Gal 3.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “cursed is everyone who does not continue all things written in the book of the law, to perform them
The verdict after 7 years of agonizing court case, a week from Good Friday, ended with a half successful appeal for stealing 50 million with the maximum sentence reduced from 8 years to 3 years. In court, the accused never fully repented, never admitted their full guilt but it will be a jail term nevertheless. And Kong’s sad countenance tells it all as he left the court house. They were really expecting to be let off jail free. The irony is that the vast majority thought the short sentence was just unbelievable. It was grace, really, totally unmerited grace.
Pastor Kong was known in his ministry of preaching the Ten Commandments declaring that without the law we will be lawless and cheap grace. The churches that preached the Gospel of Grace was said to be doing cheap grace in the sermons on antinomianism – the seduction of lawlessness. But the bible tells us that those who preached the law are under a curse if they don’t abide fully. It is a curse because our sin is amplified. Pride comes in under works. And if not succesful, they had to make Sun a success by putting in funds as a church purpose despite strong and official denials.
The China Wine could not conceivably be for church purpose. It was really a cross over, belly dancing to pagan seductive tunes. It could be argued that it was for personal gain and status of fame and appearance of success, the premium class flights, the good living, the luxury apartments, they want the appearance of a rock superstar rising up the dance bill boards, the staged/free concerts and the buy back CD sales. They gave themselves big bonuses. At the same time announcing great success in church of making it by her own talent in Hollywood whilst charging to building fund/moving costs repackaged as bonds in a related party transaction to own company.
The very generous judgement was not unanimous and could be faulted on many grounds being far too lenient. Hence, it was really an Amazing Grace. At the end of his 3 years term would they find remorse and go from lawlessness to grace? They still havent really admitted any wrong other than causing pain!
It is easy to criticize the decision for the case appears to be a well planned criminal cover up with intent not just a technicality and the third party benefits so obvious yet unsaid. But this lingering doubt of injustice will weaken the church/NCCS position as they battle against gays and called for stiff 2 year terms against gays for their only crime of love. Hence, the injustice against gays will be further magnified by the very light sentence.
Not all the church would have supported the Cross Over if they had known it was supported by the building fund, a fact repeatedly denied. In the last 7 years, the attendance of 28k seemed to have dropped to well below 10k with only two services at Suntec.
They misled about the funding and the success not to protect the church but to protect themselves from condemnation and accusation of failure in the marketplace. There was no true repentance, no pleading of guilt even after being caught red handed because they didn’t understand grace. They denied to the point of bible bashing other ministries and threatening to sue whistle blowers. They were ultimately protecting Sun Ho and not the church nor the congregation.
At the end, kong hee is a good man like all of us fallen in many ways. He was tempted far more than most of us with unchecked power and money at his disposal. They couldn’t loose face and admit failure in their market place theology. They should come to a place of grace not only to confess for the pain and dissapoinment they had caused to their members but also to acknowledge their many sins for fame and glory rooted in pride.
When asked by friends, i was deeply saddened by the fact that they had to go jail. It was all so unnecessary and meaningless in the end, the Cross Over. For if we are salt and light, the world would surely come to our communion table. This is indeed a deep tragedy. But as Christians, the Lord will uphold him and he will not be utterly cast down and will come back into ministry one day.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
And He delights in his way
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down,
For the Lord upholds him with His hand