Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lulu's VERY Concerned For The Churches In Subang Jaya

Lulu was told that when the subject Tamadun Islam was first introduced in the local universities, the authorities placated the public by telling them that the students "only need to attend the lectures"
After a while, they brought in exams to the subject. Everyone was given the assurance, "don't need to pass".
Time passed. Seasons change [like real...] Orang Malaysia mudah lupa.
Today, the subject is compulsory for all 1st year students, there is an exam, and it is compulsory to pass.

the salami principle - doing/taking a slice at a time until it is all gone.
It can be used when you have a mountainous task ahead of you, so if you break it down to bite sizes, it becomes more managable and doable.
The other way it is used is to take away someone's rights bit by bit until they have nothing left. Not at first take, but bit by bit.

Shop-house churches must get permits
Maria J.Dass
PETALING JAYA (Feb 18, 2008): Churches in Subang Jaya which have been operating out of shop and factory lots have not been asked to close down, said incumbent Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng.
“We have not asked them to close down, but to submit their application for permits,” said Lee, adding that such churches have to get a permit to operate from business premises.
He said many of the churches which are not on religious land have not applied for these annual permits costing RM1,000
http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=20794

today they ask you to "submit your application for permits"
tomorrow, you will be at the mercy of the little mullah napoleon to give permission for Christians to come together and worship as a church.
And it's not just a Christian issue.
Article 11 (1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

And the unexplainable thing will be that the Subang Jaya Christian voters will vote Lee Hwa Beng back to power. Talk about idiots and fools!

davidlian said...

Hi,

Just stumbled upon your blog. I'm a Christian, but I do think it's fair for the government to ask to churches to apply for permits - it's the law of the land and we're law-abiding citizens. At the same time, if hanky-panky goes on and the application is disapproved without solid grounds, then we can claim that is unfair.

Anonymous said...

There is actually a small phrase that overrides the Article 11(1) in the name of islam....take that...

Old Fart said...

The church is not exactly the building in which you come together to worship. So no worries about this.

However, it is quite another if a shophouse used as a church without the necessary approvals catches fire or sollapses under the weight of the congregation or even if someone is hurt while in the premises.

Insurance claims can be denied and criminal charges can be put on the leaders/owners for use of premises for a purpose other than what the planning permission provided.

You have to accept the fact that most of these buildings are built with maybe at most 20 people working inside there. Or if it is a factory bulding that is now converted, maybe a lot more....But then when used as a church a lot more people come and you find amenities provided to accomodate such a crowd is just not adequate. Car parks is another issue as well.

So, before you vent your anger, please do consider all other factors. In that sense in Malaysia at least you get away with a lot. In New Zealand and Australia it would be a lot more harder.

kaki.ayam said...

"....At the same time, if hanky-panky goes on and the application is disapproved without solid grounds, then we can claim that is unfair...."

And what help would that offer by then? Why RM1000? Why the need to renew annually? Why is permit needed in the first place? Under what solid ground would there be for the disapproval of the permit? Anti government? Deviant? What are the criteria for approval? Are that put into writing?

I have lived in Malaysia long enough to know how the gov does things.

Hamzah said...

Hi davidlian, I would like to know under what law that a church has to apply for a permit? and does a surau or masjid needs to apply for one too?

if there's hanky panky, there's always the law to charge them.


question: why do I need another person permission to worship/pray/conduct my own religion?

mob1900 said...

Sounds Roman to me. So when are they going to feed us to the lions?

Anonymous said...

good questions

hamzah - "I would like to know under what law that a church has to apply for a permit? and does a surau or masjid needs to apply for one too?"

kaki ayam - "What are the criteria for approval? Are that put into writing?"

b&w is not the rule here, their mouth is.

ahmog said...

Its a twist of words... by bullies.

They get 2 things:
1. Torture "non-members" for pleasure.

2. Taking our money.

They didn't say you cannot worship other religions.. they just make it difficult for you.

Like a bully forcing a victim to pay for protection money or he will make life difficult.

Oh btw, I'm not Christian but i see this as an injustic to all.

myop101 said...

dear old fart,

I disagree with you. I once audited my church accounts and I know as a matter of fact that they are insured. If the insurer decides to insure a church on the basis that they pretend it is used as an office, isn't that deception? Also, to say that shoplots can only contain 20 people is really weird. I know of shoplots converted into budget hotels and besides the 20 or so people, some people operate light machinery in those premises. I am quite sure a machine weight more than a person what more several machines? As such, your argument on 20 or so people don't really hold water.

Also, even if it is not used as a church, I also know of many direct selling companies holding seminars via shoplots too and serve food. I am quite sure many people turn up and having lots of people is a very good marketing gimmick to attract onlookers to visit their premises.

On matters relating to fire safety, I thought it is covered by relevant authorities before these premises are allowed to be occupied for any commercial use? Are we to assume that churches rampantly build buildings with little care and neglect to the flock? But that will be kind of silly considering that builders don't build these premises with the assumption that it will be used for 20 or so people. They will ensure that the building can take X amount of stress and perhaps with commercial use in mind.

As for parking lots and logistics, can the same be said of mosques and temples? They are allocated with limited land too but many people do turn up. What do Malaysians usually do? Park at the shoulders of the roads. And do other Malaysians complain? Of course they do. But I don't see the authorities coming round and chase them away. They tolerate it and they don't propose to build a multistorey carpark next to them. So, why is it now a problem that can be fixed with a RM1,000 annual permit?

To have this permit rule to me is utter nonsense. It is merely another way for the govt to raise revenue and at the same time, place another barrier to people of different faiths to practice their religion freely.

Are we to be like Egypt where to repair a church toilet requires local government approval? From the looks of things, we are getting close to that given Little Napoleans religious fervour in imposing their perception of reality.

mob1900 said...

Eh, Bolehland got no Lions but got Lying Kings! A vote for MaChAi is a vote for AMNO. Vote wisely.

josh said...

Just a quick reply on whether or on what powers the local council can issue such licences/permits:

The local govt can issue bye-laws to regulate a matter they are empowered to by the Local Govt Act.

s.102 where it list out all the matters the local government can regulate. The local council cannot regulate or demand licence for that which they are not empowered by this Act.

As far as I read this, there is no provision to regulate places of worship/ church in this s.102.

So this requirement does not exist at the moment.

For more elaboration on this go to www.legallyblawg.com

Hamzah said...

good rationale arguments from both myop101 and old fart :-)

Josh, that's why we need local govt election!

Voon Tek said...

I am a "sometime" Christian,

And I think that the churches has been preaching docile pro gomen sermons all these while.

the point being that:

If they are not bothered, why should we be?

kaki.ayam said...

voon tek, don't really understand the statement 'sometime' christian. would appreciate if you could further elaborate on that...

'docile progomen'? Like how? I know we were ask to pray for the leader, but I do not think such an action be interpreted as pro-gov.

'they are not bothered' - who are 'they' you referring to? CFM? NECF? or the church leaders themselves? What causes you to come to a conclusion that the church are Not bothered? I think it will be good if you could explain further.

jesus keris said...

looks like UMNO is more extremist than PAS... vote wisely

myop101 said...

dear voon tek,

you have a point there. but would we impose the same judgement on indians? i believe many would tell you they have been supportive of the govt until recently. should we ignore their plights?

to be fair, let's look at it from the perspective of erosion of people rights. whatever the reason they have for being ambivalent before should not be used as evidence against them now. if anything, this episod serves as a lesson to the churches. don't rest on their laurels. speak for the truth. this is also a challenge from Jesus Himself.

myop101 said...

dear hamzah,

totally agree with you on the local council election. unless these councillors feel the heat of getting sacked by the very people they serve, they will never be troubled by our unhappiness and grievances.

Voon Tek said...

sometimes Christian means only goes to church sometimes lah, but i was born and bought up as a Christian.

docile pro gomen, basically means leaders are god appointed, so therefore it is inadvisable to go against god's will.

whether the denomination of churches, do they not preach that?

my church advise against voting for PAS, can you tell me why? and I won't accept the reason beuing that they are Islam.

Voon Tek said...

MYOP101, you have a point.

but unless the churches starts to show a signal, I wouldn't change my point of view.

The Indians have spoken, I support their plight.

Rav Kahane said...

If you are still praying for God to bless the government and voting for BN after reading all this, wou will have no one to blame but yourself when this country turns into another Pakistan.

How can you pray for God to bless people like these liars?

"O LORD, the God who avenges, O God of Vengeance, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. They crush your people, O LORD; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the alien; they murder the fatherless. They say, "The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob pays no heed."... Can a corrupt throne be allied with you— one that brings on misery by its decrees? They band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy them" (Psalm 94)

“Pour out Your wrath on them; may Your blazing anger overtake them.” (Psalms 69:25)

“Pursue them in wrath and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:66)

And if you vote for them, then don't complain; your blood is on your own head.

kaki.ayam said...

hi voon tek,

thanks for your clarification.

"...but unless the churches starts to show a signal, I wouldn't change my point of view...."

What kind of signal is acceptable to you? Surely you don't expect the church to function like political party?


"...docile pro gomen, basically means leaders are god appointed, so therefore it is inadvisable to go against god's will...."

Many Christians including christians leaders may not agree (entirely) to this statement of yours. OHMSI has recently organised a forum which talks about this. Check out this site and get a copy of the DVD -

http://www.ohmsi.net/index.cfm?menuid=33

IMHO, the congregation is the church. And plenty of christians spoke against the current government, from writing in blogs to participating in rally. So has the church spoken? It has, and in many ways.

Maybe some have chosen to be apolitical, but I would like to reassure you that a significant number of churches aren't. Do attend more church :) and if possible do some church hopping.

Of course we would want local churches to take a more active part in nation building. But wanting the local church to do more and saying they are doing nothing are two different matters, in my opinion.

By the way here are some articles which you may want to browse through -

http://www.necf.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?&menuid=2&parentid=21&action=view&retrieveid=927

http://www.ccmalaysia.org/reports/20080211vote_wisely.htm

http://www.ccmalaysia.org/reports/CFM-vote_wisely_English_final.jpg

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11558&size=A

http://www.ohmsi.net/

God bless.

chicken_feet

Anonymous said...

And I think that the churches has been preaching docile pro gomen (means leaders are god appointed, so therefore it is inadvisable to go against god's will.)
sermons all these while.

===========

r u saying churches telling ya ppl that u r god??? bcoz GOMEN SERVANT are 'ERRECTED' by YOU !

god give us guidline to guard against evil heart;

but/and

god gift us BRAIN to differentiate good and evil

so

dun use BRAIN to promote evil instead

Voon Tek said...

Hi Anonymous 2:12pm, God's plan is ineffable, there can be no wrong, it's God's will.

Nay, we are not God, but it's his will who are appointed. see, the ideology?

Yes, he gave us brain, some more than others, see, it's still his within His grand design. get it?

Hi Kaki.Ayam, will go tho these links that you've placed.

hmmm, perharps I will see things differently.

J~[B]~ said...

I think we should be far, far more direct and up-front. No more "vote wisely" and non-confrontative stuff like that.

TELL (thru email, letters, messenger pigeon, etc.) the MCA and Gerakan and that if they don't fight for us and stand up for the Christian rights, then we will ACTIVELY campaign AGAINST them.

Make it very very clear that we will vote for the party even GUARANTEES and FIGHTS FOR our rights. Not just talk by the way. REAL TANGIBLE ACTION.

It's time the pastors came together and warn the gomen not to take the Christian vote lightly. We should PUBLICLY support people like Teresa Kok and mock clowns like Lee Hwa Beng

kaki.ayam said...

jb, while I would like to see that happenning, but I wonder if a more aggressive approach is advisable.

no, it's not about courage. to me there's only a thin fine line between being agressive and overly agressive.

the last thing i want to see is the church pressure group to be made an excuse to unite all the muslims....

but i do hope that the CFM and NECF will come out with a newsletter recording all the past misdeeds (regarding religious freedom) since badawi took over...and pass it to all the churches at the rural areas...

hey, surely we can come up with something and send it to all the rural churches...

anyone wish to work on it? and help to disseminate?

J~[B]~ said...

kaki.ayam: well, they seem pretty united against us already. I don't think we should go to the press with those threats, of course. Just tell the MCA and Gerakan politicans in private. But make sure they know that we mean business and will do what we say. Kinda like how the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority in the US lobby the politicians in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Haw beng said he has been misquoted :-)

goto his website.

kaki.ayam said...

jb, i disagree on the unity of the muslims (in malaysia)...if they are united under one banner, then chinese and indian votes are nothing to them....But did you notice they are giving so many gula-gula to us this election? Ever wonder why? It's through the support of the Chinese that BN is where they are now. The Malay votes are almost always split to many factions.

As for the discussion between CFM and the leaders, i think they did exactly as you mentioned. Check here -

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/77726
http://hedonese1.blogspot.com/2008/02/anwar-explains-his-stance-to-christian.html

I know the leaders also meet with BN leader, but just can't find the article...

kaki.ayam said...

voontek,

Here's a good article from Soo Inn.

http://www.graceatwork.org/

Search for the article - VOTE!

chicken_feet

Anonymous said...

the churches are beginning to wake up, especially in view of recent enchroachment of the administration on the freedom of worship of christians. some of the examples are confiscation of bibles, refusal to bumi-christians to use certain words for worship and in their materials, conversion issues, church building permits, etc. CFM recently just distributed PDF versions of flyers to churches to be distributed to worshippers on the need for christians to perform their duty as citizens of the nation, and to vote for those who would or have consistently stood up and voiced out the need to protect the rights to freedom of worship in this nation.

u can say the churches have to be non-partisan, but definitely not apolitical. as salt and light of this world, if we choose to stand aside and do nothing while evil and injustice is being perpetrated like never before, then one really has to figure out how to answer to his God. yes, prayer is important. but faith without action is useless. remember what was written about the poor and hungry seeking assistance and all the person did was say God will provide and nothing else to help him?

Joshua3 said...

wow.. so much debate/discussion on the issue of whether our current government is appointed by God or not and whether by praying for our current leaders - we are helping them in their wicked deeds.

I love this sort of questions and challenge and investigation.

Perhaps the right forum to take these issues would be at the OHMSI website or you can jump over to my blog at joshua3.com.

myop101 said...

dear anonymous @ 9:20 PM,

i just went to his website and read his reply. And this is his reply:

"I have been misquoted in the Sun. MPSJ and the State Government has never asked churches to apply for permits to have churches in shops and factories."

Wow... I think the Sun must be really good at putting words in his mouth. And not just words, but an entire paragraph!

From the Sun:

Lee said: "If they are on their own land then there is no need for them to apply for the permits for their religious houses, but in the cases of the churches, they need to apply for the permits because they are operating from out of the shoplots in business centres and factory lots in industrial areas."

If he is misquoted, can he please ask the Sun to justify where did they pluck the whole conversation from?

Until that time, to deny he ever said anything without saying anything to substantiate it don't quite cut it for me.

myop101 said...

Dear anonymous @ 9:20 PM,

To merely complain on this forum is obviously unfair to Mr Lee and as such, I have taken the liberty to write the following on his comment page:

Dear Mr Lee,

With due respect, if the allerged misquote did occur, may I ask how did the Sun derive direct quotes from you?

“We have not asked them to close down, but to submit their application for permits,” said Lee, adding that such churches have to get a permit to operate from business premises.

Lee said: "If they are on their own land then there is no need for them to apply for the permits for their religious houses, but in the cases of the churches, they need to apply for the permits because they are operating from out of the shoplots in business centres and factory lots in industrial areas."

Are you allerging the Sun place words into your mouth? If that is the case, I am quite sure you should write to the Sun to complain on their shobby and lack of journalistic professionalism and request that they issue an apology for this error.

Anything less would only constitute double talk and denial of reality. I believe your good name should not be dragged into the pool of mud and being fellow Christian, your stand on this matter would help to enlighten fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on whether the made the right choice to place their votes in support of your candidacy.

Thank you.

Regards,
Choong

Should he fail to respond to this comment, you and I will know whether he is telling the truth or not with his recent, "I have been misquoted" remark.

For those interested, please go to his website at:

http://hwabeng.org.my/node/975#comment-1833

I will also be posting this on my blog today.

myop101 said...

btw, the comment I just posted on his website are being subject to the site moderator for approval... I am not sure if he will allow it to be approved, like lulu here who graciously okayed my earlier comment in a matter of 5 mins?...:)

kaki.ayam said...

either everyone is working at home or everyone is surfing the net while working...

This is bad for productivity man!

J~[B]~ said...

kaki.ayam, they do the same every election. they are shameless. before elections, our roads are lousy, our streets are dirty and the trees all overgrown. but just before election, everything is changed.

now is the time to pressure them for more "gula-gula". I know about the church leaders meeting with anwar but there doesn't seem to be much pressure from the churches on the BN.

And by the way, I think that the idea that the "gomen is appointed by God" is seriously theologically flawed. The Gomen is appointed by US. If it was appointed by God, we wouldn't have to vote but wait for a prophet to go anoint someone as PM.

kaki.ayam said...

jb, that goes without saying (on your last para). But I am waiting for someone better qualified to explain on this, which is why all the links provided to voon tek.

The question may looks simple, but to explain it thoroughly may need more than a book. The question of God's will and free will can be explain effectively, but not in a statement or two. It will do voon tek plenty of good for him to search for the answer, if he is serious about it.

myop101 said...

dear j~[b]~,

Being a sometimes christian, I would strongly advise that you read romans 13:1-8.

Basically, God is not an author of confusion hence He instituted governing authority so that the disputes we have here on earth can be resolved by someone impartial and fair. yet, this is a fallen world hence our system of governance will never be perfect.

hence as a reminder, if you read verse 6, you would note that rulers are mere servants of God hence disobedience by them will render far more punishment as they have been entrusted to govern people.

You are right to say we appoint the government. but the authority of the government come from above. for if we yield not to authority, how can we conduct our lives in peace in this community? That is the thrust of Romans 13.

If you have time, read Ezekiel 22. The sins of Israel, the nation chosen by God to be His exemplary nation, have committed so much sin necessitate Him to bring wrath to destroy that nation. This should be a lesson to all that He, the ultimate authority, spares no one who wrong the needy, poor and weak.

Bob K said...

Apparently some churches in Subang take the concern a step further

myop101 said...

Dear j~[b]~,

correct, correct, correct. i made the mistake. no look like or sound like me, it is me who made the mistake...:P

On the first para on sometimes christian, i was addressing to voon tek.

On the rest, it is merely to explain on the authority issue and addressed to both of you.

good day!

J~[B]~ said...

Dear myop101,

I know the passage you speak of well. Romans 13 is a classic text of scripture oft quoted to convince us to submit to the government. I, however, believe that it's interpretation and application to our modern times is flawed.

I believe that the Bible must be interpreted in its TOTALITY and with understanding of the times and culture it was written in. In Paul's time, the government was the Roman leaders APPOINTED by the Emperor. Citizens didn't vote for their leaders and therefore had no say in who ruled them, rather, they could only trust God to institute leaders who would treat them well.

Today, WE are given the privilege of CHOOSING our leaders and to make that choice, we are obliged to scrutinize and to question them to ensure that we properly carry out our God-given responsibilities as citizens. And so, with democracy, the role of the government and the role of tthe citizenry has changed substantially. Sure, we should obey laws but the government MUST answer to US. If the citizenry opposes certain laws and policies of the government (e.g. ISA, OSA) then we are ENTITLED and in fact, DUTY-BOUND not to obey them if the government does not change them. A democracy is afterall, a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Romans 13 describes the IDEAL role and function of the government i.e. ensuring the good of the people and fighting injustice. What happens when they deviate from this? What happens when they PERPETUATE injustice? What happens when they OPPRESS the people? What should we do, then? Just read all the reports in Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today to learn of their injustice and excesses.

As I said earlier, I will interpret scripture as a WHOLE. Remember how Jesus interacted with the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law? Remember how often he attacked them publicly? Go and count how many times he insulted them, calling things like "vipers" and "white-washed tombs". Remember when he raged in the Temple and violently threw out the cheats and merchants?

Wasn't he GOING AGAINST the ruling authorities i.e. the Jewish religious elite? Did he pull any punches with them? Did he spare them? Did he try to couch his words in diplomacy and tenderly, effeminately disagree with them? You know the answers to this. Jesus PUBLICLY rebuked them, EXPOSED their hypocrisy and ENCOURAGED the public not to obey them. That cannot be considered as rebellion, since rebellion is a sin and Christ was sinless. Therefore, when we oppose the government and rebuke them, we are not rebelling. We are following the example of Christ.

And now, how many churches are actually doing what Jesus did? We are so fond of asking, WWJD?

JB

J~[B]~ said...

Dear kaki.ayam,

The OHMSI site did a decent job of proving that Christ was political but seemed a little lackluster when it came to applying that theological knowledge to out current situation in malaysia.

http://www.necf.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?&menuid=2&parentid=21&action=view&retrieveid=927
The author of the above is obviously distressed at the injustices in this country but chickens out of making concrete recommendations, instead resorting to meaningless spiritual mumbo-jumbo like "love mercy". I wouldn't bother much with him.

http://www.ccmalaysia.org/reports/CFM-vote_wisely_English_final.jpg
This one is more direct and explicit but still doesn't unequivocally blast the government for what they have been doing i.e. eroding the rights of the Christians. Not too bad, considering the circumstances.

I worry more about the regular Christians who go about thinking that we "shouldn't rock the boat" and just elect BN back and hope for the best. I think it's naive and in fact, silly.

Voon Tek said...

http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/3221/1/

Christians must stop voting for for BN.

Kan Chan said...

Are you watching closely? Can you see the similarity? You need police permit to walk around the city. Else it is illegal gathering and the FRU will come with water cannon and teargas.

Now, you need a permit to worship. Say you apply and get a permit but next year you don't get renewal. Then how? Everyone goes home? Stay and worship? Illegal gatherings?

Heard of Murphy's Law? If anything can go wrong, they will.

The BN's Law: If they can bully you, they will.

kaki.ayam said...

voon tek, are there any proof that says most christians vote for BN? :)

voon tek, the better call will be to ask christian to vote for justice.

jb, afaik, myop shares your opinion entirely. most of the younger generation christian shares the same opinion as yours too. But as for the older generation, they need to be re-educated (well refresh sounds better) on their theological understanding. Bearing in mind that islamisation has not been such a critical issues as it is now, and all the races have been living a harmonious life.

myop101 said...

Dear j~[b]~,

Firstly, the interpretation of Romans 13:1-8 stands regardless of times. We must obey authority instituted. Whichever form it takes does not matter as this is clearly consistent with what God has provided for from the beginning. The best example is when the Israelites demanded for kings like their neighbours. The Lord was more that happy to be their King but they wanted a human representative which He relented. Yet, He empowered this human representative. Over time, out of the need of check and balance and strong Roman and Greek influence, the seed of democracy and segregation of power was born. Yet, this does not negate the same authority, which is from above, granted to the leaders to govern as servants of the Most High. Like I said, they will be judged more because of the position they are in. Hence, when it is perfectly legal to challenge the status quo i.e. provisions within the Constitution permitting the citizens to change the government via voting, one must fulfill one's duty to do so.

No where did I ever say the churches should not rebuke. Besides, like what kaki.ayam said before, we are the church, not a legal entity register under ROS.

Also, on matters of rebuking, if you read the bible closely, it is the individual duty of every Christian to first rebuke in love to the party who has sin. Corporal rebuke only comes about should individual rebuke fails.

I am not sure which church you have been attending but my church has been speaking up on concerns of eroding human rights and use CFM-Vote Wisely material to disseminate the message. In fact, during the Lina Joy episod, my church organised a signing petition to let the Government know of our concerns on the outcome.

I totally agree on viewing the bible in totality hence you must not leave out the following.

Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees when they try to trick him in relation to taxes? Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Isn't Caesar oppressive? So why should we pay taxes to an oppressive regime?

Also, isn't Jesus innocent? Why did He allow Himself, an innocent person die a criminal sentence? Didn't He obey too?

As for the religious teachers, mind you His concerns has been on these people i.e. Pharisees and Scribes, being looked upon for spiritual authority and guide, misleading the people and instituting oppressive rules that is legalistic and acts as stumbling block.

Did Jesus lead a charge and army against the real power at the time i.e. the Romans? Did He said death to serious criminals by way of crucification is morally wrong? Did He ever said no taxes if no representation?

In fact, if you take the time to read, during the moments leading to His arrest, overzealous Peter took out the sword and cut of one of the ear of the temple guards. Jesus told them to stop and He healed the temple guard. He willingly, as a silence lamb, be lead to the slaughter house.

What say you then? Should His disciples lead an army to revolt and bring down the Roman government? Surely, without democracy the only way to change the government then is to accumulate enough people and built an army to overthrow the oppressive regime characterised by Romans rule. But did that occur?

Hence, I do agree with you rebellion is sinful and your final conclusion which segregate well between rebellion and rebuke. Hence, as far as I see it no where did I said or support the notion we should not be critical of the government and its failings.

I know my church (in this context, the congregation which I fellowship together) did their part. Hope this clarifies where I am coming from in terms of why Romans 13:1-8 is still valid till today if not for the rest of eternity.

Dear kaki.ayam,

Hehe... Noticed your comment. Agreed. Afterall, I for one am all for rocking the boat just to see how sturdy the boat is.

myop101 said...

dear j~[b]~,

Two more things to add:

i) Jesus never spoke out against Roman rule. Never called them hypocrites, vipers and such. Ever wonder why in light of attempt to be critical of the Roman failings?

ii) I believe God would want us to stand in the gap for all types of nations, whether autocratic, democratic and/or dictatorial. So, in a way, we can't just accept things as it is. If it is wrong, even more reason to speak up. But, in accepting authority, it deals with other aspect in relation to living in peace and amicably with one's neighbour. see Romans 12:18-21, the verses before Romans 13...

J~[B]~ said...

Dear myop101,

Interestingly, I think we agree on the most points, actually. Where we probably (PROBABLY!) would disagree is the degree of submission to the governing authorities. I have no patience for Christian's who take Romans 13 and use it to justify a subservient and timid kow-towing to the government regardless of how much corruption and injustice goes on. I've met Christians who thought that voting for the BN was rationalized with Romans 13!! But then that was some years ago...

I am all for obeying laws that do not infringe on our rights and beliefs. I feel that Romans 13 is subject to much interpretation i.e. how exactly to submit and defend our rights. Argument arises not from scripture but rather how we interpret it and apply it to our times. The docile, passive pacifist would look at the passage and apply it differently as compared to a more aggressive, fiery activist. What is considered "not honoring" the authorities to the former may be perfectly acceptable to the latter.

About Jesus and the Romans, well, Jesus' main purpose was to die, not establish a political kingdom, and that's why he allowed Himself to be crucified by the Romans. That was his mission. So for him to object to His trial would be silly. He was supposed to die as the sinless Lamb.

Roman taxation was the law, just like our income tax; nothing socially or religiously wrong about that I think. The Jews resented having to pay tax to an occupying empire, probably like how we dislike having to pay toll. So why bring political trouble by oppossing something minor? Rebellion to Caeser was after all, not how he was to die.

As to why he never called the Romans hypocrites and vipers, I think that's because they weren't subject to the Laws of Moses and so, if they behaved badly, it was because they were, well, gentiles who didn't know better. I must admit that I must study this aspect a little more, though. Good point!

In conclusion, I do agree that we should submit to the governing authorities but I think what we (the church) will be debating for many years to come, is HOW to do that while firmly fighting for what we believe in. I mean, in the US, it's perfectly acceptable to make fun of politicians on TV and make them the butt of jokes. In fact, it's their RIGHT to do so. I'd love to see that happening here without someone flinging Romans 13 (or the ISA) at me. Haha.

Anyway, I'm thankful that the timidity and over-cautiousness of the church is ending. It is encouraging to hear of churches speaking up strongly against the government. This would be really rare about 10 years ago. The very fact that we can have this discussion in a public forum is, a very good indication that the church in Malaysia is becoming more politically savvy.

JB

Old Fart said...

myop101 -Just because your car is insured does not mean the insurance will pay if you met in an accident. You got to have road tax too and the driver got to have a valid driving license too.

Sure the church is insured. But read the policies carefully la for way out for insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

thank you myop101! for highlighting LHB's words. As usual, he is always quick to blame the press for "misquoting" him. Watch out and pray! LHB will repeat the same dirty habits again when he is made the MP.