Tuesday, March 23, 2010

REPLY AWL

In the February issue of Readers Digest there is an article about cynistesia, a condition where people perceive letters as colours, proper names as tastes and tastes as images. Scientists think it is something all children go through. Their senses become intertwined for a brief time when they're little. I can remember when I was little I perceived both the days of the week and numbers as objects. Cynistesia does not negatively affect the lives of the people who have it. You watch, though. They're going to come out with a drug for it. You'll see commercials on TV acting like it's a horrible condition and a really big deal.

The February 22 issue of Maclean's has an itim about a mentally challenged, biracial homosexual teenage boy in Washington state whose principal refused to let him join the school's cheerleading team. Now I've heard everything!

In the same issue, the Books section has a review of "Lonely" by Emily White. I've often thought that some of the most extroverted people you meet are actually really lonely.

The January/February issue of Canadian Geographic has an article about life at an Arctic research station. Who thought nerds could party so hard.

The same issue has an article about where the mercury in the arctic goes during the warmer months. I'd love to know what the rates of autism are like up there.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FROM SAIGON TO SHALOM

By James E. Metzler. Scotdale, Pa: Herald Press, 1985.

This book touches on an aspect of missions that no one will talk about. Do a number of the natives being evangelized come to Christ just to curry favour with the white man?

The French colonized Vietnam in the 1600’s. The Vietnamese became Catholics in order to find favour with the priests and government officials. When the French pulled out and the Americans took over fighting the communists in the 1950’s, the people switched their allegiance to the Protestant missionaries arriving from America.

Most American missionaries in Vietnam were for the war, just as Christians tend to blindly go along with any war that comes along.

The Vietnamese were incensed and alienated at the American soldiers who helped the missionaries build orphanages after these soldier’s squadrons had bombed their villages.

Buddhists in other Asian countries were appalled at the American missionary’s attitude about the Vietnam War. If that was what Christianity was about, they decided, then they didn’t want anything to do with it.

As a side note, one of the Buddhist monks objected to the fact that Jesus ate fish. Well, how many starving people does your country have? You’ve got all these people starving and all these animals eating up resources, but your garbage religion won’t allow you to kill them.

Shalom means peace, but more than just not having war and strife. It is the perfect peace and harmony which results from a right relationship with God. God created the Garden of Eden as a perfect paradise. Man fell. Through Abraham, God gave His people a type of paradise, or a type of shalom, to use the author’s preferred word for it. In Exodus, God codified this shalom system in His Law. Then Jesus came and implemented the new covenant, a deeper version of this system which got down to the way people felt in their hearts as opposed to obeying the letter of the Law.

This shalom system centres in large part on our relationships with other people.

It should be part of our lives today.

The author looks at Luke 10 to show how missions should be. I want to touch on one particular point he makes.

He sums up the duty of missions as: eat, heal, say.

These can more accurately be rendered fellowship, help, preach.

Before discussing fellowship, I would first like to note that every culture is friendlier than ours. In other cultures, if a stranger shows up at someone’s house, they will invite them in for a cup of tea at least.

When we go to the mission field, we are to first fellowship with the people. This can of course involve sitting down and eating and drinking with them, but it also involves talking to people and getting to know them. In verses 7 and 8 of Luke 10, we are told to eat and drink whatever they give us. This means we are not to come in there forcing our ways on them, saying “I don’t like that. We don’t eat that in our culture.” And tsk tsking at everything they do that we view as wrong. It would be like someone called to youth ministry clicking their tongue when the kids swore. Kids swear these days. It’s just part of getting to know the people you want to evangelize.

Traditionally, western missionaries have failed miserably at this first step. What a lot of missions have mostly been about is going into a country and enforcing western culture on the people, making them do everything our way. While a lot of good came out of these missions, this imposing of western ways was still wrong. Thankfully, I think missions are more sensible about this kind of thing today.

The next step is healing or helping. This can involve literally healing the sick, or it can involve helping to build things, doing housework or any other task people need assistance with.

The third step is saying or preaching. After we have gotten to know the people and helped them out with things in their community, thus demonstrating the kingdom of God, then comes the proclaiming of the Word.

This same principle applies as much in the everyday life of Christians as it does to those involved in ministry. You want to evangelize people at work? First, get to know them better, maybe have them over for dinner or whatever. Next, help them out with things, showing yourself to be a true Christian who wants to serve others. Then, when the opportunity arises, talk to them about Jesus.

I often wonder if Christians date people the same way they try to fulfill the Great Commission. Do they walk up to a pretty girl for instance and say, “You should marry me. It is going to be so wonderful. Blablablablabla.”

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples how long each step was going to take. In some cases, it could take as little as half an hour to go through all three steps. In other cases, it could take months or years. The important thing is, let the Holy Spirit be your guide.

Also, I have finally found a guy who gets Romans 13. It is not a call for absolute submission to governing authorities, but rather it is saying that governments should rule according to God’s “shalom” system. They should be rewarding good works and terrors to evildoers, according to verse 3.

Purchase "From Saigon to Shalom" here.https://www.amazon.com/Saigon-Shalom-Pilgrimage-Missionary-Authentic/dp/083613379X

Friday, March 5, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

UCB CANADA SUCKS

I'm not sure whether I've written about this on here before, so I will write about it now.

The radio entity known as UCB Canada sucks.

When they first came on the air in Belleville in 2003, I was so excited. I thought, "Finally we're going to hear things from a Christian point of view and this station will win so many people to the Lord." However, nearly seven years on, I'm here to say that UCB Canada is horrible.

First and most importantly, they don't do anything to confront the problems of the local community. They just have a bunch of American preachers on there who mostly just talk about grace and love all the time. They don't have any local preachers on there crying out against the most prevalent sins in Belleville and the surrounding area. They should at least have round table discussions about these kinds of issues. For instance, I hear Wica is big in Belleville. Why not have a dialogue between a local pastor and a Wiccin priestess about why Wica is wrong.

The second reason UCB is so terrible is very similar to the first. They don't have any local preachers or even really any Canadian preachers on their station: just a bunch of big-time American preachers, as I said before.

Third, their news coverage stinks. Not only do they not have local news, but the newsfeed they do have is horribly biased. It is all this "let Israel blow all the Arab nations off the map, let's permanently ban from the airwaves anyone who says anything off-colour, George W. Bush is the greatest politician there's ever been, etc. etc." They supported Fred Thomson in the 2008 election, for cripes sakes! Yeah, the station in Chatam-Kent will sure win over Detroit's large Moslem population with news coverage like that.

The music is all laid-back ballads with not enough emphasis placed on big-time Christian artists.

Oh well, at least The Edge is gone. That's one good thing.