Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church in Singapore has caused controversy again, this time because of comments he made in a sermon.
Kong, who is accused of criminal breach of trust and misappropriating church building funds, claimed in a YouTube video that God apologized to him for his struggles.
“Father, Father, why, my God, my God, why have You forsaken me and thrown me to the dogs?” Hee asked after talking about the experience Jesus Christ went through on the cross at His crucifixion and saying he identified with that kind of suffering.
“For the first time in eight months, God—I heard Him cry, and He said, ‘My son, Kong, thank you. Thank you for going through this. I need you to go through this alone so that you and City Harvest Church can be the man and the ministry I call it to be. I’m so sorry, but you need to go through this by yourself to bring a change to your generation,’” Kong continued.
Applause was heard from the audience, and he continued: “I hear God saying, for the first time in eight months, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.’ Waves upon waves of God’s love—the love of the Father just saturated me. ... And I knew everything was going to be all right. Everything is going to be all right.”
Yahoo! News reports the sermon is most likely from the 2012 C3 Presence conference, held in Sydney last April. This would have been before the news broke last June that Kong and five other church leaders were being investigated for embezzlement.
The video has received widely negative reactions. Since its posting on Friday, it was thumbed down more than 3,300 times, compared to less than 200 thumbs up. It has also gotten more than 1,700 comments, many of them scathing.
“The congregation is being blinded by this pastor who perverted the bible,” Tukang Bubur wrote.
The user nothingbutahound wrote, “Actually what God told Kong was ‘I'm sorry that out of so many people in the world I had to go choose you to pastor CHC. Now you have to go to prison alone so that I can bring a change to this generation with you out of the way. And if you hear anyone talking to you in prison, it's not me.’”