Seek God’s kingdom

Luke 12:31-32 – Jesus told his disciples:  “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

In these words is a secret that is hidden in plain sight. When we allow worries and anxieties to overtake us, we stumble and fall and resort to our own human will rather than allow God’s sovereign will to take charge in our lives.

Why do we worry?  We worry because we do not have faith that we will have enough.  We also worry that others will stop us from getting what we desire.

As a result, we get angry—angry with those who stand in our way.  We might even find ourselves directing our anger toward those we love, and toward those who may be trying to comfort our hearts.

If we can stop for a moment to calm down. Give ourselves space to reflect.  Reflect without anxiety and fear.  Ponder on the Lord without worries floating within our minds.  Think on godly things. Put aside things that prevent our hearts from feeling God’s love.

God who might be trying to get our attention might have a good message for us.  Focus on God and the spiritual things that belong to the kingdom. 

Things that concern God’s kingdom might be totally different from what we desire for our own kingdom.

Ask God. Pray.  Seek God.  See if he has something else within the kingdom for our lives.

Be open to receiving different things that we might never have expected.  Such things might result in becoming a huge blessing in our lives.

Part 1 – Great Nations: History’s mistake – China’s implosion into socialism

Guangzhou Guide | Beijing Visitor - China Travel Guide
Guangzhou, China

[ See related posts on Great Nations: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3]

Volumes of books speak on the horrors of the early days of Maoism.  When Mao took power, China imploded on itself (e.g., the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward).  The older generations will never forget, and perhaps never forgive what the Communists did to destroy China and the rich culture of the Chinese people.  From 1949 to 1978, China was trapped in poverty.  People starved to death.  The People’s Revolution was a disaster.

Here in the west, we must never forget the horrors of socialism.  We must never allow socialism to creep into our social consciousness as a viable alternative.  It cannot ever become an alternative.  If implemented, the ideas of Bernie Sanders, the Green New Deal, etc., would be horrifying for any free nation.  It would set the nation on a course going backwards.

History is a good teacher.  Back in 1949, the Chinese people had bought into the lie that socialism/communism was going to be good for them. China wasn’t doing so well due to economic colonialism.  The tea trade, opium, and slave trade happening around the world had sunk China into a deeper state of social confusion.  It needed a way out and the Chinese thought that perhaps Communism could offer a way out of their state.

Maoist Communists got into power.  Their authoritarian regime inflicted huge economic, social, political and structural damage upon China.  It got worse.  It had set itself back for many generations and is still far behind what it could have been if China had not taken the route of socialism.  It has taken decades and generations to fix the big mess it created for itself.  It is still in recovery mode today.

TIME Magazine Cover: Teng Hsiao-p'ing, Man of the year -- Jan. 1, 1979Since 1978, Deng Xiaoping’s reforms enabled a collosal reversal away from its old-style communism.  During the last four decades, China has undergone a huge economic reform due to Deng Xiaoping.  It’s market system has enabled 800 million people to climb out of poverty creating the largest middle class in the world.

It’s truly an economic miracle that is happening today. However, this ought to be received as a testament that socialism does not work. Do not misunderstand this as a credit due to socialism.   China’s economic miracle happened because of free-market enterprise within the special economic zones (though couched within a centralized governing structure).  Insiders have already rejected old style socialism while remaining loyal to The Party.

An extraordinary social reform has also taken place.  Though still imperfect today, society is much freer today than when under Mao’s Communist rule.  There are far fewer travel restrictions.  Millions of Chinese have received education from abroad, and there will be millions more in the future.   In 2018, 134 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas.

Today, there are also a technological and infrastructural reforms. China is becoming a technological giant.  It is becoming a leader in robotics, artificial intelligence, and a giant in green solar energy.  Today, there are already more billionaires in China than in the U.S.

China is reforming the country incrementally from the inside.  Gradual change is safer and more secure than a sudden change.  Another revolution into free-market capitalism might cause a break-up of the country into smaller regions.

Akin to its Confucius history, Chinese people are respectful of their own political history and father of reform, Deng Xiaoping.  They will not jeopardize their gains by making too much of a sudden shift. A gradual shift will eventually happen (but we just won’t tell them).

Again, the reason for this post?  The proposed Green New Deal.  I know we’re not looking at old-style communism. But we must reject this entire philosophy as a whole.  Socialism in any form does not work.  Capitalism is proven to work.

When we look at what is happening in today’s modern China, we must be factor in that China had huge setbacks due to socialism.  If it were not for communism, China could be where South Korea is today. East Asians are smart, industrious, and have a drive to succeed in every way.  They will succeed socially, economically, politically, and hopefully, spiritually.

As a Christian, I pray for spiritual prosperity to lead the nation into true success.  Without a deep and guiding spirituality, China will eventually lose steam and sink into apathy and indifference.  This has already happened in many western nations in Europe and sections of American culture.

China has recognized the mistake it made in 1949.  Today’s nation states ought to remember the mistakes made throughout history.  What Russia could have been is another story in itself.  And what are still today’s Cuba and North Korea are utter disasters.

As in the Soviet Union, under Chairman Mao, the educated Chinese were either forcibly removed from their homes and confined to labor camps, jailed or killed.  All property owners had their property confiscated.  Anyone with property and money had their property seized.  The fortunate ones fled early to other parts of Asia like Singapore.

Anyone with skills, talent and gifts were considered to be the elite bourgeois, and therefore, seen as suspect.  If they refused to join and pledge loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, they were either jailed, beaten or killed, or all three.

As a result, millions of people starved to death because of this stubborn socialistic ideology.  Millions of people were stuck indefinitely in poverty.  By the time they discovered Communion/Socialism was not the solution, it was too late.  They were now subjected under the new political ruling class.  The Communist Party used fear and intimidation to control the masses–even entire families and churches.  As a result, the church went underground.

Note, even today, the regime is still demolishing large evangelical churches that refuse to conform to Party ideologies because they believe in God as their supreme leader rather than the State (NY Times article and UK Express article).

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There was no escape because no one was left with money to start businesses. There was no one left with education and capital to invent new things or be creative with their talents.

Marxist ideologies of making everyone the same and economically equal was wrong-headed.  Socialism failed the millions of people they wanted to help escape poverty.   Their own poverty became more entrenched.  Adults suffered.  Children suffered.  The poor became poorer.

The only rich people were the Communist officials who accepted bribes. The result was far worse.  China imploded into itself.  No one had the courage to complain against the Communist Party.  The Party became god.  The Party rewarded those who reported on family members, friends, and neighbors who were sympathetic to the bourgeois.  The Communist state encouraged Party members to betray their own family and friends.  Very sad.

In the early days of Communism, they controlled the government-run media to feed the people Party propaganda. North Korea is using a similar propaganda media machine today.  (Today, CNN and MSNBC have become the new leftist propaganda media-machines in America).  They do not seem to critique the globalist state as the “fifth estate” is supposed to. They just play the game and report what they are told.  News agencies are authentically fake news.  There is nothing more fake than the authoritarian socialistic propaganda machines.

Maoist China and today’s North Korea know how to put on a charade.  Men, women and children are told to put on happy faces, clean up the streets and add a new coat of paint.  Make everything look new and happy, while deep inside, the pain of socialism continues to hurt.  It’s like a make-believe Disneyworld, but socialist-style.  The people of Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea know it’s all a lie.  They want to change but live in fear of the Communist state.

Liberals, leftists, and socialists have not helped anyone except themselves. Look at Venezuela and what they’ve done to their own country today. It has self-imploded, following in the footsteps of other socialist countries.  It hasn’t learned from history’s mistakes. The people propelled crooked leaders into power who benefit from their own corrupt system of government.

It amazes me that an entire nation can become stuck in its own endless cycle of corruption without an access of escape.  Thank God we have representative democracies, or a democratic republic in the U.S.   We can freely elect new representatives into government to replace undesirable representatives.  It’s a dynamic system of government.  Socialistic authoritarian countries do not hold free elections.  Fellow ideologues are appointed into power.  This has begun to happen in the once free city-state of Hong Kong, thus, the yellow umbrella movement in 2014.

Does anything good ever come out of pure Communism and socialism?  Name one country where it has.

I would not label today’s China as a pure Communist system (even though they are in name).  They do not have old-age pensions or socialized medicare.  Seniors and the poor actually have to fend for themselves, or they need to be taken care of by their children.

In actual practice, Maoist and Stalinist Communism had dug a deep pit for the people.  The rich become poor; and the poor have no chance of becoming rich.  There is no middle class.  There is only a large mass of impoverished people.  For those who wait for the dream, there will only be darkness at the end of the tunnel.  Once they use up people’s money and intellectual capital, there will be nothing left to share.  There is no incentive to create wealth merely to be taken away.  Everyone will remain poor.

This is the same fate awaiting for people fighting for the Green New Deal and other socialistic-type parties.  Industries will grow weaker and eventually collapse into themselves due to their lack of social and economic liberties.

Socialism’s goals and ideals may appear attractive on the outside.  It spouts false propaganda giving false hope to the poor, the less-educated, and the disadvantaged.  We must educate ourselves by learning about history.  Some of our contemporary politicians today, e.g., Barack Obama, Pierre Trudeau (father of Justin Trudeau), and Bernie Sanders were educated by leftist ideologues at leftist institutions.  They are idealogues with ideas that do not actually work.

They did not see the full scope of history along with their mistakes. They were also misguided by the charade of socialism, and by the omission of Communist errors.  Have you ever heard them talk about the tragic errors of historic Communism?  No!  It does not register on their level of consciousness.  You will only hear and learn about these historic mistakes by reading and learning from free-market sources.

With every generation, socialism will try to rear its ugly head.  They might tack on a fresh and hip label: “Democratic…” or “People’s…”  It’s really just mascara and lipstick to make it look attractive to the younger generations.  These labels are a facade for something sinister hidden within.   Each generation must be forewarned of the potential dangers lurking.  May our generation today not make the same mistakes that were made in history.  Reject any and all forms of socialism.

The majority of Americans have rejected the socialist ideas of Bernie Sanders.  I hope Americans will also reject this new Green New Deal and the leftist ideology of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey.

Socialism will never stop trying to reinvent itself.  It will don a new disguise, try out a new look, and call itself something fresh and exciting.  Believe me, there is nothing new under the sun.  Don’t be fooled.  The mascara, the blush, and lipstick will never cover up its hideousness on the inside.  On the exterior, it might sound and look appealing, but on the inside, it’s all the same.  It will utterly fail the people and set nations back for decades and generations.

America, please do not fall for socialism.  Doing so would be at America’s peril.  Same goes for Europe, Canada and other countries who might find these ideas appealing.  Their policies would set nations back, as socialism did to China.

America must stand, if even alone, to be that light in the darkness.  Free-market capitalism balanced with people’s love and compassion for their fellow human will always win.

Indian Air Force strikes terrorist camp

 Breaking news:
At approximately 0330-0400 hrs (New Delhi local time) on 26 February 2019, the Indian Air Force carried out an air strike on a terrorist camp in the region of Kashmir. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighter jets bombed and completely destroyed the terrorist camp. This was carried out around Balakot and Chikoti in Kashmir near the Line of Control. (Source: https://www.ndtv.com/ )

India and Pakistan have been fighting over this area of Kashmir, a very beautiful place in the world. What will happen in the near future between India and Pakistan? Will there be an escalation of war?

India test-fires Mica missiles from Mirage 2000 even as Pakistan carries out air force drills

Everlasting Eternal Life

Nothing gets a person thinking more about death than: 1) When you have a death in the family, or 2) When an insurance salesperson gives you the sale pitch and sells you life insurance, or 3) When you have a lawyer ask you tough questions to prepare your final will and testament.

I’m getting a will done up through a lawyer.  It sure made me think about how temporary life can be.  Not much in this world is for sure.  What is for sure is that we will all live and die.

The bible teaches that on our last day on earth won’t be our last moment.  Our soul lives on.  There is still eternity to enjoy.

There will be no more death. Our bodies will not grow old and decay.

From a purely human perspective, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (v.50).

“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8)

Thankfully, death in the flesh will not be our ultimate and final destiny as Christians.  It doesn’t have to be.  God has given us a way out.  The only way out of death is to trust in the mercy and grace of God.

God desires and has always intended for us to be spiritual beings.  Paul taught that what is sown in weakness is raised in power.  It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44).

John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

One day, whe our bodies decay and die, Christ will raise us up as spiritual beings.  We will no longer have to rely on the fleshly things of this world to bring us through to the end. Christ has become our victor. This is good news.  God in Christ Jesus has conquered sin, death and evil.  These things will have no power over us when we place our faith in the love of Christ and in the power of his resurrection power.

Image result for pearly gates

Religious ‘None’s increasing

Dr. Joel Thiessen (Canada’s younger version of Reginald Bibby) has done a Canadian study and found that society increasingly self-identifies as having “No religion”.  Millennials are raised in a social context without a religion.  Some might have gone to Sunday school or received baptism as an infant but end up as a non-attender of church.  The United States and Europe are all generally in a similar situation.  The U.S. might be a little better.

This presents a challenge because people do not know who Jesus is. With this challenge comes the opportunity to socialize Christianity in a more positive way.  The opportunity is that we get to start with a brand new slate.

How we do share the love of Jesus to our friends, acquaintances, and family who are in this category of “Religious None”?  If you are 50 or younger, you probably know someone who has never been to church and who has heard about Jesus spoken of at Christmastime or as a curse word.

How do we share the good news of Jesus in this generation?  With sensitivity to “None”s, or using the seeker-sensitive model?

Sorry the video is only on facebook and not on youtube, thus, the link to a facebook page of Acadia Divinity College (alma mater):

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Facadiadivinitycollege%2Fvideos%2F2275011249205310%2F&show_text=1&width=560

Evangelization of another marginal group–the rich

jesus sick lameIn a previous post, I blogged about a need for evangelization and missions to the margins.  In this post, I will make a case for evangelization to the rich. The left will hate what I have to say here.

Missionary families have sacrificed their lives and their comforts of home to live overseas, to adopt a new culture and learn a new language.  Their motivation is to proclaim the gospel to people on the margins.  They are on the margins due to income/economic status; sickness/health; race/ethnicity; language and education.

Jesus’ entire ministry was to those who were on the margins.  Luke 7:21-22 states:

“At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”

Previously I hadn’t really noticed this one verse in Luke 7:29:

“All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.”

Yes, even tax collectors repented and got baptized.  During the days of the Roman Empire, tax collectors were people who were relied upon by civil government. The Roman Empire depended upon them to bring in tax revenues. Without tax collectors, they would not have been able to receive any monies to fund their public services. Thus, tax collectors were highly valued by the Emperor.

It was unfortunate that they abused their positions of power. They took advantage of people. They added additional taxes to their collections that were not necessarily owed to Rome. They enriched themselves by pocketing that extra money for themselves. They were hated and despised amongst the common people.

Some of these dishonest tax collectors were evangelized. They received Christ and transformed their lives. They gave up their dishonest ways, and were baptized by John.  If there is room for the rich in God’s kingdom, who are we to judge?

zacchaeus

Zacchaeus in the bible was a dishonest man.  He came to faith in Christ.  In the gospels, he was repentant and transformed the way he conducted his business.  He promised Jesus to give half of his money to the poor and return four-fold what he had cheated (Luke 19:8).

Jesus’ response was evidence of the good news that came into Zacchaeus’ life.  Jesus said in Luke 19:9-10,

“Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

Do we despise those who are rich and powerful?  Are they also unfairly despised by some of us commoners.  We accuse them of being oppressors of the weak.  We accuse them of getting rich on the backs of the poor. Not necessarily true.

There are many rich people who make their money honestly, and through hard work and diligence.

Do we scorn the rich, famous and powerful for the sake of scorning them?  When we do so, it creates a bigger chasm between them and the commoner.

Do the ultra rich, powerful and famous also need to hear the gospel?  Are they also loved by Jesus?   They also have problems like us ordinary people.  They also have marital troubles, divorce and separation, parental issues, just as we all do.  Their lives can also be torn by sin and corruption.

This sector of society also need Jesus.  There is room for them in God’s kingdom.

Here’s a question for us to consider.  If Jesus invited himself to eat with Zacchaeus’ at his home, might Jesus do so with the ultra rich and powerful today?  Most definitely.

Our evangelization and missionary work today could use a good tweaking. We ought not only be evangelizing the poor and sick. We also need to turn our attention to people of influence.

Missionaries are doing some great missional work to evangelize the marginalized. But what about politicians, and the rich business person? In a way, they might also be people on the margins–but on the other side of the margins?

I’ll define this group as those who are on the margins on the opposite of the economic and social spectrum.  We tend to marginalize them because of the division their money and wealth has created.

I know it’s rather difficult to attach the label “marginalized” upon those who are rich. Juxtaposed with a large middle-class population, the super ultra-rich do standout as a marginalized group.

superrich

In our modern contemporary society, we might consider people such as:  the ultra rich, famous Hollywood stars, music icons, Supreme Court justices. These people might also be some of the loneliest people in the world.  Their success in their own field of work has created a greater chasm between themselves and the common person.

What would Jesus do?  Jesus addressed rich people regarding their spiritual poverty.  They were too content, too satisfied and did not seek after the things of God.  Money satisfied them but they missed the spiritual side of life.

To be fair, and on the other side of the same token, I believe Jesus would also speak to the poor people regarding their spiritual poverty.

So whether we rich or poor, God would desire we all people to seek after godly and spiritual things.

The ultra rich might be the most financially comfortable people in the world.  But they might also be the most unhappiest people in the world.

All human beings, regardless of our status, battle with depression, suicide, debilitating sicknesses and diseases.  All people have marital breakdown.  All people battle personal problems.  God can be the savior of all people who need a savior.

It is not unusual that the higher one climbs on the socio-economic ladder, the less happy and more lonely one becomes.

So who might be the proverbial “tax collectors” of today?   Might they also need to be ministered to? They might be our Hollywood producers, famous Oscar recipients, successful real estate tycoons, business persons and corporate executives.

Let me ask you: When did you last minister to Hollywood producers, the political operatives, and business tycoon?  Did you offer them any spiritual guidance?  Were there any around who could share the good news with them.

Most common people never have any sort contact with them. Why would we? And how could we?  The marginal on this side of the bell curve are also isolated people.

How can the gospel transform the lives of the rich, famous and powerful?  This might be worth pondering upon.  The gospel and the love of Christ can transform the lives of all persons.  It might make the world a better place.

Can they be transformed by the light of Christ to the glory of God?  “Yes.”  Jesus also wants to intervene in their lives. God loves all people of all economic and social status.

If this post has made any sense, I hope it might present another challenge. How do we reach this other marginal group of the rich?  Perhaps we might consider and pray that God should send evangelists, missionaries and apostles to the super rich, famous and powerful.

Imperfect Balance of Works Over Grace in Asian Churches

Conservative evangelical Christians, myself included, at an earlier time in my life, was taught that sanctification, or to be made holy, was something we can partially achieve ourselves by living holy and righteous lives each day of the week.

Well, perhaps it wasn’t taught directly, but we were taught to presume and assume this was at least partially true.  The occasional right teaching on grace sort of kept the above false assumption in check.  Thank God we didn’t completely go off the rails.

A discomforting imbalance hung in the air every Sunday when I walked into church.  I wondered if being a Christian was mainly about following rules, or was it mainly about trusting in God’s grace?  Both these ideas were taught–even simultaneously in the same sermon.  On some Sundays, I heard more of one than the other–usually about living as a “good Christian.”

Grace is for either seriously back-slidden Christians or for brand new born-again Christians who need Jesus.  The bit about following rules was for the rest of us Christians who weren’t in either of these two camps.

I don’t know if that sounds like something you experienced in your church experience.

For many, such laws are a part of one’s piety and spirituality:

  • Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.
  • Don’t swear or curse.
  • Don’t lie.
  • Don’t cheat.
  • Don’t steal….

Sound familiar?  Nothing wrong with these laws.  They’re in the bible and I believe we ought to memorize all Ten Commandments.  They ought to be rigorously taught in Sunday schools and catechism.

We took the commandments in the bible very seriously.  This is a good thing…. however, there can also be a missing link somewhere in our teachings.

If not properly taught, we can easily misunderstand sanctification as moral living or living as a “good Christian.”  In other words, sanctification becomes all about changing our own external behavioral so we can be “good Christians”.  Then, and only then, are we fully “worthy of Christ’s calling.”

If I didn’t live right one day or one week, I would feel guilty.  Guilt sucked!

I would have to go up for the next altar call after a firey sermon, otherwise, my eternal destiny would be at risk.

Western Christianity’s doctrine on grace tells us we are free from the law.  On the other hand, Confucianism reinforced the law. This is where it gets complicated in East Asian churches.

Christians like myself who have been raised in East Asian churches (e.g., Chinese or Korean churches) become geared to follow the law in order to prove we have been sanctified.  If you were raised in an East Asian church, you might likely know what I’m talking about.

I never thought of myself as potential material for college fellowship leader. I knew what they were looking for though.  Someone near perfection.  Some mistakes were allowed but not big ones.

Proving to the leaders and elders in the church that “I’m a good Christian” can become a pre-occupation.  So much so that it becomes one’s cross to bear.  To be considered potential material for future Sunday school teacher, or future youth group/fellowship leader depended on the right image one had to project to the deacons/elders/leaders.

I admit I was a college fellowship leader during my undergraduate days in university in Ottawa, Ontario.  I don’t know what they saw in me, or rather, what they did not see in me.  They probably didn’t see all the dark thoughts I had during the days I was not in church.

I can attest that when deacons were around, it felt like I was walking on eggshells.  My status as a spiritual leader would go up if I did not commit blunders.  It would depend on how my moral performance was that week.

If there were any misbehaviors and others witnessed it, it would not look good to the deacons.  We were spiritually accountable to the fellowship deacon.  If there was sin or sinful thoughts running through my head that week, well, then it was time for another confession or altar call to accept the Lord’s forgiveness.

This is the general feeling of many Christians–young and old.  If one could not prove their worthiness in Christ, he or she’d better straighten up, or leave the church or risk getting kicked-out of church.  It would depend on the degree of sin.  Minor infractions, medium, big, and seriously BIG sins that required deacon and pastoral intervention.

If you knew you couldn’t straighten up, then you’d rather voluntarily leave yourself than have the elder or pastor threaten your moral and social standing in the church.  To make your immorality public would be a huge shame in the Chinese church.

You wouldn’t want the church aunties and uncles talking about you.  They might never stop talking about you, or you’d never have your name and reputation cleared for years.  You’d almost be better off to disappear from church for years and hope they have amnesia.

By the time teenagers and youths became indepenent young adults, they had options. Without Mom or Dad around, they started making their own decisions about attending or not attending church.

Some thought their best option was to leave church.  Some left.  Leaving seemed like a viable option when you feel like a hopeless sinner and a moral loser.  For those of us who stayed in church, we saw those who left church as either smart or as losers.

If we admitted to ourselves how tough it was to live the good Christian life, we thought leavers were smart.  If we did not admit this to ourselves, we thought leavers were losers.

Now looking back, that really was a pathetic line of thought.  The theological and spiritual ramification of that was stark.  You’re either a good Christian or you weren’t.  Not much middle ground.  Middle ground was for luke-warm Christians.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I realized that this kind of thinking is actually the basis of works-righteous.  It sure seemed like a legitimate biblical teaching when it was nicely couched within the teachings on a graceful and loving God.

God’s grace was often held secondary to the necessity of following rules.  Rules were for the seasoned Christians.  As seasoned Christians, we got good at acting like “good Christians.”  The key word here is “acting”.  Many in the church were good actors.  If we were in the core of close-knit friendships, we saw the weaknesses.  You know… the occasional cursing and evil thoughts that crossed our mind.

Being seasoned in “the faith”, we knew what to show and what to hide.  What we could not hide, we had to blame others or accuse others of their failures to put ourselves in better light.  Looking back now, I’d say that was rather hideous.  For some of us who have not grown out of this game, I still see them acting, blaming or accusing.  They still want to be the seasoned players in the game of Church-ianity.

Baptism. If we were committed and baptized Christians, then we were really committed to following Christ.  To follow Christ meant to jump through all the religious hoops, cross all the T’s and dot the I’s.  If we lasted long enough in the religious game, we could teach Sunday school, or even make deacon or elder one day.

It might depend on who’s around.  It’s like a draft pick.  You have first round draft picks, then second round, third, and so on.  The more T’s you cross and I’s you dot, the better your chances of getting picked for deacon or elder, Sunday school teacher.

Confusion in Confucianized Christianity

Looking back now, I have realized that the downside to many of our East Asian churches.  Our ethnic culture is wrought with the philosophical baggage of Confucianism.  I’m not saying that Confucianism is a bad thing, but I won’t say that it’s totally a good thing either.  It’s a philosophy.

Confucianism was meant to be a philosophy and not a religion.  Like Marxism or free-market enterprise philosophies, Confucianism is another philosophy for living and for society.  Thus, it was okay to hold onto Confucianism and still be a bonafide Christian.

In China and East Asia, Confucianism worked to a certain extent.  It did create an orderly society.  But when you mix Confucianism with Christianity, you get a hybrid of some sort.  When you mix Confucianism with works-righteousness together, what do you get?  Confucianized Christianity.  Yes, sounds rather confusing.

I have recognized this breed or hybridized form was a different type of Christianity.  I’m not sure if you can call it pure Christianity, but the Christianity was still there.  One just has to wade through all the weeds to see it.

When you consider the two, they seem to fit nicely together, like hand-in-glove.  Both types of philosophies are very much based on following rules.

When a Chinese or Korean person newly converts to Christianity, it almost seems like a nice fit.  There isn’t a whole lot to change.  The only difference is the theology, but the requirement to follow rules flows seamlessly into the new religion.  The necessity to follow a set of rules is merely a continuation into one’s new religion.  Instead of the teachings of Buddha or Confucius, you’ve got the new teachings of Jesus.

Grace, however, comes into play when you accept Jesus for the first time.  Grace and forgiveness come as the initial terms of salvation.  After you’re saved, more rules will follow.  The works-righteousness type of Christianity becomes a life of following laws, rules and regulations.

I grew up in an Asian family.  Mom and Dad were traditional.  We were taught to respect our elders.  Disrespecting elders was a sin.  Shame on the family name was also a sin.  We were to work hard.  Make good grades in school and do our part to contribute to better society.  That made us a good human being.  To fail was to not know how to be a good human.

The Apostle Paul is the bearer of the light of Christ.  He saw the light on the road to Damascus.  He also saw how circumcision seriously messed up the pure approach to trusting in Jesus for righteousness.  I wonder what Paul would have to say about Confucius.  I also wonder what Confucius would have to say about Paul’s understanding of works-righteousness.

I didn’t realize how Confucian-based cultures can easily twist Paul’s teachings of grace into one of good works.  Chinese Christian churches tend to view grace through Confucianist lenses. We do it so naturally and so easily that we are not even aware of it ourselves.  This is why Chinese churches still struggle with “grace through faith.”

I didn’t realize this spiritual blindness until I got into seminary and began studying Lutheran theology.  I studied theology to enter into Church ministry to serve as a pastor.

About fifteen years later after undergrad studies, I would begin to sense God’s calling in my life.  Through prayer and a sense of God’s leading, I eventually enrolled into a small seminary.  It was here that I first learned about the theology of grace.  Perhaps more on this will come in a future post.

Anyway, second-generation Christians, like myself, who are locally born here (i.e., American-born Chinese or Chinese-born Canadians), occasionally receive a revelation.  Upon a visit to a mainstream non-ethnic church with our friends, we get a taste of how grace is understood and practiced by a non-Asian.

Ooooh.  Somehow, grace tasted different from how it’s practiced in my ethnic church.  It felt less law-oriented.  Less rules-based.  There is a feeling of more liberty and freedom and grace is truly practiced in the Christian life.  It sounded more like something that Jesus would teach and practice.

Example of Jesus healing the lame man at the pool in John ch. 5.  Jesus wanted to prove that sins can be forgiven. In effect, he was trying to convey the thought: “Your sins are forgiven.  And by the way, you are healed too.  So pick up your mat and walk… Now do you believe your sins are forgiven?  Do you need any more proof than this?”

As bible-believing Christians, we are called to trust in God’s grace for forgiveness of sins.  God’s mercy and grace endureth forever.  They’re supposed to endure forever anyway.  Now we got to see it practiced in people’s lives.  Grace looked, smelled, tasted and sounded different than how it was taught in my ethnic Chinese church.

Years later after seminary and after ordination into Ministry into Word and Sacrament, I realized that grace had nothing to do with the racial or ethnic makeup of the church.  Grace is not a western idea.  Rather, it had everything to do with right theology.

Today, this is the reason why I emphasize two big theological ideas in my life.  One, rightly dividing (distinguishing) Law and Gospel and two, Luther’s Theology of the Cross.

When second-generation Christians make the heart-wrenching decision to leave the ethnic church of our parents’, we do it because we have found a new openness of grace in the mainstream American church.

It starts when we will begin to notice a dichotomy between how the two cultures understand and apply grace.  We observe how people and fellow Christians treat one another.  They treat one another with love and respect because there is grace in their lives.  God’s grace becomes apparent when they feel a liberty and freedom in their spirituality.

We sense the fruit of grace first.  We feel liberty and freedom but we don’t know where it comes from.  Initially, we can’t pinpoint what it is.  Sometimes we mistake the freedom for laissez-faire (i.e., anything goes).  But no.  That’s not it.

When we finally realize that the spirit of freedom and liberty comes from grace, we will run to God for grace.  When we can’t identify where freedom and liberty comes from, we are still lost.  When we are lost in darkness, we can only resort to an artificial freedom.  This artificial freedom can only be had through redirecting our own failures onto other people.  How so?  Judging others, condemning attitudes, and by accusing others of their faults so we look better than them.

The Law works like a Mirror

Previously, there would be a heavy spirit of judgment, condemnation, and accusation.  This heavy spiritual atmosphere exists in ethnic Asian churches because of our own requirements we place on ourselves to follow rules and laws.  Rules can only sink a ship.  Rules do not lift us up out of danger.  Rules and our failure to obey the rules act only indicators of danger.  It warns us that we are sinking and need a life-raft.

Martin Luther taught that the Law was like a mirror.  We look at the Law like we look into a mirror and see our own sins.  When we notice our own sins and weakness and failures, we realize our need for a savior.  That is the full extent of the Law.  The Law and our following of the Law cannot save us.  The business of saving is the job and work of the gospel.  The forgiveness of sin is God’s gift or grace received by faith.  This is why we sometimes call it a “faith”.  The irony is that other religions do not necessarily place such a premium on faith.  They really value good works rather than faith.  True authentic Christianity is based on faith rather than works.

The ideas of “freedom from law” in western churches stands in stark contrast to the “duty to obey the law” in ethnic East Asian churches.

We will sometimes rebel against our own ethnic churches because we find it very stifling.  Sometimes, we might not even understand why we feel stifled in Chinese or Korean churches.  All we know is that somehow we just don’t feel comfortable.   We feel that we don’t measure up and never will.  We feel we are being judged at every turn.

As a result, we end up leaving the Asian church and end up going to mainstream churches outside our cultural/ethnic upbringing.

Sadly, there are others who end up leaving the Church entirely–perhaps never to return.  They might be those we grew up together with in Sunday school.  Sad.   They were the “spiritual losers” who couldn’t hack it.  They could not subject themselves to the continuous fakeness and inauthenticity of having to perform an act every Sunday.

Perhaps they were the smart ones who didn’t care to put on a show.  Kudos to them.  I applaud you for your desire for authenticity, and for your abhorrence for hypocrisy.  Thumbs up to you brothers and sisters.  Too bad the aunties and uncles just don’t get it.

These were the religious and spiritual casualties that arose as a result of our religionism. Their absence from the church still pains the hearts of Asian parents.

The irony is that they don’t understand why their left.  They might not ever come to understand the reason themselves.  Unless they come to truly understand the heart and soul that makes the “theology of grace” tick, they will not be able to see past their own dark corners in their religionism.  Dead religion can have such a grip on people’s hearts.  It can blind us.

Welcoming the Stranger

Many of the older generations of East Asian Christians have grown up with a Confucianized Christianity.  They cannot see the difference that grace makes.  They do experience joy when a non-believer comes to faith in Christ.  The call to salvation “Billy Graham style” is always has a dramatic effect on all believers.  They love to witness the salvation of a person’s soul, and the joy that Christ brings into one’s life.

The new birth of a non-believer is a rarity these days in our churches.  We do not witness a stranger walking into a strange church.  If a stranger were to actually do so, they might not know what to do with that stranger.

I remember a stranger walking into the church.  She was not Asian.  Not white or brown. Turns out she was Afro-Carribean.  I will never forget about her.  She came in with tears streaming down her face.  As a pastor, I offered her a seat and invited her to share.  As I listened and empathized as best I could, I could feel her heart open up and saw a smile come into her face.  Near the end of our conversation, I invited her to return on Sunday for a church service.  She did and returned to Sunday church numerous times. I considered her a faithful attendee.  She continued attending even after I left that church.

On these Sundays, I wondered what the older aunties and uncles were thinking when they saw her.  They likely didn’t know what to do with a person like her.  Should they say “hello”?  Do they try to make conversation with her and get to know her as a person?  I know she did try to connect with them, but I can’t say I know they tried to connect with her.

Were there questions running through their minds every time they saw her?  There certainly had to be many.  “Why is she here in our church?  Why don’t he or she attend a black church, or a brown church?  Wouldn’t he or she feel just a little uncomfortable coming to “our” church?  If so, then why is he/she still attending our ethnic church?  Wouldn’t she or he feel more comfortable in a church for their own kind?”

All kinds of judgmental thoughts run through our minds.  Is this supposed to be a true reflection of the kingdom of God?  We know it isn’t.  We also know there isn’t much we can do about it.  We cannot control how our elders feel or think.  If we spoke our mind, it would be disrespectful.  Disrespect is also a sin–perhaps a bigger sin.

I never asked this dear sister why she wasn’t attending a black church.  Some questions came to me years later.  I don’t know why I never got to ask her before.  I didn’t want to be too direct.  Did she previously try attending a black church but decided to leave?  Had she also experienced judgmentalism?  Were there also accusing hearts and eyes in her previous church?  Perhaps she had left and didn’t bother looking for another black church.  Perhaps she was already tired from the spiritual exhaustion of having to deal with the hypocrisy and judgmentalism.  Had she become a “leaver” never to return to her previous home church?  I would not be surprised if this was all an affirmative “Yes”.  Somehow, the Holy Spirit led her to our church and she decided to give this Chinese church a shot.

This is one of the types of challenge our second-generation experiences within the ethnic church.  There is not only a spiritual disconnect, but also a cultural disconnect.  We cannot truly be that American (or Canadian) church we wish we could be within the melting pot society we live in.

The Sickness of Hypocrisy

Churches are full of hypocrites.  Hypocrites exists in churches.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, all denominations, and they exists in all countries around the world.  Hypocrisy, sin of judgmentalism and accusation exists in every church.

A perfect church does not exists.   If anyone is on the lookout for a perfect church, they will never find one.  If they think they’ve found one, they should join it.  Once they join the church, it will no longer perfect. Upon inner deep self-reflection, they might realize they are also the source of the problem.  We are all sinners.

We are a sin-sick institution.  Each of us bring our own sickness and viruses.  It can spread into every nook, cranny and crevice inside the church.  The virus of our sin will never leave until one day when Christ returns to receive his church back home.  Then we will be forever redeemed in full. Until then, we will have to suffer with having to continually be redeemed and sanctified every day.

All human beings, Christian or not, are sinners.  All Christians are simultaneously a saint and a sinner.  This is one of the teachings taught by Martin Luther.  It’s a teaching that some of my fundamentalist / conservative evangelicals do not grasp.  The thought of being a sinner haunts the core of who they are.  Or rather, it scares the crap out of them because they cannot bare the thought they might have some sort of inner moral imperfection.

You see, when a Christian who functions in the realm of works-righteousness, they are in full-time denial that they are morally imperfect.  It is hard work having to try to put on “a show” to prove they are “worthy of their calling.”  To deal with this life is to constantly live in a confused state.

Living the holy life for God

none of us are ever free from following rules in this world.  As human beings, we have a duty to our fellow humanity to be a better human being, to better our society, and to love our neighbor.

Folks, I don’t mean to demean piety, or minimize holy living, and put down the righteous lifestyle.  Not at all!  We love God because He loved us first.  Piety and holiness are the result or expression of our love and devotion to God.  When we feel loved by God, we can be so moved by the love of the Counsellor that we desire to live holy lives for God.  Our devotion always comes out of God’s deep love for us.  If a person has never experienced the deep love of God in their lives, what reason would he or she have to live holy lives for God?  There would be no reason.

This is another reason why one’s desire to live a holy life for God is never a barometer of one’s personal righteousness or morality.  We are the ones who decide to live a holy life for God. It is not a duty but a desire out of personal conviction. God does not force anyone to live a holy life for God.  It is always a personal decision to commit to such a life of devotion.

As the sinful hypocrites we are, we like to make a show of our piety and devotion to God.  Why?  We think it shows the world our own righteousness.  The thing is, our piety has nothing to do with our own righteousness.  Righteousness can only be from God, and it is only God’s to give.  Therefore, to try to prove to others our own righteousness would make us liars.  It’s fake and inauthentic.

People despise others who are fake and inauthentic are liars. One of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not lie.”  It is so ironic that rules-based religionists want to follow the Law but they still end up breaking the commandment to not tell a lie.

Spiritually and emotionally tuned people can smell fakeness an inauthenticity from a mile away.  It doesn’t take a Christian to pick up on fakeness.  When I see it in others, I smirk and think to myself, “Why the fakeness?  Why put up your show.  It only shows the deep insecurity in yourself.  It glaring and super obvious.”

The solution, then, is to be genuine.  We ought to be real and genuine before God, then and only then, can God have a place in one’s heart to welcome his Spirit into one’s life.

Many Christians who grew up in Christian homes, myself included, value and cherish our Christian heritage.  We wish to pass on our Christian devotion down to our children, and to our children’s children.  We just don’t want to pass on the baggage that comes along with rules-based religionism.

A pre-occupation with following a set of laws and rules can be spiritually damaging.  It inadvertently gives young people the false impression that Christianity is first and foremost about following rules, laws, and regulations.  That is not what Christianity is about.  It is really about receiving God’s grace through faith.

This faulty theology, and as subtle as it is, can also exist in many other denominations (Roman Catholic, evangelical, Reformed, etc.).  God forbid, it can even exist in some of our precious ethnic Chinese Lutheran churches.

Why does faulty theology creep into the church?

Perhaps we feel insecure about having to fully trust in grace.  Why?  Grace is outside of our control. The gift of God’s grace is not within our control. Grace can only be a gift of God in Christ Jesus.

Yes, I know we hear this lingo spoken all the time.  It’s just that we don’t put “grace through faith” as the first priority in our Christian spirituality and practice.

We feel more in control when we can levy punishment and discipline on those who disobey the law.  This is a great temptation and the devil knows it.  An offer to control was what the devil used in order to tempt Jesus in the desert.

Example: I can discipline my child when he/she disobeys me or the household rules (e.g., not obeying curfew hours; playing too much video games; hitting another sibling or another kid; throwing temper-tantrums; etc.).

We like having the control.  We can levy punishment for social and civil disobedience because we feel it can curb bad behavior.  It’s positive punishment.

As a result of our rules-based Confucianized Christianity, Christians can seem like an intolerant bunch.  We judge a person first before offering forgiveness.  You know how mean cops will beat up the criminal or suspect first.  Second, get a confession out of him (false or true).  Third, forgiveness can come later or last.  But following rules come first.

I know the church has not done a good job at loving one another.  We put more faith in trying to correct one another’s behavior.

Please don’t misunderstand.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with following rules.  It’s just that being a Christian is not about following the law.  Being a Christian is not about living according to rules.

What?!!  No rules?  No this is not what I am saying. I know others who read this will still misinterpret what I am saying.  I am not saying forget about the rules.  Please keep reading.

Being a human being does require us to abide by laws, by good, fair and equitable laws.  It only helps to better society.  And yes, Confucius believed this too.  There!

The caveat to this is to understand that the following of rules and the law is NOT what makes one a Christian.

What makes a person a Christian is to trust in the grace of God for forgiveness of our sins.

What makes a person a Christian is not one’s rule-abiding behavior.  It simply cannot be in our ability to follow rules to the Tee.

Why not?

What if a Muslim, a Confucianist, a Buddhist, or a Hindu could follow laws just the same as Christians.  Would their following of rules make them a Christian too?

The answer is: … and I hope you agree… is “No.”

To make my point, what if a Muslim were to follow Christian biblical rules, would that then make a Muslim a Christian?

Beginning to sound like non-sense? I sure hope so. I hope you can see my point here.

The ONLY thing that defines a Christian is one’s trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins that comes through Christ.  It is totally about FAITH.  Faith is the ONLY thing that makes a person a Christian. Believing in the grace of God in Christ Jesus is the only thing that makes one a believer.  It is not behavior that makes one a believer.

Some of my fundamentalist or conservative evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ have been in-grained with the wrong teachings. I also was at one point in my life.

This false belief and false doctrine can weaken one’s genuine faith.  It can also lead to a worst thing–a total collapse of one’s faith in Jesus.

How so?  Take for instance, when a Christian witnesses a non-Christian behaving morally better than a Christian.  What can happen?  Doubt can set in.

I have heard this many times.  “That non-believer…or my Hindu friend, or Muslim friend behaves better than a Christian.” If it is behavior that defines a Christian, then we are not trusting in faith.  We are trusting in behavior.

We have planted our own seeds of doubt.  It causes a false belief.  When that false belief germinates and grows, the spiritual result can only be disastrous.

We become disappointed in ourselves and other Christian for not being able to hold to “good Christian” behavior.  Doubt sets in.  Disappointment in Christianity sets in.  This can easily lead to loss of faith and possibly agnosticism or even atheism.  It’s no wonder we have so many casualties, and that our churches are slowly emptying out.

I know this is a lot to take in.  From the surface, it does’t seem possible that this false doctrine of works-righteousness can lead to atheism or loss of faith.

I have thought long and hard about this.  I believe this false doctrine in our evangelical churches has contributed to the loss of faith.

I also believe that the loss of many of our young people, and even generations of young people, have caused a decline in the wider universal/catholic church.

The great temptation is to believe more in following rules than we do believing in God’s grace.  What, then, is grace for?  And how is grace to be applied in our Christian walk?

Answer is: there would not be any further use for grace. Why bother trusting in grace when we can trust in good human behavior?

If we trust more in humanity’s good behavior, good behavior then becomes our salvation. Good behavior becomes the measuring stick that determines who is a “good Christian.”

You know what?  Humanism precisely takes this very idea, except with a different twist.  Humanism absolutely believes in the potential of human beings ability to be perfect.  Perfection in the human is the ultimate goal.  We aren’t there yet so we have to keep trying and working to perfect ourselves as human beings and as “good human beings.”  This is pure New Age philosophy.

In a funny way, we have become the Star Trek generation of Christendom.  Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, would have been pleased where the evangelical church has come.  We have gone “where no one has gone before.” We are trying to be better human beings through good works.

Belief and faith is more challenging to the average person.  I know that.  There is no real way to measure faith.  We cannot see faith. It is not visible.  Hebrews 11:1 says:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)

We’ve been trained to trust that one’s actions speak louder than words.  We are more willing to believe that we can trust one’s behavior becasue faith is something we cannot see.

We fail to trust that one’s actions can be true indicators of one’s faith.  It is, and it isn’t.  From a human level, yes, it’s true.  But in terms of the gospel, it’s cannot be true.

As a result of our doubt concerning faith alone, the only thing we can trust then, will be one’s right actions and behavior.  Human actions and behaviors are so very fleeting.  It comes and goes when it pleases. When we are having a good week or good day, we manage to perform well.

When we’re having a tough day or a tough week, or it’s stressful, we might not do so well.  When we know we haven’t performed up to standard.  We can either hide our failures and behave hypocritically.  Or we can accuse others of performing below par in order to make ourselves look better.  There is no way out of this predicament.  It is a predicament of shame and guilt.

It is no wonder we have such a difficult time with Paul’s doctrine of “grace through faith.”  We have a hard time grasping the full impact of this doctrine, especially when we have to look through our lenses of works-righteousness.

God help the Church!  We ought to pray for our churches, our congregations and parishes.  We have to pray for repentance because we have fallen for fables and false doctrines.

To us who’ve been enlightened by the doctrines of grace, may our desire to live rightly continue to come as a result of God’s love poured out into us. It is about having faith alone in Christ, and trusting that in Christ alone, through God’s grace alone,  God will make us pure, righteous and sanctified.

I know that has been a long blog post.  Thanks for taking the time to read up to the end.

+Grace to you my friends.

Seniors in poverty

17 Best Homeless Quotes on Pinterest | Helping others quotes, Homeless housing and Poverty quotes

Stealing and petty offenses are a no-no.  It’s the same, whether it’s here in Canada, the U.S. or in Japan.   In Japan, they are experiencing an increase in older people committing offences. It’s an elderly crime wave by grandpas and grandmas.  It is sad.

Here’s the irony.  These seniors want to go to jail. The reason: they are reaching pensionable age and running out of money. They are choosing to live in jail because it’s free. Free food. Free housing.

A rational senior might easily think: “Well, why not?  Better to live in the comforts of a jail than starve on the streets.” Sounds rational to me too.

One senior said, “I reached pension age and then I ran out of money. So it occurred to me – perhaps I could live for free if I lived in jail,” he says….”So I took a bicycle and rode it to the police station and told the guy there: ‘Look, I took this.’

This is sad. In traditional Asian-Japanese culture, the children will take care of the parents. They are three or even four generation households.  But when there is a break-down in families and in society, people get left behind.

Seniors behind bars in Japan

These seniors committing small petty offences do not intend to do any physical harm.  This BBC article: “Why Some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail” interviewed some seniors:

“Small, slender, and with a tendency to giggle, Toshio looks nothing like a habitual criminal, much less someone who’d threaten women with knives. But after he was released from his first sentence, that’s exactly what he did.

“I went to a park and just threatened them. I wasn’t intending to do any harm. I just showed the knife to them hoping one of them would call the police. One did.”

Altogether, Toshio has spent half of the last eight years in jail.

I ask him if he likes being in prison, and he points out an additional financial upside – his pension continues to be paid even while he’s inside.

“It’s not that I like it but I can stay there for free,” he says. “And when I get out I have saved some money. So it is not that painful.”

Japan is a law-abiding society.  Crime happens rarely in this Confucion-oriented country.  You can leave a phone or a wallet on a subway and likely, no one will steal it. They will return it to someone at the office for lost & found.  The BBC article stated:

“In 1997 this age group accounted for about one in 20 convictions but 20 years later the figure had grown to more than one in five – a rate that far outstrips the growth of the over-65s as a proportion of the population (though they now make up more than a quarter of the total).”

A confucianist culture like Japan would not dream of levying harsh punish upon their elders for this kind of crime.  Confucian stated:

The Duke of Sheh told Confucius: In my land, there are just men.

If a father steals a sheep, the son will testify against him.

Confucius said: The just men in my land are different from this.

The father conceals the wrongs of his son, and the son conceals the wrongs of his father.  This is justice.

https://quakergirl.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/jesus_helping_the_poor_jpg-magnum.jpgIn this Asian shame-based culture, the punishment for such a crime will not be huge.  The bigger shame in this for Japanese people will be the inability to support their own senior citizens.

The birthrate in Japan has declined such that the younger generation will not be able to support the public pension plans of the older generations.

It is already happening in South Korea. China will be in a similar situation in the very near future.  There is a shameful thing going on with Bucchus ladies (granny prostitution) in Asia and South Korea.  It is invisible and can exists in cultures where younger generations are supposed to take care of the older generations (read article here).

North America and Europe will also come to similar predicament. Is there anything else we can do to support our senior’s public pension plans?  Increase taxes? Not without a lot of push-back from our hard working tax-paying citizens.

If our birthrates do not increase, do we increase our immigration rates in order to sustain a steady base of tax contributors?  Here in Canada, we are already doing this.  Many countries are also doing the same.

Compassion and capitalism must go hand-in-hand in order for society to function well.  This is where the Church and Christians can make a difference.  We need not turn to socialism, as I said in my previous post on socialism.  It must not be an option.  As a society, we must take action to take care of our seniors, our mentally ill, and our vulnerable who need our care.

Diversity of conservative supporters rising

When I was still a young university student, I thought of myself as a liberal. I was told I was a liberal. I even volunteered for a Liberal candidate in a federal election. Why? I thought of myself as open-minded. I still do. Education in secular liberal universities today have a way of brain-washing young and pliable minds into thinking that being liberal is good, and conservativism is bad.

As a national election drew closer and I was of voting age. I began to critically examine the various party platforms of all political parties. As a young person, I wanted to be a well-informed voter. I wanted to my vote according to my conscience.  To my surprise, I began to realize that my political leanings were more in line with conservatism. Needless to say, I had stopped volunteering for  liberal candidates and began volunteering for conservatives.

I began listening to conservative talk-shows.  I found that I could relate with them on many issues. I found myself agreeing with much of what they were saying.  They just sounded like common sense.

Oh, and the idea that visible minorities are supposed to be liberal? Lies, lies, and more lies.  I didn’t buy it.  Conservatism has nothing to do with what race, ethnicity or gender you are. Liberals love taking advantage of people by dividing society by race. In the end, this causes more division.  Conservatism exists around the world. There are conservative political movements in Asia, Africa, and in all countries around the world.

I’m of Chinese-Canadian descent. My parents came from China over 60 years ago. I was told that if you’re Asian, you were supposed to vote for the Liberal Party or New Democrats and to vote Conservative meant you were a traitor to your culture and race. Liberals take race or culture for granted.  It has gone on for too long.

For years, I thought I was the only Asian conservative. Good news. Things are changing. More conservatives today self-identify as East Asian, South Asian, Latino, or African-American. The tide has turned and it will continue on this track.

Today, over 25% or more of African Americans are supporting Trump. Clout Research put this figure even higher at 40-45% (read WND article here).  This figure could continue to grow.

The election results from election day 2018 does not reflect this change in attitude. Anything related to Trump news does not reflect the change either.  This change is an undercurrent and will rise up strong in the future.

The Blexit movement (Black exit from the Democratic Party) is slowly gaining ground. More Hispanic, Blacks and Asians are moving over to support the Republican Party.

Visible minorities, women and marginal groups are increasingly getting tired of hearing that the left has the only solution.

The younger generation, namely the Millennials, are also turning toward Republicans (read L.A. Times article). They are not buying into the leftist agenda. The Millenials of today are more conservative than Baby Boomers and Generation-X were at their age. They know there is something dishonest about CNN and friends and that their reporting is biased.

Liberals and Democrats have been holding onto political power based on the visible minority vote. They have been using fear-mongering techniques to get the vote. They divide society using race, culture, ethnicity, gender, income, sexual orientation, and etc. W?hen will they stop

They try to tell us ‘what’ to think. No one can tell us how to think.  They tell minorities that we are oppressed and that they are going to fight for us. They tell us that the best way to fight is for us to side with them. It’s a lie and a facade.  What they want is control.  They will try to own us by buying us out by handing out candy.  It is about control and winning.

When I was younger,  I was fed a lie all throughout my university years. Today, the liberal agenda is taught in many classes throughout the humanities and social sciences.  Classrooms are a training ground for indoctrination into a liberal agenda.

When we turn against the left, they get angry.  They think they own us.  Why do liberals and left hate Kanye West?   They thought he was one of them.  They can’t control him.  He’s a self-declared conservative and he is vocal about it.  He’s a big Donald Trump supporter.

If there are any liberal youth and young people out there who happen to be reading this post, I implore you to honestly do what I did. Examine the party policies of each party.  Honestly ask yourself how your personal views align with the policies of each political party. Some of you might be surprised at what you discover.

The ‘Fake News’ label is unshakable

The “Fake News” label cannot be shaken off by the mainstream liberal media. Why?  Because it’s true.  CNN is what it is… fake news.  President Donald Trump didn’t plant this in the minds of the American public when he started running for president. Conservatives had already known this for decades.  The only thing he did was say it out loud.

He had the guts to say what most of us wouldn’t say in the public sphere.  Well, that is the authentic Donald Trump, and that’s what gives him the charisma and charm that people find attractive.   What you see is what you get.  He says what he means and he means what he says.  There aren’t many politicians out there who can do this with the charisma and the level of charm he’s done it with.  This is what the liberal media is afraid of.  He is a dangerous threat to their game.

A growing number of people, including visible minorities, women, including marginal groups, are finding that what he is saying resonates with how they are feeling.  They agree with much of what he is saying.  Expressing what he is saying takes courage and boldness to express opinions that have been suppressed for years.  There has been a suppression because of the overly ambitious political-correctness in our society.

The mainstream liberal news media has been biased against conservatives for decades but had been pretending to be sources of unbiased and honest journalism.  They have willfully neglected coverage of conservative issues for decades, and deny they have been doing this.

But how many of us would be willing to come out and make that accusation against the liberal mainstream media?  Not many.   Not until Donald Trump.

A recent article in the First Things Journal, The Future of News, Les Sillars writes:

“The industry is therefore torn. A minority embraces subjectivity as the only realistic approach. The majority clings to journalistic objectivity as an ideal, hoping to preserve their credibility—but they are losing it. A recent Knight Foundation/­Gallup poll on media, trust, and democracy found that more than four-fifths of Americans believe the news media are “critical” or “very important” for “providing objective news reports.” But only 30 percent of Americans agree that the media do this well, and 40 percent say they do it poorly. More than half could not identify even one “objective” news source. Those who could picked Fox News nearly twice as often as any other source.”

I would absolutely agree with this. I have been very suspicious of CNN and CNBC for a long time. All I ever hear from them is anti-conservativism. Since Trump ran for president, it’s been all anti-Trump. They never give him any credit for anything good. They seek to discredit him at every turn. They see him as the arch-enemy worthy of absolute humiliation and dishonor. What kind of credible media would be so blatantly biased? Yes, CNN and friends.

This is why you never hear of any calls from liberal media sources to put a stop on the Mueller investigation. They want to investigate Trump until he either slips up, crumbles or implodes. They’re happy to indict people surrounding him just to discredit his Administration.

I’m a conservative. I don’t pretend to be otherwise either. Yes, I admit, Trump can behave like a bully. He is undeniably tough against his political opponents—even against his fellow Republicans. Honestly, if I was his opponent in the same party, I would not want to step into the boxing ring with him. I wouldn’t stand a chance of doing battle with this guy for even one second.

Trump knows it’s all a game the media and political opponents are playing. He’s been playing the political game all his life in the business world. He’s had a lot of practice.  Media like MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, etc. hate the fact that’s he knows the game very well and he knows that they know.

Trump used Twitter and he was able to beat them at their own game. He got elected President, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. They are still furious at their loss, even after two years.

The liberal media have been fraudulent liars for decades. They sound more like an extension of the Democratic Party than an honest journalistic source of truth.  The reason I say that their label of “fake news” is unshakable is that they don’t want to change.  The liberal mainstream media is politically polarized against the majority of people.

Don’t be deceived. They will not change. They have been indoctrinated by secular liberal socialist education. They are also funded and run by owners at the top who hold to the same worldview.  There is an agenda from the top.  Perhaps there are a few who recognize their own bias and unfair reporting.  They are few and far between.

If the liberal media continue with their lies, and claim of providing objective and honest reporting, they are only deceiving themselves and the public. Consequently, they will garner more distrust for themselves.

I admit Fox has their own bias too. I do not label Fox as mainstream. I label Fox as a trusted “conservative media”.  Fox is a conservative news network, undeniably and unashamedly. They back up their sources.  I trust and watch Fox but I also watch other news sources.

To people out there who never listen to Fox News, and who believe CNN to be unbiased, I challenge you to compare networks. Take some time to flip channels from CNN, to Fox, to MSNBC, back to Fox.  Analyze each one and tell me if CNN is not unbiased. If a person never compares, they will never understand.

CNN has repeatedly been caught in yellow (false) journalism because they do not back up their sources. This goes against the code of truth in journalism. They feign ‘source confidentiality’ and continue telling white lies and half lies.  The irony is that their half-baked lies are actually full blatant lies.   They never apologize for their mistakes.  They even justify their errors to cover up their previous errors.

They’ve been repeatedly caught red-handed telling half-baked lies after the original sources came out to reveal the facts.  Simple fact.  Fake news is fake news.  There is no escaping it.  Brands like CNN, MSNBC will be permanently branded as “Fake News” unless they change fast.

There is a level of pride and hypocrisy in CNN’s reporting (or propaganda rather). CNN and friends behave like they do not care about reporting the truth. As long as they can discredit Trump and bring down conservatives a few notches, they’ve done their good deed for the day.  They will do the same thing, day-in and day-out, non-stop.

The liberal media is just garnering more distrust for themselves each day. Seems like a hopeless case in the mainstream news media today. We cannot fix this problem overnight.

If you’re interested in becoming a journalist, I would suggest getting a proper education.  Go to a conservative journalism school (Yes, conservative).  We need to counter-balance the one-sided messed-up media.  Get a job as a journalist at some liberal media if they’re willing to hire you… or at Fox and friends… or become part of a start-up news media organization.

Influence the mainstream media one journalist at a time. As conservatives, we need to take small incremental steps to make positive changes. It will take decades to reverse this leftist media-bias.  This mess didn’t happen overnight and it will not be reversed overnight either.