The first defendant, John Lam, took the stand this morning, explaining the spiritual purpose of Crossover Project, which is at the center of the trial.
Former City Harvest Church board member John Lam took the stand this morning as the CHC trial resumed. Explaining how the Crossover Project was part of the church’s purpose to fulfill the Great Commission, Lam told the court that in 1995, CHC launched a movement called Church Without Walls, which sent members outside the four walls of the church to reach non-believers. Church Without Walls led to the start of City Harvest Community Services Association, the church’s non-religious social arm that helps the underprivileged and meets community needs.
Church Without Walls is based on the Great Commission, which is, as stated in Matthew 28:18-20 of the Bible, to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nation’s, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
Lam explained that in the early 2000s, CHC’s senior pastor, Kong Hee, also caught a vision to reach youth in Asia with the Gospel, particularly in cities like Taiwan and Hong Kong, where youth and young adults found pop culture and entertainment more relevant than the church.
The condition set in the Great Commission is to go preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but Lam pointed out, these young people had not heard the Good News. In order to reach these youth, the church had to be relevant; hence the birth of Crossover Project. Sun Ho was sent out to become a commercial success in the entertainment industry, and in the process, influence the young and fulfill the Great Commission.
Lam took the court through the different bodies that managed Ho, beginning with City Harvest Pte Ltd, which was set up to keep the Crossover Project separate from the church. The name “City Harvest” became an issue and so management came under Attributes Pte Ltd, and after that, Xtron.
Lam explained why Xtron was not mentioned in the Jun 30, 2003 board meeting minutes as Ho’s new artiste management. Lam told the court this took place just after the “Roland Poon incident” and that he, among others in the board and the church, had been “traumatized” by it. In January 2003, CHC church member Roland Poon went to the press to accuse the church of financially supporting Ho’s music career. Lam told the court it had never occurred to him that the public and other Christians would object to such a project to reach the secular world through pop music.
The City Harvest Church trial resumed this morning with Senior Counsel Kenneth Tan presenting key points of his argument to support his client Lam’s case.
Lam is a chartered financial analyst and also a fellow certified public accountant. He was the treasurer in the CHC board and was involved in the financial and audit committee—all positions he held were as volunteer. He is a pioneer member of the church and is also a cell group leader.
Court resumed at 2.15pm.
中文报道 – 林岭恒：跨界是CHC完成大使命的呼召