it was quite an interesting experience for me. i could see why the Chin Youth Organization is doing such event to gather the Chin youth from across the US, but i also had a hard time seeing the progress that we are making as a whole. this event is purely secular although it starts with a prayer and people mentioned God’s name time to time. we all know the heart of this event is to preserve the culture and to unite the people. that in itself is not a bad thing, but what our culture and traditions had produced is very tinted with the worldly views. that’s what bothered me.
this pastor, Rev Min Chung, that i really like said this:
“The problem of Christians these days is that we are too much distant from the world or we are too much like the world. We are to be light not darkness and salty not bland; yet we are to be light in darkness and salt touching the substance it wants to influence. We need to be in the world befriending them or meeting their needs, yet be absolutely different from them in essence, motive, nature, purpose, and lifestyle.”
i want to ask ourselves some questions –
what were our purposes and motives in going into the event?
just to win a game, just to meet a girl that you saw on facebook, just to be with some friends and drink here and there?
just to make sure that others see your face and to know that you exist? just to scream and listen to the singing along? just to show how great of a intellectual, smart, and good-looking person you are? just to have everyone see what you accomplish through the past years in the US?
just to feel secured that you are being liked or being followed by some cool dudes? just to fill your emptiness with what the culture provides?
i really hope you got what you wished for…. but i am sure those things will fade away soon and will not matter for your eternal life or just anyone else.
but as Christians, can those things be in the end in themselves? i am questioning the motives behind now. if our motives were not kingdom-oriented, we really should repent, as i, myself, also have a lot of repentance to do… seriously. just because it is a secular event that we should let our guards down??? NO! we gotta even be more focused and be purposeful in what we do. what we do on this earth will echo for eternity, remember that? we cannot let God be separated from our lives EVER! like i could possibly not imagine what that would look like…
on the second night, i was looking at the field of people from all the way in the back. a thought that crossed my mind was that “are there anyone praying for all these people right now?” i stood there for about thirty minutes thinking/praying for our mino. here are some of my thoughts:
man, i want to see people lifting up their prayers even in the midst of this type of event.
i want to see people being different from the norms / status quo and bring the gospel of truth into life.
i want to see the people not thinking about their own fun, beauty, security (insecurity) and looking out for others’ eternal souls. less of you, more of others — more of GOD.
i want to see people who are so in love with God that their hearts break for what breaks God’s.
i want to see people whose missions don’t stop at Sunday service nor their home churches, but in others.
remember “missions happen because worship doesn’t”.
our culture in itself is very tinted and not based on the biblical view of the truth (we can acknowledge that instead of justifying our actions). if you know what i am talking about, i would be very happy. if we could take a few more steps in praying and learn to soar above the culture (instead of complaining), man.. our lives will be so different right now.
just one thing i want to point out of the many — purity.
one thing that our lai culture is based on is the woman’s body/external. the right fit and the right size whatever they call it. a part of the main reason why the Miss CYO is held is also because that. to show the world what beautiful people we have produced. well now, that in itself could not be a bad thing at all. we can truly appreciate God’s creation in bringing up wonderfully woven people that He has made for Himself.
but you see, when the girls up on stage walk on the stage so many times showing her back and all that, what does it produce? lust. i’m not talking about a girl just walking pass by, and this lustful man sinning and wanting to lust (that’d be his fault). i am talking about a girl walking/dancing on the stage to make the guys lustful. we all know what they do when they did it. i am sure most of the audience enjoy it. but does God? i don’t know about that. when God created His temple for the purpose of glorifying and the girls just using it to win over the guys votes by prompting them to lust even more… and how can that lead for a guy to treat a girl like a sister with absolute purity (1Tim 5:1-2)? and vice versa.
i am glad the girls can dance and everything, but is it necessary? maybe the culture says you should dance in such way as a girl to attract the guys, but what does the bible say about treating your body as a temple?
even if you are fine with it, what about the guys that are being stumbled? their souls are at stake already and by showing ‘ta tawt’ even more to them, how does it bring glory to God? you can see Paul’s writing in 1Corinthians 8:9 “be careful , however that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak” to mainly warn about how we need to use our freedom. and he was very serious about it.
when a guy like Daniel Lian dance why did it look like just simple pure talents? when aa Tuan danced, why did it look really graceful and it just calms your heart? no, i am not saying everyone should do body worship or interpreting dance… i am just saying that the way we talk, move, dance, sing…. they can point people to Someone far greater, Someone who provides all the talents and gift, and i hope our culture encourages that.
some would argue that we gotta also learn to please people because we live in this world. hmm.. no. because we live in this world, we gotta be the differences like salt and light for Jesus. we cannot give these people the culture they want, but the culture they need. a culture that will actually quench their thirst eternally.
some would argue that this is taking things too extremely. well, this is nothing compared the biblical culture really. i’m sure all the immigrants struggle with it when they came to America – one of them i know for sure is the Korean. i think they are still struggling to adapt to the biblical culture, but yes they are way ahead of us. we can re-define our culture between the first and second generations – what a perfect time to do so!
our very first step will be to notice that our culture is very very different than a culture that God wants. that will be the initial step and also the biggest step, and it will give some sort of progress. never too late.
[ 2 Chanrelnak 7:14 ka min in kawhmi ka mi hna nih khan an lung an ṭhumh i thla an cam i ka hmai kha an kawl i an lam ṭhalo khan an i mer ahcun, van khin ka run theih lai i an sualnak cu ka ngaihthiam hna lai i an ram cu ka damter lai ]
the next step will be to know that God is able and He will hear us.
[ filipi 2:14-15 Zei rian nan ṭuan hmanh ah, phunzai lengmang lo le bia i al lengmang loin ṭuan u. Hrokhrawlnak le ṭhat lonak in a khatmi chan ah hin sualnak ngei lo le a thiangmi si u law Pathian fale bantukin nung u ]
in ESV, it says ‘shining like stars in the universe’. this passage refers to Daniel 12:2-3 where Daniel shone like a star for the people. we all know how he lived his life there – so what i am talking about is nothing compared to what he did. let’s not complain about what was not there or not since we all know already what it was before we got there.
CS Lewis in his book the Weight of Glory — “The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
i am not against CYO. this gathering of seeing how our people are making progress in media, arts and sports can give all the glory to God much much more than we can ever possibly imagine. the event itself might be worldly, but it could help (us) others to smell the scent of flower they have not found, the echo of a tune they have not heard and news from a country (heaven) they have never yet visited.
for God alone deserves all the glory, and let us check our hearts again where the glories are going to. i cannot tell you exactly what it looks like for you, but i can tell you that, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (matt 7:21).”
arfi bangin ceu u sih!