Monday, March 27

Is City Harvest Church a CULT?

Extracted from an online webpage (to link, click on the title of this post). The views expressed here are entirely the writer's own personal opinion. I have edited the article for grammar.

Answer this question: "Is City Harvest Church a place where...

a) a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by are promoted


b)a place where extreme or excessive admiration for a person, philosophy of life, or activity is conducted

Firstly, let me state that I am not in anyway against the belief of a god(s). What i am against is the active searching out of and roping in of new members of City Harvest Church and asking for donations.

Now granted, people may choose not to donate, but seeing how everyone else does so, they will feel peer pressure to do the same. I especially abhor the way in which City Harvest Church sets out to recruit prospective new members. By telling them that they will go to hell if they do not attend your church or believe in (your) God, you are blalantly insulting the right of that person to his/her choice of religous belief. And I would like to remind everyone that NOT believing in God is a choice of religous belief as well.

By hosting youth activities at the church, City Harvest is encouraging young members to ask their friends to come and participate in them. Once at these events, the young people will feel obligated to join in by the intense peer pressure. Soon, more young people will join, because it seems to be the "in" thing to do, and this use of peer pressure, whilst brilliant, is utterly immoral.

Many of these young people have no grasp of the religon at all, and are simply repeating what is told to them by those in charge at the church. Often they go to extremes such as walking around and praying openly, or excessively buying biblical books. They do not truly believe in the religon, although they may think they do - they simply do it because their friends do it. "Hey! if that many people are doing it, it can't be wrong can it?"

Well, up until the mid 1800's people all over the US had slaves, and no one can doubt the wrongness of that can they?

The point is, just because everyone does it doesn't make it right. Haven't we had that old adage drilled into our heads from youth? To the young people attending City Harvest at the behest of their friends, I strongly urge you to reconsider. City Harvest members who are reading this, I welcome your LOGICAL reasoning and explaination. (Please don't give me any crap about burning in hell. I'll just laugh in your face and ignore you).

Which answer did you choose for the first question?

a) was the definition of a religon

b) was the definition of a CULT


Blogger Ann said...

bnzfHi, speaking as a christian though it doesn't matter to me whether I'm a member of the church or not.

For the record, I'm around your age - reaching 18 soon and is in church as a christian for a year.

If there has been any bad stuff you have experienced from my fellow church members, I apologise on their behalf.

Ok, I just want to present an alternative view - I stumbled upon your blog by accident and so I hope you take kindly to my comments, ok? Thanks.

I have not much interaction from youths in my church, much lesser than other young people for I'm a teenager in an adult cell group. Despite that, I do participate in some youth activities that are church-wide.

One thing I can say for sure with reference to tithes and donation is that it is left to individual's discretion, at least that's what I have experienced as a member for over a year and as a student. There is a reason why Christians tithe and it's written in the Bible. In fact, it was reading through the Bible and coming across certain references that prompted me to make the decision to tithe, not through any prompting from other humans, members of church or not. Contrary to what you may have expereinced, my 1st visit to the church was a good experience. My friend even told me not to give if I don't understand the meaning of it and I obliged.

For your information, I'm one of the two only christians in a family and both my sister and I were in church for less than a year. My family having an alternative religion, I understood the importance of respect - to me love is important and I don't even bother quoting the bible verses stressing the importance of love. But in short, I choose to love because I serve a God who loves.

I have a healthy respect for my church because I can testify to the kind of leaders they produced. While there may be exceptions, my current cell leader is one who is there for me when I need her and guides me to love people more. My cell members are people who give and love each other and many of us have good friends out of church. My best friends in school, incidentally are non christians and to me, it is perfectly fine.

A church does not have to be a boring place. Going to church can be fun and exciting. The activities while it may be true that it is a form of reaching out to non christians is also a way for the young people from the different cell groups to come together and know each other better..

I do hope you have a nice day!


10:07 am, August 01, 2006  
Anonymous curious said...

Dear Ann,

I am a catholic and have several questions which I am pursuing regarding city harvest.

The massive City Harvest Church building cost S$48 million (US$26.6 million). It is the first titanium-clad building in Asia and is modeled after the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Special limestone for part of the building was imported from Europe. The Riviera walkway was designed by a world-famous artist. The elevators go from B4, which is where the auditorium is located, all the way up to level 5, which is the roof top area. There are more than 200 parking lots within the building itself.

Everything is elaborate and expensive. Comfortable lounge areas with expensive sofas are scattered around the first floor area, and large state-of-the-art plasma television monitors are built into the walls, featuring video recordings of past services. There are waterfalls, gardens, coffee kiosks, a children’s playground, fountains, even a putting green for enthusiasts who can’t get too far from a golf club. There is a large café on the 4th floor. The rooftop has a beautiful garden, a baptismal pool, a children’s wading pool, and a coffee kiosk. Cool Mist fans blast out moist air that can cool down the entire rooftop area to ward off the infamous Singapore heat. The bathroom facilities were created by French designer Philippe Starck. Even the toilets “exemplify the very meaning of style” (Harvest Times, July-December 2002).

i came across the above in an article online..please kindly advise why do you need such an extravagant church? I have always wondered if people in megachurches, i.e city harvest and new creation, are there to worship God or to glorify their church and pastors?
They tend to forget the real reason why they attend church in the first place. Is their ambition to make their church the best and the nicest, most expensive? Must the word of God be spread through marketing, branding and propaganda?
Is your ex-pastor Sun Ho, not controversial by singing in scantily clad music videos? I will not take the issue of using church funds to fund her music career as I do not have any proof of that.
However, I feel it is extremely wrong of a church leader to be invovled as a pop star in the secular world. You just do not mix these two together. Also, why is your church inviting so much criticism from all other religions?
As more than 80% of your church members were converts, it would seem only natural that you guys are
'luring people in with your fun and exciting services each saturday'. I would dare to say, without the rock music, entertainment and performances, your church numbers would severely dwindle. hence the notion that city harvest to me, behaves more like a community centre and a place for social gatherings, rather than the real reason which is to serve God.

Pls kindly explain.

2:22 pm, August 25, 2007  

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