1. subang rally - it was very 'charismatic'. for my thoughts concerning this, refer to my post on kepong baru scf camp. i believe that God was present and that people were ministered to, and i am thankful for that. however, i felt that i had to remind them of the inter-denominational nature of schools' work. so, when we had our slot to promote SPM Bible Knowledge and our Camps, i took the opportunity to say something about it. later, i managed to talk personally to some of the committee members. they understood where i was coming from and said that i wasn't too harsh, so i hope that they will take heed and be more sensitive to this aspect of running scf activities.
one girl did say that i should have spoken only to the leaders and not the whole congregation. to tell the truth this had never occurred to me. when i was talking with God and wrestling over the question of whether or not to say something about the 'charismatic-ness' of the rally, somehow i saw it as a dichotomy - speak or stay silent. my brain did not come up with alternatives like 'speak only to the leaders'. if i had done that, it would have had less potential to embarrass the leaders, and also have avoided confusing normal participants who didn't see anything wrong with the way the rally was run.
however, in talking it over with The Wife, she brought up another point: if there was anyone in the crowd at all who felt uncomfortable with the 'denominationally biased' situation, my words may have brought relief and comfort to them. it let them know that they were not alone in feeling that way, and that they were not wrong. even if there were only one or two such people in the crowd, i think that it was worth it to say what i said.
well, now, about a year later, this incident has come back to bite me.
an ex-student-leader of a CF wrote an email to my boss about this. here are some excerpts from his email:
- ...siehjin... went on to "lecture" the organizers and participants (which included non-believers) publicly from the stage...
- ...when i noticed something was very wrong, siehjin was already giving a piece of his mind to the floor...
- my concern is that... no one goes in to just "bombard" one's opinion or conviction on a group of teens...
- ...i felt that no respect was given to the organizers...
- ...the CFs felt confused...
- ...as such, the decision was to exclude SU from most CF activities in subang...
- ...(SU's) manner of teaching is "boring" and somtimes, not as relevant...
- ...the few times the SU staff get to speak in the CF is when they approach the CF if they can speak...which sometimes, they feel obliged to say yes...
whoa. can u imagine how i felt when my boss showed me the email? totally crap, man. i don't remember having been that evil! =(
you can click the link to my post on kepong baru scf camp (it's up there in the first red paragraph) to read a more-or-less complete write-up of my opinion and stand on the inter-denominational nature of SCF work. of course at the rally, i didn't have time to pontificate so comprehensively; as i remember, i did not lay down the law or anything like that. i just said a few sentences to ask the people to think about the inter-d aspect of SCF work and to consider that the SCF consists of many different churches with many different styles.
i don't think i even mentioned specific issues or specific denominations, merely stating that i noticed that the way the rally was run was similar to a certain denomination. i may have mentioned in passing that i am not against the move of the Spirit, and that i myself do speak in tongues - just so they'd know that this wasn't some misguided anti-charismatic fundamentalist speaking.
all i wanted to do was to be a voice of reason, calling for balance, speaking out for those who may have no voice (see the third red paragraph above). how did it turn out so horribly? =(
please pray for me, readers. i need discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit to know:
- was what i said wrong?
- was the way i said it wrong?
- how should i handle such situations in the future?
- how should i/SU respond to this email?
- how can i/SU redeem the lost relationships with CFs as described by this email?
positive and negative comments are welcome.
let's move on.
in terms of work updates, this is how my schedule looks for this month:
- 5-7 Sept: ministry trip to
- 6 Sept - speaking at St. Peter's YF on "being a transforming agent in community" (!)
- 11 Sept - speaking at
's SCF Sri Garden
- 12 Sept - Christina's "engagement party"! w00t! =)
- 18 Sept - speaking at Rawang SCF on "science and the Bible"
- 18-19 Sept: TUMC Leadership Retreat (they invited me 'cause i'll be working with the church next year)
- 21 Sept - SUSOM 2009
Reunion!!! yay! =)
- 25-27 Sept: ministry trip to Melaka/Batu Pahat/Kluang
- 26 Sept - speaking at Agape Presbyterian YF, Kluang, on "7 reasons why the Bible is God's Word"
- 27 Sept - speaking at FGA Batu Pahat YF on "BGR II" (continuation from last years' "BGR Talk")
- undated - preparations are underway for NSCFL 2009, ZMax 2010, and SUSOM 2010 (this includes coordinating ministry trips to the East Coast and Seremban).
please pray for me as i prepare for these sessions and camps, and as i liase with churches to coordinate those ministry trips. thanks readers. 'till the next post, God bless! =)