I’m coming out: I’m a member of CHC and I support the Crossover Project

You know, I’m probably going to offend thousands of people with this post and suffer the backlash of two different extreme comments following two thoughts: “you’re a sheep who can’t think for yourself”, and “you’re a member of the church right? How can you say these kinda things?”. But you know, whatever. I’m also tired of answering these two questions: “how’s the church?” and “so did Pastor Kong do it?” (Short answers to both, “great.” and “I don’t know.”)

I want to put it out there before I start anything as well just in case:

I’m a member of City Harvest Church, I don’t know ANY of the accused personally, nor am I a leader in any church ministry. Most importantly, I’m a flawed, human being who just wants to continue my walk with God – aka a Christian –

I’ve spent quite a far bit of my time defending my church and trying to stay objective about it all, but if someone talks shite about your home you’ll get a little cranky too right? That’s right, CHC is my home. And like every home and every family, they all have their quirks. Yes, CHC is a little louder and more radical than others, but I love that place, flaws and all. I have found a second family and had my ups and downs and my fair share of bad experiences in the human-run establishment. 

A bit about my background first: I was born into a Christian family and was baptised at St Andrew’s Cathedral (SAC) when I was a mewling babe. Then I bounced to New Creation Church (NCC) and stayed there till I was in Secondary One. Then in sec one I left church completely and I visited Lighthouse once then my friend finally convinced me to pop by CHC (I refused to go cause of its shitty reputation then) and I’ve stayed since I was 15 despite it’s crap reputation. Now I’m 24 and I’m gonna get married there! NINE LONG YEARS MAN. 

Now answer me this: For a girl who’s not a leader in any church ministry, who tries to attend service every week and hardly attends cell group, A REAL ORDINARY CHURCH MEMBER, who doesn’t know any of the leaders personally and hence has nothing to gain from being their friend/son/daughter/mother/father/accountant… Why have I stayed for nine long years? That means I’ve been through the Crossover Project, the times where relationships were scrutinised by staunch church leaders and when the bloody building fund was rampant. 

The reason I’ve stayed so long despite everything is because: I believe that the Crossover Project is good. Most importantly, I believe in the church’s mandate to find a need a meet it and to find a hurt and heal it.

Crossover Project 
For those of you who only have this vague idea that the crossover project was how the congregation was cheated of millions to fund Sun Ho’s career, you’re wrong. It didn’t start out that way. And I can guarantee I was not “brainwashed”. If I’d been brainwashed I’d be all sunshine and daisies and I’d love EVERYTHING about the church. But I don’t. In fact, there are many things I dislike about my church, the bloody building fund being one of them, the passée Ed Hardy trend – uniform of douchebags – and this incessant need to queue and rush into service – which is not so bad lah to be honest, cause it kinda gives you more time to hang out with friends.. But then again every church has its bad points right? If not I wouldn’t have left the ones above…

Back on track.

The Crossover Project started out good. As Christians, we want to share God’s love and good works with as many people as we can, and ideas to do this have stemmed from as basic as knocking on doors to having big bake sales and staging community sporting events. The Crossover Project was one of these ideas. In my opinion, it was a good idea. But why not through charity?? – you ask. Well, – and I’m gonna be brutally honest here – through mission work and charity you’re given the opportunity to reach out to people who need a lot of help, the sick, elderly, low-income… basically people who have reached the point where they are actively seeking help. It was easier for the church to reach out to these people by meeting their needs and to be there for them. If they wanted to come to church good, if they didn’t no worries, we were still given the privilege of meeting these wonderful people and doing our part to help them. City Harvest Community Service Association (CHCSA) gave us the opportunity to reach out to those in need. But the youth, people who are hale and hearty, who would never go to CHCSA for help, this was a bunch of people that were difficult to reach out to cause they were cynical and closed off from religion. Many of them needed just a listening ear, some came from abused families but had no one to turn to. Through Sun’s Chinese album and the concerts throughout Asia, there was this sudden avenue for members of the church (mostly youths) to reach out to more people. 

In a way, the concerts gave church members a common talking point with folk on the street and from there it paved the way for members and for Sun to talk more about the gospel. And for a long time this idea worked!  All these broken people, all these kids (most of the members are under 25!!) we were all given this new “home” to grow up in. More people came, cell groups started growing with people who have been hurt at some point in their lives, testimonies poured in from people who come from broken families, abusive relationships and they stayed because members practised the church mandate: to find a need a meet it and to find a hurt and heal it. Of course, not everyone is perfect, and in a big church, as with every society, you’re always bound to find all types of crazy. I’ve even had my fair share of crazy with ugly words slung over Facebook, gossiping and big ole cat fights. 

Speaking of not being perfect, the Crossover Project went downwards with the start of the English album. I just think they got a little too ambitious and wanted to bring it worldwide. You can’t reach out to the gangs of New York who love Nicki Manaj with soft Chinese ballads. And going all Asian hip-hop artist makes it even worse to be honest. It just did not turn out right. Yellow-face is not a stereotype we want.

Anyway, let’s all be honest CHC members! That was not a good idea. Sorry guys. 

Either way, I’ve only spoken to Sun once and I thought she was lovely, she was just really… sad. And tired. You could see how weary she was. And I honestly think all that China Wine stuff probably isn’t her. She looked way more comfortable with her old Chinese album where she sung soft ballads and mandopop.

Shelling out the money for the project
As students, the majority of the congregation really had nothing, but we gave with our hearts, and I’m sure the pastors, businessmen/ doctors every Tom Dick and Harry who was working gave plenty with their hearts too. You know what, no regrets for every single cent I gave. I don’t know about the rest, but for me, I don’t regret anything. I’m glad I’ve contributed to my home church and the mandate they worked towards. Even if it went into the bloody English album, the church still continued to do its good works! Where did the money come to do the good works if not from the tithe and offerings given by church members? Heaven ah? tsk. Y’all are blinded by the awful China Wine music video to see the good that has been done by the church.

I’ve seen the work my church has done, the lives they have touched and people the have helped both through the Crossover and charity work from CHCSA. And you know what, it is good. JAMS ministry is a shining example of the lives and people who have been touched by the many wonderful works done by my church. Sure, all the limelight has been shifted to a mistake made, but let’s not take anymore limelight away from what’s more important: the charity and good works done by the church and the lives that have been touched by the ministries. Instead of googling: “how CHC has messed up” try googling “City Harvest Community Service Association”. I for one have been blessed by both the pastors and good folk of the church.

If they are really convicted of the crimes…
*shrugs* I’m kinda expecting it already to be honest. Yeah yeah, have faith blah blah blah. There’s faith and there’s acceptance. – Told you I’m not a very good Christian. I’ve actually accepted that there’s a high chance that they’ll be convicted and I’m okay with it. But I’m still not going to leave the church.

I’m taking an objective stand point on this okay.

But what really offends me the most about all this is the quick judgement so easily tossed around. “THEY DESERVE TO GO TO JAIL.” – proclaims about half of Singapore simply because you’ve been fed  the most sensationalised piece of news from newspapers. You’ve gotten the bad, now get the good from CityNews and maybe form a better understanding before you judge.

And even if they’re convicted, who are you to declare their villainy? For those who have labelled the accused as sinners, evil, brainwashers etc, let me ask you this, how have you been affected by CHC? Are you so offended by ONE bad video that you’re now mentally disabled? Has the case affected you physically? Has it ruined your life and left you destitute? What wrong has been done that you have to reach in deep for such poisonous words? At the end of the day, no one’s perfect. John 8:7 (NIV) “When they kept on questioning Him, He (Jesus) straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” I’m not asking you to convert to Christianity, nor am I asking you to suddenly become their best friends and lay your lives down for them, I’m asking you to practice respect for your fellow humans and forgiveness against something that doesn’t even affect you. 

It is sad, because there is no public declaration of support for the pastors. Members keep quiet, some leave to avoid association. Worst of all, some members from other churches are quick to roll their eyes, gossip and whisper about the bad things they’ve heard about the CHC pastors. All this done despite subscribing to the ideals of grace and mercy as preached from their own pastors – taken from the word of God. It’s shocking! You murmur and meditate on grace and mercy but come home and revel in the misfortune of others and say, “this will never happen to my church”. I’ve seen this happen right in front of my eyes with people I know and respect and it’s just so so disappointing and hurtful.

Isn’t it sad that this one mistake overshadows the help they’ve given thousands? People sometimes make mistakes despite their good intentions. If your brother made a mistake, would you leave? No. Because you are family. 

Whatever happens, I’m still standing by the pastors, simply because my church – my family – is made of broken people. As a church with a mandate to find a need and meet it, and to find a hurt and heal it, we’ve attracted plenty of lost souls, broken spirits and downtrodden folk. Now our pastors have reached the point of breaking and it’s our turn to meet their needs and heal their hurts. Why would I leave when this is the time they need us the most? Our church has grown since it started 25 years ago, not just in size but in heart. There is love and there is family and I feel it every time I walk through the veil of air-conditioning that guards each door of the hall. Don’t believe me? Come in. We welcome you, even if you’re there just to visit and to throw rocks at us. Give us a chance to show you that in this house of God, there is no condemnation, no judgement and most importantly, there is love.

God bless, and peace out.

Extra notes: 
– This is my opinion, if you oppose it don’t hesitate to leave CONSTRUCTIVE comments.
– If you’re offended by my post you can vent by sending me your best angry email. I will chuckle and keep it in the haters folder. 
– If my answer to your comment can be referenced back to my post I will simply state, “please read blog post” and you can read through again.
– If you feel the same way, high-five.
– If you call me a shitty Christian who knows nothing… Yep, you’re right.
– If you’re my church leader and you want to bring me for discipleship… okay 🙁 
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