My Read of the Month:

Title: The God Delusion
Author: Richard Dawkins
Published: 2006
Genre: Philosophy/Spirituality
Ratings: 3.7 out of 5 stars

Dawkins is one of today’s most vocal advocates for atheism. And he is not the least apologetic for his cause against religion that promotes creationism and the concept of intelligent design.

Right from the onset, he boldly spells his intention to convert believers in God or religious readers to atheism with his book; making it sound like a declaration of war upon mainstream religion.

Reading Dawkins’s convincing case against religion was both refreshing and sad. He argues how religion leads to a laziness and defeated faculty of the human’s reasoning where “any lack of data, or by lack of understanding are automatically assumed to belong, by default to God.”

To him, this represents a failure in a human’s imagination and critical thinking. Other bad affects he cited are how religion teaches one that an unquestioning faith is a virtue and is undoubtedly a divisive force in society. These were just some of the impressionable points he had raised that were backed with widely-known past incidents and cases.

It is sad that some of his argumentative points do carry an element of truth and highlights the sort of negative perception we (Christians) give to non-believers of God. Somehow being a people of the book has locked our mind rigidly and easily blocked or readily dismissed anything that doesn’t fit into the book; only “black and white” (but no grey areas).

Nothing can be further from the truth that the bible which contains the principles and precepts of God is intended to liberate our minds and free our spirits to become who we were created to be- genuine loving and highly intelligent people just as God is Agape and Elohim. But on the contrary, what we seemingly interpret from bible turns us into sheltered, hypocritical and judgemental people.

It is sad because most of Dawkins’ encounters with Christianity that he shares in this book has been nothing short of appalling. It is little wonder that he has not been convinced of an existence of a God since little or nothing of God could be drawn from his experiences with believers.

Having said that, knowing God is not achieved solely with the mind or intellect. Relating with God has to be engaged with spirit to spirit. One without the other would not allow one to fully experience Him or to manifest His existence.

Who should read it: All Christians and especially those who are interested in apologetics.

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My Open Letter to Pastor Kong Hee

This is my open letter to pastor Kong Hee that I’ve penned to express my deep appreciation for what God has done through Him that has impacted my life. It is also my way of presenting another perspective of the sort person and leader that he is to his congregation. If he ever reads this, I hope my words would be of some encouragement to him in this difficult period.

Dear Pastor,

I’d joined this CHC family less than two years ago and you were one of the main reasons that had influenced my decision.

In our local Christian community, there ain’t many spiritual leaders that dare to live out the word of God with the kind of convictions that you display which I deemed as all-rounded, balanced and progressive.

Before I joined CHC, I must confess that I was one of your critics that didn’t approve of your scriptural teachings and brand of Christianity. But that changed after a defining moment in my walk with God a few years ago.

During a period where I was seeking God desperately over my holy dissatisfaction of my spiritual life, CHC came into my life as His answer to my cry. I stumbled upon CHC’s website and watched the online sermons. The word of God that was presented provided me with clarity on my situation.

There’s this saying that best describes that defining moment when this happened: “When your mind is open, the teacher appears.”

That teacher is YOU.

After observing and listening to you weekly with an opened mind and heart, I saw what I didn’t see before when I was a critic- your deep passionate love for God and people.

Your love for God and for people is evident, and that love explodes through your preaching and practical service to those around you. Your exemplary lifestyle of servanthood never fails to challenge me to love God and people in my life more than ever before.

Your message of the cultural mandate has also given me a new leash of faith and spiritual fervour to be the Church in the marketplace and not merely doing church that’s confined within the four walls.

Now I can see through the extravagant, colourful, loud and sophisticated themes and style that is commonly associated with CHC. Beneath all of that is just a simple and genuine LOVE that strives to reach to those who have not experienced Jesus in a way that truly glorifies God.

In this trying times, I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I believe in you and I trust you. And regardless of the outcome of the ongoing investigations, I’m standing with you and this church (spiritual) family.

Finally, thank you for your faith and obedience to God’s call upon your life that has resulted with many lives (including my wife’s and mine) being drawn closer to God!

In His love,

Andrew Ong

My Doodling:

Sorry for not updating this space for quite awhile. A lot of things on mind to blog but so little time… haha… Just started studying again or rather learning more and at the same time running a work-related big-scale event that is happening in two weeks time. I Need His GRACE!

Staying Cool in the Face of Opposition

“If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought.

Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.

Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath.

It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones.

He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.”

1 Peter 3:13-18 (The Message)

My Post-Asia Conference 2010 Report

The second biennial Asia Conference epic event may have ended over last weekend, but it’s spiritual after-shocks can still be felt.

This year’s conference was nothing short of phenomenal, drawing more than 25,000 delegates from 2,000 churches represented by 70 nations worldwide.

It also co-hosted the Church Growth International meeting that is chaired by Korean pastor, Dr David Yonggi Cho.

One Body- One Church

Asia Conference was a unique platform drawing different parts of the Body together as one.

It was a sight to behold and something to experience in sharing a special and historical moment with fellow Christians from different churches under the same roof worshipping in oneness and enthusiasm.

In my opinion, it served as a catalyst and a spiritual maternity ward to bring change to the spiritual climate in Asia and the world; mobilising and giving ‘birth’ to nation builders that will arise and recapture the spiritual leadership in our world.

My personal experience

I was greatly overwhelmed by the sharing of some of the greatest heroes of faith alive today such as Reinhard Bonnke, Dr. Yonggi Cho, Phil Pringle, Dr. AR Bernard and Steve Munsey just to name a few. It was impartation overloaded!

Every session with them felt like a finale, but it never quite ended with each speaker injecting another high dosage of God’s truth and spirit that shook your worldview and stirred my faith.

I took away not only more spiritual truths and principles from this conference, but more significantly a renewed mind plugged into the fourth dimension in living a righteous, hopeful and victorious life in Christ.

I felt a change in my spirit; a feeling that God had deposited ‘seeds’ in me that are awaiting to release some of His dreams in my life. And incredibly I am catching glimpses of them unfolding in these short few days.

Hopefully, I would be able to share some of them in the near future after I make some serious decisions and when I’m able to ascertain the situation.

For now, I’m already looking forward to Asia Conference 2012!