The one Kong Hee supporter I cannot figure out why she still support him is Elim Chew. So when U@Live featured her recently, I took the chance to listen to her. Over many sittings of a few minutes each time I finally got to the end and am still no wiser.
Here is a clip of CHC supporters. Elim Chew appeared as the second interviewee.
If detractors of CHC think it is the simple sort of brainwashing like we read about among cults, this is deeper.
Look at another personality who appeared at U@Live. Dr. Tan Lai Yong is also a dedicated Christian but does not appear to be cut from the same cloth as Elim Chew isn't it?
It is a confusing world. Our Muslims friends are perplexed about their faith as well. They are working through a thousand years of liberal practice of the faith against an ascendant Wahhabism.
CHC is a purveyor of the Prosperity Gospel. Dr. Tan Lai Yong is closer in mindset to the faith practiced by Mother Teresa. It is wealth vs poverty. Today Dr Tan is not running around trying to help people succeed in business. He spends a lot of time with the under class especially the foreign workers. As for Elim Chew, money may not be the sole focus, however in her work even if money is not everything, everything is somehow connected to money. I keep hearing in my mind's ear Nic Vujicic speaking fee is now $125K. I learned that from Elim Chew.
Do the 17,000 members at CHC know what is happening to their heart and soul? Is Dr. Tan version of the faith compatible with theirs?
Update: 5:35 pm
I just came from reading this fine blog post by a Christian lawyer on Kong Hee's appeal against the sentence that was recently meted out to him. He had systematically and eloquently tore apart Kong Hee's facetious arguments and lies which can be found here.
Kong Hee has twisted and abused scripture to suit his nefarious purposes. Readers should bear in mind he was writing solely for his 17,000 member congregation only. He needs to protect his investment.
Now who will join CHC? I know but it is too terrible to write. So I will just leave something familiar as a reminder from Matthew 7
And if you do not do the will of God, you cannot understand what he has been trying to tell us from the Bible either. So be very careful with what is said. Judge what was done because words are cheap. If this is too difficult then ask yourself who imitates the historical Jesus as recorded in the Bible.
Update: Who is Jesus? 8:30pm
There are many Jesus' out there. There is one in the Quran, the Hindus have also found a place for him in their pantheon. Some Buddhists also suggested he was one of the Buddhas. Even Deepak Chopra wrote a book with Jesus as its title and before I forget, he is included somewhere in Sai Baba teachings as well!
Christians do not consider those I just enumerated as the true Jesus. Neither do such regard him as the Jesus of the Bible. I want to ask a question, "Who is the Jesus of Kong Hee? Who is the Jesus of Elim Chew? Who is the Jesus of Dr. Tan Lai Yong?" Finally, "Who is the Jesus of Mother Teresa?"
Seems to me only the Real Jesus is the one who matters, at least for believers. In that case it must mimic the relationship Jesus had with his followers both when he was here and when he had left them bodily and remained with them spiritually. The relationship we have with him here and now must continue into the life beyond this one. In this sense Mother Teresa and Sadhu Sundar Singh to me captured the relationship we ought to have with Jesus best.
So I don't care too much about what Kong Hee preaches but what is his relationship with Jesus Christ? Is it like the one Paul had? Of course this relationship whatever it is must also show up as how one lives his life too. Tycoon Jesus? Spare me that. Don't get me wrong, it is not wrong to be rich but how to live a luxe life of a rich man and has the right relationship with Jesus is the issue. The Bible gives us many examples on how to maintain a rich relationship with Jesus as a materially poor person but far less guidance for the rich folks. Don't ask me why, it is just like that. You can try to fill in the gaps or choose not to be rich and have a clearer idea how to maintain this intimacy with Christ. At this point it is best to quote Mother Teresa,
To a man who once saw her cleaning the wounds of a leper and said, "I wouldn't do that for a million dollars," Mother Teresa replied, "Neither would I. But I would gladly do it for Christ."
Mother Teresa regarded that act of cleaning the leper's wound as doing it to Jesus. That is truly something for relationship.
I think I have succeeded but at the cost of many more words than I would like to make what I said was too terrible to write, writable.
Kong Hee was a great taker with a golden reputation in church as a great giver. How Elim Chew fails to see that is simply beyond me. The more than eight decades old Mr and Mrs Tan at U@live asked some very good and skeptical questions of Elim's success. They were very polite but to put it across bluntly, the point is Elim Chew's story is simply surreal. Does it have a Bernie Madoff character to it? I don't know but I am sure time will tell. Meanwhile I have no reason not to give her the benefit of the doubt but I would also be cautious. Who is this Tycoon Jesus? Nick Vujicic knows him as well. We live in interesting and dangerous times.
SIA is a great way to fly; Jesus has become a wonderful and easy way to get rich!
Update: Nov 30 1:35 pm
10,000 hours of hard work to be world class. Like many, I first read about this in Malcolm Gladwell best seller, "Outliers" but I never took it hook, line and sinker. I am sure to do well at anything you have to work very hard. It would be feedback that would guide you and help you make adjustment towards achieving your goals and achieve success. It cannot be an arbitrary 10,000 hours. Nevertheless I sold it to my children this 10K hours because it is easy to make a compelling sale to them. For Gladwell he made a big mistake. He had chosen to tell stories that is easy to sell and popular to make more money even if it was at the expense of truth. You see that is the problem with all these self help and feel good dogmas of success. It is dishonest. Some will find it to be true and they are just lucky. The majority will not but they often do not give up. They keep trying! And that is the tragedy of Elim Chew's formula for success. Ditto Nick Vujicic and the Prosperity Gospel Kong Hee preaches.
CHC members in their heart of hearts aren't after a relationship with Jesus Christ. They are after what they were told a supernatural tycoon Jesus who owns the whole universe and can give them a heaven on earth and a plus version hereafter.
I have presented this to my daughter before. I asked her, which is easier? Pray to God constantly and fervently for exam success or study hard to get your As? She said praying is easier. I replied then you shouldn't pray but work hard at your studies. CHC is probably full of members who believe in "prayer" because it is more pleasant and easier than blood, sweat and tears to achieve success.