfortable amount is good: Because you need to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow – this I agree with in some aspects, not this though!
But yes, you must show God that you love Him so so so much that you’re willing to live uncomfortably so that you can give money to the church.
You – child of God, yes. Live uncomfortably, because that’s what your Father in Heaven wants apparently. For you to live uncomfortably.
All the money you give us goes to Heaven, waiting for you: Y’know at that time I was still thinking, “Hmm! If like that, how will the money I give in this lifetime be enough to sustain me for eternity??” Then I wanted to give some more. -_- So clever, I was.
No reason not to give when there are solutions and not to forget the generous payment options available!
BAH. I’ll be fully honest here – God’s love is FREE-OF-CHARGE. If you believe in God; then you’re pretty much insulting Him right here. Jesus died for you – but you still need to top up cash to gain entry into Heaven? So you’re saying that Jesus blood not worth enough? And I really don’t think there’s anywhere in the Bible that says something along the lines of – “Thou shall present money to gain entry into Heaven.” Got express line, not?
The best work of the devil isn’t plotting you against God; it’s making you think he isn’t anywhere near you. Think about this for a minute.
All of the experiences might seem funny & ridiculous right now – but it really hurt people who went through it personally. People; who are supposed to be children of God. Why would you hurt people like that? Really, why?
Sure, you say that you don’t force them to give – it’s entirely out of their freewill. Is it though?
If your definition of force is to hold a gun to their heads and make them give money or else you’ll shoot – then yes, you didn’t force anyone. And in my opinion, you didn’t force them because it was an illegal method. Not to mention, people will stop returning. Why take a big sum once from them; when you can take small to medium amounts for a long time?
My definition of force is that you created an obligation that resulted in negative consequences when not met. It’s only natural that a person would want to avoid negative consequences – so therefore they do their darnest to meet that obligation you set.
It saddens me to see people like this. 😦
Anyways – there are some readers who have shared some innermost feelings & experiences with me. I’m really honoured that you decided to trust me. 🙂 And don’t worry, my lips are sealed. It’s your story to tell/share – I’m honoured enough you trusted me enough to open up. 🐻 Super glad that I’m able to listen & maybe ease your hearts that little bit. 😉
9 responses to “What Have You Done, City Harvest?”
Heloooo, nice piece, i was browsing le fb and i saw someone shared ur blog. 🙂
I followed a friend who invited me to chc back when i was in Malaysia and i saw pretty much the same thing, people seemed jolly happy at first but after a while i could see that some were under pressure doing so….
I quit following them after i saw Mr Kong Hee in his sports car and expensive attire (which i got shushed for questioning his fanciness) and after going to 1 CG where the main topic was how every other religion was evil and CHC is the only correct way and how we have to pray (convert) everyone else we know friends n family to the “correct” path.
Short story is i hope more of the chc supporters could read ur writing, maybe if they realized that they are not the only one feeling weird with how the church is run they might get enlightened*.
Unbelievable thing is,i read a few weeks back how after all the scandals and even when there’s hard proof how their tithe money was used for their leader’s pleasure, the members apologize for doubting and not giving enough tithe,absurd!
Well lookie i blabbered to much, hehe nice blog, take care!
Haha I saw the one about apologizing about not giving enough… I really hope it isn’t true! 😦 Yea I questioned about his lavish lifestyle and they said he’s looking good for God -_- Oh bah.
“My definition of force is that you created an obligation that resulted in negative consequences when not met. It’s only natural that a person would want to avoid negative consequences – so therefore they do their darnest to meet that obligation you set.
It saddens me to see people like this. :(”
That’s the heart and soul of religious control and dominion. They preach uncondional love with obligational conditions which is binding, regulatory and fatalistic final.
Your obligation is earthly,tangible and real however, your blessings and returns are in intangible, heavenly and even unreal. You give your blood, sweat and money…for real, and in return you get incredible and out of this world promises and claims
You know, real and smart people don’t live like that or conduct themselves that way. We don’t go out there and pay for luxury goods or services and settle for heavenly claims and promises.
If I give you real money for a car, you have better give me a car that I can drive – not a car I can dream!
And thus the wicked drives and lives in luxury, out of your pockets, because they know they can’t survive with empty promises and claims.
Good fortune and miracles happen to people and is not an exclusive phenomenon to certain sect or religion. You can be an atheist cancerous patient and be miraculously healed of cancer tomorrow. You can, thereafter, brag about buying packs of tissues from some poor soul which brought the good fortune your way and people would probably believe that’s good karma in general – if they are as superstitious. But really in life, good things can happen to bad people too who then give credit to their religious God so in effect, no one is wiser here. A changed life is also no ground to support your gospel because, many non Christians have changed for the better or have become wiser without Christ.
Even then, does anyone believe money literally drop from heaven if you give religiously? 🙂
No right, but yet that’s what Christians are preaching – in principle( no different from expecting to see 72 virgins await you in heaven for suicide bomber), and we are not only pointing the guilty finger at prosperity gospel preachers but at everyone who expect “manna” to drop from heaven.
Truth is, the religious leaders live out of real money(your money), not BY FAITH however, the followers are to look towards heaven for sky to open and for money or blessings to fall BY FAITH(stupid).
Meanwhile, with your money, the religious leaders can buy all kinds of “blessings”, including best health care(healing) money can afford and they still have left over to buy condos, cars, holidays and a pop star life style and career in Hollywood too. Now that’s blessing. 🙂
In the aftermath of the religiously motivated killings in Europe, people are encouraged to pray for change in our society, nation and the world. It will not work because that’s the cause of our problems – praying to each own god.
You can’t even get your god to properly communicate in real world and you expect your hollow and hypocritical prayers to be answered?
The beginning of your salvation is to be grounded in reality first.
God is faithful and will wait for you until the rest of your life to come back to Him. He does not have gold, silver and other things of things of this world to give you. He can however give you that perfect love, perfect peace and perfect joy that you will spend your whole life searching but never find until you come back to Him. Till that day, a short prayer for you:
Defend o’Lord this child of yours with your heavenly grace.
May she hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
May she become aware of her sins.
May she acknowledge and repent her sins.
May she learn to love others as she loves herself.
May she choose to follow Jesus and return to God.
I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
My dear Geraldine, the Lord is shaking every church, every Christian, shaking them till the “scales” fall off and the true bride of Christ emerges. The Lord stands at our door (at our heart) and knocks, waiting for us to repent of our sins, invite him in and have a sup with him. Your pastor cannot save you, your church cannot save you. Each one of us will stand alone before Father God, and every commandment that is broken, any sin that has not been repented and washed by the blood of the Lamb, will be recounted in front of us, one by one. Nothing impure can ever enter the New Jerusalem. The Lord is knocking at the door because there is only grace while on Earth. For this reason, our true enemy, the fallen angels madly hate you and wants to destroy every human because they do not have forgiveness for their sins. A mere weak human have forgiveness of sins, not mighty angels?? Recognise the true enemy and their true purpose in God’s eyes, which is an instrument to test our choices.
Rick Joyner has prophesied in mid 1990s these times. Please take some time to read: the Final Quest (google Rick Joyner Final Quest pdf). After that, discern where exactly is each of our position in this battlefield. It will take faith to believe.
Rick Joyner? He’s just another snake oil preacher. http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/joyner.html