So far we have a few frequent guests commenting, which is good. So far, I’m wondering whether they are all men. At least, we got comments from East Malaysia, which is a good development.
49. Jeremiah Liang (07/18/2008 05:55:00)
I said that Christians should act decisively when there are issues that affect our society spiritually. For example, the decline of law and order affects all citizens. How can a Christian be stirred to act for his own kind when crime affects everybody.
A Christian who voted for Pakatan Rakyat is actually in a dilemma because if you look at it, the vote is also for PAS which advocates an Islamic state, a concept that will affect not only Christians, but all other Muslims who are against hudud laws imposed on them.
So why do Christians take a stand against BN in the last GE? It is only after weighing the pros and cons of PR. It is a protest vote to check the power of BN.
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48. potts (07/17/2008 10:19:54)
If I read Mr Liang rightly, he says that of all matters, big issues that infringe on spiritual matters should move us to act. Such as destruction of churches, religious extremism – these are issues that concern Malaysian christians.
The problem with such a point of view is that he is saying we should really act when issues that affect us (as Christians) arise. For other issues, our attitude will be "biasa-lah". That would be no different from Malays who care only when the Malay agenda is affected, or Indians who agitate only when Indian interests are harmed. Or Chinese who are roused only when their own rice bowl is threatened. Would we really say that this is what the Bible teaches us to do?
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47. Jeremiah Liang (07/16/2008 23:22:25)
The Issues That Concern Msian Christians
I agree that Christians, under normal circumstances, should be politically neutral and not be bound to a self-proclaimed Christian leader.
However, you well know that Malaysia is facing some very worrying trends that have resulted in the upheaval of in public’s confidence in the 8 March election results.
yes, Christians should be wise enough to examine a host of issues when giving their political support to any party or individual.
However, the big issues that infringe on spiritual matters are the ones that we should act on wholeheartedly.
These issues include the destruction of churches and places of worship (one single incident is enough), the decline of law and order, the rise of religious extremism and the unbliblical use of race in politics and economics.
If we do not voice our protest and affirm our values today, when will we do so?
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46. Rev Lidis Singkung (07/15/2008 01:58:43)
Whose side are you on?
Yes, I totally agree with you Mr Ong that we ought to know on whose side we are on. It is an art and a challenge to submit to the governing authorities and engage meaningfully with them with regards to public policies in Malaysia. The civil rulers mentioned in Romans 13 were probably pagans at the time Paul was writing. Christians of that age may have been tempted not to submit to them and to claim allegiance only to Christ but even the possibility of a persecution did not shake Paul’s conviction that civil government is ordained by God.
What are the options available? Let me quote your words: ‘we should remain engaged as politically and socially responsible citizens of our country, be driven by our convictions, be persuaded by a menu of issues (and not just a few) and ask our Christian leaders to be politically neutral and independent but at the same be engaged with their congregations and with politicians on issues of importance to the country’. We cannot submit to the temporal governing authorities without first submitting to God’s authority (translated into Bahasa Malaysia: Kita tidak dapat taat kepada pemerintah tanpa terlebih dahulu taat kepada pemerintahan Allah).
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45. Allen Tan (07/14/2008 08:36:00)
It reminded me of my friend’s son
About 10 years ago, my pastor-friend’s son was also drowned saving someone. He was 18 then. That family was also related to my wife’s side of family.
It was a church picnic at a waterfall site. An adult member met with difficulty at the swirling-pool. Another adult rushed to help him. The latter also got into difficulty.
Then that 18-year-old youth without much thought went to their help. But he tried in vain. He managed to grab a rock. Unfortunately he could not sustain for too long as he was completely exhausted. And he slipped into the pool in the sight of all people around it. 3 of them were drowned!
At the evening memorial service at the church, the church youths were filled with the Holy Spirit that bursted into songs of joy.
That boy was a hero. He had never thought that with his small size, he was not the right person to extend his rescue to 2 big men. In the sight of our Lord, that boy had made it.
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44. Jeremiah Liang (07/09/2008 22:32:07)
Ethics Without Religion Is Possible
Recently, I had to clarify to some Muslim and Christian readers on my article: "Ethics Without Religion is Possible." on my blog www.jeremiahliang.blogspot.com.
I know that as fellow believers in a monotheistic God, it seems quite difficult for us to accept a world where ethics can be practised without faith in God. It is like building a castle on sand.
When I said that humans have a common need for goodness, I am referring to the unspoken moral law of right and wrong which is common to most, if not all, civilisations.
So this hidden code of right and wrong is already wired into our systems and I don’t believe it is a matter of taste or fashion.
The great challenge of all religions is this: We are faced with these two conflicting facts that (a) mankind have a tendency to be selfish and to commit all kinds of sins; (b) he very well knows the civil law as well as the unspoken law of right and wrong.
To me as a Christian, the only way a person can be genuinely reformed to be good (not merely obedient to an external law) is to believe in God and live out a righteous life. But I know this transformation is a spiritual and personal matter which can not be enforced/coerced by external laws.
This is why I fully support a system of civil laws that promotes the ethics of the common good of mankind.
In other words, it is unethical to impose our ethics on those who do not agree with us (i.e. going beyond universal values such as honesty, charity and honour).