Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dear anonymous...

Dear anonymous, thanks u for making a comment in my blog.. i just wanna clarify my post a bit and also to share w u my belief... so sorry that it's going to be long..

First, i am not WHINING about holding joss-stick in my blog.. rather i am just sharing what's in my mind then, which was quite normal since i was at a wake, while i was there w tree.

i'm guessing that u are not a christian.. so u may not understand the struggle of us wanting to express our respect to the dead, whilst at the same time, knowing that worshiping the dead is wrong. I am posting that entry is NOT to express my disgust of joss stick or idols.. rather it's to express my concern and question that of being a christian who know that God is the only ever living being, who judges the living and the death when He comes again, how do i go about handling such issue..?

The 2 suggestions that u had given are definitely the best ones.. we should show our love and respect to the person while s/he is alive but not when s/he is dead.. we, compelled by God's love, should also find every opportunity to share Christ with the person in hope that God may have mercy and save the person from His judgment. We can't convert ppl.. only God does.

I am not worrying abt holding joss stick though since i know that God had forgiven us because of what Jesus did and not of what we do.. I am just worrying how the others will view Christianity and God thru our actions and words.. that's y i'm concern of whether holding joss stick would give ppl an impression that it is alright to worship the dead.. that's y.. to tell u frankly.. even right now.. i am hoping that this post would not cause u to have more misunderstanding or hatred with regard to God and christians.

Hope that u may at least understand that christians dun go around smashing idols or condemning people, we are of no postition to do that because we are not right, good and holy people. We are just sinners who recognised that we can't do everything right, can't love, even our close ones, with all our might, we came to see that we are self-centered, always want to do things our way... we are just a fallen being who recognised that no one, not even Christians, is perfectly good.. except God.

We are of no different from the non-christians.. except that we chose to trust in and live under a man who was here 2006 yrs ago.. who said that he is the Son of God, and he forgive all who believe in him and judge those who disregard him.. He mentioned, recorded in the bible, that all of us were dead ALREADY wo believing him.. and only him can give us life, so that we can know how to relate to people the way God intended us to relate.. (dead ppl can't relate to anyone) . So the core teaching of Christianity is not to do right things, it is not looking right, on for God, holy, spirtual or good.. no, the core is to love and relate w ppl patiently and lovingly.. which i personally find it real hard.

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing. (1Cor13: 1-3)

You may chose to believe tt u are not perfect now, the world is in a mess because ppl cannot love ppl.. but when He comes back again everything will be brought to perfection.
u may choose to believe that u are perfectly good now.. able to relate well w all ppl.. patient and loving and dun need anyone to matter the way u live..

Your choice.

(I am so sorry, if i sound disputative.. and long... like i'd said, i am not perfect and i'm learning too.. If so, may u forgive me, and hope that u may want to find out more about this Jesus Christ.. As for my grandma.. just in case u want to know.. yup she had discharged from the hospital le.. we have been visiting her every now and then. Really thanks u for ur concern.. i really hope that u may leave ur name down so that we can know one another. )


Anonymous said...

You know,

If you think deeper, singing hymms, holding jossticks, fasting, fire walking , eating pork, don't mean shit, if you don't follow the core beliefs of your religion. (not that I'm implying you are)

I believe that all religions have the same core values.

I don't think that we should be caught up by not holding jossticks etc.

Just treat it as a sign of respect.

As long as it doesn't damage your core beliefs, why should it matter if you hold them?

Would i sing hymms together with my friends if i'm invited in a church wedding? Even if i'm not a christian? Certainly.

Would i eat vegetarian food with my buddhist friends at their temple if i don't care about using animals as food? Certainly.

Would I be incurring God's wrath if i step into a mosque? Certainly not right?

Would that make me a worse *insert religion here* person, even if i respectfully participate in another religion's activities when I'm invited?

If your beliefs are strong, and if what you do does not contradict your core beliefs, why bother?

Its only if we get caught up with superfical stuff like jossticks, etc, that shows that our beliefs are not strong, thats all.

Anonymous said...

I agree that holding jossticks for the dead is a sign of respect for the dead. I know of a Christian who is against holding jossticks, even during the funeral of his family member. Imagine how his family members felt, and how the dead would feel if he knows.

Terence said...

To anonymous:

As long as it doesn't damage your core beliefs, why should it matter if you hold them?

I'm afraid you have misunderstood the point. The author is not worried about damaging his/her core values or beliefs. That's no issue at all. He/she is worried about damaging other people's perception of the core beliefs/values of being a disciple of Christ.

For example, there are other fellow Christians who will have their conscience damaged if they hold a joss stick in a funeral. If the author holds the joss stick, it may offend other fellow Christians.

Another example: if non-Christians sees him/her holding a joss stick, it may give the wrong idea (which is an idea that violates the core values of a Christian) to non-Christians that as a disciple about Christ, one can worship the dead as well. As Christians, we are accountable to God in whether we are hindering or aiding non-Christians to the right way.

The author's deliberation over the joss stick is not just about himself or herself and/or his core beliefs/values. The whole point is for the sake of others.

Conversely, if you're sure that holding a joss stick is alright (according to the best of your knowledge and conscience) and that it will not be of detriment to others, then it I don't see it's a problem with you holding a joss stick. But if your actions is going to affect others negatively, then the wisest course of action is to refrain from doing it.

That's the whole point of being a disciple of Christ- love.

Terence said...

I know of a Christian who is against holding jossticks, even during the funeral of his family member. Imagine how his family members felt, and how the dead would feel if he knows.

To be honest, that's a tough situation. On one hand, we want to show our respect to the dead. On the other hand, we have to be accountable to God and not to violate our conscience as well.

In my case, I didn't take part in my grandfather's funeral rites. But fortunately, I believe my relativess (at least my grandmother) were very understanding and did not make a fuss out of it.

In return, I tried alternative ways to show my respect to my dead grandfather.

In practical terms, a Christian may show respect by doing the hard work in the logistical jobs of the funeral, by taking care of the elderly/children, e.t.c.