25 October 2008. City Harvest Church (CHC). Sermon by Rev. Kong Hee.
I feel that today’s preach is actually a disguised CHC annual general meeting (AGM). Since Rev. Kong Hee speaks about CHC’s organizational structure, CHC past achievements and the three pillars of CHC (or you could say CHC mission and vision – in terms of organization). Although, I have nothing against attending CHC annual general meeting, which I think is an important thing because it promotes transparency, I suppose Rev. Kong Hee should be more frank and tell the audience that today’s preach is not a preach but it is an AGM. Rev. Kong Hee should have known that not all the audience are teenagers/students who are unable to distinguish between AGM and sermon.
Anyway, here is the content of today’s “sermon” or should I say AGM Minutes of Meeting:
Three Pillars of City Harvest Church (CHC):
1. Great Commandment
Matthew 22: 36 – 40 (NKJV)
36“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37Jesus said unto him, “`Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it: `Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Rev. Kong Hee (RKH) said that CHC sought to love God wholeheartedly (as indicated by vertical beam of a cross), and to love people fervently (as indicated by the horizontal beam of a cross).
Rev. Kong Hee mentioned that according to a research, some of the reasons people don’t want to go to church are: (a) Anti-homosexual – 91%; (b) Judgmental – 87%; (c) Hypocritical – 85%; (d) Sheltered. Therefore, Rev. Kong Hee encouraged CHC to be more tolerant, and not quick to judge others who are different from us.
RKH expressed his disappointment that many Christians condemn Oprah Winfrey, who seems to promote New Age belief. (Personal note: see below video)
RKH said that we should rejoice because Oprah is a good person, she is helping the needy. We should not condemn her, not quick to judge her even though she is nonbeliever. RKH added that he is like Jesus, who never condemn nonbelievers but don’t like the religious person, The Pharisees – who quick to condemn nonbelievers.
To emphasize his point, RKH cited a book by Thorn S. Rainer that revealed non-christians shared Christians’ values. And:
- 95% unbelievers are open people.
- 80% will attend church if invited
- Only 21% active church goers do invite nonbelievers
2. Great Commission
Matthew 28: 18 – 19 (NKJV)
18And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth. 19Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,
This passage suggested that CHC impact should reach all nations, not just Singapore. Rev. Kong Hee informed that one-fifth of CHC funds go to overseas mission; CHC sends average of 6 teams a week to do missionary work. He estimated that CHC influence in Asia has reach $3.3 million.
3. Cultural Mandate
Matthew 5: 13 – 16 (NKJV)
13“Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men. 14“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
Look at passage 14, “a City that is set on a hill cannot be hid” this is the inspiration for the church’s name: CITY HARVEST CHURCH.
How to impact the society?…According to Kong Hee, CHC can impact the society through excelling in the marketplace (no 3 – 7 of the seven pillars of society).
7 Pillars of Society: (1)Family; (2)Religion; (3) Business; (4) Education; (5) Government; (6) Arts; (7) Media.
Kong Hee further explained that God wants us, humans, to impact society. We should be the shaper of values through pop culture. The list of influential pop culture (in order of impact) was: (1) Advertising; (2) Celebrities; (3) Music; (4) Movies; (5) Television; (6) Fashion; (7) Sports; (8) Arts.
Kong Hee informed the church that he wants CHC to be creative. He further emphasized that creativity requires risk-taking.
- The most creative work that God did, was when God created the world. When God created Adam –> God is taking risk, since HE fully aware that Adam might fall into sin.
- God is the one who planted the Tree of Knowledge. Genesis 2: 9 (NKJV): 9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Should God banned Adam to be near the Tree of Knowledge?….So that Adam will never fall into sin?….Of course NOT. To God innocence is not a virtue, but virtue is innocence that is tested. Rev. Kong Hee cited example from parenting. Should parents lock up their children in a room so that they will never mix with bad company?….Of course NOT because the parents would end up in jail for child abuse. Rev. Kong Hee gave another example when Jesus was tempted, God the father let it happened. Maturity is not about banning a person from doing something, it is about when you give a person choices, that person can say NO to bad choice.