Great tribulation may be coming amongst the united nations. May God keep Singapore safe.
The President of United States, Donald Trump has at last done something morally right by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is a decision almost universally condenmed by the world including the Pope and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We have 70 years from 29 Nov 1947, the time for the countdown for judgement. They know.
In essence, it is a declaration that the entire City of Jerusalem belonged to the Jews ushering a closure of the Jewish Diaspora which started in AD70 and now ending in AD 2017, or 1947 years later. Seventy years earlier in 1947, the bud became alive with the UN resolution for the creation of Israel. The numerical value of 1947, 50, 100, 120 and 70 is strangely repeated. We are 50 years from 1967 when Israel returned to Jerusalem, and it is a double Jubilee from the Balfour declaration in Nov 1917, a hundred years ago. The year 2017, is 120 years or one full generation from the first Zionist Congress meeting in 1897 to plan for the return of the Jews.
Former Methodist Bishop Rev Yap Kim Hao passed away on 16 Nov 2017 at age of 88. Born in Port Dickson to a Hakka family in 1929, he has a fighting hakka spirit that made him a giant during the transition from colonial Christianity in the 60s to head the Methodist Church in Malaysia/Singapore as Bishop from 1968 to 1973, the liberal ecumenical movement of the Christian Conference of Asia 1973 to 1985. His compatriot, Anglican Bishop Chiu Ban It died in 2016. They went their separate ways in 1973.
When he retired from the Methodist Conference in Singapore in 1994, he was then effectively demoted to the role of an assistant pastor to a church that has changed from a bastion of western liberal colonial christianity to the evangelical and charismatic movement of the 70s and 80s. Christianity had changed as Singapore increasingly became the Antioch to Asia to preach the redeeming Gospel of Salvation. Rev Yap became a reminder of a prophetic voice of liberal social justice of the past. Continue reading
Matt 5:43 you have heard it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
Matt 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Matt 5:45 that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven…
There are more than 600K refugees in Bangladesh escaping from what is seen by many Westerners as a genocide in the Arakan state in Burma. Is it to whitewash a messy colonial legacy? We don’t see many Western nor middle east nations offering to take in the refugees. Some Arakanese Muslims have stayed for centuries being descended from traders and speak Rakhine. But the Rohingyas speak a Bengali dialect similar to the Chittagonian dialect in Bangladesh.
We have all heard about the love commandments but it is ultimately religious laws that is based on loving ourselves and our neighbours under the Old Testament. There is no grace, but an eye for an eye against those who caused harm. It is only when we realised that we are God’s son and daughters in Jesus Christ, we can change naturally based on our standing. Without the saving grace of Jesus Christ, religion has no solid foundation even the Christian faith.
The Nashville anti gay statement driven by the likes of Russell Moore of Southern Baptist and ex-gay advocate Christopher Yuan was a red line of anti gay positional statements by the evangelicals. The statement is really for their own consumption and to boost their own confidence and assurance as gay rights and marriage is all but accepted.
It is to keep the faithful in line as the acceptance of gays is knocking louder even in the most conservative evangelical church, 2 years after gay marriage was legalized. The Pew Research reported that 60% opposed gay marriage in 2004. In 2017, this has dropped by half to 32%. In 2004, 31% was in favor of gay marriage. Today, in 2017, this is at 62%. This trend is set to continue. In 2004, 44% of millenials supported gay marriage. Today, this has increased to 74%.
What God values as important is our allegience. When Solomon had too many wives, God didn’t rebuke him for going beyond one wife but for the wives worshiping another God. When the bible speaks about a man having sex with another man, it was always in the context of spiritual abomination, because only men were allowed in the worship of Baal and they joined themselves with the pagan god via sex with the priest. Would Jesus have rebuked gays? Yes, for unbelief for all of us have fallen short of God’s glory and righteousness.
I have only visited Hillsong at the Hills area Sydney once only, some years ago as a very young teenager. My christian walk took me a different journey and i never had the chance to attend any of the Hillsong Conferences despite frequented a dozen times by many gay christian friends. Voting against gay rights might sound holy and moral, but is actually blasphemy when no one question their right to straight marriages, nor is their marriage and morality perfect. When there is so much doubt, it is always better to show mercy, and love. God looks at our heart, how soft it is, our humanity and a sense of being fallible.
Rom 2:24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Pastor Brian Houston has urged Christians in Australia to vote against Gay marriage in the postal plesbicide saying that Paul’s stance was clear in Romans on homosexuality and that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Why one, when in Asia, in certain faiths, one man can have more than one wife? In the bible, even King David had a few wives and Solomon far too many. Brian said correctly that whatever goes the vote, the rights of the church will not be impacted. He is of course right practically but wrong spiritually. Wrong because the devil wants to bind the church, put it into a box without power just as it has done to the ecumenical liberal churches.
In Romans 1, Paul was criticizing the pagan faith scene in Romans, then he turned around to the Jews and said you are no different, and have blaspheme God’s name by the Law. What is the foundation of the Law, to love God by being faithful and not engage in adulterous pagan worship.
The recent Charlottesville demonstration on the removal of the confederate statue of General Robert E Lee has sparked of an ugly latent reaction by the white supremacist anti Jew protestors. Some say alt Right. The protest got violent as a James Alex Fields Jr rammed his car into counter protestors. He was no radicalized religious zealot nor Christian. It was not for religious glory unlike Isis. But there are some who questioned “why didn’t James Alex Field’s christian family and pastor informed the authorities of his radicalism”, you would need to ask the liberal Catholic, Episcopal, UCC, and Unitarian congregation in Maumee. Was the parents to be blamed that the beggar is blind? James Alex’s parent was a single paraplegic mum.
I am reminded of a book published in 1986 and 1988 called “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti set in the college town of Ashton. Perhaps 30 years later we see this darkness in middle America.
Eph 6.10 Put on the full armour of God that you may stand against the devil’s schemes.
Christianity is getting polarised into two extreme groups, the far left who doesn’t believe in the devil, and the far right, who believe that the devil is all powerful. The devil is always scheming, whispering into our minds like the snake of Eden and using deception for he is not as powerful as some Christians may think. Continue reading