Here’s a comment I left on another blog …
“There’s a need to distinguish “intellectual masturbation” which lands up with no real life emerging to “genuine faith engaging with understanding” which gives birth to a healthier faith (mindless ranting about the church reflects more about our hang ups rather than real intellectual engagement at its best). While being “far too embroiled in the “fluff” of the philosophy than to embrace the more important aspect of practising it” is a good warning. Anti-intellectuallism is not the way to go … We do not have a non-thinking faith.
What we need to move forward is a holistic faith where our head (thinking) our hearts (feeling/experience) and our hands (practical doing) is in a dance which invites people along to experience the Good News we offer.
you say .. “Tap your source. Go touch someone’s life.” Amen to that. Now the question is what source?
This is where we need to grow in all aspects (I am not refering to the stomach). for those who are tempted to hide behind their so called “complaints” because of overdose dependence on their own thinking, we need to get our hands dirty with “doing”. For those who glorify “whatever works must be right”, we need to learn to pause and listen to the “inner source” the Holy Spirit, guided by a healthy understanding of the Scriptures and checked by wise counsel from those who have gone before us. All in all … humility is a must.
Having said the above … here’s some stuff I liked about your most. The monkey god thing was fun but let me settle for the following and say spend time developing these areas during Easter:
“Who we are is just His instrument for making it happen; to bear and deliver His message.” – I’ll add the God who “believes in us” is also the one who will change us to become more than what we are now.
“Tap your source. Go touch someone’s life.” – Here’s the sources: Get back into a guided understanding of the Bible -especially the New testament for newbies, then work back to the Old testament. Read good recommended books not for “intellectual masturbation” but for spiritual transformation (there’s a big difference) – after Rick Warren’s book .. go for Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. Learn from past experience in the light of the new lens you now have .. by the way, a good start would be Ken gire’s Window of the soul. Watch out for “skybalon” rubbish Christian material (for reference: email me .. heheh)
Good to see you blogging again.”
In response to “Should Christians Emigrate?” in our Malaysian context … I dropped in my 2 cents (you’d have to guess the context and conversations hidden from my reply) 🙂
“Thanks Paul for sharing a concrete story and process – appreciate you once again for keeping the discussion anchored to on the ground personal realities. Now you can guess why I threw in the discernment process thing in my earlier reply. One area of concern I have is often in a good discussion like this “whether a Christian should emigrate” is that the temptation to justify either positions quickly doesn’t allow us to plunge deeper underneath the question of the various issues alluded in Paul’s post.
e.g. Calling, vocation, a discernment process, family, lifestage, etc.
For those who are quick to go … it’s easy just to cry judgment on the “crappiness” of Malaysian life.
For those who are staying, it’s easy to appeal to our patriotic pride if we are not careful.
Of course, when all is said and done, We will need to be “responsible” with our choices and live with the consequences of our decisions.
For me,the “should” word often paralyzes us from seeing what we need to see in ourselves. – it also paralyzes what we need to honestly asses in our current context. So, if I don’t emigrate, how am I working towards making my country a better place to live? (mentioned in Irene’s reply) small ways as well as bigger ways? If I do, how am I living in the new context I live in, what is the relationship between my new context and my historic heritage past?
Paul mentioned something I’m intrigued with and appreciate the honestly:
” I suppose a key concept here is that I am more free to learn to be a missional Christian which is so liberating.
There’s a whole lot of other things that is confirming to me that I am in the right place, at least for this stage in my life and calling. ”
Once we decided to be a missional Christian, perhaps we start asking questions whihc will move us forward.”
Now for more spice I played consultant … over the mobile phone .. this is not going to sound softy pastoral but i think it’s authentic pastoral stuff (which is now applied to a “secular” setting) How come I can’t do it often in a church setting? usually they say because people are not paid to do work in church or they are paid peanuts … hmmm that’s another story ..
“Who does this person think he is? Is he working for you or you working for him? He sounds cold and detached in his words … beware of replying without due thought ..
if he took so much time explaining himself, why couldn’t he just pick up the phone and do all the needed follow up rather than pushing back the responsibility to you . How much is he paid? how old is he?
Oh .. now I understand. Maybe I should pay the lower ranked non-professional to do the job rather than waste money on an extra staff …
There’s so much “professional” pomp in his words … sounds right at the surface reading .. then unconsciously he leaks his “pride”. Who does he think he is? Paid a bomb and produces a miao (worse with a lousy attitude)
Sit him down and talk face to face. Bring in a third party. walk through the assignments one by one. Minute the discussion (since he cant handle being entrusted with the tasks). If necessary, since he can’t be treated like an adult looks like he has to come back to you with a fixed time of follow up.”
(now I’m wondering why these people are paid three or four times what I’m getting but displays attitudes and values in work which … are “__________” I shall leave the last word for imagination. Maybe someone should pay me part-time for mere consultancy … pastors do specialize in sinners by the way, of course, they specialize in the chief sinner – the pastor himself or herself (to be gender inclusive!).
there’s so much glorification of the corporate world that I think it has not only lost its soul .. (which is not surprising) but even basic work ethics – which includes respect and responsibility. We walk around with our sanitized suits and ties and office fashion portraying an image with no substance.
ok … back to the church world … we have a load of that too in our midst. so no finger pointing here. .. we all live in a load of “skybalon”.
Looking for some humility here … and there .. and everywhere … outside and inside …