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A: “I huf furworded you the articurl”
B: ” Vely gut”
A: “Wut if wu went on tixteng like theese? Du yu tink wu wold git smutter”
B: “Aye, muu bwain wud dai” (Note: I think he means bwane)
A: “Maibae wu wol jazz bikum bad at spewleeeng — und tax like ahliens”
B: “Lyk ze ahllianz”
A: “Yupz. Shod rite an asseh in this fom”
B: “Wud dee uh orriburl def”
A: “Ow dust ottokurict not ottokurict yur jambles? (Ottokurict actually looks german)”
A: ” *juhmurn”
B: “I haz deesabuld ottokurict”
A: “Ow smut oaf yu. Aneeweh tiaow muu wut yu tink oaf ze satan articurl wen yu rid it.”
B: “Ontrustin urticurl”
A: “Yu shod bi ristin. Esp sins yer sik.”
B: “In uh but, yis”
B: “Slip. Gud nit”
A: “K gud nit tu yu. Git woll soon”
B: “Dank u”
A: “Eef tiz gos un – wu wold haf a cod tu wutsapp in”
I ask again: Du yu tink wu wold git smutter if wu went on tixteng lik tis.
I’m quite sure that if I even attempted to start texting like this to some people, I will die a horrible death.
And it seems like the more prim and proper (read: pretentiously particular) a person I text, the more likely that I will “army text” the person.
“God loves a cheerful giver….therefore give more to our fundraising/ BUY MORE FESTIVAL OF ART TICKETS.”
It is quite astonishing how the head of A-Christian-School (In-dover) could conveniently exclude the first part of 2 Cor 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” She was either a) unaware, or b) deliberately misusing biblical authority. Some things I’ll never forget.
But I digress.
The question I wish to pose is whether or not giving to God equals to giving to church. We accept that there are quite a few of biblical statements which praise giving to God. Even more praise giving in general. My belief is that giving, in itself, is more important than giving to a church.
Question: What is the function of giving to church?
Answer: To further the purposes of a church.
Question: What is the main purpose of a church?
Answer: Mainly, to spread the word.
Question: Do these functions need money?
Answer: In the era of 1 Cor 16:2, yes. In this day and age, not really. With things like the internet, blogs, and video hosting platforms, it honestly doesn’t take that much to upload a sermon or proselytizing blogpost. I personally have a preference for online sermons. It can be done for free — instead of selling overpriced sermon CDs which ‘devoted’ aunties will buy every week. If the intention was solely to spread the word, then it’ll be a) sold at cost price, and b) allowed to be freely distributed online.
Question: What then does it mean to give to God?
My belief: When you use your money to help another in need. By giving to another in need who is created in the image of God, you are already giving to God. (And by that I mean all human beings regardless of religion.) Contrast this with things like hiring a church typist (or in more high class ones, a video crew), or buying a new piano.
Question: Am I against giving to a church?
Answer: No, not at all. I am against giving blindly. I think we should all consider how would God rather you give your money — paint jobs and building architecture, or actually giving it to people who need it. I used to give a lot to church, but decided that it was more worthwhile giving it to cripples.
But I get angry (almost as angry as when a church vents its bigoted views on homosexuals and sticks its face in politics) when a church emotionally blackmails and browbeats people into parting with their hard-earned money. That is what I’m against. And the worst part, is these people do it believing that they need to do it, believing that its the right thing to do, and in some cases, believing that it will make them happy. Even worse when they are already struggling.
And if you absolutely must give to a church, please give to a smaller one. I know quite a number of smaller churches that are actually in need of money. Your money will be put to better use there.
I’ll address the levitical tithe some other day – it’s quite long and boring.
I re-emphasise this: I support giving. I think it is a virtue in and of itself, and very beneficial to others and even yourself in learning how to let go. In fact, what a lot of churches say about giving to God can probably be accepted. I just think that 1) contrary to the common assumption, giving to God does not necessitate that you give to a church. 2) there are more pressing areas which need money.
3) The onus is on the church to show us that the money will be used God’s work, rather than letting it be assumed to be so. We can have faith in God, but not faith in its man-governed institutions. The church and God are not synonymous.
It is for this reason that I’m quite liberal with buying food/stuff for beulah whenever I have surplus cash. I know that even when I tell her that she’s better off spending the money on herself, she wouldn’t listen. I feel sorry somehow. I mean, I knew for quite a long while that you don’t need talent to get to Hollywood, you need a fuck load of money. And one does not simply get a fuck load of money from nowhere..What the heck, the money I spend on her is still more worthwhile.
Oh great, now someone like Edward is going to claim that he gave up a lot of money to some quasi-religious group or something — but i know he is neither willing nor able to do so :]
(He is also not as cute as..)
Of this he was absolutely sure; if ever he came to doubt it, his life would lose all meaning. “Do you wish,” he asked indignantly, “my life to have no meaning?”
- The Stranger, Albert Camus
Question: Should faith depend on a pastor?
My opinion: No. My opinion is that faith needs to be based on something more constant and less fallible. In theory, “men of god” are supposed to have a more upright walk. In practice, humans are humans – I think many of them merely appear to be so.
Question: Does faith depend on a pastor?
My guess: For a lot of those in a mega-church, probably. In addition to having a pastor as a figure of leadership and an example of stellar character, he was probably the reason many joined in the first place — the very reason for their faith. This would have been later cemented by an associative effect – by associating him with the word of God. And to many church-goers, probably not associated with much else — their only interaction with him would have been to hear him preach.
Question: Will faith waver because of the failing of a pastor?
My speculation: For a large majority of the current members, I’m actually guessing no. Especially if the leadership figure plays an important role in their faith, their mind will find a way to resolve this dissonance. For instance, by viewing this as a form of “spiritual warfare”, or some attack from the devil.
The cognitive dissonance is even greater for those who have poured in a lot of their money. Who the hell wants to accept that they gave a way so much of their money for nothing! Their mind will find a way to justify their efforts. In a counter-intuitive manner, I actually think that the faith of some with become even stronger.
Question: Will there be a slow in church growth rates?
My response: In the first place, I’m not even sure how these megachurch growth rates are measured. Do those people who visit once but stop going count? Do people who decide to “recommit their lives” during altar call again count? It disturbs me whenever statistics are too nice – and in this case, it’s almost as if there is an increasing growth rate every year – to show the admittedly large congregation that the church is still growing from “strength to strength”.
Question: Does giving to a church equate to giving to God?
My stand: I’m about to go into a long angry ramble. I think I will save the steam for tomorrow.
Question: Will prayer get anyone out of this mess?
My opinion: Realistically speaking, God isn’t Santa Claus or a genie. The watchdogs spend -a lot- of time gathering all their evidence even before they press charges. In fact, they have every incentive to make sure that they have a solid almost-certain case, before they risk bad press by pressing ‘false charges’. Two years is a really long time to collect evidence and one does not simply spend two years doing nothing – unless they are every Singaporean’s son.
The outcome of this will probably add another dent to faith if the pastor continues to proclaim that prayer/God will help him out of this. What will people think of prayer if a pastor continues to declare “I pray/believe God will save me” and it doesn’t happen?
Hmm, an expensive lawyer might get someone out of this mess though. Don’t underestimate the power of expensive lawyers.
We live in a very judgmental world. And the reality of reality is that – reality doesn’t matter. Appearances do.
It is not what you do (or don’t do), but what you appear to do.
It is not who you are, but who you appear to be.
It is not what is real, but what appears to be real.
Your integrity is who you are when no one is looking, but your identity is who you are when people are looking.
And why is identity important? Because social interaction hinges upon it. People don’t deal with you as you are, they deal with who they think you are. People don’t love/hate you; they love/hate who they think you are. (Maybe with the exception of parents, but that stems from your identity as their child, rather than an opinion of your character)
This, I think, appears to be the truth. And such is the real world.
These appear to be words of a liar. But in reality, these words are descriptive rather than prescriptive. But what the hell, if people perceive that these were written by a liar, then the reality is that -
you get the idea.
Yet another Saturday of plain indulgence with gremlin. I had Famous Amos, a New York cheesecake, a movie soaked in crude political humour, a huge bowl of expensive ramen and a whisky to end the day. Indulgence, plain bourgeoisie indulgence. And all for under $40, which makes it less bourgeoisie suddenly. Those who haven’t seen gremlin probably picture her to be quite plump by now. This is not the case. Not yet at least.
Apart from my usual bragging of how I’ve been enjoying life, I can’t help but to wonder if the long queue for the expensive ramen affected my judgment of how nice I found the ramen to be. As a result of having to queue for the ramen, would I have kicked into trying to rationalize (backward) that it was in fact worth the wait and price? I certainly thought it was awesome – but was I thinking properly?
Then again, having to queue for that shitty so-called “prawn mee” at kranji cookhouse, didn’t make it taste any better. (it was the only place I pressed a “Poor” food rating.) — although I didn’t make a choice and it was free, hence no need to rationalize.
And in another instance, people like my dad views it as a “whole package” thing. The entire experience (including waiting time etc) affects whether he thinks the food is nice or not. Or so he says. I can see how that goes: you rationalize that the food isn’t nice so that you don’t have to go through the long wait again -___-
The restaurant however isn’t very conducive for social interaction. It’s noisy with quick paced jazz music (which is unusual for a japanese restaurant). The distance between you and the person opposite is quite big, and they almost deliberately have a ‘group table’ which you share with other strangers. It’s almost as if the place is designed to make you eat the ramen quickly and get out, so that the next paying customer could hurry his way in (and then out again).
That provided a good excuse not to talk much. I wanted to just enjoy my expensive ramen quietly — especially since I queued for it.
Watched Midnight in Paris today. The freaking surreal movie feels more like a play rather than a movie – with each position and arrangement having a significance.
And I couldn’t help thinking of Allo Allo whenever there’s an English speaking actor with a French accent. The scene with Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali just brought to mind a “IT IS I, LECLERC!” scene.
While the protagonist travels to the 1920s by getting into an old-style car, I can’t help but to wonder how he returns to the present to face his irritable girlfriend who is annoying and a complete distraction to his work.
Maybe the bigger puzzle is why rather than how.
Oh, and this chick appears in the movie – in a less scary form. A bit hard not to recognise the above scene if you’ve seen the movie.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
- Ephesians 5:22
(The above verse is taken out of context. I am aware of that.)
Over lunch, my eleven year old brother asked me, “why did Jesus write that wives must submit?”
My sister outright disagrees with the statement (even in its full context) – on the grounds that it doesnt have enough weight to count as a ‘commandment’. How she ascertains what counts and what doesn’t, I have no idea.
My response was to not answer the question but rather correct a factual inaccuracy (Read: Red Herring), “Jesus didn’t write it. Some later apostle, most people think it’s Paul , if not one of Paul’s followers, who wrote it. In fact, Jesus didn’t write anything….oh yeah, why huh?” Which leads on to my thought of the day: why didn’t Jesus do any of his own writing? Like issue a gospel of Jesus.
The boy then asked, “If Jesus didn’t write it, then why must follow?”
Someone at the table responded something about god-inspired word. (I can’t remember who really. I’m a bad transcriber)
The boy goes on, “But then anyone can say that they’re god inspired and then write whatever right? How do people know whether someone is god inspired or not?”
To digress a bit, I’m quite interested in how the typical christian grapples with unpalatable biblical statements. A) They accept the unpalatable statement — which would be…unpalatable. B) They question the veracity of the particular statement — which is inadvertently casts doubt on the entire text. C) Interpret the hell out of it. Use all legal and literary tools of interpretation to make it palatable.
I could go into a lengthy discussion about how the statement could be interpreted to be more palatable in its context, but my brother’s question struck at something more fundamental.
I simply told him, “Boy, don’t ask this kind of heretical questions. Not on sunday at least.“
It was a bit tempting to do the recently fashionable way of not answering questions properly by replying with a “What do you think?”
I watched an awesomely mindblowing sci-fi movie today, and was extremely tempted to just start on a movie marathon. I used to be a fan of marathons. I would marathon everything – from movies to tv series to even my jampacked social schedule etc etc.
But I now resist the temptation to do so, simply because it is less worth it to do so for three pretentious sounding reasons:
1. Law of diminishing marginal returns: Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. The additional amount of utility/satisfaction I gain from whatever I’m marathoning decreases. It may even reach negative marginal utility – like stuffing yourself with 600g of ramen/tsukemen.
2. Hedonistic adaptation: Closely related to LDMR. Strictly speaking, hedonistic adaptation refers to more long term life changes I think. Basically when there are good/bad changes, human beings adapt to it (with the exceptions of noise and breast implants). Spread out your good things, and cram all your unpleasant suffering together.
3. Regression toward the mean: AKA reverrsion to mediocrity. Having started with an awesome first one, the probability of the next movie I pick will probably be more average and hence relatively underwhelming.
On the flip side, what is one reason to marathon?
You can use time to buy money, but you can’t use money to buy time.
You only realise how valuable time is, when you are finally aware of its scarcity. And when you realise its value, you will try to scrape and scringe at every piece of time you can save. You will become a time miser.
The question is: why is my action/decision inconsistent with my thought/reasoning?
Like a missing puzzle piece, there is a gap which I am unable to account for.
“It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.”
I think when I graduate, I shall print the picture with the above text and paste it in my cubicle (Minus the sissy bad guy caption)
And I should forward it to all my friends who have golden shackles – and i mean it in less of a wonder woman way, and more of a 齊天大聖孫悟空 way.
That awkward moment when you spend like half a train ride looking at some girl on the train, and then you realise it’s your friend whom you lunch with quite often.
Then you spend the next half an hour being horrified, traumatised, a bit stunned, and quite ashamed of yourself.
Probably a bit longer than half an hour..
But to be fair, sheer sleeplessness/sleepiness might be a mitigating factor.
One day i’m happily finishing 600g of ramen (not including soup, meat, egg etc)
On another day all I had was some soft boiled egg with bread in the morning before going to work, and a bowl of mango when I got home pretty late at night.
I’m making good progress for my YOM KIPPUR FASTING CHALLENGE 2012!!!!
Apart from that, it is admittedly a bit unhealthy.
i’m not too sure how time perception works. But while I usually comment (read: boast) on how quickly my time has been moving even for the past few months and even during my two gap years, the past week felt extremely long. An event seven days ago feels a lot further back than it normally would.
i’m not sure what this means. Is there something that i’m looking forward to more than to ORD?
i wanted more time — not slower moving time.
the turbulent week concluded with two glasses of whiskey and a bowl of mango.