The world is intrigued with it’s ever ‘evolutionary’ outlook; believing that things get better as time progresses. But the fact when you drill down properly is this: nothing changes in the areas that count. Take for example, technology. Sure, it gets faster and better each day. But if it does, why are we doing less than our forefathers? Why are people not performing better than those who did not have technology like we do?
It’s a conundrum to say the least, but it is there for us to see. The Christian does not seem to be able to do more ‘evangelism’ as the older generations, for all our talk of the Internet proliferation. In fact, it tends to dilute evangelism… believing that evangelism can be done in ‘cyberspace’. The effect? A division of lifestyles that is wholly inconsistent by the Christian professor.
There is no such thing as Christian 2.0 in this world. There should not be any. To be a Christian is sufficient. It was sufficient in the time of Paul and the apostles, it will be sufficient for our day and generation too. All these so-called development are mere distractions. Meaningless they have become.
We can obviously use technology in our daily living, but God help us if we define Christianity by what technology is in use.
Today’s bible study topic is on Acts 26. The main topic is on “Testimony of a Saint”. The saint mentioned is of course referring to the Apostle Paul. I have studied this passage many, many times… in fact, ever since my conversion in 2000. Yet, as much as I study it, there never seems to be an end to the riches that I find in this very passage. As time passes, I find nuggets of treasures that were buried and concealed which I could not see then. It is very edifying.
I have been taught to see three (3) main natural divisions in this chapter concerning Paul’s extensive account of his conversion (from verse 4-23); his old life, his encounter with God and his new life. I believe, then and now, that the three fold division of testimony should also be applicable to modern professing Christians in validating their faith confession.
It is challenging. It is very applicable. It is frightening. For underlining this topic of giving testimony, there is the concept of the Gospel. What is the essentials that one must have in order to have faith? What are the non-negotiables?
Let’s see how the listeners understand out of this.
Streamyx. That’s my new broadband connection. It really is a pain during the day time onwards (till night). It is a wonder only in the morning. Very saddening. But also a good thing… I am too much of a Net freak!
Rapid fire thoughts for the few months since I last voiced (written) them:
Physical exercise must go hand-in-hand with spiritual exercise. Although when pushed, the latter is the most essential exercise that we must have daily. In fact, it is the latter that pushes us to do the former, in its proper measure. Obesity is the extreme of what happens if we indulge excessively on the worldly delights for the sake of our temporal belly aching 🙂 Very much a note for myself. So there!
Internet is important, but it can really be counter-productive.
Internet is important, it is a good leverage for many things.
I have noticed that ‘attention seeking’ deficiency is prevalent in everyone in varying degrees. It can be found in even quiet, staying in the background person which you may least expect. It is a condition that feeds of the thing we call ego although I wouldn’t dare call it for what it is in front of the person. It doesn’t do much damage to the people surrounding the person, but more to the person by increasing self-consciousness and paranoia. It is a vicious cycle for those who have a deep degree of these type of behaviour. It can easily push a person to go into the ‘Oh, pity me’ scenario (self-pity) which is bad spiritually, because it shifts the focus again to self.
I use my phone to check my Gmail account (GPRS connection, no EDGE, since it is an O2 XDA Stealth). I have been able to transform the phone to a blackberry type service (with a 7 minutes lag time) for free. But found that it is a hassle to constantly hear new e-mail alerts on my phone when I’m trying to get sleep at 2am. 😛
Paedobaptism is a very unique creature which the Reformed forefathers have adopted into their theology. I can see where it grew out from, but cannot see the rationale for its creation.
I have come to appreciate even more the doctrines of Grace as espoused by TULIP and by John Calvin under the system called Calvinism. I have no problem identifying myself to such a system for the bible is clear on making our stand clear for the sake of differentiating ourselves from those who hold other positions. There are minimum standards which we must keep as evangelicals, but identification is always important to preserve the purity of God’s Doctrines.
I find that those who espouse no ‘clear identification’ actually do so themselves. See the “Local Church” and “Brethren” Movement.
Evangelism is utmost important in the life of the Reformed believer. He can do nothing else except to evangelise, if he understands the doctrines of Grace. He is compeled by a force that is more powerful than anything else in this world; thus, his effort will not be in vain. It is a comfort.
My phone has a location triangulation mechanism courtesy of Google Maps.
iPhone is overpriced in Malaysia.
iPhone 3.0 is coming.
There you have it. Bullet points of the past 2 months. Or so.
Adios… till my streamyx comes back or until we go to another Starbucks tomorrow. 🙂
I thought this was a good read. I concur on most of the points, especially from what I can see in the general evangelical development in Malaysia.
We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we’ve spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.
There are three kinds of evangelical churches today: consumer-driven megachurches, dying churches, and new churches whose future is fragile. Denominations will shrink, even vanish, while fewer and fewer evangelical churches will survive and thrive.
The confrontation between cultural secularism and the faith at the core of evangelical efforts to “do good” is rapidly approaching. We will soon see that the good Evangelicals want to do will be viewed as bad by so many, and much of that work will not be done. Look for ministries to take on a less and less distinctively Christian face in order to survive.
Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith.
It is the hardest of things. To change that is. When you really do not want to change, situations forces you (almost hemming you) into a change. When you do want to change, the factors opposing it is tremendous as it is various.
Well, readers, this blog and everything else online and offline is in for a soft reboot. Sometime soon.
It’s change. Hopefully to something that is manageable.