Some theological reflections on the City Harvest case

My first disclaimer: the purpose of this post is neither to defend nor attack the people involved nor the church. Again, I have many friends who attend City Harvest and my heart goes out to them during this period of time. All I want to do is to contribute some theological reflections. Hopefully, there will be some benefit to this to any person reading this post. So, here goes nothing!

Theology affects and instructs methodology. Which is why there is frequent and urgent emphasis in Scripture, particularly in the New Testament, that we get God’s Word right. One of the things Pastor Kong Hee has been accused of is preaching the prosperity gospel. Now, I’m quite sure the members of City Harvest would protest that, and would say the Bible does not teach poverty. Without going into detail, I’d say there are merits on both sides of the equation. Put simply, God does not call all believers to material prosperity, nor material poverty. Neither state implies being blessed of God, nor the lack thereof. What God calls His people to is stewardship: being a good steward of whatever He deems wise to bless us with.

Now, before I go on, I’d like to ask my brothers and sisters in City Harvest to forgive me for speaking my heart. I am not a member of City Harvest, so I cannot claim to know the going-ons in the church in detail. I have visited City Harvest a couple of times and I always get a positive vibe from there, the messages are always encouraging. So are the people. I’ve listened to Pastor Kong Hee’s messages online as well. However, if I were being honest, it seems to me that, perhaps in the zeal for the Lord, something has been compromised. Would you allow me to share some concerns?

1. Prosperity theology
When members of the body of Christ (especially well-respected pastors) in Singapore highlight this as a concern, I really do pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ in CHC to consider if there’s any truth to this. And the way about it is to come to Scripture without any coloured lenses. Perhaps for so-called traditional churches, the lens has been that poverty equals spirituality. But the opposite is equally damaging. I have heard sermons by Pastor Kong Hee that borders on butchering the text (just pick up any respected commentary and compare the interpretations); one for example trying to justify the notion that Jesus Himself was rich materially. If that were really the case, Judas (Jesus’ disciple who was in charge of the purse and used to pilfer from it) would not have betrayed his Master for not a large sum of money.

I have heard the appeal to the patriarchs of the Old Testament and their wealth and possessions. But that is not a strong appeal because for one thing, how many patriarchs are there in the Old Testament anyway? Few. And the people of God? Many. Of course, then the appeal would be to extend it to the people of God generally. And certainly there were periods of great prosperity amongst God’s people. Think the raiding of the Egyptians during the Exodus. Or the height of the glorious reign of King Solomon. But that appeal again is weak because the blessing was tied closely with the obedience of God’s people. And we all know how the Old Testament pens out. Mostly a downward spiral.

When we approach the New Testament, things get even harder to justify… meaning, if you do a cursory survey of the New Testament, the overwhelming image you are going to get about material wealth is negative. Now, that does NOT mean that wealth itself is evil. But the reason why the Bible speaks so much against wealth is because it has a power to tempt us to idolatry. Which is the basis of perhaps the most commonly known verse about money, Mathew. 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

2. Implications of prosperity theology
When prosperity theology takes root, at the risk of oversimplifying, what happens is people believe material success equates to spiritual success. Money then matters. Numbers then matters. Size then matters. Again, to be clear, there is nothing inherently wrong with money, numbers and size. But when that becomes the chief indicator of God’s favour and blessing, it seems to me that the danger is that spirituality becomes measured by the external rather than the internal. And Scripture has much to say about the heart.

Now, I do not know Pastor Kong Hee personally. And I don’t have the opportunity to dialogue with him. But he has been quoted as saying, “I do not want City Harvest to be just a normal neighbourhood church.” That statement causes dissonance within me. Two things: first of all, I’d really like to know if it’s a personal goal and ambition or a burden of the Lord. Second of all, it seems to imply there’s something wrong about being a “normal neighbourhood church”.

Once again, to be clear, there is nothing spiritual or unspiritual about size. It is after all, about the calling of the Lord. If God calls a church to be large but it chooses to be lazy and not work at growth, then that’s disobeying Him. But if God calls a church to remain small but it chooses ways and means to grow that’s not in a manner that befits Him, then that’s disobedience as well.

3. The ends do not justify the means
Here I come to something really controversial: the Crossover Project. There is so much that has already been said that I’m not sure if what I add will be useful, but again my appeal (especially to my brothers and sisters in CHC) is that you will hear me out.

Now, I am not an expert in the case; I don’t know all the details, my knowledge comes mainly from what news reports have thrown up along with reading what my City Harvest friends have shared from their perspective. Let me begin by saying this: no-one can judge absolutely the intentions of the heart, only God. If this is the case, then we really do not know for sure what the motives of those implicated in the court case are.

Putting motives aside, the main issue I think is important to note is this: even if the motive was to get the gospel out, the method and process was questionable at the very least. The principle is this – you cannot compromise the gospel in order to share the gospel. Years ago, way before the court case, I remember reading Pastor Kong Hee justifying the Crossover Project by quoting Daniel making a difference in a foreign, pagan kingdom. And I remember thinking, “Well, yes he did. But first of all, he didn’t choose to go into that kingdom. It was the Babylonian captivity. Second of all, the way in which he made a difference was he did not compromise his faith in order to do so. In fact, the reason why Daniel stood out was precisely because he refused to compromise and God blessed him.” The ends do not justify the means.

I have heard many people point to the good CHC has done: both in the blessing of Christians as well as good works towards non-Christians. And I rejoice in and acknowledge this. However, the reason I bring up the ends do not justify the means, also has this implication: all the good the church has done does not mean the breaking of the laws of the land can therefore be somehow mitigated or excused.

While I am personally sad at the ordeal my friends in CHC are going through, I’m also grieved that the name of Christ has been marred before a watching world and the work of the gospel has been hindered because of this case. It may be inadvertent. It may be simply fall-out. But it’s reality. And it could possibly have been avoided.

4. This is not persecution
It may certainly feel like it for those in CHC, but our state is not persecuting the church, although there may be people who are making use of this case to do so to Christians (which would be unfortunate). Persecution is that which happens as a direct result of preaching the gospel. The court case happened because laws were broken, not because the gospel was being preached. I do hope the distinction can be made. The reason why this is important is this: in persecution, the proper response is faith and perseverance. In the breaking of laws, in my humble opinion, the appropriate response is repentance. Now, I don’t say this flippantly nor lightly, nor do I intend to judge my fellow brothers and sisters involved in the court case, but this seems to be the elephant in the room.

To be thorough, I would state that not all breaking of state laws constitutes a moral wrong in God’s sight. For example, it is illegal to share the gospel in some countries. As Christians, we are commanded to share the gospel with all peoples, so we would be going against the laws of the land if we choose to do so there. However, the laws that were broken in this case can’t be reasonably held as morally wrong in God’s sight. Therefore, the reasonable expectation is that we obey those laws. Didn’t God command us in Scripture to obey our authorities?

Some concluding thoughts
This post was not meant to be exhaustive; it was borne out of a desire to reach out to particularly Christians, that we may dialogue and think through the issues of our day. The honour of our Lord and the mission of His gospel is at stake. I will be praying for you brothers and sisters in CHC, that God would bring something good out of this (as Pastor Kong Hee or Sun have shared); and the good Romans 8:28, 29 talks about is being conformed more and more into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

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24 thoughts on “Some theological reflections on the City Harvest case

  1. Thanks for sharing n the enlightenment. I have been thinking before, did any Pastor speak or counsel to PS Kong earlier before the happening ? Did the national church council of Singapore tried to stop him ? However, a lesson learnt for Christian “to be our brother’s keeper”, willing to speak the truth in love when there is conflicts of truth.

    1. Hi Stacy, I’m not sure about what you asked. My guess is possibly not, simply because it was a matter of church governance (I don’t think people outside the church were privy to the information until the case was brought to public consciousness). We do need to keep praying for the Church of Singapore in general! 🙂

    2. Your assertion is wrong. Otherwise, she too would have been charged. OK, let us not be so self righteous about God prospering man. Who does not need a miracle to exist in this modern world where the scheme of things is money. Do u think God is not interested in our prosperity especially when so many families are facing a crunching time in these present times. Please do not shout our religious theorems from some lofty religious citadel.

      1. Sun Ho was not prosecuted not because she was really above board but more because she was out in the USA or around the world strutting her stuff and was not DIRECTLY involved in the management / sourcing / budgeting of the funds. Her husband did it on her behalf and that was more than enough to provide Sun Ho with whatever she wanted. she was merely fortunate in that it was the way the saga was managed by the leaders.

        Do not mistake that non prosecution equates non guilt – there are perimeters to operate with in secular law and when there is not enough evidence to directly link a person to a fraud case, state prosecutors may choose to forego the prosecution of the person so that they don’t waste their time.

  2. In point 4. This is not persecution do you mean:

    However, the laws that were broken in this case can’t be reasonably held as morally RIGHT (instead of wrong) in God’s sight?

    1. Hi B, I think I did type what I meant. Meaning, the laws that were transgressed were good laws for corporate governance and should be adhered to. That’s why I said the laws can’t be reasonably held as morally wrong because they are in fact, morally right.

      Does that clarify? Do let me know if I’m being unclear. God bless!

  3. Much have been said about proper governance and he did apologize to the church about this. NCSS and other church leaders have not come out (except two church leaders who calls a spade as one) to bring up the issue of dishonesty. As Christians, we are held to a much higher standard of integrity and this, Kong Hee and his leaders skirted very quickly (for that is the point – trying to derive benefits for hia wife with monies that is not his and covering it with a noble purpose of ‘crossover’ )and instead bring a diversion on the issue to blame it on corporate governance. If there was no dishonesty, there will be no serious infringement of corporate governance, neither will a church needs it except to be exceedingly above reproach and so fulfils much better than the letter or the spirit of such rules.

    1. Hi, I like your no reservations direct statement! This is what I believe too: that he and his wife have been dishonest.

  4. Hi Aaron,

    I would like to make several comments on your article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the theology of this case.

    As a member of the church, I would like to share my perspective on what you term as “prosperity theology” or the “prosperity gospel”, which many people consider us purportedly to preach. Many people rub us off as being prosperity, blessing-driven people who only seek God opportunistically. However, this is based on what *they think* we preach, not what we actually preach. I also find it the case that, to extend your analogy, people “butcher” our theology on giving, by taking one or several components to conclude what we believe, without considering our entire framework. Hence, I beg your pardon as I share a little on what I feel is the essence of the teaching on giving as is taught in CHC.

    I feel that we do not preach the prosperity gospel, at least the way people who criticise CHC represent it. Let me explain. At the heart of all our teaching on giving is the issue of financial stewardship, making God the Lord not just of our lives, but every area of it, including our finances. So, yes, I believe in tithing, because it is commanded in the bible, and because I believe that that is a way I can be faithful to God in my finances. Beyond tithing, in our free will offerings, I believe the same principle holds, in that we “give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 6:7). The bible is clear, that we should give of a sincere and pure heart.

    Furthermore, when we look at the “prosperity gospel” that CHC *supposedly* teaches, in the sense of “give, and God will bless you” (which I do not agree as fully representative of what CHC teaches), my personal opinion on that is that it is an unsustainable and inherently foolish model. Anyone who actually gives will know that this concept of giving is overly simplistic, and with this false premise, people who subscribe to it are bound to be disillusioned. Say, I believe that if I give, God will bless me back a hundred fold. The truth is, in 99.9999999999% of the time, there will not be someone handing me a cheque as I walk out of the hall, and I will not get a pay bonus that very week.. That is just unrealistic belief. So it appears to me quite foolish that anyone would even believe such a thing, and if anyone does, LIFE itself will soon prove one otherwise. It is not sustainable, that may work for a few instances of giving, but it is bound to fail. So, not to belabour the point, I feel that what people represent as what we teach, is indeed foolish, and not what we teach.

    As I mentioned earlier, the heart of giving in CHC, is really ‘to be a good steward’. It is not a singular act, but it is a lifestyle, in which sacrificially, in church or out of church, we learn to first give God the first fruits of our increase, and any other freewill offering that we so desire – not out of any expectation of return, but because giving is an expression of our love to God (amongst other ways, of course). I feel that when it comes to giving time in church every week, in our church, just like in all other churches, it becomes essentially a matter between the believer and God directly. The issue becomes, am I able to give to God what He calls me to? Maybe it’s my tithe, or maybe this week it is a special sacrifice just like when God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. When it comes to that moment, can I still give? That is the heart of the matter. If in the past I got 100 dollars a month as pocket money as a student, and my tithe was 10 dollars, if one day I were to earn a lot more money, say a million dollars, can I still be obedient to God? Will He still be the first in my finances? Can I still give that tithe, now that it is so much bigger and more significant?

    When we talk about “believing in prosperity”, I would like to give a simple analogy. Firstly, prosperity need not be only financial, it is ultimately the flourishing of the entire individual – in my spiritual life, emotional life, physical health, relationships, self-actualisation, and of course material life. I would say believing in prosperity can be compared to believing in good health. I believe that God’s will for us is to be healthy, and sickness and disease are not inherently His will. Nevertheless, does it mean that I will be healthy my whole life? Will I not get sick? Is it a guarantee that I won’t get cancer? Similarly, I do believe that God’s will is for us to prosper, (“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2).” And yes, I believe all things means all things.) But that does not mean that I will not experience lack. That does not mean that I will be a millionaire. That does not mean that I should not focus on being content with what I have (as the bible says, godliness with contentment is great gain), or learn in this season of my life to be abase (just as Paul says in Philippians, to know to be abound and abase). It just means that I have a concept of human flourishing, and a concept of God, as the owner of the cattle on the thousand hills, who says “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine”. He is the God who created all these things, who “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17).

    So I have this concept of God as a sufficient God, who can be our Jehovah Jireh (the Lord our Provider) in time of need, and of course I don’t neglect what the rest of the verse says in 1 Tim 6, that ” those who are rich in this present age (are) not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God”, and that “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare”, and that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”, and I agree that we cannot serve two Gods – God and mammon. However, I just have a positive concept of money in life, just like I have a positive concept of good health, emotional wellness. I do not see money as inherently evil, but as the verse says, “the love of” money as the part where evil arises, when money takes the place of God in our lives, when we are driven, motivated by money.

    In Deuteronomy 28, which talks about the blessings and curses of Israel, and some of the blessings include: “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl…blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land”. On the other hand, cursing includes ““You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.” For me, this is poverty. And poverty (in this sense) is a curse. I do believe, that if we live righteously and faithfully before God, when we till the ground we will get to eat of its fruit. As a faithful worker in my company, I will get my wages, and it will not be eaten away and spoil before I even get to use it for my needs and family. So true, as you said, ” the blessing was tied closely with the obedience of God’s people”. We just believe that obedience extends to all areas of our life, from our lifestyles, our mindsets, to our giving.

    I have been going on for a while, and let me end with this verse: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8). This is a verse about giving, and the reciprocal result of living a life of faithfulness in finances. God’s blessings (“prosperity” as you call it) is this, all sufficiency in all things, an abundance for every good work. I believe in prosperity not for prosperity’s sake, but what I can do with it, the generosity that can abound from my prosperity. Yet, generosity is not a state of my finances, generosity is my lifestyle, the state of my heart. There are many areas which I would like to do more in, but I am constrained by my finances. Yet, we have learnt in CHC to always be cheerful givers, in both our finances and our lives (if you would look at our ministries for children, youth, elderly, intellectually disabled, and humanitarian activities). And this is where generosity starts.

    So I would say, we must compare the idea of prosperity as part of a larger framework as this, which I have gleaned from CHC. Come comment on our doctrines, but also come look at our lives, the way we practically live out this idea of “prosperity” as you so call it. What most people see is just the tip of the iceberg. God bless you.

    1. Hi Ariel, wow, you’ve penned a really long post. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Your love for your church really shines through! When I first posted this, I didn’t realise how far a reach it had. So although I’d love to engage with every response thoroughly, please do forgive me if I am not able to do so.

      It seems to me that the main contention is whether or not the teachings in CHC amount to what has been commonly defined as the prosperity gospel, and whether for all intents and purposes, it is an aberrant form of the gospel.

      I believe I have pointed out several examples of how improper exegesis of the text has happened. And many respected pastors/theologians both in our city and beyond (the finest expositors of our generation by the way) have also done so.

      Also I don’t believe the best way forward is to trade interpretations of verses. Rather I’d like to humbly suggest two resources that would aid us in our pursuit of knowing God and His ways through His Word (worth its weight in gold).

      https://www.crossway.org/books/taking-god-at-his-word-hcj/

      We all come to Scripture with certain coloured lenses. And if we can remove those lenses, we would be able to know the word of God as God Himself intended. Looking further ahead, time/God permitting, further posts concerning theology can only be useful if there’s some basis of proper exegesis/hermeneutics. We may not all agree, but at least we can grow together. May God bless you!

  5. Would like to comment on a point you said. “Didn’t God command us in Scripture to obey our authorities?”

    My stand on that is yes, and no. God commanded us to obey him first. if the authorities are not abiding by God’s teachings, we are to obey God rather than the authorities. A good example is if the government commits genocide like the Nazis in WW2, Christians should not obey the government and should listen to God’s teaching to love your neighbour.

    We only need to fear and obey our authorities if they are not over ruling God’s teachings.

  6. When people heard about prosperity, the first thing came into their is money.

    But i would like to share in 3 john 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

    John prayed that we may proper in all things but the most important is to proper our soul first.

    Prosperity is not just about money, money is just a small part of prosperity. The word “Shalom”, one of the meaning is prosperity as well. Which goes to say God wants us to prosper in all things, in health, relationships, marriage, family well-being, finances, education, career, church ministry, etc.

    No point having lots of money but the person is sick and weak. No point having lots of money when their children hates them.
    But in the same way, it is not easy to live under the modern economic days to support your family and in many debts.

    I would like to conclude that God wants us to prosper in every area of our lives but first and foremost is that He wants us to prosper in our soul, when our soul and spirit is prospering then we will see the outward to prosper.

    God bless!

  7. Amen Sam. Prosperity should be seen in terms of God’s favour and hand in a person’s life ….for Joseph to prosper, scriptures says “God was with Joseph and he prospered ” but he was still a slave in his master’s house.

    If any church spends more than 10 mins at each service talking about tithes and offering, something is wrong. It is focused on one aspect. The evidence is when after so many years, it still have not raised enough despite all the admonishing to give….where did it all go?

  8. At the end of everything my comments are simply this. Whichever side u belong to be it a member or a non-member of chc, ur views are bound to contain an element of biasness. The only one who remains unbiased is God himself cos only He fully understands the entire process from beginning to the end.
    Regarding whether pastor Kong is guilty or not, let’s just say that on earth he is but in heaven it’s God’s call. It’s unfair to say he is guilty of sinning against God by using earthly laws to judge. Eg can we expect a human judge to pass a verdict based on what’s written in the bible? If one cannot get oranges by planting apple seeds, then is it fair the accuse the apple tree of being guilty for failing to produce oranges?
    I knew the pastor would be pronounced guilty cos it’s the earthly laws that are judging him not cos what he did was wrong. For Christians, none of us can claim to know/understand the bible 100% to be able to pass a godly judgment on this case. What if he is wrong in the eyes of the world but right in the eyes of God? What do u Christians from other churches have to say???

    1. I agree. Kong Hee could have transgressed earthly laws unwittingly and he is now found guilty before the world for ‘gross crime”.The facts are clear- Kong did not conspire with his wife for the crossover project to promote her career and this project arose out of a vision which the whole church supported. So I take umbrage with this blogger for pontificating out of a false premise without checking the facts.

  9. the real elephant in the room is this:

    pastor (ex-pastor?) kong could have been operating under the mistaken belief that what he was doing was right and lawful. that spending $24 million of not-his-money on his wife’s career was the right thing to do. because dressing in a bikini and “singing” about “doing the china wine” is an effective means of spreading the gospel. /sarcasm

    but if that was true, why did he then proceed to use even more money ($26 million) to cover up his paper trail?

    would you make a conscious decision to spend 26,000,000 dollars to cover something up that you think is righteous?

    no.

    he knew he was doing something wrong and he wanted to hide it.

    the other smaller elephant in the room:

    he also ruined roland poon’s life when he threatened to out his dirty (wine of a) secret. did anyone see what he did? his behaviour wasn’t anywhere near the reaction of what a person would do if he was accused of something he didn’t do. he completely skipped the confusion phase (the “wha- you think i did what?” part) and went directly to taking his accuser apart and tearing into his credibility. that’s practically textbook behaviour for what a guilty person would do to protect himself when caught.
    __

    imo, dear CHC members, you all need to come back to reality. i realise it hurts to after so long to finally find out that you weren’t donating to God, you weren’t donating to your faith, you were donating to kong hee – one man (yes, he’s just a man) who kept telling you to “give until it hurts”. you were donating to support your current pastor prance around in a bikini singing about gyrating (yes, that’s what dutty wine means. gyrating.)

    it sucks.

    but it’s finally time to lean on your faith in God. not your faith in one man. worship the God in the bible, not that sinner in the pulpit.

  10. Dear friends, I appreciate your comments, but I think the tone of the conversation is getting a little terse. I do ask that we keep it civil, failing which I do reserve the right not to publish posts that will cause strife, instead of shining light on the issues. Thank you and God bless!

  11. Yes I think we should be civil and not get emotional. Please take a step back and ask what is the difference between an earthly law and God’s law when issue of integrity is transgressed. Was this done under duress or extraordinary circumstances of persecution? Or it was a plain open field to evangelise in the US with money as the only limit? For the purpose of spreading the gospel, what was the fruit? One has to truly confront the reality even if one does think the motive cannot be judged on earth – can we honestly think that China Wine or Kill Bill are the instrument of evangelism no matter how convoluted we want to argue it? I just hope the scale falls off our brrthren’s eyes to see the truth. I will continue to uphold the church in prayer as this is His church and the dedicated members deserve better.

  12. I’m a Christian. If we profess to be Christians it means we believe we are saved by grace through christ and we look forward to his coming again and to the fulfillment of God’s divine plan as described from old to new testament. We should follow the scriptures closely and not teach it according to worldly ways. When we detract from this, we are called ‘conservative’ and old fashion. The best advice to not stray: follow the bible teachings and the new testament principles closely.

  13. I hear a lot, in fact too much about prosperity here, and how the Lord would bless and reward those who give ’till it hurts’. BUT and this is a huge BUT, I have not heard any emphasis on honest to goodness HARD WORK, honest to goodness hard labour to achieve ones wealth.

    It seems to me that the start point and the ONLY point of the whole debate seems to be to give to God whatever you can ‘afford’ or you are not a true follower. I read nothing about God’s desire and encouragement for us to apply ourselves to perform an honest day of labour at our jobs so that we CAN offer to Him our honest earnings to glorify His name.

    Money don’t grow on trees, so it is so utterly disappointing to read all these, bible phrases ‘trading’ notwithstanding, justifications for what is a prima facie case of a huge frivolousness use of the believers’ gifts to God. The fact that one person or a group of persons, decided that that is the way to go (China Wine, etc) does not and in no way says that god is necessary behind the crossover project in the manner that the chc leadership has decided to pursue it. That they couldn’t be wrong because they believe, however sincerely, that this is what God wanted them to do, exposes men’s abiding weakness of narrow foolish pride. If God is behind Kong Hee and his team, why has it come to grief in the manner it has? Do not use God’s name in vain.

    There is the question of the means used to achieve an end. There is a huge question of the procedures and processes itself which ABSOLUTELY no one in any responsible position in CHC seemed to have cared about, in fact, seemed to have completely IGNORED. Group think is so very much in evidence everywhere.

  14. Perhaps a reading from the Bible might be useful. Paul had this advice for Timothy in 1 Timothy 6 3:10 with regard to false teachers who would use the name of Jesus for financial gain –

    3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound[b] words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and[c] we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

  15. Hi everyone, thanks once again for all your responses. I never expected my blog post to blow up like this (36k+ views already). So I’m a father and not a blogger 😀 and I won’t have time to moderate the discussions that are happening. I apologise for having to close comments. But I’d be glad to dialogue with any of you offline/via email. God bless!

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