This meet up did not happen. It did not. I can assure you. And it most likely will not, or will never, happen (at least not in the way I have imagined it where two adored leaders close ranks and share a candid moment together). But if it did happen, if Kong Hee (KH) were to meet up with Joseph Prince (Prince), and they had a heart-to-heart chat (or a tête-à-tête) over a cuppa under the spell of an evening fiesta, I imagine the engagement will flow along these lines:-
Prince : Hey Kong, how are you doing?
KH : Praise God, he gives me strength. I am fine.
Prince : (pauses) I know it's been tough on you...Sun and Dayan.
KH : Thanks bro, appreciate your concern. We are fine as a family. His grace is sufficient for us.
Prince : Amen to that! Amen, Kong.
KH : (smiles) How ya' doing my friend? Heard you now have the largest church in Singapore, maybe the whole of Southeast Asia...(chuckles and whispers). Heard also...some of my sheep left for your church. Hey Joe, you do know it's a temporary loan right..?
(Both laugh out loud and then…awkward silence).
Prince : Kong, seriously...what is God telling you about the coming appeal? You know we’re all praying for you.
KH : Thanks again. Mm... (lowers his head) I don't really know. I've left it in his hands since the verdict and sentence in November. Like I told the church, I live my life one day at a time. Just 24 hours a day. You can't rush that right?
Prince : Yes, you can’t. I understand what you mean.
KH : I mean, what can I do? I answered the call and obeyed it. Sun and I have to follow it through. It's either that, or pretend that the guy up there was wrong, right? It can’t be right, right? I mean... wrong, right?
Prince: (smiles) Kong, you mean the crossover?
KH : (nods pensively) Yes, yes.
Prince : Mm...as you said, you heard his voice as clear as blue sky, correct?
KH : Yes, it was him Joe...hands-down. I'm 100% sure. Still 100% sure. We had three independent confirmations at different divinely appointed intervals. I swear...I mean, sorry...I mean we heard it in our hearts, Sun and I. It was clearer than blue sky in fact.
Prince : I see...I see...I hear you Kong, loud and clear.
KH : Joe, you do know what I mean right? When God talks, you listen. It's mostly a monologue when it comes to such thing. It came as swift and sudden as it went like the wind. But the message lingered on. You can't ignore it, dismiss it, put it aside bro,...or pop two aspirins and sleep over it. We must be faithful to the call. He's the creator of heaven and earth singling you out for heaven's sake.
Prince : Well, I've been there too.
KH : Yes, you have...and you of all people should understand. I heard yours was when you were holidaying in the Swiss Alps.
Prince : (nods) Mine was a shock to me Kong. I even argued with him while driving. He actually told me off. He said I was not preaching true grace by mixing it with the law. He was quite strict about it. It was unmistakably him. That voice in my spirit. In fact, my whole church was built on that day. We were practically transformed after that day…in numbers and spirit.
KH : Me too. We had our signature divine experiences about the same time Joe…just before Y2K. Yours, radical grace and mine, crossover. Yours was to revolutionize the relationship, and mine was to revolutionize evangelism. My church too was built on that calling. I mean...where will the tens of thousands of our flock be if not for that voice, that revelation, that fateful day?
Prince : Amen.
KH : Yes….amen.
(Both men pause and silence ensues…).
KH : (sigh) ...but look at where we are now Joe. Today, you’re leading the biggest megachurch in this little red dot and I am the little red dot that people out there would love to take out for target practice (shakes head). Bro, same God, yet totally unexpected outcome...I got the short end of the divine stick I guess…
Prince : Don't say that Kong. I am sure God is faithful. He will make a way for you and Sun. He is not like David who left Uriah alone in the front line when the troops pulled back. God shall be your deliverer. Have faith. Press on.
KH : Thanks Joe. I guess I will have to take up this cross. It's mine to bear. It has my name on it.
Prince : Amen. It's your cross to over...come…your crossover (squirms as KH throws Prince a sidelong glance) Sorry, you know what I mean. We bear our own crosses.
KH : Well, (hesitates)…it’s just that your cross seems now so much easier to bear than mine…Our fate is so different from where I stand. Here I am facing possible imprisonment and here you are enjoying quite an achievement! Sorry, (fumbles) I don’t mean it that way bro. Forget it. I was not thinking straight…
Prince : No issue Kong. I understand. Like I said, we carry our own cross. Mine is to fend off those who accuse me of sprouting heresy. Most time, I ignore them. I stand by the growth in my church. The miracles, the transformed lives. That’s his sign to me. His endorsement of my ministry.
KH : I fully concur. Before all these investigation and persecution, my church was growing too….in the thousands! I took that as his sign too. No one can resist the truth right? The numbers and transformed lives speak for themselves.
Prince : Preach it Kong. Amen! Numbers don’t lie. It follows quality as like the dawn follows the light.
(Both reflecting as silence descended…).
KH : Bro, can I be honest? Speak my mind that is?
Prince : Go ahead Kong. Please…
KH : Erm...I can’t say that I totally agree with you actually. Sorry. We have different views about the works of the spirit.
Prince : (smiles) It’s alright Kong…as long as the body of Christ is expanding. We labor in our own ways. We fight our own fight. And to be honest back, I can’t bring myself to agree with China wine either. Sorry, just me.
KH : Ah….China wine, getting drunk in the wrong spirit some say. Anyhow, even Christ’s disciples have a mind of their own. They don’t agree all the time.
Prince : (nods) Yes. You are right Kong. As Augustine said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
KH : I will toast to that anytime!
(Both fist pump the air...)
(Both fist pump the air...)
Prince : And you know what Kong, here’s the good news… you’re declared righteous. No repentance required. Your sins are all forgiven, past, present and future. Paid in full Kong. Your salvation is secured.
KH : Erm…what sins? You’re not talking about the conviction and sentence right? You know I only have the church’s interests at heart. I love the church. I did nothing illegal, or even remotely morally out of place.
Prince : Erm…no, no. Of course not bro. What was I thinking? Of course not. I mean, you don’t have to worry about the Holy Spirit convicting you of sins...that I can assure you. You are justified for all time.
KH : What sins, Joe? I don’t understand. Are you going back to the trial judgment?
Prince : Nothing…nothing…(fumbles) Forget it Kong. I am just blabbering.
(Both look away, contemplating…and then, awkward silence).
KH : Anyway, thanks Joe for your time. Come September, I will have to face my Gethsemane…
Prince : I’ll pray for you Kong.
KH : Well, a get-out-of-jail card would be nice (both laugh).
Prince : You never know Kong…God works in mysterious ways. Things might just turn out different.
KH : Well, I am facing whatever God has planned for me. I will persist on for Him. (looks at the watch) Take care Joe, got to go. Thanks for the Starbucks.
Prince : Don't mention. Take care Kong. Bye.