Do’s and don’ts. Don’t flirt. Don’t lust. Don’t watch porno. Don’t date…until you’re ready to marry by faith. Don’t be lazy. Work hard. Prepare for Bible study. Write your repentant testimony. Feed sheep (five a week, or at least one). Don’t complain. Be thankful. Be faithful. Just obey.
It doesn’t work. Though not entirely, yet as a Christian I generally don’t disagree in theory and principle with the above imperatives. The problem is that it doesn’t work! Sooner or later it produces despair and despondency (because I just can’t stop flirting!). Or it produces varying degrees of pride and self-righteousnes (What’s wrong with those rebellious, complaining, disobedient, immature, proud people!). Continue reading →
I’ve heard rumors that some at ubf ministry think I am doing the work of Satan or that I’m even Satan himself. Forests also reported hearing such things in a recent comment. And as MJ pointed out, quite a few people at ubf think that Ben and I are a bad influence. So then, let’s examine Satan’s work. What does the bible have to say about the schemes, works and methods of Satan? Whether you believe there is an actual being called Satan out there (I do) or not is not the point of this article. In any case, we should be able to see that the following ten things pointed out in the bible as being works of Satan are not good ways of interacting with our fellow human beings.
I have to admit that the mention of UBF elicits several mixed reactions. On one hand, I personally received the grace of God’s love and salvation through Bible study. I heard God calling me no longer to live for myself but to live for him in service to others. I admired the sincerity and zeal of those who truly wanted to live for Jesus. I also admired the relentless outreach when it would have been easier to stay at home.
If I had a nickel for every time someone told me not to read this site or talk to BrianK or Ben Toh, I’d probably be a dollar richer. Unfortunately, for the naysayers, my personality is the type that if I am told not to do something, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. (My mom has figured out that trick and now she uses reverse psychology. She tells me not to do things i.e. don’t get married, don’t have kids and I can never tell if she is genuine or not telling me to do those things because she knows the moment she tells me to do them I disobey. My mom has realized the best thing is simply not to tell me what to do, but pray. Our relationship is complicated:))
This is the 11th week of Seminary. The academic challenge I am getting here is very restorative to my faith. There are two classes in particular that are changing the way I view life: Introduction to Theological Research and Hermeneutics (interpretation of the Bible). These are the two first classes for any seminary student.
Continue reading →
I recall a childhood story about a girl from India. She was arranged to marry someone from birth. The girl grew up and fell in love with another man and when the time came for her to marry she told her family no. “But this is how it has always been. You marry the man that has been decided.” But the girl, now woman said “But why does it have to be how it has always been? I will still marry.” This is very much the story of a person trying to change the methods while preserving the ideal. In one sense our task as Christians in judging the aims and means is very easy. For most of us the aim is quite easy to judge. A confusion of methodologies and ideologies is a constant source of problem across many different disciplines and institutions. It is very much the story of a person attempting to break tradition.
Ok so my “indefinite time away” turned out to be not so long. It’s been 10 days since I commented here, and 2 weeks since I posted an article. New world records! It has been a crazy time off, having to deal with the emtional angst of finding out yet another abuse story that has not been dealt with properly by the ubf echelon. But onto today’s topic: affirming gospel messages in culture.
There was a Missions Conference at Moody Bible Institute October 14-17, 2014. I wish all of you could have attended. It was completely free. I decided to make a synopsis so that you could know what happened even though you didn’t attend.
Day I: Tuesday evening session
Speaker: Pastor Oscar
Anecdote: George Mueller
Challenge: 10 hairy audacious prayer topics
This sermon was based on George Mueller. His goal was to live in a way that showed people God can be trusted. He built orphanages throughout England, but never asked for a penny. In the morning he would wake up and tell the orphans that there was no food for breakfast, but they should pray and thank God. Then someone would usually come and bring breakfast because God put it on their heart to serve. He never took a salary. When he was 70, he decided to go out as a missionary and for more than a decade he went out traveling the world and preaching. The Pastor challenge us to pray prayer topics that “make God sweat.” Usually we pray things like: give me an “A” on my exam or in the mall, “Lord give me a parking spot.” But the Pastor dared us to pray 10 hairy audacious prayer topics that God will answer. A few I thought of was WL having its own building and not one more death from gang violence in Chicago. Or praying for my cousin, D, who is a hostile atheist to serve the Lord or C to have a job in finance paying more than 45K a year. These are crazy scary prayer topics and I realized I don’t pray them because I am scared that God will not deliver. But he is God and he can be trusted. Continue reading →
Last Sunday, I preached on Gospel Righteousness. My text, Rom 3:21-26, is regarded as “the center and heart of Romans,” “possibly the most important single paragraph ever written,” and “the chief point, and the very central place of the Epistle, and of the whole Bible.” Among the many very important themes of the Bible densely packed in these six verses is the atonement (Rom 3:25), which has been explained (and passionately argued about) in many different ways over the last two centuries of the church. In my attempt to not confuse my congregation of about five dozen people, I decided not to explain the different views of the atonement, but to share two very personal stories about my two pets, a dog and a cat, in my introduction and conclusion of my sermon. Continue reading →