Messy Christian actually got it started in here post Questions from the West about the East and this morning BK had a go in the post on The Malaysian church I think I need to have a go at it … the questions are good and it makes one have a fresh look at one self. Of course this is a very grass root exercise … more observations and reflections rather than in-depth research … but we must start somewhere.
Here’s a sample of their take on Question 1 . What is the seemingly most attractive thing about Jesus to Asians/Malaysians? What distinguishes Christ the most?
Messy replies …
That he is a personal God. Not a God that is silent, or a mere philosophy or concept, but a God that communicates with you and is very real. And that He loves you … the concept of grace, for one, is one of the most attractive as well. He is the only God I know that offers that – I don’t have to do a series of things to gain His love.
BK answers …
Hmmm…..would that be grace? That is personally how I would feel anyway. The fact that we’re getting something completely undeserved is an alien concept in this little part of the world, where performance is paramount, and eye-for-an-eye is a common attitude. That our wrongdoings, our rebellious attitude would be completely be excused by God if we place our faith in Jesus. I think that a lot of Malaysian Christians truly treasure grace, and at the same time, it is a big stumbling block for others who find it hard to believe that we cannot get into heaven on our own merit.
Then again, I’m sure Christians all over the world are astounded by God’s grace. And I would say that perhaps we Malaysian Christians(like me!) can misunderstand grace and go to either the extreme of “cheap grace”, that is, no signs of having turning away from a sinful life, or legalism, when we see grace primarily as the means for our salvation but obedience as the means for our sanctification(becoming more like Jesus), resulting in a performance-based spirituality.
I think the other thing that really appeals to us is that Jesus is personal. The idea of having a relationship with God, from my limited observations, really captures the hearts of us Malaysians.