Whatever’s going against City Harvest Church is by the devil, according to Kong Hee’s pastor friend Phil Pringle
Nice try, Phil, nice try.
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So, the much-anticipated verdict for the City Harvest Church trial is expected to be announced on Wednesday morning, Oct. 21.
Since June 2012, when the six leaders of the megachurch were first hauled to court to be charged for allegedly misappropriating church funds and falsifying the church’s accounts to cover up their misdeeds, the understanding was that this trial is going to be a long drawn epic affair.
And sure it was, given that there was so much ground to cover as this was a professional white-collar job of a scale that was unseen and a sophistication that was unheard of in Singapore’s history.
More than three years and a 140-day trial later, Presiding Judge of the State Courts See Kee Oon is set to deliver his verdict in front of a courtroom that is likely to be packed with members of the public with too much free time to spare and City Harvest Church supporters, who will be hoping against all hope that their leaders will be freed because that would make such a great Sunday morning testimony.
Alas, the one with the audacity to call it before the verdict comes out — probably because he is not here, not Singaporean and can risk not being in contempt of court — is none other than CHC founder Kong Hee’s long-time Australian pastor friend and avid church planter, Phil Pringle.
In a blog post on Oct. 20, 2015, Pringle not only urged his flock to stand by pastor Kong Hee and his City Harvest Church, but he characterised the entire trial and upcoming verdict as an unholy force against his religion:
When you’re building the Church, you’re never going to be found without a fight. Our job as fellow believers is to stand with each other when we are facing trouble. At the end of the day, it’s easy to stand for Jesus, but it’s more challenging to stand for one of his servants when they are facing difficulty. In this coming week, our good friend Pastor Kong Hee (Senior Pastor of City Harvest Church, Singapore) is going to be standing in a courtroom and a verdict will be passed on him after a 5 year long trial – the longest trial in Singapore’s history. I know Pastor Kong Hee to be an honest, true and faithful minister of Christ. He has also been extraordinarily effective in raising up one of the truly great churches (CHC) in the world, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to Christ. Jesus has told us this kind of advancement would not go uncontested. We must be prepared to be immovable, strong and faithful to Christ through all the challenges we face in building His Church. Ultimately, it is the Courts job to arrive at a verdict. But we are praying for victory. There is a sentiment against believers, but the devil has always got it wrong. He thinks if he attacks the church it’s going to die, he even tried it with Jesus, but He just came up out of the ground again. I believe we have a victorious Christ ruling over His house, His Church and His Kingdom. [Emphasis mine]
Neither helpful in the court of law nor in the court of public opinion, Phil.
Not helpful at all.
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