Saturday, December 29, 2012

On reviewing 2012

It is coming to that time of the secular year, when we review our past and take record of our mistakes and failures, and decide how we are going to improve for the new year. Well, I am now in that mode reflecting on my blunders for 2012.

One thing that I do know is that while society on a whole is pretty unforgiving about blunders, God is not so. He understands that we are as frail as dust (Psalm 103:14). So while society can hold a blunder against one for life and be so unforgiving that they do not  permit any second chances, God sometimes permits second chances. We see this in the story of Jonah, both in how God dealt with both Jonah and the city of Nineveh (See Wikipedia article on the story if unfamiliar). We also see this in how God esteemed David, who had a litany of sins including adultery, murder and cover up. Even the story of the woman brought before Jesus on the account of adultery to be stoned shows us just how mean society can be when you fail to live up to its moral code (John 8:1-11). We see this again in the story of a sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus at Simon the Pharisee's house (Luke 7:36-50)

I sometimes perceive that some of my blog posts revealing my thoughts are blunders that I should not have shared. However, I also feel that it is useful for one to blog and make known some of their thoughts for the purposes of engaging with others who can help them to re-examine deeply held prejudices, beliefs and ideas. It is part of the discussion that needs to take place at church, which does not happen because of our rigged adherence to liturgy and concern for getting through the liturgy on time. Spiritual or religious blogs should also be spaces for peaceful theological and spiritual exchanges that help those who hold certain beliefs examine and scrutinize their own beliefs and receive civil feedback from others that hold different points of view.

One thing I can guarantee is that as I blog about my spiritual journey and experience events that shape that journey, some of my beliefs will change and I will adapt new beliefs. However, one of the commitment that I have made that will always remain constant is my commitment to pursue Christ and follow his voice and not the traditions of men. I will always uphold the view that the Reformation is not yet ended, and that Christ is leading his church back to what we lost after years of pagan traditions and the thoughts and systems of men infiltrating and usurping Christianity.

I know that so much of what I was taught and raised in as a Christian are alien to what Jesus and his disciples practiced and taught. My desire for 2013 is to continue to learn and unlearn what 1st century Christianity thought and practiced, while being able to communicate their message in the language of post-modernity. As for 2012, I know I have held beliefs that I shouldn't have and have needed spiritual correction and rebuke. At the same time, I know in 2013, that I may still hold wrong beliefs and positions, and erroneously share what may get me into trouble or make enemies. However, at the same time, I know that I am still a work in progress, just like this blog, and not a finished product. God is still working on me, just like how he is still working to get the church to 'come out of Babylon' (Revelation 18:4).

Anyways, a happy secular and spiritual year to you all for 2013! May it be the year of the Lord's coming, to end all the madness that's taking place globally! Also, may 2013 be a year of second chances. God bless you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Questioning 'Christian' rites & ceremonies

As I reflect on what I consider imminent marginalisation of those with conservative Christian worldviews, I stumbled across this article reporting on how atheists and secularists are establishing or institutionalizing "church" (Hallowell, 2012). The title of the article is very catching: "A godless congregation’: British comedians launch atheist church to provide secular weddings, funerals & ‘worship’ services". Comedian Sanderson Jones in commenting about the rationale behind this initiative states:

"We thought it would be a shame not to enjoy the good stuff about religion, like the sense of community, just because of a theological disagreement"  (Hallowell, 2012).
This article lead me back to consider what are the things that Christians do, believe and practice today that are really Biblical. In fact the same rites of weddings, funerals and community gathering services are not exclusively Christian. In reality, the world turning against Evangelical Christianity is pushing Christianity back to its pure roots and foundation. What business does Christianity have in conducting marriage ceremonies or even funeral rites? Aren't such rites actually state or secular functions? Where in the Bible has Jesus ever married any couple? While he was present at a wedding in Cana and blessed the union with a miracle, he never officiated the function (see the whole story in John 2). Neither did Jesus perform any funeral rite. He was absent from funerals, markedly his friend Lazarus' (see the whole story in John 11), and even cancelled his own funeral rites by dying close to a Sabbath and rising before his followers could embalm him (See the story of the resurrection as well as the Wikipedia entry summarizing the four gospel accounts).

When we look at the early apostles and the early church, there is also no evidence that 1st century Christianity officiated weddings or funeral rites. All these came much later, when the persecuted Church became the state endorsed church of Constantine. As such, I am contemplating that the only authentic Christian rites are baptism and communion (Lord Supper). Hence, when the state decides who must marry who, is it really the business of Christians to oppose legally? Even if we do oppose on moral grounds, are we to legally fight against the passage of state laws about how marriage institutions should operate? Are pastors to even conduct marriage ceremonies or aren't these to actually be done by the state? To me certain questions have arisen about how much the church has taken on state functions and rites, which is why the faith is in so much trouble today. As the post-modern state returns to its pre-Christian state, church as we know it today will indeed need to be purified and drop all the trappings that have been added by Constantine. Only then can we go on and be the church and do what Christ really wants us to do.


Hallowell, Billy. (2012, December 21). A godless congregation’: British comedians launch atheist church to provide secular weddings, funerals & ‘worship’ services. The Retrieved from

Bible believing people becoming minorities

While the world hasn't ended on December 21, 2012,  the world dominated by Christian thought has come to an end. Christians must now see themselves as a dwindling minority, whose conservative views are now in conflict with mainstream culture. As John S. Dickerson, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church and author of the forthcoming book “The Great Evangelical Recession: Six Factors That Will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare.” states:
"We evangelicals must accept that our beliefs are now in conflict with the mainstream culture. We cannot change ancient doctrines to adapt to the currents of the day. But we can, and must, adapt the way we hold our beliefs — with grace and humility instead of superior hostility" (Dickerson, 2012)
Not only are Christians in trouble, but also the people of Israel. Even Israel is likely to be in great trouble for the future as evangelical Christianity declines in America and as global secular humanist take control of political power. Already, we see such movement in US, with Obama's likely Secretary of Defense coming from a person who has in the past likened Israel to apartheid South Africa (Schwartz, 2012). In addition, at the United Nations, Palestine has been given recognition with growing global support

Together, the two witnesses of God: the Bible believing people of the Jews and Christians are losing their privileged positions in the global order and are now becoming minorities. This is both good and bad. 

Even the Pope is losing influence in molding Europe to global humanistic secularism. Benedict acknowledges the premise of global humanistic secularism as being that of creating their own destinies denying a creator. 
He states:

"When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God," ("Gay marriage")
As the Pope rightly puts it, today, the world is throwing away the books and stories that have had a hand in guiding societal and human destiny for centuries, and are instead writing their own new stories and books. However, in doing so, they are also fulfilling the books, especially the prophecy by Jesus in Matthew 24:

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 

Today, I listen to the stories of gay persons and read them with the realization that in the future, Christians will have to closet their beliefs and be afraid to "come out" because of the persecution and abuse that will be given to them. I however note that we as Jews and Christians are also being purified as we ourselves at some time or the other have been persecutors of minorities. However, it is amazing that on entering high school, I recognised that Christians were respected and honoured, but today, they are increasingly being labelled as bigots and are disrespected. What a change within a few decades!


Dickerson, John S. (2012, December 15).The decline of Evangelical America. New York Times. Retrieved from

Gay marriage a threat to world peace, says Pope. (2012, December 21). Associated Press/Jamaican Observer. Retrieved from 

Schwartz, Sharona. (2012, December 17). Did you know about the surprising views on Israel of Obama’s likely pick for secretary of defense. The Blaze. Retrieved from