Saturday, January 19, 2008

Child 'Witches' in Africa

Excerpt taken from here:

"Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned, and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities." Watch this video.

I am overwhelmed and consumed by anguish and pain.

Lord have mercy upon us, all of us, sick and perverted human beings.

Lord... *speechless*

Can you feel their pain?


Friday, January 18, 2008

Who Wins?

When fellow Christians quarrel with one another, who wins?

When fellow Christians backstab one another, who wins?

When fellow Christians gossip about one another, who wins?

When fellow Christians are contemptuous of one another, who wins?

When fellow Christians become bitter and cannot forgive one another, who wins?

Fools we are! Satan wins. Christians lose.

Christ's work is ridiculed. God's kingdom is divided.

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
Jesus Christ


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Love Them

I came across this post in rhymes with kerouac's blog:

We've begun showing a movie on Friday nights at our public meals program. A man from our church has donated a projector, dvd player and big screen - and the sound-system to go with it - and our church has covered the licensing fees. It's beautiful. Amidst the small crowd there's a single mom who stays after dinner with her daughter - whom I'm guessing is about nine. After Friday night's movie, as folks were getting dressed to go out into the cold, someone suggested we watch Casino Royale, the latest James Bond movie. I fended off the suggestion by saying, "Oh, we like family friendly movies here." To my surprise, everyone agreed. The mother, though, simply beamed. I can't tell you the joy that was on her face after I said it.

I was thinking about her all day today, that lady with her young daughter. I mean, have you been to the movies lately? The cost of a going to the cinema is simply out of her grasp and having a safe place to watch a movie with her daughter is a Friday night event for both of them. Just the thought of being able to do this pleases me to no end. I was talking with the nice church lady last week and I mentioned our movie night. She asked what I did with this, asked if we had a discussion afterwards. I simply said no, we just let folks enjoy the movies and both of us let it go. that's kind of the thing - everybody wanting to do 'ministry'. It's like, everything we do at church has to have a guest speaker - we can't just get together and have a fun time. Everything has to be... ministry. One of our more 'churchy' staff members at the Mission (who didn't last long.... they never do) once challenged me because I listened to the oldies station on the kitchen radio instead of the local Christian station.

God is love. Okay, I got that, Saint John. So I wonder then, if every time I display love in the world if I'm not displaying the nature of God. I wonder if a pretty good definition of 'ministry' might be to simply love God and to love others. Is there a time and a place to 'share the gospel' (whatever that means, exactly)? Of course there is. In the right time, and the right place, which you'll know - and you'll know exactly what to say, and how to say it - because it will be one more expression of the love of God, seamlessly flowing through you, bubbling up out of you, making you into a transparency through which God can be known. I'm not going to make that Mom pay me for a Friday night out with her daughter by making her sit through a gospel presentation. I love her too much for that, and I don't even know her name. [emphasis mine]

Beautifully sweet. We often act like Gospel salesmen trying to force persuade others to 'buy' our product. Even though we know we might irritate others or cause others to be repulsive towards us and Christ, we do it anyway. We believe that as long as we have good intentions ("We love them so much, that is why we are aggressive."), it does not matter how the other party might feel.

If we truly love others, although we desperately want them to enter the kingdom of God, it cannot be a legitimate reason for us to be insensitive towards their feelings. We need to respect them as equals rather than objects. When we try to do 'imperialistic evangelism,' we might be preaching the message of love, but our act itself shows otherwise.

No hidden agenda, please. Just love them. The right time will come.


Monday, January 07, 2008

The Trap of Self-Pity

When man-made tragedies befall us, it is natural for us to pity ourselves, lamenting on how God, others and structural evils have victimised us. Self-pity becomes a mechanism for us to survive emotionally. We need to point our finger at someone or something else as the culprit of the tragedy lest we carry the blame ourselves and the pain that comes along with it.

Self-pity is poisonous and fatal. When we pity ourselves and put the blame on others (even if others are at fault), we are slowly consumed by bitterness and anger, finding it hard to release forgiveness and love to others, especially to those who have victimised us.

Pity ourselves no longer! There are many out there who are suffering from greater injustice and oppression, and there seems to be no chance or choice for them to escape from such predicament. Worse still, their children and the future generations will face the same cyclical fate without much hope of escape.

Pity ourselves no longer! Draw the strength of contentment as we recognise how blessed we actually are, and how little suffering we are enduring. Draw the strength of gratitude as we acknowledge that no matter what happens to us, no matter how others fail or disappoint us, God never leaves us nor forsakes us.

Be very strong and stop falling into the trap of self-pity. Let joy, love and laughter re-consume our lives once again.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Boy versus Man

Will you be very angry if I say that a boy is more worth saving than a man? It is infinite mercy on God’s part to save those who are seventy; for what good can they now do with the [burnt] end of their lives? When we get to be fifty or sixty, we are almost worn out, and if we have spent all our early days with the devil, what remains for God? But these dear boys and girls - there is something to be made out of them. If now they yield themselves to Christ they may have a long, happy, and holy day before them in which they may serve God with all their hearts. Who knows what glory God may have of them? Heathen lands may call them blessed. Whole nations may be enlightened by them.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Do you agree with Spurgeon? Sounds rather pragmatic and presumptuous to me.