Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What we can learn from Metallica

Talking face to face as a means to resolve issues is not something that is practiced in these parts of the world (by this I am talking about context and culture). This is always the case. Asians are not fond of constructive conversations that requires people to talk face to face and resolve their feelings, may it be in an argumentative nature. What is important here is that we let the other know how we feel and the other person let us know how he or she feels. This requires both persons having respect of the others feelings and willing to listen to the thorny words that are conveyed. But the important thing is that there is an element of true humility and a sense of finding a form of reconciliation.

Asians, in how I understand them easily take things to heart. We have extremely sensitive hearts that is just ready to pounce in a defensive mode when we feel threatened by someone’s response to us, may it be in the form of verbal words uttered to us, letters, what we hear from people. It just ticks us off in a manner that we must defend ourselves.

This kind of attitude creates barriers for communication. People tend to shut up and let the whole fiasco boil up in their souls. Another way that we might react is to tell others about how we feel to other people. Usually we stab people who hurt us behind our backs. Thus we leave things unresolved and create other problems and the cycle will go on and on and on.

One of the most ironic thing that I found in the net is how a band (Metallica) went into this kind of problem and did what they could to resolve the issues that have been following them from the beginning which eventually boiled up when their bassist quit the band. This made the current members rethink how they have approached their relationship with one another and they way that they dealt with communication. I found the clip with Dave Mustaine and Lars Ulrich very enriching. You could feel some sort of tension when they spoke of what they felt but with that I am just respecting them for taking that step. Not that I am promoting Metallica but I find that Metal Heads make decent human beings too. After all they are people just like us. Sometimes we forget that. This is something the Christian community should pave the way for authenticity of what Christianity means. Not some very out of this world spiritualization of things. Lets learn from the most unlikely of sources.

Respect...an Asian Perspective (as how I see it)

When we look at this word 'respect', one of the things I am realizing now is words have very different meanings depending on the context of where we are. I am seeing now that 'respect' in the Asian perspective is 'unquestionable submission'. If you are someone in a lower position there is no such thing as conjuring up enough strength to ask questions. The only thing that one in a lower position is responsible of is, to make as i understand is, 'shut up and do as you are told and no questions asked'.

This is really a misunderstanding of the word respect. It is also a misunderstanding of how we understand 'questioning'. When someone 'questions' in an Asian context, it is understood as an attack. I think this is something we Asians struggle with. I think this is also because of the kind of culture that we have been brought up in.

I see it as something that the church has to overcome and be models to the world. It is a cultural shift, and this is where i can see the church paving the way forward.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


These offerings gives aspiring guitarist that they can be better too...

Kirk suck here.

Oh man Tremonti gets the slip. And he makes mistakes too. Phew! Don't worry I'm still a fan. Adie hard fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Missional...a shift from the Emergent/Emerging Perspective

I have been going through some books lately, two to be precise. I'm almost finished with "The Shape of Things to Come" by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch and going through another book called "Breaking the Missional Code" by Ed Stetzer. These books are amazing. They centre around mission's concept of being church. I have got to say that this is somewhat new to me. The proposal that stems from the book, from what I have read seems radical. I would say that if we would be bold enough to incorporate these concepts, pricipels and ideas we would ripple the institution of our churches.

The first book is a hard read because i am not that familiar with some of the things that they are addressing. Probably, if one wants to start to understand the Missional conversation, read the second book that i mentioned above. Only then read the first one.

Some of the impressions that i got from reading "The Shape of Things to Come" were 'This is interesting', 'are you kidding me', 'you got to be serious', 'i want to see how you work this out', 'man i don't understand this part please clarify', 'If we do that here we are sure to get the boot!', 'GROUND BREAKING!'.

Well, I just have one more chapter to go on "The Shape of Things to Come". So if you guys have the chance to buy or order the book, i highly recommend these two books. I'm also planning to read "The Forgotten Way" by Alan Hirsch. This is another amazing book too.

We need to educate ourselves as an up and coming generation of leaders for the greater challenges ahead for the church. Things are not going to be easy, so that is why we have to prepare ourselves to get our hands dirty! These books are a way forward!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An insecure tribsman

Deep in the jungles of Borneo there were these native people. The as you can guess by now lived in the jungle, away from civilization. These were primitive people who still lacked the knowledge of hygiene. As natives they had certain things that they do that they pass on to the next generation. Things like how to hunt, tricks and lessons on where to go, how to survive and all that. These things were passed on from generation to generation. This was to ensure survival of the next generation as there was wisdom passed on to them.

There was once this tribe headsman who knew a lot (That's why he was the headsman Duh!). He was the One (If you know what i mean). He was respected by his tribe because of the abilities he had, he knew his way around and he was handsome too which all the village girls were smitten whenever this 'Brad Pitt of the jungle' passed by. You could say that he had everything.

But his problem was he was insecure. He did not want anyone to be as good at him. He loved his status so much that he rarely passed on his wisdom. He kept them most to himself. Ok, he wasn't all that bad. He did show some of the wisdom he had to certain tribesman but it was just to those who he knew would be his 'yes men'.

As you could expect the tribe soon dwindled because there was no acquired wisdom being passed on to the younger generation. A lot of them were ignorant to the ways of living in the jungle. Some died as a result.

It was soon to be the destruction of this certain tribe, because there was no jungle wisdom passed on to the new generation. In the end the tribe leader who was insecure died and soon everything died on with him.

This was the tribe called 'A complete work of fiction but a story non the less'.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Cronicles of SHEEP (Pt1)

Once upon a time there lived a shepherd. Ok many shepherds say like a few to be exact. These shepherds were given some responsibility by another shepherd. This was the head shepherd. He simply said tend the sheep. Feed them, clean them, make sure you take care of the sheep if they get sick, nurse them if they need it. And one more thing, protect them at all costs. If lions come, or bears or dogs hurt them, it is your responsibility to fend these animals off. Do what you can to protect these sheep that i am entrusting to you.

And with that the head shepherd left them with some sheep dogs for the purpose of protecting the sheep. As soon as he had given his shepherds these mandate he left. "I will return soon," he said.

So as times passed, there was some sort of chaos happening in the sheep pasture. Some sheep were found wounded, some were being deprived of food even. This was strange because there were shepherds and dogs helping around to tend after the sheep. This was confusing.

The sheep were in constant fear.


It was said after interviewing some of the sheep, those sheep that were quit vocal on the culprit were shut down because there was fear. "We should not even talk about it," they all snickered. These were either sheep that were looking at the positive outcome but really didn't want conflict.
But news was soon spread by two or some more sheep that some of the dogs were responsible for the chaos. So a contingent of the sheep that felt that they should bring these things to the open went to meet the shepherds, who were the authority figures.

But instead of hearing their voices the shepherds said just forgive the dog even though he did what he did. He is responsible to the head shepherd. Yes we see the bite marks on your bodies but it is for your own good. Suffer for a while.

"What is this???" the sheep said. They could not believe their fluffy ears. Didn't the shepherd have the authority to protect them????? This was confusing.

to be continued....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Some Sort of Feeling

Going back to the college again and taking up a module (to salvage something) on counseling is cool for my mind but sort of uncool for my appearance. Generally I got to know that 'pastors' are forbidden to have long hair (that's if you call mine long. It is kind of, but it's not that long.). There were a few people who still regarded me as a human being but i just feel a sense of rejection. Wow talk about a place that is teaching about God, and saying that Christianity is about relationships and freedom, we are not under the law. Sure, we can buy all those things but it's a hoax.

I mean, does it matter how we dress? We say we must be smart. I got to know that there is such a thing as how an SIB member dresses. Wow! We have dress codes in SIB. Amazing but i would rather call it SAD! It is kind of sick. No wonder we don't have people outside who find that there is anything interesting about Christianity or the thing about following Jesus. To be a Christian is sort of like wear a certain kind of dress code, keep tidy, don't drink, smoke, hold girlfriend's hand in public, go out with girlfriend in public (don't you just wonder why these relationships look for secluded areas because Christians are JUDGEMENTAL), don't have long hair, don't wear torn jeans, has to be smart when going to church, has to speak a certain way, and the list goes on. Welcome to religion! But then we say it's about freedom and relationship. Well if the list talks about freedom and relationship to you well well you just painted another name for religion!

You know what? I am tired of this kind of Christianity. It's sort of sick. In the end Christianity becomes more an image thing rather than a relationship with God and the community. I'm just tired. I feel rejected by my own peers. You know when they had tea breaks, i would prefer to get myself as far away from that community. It's a pain. How would those outside feel. I would spell it for you: REJECTED.

Remember that Jesus sat at the table with the wrong crowd. Are we still rooting with Jesus or the Pharisees? We have to ask this question.

Hopeful Theo

My photo
OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations