Glenn Fong’s Testimony about His Journey with New Creation Church & the False Teachings of Joseph Prince (2001-2015) (Dated 9 October 2020)
It sure takes lots of courage and risks for Glenn Fong, who attended (and later served in) New Creation Church for 15 years, from 2001-2015 to share his testimony in such a vulnerable way. He is willing to stick his neck out in order to warn others about the false teachings of Joseph Prince. May many more believers, especially pastors, elders and leaders, take inspiration from Glenn Fong and be courageous enough to come forward to share and warn others about the sinister teachings of Joseph Prince.
“Fighting for trivial truths is being foolhardy; running away from contending for cardinal truths is being cowardly.” (George Ong)
Glenn Fong’s Testimony about His Journey with New Creation Church & the False Teachings of Joseph Prince (2001-2015)
A. My Introduction to New Creation Church
In 2001, I left the church I was attending and serving, and I backslid for about a year. One day, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to church. I was reluctant at first, but after a few attempts to meet up, I decided to give it a shot. When I first stepped into the Rock auditorium at Suntec City, it was impressive. The congregation was so big that we had to queue for an hour to get in. The worship team was phenomenal, and the venue was great. But the best thing that I experienced was the preaching; it was out of this world. I have never heard such ‘sound teaching’ my entire life (which I later discovered that many of them were unsound). That was New Creation Church in the year 2001.
B. My Journey with New Creation Church under Joseph Prince’s Teachings
Joseph Prince reads… “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness REIGN IN LIFE through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Rom 5:17) I heard people cheering, and many ‘Amens’ were heard from all over the audience. I was one of them who got high on this Prosperity Adrenaline. Reign in life… Wow! Those who received ABUNDANCE OF GRACE… the word Abundance was strongly emphasised. It’s not a maybe; it’s a sure word. A word of hope. A word that reassured me that I will get My Best Life Now. I am going to “REIGN IN LIFE”! It means I am going to be successful, wealthy, full of life and health. My wife will be a super-model, and my kids are going to overtake my world and have a high-flying career – all because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross!
Joseph Prince fired another emotional tidal wave, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us ALL THINGS?” (Rom 8:31-32) We were elated and awed by the goodness of God. The word ‘ALL THINGS’ echoed in my mind continuously… not some, not most of it, but it’s ALL THINGS! This was simply awesome. Is Jesus bigger than a bungalow house? Is Jesus bigger than a Lamborghini? So, if God did not spare His Son, and Jesus is bigger than a bungalow house and Lamborghini, “HOW WILL HE NOT WITH HIM FREELY GIVE ME ALL THINGS?” This is not what is gotten from some self-help experts or religious gurus. This is gotten from Joseph Prince, a preacher of God who got this from the Bible, the living Word of God! Hey, it’s God’s Word! I have never heard of such teachings before. It was refreshing and assuring. All my problems seemed to disappear under the barrage of promises that I never knew existed. No one had ever told me that I could be successful, and this was exactly what I needed at that point (Joseph Prince’s teachings indeed appeal to my flesh).
I will be more successful than my wealthy friends, whom I was jealous of. The God who went silent seemed to have rushed back with the most loving embrace I ever knew. Yes, He loves me and wants to give me everything (which I later realised is a Me-centred Christianity, not a Christ-centred Christianity which Joseph Prince claims to preach). I remember Joseph Prince saying that the gospel is not about your love for Jesus but all about Jesus’ love for you (which I later learned to be a half-truth which he specialises in in deceiving the church). It is all Jesus’ effort and not your effort, and any effort from man is of the Works of the Law (Sounds super-spiritual but unbiblical). The Law brings death and destruction, but Grace is the antidote to sin, depression, poverty, diseases, stress, etc (The truth is the law exposes sin, and it is sin, not the law, that brings death and destruction).
Whenever we encounter problems in life, all we need to do is to behold the ‘finished work on the cross’ (The glorious and totally biblical ‘finished work of the cross’ is ‘abused’ by Joseph Prince to mean anything and everything, just to support his Pseudo-grace doctrine). There is no need to really serve God. We serve and give because we get to. But if we neither served nor gave, there is no loss; it’s nothing to do with OUR performance, but it’s all about JESUS’ performance. There is nothing that can stop the blessings of God from pouring into our lives. Because of the finished work of the cross, we must not be sin-conscious because all our past, present and future sins have all been forgiven (This is clearly a false teaching as future sins can never be forgiven if they are not confessed and repented of). Instead, we must always confess that we are the righteousness of God in Christ instead of our sins (This is false teaching and is clearly the Positive-Confession doctrine he had learned from Kenneth Hagin). WE have the “BLOOD BOUGHT RIGHT” to receive “EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING!” (Eph 1:3) (Christianity is not just about receiving blessings). I cannot attempt to “be justified by the Law, lest I fall from Grace.” (Gal 5:4) So I must never ‘try’ to obey lest I fall from Grace (poisoning the minds of his church members that obedience which is supposed to be a good thing to be carried out becomes a bad thing to avoid). Christians who are under Grace will always be under God’s divine protection and those who are ‘under the Law’ will be doubly cursed (Gal 1:6-9) (clearly hinting that those who go back to other churches that ‘teach law’ other than Pseudo-grace churches will come under a double curse).
Despite such ‘fantastic’ teachings by Joseph Prince that got me ‘high’, there was no change in my life as it was during those days that I continued my clubbing lifestyle, drank alcohol like water, and smoked like a chimney.
C. Too Good to be True
This is the perfect gospel. God is so good! Where else can we find such a good God? Nowhere else but New Creation Church! Whatever I want, all I need to do is confess, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ, I will have my dream car, dream house, dream wife and perfect family!” Yes! “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (Jn 15:7) Whatever I have lost and could not achieve all these years will rush back to me like a whirlwind. He will “restore the years the locusts have eaten!” (Joel 2:25) Well, that’s really quite enough. Anything further will lead me to a diabetic ward.
After a few years of honeymoon, I lived through another 10 over years of my life in New Creation Church just to realise that I never got my dream house, my dream car and my dream wife. I have to say that throughout these 15 years of ups and downs, my wife and I never got what was promised to us by Joseph Prince. We did see God’s providence and guidance. We quit smoking, I stopped clubbing, and we began to take life more seriously as we go. But somehow, we did not get the results we wanted as he had taught. We began to question his teachings – either he is wrong, or Christianity is not for us. We wanted our money-back guarantee!
One Sunday in 2014, Joseph Prince taught about divine protection. He promised that those who are under Grace would never suffer persecution (unbelievable that this teaching came from a so-called well-respected teacher). He also went on to explain that the Apostles had a special purpose that had been fulfilled (just by one broad statement out of nowhere, he sloppily attempts to qualify why Apostle Paul and the rest of the Apostles must suffer even though they came after the finished work of the cross). Hence, no Christians will need to be persecuted or even be martyred like the Apostles. He continued to teach that if Stephen had not told God to receive his spirit (Acts 7:59), he wouldn’t have died because the power of life and death lies in the tongue. (Pro 18:21) (Imagine, possessing such unholy guts to say such unspeakable things). Then I begin to think, how about Christians who were raped and killed in Syria and Iraq during the ISIS reign? So they are under the Law? Do they have insufficient faith? Or perhaps he is suggesting that they are not even Christians? Something is seriously wrong with his teaching; it just doesn’t add up.
D. More False Teachings By Joseph Prince
There is an unwritten culture in New Creation Church that we cannot use the words ‘Works’ or ‘Law’. We cannot ‘try’ to obey God because that will make us ‘fall under the Law’ and receive a curse. We must never ‘curse ourselves’ by saying “aiya, my memory failed me, I must be old already.” We must always stay positive, associate with positive people, and exude positive influence on others. Hence, we must always have the right kind of faith. Tithe like we earn a 5-figure salary, dress like we are successful, and talk like we have the most fulfilling life on the planet. We must never short-change ourselves as Jesus is bigger than our problems, remember? Sometimes, it is really tiring and stressful to have the kind of positive faith that Joseph Prince teaches, or rather to pretend to have the ‘God kind of faith’.
I heard of cancer patients in New Creation Church who denied medication and treatment and died believing they will be healed (Will Joseph Prince take responsibility for such cases? What is worse is that he often transfers such guilt to the people themselves by saying through his sermons that they don’t have enough faith). I also heard of cancer patients who Positive Confess their way to their grave (Joseph Prince will take pains to hide such incidents from the public). The healing testimonies we hear on Sunday in New Creation Church are just a probability game; he only publicises the successful cases. Ultimately, God heals whoever He wills, and it has nothing to do with his grace doctrine or Confessing ‘I am the Righteousness of God in Christ’.
If those who are under Grace have divine protection, how do we explain the family from New Creation Church who died in a car accident? (http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/boy-who-survived-christmas-crash-still-asking-his-family-says-his-aunt) How do we explain the student from New Creation Church who was killed in a Gyrocopter Crash? (http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/sporean-student-killed-melbourne-gyrocopter-crash-was-return-serve-ns) But if divine protection can be 100% assured for all who are under Joseph Prince’s Grace teaching, then these tragedies wouldn’t have happened. Or rather, doesn’t God divinely protect or allow calamity to happen to whoever He wants according to His will and purpose? Is He not the God whom we worship that has the final authority over all things? Then how can God behave like a Genie who can be manipulated by our ritualistic confessions and be at our beck and call according to our desires? Did the parents and their son who died in a car incident request for God to receive their spirit as Stephen did in Acts 7? Did the brother have a lack of faith as he flew the Gyrocopter? I believe the answer is no. They were on holiday, and they looked forward to their plans the next day. Why does God allow tragedy to happen? There are often no adequate answers on this side of eternity. But what I am definitely sure is there is no such thing as absolute divine projection for those under Grace as promised by Joseph Prince. We have been hoodwinked. Did God really promise health through the Holy Communion? Was the anointing oil really used for divine protection?
E. I Woke Up from My Slumber
In 2014, at 36, I got married. I was happily serving in the Music Ministry of New Creation Church, and I had a good relationship with my church mates. There was no reason for me to be upset. But for that past year, I found myself sleeping during sermons.
The sermons were repetitive; I already knew what Joseph Prince was going to say, and there was no point listening: “You are under Grace, not under Law. It is not about your performance but Jesus’ performance. Your blessings are not a maybe. It’s Yes and amen, it will surely come!” I listened to his CDs so frequently that I can regurgitate his favourite verses, his quotes and even his jokes. It was the beginning of an end. I decided that enough is enough. I started to read the Bible for myself. I began to listen to preachers from other denominations that I had never heard before. I bought a whole library of commentaries and instructional books to educate myself on Hermeneutics. I explore teaching ministries that teach the Bible verse by verse. As the Holy Spirit revealed the truth to me, I realised that there were two things that were fundamentally wrong with me:
1) I had Selfish Desires
When I was a teenager, I was thrill-seeking ecstatic spiritual experiences. I was also jealous of my wealthy friends and wanted to be as successful as their parents were. I appeared to be serving fervently in church, but what I really wanted was attention. I felt alone really because I did not get the attention I wanted. I was really a selfish, ambitious, adrenaline junkie who pretended to be spiritual. Almost 15 years in New Creation Church never changed that. In fact, it made me covet for wealth and health, and I was a slave to my desire for a perfect life that I thought I would have by faith in Jesus Christ. As I read the Bible, I realised that the Bible isn’t about me. It isn’t just about God meeting my needs at all. It is about God who wants to reconcile sinful men to Himself and align them back to obedience to His Laws, Laws which can never be fulfilled by our works but only by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ. That is when I realised that our lives are meant to be of service to Him, not to serve ourselves.
2) I Believed in Wrong Doctrines
I realised that I had adopted many errors that were fundamentally wrong from Joseph Prince:
a) Great Faith is not only found in expectation of good happenings. It is actually found even more in the perseverance of the saints to give thanks even when bad things happen. (Hebrews 11)
b) Jesus did not come down to become a Genie to grant us wishes. He came to be our Lord and Saviour to lead sinners to repentance. (Jn 3:16-21)
c) The Holy communion is not an amulet from evil or charm for blessings. It is meant to be the remembrance of His death.
Taking it to obtain health and wealth is a ‘blasphemy’ to God. (1 Cor 11:27)
d) We are not justified under the Law. But that does not mean that the Law is obsolete. Grace is not a replacement of the moral Law. In fact, God gave us His grace to enable us to obey his moral Laws. Joseph Prince had demonised the Law such that he omitted the need for repentance and obedience, which resulted in a lawless or Antinomian gospel (2 Thess 2:3).
One of my New Creation Church friends asked, “The Corinthians are the most ‘Carnal Christians’ in the New Testament, yet they are saved right? So what is the minimum I need to do to still be saved?” (This is the wrong kind of teaching that New Creation Church members are exposed to. We are saved, ‘not to do the minimum’ but to love and obey God and grow to maturity in Christ). A Christian is not saved by doing works, but a genuine Christian will certainly obey His commandments. (1 John 2:3-6) The true mark of a real believer is obedience. A true believer wants to obey God’s commandments and do His works. Yet, this crucial doctrine of obedience to God’s commandments is what Joseph Prince preaches against.
There is no such thing as a ‘Minimum Christian’. One is either a Christian or one who is not. Joseph Prince taught that if a believer lives his life for himself and never served nor truly lived for God, he is still saved. He will only miss out on the ‘extra rewards’ in heaven (he referred to in 1 Cor 3), but he still has eternal life. That was why I could drink, smoke and lived however I want and yet will not feel guilty under his teaching. That is why such feel-good theology has attracted many goats to his church.
Unfortunately, that view is totally unbiblical. According to the letter to 7 churches found in Revelation 2 and 3, those who did not live for God will suffer punishment. In Matthew 25, Jesus also warned that those who did not feed and clothe strangers that they encounter (as concrete evidence of true faith) will be bound for eternal destruction. In Matthew 3:8-12, John the Baptist called for fruits worthy of repentance, and those who refused will be burned off like chaff. Jesus gave a similar parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24-30.
I pray that those who have been influenced by Joseph Prince’s teachings will rethink their Christian life today. Are you a ‘Do Minimum’ Christian? Do you believe that obedience and repentance are no longer expected by God of his Children? Is Jesus only Lord because He grants you everything you want, or He is Lord because he has a purpose for you to fulfil? It’s time to think seriously about your life. It is time to truly study His word.
But most of all, it is time to get out of the false and poisonous teachings of Joseph Prince and to warn others to keep away from the Pseudo-grace teachings that can bring you immense spiritual harm and even lead you to the pit of hell.”
Ex-Server of New Creation Church, Singapore
Attending Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore