A letter from a Christian work in progress

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last weekend, I watched my Facebook newsfeed turn rainbow-colored as people celebrated the legalization of same-sex marriage across 50 states in the USA. Now before you, or other readers, start reacting or calling names, this piece of writing is not about what I feel about gays or lesbians, but what I feel about Christians in today’s hyper-connected world.

I observed the newsfeed and realized most of the Christians I knew were keeping quiet on the matter. Undoubtedly, it’s a sensitive and emotional issue for many people, and I spent many hours in my university days debating or mulling on this topic with Christian and non-Christian friends. I stopped discussing this when I got into the working world because I was too busy getting work done with colleagues, regardless of their lifestyle preferences.

I went to church on Sunday and nobody even mentioned this at the pulpit. Isn’t this the time for the pastor to share his views, when it’s the topic of the day?

So maybe Christians don’t know what they should say, or don’t feel like saying anything, or don’t dare to have a public opinion on a divisive matter. But isn’t this an irony considering how connected we are today, and how everyone is trying to voice their opinion? What happened to us?

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Christians and Hypocrites

I attended a conservative church for a few years when I was staying in Clementi. This church was a pretty legalistic place,  insisting that you either use the King James Version of the Bible or you must be reading the wrong version of God’s Word.

Of course, during Sunday sermons there, I always whipped out the NIV version that was given to me by my old church friends at Leng Kwang Baptist. I edited out all the “thee”s and “thou”s with every scripture reading.

But I digress from my main topic.

What I do remember most about the dogmatic church, was trying to push Isaac’s stroller from the road into the church entrance, and find the wheelchair access area blocked by big, fat expensive cars whose drivers could not be bothered to park at the faraway car park. I have a really bad memory, but this is one of the things which I will never forget.

I thought then : “How can Christians be so ungracious to the needy in the church itself?”

Which usually leads to “Is this how the rest of the world sees us? We say one thing, but we do another thing. Aren’t we such hypocrites?”

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Darren’s Story Part III

A big congratulations to my old friend Darren who, with God’s help and his own indomitable spirit, has overcome his challenges in so many more ways than one. And the dude is going to be a father soon too!

From Channelnewsasia, 6th Jan 2011:

Eight young S’poreans honoured for contributions to community


SINGAPORE : Eight young people were honoured for their contributions to the community at a gala dinner on Wednesday night.

The Young Outstanding Singaporeans award celebrates future leaders who can be role models for the next generation.

44-year-old entrepreneur Elim Chew received the Special Commendation Award. Organisers said Miss Chew epitomised an emerging trend, where Singaporeans reach their prime after the 35-year mark.

The other recipients are aged between 22 and 34.

They were recognised for their work in various fields like education, the environment and social work.

One of them, 34-year-old Dr Darren Chua, beat all odds – including a severe stroke in 2000 – to attain a Masters in Science and become an educator.

“After one, two years, it slowly dawned on me that a career in medicine couldn’t be fulfilled, so (I) started to look elsewhere, on what other element that I could fulfill,” said Dr Chua, a recipient of the Young Singaporean Award.

“And at the end of the day, what I really want to do is to be of service to people. Initially it was medicine, and now I found it in education,’ he added.

It’s still hard to believe it’s been over ten years since that fateful day. Here are the previous entries on his long journey.

Darren’s Story Part I

Darren’s Story Part II

Can Christians Think?

When I was in university, we were most amused when a lecturer whipped out a book by the diplomat Kishore Mahbubani called “Can Asians Think?”

And actually, I’ve often wondered to myself – Can Christians Think? Or more accurately…Do Christians Think?

Let’s face it – Christianity is no walk in the park. Every day, I believe many believers goes through major or minor crises of faith. Which Christian doesn’t think to himself once in a while : “God, are you there?”?

But I also believe, from years of observation, that many Christians don’t think very much about biblical issues at all.

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The Bible principle I live by when at work

When it comes to work, we Christians struggle daily with the secular world.

The morals defined by the world often conflict directly with what God tells us to do. We work hard to pay the bills, but face the temptation to love money more than God. We take pride in the quality of our work, and it is hard to remember that it is not us who make great things happen, but God.

I am thankful that I’ve grown up going through various difficult experiences that taught me certain principles to live by, and the same principles are verbalized in the Bible.

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