Two Perspectives on Lying

Imagine getting knocks on your door one evening when you aren’t expecting guests. You open the door to see a wild-eyed and dishevelled figure staring at you through the gate. It’s a friend of yours and from the frantic words sputtering out of him you discover he’s being pursued. He was attacked outside his residence but managed to give his assailant the slip. Now he wants to seek refuge in your apartment while the police are called in. You quickly let him in and get him settled in the guest room. Soon after doing so, you hear ominous raps against your door. This time, you open the door to an angry person brandishing a pistol and demanding to know your friend’s whereabouts. You figure he’s your friend’s assailant. What do you do? Continue reading “Two Perspectives on Lying”

COVID-19 and Civil Disobedience

Should churches defy governmental restrictions on religious gatherings in this current COVID-19 pandemic? In the past month, a prominent and well-respected pastor of a Los Angeles megachurch repeatedly defied state and county orders by resuming indoor services. After having suspended services for four months, John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church reopened its doors to “six or seven thousand” congregants (according to him), despite Los Angeles County requiring churches to limit indoor gatherings to 100 people or 25% of the building’s capacity, whichever is lower. Photos of the church’s services showed packed halls with no physical distancing and few face masks. In one service, MacArthur was greeted with roaring rapturous applause when he opened his sermon with these words: “Good morning everyone, I’m so happy to welcome you to the Grace Community Church peaceful protest.” Continue reading “COVID-19 and Civil Disobedience”

A Different Kind of Politics

Does the church have anything to do with politics? I remember coming across an article by a local church leader on the internet which emphatically answered that question in the negative. This was more than fifteen years ago when I was just a curious young Christian trying to make sense of my faith. While I couldn’t remember anything else about that article, I remember happily accepting that conclusion, convinced Christianity was apolitical and concerned primarily about the salvation of souls. The only problem was that the New Testament seems to be in disagreement. Continue reading “A Different Kind of Politics”

No Body, No Communion

Since the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced the suspension of all religious services and congregations in Singapore on the 24th of March, Christians found themselves unable to assemble for Sunday services in their churches. This is an unprecedented situation for the churches in Singapore and has led many church leaders to take their services online so that some semblance of church life may continue. Services are now either recorded beforehand and put online for viewing on Sundays or are live streamed from the homes of church leaders. Naturally, the problem of having Holy Communion crops up: is it possible to administer this sacrament online as well? Continue reading “No Body, No Communion”

The King of The World

While I was trying to learn more about ancient Assyria on the internet, I chanced upon reports of a fascinating exhibit that was on display in the British Museum last year. The exhibit centred around the Neo-Assyrian King Ashurbanipal who ruled the Assyrian Empire from 668 to 627 BC. It featured numerous artefacts from his royal palace in Nineveh, Iraq (near modern-day Mosul). He was the grandson of the king Sennacherib who attempted to invade Judah during King Hezekiah’s reign (2 Kings 18-9). Continue reading “The King of The World”