Friday, December 30, 2005

Article: Is the Contemporary Gospel "Another Gospel"

This is a good article exploring the problems with the modern, contemporary Gospel presentation, here. Also, another article from Jim from oldtruth.com regarding the marks of true salvation, here. I really think we as Christians must start evaluating our Gospel presentation such that it is true to Scripture and brings glory to God alone, to be theocentric instead of anthropocentric.

Short reflection on Uni Metamorphosis camp

Just a short reflection on the University Metamorphosis camp conducted by Singapore Campus Crusade for Christ (SCCC) which I have attended from the 26th Dec, Monday to the 30th Dec, Friday.

First, regarding this camp, I am pleased with the fact that Crusade have switched to theological eqquipping instead of the usual ministry equipping which occurred in the previous at least 2 Metamorphosis which I have also attended. This is not to denigrate ministry equipping, but the sad, sorry fact is that the churches in Singapore in general are not doing their job of teaching the flock of Christ, as also in places like America, and therefore we have a lot of shallow Christians around. Without a solid foundation, how can one do anything, much less ministry? It is thus commendable that Singapore Campus Crusade has seen the problem in the churches and is trying to rectify it. (Btw, the theme verse for this year's camp was Col. 2:6-7 — So then, just as you received Jesus Chrsit as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strenghtened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness)

Personally, I am ministered to by the Holy Spirit during this camp, especially by the messages by His servant Rich Miller. The Holy Spirit has illuminate and shown me the hurts and bitterness still left unresolved from my clash with my former church's leaders over their doctrinal compromise then, and bring me to repent of these attitudes and to turn to Christ alone, the Physician of our souls.

With regards to the TED (Theological Equipping for Disciples), I attended the package History Unfolds: God's redemptive plan, taught by SCCC's campus director Lam Kok Hiang. He taught a premillinium dispensationalist model, understandable since he graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. Notwithstanding my disagreement with this scheme of things (I am oscillating between the three views as I have not studied them in great enough details to make a judgment, but I AM definitely against dispensationalism), it was good understanding the theory and the exploration of the different Covenents was interesting.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Article: Jesus, CEO

Look at this article:

Churches as business — Jesus, CEO

I broke down while reading this article. That the glory of God is reduced to mere marketing; that churches are replacing God with their own carnality. God's honor is defiled by the mere existence of such churches. Oh, the judgment upon the house of the Lord is here, in that narcissistic country called the US of A, with so-called 'preachers' tickling the ears of the goats (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

Oh Lord, have mercy on Your church. We have sinned against You. We have squandered our inheritance and have traded our heritage for the rubbish of the world. We have scorned your grace and trampled underfoot the Gospel of salvation, replacing them with man-made business strategies to cater to the 'seekers' in the world. Oh Lord, have mercy on us, Your people and may You strangthen the remnent of Your flock in these dark days. Here in Singapore, may we Your people turn to You in repentance for our sins of apathy and of compromise. May You have mercy on us and turn us back to You. Lord, You know full well the situation of the churches in Singapore, and how they are dying a slow death, through the preaching of the Word-faith aka prosperity heresy, and of the pop 'gospel' heresy, and also the dearth of teaching of the Word in the churches. Oh Lord, as churches and peoples fall, may You keep us Your sheep in the safety of Your fold.

Oh Lord, may You purify Your church. Let persecution come if need be, but we truly look forward to the day when the body of Christ will stand forth as the Church victorious, the Church miitant, the Church triumphant over her enemies. Set us on fire for You, Lord, to proclaim the message of salvation to everyone, knowing full well that You will use us to efficaciously call Your elect to You through the proclaimation of Your Gospel. May we stand firm in our faith, and to stand together in love as one united body of Christ, as a witness to the one true and living God, even as the days are getting darker.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Reflection over the Committee retreat

I have just came back from a 2 Day, 1 Night Singapore NUS (Science) Campus Crusade Committee retreat, as I am involved in the Discipleship Committee there. It was very good, as the Servant Team (ST) shared with us their big-picture overview for the next semester as we labour on to disciple the crusaders and evangelize our campus for Christ. Also, we were told about the plans we have for sharing the Gospel in the context of the Da Vinci Code, as the movie based on this blasphemous, historical revisionist nonsense of a book hits the shores of Singapore. The idea is to transform this dark movement into an opportunity to share the truth of the Gospel to the non-Christians in campus. We also have extended time of committee planning, and prayer and praise.

Anyway, I truly admire the servant hearts of the ST. A life which humbly submits itself to the Lord is self-evident to the people of God, who have likewise tasted of the goodness and of the presence of God in their lives. Nothing is more beautiful than a life totally submitted to the Lordship of Christ and living in the power of the Holy Spirit. Knowing from experience the labor of leaders, mostly done behind the screens, I must take my hat off to them for going this far and displaying the type of maturity one expects to see in the leaders of the Church [This is talking about character only]. If only we have more of such leaders in the church, instead of some egoistic leaders running their own empires like Bill Hybels (see the next post above). It has been an honor serving alongside them for the ministry, although I must admit I am far from being dedicated to the ministry, due to the many issues I have been facing like the Purpose Driven Life and the hurt I have received from my previous church leading to a lack of trust for people who call themselves Christians. Another reason why this is so is that, as I dwell in the Word of Christ, I have grown in a different direction from modern Singaporean mainline Christianity as a whole. For example, I am a Calvinist, while mainline Singaporean Christianity is anti-intellectual Cal-minianism.

Anyway, if any of the STs do read this blog article, I can't thank you enough for your service unto the Lord our God. You are truly our heros for the NUS science ministry.

PS. From what I can see, Campus Crusade in particular and the churches and Christian organisations in general in Singapore have not descended too much down the new 'Downgrade' compared to the American churches are mostly falling into rank apostacy. For this, I am grateful, that Christ has preserved us and kept us from falling too far from him, unlike the situation in the American churches.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ok. This is very funny.

For those of us who are Calvinists, and those who are not, this is just hilarious.

http://purgatorio1.blogspot.com/2005/12/help-im-going-hyper.html

I especially like point #7; It's too funny. It is as follows:

7. Without me giving last names, you still know who I'm referring to:

  • John
  • John
  • John
  • John
  • John
  • Jonathan
  • John
  • John
  • John
  • Thoughts about tonight's Josh McDowell talk

    I have just gone for the Josh McDowell Bold Truth rally tonight, held at St. John - St. Magarat's Church and organized by Campus Crusade for Christ. Basically, it was good. It was good to hear a message against Post-modernism, not forgetting to mention the remarks against the false, blasphemous tale otherwise known as the Da Vinci Code. It was also heartening that the Church of Jesus Christ is rising against this historical revisionist nonsense that is going to sweep the world, with an upcoming magazine out soon debunking the myths in this piece of trash. His short talk on Monday was also rather good.

    Nevertheless, I am rather concerned with his emphasis on relationships. While it is true that relatioships are important, and our Lord Jesus Christ came to give his life as a ransom for His sheep to establish a relationship with them, an over-emphasis on relationships is unhealthy and could well bring us back under the liberal fold. McDowell stated that during the fundementalist-liberal divide in the early 20th century, relationships and beliefs were divorced, with the fundamentalists stressing on beliefs while the liberals stressing on behavior and relationships. As someone who has read up a bit on this issue, I think that this caricature is unfair and is overly-simplistic of the entire situation then. Furthermore, he does not make a distinction between the fundamentalists in the 1920s under the leadership of John Gresham Machen and the later mainly Arminian baptist fundamentlists which 'hijack' the movement and change faith and belief into being merely a cognitive assent to doctrine, which was different from the historical Reformed definition of faith as being life transformation based on assent to sound doctrine.

    The second concern I have with McDowell's emphasis on relationships is that it could well lead to the other extreme of the pendulum. Thus, instead of faith being purely cognitive with no outworking in good works, the emphasis on relationships could well bring us to the other end of the pendulum into faith being good works with assent to not well defined and shallow doctrine, which brings us back into the old heresy of liberalism. Of course, McDowell would not and most probably do not endorse such a view, and I didn't say he did nor insinuate that he does so, but the fact of the matter is that the swinging of the pendulum into the other extreme which I have stated has already happened, at least in USA, as seen in the heretic Brian McLaren and the so-called emerging 'church'. They emphasize a lot on relationships and helping people, while denigrating doctrine and at least some, like McLaren, promote vile heresies. Since this is happening presently in USA and is spreading to the world, I would think that my concern over McDowell's emphasis on relationships is justified.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    An introduction

    Hello, I'm launching this blog, mainly so as to allow people to (re)read the past articles that I have send them, and also allowing me not to lose the links to these good articles. This is because I am in the habit of sending links of good articles in emails and then deleting them myself. Another reason why I set up this blog is so that people can interact with the articles and comment on them easier if they so desire to.

    This blog will thus serve as my personal blog and I will be commenting on issues pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ as they come up, together with perhaps some personal musings, though I am not known for my humour in formal settings, which I generally regard the written medium to be. As such, this blog will complement my website which is at http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/ddd_chc82/ .

    With regards to rules, they will be minimal. No profanity will be allowed here, regardless whether the full term is used or it is coded. There will be no character assasination tolerated here. Respect is to be shown to all, though heated arguments are not discouraged.

    As I'm a rather busy person, do not expect me to post here daily. I will post as and when I have something to post, something of qulity of course. I don't believe in wasting web space with trash, by the way =P

    Looking forward to seeing all of you.