Monday, March 2, 2015

UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity (and Why It Matters)


“This book UnChristian is very disturbing to me. I fully realized that this book is about Christianity in America today but it seems like what happen (or whatever happened) to American Christians there is a reflection of what will happen to any Christians in the world today if we are not alert and wake up from our spiritual slumberness. As if I’m reading the reality of Christianity in Malaysia today. The data and contents, even opinions and wisdoms, of the authors have been formed by research, not vague feelings or hunches. I want to recommend this book to Christians first, though it is also written for outsiders too. The research findings in this book are a solid reminder that Jesus not only commands us to joyfully loving God but also to loving other people. Though we may be good at preaching grace, we have not been characterized as a gracious people. This is fact. God helps us.”
(Richard Angelus)

UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity …and Why It Matters
by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, 2007)

Christianity has an image problem. Christians are supposed to represent Christ to the world. But according to the latest report card, something has gone terribly wrong. Using descriptions like “hypocritical,” “insensitive,” and “judgmental,” young Americans share an impression of Christians that's nothing short of . . . unChristian.

Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of people aged 16-29 reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. The surprising details of the study, commissioned by the Fermi Project and conducted by The Barna Group, are presented with uncompromising honesty in unChristian. Find out why these negative perceptions exist, learn how to reverse them in a Christ-like manner, and discover practical examples of how Christians can positively contribute to culture.

Get Your Hard Cover Copy of UnChristian for FREE
For this month of March 2015: Free Monthly Book, I would like to offer three copies of this book to anyone who are interested and concern about whatever happen to Christianity today and what you can do about it. All you have to do are; comment below “I want to read this book because…” (no less than 10 words), E-mail me your name, phone no. and postal address for me sends the book. This offer is available until 30th March 2015.


THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jurang diantara Gereja dan Komuniti di Malaysia: Adakah Kita Peduli?


[Kuala Lumpur, Metro Hotel, 1hb March 2015, 2.00 pagi]

Di bandar Kuching mahupun di Kuala Lumpur ada jurang diantara gereja dan komuniti. Saya suka berjalan disekitar bandar-bandar yang saya pergi. Di bandar Miri, contohnya, saya mendapati bahawa banyak gereja-gereja didirikan atau ditempatkan berdekatan antara satu sama lain. Semasa saya menginap di rumah sewa kawan saya, saya memandu disekeliling kawasan berdekatan dan mendapati bahawa hanya dalam 10 minit memandu, saya menjumpai lima buah gereja – tiga buah gereja denominasi yang sama dan empat daripada lima adalah gereja yang menggunakan bahasa penghubung yang sama. Di Kuching, gereja juga banyak, sehinggakan jika kita ingin melawat satu gereja setiap minggu perlu mengambil masa 35 minggu atau 8 ke 9 bulan berturut-turut.

Petang semalam saya sampai ke bandar Kuala Lumpur dan mendapati juga disini ada banyak gereja. Kemudian, saya memerhati keadaan sekeliling. Kawasan yang sama dimana sebuah gereja didirikan menjelang malam menjadi kawasan tempat penagihan dadah, minum arak dan mungkin juga (jika pemerhatian saya benar) menjadi tempat dimana pelacur-pelacur ditawarkan dan pengedaran dadah berlaku. “Adalah menjadi kebiasaan bagi mereka untuk ‘berniaga’ di kawasan ini,” kata seorang pakcik kepada saya. Pada siang hari, di sini ada ramai orang miskin, orang buta, orang bangsa asing, anak-anak muda dan kanak-kanak. Saya berfikir, orang-orang yang memerlukan Kristus tidak jauh dari kawasan gereja. Mereka mungkin menanti orang Kristian yang sanggup menerima mereka dan berkata kepada mereka bahawa mereka layak untuk datang ke gereja – datang kepada-Nya.

Saya menulis ini bukan untuk menghakimi – saya hanya ingin membuka mata kita. Tidakkah sedih apabila ketua mengedar dadah tahu nama setiap anak muda yang berada di kawasan gereja lebih daripada pastor yang melayani di gereja? Adakah kamu hairan apabila guru sekolah minggu berpuas hati dengan pelayanan kanak-kanak di gereja dan tidak langsung peduli dengan kanak-kanak yang tidak tahu membaca dan menulis di sekitar kawasan itu? Mereka yang menyesatkan orang selalu mencari dan melayani sesiapa saja yang datang kepada mereka, tetapi umat Kristian dan pintu-pintu gereja hanya dibuka pada hari minggu. Gereja mahukan orang yang kemas dan bersih, tetapi mereka yang menyesatkan orang menerima mereka seadanya.

Saya sudah bekerja hampir 4 tahun dalam pelayanan pelajar Kristian. Para pelajar dan anak-anak muda sebenarnya sangat bersemangat untuk melayani komuniti. Kebanyakkan mereka ingin membawa Kristus dan gereja untuk menjangkau komuniti disekeliling mereka. Mereka rindu untuk menjadi tangan dan kaki bagi Kristus untuk mengkhabarkan Berita Baik. Ada diantara mereka sanggup berpindah ke tempat dimana mereka boleh melayani dan mengenal komuniti. Ada juga yang mengorbankan hujung minggu menjadi guru and mentor di sekolah minggu di rumah-rumah panjang. Mereka sanggup asalkan gereja memberi dorongan dan galakkan, bantuan dan pengelibatan, menjadi contoh dan juga peduli dengan komuniti disekeliling mereka.

Kenapa aktiviti menjangkau komuniti ini jarang berlaku di bandar Kuching, Miri, Kuala Lumpur dan di Malaysia keseluruhannya? Kerena gereja sibuk menyolek dinding bangunan, tidak mahu mengotorkan tangan, menggemukkan diri dengan makan berlebih-lebihan, sibuk mengekalkan umat yang ada, meminta tetapi tidak memberi, ingin menjadi artis dan selebriti tetapi tidak memiliki hati hamba, mendirikan Rumah TUHAN seperti sebuah syarikat, mementingkan kerohanian luaran sehingga melupakan panggilan Kristus ke dunia, dan terlalu asyik mempertahankan iman – iman tanpa perbuatan dan tidak dikongsikan. Jika ini ialah idea ‘gereja’ bagi anak-anak muda sekarang, maka tidak hairanlah aktiviti atau pelayanan menjangkau komuniti jarang berlaku disekeliling kita. Sanggupkah kita membawa seorang pengemis yang kotor dan berbau ke gereja kita? Sanggupkah kita mengurangkan belanjawan gereja untuk membantu orang miskin, mendirikan sekolah, melawat ibu tunggal dan menjenguk banduan di penjara?

Mari kita kembali ke gereja dan komuniti. Saya percaya (dan sedih) bahawa anak-anak muda sekarang mula melihat gereja sebagai satu kelab eklusif yang tidak lagi peduli dengan orang-orang miskin dan orang-orang yang memerlukan di sekeliling mereka. Di mana integriti kita sebagai umat Kristian? Bukankah kita seringkali mendengar khutbah dan kesaksian tentang memberkati orang lain? Tidak pernahkah kita merenung Firman Allah untuk mengasihi sesama kita? Anak-anak muda tidak akan merujuk dan meminta bantuan dari ibubapa, para pemimpin gereja dan guru-guru sekiranya kata-kata dan kepercayaan kita tidak sama dengan carahidup dan iman yang kita pegang. Mereka akan pergi ke tempat lain, tempat dimana kerinduan dan beban mereka akan didengar. Jika ini berlaku, jangan salahkan mereka.  

Gereja (ini termasuk saya juga kerana kita adalah satu tubuh dalam Kristus) harus peduli dengan komuniti disekeliling kita. Untuk menjangkau anak-anak muda kita harus menjangkau komuniti kita, kerana melalui cara ini anak-anak muda boleh terlibat dan mereka secara langsung tidak lagi menjadi boneka tetapi mereka juga turut serta dalam pelayanan gereja. Bukan mereka saja, tetapi semua umat akan didorong dan dibangunkan. Komuniti disekeliling juga diberkati. Bukankah ini idea gereja yang sebenar? Iman tanpa perbuatan, mati. Kebenaran tanpa kasih, beban. Berita Baik tanpa kesaksian, sia-sia. Gereja tanpa impak kepada komuniti adalah – hipokrit. Lebih baik tiada gereja daripada menghina Yesus Kristus dan nama-Nya dihadapan orang ramai.

Ini cadangan saya:
Ambil satu masa dengan para pemimpin dan/atau rakan-rakan seiman,
Tidak perlu berdoa secara formal, hanya buka mata dan hati,
Pergi ke luar gereja and lihatlah sekelilingmu.
Apakah beban yang TUHAN telah berikan kepada gereja kamu?
Kenapa gereja ada disini? Dan kenapa komuniti ini ada disekeliling kamu?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
Best Blogger Tips

Friday, February 27, 2015

(Don't) Reducing Spirituality to Moral Benchmarks


Without question, one of the principal stumbling blocks the world has when it comes to the Christian faith has to do with Christians themselves, and specifically the question of hypocrisy.
And rightfully so.

The word hypocrite is taken from an old Greek work that refers to the wearing of a mask. In ancient Greece, actors often wore masks according to the character they played. Their character’s appearance on the stage was a fa├žade, an ‘act.’ Hypocrites, then, are mask-wearers. They appear to be one thing, but it’s all a front – behind the mask they are someone else.

The only way this will be addressed is if Christians themselves get a grip on what it mean to follow Christ, and then convey that authentically to the world. What is behind many – not all, but many – charges and accusations against the character and integrity of Christians is the demand for perfection in the life of anyone who claims to be a Christian and urges others to consider Christianity as well. This is not, of course, the true meaning of hypocrite, but even more to the point, it is not an accurate understanding of what it means to enter into the Christian life.

Yet the world holds us to it, because we hold ourselves – and others – to it. We fall prey to the charge of hypocrisy because we have reduced spirituality to a list of moral benchmarks coupled with a good dose of judgmentalism.

The only way to regain our footing is to remind ourselves – and others – that an authentic Christian is simply someone who has made the decision to believe in Jesus as his forgiver and then attempt to follow him as his leader. But nowhere in this series of events is perfection or sinlessness. Rather, there is simply the intentional effort and sincere desire to recognize God as, well, God.

And then we must convey that to the world. Authentically, I am reminded of the words of the great nineteenth-century Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who wrote in a personal letter,
Attack me, I do this myself, but attack me rather than the path I follow and which I point out to anyone who asks me where I think it lies. If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side!

Simply put, we must stop presenting ourselves as the message and begin presenting Jesus as the message. There will be disappointment with Christians as long as there are imperfect people. Since all Christians are imperfect, there will always be disappointment. So we must stop having the message of Christ tied to our butchered efforts.

Jim White
Author
Quote from Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Fermi Project (Baker Books, 2007) pg. 65-66
Original title as ‘Reducing Spirituality to Moral Benchmarks’


THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
Best Blogger Tips

They Click it A lot. [Top 10 last 7 Days]

Thus far, I writes...

2015 Resolution A.W. Tozer Abortion Abraham Action Actions Adoption Advice Alkitab Allah Bapa Ambition Anak Manusia Angel Apologetics Apolos Apostle Application Art Ask Assurance Athanasius Athenagoras Atonement Attitude Authentic Authority Awake Awareness Back to Basic Doctrine Series Bahasa Iban Bahasa Kamek-Kitak Bahasa Malaysia Balance Baptis Baptism Be Original Beauty Beban Belas Kasihan Believe Berdoa Berfikir Berita Baik Bersaksi bagi Kristus Bible Bible Study Billy Graham Biography Birthday Blessing Boldness Boredom Born Again Borneo Brother Yun Bup Kudus Burn Up business/financial C.H. Spurgeon C.S. Lewis Cabaran Calling Cara Hidup Care Celebration Central Theme Chance Change Character Children of God Chinese New Year Choice Christ-Like Christian Fellowship Christian Living Christmas Church Coffee College and University Student Comfort Commend Commitment Communications Community Compassion Condemnation Confession Confidence Conflict Consumerism Contentment Contribution Controversy conversion Conviction Corrie Ten Boom Counseling Creativity Criticism Curiosity Curse Dating Death Decease Decision_making Dependence Determination Diligence disaster Discernment Discipleship Discipline Discover Diversity Divinity Doa Doctrine Don Richardson Don't Give Up Don't Worry Dosa Doubt Dream Easter Easter Day Reflections Emotions Emptiness Encouragement Endurance Enemies Environment Eternal Life Eugene H. Peterson Evangelism Everyday Christmas Evil Spirits Example Existence of God Experience F.B. Meyer Facebook Failure Faith False Teacher Family and Relationship Fasting Fasting. Berpuasa Father Father's Day Fear Fear of God Feeling Firman Tuhan Focus Followers Forgiveness Francis of Assisi Free Freedom Friendship Garden of Eden Gawai Dayak Generosity Gentleman Gentleness George Mueller Gereja Gifts Giving Glory Goals God God Sovereignty God's Will God-ward Thinking Good News Goodness Gospel Gospel of Mark Gossip Grace Gratefulness Gratitude Great Commission Greatness Grief Growth Guidance Habit Happiness Happy New Year Harapan Hardwork Hari Krismas Hate Hatred Healing Health Heaven Hell Hidup yang Bermakna Hidup yang Kekal High Priest History HIV/AIDS Holiness of God Holy Spirit home Homosexual Honesty Hope Hosea Hukum Taurat Hukuman Humanity Humble Iblis Identity Imagination Iman Immanuel Incarnation Influence Initiative Insights Inspiration Integriti Integrity Internet Interpretation Isa al-Masih Isu Semasa J. Oswald Sanders J.I. Packer Janji Allah Jesus Christ Jim Elliot John C. Maxwell John MacArthur John Piper John Stott John the Baptist John Wycliffe Journey Joy Judas Iscariot Judging Others Justice Justification Karl Barth Kasih Kasih Kurnia Kayu Salib Keadilan Kebaikan Kebangkitan Kebebasan Kebenaran Keberanian Kebijaksanaan Kehendak Allah Kejahatan Kejujuran Kekhuatiran Kelahiran Semula Keluarga Kemaafan Kematian Kemurahan Hati Ken Blanchard Kepastian tentang Penyelamatan Kesatuan Kesejahteraan Kesetiaan Kesucian Ketulusan Kindness Kingdom of God Kitab Ezra dan Nehemia Knowledge Kornelius Kuasa Kudus Laughter Law of God Laziness Leadership Learning Leonardo da Vinci Let Go Let's Blogging! Lies Lifestyle Listening Loneliness Lord Louis Berkhof Love Malaysia Marriage Martin Luther Masa Maturity Media Sosial Meditation Meekness Membaca Meminta Tolong Memorizing Mendengar Menghakimi Mengumpat Mentaati Menyelidiki Mercy Messiah MH17 Tragedy MH370 Tragedy Mikha Ministry Miracle Misi Mission Money Morality Moses Mother Teresa Mother's Day Motives Movie Mukjizat Murah hati Murka Tuhan Music My Top 20 Lists My Top Book Lists Mystery Nabi Naomi Narnia Nasihat Nelson Mandela New Life Noah's Ark Obedience Observing Omnipotent Omnipresent Omniscient Online Optimist-Christian Attitude Orang Utan Oswald Chambers Pain Parable Paradise Passion Pastor Patience Paul Hattaway Paulus Peace Peduli Pekerjaan Peluang Pemerintahan Allah Pemulihan Pencubaan Pendamaian Pengajian Surat 1 Yahya 1 Pengampunan Pengekalan dalam Keselamatan Pengetahuan Asas tentang Ajaran Kristian Penginjilan Pengkhabaran Pengorbanan Penyembuhan Penyesalan People Perbuatan Percaya Perdamaian antara Kaum dan Bangsa Perkahwinan Persaudaraan Persecution Perseverance Persistence Personality Persuasion Pertaubatan Pertolongan Petrus Picture Graph Play Poet Politics Positive Thinking Potential Poverty Power Praise prayer Pre-Christmas Preaching Priority Problem Process Promise Protest Puji Sembah Purpose Putera Allah Question Quote Racism Radical Random Issues Reading Rechurch Reconciliation Redemption Reflection Reformer Remain Faithful Rendah Hati Renungan Repentance Respect Responsibility rest Result Resurrection Revelation Revenge Rewards Righteousness Rock Roh Allah Romance Rumah TUHAN Rut Sabbath Sacrifice Sahabat Saint Salvation Santification Satan Save Second Coming Secrecy Seekers Self-Control Self-Image Selfie Phenomenon Sensitive Serve Service Sex Sharing Shut Up Silent and Solitude Simplicity Sin Sincerity Sing Single Siri Kehidupan Kristian Slowing smile Soalan Social Media Son of God Son of Man Space Speak Up Spiritual Health Spiritual Poverty Stand Firm Stop Baram Dam Strength Struggle Study Success Suffering Sukacita Sukarela Supreme Surrender Take Risks Talking Tanggungjawab Tattoo Teachability Teacher's Day Technology Temptation Thank You Thankfulness The Apostles' Creed the Cross The Devil The Helper The Light The Message of Christmas The Poor The Smartness of God The Trinity The Unforgivable Sin The Water of Life The Way The Word Thinking Time Tindakkan Tongue Traditions and Regulations Training Transfiguration Transformers Triniti Trouble Trust Truth Tujuan Hidup Unchurch Understanding Uniqueness of God Unity Unplugging Urgency Valentine Value Victory Visi Vision Vocation Volunteer Waiting Walk with God Warren Bennis Watchman Nee Weekly Motivation Winning Wisdom Witness woman Word-to-World Fellowship (WWF) Words Work World Worship Wrath of God Writing Yesus Kristus You got to read this Yusuf Zig Ziglar