Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Increasing protein intake
Swimming everyday to build stamina and assist my breathing technique
Climb/ hike every weekend
Massage all my "self-inflicted" bruises :(
Also, I will have limited access to Internet now that I'm no longer at college and don't really want to fork out a daily subscription for Internet usage in some cyber cafe so blogging will be far and few between until I get a job.
For the time being I will be helping at church doing whatever Andrew thinks needs doing whilst waiting for replies from various companies to whom I have sent CVs to just in case this Law thing doesn't pan out :p For the record, I still do not know if I'll go back to Kuching just yet. Speaking English in Court is highly attractive. If I were to stay, it'll probably be Malay, Malay, Malay. Nothing against Malay but if I'm going to persuade the judge to follow my opinion, I'll only have a fighting chance with English.
Quare: When we write "Enclosed is my Curriculum Vitae..." is that correct grammar? 'Vitae' is plural whilst 'is' should only be used for singular pronouns. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
When I say "they're back" I don't really mean that they disappeared for a while but rather, they remained controllable. The thought of medication had not crossed my mine since my primary school days but of late, they might be more necessary than I would like to admit. The paper bags I carry around are wearing thin.
I still remember the little pink circles that looked like micro panadol tablets that I used to take everytime I got an attack coming. Just thinking about not having the tablets on me could trigger off an attack. Those days started off a life long habit of always carrying medication around. Just in case. However, I can list at least three good things that have come out of this - I started reading the 'real' Bible properly (as opposed to books of Bible stories), I understood what asthma felt like and could identify with certain people who weren't in the same 'gang' (I even shared some the same medication) and lastly, although this comes with a bit of a twist, I learnt to be self-reliant. Incredibly self-reliant.
During one-to-one Bible study in my first year at uni, Judith had rebuked me saying I was too self-reliant. Not self-absorbed, mind you. Admittedly I was rather proud of the fact that I wasn't like other 'sissies' whom I saw as not having a backbone between them just because they didn't want to be alone. I enjoy company but even company can be replaced or shut out if it ceases to become companionship yet deprives me of my solitude. I see my reliance in my 'zoning out' moments when I am oblivious to the world or to its cries. I see it when I'm faced with situations that erode away layers trust, forcing me to depend on myself even more. When people let me down or when I get hurt, it only reenforces the idea that no one can be trusted to help me and I have only myself to rely on. This is a constant struggle I face and God knows it better than most for when I am self-reliant, though others may praise it and call it independence, God knows that at its heart is rebellion and fear and anger.
5 years ago I thought that by now I would have become a missionary in some 'God forsaken' country. Others call it faith. God calls it escapism. I never had a problem wandering off on my own although it's led me to various places; getting lost in a supermarket when I was 8 and disappearing down a huge drain during floods in my grandmother's town. Take me anywhere; I will be ready and raring to go. All you have to do is put a round trip ticket in my hand and you may never see me again. I thirst adventure, to wander and roam and be restless. I thirst to just 'do' and not sit around. But 'doing' all the time is tiring and taxing and wearisome and eventually you realise that you cannot run anymore even though your eyes are still looking towards some distant horizon that you once called dreams. For me, the test when it came to mission work has never been, "Send me." If God were a teacher in a classroom, my arms would be flailing around as my feet stomp the table trying to get His attention. The biggest test for me, which has caused considerable friction in my life, has always been, "Wait."
Waiting feels awful because you never know what's going to happen next and you can't do anything about it because you're just meant to sit there right? Wrong. God never said to me, "Just sit there. I'll call your number when it's your turn." While I wait, I am still God's servant, His child and His tool, to use for every good work. I may not be 'out there' smuggling persecuted Christians out of countries but I'm here and have I been a good witness? Not as good as I should be.
I am seriously thinking (praying) about returning to my hometown. 5 years ago the thought would have been almost abhorrent. To the traveller, 'home' means the possible end to travels. I still ache to run but I do not know if the desire comes from fear of staying. The fear of my life taking a different route from the one I want it to take. That God might, maybe... never let me leave Kuching once I set foot in it; that if I wait to long, I'll forget what it means to want to fly. The fire hasn't ceased burning. But maybe it needs to be controlled by someone other than myself. I need to start trusting. Whole heartedly and without doubt. That's faith. Doing something that seems completely out of character because you're convicted, not by your own ideas or principles, but by trusting someone much higher and much wiser, who knew what it meant to trust His Heavenly Father when dying on the cross seemed the most ridiculous thing for God to do.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This photo reminds me of what I want... no, not the old man, the horse! Everything from the composition of the photo to the breed of horse and the colouring screams, "Favourite!!!"
Breed: Gypsy Vanner also known as (a.k.a) Irish Cob
Colouring: Skewbald - brown and white (Skewbald is actually any colour combination with white, except black and white. A black and white is called a Piebald.)
General Pattern: Pinto - term for large, spotted colouring
Specific Pattern: Tobiano - where the white crosses over the rump. Other colourations are overo, sabino and rarely, tovero.
Height: Around 15 h.h which translates into about 1.6m at the shoulder... I think. Do the maths.
Don't you just love his feathering??!!
Trying not to lean too far forward into the future to see chair-bouncing, euphoric moments of planned horse riding is beyond super hard. At this point in time, everything else matters little. That I am jobless, homeless and pianoless seem but momentary troubles if I can spend my days grooming horses in the stable. Horses don't care if you're not in Versace or that your eyebrows look like two, hairy caterpillars that have collided and resemble roadkill and your hair looks like a bird has built a nest in it. In fact, if you wear the same clothes everyday, they like it better cos then you smell the same and they don't get irritated by all this detergent aftermath floating around. They don't care that you're rich, poor, fat or thin although the less you weigh, the easier it will be for them to move around. They don't care that your favourite snack is waxed noodles or that your breath smells of coffee half the time. And they have the most luscious lips, horses do, and they smell great.
The last time I was on a horse was in Mongolia last August; a lifetime away it seems! Just thinking of horses and horse riding and the familiar feel and sounds that go along with it means I am already suffering from a bout of completely unrefined grins that have cause my cheek muscles to spasm. Have I mentioned that they smell great??!!!! It also means my gingko biloba and the accompanied assortment of pills I take is being tested to its limits, trying to rein my mind back to Land Law and Evidence. My brain however, has taken on the metaphor of a bumbling hound dog, bounding over hills with it's padded paws and floppy ears, with the unrivaled desire of an insane canine lusting after the scent of blood. Have you ever tried calling a hound dog back from a chase?
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
I thought this day would never come.
After 2 days of brain-popping migraine and an upset stomach, I had a feeling today's paper would be the worst paper ever. I didn't get enough sleep and my mp4 is dying; or maybe I just need to replace the headphones. In between trying to memorise everything into a very reluctant brain and nursing a chronic mp4 player, this morning I waited half an hour for a taxi to show up. When the taxi finally showed up, I decided (or God decided) that I should revise a bit more on the way.
It was THEN that I realised that I had left my docket (piece of document one has to bring into the exam hall else you can't take the exam) at hooome!!!!!! Thank goodness the taxi guy was nice enough to turn around and waited for me as I rushed upstairs and went to retrieve the docket. It wasn't on the table. *Brain stops working for a moment*
How can it NOT be on the table?? It's always on the table!!!! *Brain starts working again*
Context: I always clear notes away after exams into boxes/ bins/ shredder/ etc to keep my room clutter free which should then reflect my brain :)
I rummaged through my General Paper notes already stashed away in a big box (the exam which I sat for on Wednesday) and voila! Tucked inside one of the many sheets of scribbled paper was my docket.
To cut the next 5 hours short, I had probably the best paper I've ever had. Not best because it was the most challenging (or easiest :p) or because I think I scored the highest in it although if I failed it, I would be stupefied, but best because at that point in time, it was just what I needed.
I'm seeing a lot of "just what I needed" themes recurring throughout the weeks. To quote a friend of mine - Adam, thinking about you! - God is Sovereign, the Gospel is True, Heaven is Certain.
As I approach the end of my exams, I do not know where God will lead me; whether to work in a law firm or to be a magistrate or to finally, stop law altogether, regardless of CLP result. All I know is that I am at peace and He can take me wherever He may. Even Kuching.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Japanese names can sometimes cause great embarrassment to the child if he or she ventures out of Japan where people are not aware of the etymology of the name. For example, I met a really nice girl in Japan called Maki. Unfortunately in Malaysia, 'maki' is Malay for despise. Another example is when a Japanese girl was meant to stay with my family for a short while when I was about 10. Her name was Motoka. I blinked when I heard her name. And then I blinked again and asked my mum what I was supposed to call her. Motoka. Motor car...
Maybe this is why parents end up called their kids names which they won't have to defend in school to merciless playground bullies.
I discovered that Xanthe means 'fair headed.' Unless I adopted, with my dominant genes, even if I married a Normadic prince with the bluest blood (which will actually, come to think of it, be more recessive than anything), there is almost no way I will have a fair-headed child unless she happened to have a penchant for bleach from an early age. But I think I'll still call her Xanthe.
I got a fair bit of stick in high school because part of my name happens to be a piece of apparel most people find fascinating. Do I really need to emphasise? It didn't help that I was a staunch tomboy and tried to be as scruffy as I could, most times. Eventually I was named, by some 'genius' consensus, "the boy in the bra" and in birthday cards, the 'bra' part would be asterisked *** as if to share some secret code. To me it was the inconvenience of actually having to wear the darn thing that frustrated me rather than the teasing that went with it. The name eventually got dropped as puberty became the norm instead of a novelty.
My name means 'bee' in Hebrew. I wasn't most pleased when I found out. I always thought it meant something independent... like judge or assassin or something. To top it off, this nugget of information was revealed to me during prayer group, without preamble or warning, when I was 14. I still remember the lady's prayer, somewhat... "I pray that Deborah will be hard-working like a bee..."
I may be many things. Zealous even. Focused. Diligent. But hard-working? Hard-working to me was never an attractive feature I wanted to own although I whinged enough about my other friends being more hard-working than me. On top of being called a hard-working bee, my best friend at the time was in the same prayer group and couldn't help but snicker when she heard the words. I don't blame her. It did however, start up another name, one I still use in emails and MSN - Debbibuzz - heck, I'm small, I'm yellow (Chinese wad...) and I sting.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
So, being in the exhausted state I'm in, I'm going to share with you... the 12 names I decided to name my offspring (whilst tossing and turning without sleeping last night) and then you can mock and ridicule me all you want. To be fair, I chose 6 girl names and 6 guy names but guy names seem so much easier to come by especially when most girl names seem to be repetitive and taken up by a large proportion of society, my own included and I would like my brood to stand out from the crowd. No, I'm not naming them after my 12 favourite dishes.
They are, in no particular order of preference:
Kiyoshi means 'holy' in Japanese and it took me ages to come up with the Madison combination; at first I wanted Emma Rose but that sounded too much like Emily Rose which reminded me of the terrible horror movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I would rather not be reminded of ghouls and 'satanic priests' when I look at my (very, very, very far off in the future... so far that it might not even exist) daughter.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
When I opened my exam paper 2 days later, I answered a question on "submission of no case to answer." I'm glad the question came out because after watching Kungfu Panda, I was faced with having to memorise cases, one of which was 'U.N. Pandey' which was relevant to the aforementioned question I answered. I was scratching my head as to how I could remember the name and then I thought Panda-Pandey-Panda-Pandey... bingo :) So yes, Rosey, going to watch Kungfu Panda turned out to be just what I needed, the right place at the right time.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I need a certain type of ball-point pen when I sit for exams - I can't use inky pens. Amongst the manifold criteria it has to adhere by includes a minimum 1.0 ball (0.5, 0.7 and 0.8 is too fine a nip for me), a slight heaviness in the structure to counter my speed writing (else the pen flies out of my hand if I don't grip it hard enough), a rubber grip to ease my joints and aid my speed and above all, it has to be... fat. Basically whenever I go to a shop for the specific purpose of looking for 'exam pens,' I look for the fattest pen (largest diameter) the shop can offer. Although from year to year my choice of fat pens differ, the important thing is that when I set my mind on a certain type of pen, the lack of that particular pen in the market could very well spell doom for me, psychologically anyway.
Having made my choice about 2 months ago (I had purchased 3 for a 'trial run' and they have since run out of ink judging by the number of trees whose deaths I have contributed to and the size of my handwriting), I went in search for my pen but to my dismay, all of a sudden in the last 4 days or so, all the shops I frequent seem to have run out of that particular brand. They had them in red and in blue but when one wants black, it doesn't help. So today, out of nothing else but sheer necessity, I did the unthinkable; I changed my exam pen and no mere flick of the wrist it happens to be (for me)! Admittedly it is fatter than my previous pen (glory hallelujah) and yes it does have a 1.0 ball and it comes in black. However, one criteria I forgot to mention is a well known fact called cold, hard cash. Where my previous choice of 'lucky' pen set me back RM1.50 a piece, the monstrosity I surrendered myself to set me back a pretty RM5.50 per piece!!
It is at times like this when the creature of routine and the creature of impulse, two creatures of such supposed vast difference that you can only ever be one or the other, co-exist inside this organism. The creature of routine needed a fat pen and the creature of impulse paid for it. Ultimately, this sacrifice might alter the creature of routine to be less fastidious, whilst the creature of impulse grows more and more masochistic, feeding on situations that to the normal everyday person would seem nothing more than a detour but which to me, have the potential to wreck possible havoc in my unstable logic.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
#God will make a way where there seems to be no way...# I sang the same song when I was about to go on a roller coaster ride in Paris. I was sure I would be the one to fall out in a freak accident and die.
Breath in, breath out. Hold for 5 seconds.
Breathe in, breathe out, hold... hold...
I am calm. I am the picture of serenity. The breeze is nice. I am sitting on a waterlily. I see pretty koi fish. Ooh, they have disappeared underwater. The pond is very deep. I can't swim. I can't swim!!!! *anxious and losing balance* Oh, help, I can't swim!!! *panic* I'm going to die in a fishpond. *trying to make light of a perilous situation* I'm holding on to the waterlily but it's too thin. It's breaking apart in my hand *more crying* I can't hold on. *hysterical* I'm falling in the water. Darn that last doughnut! *witty to the end* Oh I'm floating. Thank you, doughnut. *sheepish*
So far it's still in control, although a trickle of nauseousness has managed to seep through.
Am very emo at the moment - might scream or cry at the drop of a hat; the slightest thing could send me off walls and edges and railings. So don't make me mad, don't make me sad, don't trigger off anxiety, don't pat my arm and tell me it's ok, don't ask me what I want to eat, just feed me, don't ask if I'm ready - I'm not, don't expect a reasoned answer until my exams are over, carry my bags, buy me lunch, chap fun man, please don't speak Canto - you know I'm a banana anyway and my brain can't take the extra learning right now, don't look sympathetic, just pray very hard, offer me sweets and chocolates, don't mind the mood swings; just be stoic. Like Eeyore.
By the way, my (baby) brother topped his class in English for his mock (public) exams. Very proud, me is. *beaming* Am thinking what I should buy for him as a congratulatory present. He has a helicopter. What do you get a guy who already has a helicopter? Maybe he'll want a fake tattoo.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Note: I don't remember having done the latter but my previous blog post comes close enough to it.
Some would call it hypocrisy, others would call it 'being real.'
Some would use it as an excuse not to believe in Jesus, others will see that Christ lives in sinners like me and more importantly, that I live through Him (else I'd be dead).
Since this morning I've gone through enough emotion roller coasters to weary me for the day. [edited]
I wonder what the psalmists went through.
There are songs that God sent your way years ago which you cannot help but remember. You probably don't know what it sounds like but pay attention to the lyrics; I listen to a lot of Al Denson:
So warm and inviting
You promise your affection
You just love to lie to me
But I found dedication
In the heart of my holy Lord
So I made my confession
And now it's Jesus that I'm living for
(And He says...)
Call Me - when you need assistance
Call Me - when you start to fall
Call Me - when you face resistance
Call Me - we'll tear down the wall
You taste as sweet as honey
Fool with my imagination
You try and blame it all on me
But I changed my direction
Since last time you came calling
And I'm walking with Jesus
And He keeps my feet from falling
(And He says...)
So I [edited] am still persevering in this exam.
Ju, I'll reply when I'm in a better mood, ya?
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend
As mentioned above, this applies across the board so whatever is mentioned can also related to:
Stop Test-Driving Your Boyfriend
I quote it albeit substantially because I think the author puts it very well (and also because my brain is screaming for a rest from even simple things like sentence construction). If you want to read it whole (and I suggest you do), just click on the site above.
One of the myths out there is that if you just spend enough time searching, if you can just gather enough information, you'll find a woman with whom marriage will be "easy." The fact is, such a woman doesn't exist, and if she did, she likely wouldn't marry you. And that means that you don't need as much information as you think you do.
No matter how long you've dated, everyone marries a stranger. That's because fundamentally dating is an artificial arrangement in which you're trying to be on your best behavior. Marriage on the other hand is real life. And it's only in the context of day-in, day-out reality, with the vulnerability and permanence that marriage provides, that we learn what another person is really like. Some of the things we learn about each other aren't easy. But who ever said that love and marriage were supposed to be easy?
I'm thinking to myself, "What if he can't stand eucalyptus oil??!!"
Then there are these funny looking pills I take and my slight OCD-ness; the way sponges that clean different parts of the house have to be a different colour else I feel like the house is still dirty and how my ornaments have to be arranged a certain way. Not only is there the cleanser, exfoliant, toner, day cream, night cream, skin whitening, extra moisturising, sun block cream and eye gel routine to get through, there is also the whole double face-mask (usually green) and cucumbers facial routine which I gather most guys would find a complete turn off and waste of time. I bet he'll be thinking, "I bet Marilyn Monroe never looks like that at home." Maybe I give them too little credit. Yeah guys, that's real life. Oh wait. That's my life. I'm sure there's some goddess out there who has not a single blemish on her very perfect nose.
The article continues...
Remember that to commit does not mean to settle
Does this mean you should just "settle" for the first Christian woman who comes along? No, not at all. You should be making this decision in light of the qualities held out in Scripture for a godly wife, and you should marry the godliest, most fruitful, most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you.
Perhaps it is some ingrained notion in me that being geographically unconstrained and having the 'freedom' singleness provides is worth a lot more than I'm willing to give up for a home, a hybrid car that attempts not to pollute the earth and 2.5 children. It's almost like there are these questions in my head (on the assumption that each person can only have one car for the rest of their lives),
"If I buy the Toyota Vios, I'll never know what it's like to own an Mercedes SLK 230 or a Nissan Fairlady or an Audi TT," or the other way round...
"If I own a Porche, how will I know that the Perodua was sufficient all along?"
Anyway, at the moment, these questions are neither the bane nor represent a marked interest in my life. What I want is to get over the CLP.
Oh, and read this: Bearing the Image : if you have time.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Haiya, you so funny lah. I read about the Sharapova issue oso and didn't think anything of it but you blog so I blog oso lah. Kay, kay, talk properly now.
In all honesty, if I were Kudryavtseva and if Sharapova weren't my friend, I would probably say the same thing and further, probably with a raised eyebrow, smirk and triumphant, fleeting glance in my opponent's direction. Call it the bitch in me or call it alpha female syndrome.
I'll give you an example. There was a point in time when I won some kind of prize in school... I wasn't shocked that I won it (in fact I would have been shocked if I hadn't!) and I didn't just think that I deserved it; I knew I deserved it and that the prize might just as well have been manufactured with my name on it. The most appalling thing about the award was that I had to share it by some trick of maths (and poor judgment on the prize givers). If I had had to share it with someone I accredited as worthy, the sting would have been lessened and I would have been able to acknowledge that we were first among equals but that I had to share it with someone I hardly considered a worthy opponent, that completely took away any worth I invested in the prize and now it's sitting somewhere collecting dust. Until today prize or otherwise, I am innately confident that in that instance, I was head honcho. I still think of the incident as a clear indication that "itchy-back-politics" (you scratch my back and...) start in school. I'm sure she'll earn tonnes and marry someone completely gorgeous and be successful and I'll be happy for her, but that's beside the point.
Guys think it's jealousy of the species. Maybe. Some girls are naturally pessimistic like yours truly. In my circle of friends, I would say that I know more guys than girls however, if I were to list my "top 5 friends" (how insulting) they would all be girls. So it can't mean that girls generally hate other girls, right?
I don't know about other people but first impressions are huge with me. I automatically form an opinion of any one person (whether male on female) but will allow time to change that perception - if I hadn't, I wouldn't have some of the closest friends I have now! However, if time serves only to enforce my initial opinion, that opinion becomes harder and harder to shake off; as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice might say (and did say), "My good opinion once lost, is lost forever."
Who I like and dislike depends largely of what I consider good character and distasteful character. This is of course subjective and subjected to my own character because after all, who would feel the implications of any one relationship that Deborah Wong has with any other person most keenly, better than... Deborah Wong ie myself? So for example, I dislike hypocrites. I dislike people who think or assume or give the impression or assumption that everything is happy-clappy and rosy when life is clearly not. Note that there is a difference being happy regardless of situation and pretending to be happy (whilst exuding "poor me" connotations) and it is the latter which evokes my annoyance and makes me seethe. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that most people who have this temperament are females hence my lesser inclination to my own to 'bond.' Guys generally, either shrug off their problems or appear more stoic which is by far, more attractive company to be spending time with. Having said that, at least 2 of my "top 5" are decidedly more rational than even some guys I know. (By the way I don't like guys who are superficially macho.) There's also a certain tone of voice which makes me inwardly cringe... as though I were programmed to resonate automatic dislike to a certain pitch.
Some 'important-high-up-there' guy once asked me at a party, "So, are you the alpha female?" He meant it in context of the workplace I was at. My immediate response (in my brain) was, "Not yet." By that I meant that whilst I understood that I was a junior and couldn't pull rank, eventually, unless a steamroller put me out of the running, my will was sharpened to reach the top; to be top-dog or given the gender equation, alpha female.
So Ju, I don't hate all girls. I don't hate girls. I don't really even hate. I just feel that for my well-being and the equilibrium between "sugar and spice and everything nice" vs. creative reality, there are certain people I should stay away from and retain a healthy dislike for :p
P/s Please note that a decent amount of sarcasm and wit is needed to be implied into this entry.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
I hope you are well. I am fine too. I hope you are not slowly being tormented by bad baths. Please get me:
Flosty Gritter (yes, I did spell it right)
There's only one French Kiss I want...
Tom Jones is not the only Sex Bomb around
And I want a high.. a Youki-Hi
Thanks Joel. Remember the chocolate koalas. Happy holidays :)
I wanna pull monkey faces and blow raspberries and mope and be COMPLETELY babyish and sulky and say "stupid" to everything and kick the carpet and stick out my tongue to my teachers (for no reason other than because I'm in 'a mood').
I wanna throw a major fuss to everyone who says "Deborah, grow up!" I'll sit brooding in my room punching my pillow and yelling into it and be in a state of total grinch-hood. The grinch be scared. Grinch be scared. Grinch be scared. Nyeh. Nyeh. Nyeaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!! What I need is called James Jamieson.
"Get your butt over here and let me punch you!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I'm not in an abusive relationship and I'm NOT the abuser; James just lets me punch him when I get tetchy. He holds out his palms and I pummel my little fists into them.
I don't wanna staaaaaaa-deeeeeeeeeeeee...... *whimper*... sulking.
Friday, July 04, 2008
I've had a series of really bad dreams with similar recurring themes. Failing the CLP is one of them; forgetting to wake up on time, driving to the wrong place, not writing fast enough, my pen running out of ink and I wrote the right answer to the wrong paper. When one dreams that one's own dad is the examiner and (yet) one still cannot pass, hope is on the verge of disappearing into the horizon of an ever expanding gut, filled with comfort food such as the Chinese fried rice, large box of nuggets, 2 tins of A&W rootbeer, half a packet of Hershey's kisses and half a coffee swiss roll I had last night. If I had gotten my hands on Ben or Jerry, that would have made for another litre of unwanted fat.
Running away from snakes that look like those carnivorous "piranha plants" that litter the streets of Super Mario Bros sporting pitchfork-like teeth is another way to spend the night.
Dreaming that I tinkled in bed only to wake up wondering why I'm still dry is yet another way to add to the confusion.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
There are a number of serious issues to be brought within this context so I will try to be as concise as possible, starting with a disclaimer. I believe there is a difference between diplomacy and political correctness (PC). I think that where PC was once meant to be diplomacy, it has since evolved, having a nature of its own albeit a rather unappealing and pedantic one without the mutual understanding and gracious nature of diplomacy. Herewith (the legal jargon comes from being in the midst of studying for major exam and is by no means an attempt to sound smart), I shall be as diplomatic as I can be, but am only free to be convicted within the scope of philosophy that I stand by, as each of us are.
Christian vs. Christian
It is clear in the Bible that certain sexual activity is forbidden and abhorrent. This includes having sex with animals, incest and same gender sex. For the purposes of this entry and with reference to the article above, I will refer mainly to homosexual activity (which includes lesbianism). I'm being slightly more technical here for people who only associate 'homosexual' with guys.
What I want to know is this. If it is clear in the Bible that these activities are wrong and the church represents a people living under God's rules, why do people who insist on practising homosexuality defiantly want to be part of the church? Or more specifically, insist that the church cater to their sexual orientation. It's like saying,
"I want to continue in my sin but I want God to accept me anyway and if He doesn't, He's a bigot."
Do they find masochistic pleasure in being rejected or do they simply not understand what it means to be a Christian? Why be part of the church at all then? What is the church to you that you must be included? Why protest that the church is excluding you when you know that the foundation of the church is rooted in God's unchanging and uncompromising word? Unless you don't know it.
A Mere Institution
The problem is this. To many, the Church of England is no longer seen as the body of Christ, but an exclusive club or religious-secular institution, to use an oxymoron, that no one wants to be excluded from (unless you believe in some other deity), because no one likes to be excluded. If anything, I believe that many people, homosexual or straight, do not actually care about belonging to the church as much as they care about having the right to belong to a church. In this 'me first' day and age, which has existed since the days of Eden, the trump card most used is, "It's my right." Which comes to our second problem.
Whether a genuine Christian or not, we have no rights except those vested through Jesus Christ. We have no rights per se, only an equitable interest as beneficiaries :) I'll try say that in layman's terms:
We have all sinned under the Law (of God). All of us have failed to live up to the legal expectations required of us. So in that sense, you could say we have no legal right. For those of us who trust in Jesus - that He has saved us and will save us on Judgement Day - our assurance that we will be saved comes through Christ and I emphasise, through Christ alone. Any benefits or rewards we will have which includes a restored relationship with God, is through and in Christ, not because we have followed God's Law perfectly (legal right).
The problem with thinking that the church is merely an institution is that most if not all institutions on earth are run by... man (by this I refer to humankind, not to gender). Man decides to establish an institution, man runs that institution and man can change that institution according to his wishes. By implication, man assumes that the church functions that way too hence the uproar that the church should approve of practising homosexuals. After all, man made the rules so man can break them and change them according to his whim and fancy right?
I use the word 'approve' because to a certain extent, the church is automatically inclusive; if you truly believe in Christ, you're included as far as God is concerned but if you do not believe that Jesus is the only way to God then you can go to church everyday of your life and still be rejected when you meet Him face to face. The 'trick' is this: if you are really a Christian, you cannot help but change to become more and more like Christ in your outward life. It cannot help but be obvious. That is the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not some fairy dust fairy tale. It requires perseverance and struggle but it cannot help but make an impact on the way you live which includes what to do with your sexuality.
What the people who are protesting want is not they they be allowed to sit in the pews and listen to the sermons and be seasoned by God's grace but that they be given the right to tell the church and ultimately God, what is right and what is wrong after all, their ancestors ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Legalism is a killer. In the Garden, God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Later, when Eve spoke to the serpent, she added that God says they must not touch the fruit as well and the Devil uses this slip of the tongue and/or understanding as a certain foothold to drag Eve into sin.
Sexual activity is one thing, sexual orientation is another. Being gay is not in itself wrong albeit not what it should be. If I were to announce tomorrow that I was attracted to women and not to men, it wouldn't make me any more or less a Christian than I already am. My identity as a Christian is in Christ, not in my sexuality. Unfortunately although understandably, sexuality plays a huge role in identifying who we are both to ourselves and to others.. maybe too large a role.
The only difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual is that the heterosexual person has more freedom to pursue a heterosexual relationship. However, this does not mean that all sexual activity by the heterosexual is automatically approved. Pre-marital and extra-marital affairs are wrong, regardless of sexual orientation. In a world where a significant amount of importance is placed on one's marital status, being told that one cannot pursue a relationship because one is wired differently cuts to the core and as hard as it is to say, I know it is even harder to accept.
In a nutshell, I believe that whilst being a gay or lesbian Christian is not wrong, it does mean that the person is restrained from pursuing a relationship with a person of the same gender just as another Christian might be alcoholic and must restrain himself from drinking even though others may wash down their dinner with beer over football. If you are a gay or a lesbian and belong to a church and know that homosexual activity is wrong yet still practise it, how is it different from me knowing that paedophilia is wrong yet I still doggedly do it? Both acts are a deliberate show of rebellion against God and if we continue in them, we may very well fall away and no longer call ourselves 'Christian.'
I strongly disagree that people of a different sexual orientation be excluded as Christian simply because they are inclined to people of the same gender. We all have our thorns and we all have crosses we should bear. Homosexual activity, like pre-marital or extra marital affairs or incest however, must be condemned by the church. But then, so should lying, envy, greed and malice.
The Church of England (COE)
Besides the way people view the COE, the COE has internal problems of its own. By conforming and compromising over the years to social pressure and not taking a stand against popular culture as God's body, it has weakened its convictions and has allowed people who do not prioritise God, His Word and His Kingship to oversee it. By this poor show of character - not affirming its stand as God's people and instead compromising to 'secure more souls,' it has made itself susceptible to attack, ridicule and destruction. This is the situation in the COE generally. There are still Bible-believing, evangelical churches within the COE that hold fast to the gospel, despite of mockery and scorn from the outside world but they are a small and dwindling number.
People who call Christ Saviour and LORD and know what that means, should be included in church, homosexual or otherwise.
The church must be clear that God's word is unchanging and even though the rest of the world may approve homosexual activity as the norm, the church must stand firm, rooted and not be shaken by popular culture. The church is not governed by the congregation who gather on Easter and Christmas, nor by a hundred bishops nor by the amendments to supposedly draconian legislation such as the Abortion Act nor by finding acceptance as a respectable institution in society. We are ruled and governed by the Word of God and have the Spirit of God residing in us.
Having said that, the church MUST be gracious, compassionate and quick to forgive. Just remember, we have no right to be saved by Christ so who are we to say that others have no right to be saved either?