Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When we look at the eternal killing fields with unveiled faces

If you were to wake up in heaven and find that your parents, siblings, and best friend were not there? How could that place be heaven for you? From where would you derive the ecstatic joy and gladness that constitutes our idea of eternal bliss in the presence of God?

The answer is difficult, but simple.


Unless we get our minds and hearts around the perfection and majesty of the glory of Christ, we miss the entire point of our salvation and what it means to enter into eternal bliss. On this side of glory, our self-centred humanistic flesh draws us away from basking in the glory of God as the ultimate good. Our eyes are only for ourselves, for our humanity and our sentimental thoughts of secondary happiness.

One day, from the viewing gallery of heaven perhaps we will see many of our loved ones perishing in eternal torment, receiving the just retribution for crimes committed against the holiness of God. Looking with unveiled faces, perfected and glorified in the consuming fire of our Saviour, with all sin and flesh purged completely from our being, what will we do?

We will exalt in the glory of God with such immense ecstasy and joy that all of our petty sentiments of the joy of salvation in our present time will shamefully pale in comparison. We will rejoice in the vindication of God and in the wonder of his great mercy in Christ in which we were selected from before the foundation of the world.

To God alone be the glory.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What is it that lay in the heart of the Thai people? Through what lens do they perceive the world? From the extravagance of their Buddhist architecture and decor about their shrines, it would seem that they are a very religious people. But is it that they are religious or simply superstititious about their beliefs?

I've been thinking about whether or not a high-church form of Christian spirituality would work here among the Thai. Sort of a highly ritualistic set of actions that would resonate more with their attitude of worship within a Buddhist context, perhaps much like the forms seen in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

The form of Christian worship that we introduce as missionaries is western, no doubt about that. It is altogether normal for us to transmit the faith that has been passed down from tradition from those who gave it to us, not to mention the fact that the urbanized world is western in its character the world over. Those who convert are embracing a certain amount of western civilization, yet they are neither ignorant nor resistant of it.

Perhaps it's not such a good thing to give them a Buddhist version of Christianity knowing that their beliefs are not relational, but based on fear, superstition and appeasement.