Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of Hamlet, Atheists & The Dilemma of Msian Christians

I am a Christian. Though I may not be an exemplary one at times, I do not boast about myself but Christ in me.

In a simple analogy, Jesus may not appear to be the answer to how we decorate our houses but He is the answer to what foundations we build our houses upon. There are many people who live successful and moral lives without believing in God and Jesus Christ. At the end of their lives, they will face an accounting for which they will be judged and weighed by their Creator.

The confusion of this world and the tragic comedy of the human soul is caused by our lack of understanding of who we are, our position in this world, our purpose and final destiny. A world in which every man and woman act for themselves within the constraints of the law and human decency is destined for failure. If we build our house on the rock of Christ, we shall withstand every storm, every blow of circumstance and overcome the sting of death (i.e. we shall all die a physical death but will be spiritually redeemed and saved from eternal death).

In simple words, Jesus is the practical answer to every aspect of our lives. He is present in every suffering person, be the pain physical or emotional or spiritual. I personally know because I marvel at the way He rescued me many times from trouble even when I was not a believer in my youth.

My faith is in Jesus who died for our sins and took our place of bearing the punishment that God had reserved for sinful man. My faith is that man can only be saved and have eternal life through giving our lives to Him.

Why Christians Come Short of Christ

However, many Christians who have been spiritually reborned have allowed their old selves and old ways of thinking to return and drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit (God is a trinity of the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit). In other words, there was not a full conversion, a deep cleansing of the heart due to some unresolved issues.

Without a daily renewal of the heart and mind in the love of Christ and communion with Him (hearing His voice and reading the Bible), Christians face the danger of backsliding into their old selves. And many are unaware they have backslided or were not truly converted in the first place.

In this sense, a Christian engaged in social or political works without the power of the gospel and the aid of the Holy Spirit is like an empty drum, making noise and having little impact in the harvesting of souls.

So I think the dilemma facing Msian Christians, post March 2008 shake-up in the political landscape, is not Hamlet’s dilemma of whether to be or not to be a man of action (to stay apolitical or take a more active political stance apart from voting at elections). It is precisely this limited choice that caused Hamlet to end tragically. Without the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God, we won’t be able to contend with the enemy of this world, which is not flesh and blood but principalities.

The Fallacy of Atheists & Hamlet's Question

The logical fallacy of historicism is to assume that historic men of genius believed in the God of the Bible out of cultural convenience (they happened to be shaped by their historical circumstances), ignorance of other philosophies (the Internet and printing press were not invented yet to widen human knowledge) and a limited scientific breadth of mind (all Newtonian ways of seeing the world are outdated following Einstein's discovery of quantum truths).

If Shakespeare or Rembrandt were to be borned in 20th century England or Holland, it is my conviction that they will still be inspired by the intellectual, literary and emotional power of the Bible above all modern literature and philosophical paradigms. Hamlet struggled with an ancient sense of guilt that could neither be relieved from his soul by action or inaction but only by the free will to submit to and believe in the transformative power of Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

One pastor at Grace Assembly church last Sunday touched on this dilemma with a sermon about appealing to authorities.

There are 2 extreme positions: Should Christians become total pacifists who withdraw unto themselves from the secular world or should they, like religious militants, seek to change the world by forming Christian-based political parties?

His answer was that we should have inner peace and get right with our own lives that, amidst the political turmoil of our own communities, we remain clean, accountable and Biblical in our living, thoughts and actions.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Simon also mentioned Martin Luther King's civil rights protest against racism in America in the 1960s and that he appealed to the founding principles of the constitution.

Perhaps, Malaysian Christians should also appeal to constitution where the rights of all citizens to equality and freedom of religion are protected.

El Jefe said...

Welcome to the world of mumbo jumbo's. We all have our little fantasies in it. For the amount of murder and genocide christianyty has done to human kind, Islam lacks the sheer brilliance of the methods employed by christianity. Throughout the centuries, Christians really thought that it had the answers. I have flipped the bible throught my sunday schools only being led to believe that christ is the saviour and the way. Unfortunately, it doesnt seems so for the messenger who finally failed to save himself. That is the truth.

Jeremiah said...

El Jefe,

I wonder if you are a sincere seeker of the truth or are you making sweeping historical presumptions to justify your own prejudices?

If you are the former, then there are 3 issues I wish to point out:

1. Murder and genocide is committed by all mankind. based on 20th century history, there are millions killed by Hitler (a non-Christian occultist), Mao (a communist), Stalin (a communist), Pol Pot (a communist), Sadam Hussein and several other African despots. The Crusades and Inquisition by the Catholic chruch are politically motivated events that are no longer relevant today.

A person who calls himself a Christian does not neccesarily lead a Christian life. If eight out of ten Christians are violent, hate others and burn places other people's places of worship, etc, then there is something wrong with that religion. This is not the case. In fact it is more like 2-3 out of 10 Christians are law breakers and these are likely non-practising types.

2. Islam is a more peaceful religion? Pls read the papers to find the answer. The Sunnis and Shias have been fighting each other for centuries since one prophet was poisoned. I am still seeking the truth on this issue.

3. That Jesus allowed himself to die on the cross was ordained by God the Father as a penalty that was supposed to be imposed on mankind. Satan was deceived by this divine act and thought he killed the Son of God.

This is true love. If your son or daugther was drowning, would you jump to save them even knowing that you would die?

If you read your Bible again, you will know that Jesus was resurrected on the 3rd day and rose to Heaven.

Do You Want To Know God?

Do You Want To Know God?
Say this: Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. Forgive all my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again. I give you my life to do as You wish. I want Jesus to come into my life & heart. In Jesus's name. Amen