Church Accused of Embezzling Over $40M To Fund Pastor’s Wife’s Hip Hop Career
In one of the worst allegations of church misconduct of all time, Kong Hee, the Pastor, and five other leaders at City Harvest Church in Singapore have been accused of misusing over $40 million dollars in church funds to fund the hip hop career of the pastor’s wife, Sun Ho and later cover those illicit transactions in order to avoid prosecution. The City Harvest case, along with all of the surrounding news that has since come out about the church is the perfect example of the unbiblical Prosperity Gospel run amok and the compromise that is taking place in much of the Christian church all over the world – as pastors abandon sound biblical doctrine, in favor of “me-centered”, prosperity-focused teaching filled with Biblical error.
After a two year investigation by Singapore’s Commissioner of Charities and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore police, Pastor Kong Hee and other church leaders were arrested for secretly using church funds in a series of complex transactions (in which the church purchased bonds in sham companies that were owned by City Harvest itself, thus diverting “investment funds” back into the hands of the pastor and leadership) that were supposed to go a building fund, to finance the hip hop career of the pastor’s wife, Sun Ho, who goes by the stage name of “Geisha.”
According to reports:
The prosecution alleges that the six leaders, all members of the church’s management board, have misappropriated more than Sg$50 million (nearly US $40 million) of church funds and have committed criminal breach of trust. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, according to the Commissioner of Charities
“[The] funds were used with the purported intention to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music career to connect with people,”the Commissioner of Charities said in a statement released Tuesday. “There was a concerted effort to conceal this movement of funds from its stakeholders.” AFP reports that Prosecutors at the start of the trial Wednesday said the accused channeled money allotted for the church’s building into buying sham bond investments in church-linked companies so they could finance Ho’s secular music career. They allegedly falsified church accounts to make it appear the bonds were redeemed, in a practice the prosecutors called “round-tripping”. “These transactions were thus designed to throw the auditors off the scent of the bogus bonds,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Mavis Chionh.
Sun Ho herself is not on trial, the Brisbane Times says, and early this week she was reinstated by Singapore’s Commissioner of Charities as City Harvest’s executive director after a review found she had not contributed to mismanagement of the church.” (source). At the center of this scandal is The Crossover Project –
City Harvest’s attempt to spread the Gospel to the secular world through the use of pop music – specifically, the pop music of Sun Ho, the pastor’s wife.So from the onset, the foundation of this project was unbiblical. Christians are not commanded to spread the Gospel through pop culture, but to use the Word of God, the Bible to convert souls to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.Romans Chapter 1 says: “ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..” The power to change a person’s heart to have saving faith in Jesus Christ is from God and His Word, not man-made efforts to use hip hop music that is not even mentioning God, Jesus or the Gospel.
Despite this obvious conflict with Scripture, the leadership of City Harvest maintains that they received the command to carry out this project directly from The Lord. As stated on their own documentary on the Crossover Project, which is still viewable on their church website;
“In 2002, City Harvest Church received a mandate from God to reach the secular world through music…It was necessary to extend the influence of Sun into certain cities through the power of pop culture and pop music.” (source).
According to the church leadership, the plan was for Sun Ho to perform her secular pop music in a certain city, and then Pastor Kong Hee would preach at a local church in the same area. Soon that church would arrange another concert with Sun Ho as the headliner and this was supposed to share the Gospel.
Not only was this plan completely ungodly, the music of Sun Ho, aka Geisha, was completely sinful and sexually-charged. Here is a video for her song “China Wine”.
The Bible says: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). This video is immersed in worldliness and sinful rebellion. How is the Gospel being spread or the church promoted by a pastor’s wife dressing provocatively and dancing around in a hip hop reggae video? Rather than promoting the Gospel, the Crossover Project was more an attempt to launch Sun Ho the Geisha’s secular music career.
In an interview in 2007, Sun Ho made it clear that she was interested in full on secular music style:
You’ve done a lot with Asian MTV. Are you planning to do music videos for MTV in the United States?
Sun Ho: “I can’t wait for that! I keep asking, “When are we going to shoot for MTV?” Recently I watched Justin Timberlake and I watched Christina Aguilera, and Beyonce’s. I would have to say that it’s different from what we do in Asia. I keep telling Tas (her manager) “Tas, you’ve gotta prepare me for that! I have to be more sexy!!” (Laughs)
Sun – China Wine | China Wine feat Wyclef Jean. (2008)
I want to work with the choreographer to come up with “China Wine” dance steps and stuff. Seriously, I can’t wait to grow in America and I can’t wait for people to see me and [tell me] how they feel about my music. I feel like this is the only way an artist can grow” (source).
The Bible says of women in the church: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5). What spirit is leading Sun Ho, as an elder woman in the church and the pastor’s wife, to make videos like these and aspire for the world? It is not a spirit of God.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence Sun Ho The Geisha was given a $10M marketing budget that was “in line with Shakira’s marketing budget and less than the budget for Beyonce”. (source). All of this was paid for with church funds given by the congregation each week.
In one of the many sites devoted to exposing this church, former members testify that not only was the Crossover Project acknowledged by the church, churchgoers were pressured to buy Geisha’s albums on a weekly basis:
I initially attended it [City Harvest Church] with my folks. We enjoyed the sermon and the clear teachings of the pastor and his fellow leaders. But things went downhill one Sunday morning when a leader took to the stage to plug Ho Yeow Sun’s new album. The horrifying thing was how he chirpily used hard sell tactics to move the units.
We were asked to buy more than one copy and pass them to our friends. If one were to buy 6 copies or some absurd number, that would entitle one to a free poster or t-shirt (something along those lines). What was most upsetting at that time, was the fact that he was using the pulpit to push the sales of the pastor’s wife who was more interested in cutting pop albums than say attending church service. The posters from her new album were also plastered along the entrance and lobby of the building. There were no images of Jesus. No, instead, this singer’s face, the pastor’s wife, was all over the building. If that does not trigger alarm bells in the average church-goer, what will? That was the last week we attended CHC. (source).
All the while, Pastor Kong Hee fully endorsed his wife’s career, performances and lavish lifestyle. As part of the effort to “spread the Gospel” Sun Ho, aka Geisha, moved to Hollywood Hills, California where, in a neighborhood that boasts Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as residents. How can any church, much less one with tens of thousands of members, stand for this? How can they tolerate such clearly outrageous behavior from their leadership? This is the danger of the spiritual apostasy – the departure from Biblical preaching, to man-made, entertainment-focused heresy, that is sweeping through much of the Church today.
For more on this story: http://beginningandend.com/city-harvest-church-accused-of-embezzling-over-40-million-to-fund-pastors-wifes-hip-hop-career/