George Ong’s Comments:
Asher Chee, who has a sharp and incisive mind, is proficient in Hebrew & Greek. In his testimony, he shares about Joseph Prince’s use of Hebrew & Greek to prey on the ignorance of the people to deceive. Though he was in New Creation Church for 7 years, he admitted that he wasn’t a true believer. This has largely to do with the Antinomian and Prosperity Gospel teaching of Joseph Prince that he was deeply exposed to.
Asher Chee’s Testimony:
“I was born and raised in a church-going Christian family. As such, it was the de facto assumption on everyone’s part – my parents, the church, and even myself – that I was a “Christian” in the sense of being a true believer, truly saved in Christ Jesus. However, as the Lord would direct my life, the falseness of my faith – as well as the truth that there could even be such a thing as false faith – would be revealed to me.
In 2007, my family began regularly attending New Creation Church. Joseph Prince’s unique selling point is that he knows the biblical languages, Hebrew and Greek, which earns him a lot of credibility and awe in the sight of his church and his followers around the world. Unlike Joseph Prince’s fellow Antinomian and Prosperity Gospel teachers, he is able to “prove” his teachings from the Bible in its original languages.
I was impressed at how Joseph Prince was able to wield the biblical languages in convincing his followers of his teachings, and in defending his teachings against those who disagree with him. I wondered why his teachings were not more widely accepted by other Christian leaders and teachers, if indeed they were based on the Bible in its original languages. Perhaps it was because these leaders and teachers did not know the biblical languages like Joseph Prince. Thus, I was inspired by Joseph Prince to learn Hebrew and Greek on my own, so that I might do my part in furthering his teachings among Christians on a scholarly and academic level.
However, as I learned Hebrew and Greek, I realized that many of the things he was claiming about the Bible and the biblical languages were patently false! The only reason why he sounded so compelling was because nobody was any the wiser; he was essentially preying upon the ignorance of his followers!
I also began to notice that Joseph Prince was taking Bible verses out of context to make them say whatever he wanted them to say. At first, I thought that I was just spiritually blind. I thought that it could not be the case that only I could see the truth, while everyone else was deceived.
I called together a group of my closest friends in the church and told them: “Guys, please help me! I am hearing what Pastor Prince is preaching, but it seems so contrary to what I am reading in the Bible! How is it that everyone else can see the truth of what he is preaching from the Bible, but I cannot? I must be crazy!”
I walked them through the problems which I saw in Joseph Prince’s teachings, which they valiantly defended. They later admitted that they had hated me at first for spoiling their comfortable confidence that they had finally found the ‘true Gospel’ in the teachings of Joseph Prince.
When I brought my questions to the leaders, I was warned that I should not question the teachings of Joseph Prince, since he was “anointed” by God, and everything he teaches is from God. The leaders even went behind my back and warned members of my small group not to talk to me about God and the Bible. When the small group members asked why, they were told that submitting to the leaders was submitting to God’s authority. Despite this, some of them still came and talked to me anyway, and they are still my closest friends today.
A junior pastor was even sent to confront me in front of my friends. Shortly into the conversation, however, it became obvious to all who were present that the junior pastor was grasping for straws, as his arguments were becoming more and more desperate and his reasoning was becoming increasingly dishonest and contradictory as the discussion progressed. In time, most of those who were present would leave for other more biblical churches.
In 2014, I left to study Computer Science in the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Through a series of God-arranged circumstances, I began to see the falseness of my faith for what it was. Having been so immersed in the Antinomian and the Prosperity Gospel teaching of Joseph Prince, I had convinced myself that I loved Jesus and was pursuing God, when in reality my heart loved the world and was pursuing money and prestige. It was then that I began struggling to love God for God, and not the benefits that he can give me.
In the course of my undergraduate studies (from 2014), I also completed a certification course in Classical (Biblical) Hebrew from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as modules in Ancient Greek and Latin from the University in Southampton. In 2016, I returned to the University of Southampton and completed a Master’s degree in Jewish and Christian History. I am currently a PhD researcher at the University of Southampton, focusing on Jewish and Christian History. My research requires me to be proficient in Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, and Latin, so as to read ancient Jewish and Christian texts in their original languages.”
Attending Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore