Need a boost of faith or have a burning theological question? If you haven’t yet checked out Pastor Kong Hee’s short teachings on Instagram, City News lists five must-watch lessons.
Instagram may be the playground of parents, pawrents, home chefs, cyclists and nature lovers, but it is also a great platform to share Biblical teachings. Senior pastor of City Harvest Church, Kong Hee has been posting short teaching videos on IG since April 2020 when he began expounding on points from his sermon the previous weekend. In these videos, he sometimes answers questions that baffle the believer, and other times he does a deep dive into what the Christian walk is all about.
Here are my Top 5 picks:
1. The 3 Doctrines: Why City Harvest Church and The Harvest Network is Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal
It is important for a church to be clear about its doctrine. Clarity is the foundation of purpose. (Hear more about the importance of doctrine here ) Hence this series of videos is a must-watch for CHC members.
When I first started attending CHC, even when I attended the School of Theology, I thought we were quite simply a charismatic church that held contemporary weekend services.
In this series, Pastor Kong explains clearly why we—CHC—are Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal. Through understanding what each one means, you get the full picture of what our church stands for, and why we do what we do, like speak in tongues, conduct experiential worship, or go on missions. Having this understanding anchors our faith and enables us to express what we believe in—and moves us away from being a “shallow” church.
In Matthew 13:18-23, Jesus teaches the need to sow seed on good ground in order to reap a bountiful harvest. Pastor Kong delves deeper into the principle of sowing and reaping by explaining 9 things that the Bible likens to seed: life, descendants, tears, God’s Word, the Kingdom of God, faith, our actions, our spiritual/fleshly behaviour and money.
2 Corinthians 9:6 can be a source of contention, especially when used in offering messages, because the principle of sowing and reaping with the seed of money can be seen as a way of manipulating giving, or promoting a transactional relationship with God.
Genesis 8:22 tells us “while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest … shall not cease”. As Christians who believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, we should embrace this principle of sowing and reaping, even in the area of our finances.
However, we must also take caution that we do not give with the expectation that we will reap exactly or more than we have sown in dollars and cents. As Pastor explains in the video, blessings can be non-monetary and non-material as well.
In SOT, we learnt about the differences between various doctrines and denominations. However, pure knowledge can puff us up (1 Corinthians 8:1), causing us to be proud, judgmental, critical, or even censorious. But the purpose of knowledge is ultimately love (1 Timothy 1:5).
This video is helpful for us to learn how to relate to others with different doctrinal views. Pastor Kong shares that many of his friends or mentors in ministry hold different views on eschatology (theology about the last days), but they hold a mutual respect for each other’s churches. We are reminded that there should be unity in the community. Pastor also encourages church members not to speculate about what we do not know regarding other ministries or preachers. With the influx of information from social media, we should develop critical thinking, but not a critical spirit.
Pastor also talks about how we ought to treat our fellow members with differing views. We must still love, pray and trust the Holy Spirit to be the teacher of those who may insist on a different doctrine from the church. Compared to my early days as a believer, where more often than not we followed without question, this is now a different time we are living in, and we have to remember the ultimate goal for all Christians is Christlikeness.
4. Are Paraphrase Translations (like The Living Bible, The Message Bible and The Passion Translation) Dangerous?
In this video, Pastor Kong talks about whether paraphrase translations such as GNB, TLB, MSG, TPT are dangerous and detrimental to spiritual growth. Growing up in CHC, I have only ever known NKJV to be the standard used in weekend services and Bible study. It was the only version I used until recent years when I discovered the Message Bible and other translations.
This video is helpful in clarifying the difference between literal (word-for-word versions like NKJV) and paraphrase (versions that retell Scripture like MSG) versions of the Bible, and how we ought to utilise them for our own spiritual growth.
We must be careful of intellectual and theological pride which moves us to criticise Bible translations that have impacted millions around the world. We need to be aware that the translator’s personal theological views can come through in the paraphrase, and therefore it would be better to use these paraphrase translations as supplementary commentaries, rather than accurate Scriptural texts.
The ultimate goal is for everyone to understand and appreciate the Word of God. Choose the translations and paraphrases that whet our appetite to read and study the Word.
In this series of videos, Pastor Kong talks about women in church leadership. He lists many women leaders in the Bible and throughout church history. He also clarifies what 1 Timothy 2:11 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 state about women leadership. This is helpful in understanding that having women serve in leadership positions in the church is aligned with the Word of God.
In these two verses, the word used for “woman” in the Greek is gune, which specifically means “wife”. Hence, in both passages Paul is not talking about single, unmarried women. These Scriptures are also not a blanket ban on females preaching, teaching and leading the Church.
As long as there is genuine marital submission (as taught in 1 Cor 11:3-16; Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18; 1 Tim 2:11-15; Tit 2:4-5; 1 Pet 3:1-6), married women can still be spiritual leaders in the house of God.
Pastor highlights that the emphasis of leadership is always first on the character and lifestyle of the person, as well as evidence of a clear divine calling and gifting.
For these and many other lessons, follow @pskonghee on Instagram