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Archive for the ‘Pentecostals’ Category

strangefire

In light of the Strange Fire Conference, we just completed our mini series focused on the problem of Charismatic excess/Prosperity Gospel influence in Asia.  The following are the links not only from the past two weeks but also over the years on Veritas Domain.  Lord willing, if we were to write more on this topic we will put the links on here as well.

Foundational

Why will we focus our apologetics on Prosperity Gospel/Charistmatic Excess?

The Prosperity Gospel’s Functional Idol and its fruit

Kong Hee and City Harvest Church

Incorrect: Kong Hee say we love God because of what we can give him

Sun Ho the Pastor’s Wife or the Pastor’s Ho?

Jaeson Ma

Jaeson Ma’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) roots

Jaeson Ma: False Prophet about Los Angeles 2006?

Keeping ‘Prophets’ Accountable: Jaeson Ma on Korea Revival by 2021

Frequent Objections defending Jaeson Ma Answered

A Closer look at another defense of Jaeson Ma’s False Prophecy

Jaeson Ma: Epitome of the unbiblical Hipster and ‘Celebrity’ Pastor

Jaeson Ma’s New Song “Rise and Fall” is heretical  NEW!

  NEW!

Joseph Prince and New Creation Church

David Yonggi Cho Guitly and  Yoido Full Gospel Church

“Pastor” David Yonggi Cho Guitly, another case of Strange Fire in Asia     NEW!

Related

October Links Related to Strange Fire and the Charismatic

Aftermath of Strange Fire    NEW!

Review of    NEW!

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Joseph Prince false teacher

We continue with our closer look at Joseph Prince’s arguments for his position that every Christians should speak in tongues.  For those who may not know, Joseph Prince is a Pentecostal preacher from Singapore, who’s popularity is felt not only in Asia but even here in the United States.

The video we have been examining is this particular clip from Joseph Prince’s channel:

Eight seconds into the video he tries to argue that it is biblical for Christians to ask other Christians whether they speak in tongues, implying that believers should speak in tongues:

One time the Apostle Paul passed by a group of people and he asked them, ‘Have you received the Holy Ghost?’  And the Bible says they were disciples, they were believers in Christ.  ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit?’ he asked them.  Now, today that is not the question we ask people after we see that they are saved.  We don’t asked them, ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit?’ because it is insulting to many “denominations” to suggest that, to ask the question ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit?’ is insulting.  Yet I think it is in Acts 16, or 19…and in Acts 19 when you look at it the Bible says that Paul passed by a certain region and then he found disciples.  The word there is disciples.  These are believers in Christ.  Christians.  And he asked them the question, ‘Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?’  So they said, “We never heard of anything called the Holy Spirit.’  ‘So unto what baptism were you baptized?’ “John’s baptism.’  Well Jesus said what?  You will be baptized by the Holy Spirit.  And the Bible says that he prayed for them, laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit and the Bible says what was the evidence for those of you on the page?  They spoke with tongues and prophesied, right?  So we don’t want to compromise just because some denominations are of the persuasion that tongues has ceased alright, we don’t want to compromise because our standard is the Bible.  Can I get a good Amen?”

(0:08-1:35)

Joseph Prince is appealing to Acts 19.  Let’s take a closer look:

1.) Prince makes much out of the point that its to “disciples” (verse 1) that Paul asked his question “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  (verse 2).  Specifically though, these disciples were those of John the Baptist since they didn’t know about the Holy Spirit (verse 2) and only knew about John’s baptism (verse 3).  This observation should make us cautious in assuming these are regular New Testament Church era Christians.

2.) In light of the fact that they were John’s disciples who only knew up to the baptism of repentance and never even heard about the Holy Spirit, one must be sensitive to progressive revelation and how redemptive history unfolds.  This particular episode is unique in that as the church began and started from Acts 2 onward, there were a number of believers who were disciples before hearing about the Holy Spirit such as John’s Disciples.  Yet by God’s providence the Lord brought those like the Apostle Paul to fill them in about the Spirit.  We expect that as the book of Acts progress, with the church growing more and more, that the number of such disciples of John who didn’t know about the Spirit would decrease.  When we fast forward to today, there are not John’s disciples who haven’t heard of the Holy Spirit.

Thus, if one is sensitive to the context, Acts 19 is not a text to justify asking other Christians whether they have the Holy Spirit and implying that they should speak in tongues.

Don’t forget also how earlier in part two we established the biblical truth that baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the same thing as speaking in tongues, since one can be baptized by the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues.

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Jaeson Ma Aziatix controversy

Earlier I wrote a post identifying the fruits of Prosperity Gospel and extreme Charistmatics preachers and how it reveals their functional idol.   Among the “fruits” mentioned is an infatuation of trying to enter the entertainment industry.   I think the preachers in the reality show, “Preachers of LA,” is an example of my thesis and another case study is the anti-nominian, false prophet and Pastor Jaeson Ma.

Although Jaeson Ma retains the title “Pastor” (see this video of him in Malaysia), he has been spending most of his time being a musical artist.  And for Jaeson Ma that means hanging out with artists, music industry reps and insiders.  Of course, there is nothing wrong in of itself reaching out to people who are lost and being their companions so long as one doesn’t compromise their belief and behavior before the Lord.  Has Jaeson Ma been above reproach?  Here I am not merely trying to catch him on a “slip-up,” a moment of weakness when he fails to be consistent to the standard he holds to;  rather, I’m trying to ask a more foundational question, of whether it is biblical with his particular approach in associating with those in the Asian entertainment industry?  I’m more concern about the method driving him than an inconsistency to one’s method since after all, we are all prone to sin and deviate from our professed standard.

One such association (among many) that Jaeson has is with the group Aziatix.  Note Jaeson Ma’s facebook:

Here I quote again what Jaeson Ma wrote just in case the picture on facebook disappear:

Ones up to the sky with @aziatixallday at their new music video shoot single produced by @redone_official They are the first Asian American group signed to @ymcmbofficial (Young Money) and they didn’t get here by chance these four brothers got here by faith. Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. & I saw how each of these men risked it all to follow God and start @aziatix this is just the beginning & I’m serious when I ask all of you following me to pray daily for them as they make this God given music and shine light in the darkness. Aziatix all day!!!!! #salute #respect #proud #pray4aziatix

Note how Jaeson Ma describe this group as following God, having faith, being a light and them taking risk for Him in their musical career.

Apparently, this prompted one of Jaeson Ma’s fan to comment his concern about Aziatix:

Those guys have such amazing music n talent, its crazy. They are humble brothers, though not to hate just being honest, their album Awakening is amazing, but Godly isnt on the menu, especially one of the songs talking about taking some other guys girl and clubbing.

One can find online and read Aziatix lyrics and it seems that Jaeson’s fan had this particular song in mind.

Jaeson Ma’s response is very telling:

Michael what you need to understand is that music is a gift from God that expresses emotion, experience and personal truth for each artist. A song can talk about God explicitly or not explicitly. I personally don’t believe music should be categorized as Christian or not, what matters is that the music is good, is true to ones experience and honest. Sadly most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic, rather it is predictable and created in a certain way to fit a specific religious expectation. Study the gospels and you will see that when Jesus spoke to the masses He didn’t use religious jargon or language, but He spoke in parables with culturally relevant stories that the everyday person could relate with. When Jesus spoke to His disciples He spoke plainly about kingdom truths. there is music inspired by God for the world and there is also music inspired by God for the church, neither one is more acceptable than another. What God loves is that we use our musical talents by, through and for Him, Aziatix is doing just that and before casting a stone of judgment you should spend more time praying for them then judging them or any musician because you don’t know where they are coming from. I really do pray that people who follow Christ would follow His example of loving and appreciating each person human experience, for the only judgment Jesus made was against the religious who saw themselves as better and holier than others. With that being said, Aziatix all day and much respect to my man Jae Chong and the whole crew! God bless & God is love!

What are we to make of his comment?

Point 1: Note how Jaeson Ma comment doesn’t address his fan’s chief concern at all, that Aziatix’ musical content isn’t godly with the specific example of girls and clubbing.  Ma doesn’t even acknowledge his fan’s concern but goes off in a different direction.  He is committing the logical fallacy of red-herring.

 Point 2:  Jaeson said, “A song can talk about God explicitly or not explicitly.”  It seems reasonable that not every song has to be about God explicitly.  Moreover, if every song was about God explicitly there’s nothing wrong with it.  But what if the band’s entire musical career has never explicitly shared about Jesus and the Gospel at all?  How could Jaeson describe them as taking risks and who “shine light in the darkness”?

Point 3: Jaeson said: ” I personally don’t believe music should be categorized as Christian or not, what matters is that the music is good, is true to ones experience and honest.”  Note here that what matters for Jaeson is not the category of Christian and non-Christian but whether it’s “true to ones experiences and honest.”  But how do we know if that person’s experience was honest?  Or is really true?  Here it is important to see that there is a need for a Christian worldview to be worked out and applied to the area of music–and that in order to even talk about “honest” music even require things that ultimately can only make sense in a Christian worldview.

Point 4: Jaeson points out how “Sadly most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic, rather it is predictable and created in a certain way to fit a specific religious expectation.”  I’ll grant that, but what does this “wrong” have to do Aziatix’s worldliness in their music?  We must also remember that two “wrongs” don’t make a right.

Point 5: Jaeson Ma asserts that “Jesus spoke to the masses He didn’t use religious jargon or language,” which is quite unbiblical if one were to realize Jesus’ claim to being the Messiah involve Messianic titles there were explicitly religious and Scriptural (Old Testament) in nature!  One must understand that titles such as “Christ,” “Son of Man,” “Son of God” is rooted in the Old Testament!

Point 6: Jaeson also present a false dilemma between using “religious jargon or language” and speaking in ways “that the everyday person could relate with. ” The two are not mutually exclusive!

Point 7: Jaeson is begging the question when he asserts “What God loves is that we use our musical talents by, through and for Him, Aziatix is doing just that…”  One can’t really make a song for Him that glorifies Him if one goes about it in a worldy way or end up glorifying the lust of the eyes, and the love for this World.

Point 8: Jaeson use a popular line used by those who engage in verse abuse: “and before casting a stone of judgment you should spend more time praying for them then judging them or any musician because you don’t know where they are coming from.”  In essence, “Don’t judge,” says Jaeson Ma, who a few lines ago was the same one who said “most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic..[and] fit a specific religious expectation.”  If one looks at the context of Matthew 7 where the verse of not judging comes from, one will realize it’s against hypocritical judgement.  Jesus points out the irony of someone with a larger serious problem pointing out someone’s lesser problem in Matthew 7:3.  I submit such is the case with Jaeson Ma: When a fan points out the problem of his “spiritual” promotion of a band that’s worldly, he goes ahead and points out the speck that’s in the musical “authenticity” of Christian music.  He needs to remove his log out of his own eye!

Point 9:  Again the irony:  “for the only judgment Jesus made was against the religious who saw themselves as better and holier than others.”  Isn’t this truly the case that when a fan points out the issue of holiness and godliness, Jaeson Ma then proceed to make himself better and holier than his fan’s biblical conviction of being holy (set apart)?

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I have not heard of Joseph Prince before our mini-series focusing on popular leaders of the Charismatic movement in the Asian scene.  Our other blogger, EvangelZ, was the one who told me about him and how I should look him up.  It seems like he is a Charismatic prosperity gospel preacher with a big church in Singapore call New Creation Church.  His popularity is beyond Asia, and even here in the US.

Joseph Prince false teacher

His ministry uploaded a clip on Youtube from his sermon titled “Tongues–The Key To A Spirit-Led Life.”

The purpose of his message is clear:

Speaking in tongues make you supernatural.  So that is the prayer language that every believer should have.” (8:05-8:13).

He believes Christians SHOULD speak in tongues.  But in order to make his argument, he has to make two assumptions necessary for his case:

  • Speaking in tongues is not the same thing as the gift of tongues.
  • Those baptized in the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues.

In this post we will focus only on the first premise, that speaking in tongues is not the same thing as the gift of tongues.  Joseph Prince articulates and argue for this distinction between speaking in tongues and the gift in tongues seven minutes into the clip, saying:

So the biggest problem, the body of Christ today is that Charismatics who is baptized in the Spirit see it as a sign, alright, that they are baptized and that’s it but they don’t exercise the gift.  Now, many a times they exercise the gift when they come to church.  And that was the problem in the church of Corinth where Paul wrote trying to control of the gift of tongues.  Now gift of tongues, not everybody has the gift of tongues mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14, 12 and all that, where it talks about where you don’t have an interpreter, keep quiet.  Now that’s the gift of tongues.  All of us have the sign that Jesus said in Mark and this sign will follow those that believed, alright?  One of the signs is that they shall speak with new tongues.  Our Lord Jesus said that.  This sign will follow the believers.  Didn’t say pastors.  Believers.  Didn’t say Apostles and prophets.  Believers.  One of the biggest sign is what?  They shall speak with new tongues.” (7:01-7:58)

So while “not everybody has the gift of tongues,” Joseph Prince believes that the Bible teaches all believers “shall speak with new tongues.’

Joseph Prince might say this distinction parallel evangelism and giving:

  1. While some have the spiritual gift of giving (Romans 12:8), yet all believers are commanded to give (Romans 12:13, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, etc).
  2. While some have the spiritual gift of evangelism(Ephesians 4:11), yet all believers are commanded to evangelize/witness (Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15, etc).

Spiritual gifts will differ from individual to individual (Romans 12:6) but that doesn’t mean if we don’t have the spiritual gift of evangelism or giving that we cease giving and witnessing.

But does this distinction applies to the issue of speaking in tongues?  It doesn’t seem likely.  Note that in order for the gift/general function distinction to apply, it is necessary that God’s Word gives a command to believers in general to practice it.  While God does tells believers in general to witness and give, there are no imperative verbs in the New Testament ordering believers to speak in tongues.  Thus, Joseph Prince is not biblically warranted to make such the distinction between spiritual gift and practice of tongues.

However, Joseph Prince does attempt to show from the Bible that all believers should speak in tongues.  Recall how in the quote above he said, “All of us have the sign that Jesus said in Mark and this sign will follow those that believed, alright?  One of the signs is that they shall speak with new tongues.”  That passage in Mark in Mark 16:17, which says

These [d]signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues

As Prince stated, here in verse 17 it says “those who have believed,” and not just a subset of believers such as Pastors, apostles, etc.

But there are two good reasons why Mark 16:17 doesn’t support Prince’s cause.

First off, there is an issue of textual criticism with the end of Mark 16, in which verse 9 and following is disputed to be part of the original since many of the older and reliable manuscripts does not attests to anything beyond verse 8.  I myself believe the Gospel of Mark ends in Mark 16:8.

Secondly, even if we assume Mark 16:17 is part of the Greek autograph and therefore is legitimately part of God’s Word, this still doesn’t help with Joseph Prince’s cause.  I believe that the context of the immediate verse in Mark 16:18 strongly imply that we see a limitation of Mark 16:17 applying universally to all believers at all time.  Note verse 18 states:

 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

I would not want to see Joseph Prince pick up dangerous serpents and drink poison today.  If he believes that there are some exclusion to verse 18 being the case today, then I would say that to be consistent the context strongly demands an exclusion for the application of verse 17 for today also.  Thus Mark 16:17 does not provide (1) the warrant for Joseph Prince to assert that all believers are obligated to speak in tongues, (2) nor that which is necessary to establish the distinction of the gift of tongues and the act of tongues.

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Among other things, John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference has touched on the false teachings of the Prosperity Gospel.  It’s influence among Charistmatic circles is huge.  Known as the Word of Faith/Name-it-Claim-it/Blab-it-Grab-it theology, the impact of such teachings has dangerous spiritual repercussions and even at it’s best is a distraction from the Gospel (though I would add that its focus on the wrong things actually undermine the message and priority of the Gospel).

Over the years we have documented on our blog some of the dangerous fruits of Third Wave Continuationists and the Prosperity Gospel; and the fruits are not pretty.

I’m convinced that at the root of the problem with the Prosperity Gospel is the issue of idolatry.  That is, it’s an issue of who it is that is one’s God.  The functional god of those who are preachers and “parishioners” of the Prosperity Gospel is not the God of the Bible: it is the idolatry of the Self.  Let me explain with this illustration:

Idol of Prosperity Gospel Preacher

Until one identifies the root that’s driving the bad fruits, one can’t fully repent from the Prosperity Gospel since they don’t know what they must be turning away from.

The prosperity Gospel appeal to the carnal self.  It is all about pleasing the self and seeking gains for the pleasures of the self.  As a result, one shouldn’t be surprise to see the following fruits:

1.) An Emphasis on Subjective “Spiritual” Experiences versus the Word of God.  It’s experience-based rather than expositionally-based upon the Word of God.   And within Charismatic Word of Faith paradigm, the more supernatural the experience supposedly is, the better.  It becomes almost like a drug, an addiction to the spiritual experience itself rather than God Himself.  For some, one goes on religious roller coasters, where most of their life is in a spiritual slump until they wait for the next big high.  I believe that most of today’s speaking in tongues, getting slain in the spirit, holy laughter, “prophesying,” visions and “healing” spawn from this.  This also explains why so many false prophecies made in Pentecostal circles often are forgotten by those who hear them, because they are already looking for the next fixing for their veins of new “word” or predictions.

2.) Prosperity Gospel.  Having it’s mooring away from the Bible, advocates and believers of the Prosperity Gospel now have their discernment down.  With the idol of the self, a message of health and wealth appeals to their carnal wishes.  It tickles their ears.  Plus it’s about experiences and the experiences of the here and now-so why can’t we have the best of our life now?  Oh, should one also be surprise at tales of corruption behind the profits of prophets of the Prosperity Gospel?

3.) Infatuation of entering the entertainment industry.  Having now become materially driven, one now wants to be as successful in acquiring prosperity as they possibly can reach for.  For the best of the best in the circles of Prosperity Gospel, the sky is the limit but practically the sky is Hollywood:  think of what other industry brings the greatest fame, recognition and temptation of riches and luxury?  So with the supposed cover of wanting to reach out to Hollywood for Christ on a bigger platform, worldly methods and values are adopted in order to be part of the missionary effort to the entertainment industry and worldly goals and measure of success are adopted as well.  All this, while a bit of generic non-confrontational spiritual “Christian-ese” is sprinkled in one’s twitter and Facebook page, packaged for the mass amount of consumption possible.  Matter fact, often times prosperity preachers began small, who in desiring to be famous for being famous, they see twitter and other social media as the training wheels for developing fans responding to their selfies.

4.) Sexual immorality.  It can begin “innocent” enough with little efforts at mimicking the entertainment industry.  Or what you wear to indicate your prosperity by their fashion.  But if you are already feeding the Gods of self by appeasing it’s appetite of health and wealth, and fame and game, why hold back and be tame when it comes to sex?  Should we be surprise at why preachers of prosperity gospel have such heinous reputation of sexual immorality?

Don’t we see this being true at level three or four with those who are in the show Preachers of L.A., Kong Hee, Sun Ho and Jaeson Ma?

If any one sees this as a description of themselves, and God is convicting them, be warned by the Apostle Paul in Phillipians 3:19:

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

See your sins for what they are, repent, surrender yourself so that Jesus would be the Lord and Savior of your life.  Jesus Christ has died on the Cross and His blood is the source of our forgiveness.  Have truth faith in God’s grace alone through Christ alone to save us.

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I grieve writing this post and it brings me no pleasure.

Pastor-Kong-Hee-wife

Yesterday I wrote a post concerning a major bad point of the theology of Kong Hee, a famous prosperity Gospel preacher in Singapore who is now facing legal trouble for inappropriate use of church funds.  Today I want to focus my post more on where he spent the stolen church money that reveals more of where he and his wife is at spiritually.  According to the UK newspaper Daily Mail, reportedly the Singapore megachurch founder was ‘stealing more than $40million to fund his wife’s American pop star dream’

Kong Hee’s wife is name Sun Ho.  What is the fruit of her American pop star dream?

This carnal music video.  (WARNING: INAPPROPRIATE)

And videos like it.

I hesitated posting this video, after all I have managed to blog about Miley Cryus without posting any pictures on here.  Here we have a Pastor’s wife who publicly display herself more like Miley Cyrus than a Biblical portrait of a Godly Woman.  I couldn’t bring myself to finishing this video, it’s that bad in terms of visual content, message, lyrics, musically and vocally.  It is aesthetically unpleasing.  It’s ironic that her video is about a women who’s enslave to serving her lover and the celebration of a woman’s freedom from the whim of a depraved male lover BUT the visual content of the video  wouldundermine that very message when Sun Ho the Pastor’s wife has to be enslaved to the lust of the World by protraying herself as an objectified woman, a woman who says she holds to the standard of the world’s beauty (with it’s sexual innuendo) rather than the standard of God.

And from what both Kong Hee and Sun Ho publicly states, they think their entrance into Hollywood is a good thing for the cause of God’s Kingdom!

But there is nothing of Christ, the Gospel or Christ-like being communicated in her music video.  Not with the B-Word used in the music video.  Not with Sun Ho the Pastor Wife acting like the pun of her last name.

Heed the Word of Paul in Ephesians 5:6-11:

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes uponthe sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Lightconsists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 [f]trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even [g]expose them;

We ought not to walk in darkness or imitate ourselves like those in darkness.  We ought to expose it as Ephesians 5:11 teaches.

Stay tune for tommorow’s post on the topic of the functional idol of Charistmatic Prosperity Gospel preachers which will provide a Biblical paradigm to understand the modern Charistmatic Prosperity preachers and their fruits.

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kong-hee-look

In Singapore, one of the largest Charismatic Church is City Harvest Church.  Its sphere of influence can be seen not just in Singapore but in its affiliated ministries which reach Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia.  Their founder and Senior Pastor is Kong Hee who himself is also very influential, being a popular speaker among the South East Asian circles of Christianity.

In June 2012, Kong Hee was arrested by Singaporean authorities for the misuse of church funds for personal gain.

As of October 8th, 2013, according to the Christian Post, “The trial of Singapore’s popular pastor Kong Hee, who is accused of spending $41 million of church funds on his wife’s singing career, has now gone on recess and will not resume until January 2014.”[1]

Even with all the scandal going on Kong Hee continues to pastor the church.

The courts and investigative reporters will do their job at uncovering the truth of the matter concerning his corruption.  Here in this post I wish to critique his message on a theological basis with concerns for the affirmation of the Gospel.

On September 21st 2013, City Harvest service was extended with the following time of worship.  Obviously, with the trials and the scandal one can imagine it’s a trying time for Kong Hee and his church which is the context to the following clip:

I watch the whole clip and I was sadden to see the lack of the Gospel in it.  You know, that Jesus died for our sins, that we are guilty before a Holy God and that we are saved by Grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.  One might say in his defense that he might have shared the Gospel before or after this clip.  I suppose one must be charitable but I also wonder if perhaps the Gospel itself should be even more paramount  during a time like this for the church.

All that aside, I must say however that I was most disturbed at what Kong Hee has to say beginning at minute 6:43 of the clip:

Look at the pastor for a moment.  You know it’s precisely moments like this, seasons like this, that our worship to God is so precious that we are letting God know that we love him not because of what we can get, we love him because of what we can give, we can give him our worship when it’s not convenient to come to church but we still come to church week after week, when it’s not convenient to pray and yet we pray for our leaders and we pray for the ministry of city harvest, when it’s not convenient to give and we keep on giving because we want to arise and build God a great house in our generation to bring him glory.”

(Minute 6:43-7:21)

This is at the heart of my concern.  It’s not just a circumstantial evidence of absence of the Gospel that I’m criticizing but the fact that his statement above is imcompatible with the Gospel in the Bible.  I’m not saying here he does not know the Gospel, maybe he does (I am going to listen more of him) and didn’t see through the logical implication of what he’s saying in relations to the Gospel but the logical minimum we can say is that the quote has serious theological error and one that the Gospel should correct when we start unpacking it.
First off, I want to be charitable.  One can see some truth to his statement, “we are letting God know that we love him not because of what we can get…”  To use the preachers’ cliche, God is not just merely a “Vending Machine” as a means to get something else more greater that we enjoy.  God can not be reduced to a Genie in a bottle so to speak.
genie-lamp
Secondly, the problem becomes evident when Hee starts explaining why is it that WE DO LOVE GOD.  And what he has to say lacks Scriptural support.  Note his words, “we love him because of what we can give…”  What?  We love God because of what we can give Him?  Now preachers can sometime say things they don’t mean accidentally ( I will always remember the time I preached and asked who here wants to go to hell tonight).  But I don’t think Hee accidently said something he didn’t mean because Hee, never missing a beat with the prosperity gospel of giving to God (Hee’s church) goes on to give examples of what it is we can give: “we can give him our worship when it’s not convenient to come to church but we still come to church week after week, when it’s not convenient to pray and yet we pray for our leaders and we pray for the ministry of city harvest, when it’s not convenient to give and we keep on giving because we want to arise and build God a great house in our generation to bring him glory.”  Where in the Bible can he (e) find the evidence that We love God on the basis of what we can give him?
Thirdly, I would also say that the Word of God clearly contradicts Hee’s claim that we love God because of what we can give him.  Note 1 John 5:9-10:

By this the love of God was manifested [a]in us, that God has sent His [b]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Verse 9 clearly show that God does “give” to those saved as a way of revealing His love to us.  His love was manifested in sending His Son to give us life.   Jesus is “given” to us who are saved.  It’s only within this contextual flow of what God does first to initiate His love that we approach verse 10.  Note verse 10 statement of what that love means: “not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  The Gospel is really INSPITE of our love (“not that we loved God”).  I don’t think we should think so highly of our natural love for God but we should esteem God’s love first.
We don’t love God because of what we can give God.  We love God because of God’s love first.  Heed the words of 1 John 4:19:

We love, because He first loved us.

And of course logically “We love, because He first loved us” “We love, because of what we can give..”
Fourthly, I must add a greater problem with this we love ” because of what we can give..” is that it is man-centered and not God-centered.  God is the one that loves us on the basis of what He Himself desires to give to us.  That’s because we don’t deserve anything in of ourselves as creatures and sinners, and God being our Creator, Judge and Savior.  What is Hee saying, and what does it show about Hee’s hubris in his theology when we are saying we love God  because of what we can give?  Isn’t this rank arrogance?  Blasphemy?  The worst form of a gospel of works righteousness?

[1] Morgan Lee, “Pastor Kong Hee Trial Goes on Recess Amid Allegations City Harvest Church Leader Financed Wife’s Superstar Career,” The Christian Post (October 8th, 2013),  http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-kong-hee-trial-goes-on-recess-amid-allegations-city-harvest-church-leader-financed-wifes-superstar-career-106117/ (accessed October 17, 2013).

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