Rambling post on Christianity

If you haven’t eaten your lunch/dinner, you can try looking at Ho Yeow Sun’s latest video called China Wine here. I’m not embedding the video because it’ll make my blog look bad.

Now all the Ho-lovers, don’t get me wrong, I’m not making your favourite pop star out to be a Christian role model. She’s not the point of this posting because I don’t know if she’s still a believer. But you get my drift.

A few weeks ago, at my grandma’s funeral wake, my relatives were having a hearty discussion about Christianity. One young aunt said: “I know why I never converted last time to Christianity, I never saw any good role models! All the Christians I knew weren’t very good people!”

Alas, how true that statement.

I was even more struck by the recent news from the US Lutheran church. From Chicago Sun-Times:

The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination on Saturday passed a measure calling on church leaders to “refrain from or demonstrate restraint” in disciplining gay clergy in committed relationships.
A day earlier, church members meeting at Navy Pier voted down a measure that would have ended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s celibacy requirement for gay clergy.
Still, Saturday’s 538-431 decision was widely viewed as historic and a sign of shifting thinking on homosexuality within the 4.8-million member denomination.
“It’s a huge victory,” said Jeremy Posadas, a voting church member from Decatur, Ga. “The gospel of inclusion has won, and we’re going to keep winning.” –
‘A huge victory’ for gay Lutheran clergy

The gospel of inclusion. I’m no theologian but I can tell you that line is Satan’s work.

Wow, “Satan’s work” sounds like old-school hell and brimstone right? That’s right, “Love the sin, not the sinner” is often a mantra used by the gay community to gain acceptance in the church.

In fact, “Satan” is not often mentioned these days in public discourse, it appears Harry Potter is more real than Lucifer. But Satan is alive and well, whispering in your ear as you read this.

Technically, it’s not wrong to love the sinner and it’s what should do, but the Bible is so crystal clear on the issue you’ve got to be blind to believe otherwise.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. – Romans 1:26-27

I’m not going to go into homosexuality here either, though my stand is clear.

When people ask me “Are you homophobic?”, it’s a way of getting you embarrassed about your stand. But why should you be embarrassed of God? I’m at peace working with homosexuals, but it doesn’t mean I have to approve of their lifestyles.

Back to my topic.

It’s not easy to find good examples of Christian people, and I of course, fall far from the tree. But with the world falling apart and Christian leaders turning out to be horrors (George Bush calls himself a Christian), we need more role models than ever before.

And not just for believers.

When things break down, the public look to the church for solace but these days, even in quiet Singapore, you see pew members suing church leaders, pastors who let their wives lead questionable careers, embezzlement of church funds and so on.

These incidents are few and far between, but they are what the non-believer sees.

Is it no surprise the non-believer sees a godless world?

Sure you have extremist Muslims blowing up themselves and others, but nobody does more harm than a Christian president who uses the latest technology at his disposal to kill many more in one blow. The extremists kill out of desperation and anger, the Christian kills out of unholy vengeance.

The modern Christian in SG is often a slave to materialism. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to work hard and earn a good pay, but where does that end? When I was young, I wanted all the toys in the world but couldn’t afford it. Now, I own all the IT gear I could possibly want but find it all mostly meaningless (of course, a good session of Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a shiok relaxer, yet I need to switch it off early to get some proper sleep) to my life.

For some reason, I don’t have much issues about money. I always want to earn more to save for the family’s future, but I’m not exactly crazy about it you know? I won’t go invest my money, gamble or do other risky stuff to earn more money in the short term. There’s a story why I’m adverse to borrowing money to, but that’s for another day. I just worry about the day I become a money-grubbing monster.

Yes, I ramble….As I drive my way to work or home, I often think about what it means to be a Christian in this day and age. Paul has a profound statement on struggling with sin, even as a disciple of Christ:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:21-25

As we live, we continue to struggle with sin. But wretched is the non-believer who sees us struggling and loses faith in our Lord because the non-believer does not understand why we struggle, why we are not delivered as we say we are, and why we do what we do not want to do.

The end of the world is coming. As you read this, it’s one day nearer. May God help us!

5 Replies to “Rambling post on Christianity”

  1. Re: China Wine, I was more offended with the cultural stereotyping and the weird “chinky dance” she does in the video. My goodness lah! No wonder ppl think Singapore is part of China…

  2. I believe you mean ‘Hate the sin, not the sinner’. In any case, this line is being used not just by homosexuals, but by anyone trying to get off lightly for some incursion on their part. Smokers and drunks, perhaps?

    Christianity, in its modern context, has many ‘flaws’, as neutrals/atheists/agnostics will point out. So for me, I try to live as righteous a life as I possibly can, and hope that people see the good in that. All of us are role models, if only to the people who matter to us. So if we care and love a bit more, and display good Christian attributes, then that’s what we should carry on doing.

    Sun Ho, on the other hand, should just carry on singing and detach herself (if she hasn’t already) from the whole ‘singing pastor’ concept. That’s my only problem. If you want to be a rock star and cut an album, be a rock star and cut an album. Last I checked, U2 is half protestant and half catholic and I believe they are still true to their faiths. Apart from supporting charitable causes, I don’t think I’ve seen Bono pretend to be a religious leader. Rock stars sing rock songs and play sell-out concerts. Priests stand at the pulpit and preach the word. And we should all leave it at that.

  3. Came here via your Facebook profile. Good post.

    I think there is a real case to be made for the ‘moderate Christian’… love God, love your neighbour, and be mindful of the causes you champion in God’s name. I don’t agree with people who preach a ‘gospel of inclusion’, but at the same time I also can’t stomach it when Christians are called upon en masse to condemn (which my church recently did, calling upon all to vote against society’s acceptance of homosexuality on a ST online poll).

  4. I think “thinking Christian” better than “moderate Christian”. Because the moderate Christian may tend to sit on a fence and not speak out when they are supposed to.

    I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for an entire church to need to condemn homosexuality in the manner you mentioned, but it is important for younger, more impressionable believers to know left from right, right from wrong.

    If not, churches will have to condemn rapists, killers, cheaters, adulterers publicly on a regular basis…then who’ll want to come to church if it’s just a condemnation sessions?

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