Missions in China

We (Cadence and I) have returned to HK finally, and we will be staying here for a longer period now (I am contracted to stay in Hong Kong between now and Sept 2011) unless God wills us to step outside of our legal training!  It’s been an exciting journey in Qinghai, and to those who have been on the mailing list, you have been witnessing what God has been doing in our lives over there as well.

I have done a short update summarising our time spent in Beijing (from August to December ’08), and here are a few highlights, specific things we have both learnt during our time in Xining, Qinghai:

1.  Spiritual Warfare and the spirit of fear

It is easy to over-spiritualise everything, but perhaps easier to do the opposite in Hong Kong.  During our time in Xining we have heard about the darkest depths of Tibetan Buddhism alongside cultural Islam (as many of Hui Chinese tribe are “born” as Muslims, similar to many Indonesians, Malaysians and Arabs today).  There is much spirit of fear which debilitates the love, power, and finally sound mind of the Christian (2 Timothy 1:7) which needs much corporate prayer for.

This has helped me realise a lot of the spiritual warfare present in Hong Kong which a majority of the Christians do not realise (save the majority of charismatics and Pentecostals here who go to the opposite extreme and need to restrain themselves by the qualification of the Word).  Materialism may only be a surface symptom, but once we dig deeper we soon realise that there is a lot of idolatrous hurt and abuse in the young lives of many of these business professionals of the middle class here, let alone the grassroot who need equal attention (to which I will turn to in my fourth point, the Mercy Ministries).

We have had the blessings of Phi and Beck who are full-time missionaries there and who need a lot of your prayers and support too.  They literally face death on a regular basis, and working with them has opened my eyes in so many aspects, and helped me understand that “heroes” like Brother Yun (author of the Heavenly Man) and the like need to persist in faith otherwise they will only be seen as Christian “one-hit-wonders” (from what I heard, Brother Yun no longer has the same reputation he once had back in China – I will save that for another time).

One thing I had always been curious about is the gift of tongues, prophecy and healing, which Phi and Beck are very much involved in.  I asked them to give Cadence and me those gifts, but Phi said that we need the Baptism of the Spirit for that (see Acts 8 comparison between a believer’s baptism of the Spirit and Simon the Magician’s attempt at ‘purchasing’ this baptism).  If you know me, you probably know that I have been spiritually brought up (in my even younger Christian days) in a number of charismatic (in all meanings of that description) churches so I am far far away from the cessationist nonsense.  However, I have never really indulged myself in miracles and wonders because I have struggled more with the teachings of the Old Testament; but I am glad to have met Phil and Becky because much of the spiritual warfare they face in Tibet is far more dangerous than merely doctrinal indifference – many of their work involve exorcism and the such which a Spirit-led sermon will not necessarily suffice.

By no means are they the type of Christians who say that “those who don’t speak in tongues” are not Christians – rather, they fully believe that those who do not desire these gifts and filling of the Spirit are grieving the Spirit.  On that note, I heartily agreed – and we were, in that definition of “baptism of the Spirit”, prayed over and laid hands on (Cadence was specifically anointed for the casting out of the spirit of fear).  So I hope you may pray for us, that we may begin to receive these gifts as a result of further baptism of the Spirit (on top of the indwelling Spirit as a deposit of salvation) so that our ministry may flourish in unimaginable ways to serve Christ’s body in Hong Kong!

2.  Theology and Division

We led three conferences which covered topics of homiletics, Old Testament hermeneutics (through the Tabernacle) and the reality of new creation in helping us evangelise.  We started off with a bit of anxiety because we felt too young to be given such a position of responsibility (both of us are 23 yrs old now, and most of the full-time workers we taught were averaging 50 yrs old).  Although we were given Billy Graham’s materials (so it seemed like we only needed to regurgitate what someone else wrote), I felt strongly against it and edited over half of it so it would be more Word-based and more Christ (rather than self) glorifying.  The materials were called “Bible-School in a Briefcase”, which I actually thought was very good but needed some further clarifications, and it is akin to using seminary materials but not in official seminaries.

As it turns out, Phi shared with us (only two days ago) that during our first conference, we had already faced some ‘opposition’ per se.  Some of the workers went up to him and was questioning our ability to lead, and Phi replied that God was using us, and he trusted that He will continue to use us despite our age.  By His grace and leading, we spoke without fear and we were equally blessed by that.  We realise that we are young people in the world’s eyes, but equipped with the humility of Christ we have learnt even more so that God will equip us despite the unlikelihood of our usefulness in any situation.

Furthermore, the theology of the people (in general) are quite good in Xining.  Many of the foreigners preach Christ crucified, and it so happens that the western philosophies (of the Enlightenment) have not influenced the mindset of the local Christians here.  There is much respect and love when disagreements occur, nothing like the theological debates of the west (in general) – and the immediacy of the spiritual warfare mentioned above enables a lot of caution when theological discussion does occur.  However, at the same time I feel that there still needs to be good teachers to clarify many deeper issues of Scripture.  There is no mistake that the Christians there are full-to-the-brim with passion, ready to preach Christ crucified to the Tibetan Lama or monk next-door, but discipleship and long-term missions seem not to be the local Chinese’s forte.  In many ways, this looks like the symptom of the early church back in the days of Rome and Constantinople, without the intellectual snobbery.

To dwell on this point further, I’ve noticed a lot about the church model here.  There are attempts for a western church model to be imposed in China (what the government calls the “Three Self Church”), but I think these are largely unsuitable for China, because the true church is simply a community of Christians who understand Christ’s love for them and love Him in return.  In this sense, the House Church model is far more effective, despite its illegality, and I’ve seen how the people in these groups are far more convicted by the Spirit than the western model.  This has shed a lot of light on missiology in Hong Kong, because I’m quite certain that for certain people whom I evangelise to, the Island ECC (the church I attend in Hong Kong) model, whether cultural or language barrier, is unsuitable for the poor, the grassroot, and the sort.  Why?  Not because the gospel isn’t preached there – but there is largely a cultural shift to be comprehended if one was to attend Island ECC, which seems more “American” than “multi-cultural” – and this therefore creates more unnecessary barriers between a man and God if man-made culture/tradition becomes a buffer.  For one, I’m not sure whether my Hindu, Pakistani and Muslim friends would be comfortable being there, if the majority of the congregation is yellow-skinned middle-class Chinese, in which case I’m more than comfortable to introduce them to another congregation which is more fitting and preaches the gospel without imposing Americanism at the same time.  A book which one of the missionaries there recommended me is “Searching for the Indigenous Church” which speaks on the topic of church-planting in these types of regions in more depth.  Hope to get my hands on that someday.

As for the issues of division, this is the greatest temptation of the missionary groups there.  Satan wants us to go through the “me-first” mentality, to create a rift between the WYA- and other teams (who shall remain anonymous!) because each have the temptation of being the “first-pioneers” of lifting the banner of Christ in an “unreached region” (though of course they are ‘reached’ in the sense of God’s creation proclaiming the gospel even by the sun and the moon!).  Much prayer is needed for these groups!

3.  Mercy Ministries

One of the personal struggles I have always had is how to approach the grassroot, the poor, the mentally/physically disabled – and this trip has more or less solved that struggle.  I used to pass by people in Hong Kong (beggars) who ask for money, and my first thought is that they are there to dupe “my” money; alternatively, I would kid myself into thinking that because by merely giving money, I am supporting philanthropy without the gospel.  However, one of the missionaries there, Hugh, shared that no beggar (whether duping or not) would have ever dreamed of being a beggar as a profession.  The common saying, “beggars can’t be choosers” more or less applies to their life situation.  This is the same for the mentally ill who I worked with during my time in the children and social welfare centres.  However, these are the very people whom we should serve, and it is always difficult to reconcile the difference between the wealthy churches in Hong Kong and the still-rampant pockets of poverty even in the corners of Central (one of the richest busienss areas of Hong Kong).  In fact, there have already been various opportunities where we bought food to feed the poor on the streets and still have time to tell them about Jesus Christ.  They live to hear more of the gospel another day!

Phi has helped me get in touch with a local ministry called “Jubilee” – which I think is humour on our Father’s part because this blog (though in English, it is “The Sent One”) is actually called “Jubilee” (in the Hebrew on the top right corner of the blog).  Jubilee is the national rest which Israel experiences every fifty years, as a type of the rest we will receive in New Creation, and there is now no way I am going to pass up a chance like being involved with that!

4.  Time Management and Finances

Finally, being in a small city like Xining (with not much to do in the winter season!) our lives have been stripped to the bare minimum and how much we realise that we can survive on so little!  We had planned to spend around $20,000 HKD in Xining over 7 weeks (inclusive of air ticket back and forth; train ticket from Guangzhou; monthly rent of the hostel prices; food, transport, etc) – and we have each spent less than $8,000 HKD altogether ($8,000 HKD = around 650-700 GBP!), which fulfills the promise that Christians can give back if the LORD wills (Proverbs 22:7).

It so happens that Hong Kong Christians (esp. in my particular social group) are poor with handling money (when we speak of the proportion to what they earn, despite hearing about the millions and millions being thrown at building church infrastructure but not for missions!).  It is a phenomenon in most western churches, and it couldn’t come at a more suitable time that Cadence and I are going through Randy Alcorn’s “Money, Possessions & Eternity”. We are convicted that the way we spend our money, and the way we spend time with the grassroot and people in general will open up various opportunities for the gospel which we have not envisaged before in Hong Kong, which I had considered a near-dead city, and now it seems like doors are opening everywhere!

Those are our thoughts since returning, and we hope this fervour isn’t going to be temporary but will take root in our hearts and bear much God-glorifying fruit!

Resources Update

As for some miscellaneous updates, some stuff which I worked on in my free time, I added a little section on “Church Fathers” (a new page on my blog) as well as finalising my notes on Deuteronomy and ready to re-start my blog-commentaries from Joshua onwards, and hopefully sometime before I start work.  Please keep those four points I mentioned in this blog in your prayers, and be sure to listen to the Holy Spirit if He is leading you to come to China as well!

There are two sites in particular I hope to bring your attention to – first is www.bloglines.com, which I mentioned in my Beijing summary-update.  This site is wonderful for our brothers and sisters in China, because WordPress.com is censored up there.  I’ve been capable of reading many blogs from WordPress because I subscribed to the RSS feed through www.bloglines.com.  Please consider putting this site on your bloglines account if you travel up to China, so you can read my blog entries when you’re up there!

Secondly is our update blog at http://hosannainexcelsius.blogspot.com.  “Hosanna in Excelsius” will be the primary place where we update our ministries (hopefully on a monthly or bi-weekly basis?), whereas this site is for developing thoughts on theology and Bible commentary.  It is invite-only, so if you want to read it, please leave a comment or write me an email.  Thanks!

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Missions in China

11 thoughts on “Missions in China

  1. Jim says:

    You people are quite twisted! The “darkest depths of Tibetan Buddhism”? Leave the Tibetans alone!!! You do as much or more damage than the ChiComs. Stay at home, save your money and perhaps you’ll somehow manage to save yourselves. You are a perfect example of the darkest depths of fundamental Christianity. You do good Christians and responsible Christianity a great disservice. What gives you the right to condemn another religion? Another culture? What destructive arrogance! Stay home and use that money you saved in Xining to find yourself a good therapist. The world doesn’t need anymore low-browed extremists. And the Tibetans surely don’t need anyone saving them. They are an immensely religious and tolerant people. That they put up with the likes of you speaks to that!

  2. Jacky says:

    Jim,

    Thanks for coming to this site and voicing your views – this fully agrees with the fundamental aim of blogs and your honesty is truly respected. Though you may be honest, it does not mean that you are not mistaken.

    During my time in Xining I have met and spoken with Tibetan Buddhists. One actually stayed at my friend and neighbour’s place, a Christian who provided him a home due to the fact that he was begging in the Xining Train Station because the Tibetan Lamas have treated him anything but human. He has increasingly embraced the love of Christ through my brother who served this Tibetan Buddhist (who shall remain unnamed for the sake of privacy/respect/sensitivity). These cases of Tibetan Buddhists are widespread in Xining.

    Since you managed to write a reply, chances are you aren’t writing from China – perhaps you have met some Tibetan Buddhists, but let me tell you that many ex-Tibetan Buddhists and Tibetan Lamas for the matter live a double life to how the media and politics portray them to be. In fact, that is very much the same with any religion – sugar-coated but ultimately a lot of dark secrets within the human traditions. Thank goodness that Christians have a relationship with the living God – religion can stay in the dark corners of human fallenness. Contrarily, when we speak of Tibetan Buddhists, sadly their situation is very different in the higher echelons of their own ranks.

    In any case, if you have been following this site, you would have probably realised that Christ is our only God – everyone, not just Tibetan Buddhists need salvation. Whom we speak to, whom we evangelise to, are free to receive our money. In fact, many Tibetan Buddhists take our money because that is the mode of Buddhist survival – there is no shame in taking money, since there is no concept of “Me” or “Mine” (thus the money we give is not, in their point of view, ours anyway – it is just dead matter to be circulated from one hand to another). However, what you have basically asked me to do is to not love them; but they could care less whether we are tolerant or not when we give them money. The calling of the Christian is to show them that true love is found outside of Tibetan Buddhism which, after initiation (as a Lama especially), follows steps and procedures which are hardly publicised – to the points of modern dark magic. What you may know as “Tibetan Buddhists” are most likely people who are practising something else entirely, and are not spiritually involved as the Lamas and the Tibetan Buddhists in Xining (you should probably be reminded that Tibetan Buddhism is different from the other Great and Small Vehicles and denominations of Buddhism as you witness elsewhere in China, Japan, Hong Kong, India, and even Thailand for the matter – what Dalai preaches is very different from what Gautama spoke of). Thought you should realise the differences even amongst Buddhist ranks and denominations before you generalise all Tibetan Buddhists as “tolerant people” (many are not!), let alone accurately classify all Tibetan Buddhists as what you have personally experienced them to be (or read/watched them to be through the news/media or hearsay). Immense religiosity, as you’ve noticed, has nothing to do with our God who despises religion, so that I would have never considered a good quality anyway!

    Now, if we get that out of the way, I’d like for you to explain what you mean by “doing a disservice to Christianity”? You threw out some pretty big unfounded statements, such as “ChiCom”, “Christianity” and that sort. If you have time, I’d be happy to discuss with you over it (here or elsewhere – your choice) because my post primarily concerns Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet and Xining. If you have been there for a period of time, then it’d be great to share our different views. Are you from Asia, or are you from other parts of the West? I’ve met a fair share of PLA, ChiCom (both presently and previously PLA’s/ChiCom’s) and “Christians” – but I’m afraid none of them match your assumed description of them, even compared to the worst born-again Christian. If this comment has come to the point of defending the moral character of the PLA and ChiCom, then I’m afraid that there is a lot of explaining need to be done, because I’m telling you that the PLA and ChiCom in reality are not nearly as morally defunct as some Tibetan Buddhists in the area (just to clarify for you that the analogy you made amongst those different groups isn’t entirely suitable).

    What I’m doing for Christ is more or less founded upon the basic fabric of Scripture, the only authority through which we speak the truth – if you have time, take a look at Matthew 28 which speaks of the Great Commission; John 14:6 which speaks of the exclusivity of salvation through Christ; Romans 1:18-32 which speaks of the wickedness of man outside of Christ (yes, all men and religion). If you understand just how Christ viewed salvation, rather than what “Christianity” (whatever label you wish to put to those people who like to think they are Christians – “Fundies” for fundamentals is normally a catchy one), then you would perhaps realise what type of Christian you are writing to, amongst the other Christians on this blog. We are Bible-believing and Spirit-listening (not Bible-twisting!) Christians who aim to simply love God and love our neighbours, and salvation through Christ alone does not contradict this love since He himself defined it by sending His son to redeem mankind on the cross! If we came from that perspective, then you’d notice that I didn’t speak of Tibetan Buddhism alone, but also Islam and the other major religion – materialism; all of them must be redeemed by the blood of Christ as well. However, since you struggle the most with understanding true Tibetan Buddhism, that is why this comment is so meaty on that particular topic.

    Looking forward to your reply! It would greatly clarify where you are coming from, and it also helped me clarify that it is always dangerous to sweep all “ChiComs”, “Christians” and “Tibetan Buddhists” under their own respective presumptions represented by their labels!

  3. Jim says:

    Before I even begin to address you again, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that dinosaurs and humans were contemporaries? The answer to that will determine whether I dedicate any more time to this ‘conversation.’

  4. Lugyal says:

    Hi, Jacky,

    I am so sad that you are lying people and God that your friends served a Tibetan beggar for awhile, if so, I really want to find out whether it is true. I want to find out this because I am doubt that you are the third person making your own benefit Christian organizations and believers by composing this sort of ‘music’ for them. I have met two cheater ‘Christians” who making this sort of stories just for making money from the believers. It is so sad using the religion for self benefit, and it is sinful. I also really want to share with you some of my view regarding Tibetan Buddhism and behavior if there are any chances to meet you in Xining personally. Is that OK for you? I based in Xining whole year round. I can visit you or you can visit me. Since Xining is not a big city, it is easy to find each other. If you say you cannot meet for any reason, that means you are lying with the story to God and Christians, and at the same time, you are insulting Tibetans who are genuine Buddhist believers. Then who you are? Judge yourself.

  5. Jim says:

    Lugyal,

    I think that Jacky says it pretty clearly: “I’m telling you that the PLA and ChiCom in reality are not nearly as morally defunct as some Tibetan Buddhists in the area.” Four weeks in Xining can teach a man a lot, but if that’s what he learned, he wasn’t paying much attention. Maybe he should have gotten out a little more and spent some time in the countryside and grasslands with rural Tibetans. I’m thinking maybe Jacky is a member of the “fifty cent party” doing his duty to draw us out.

    And Jacky, FYI, I have spent years working with Tibetans and continue to do so, within China, trying to undo the damage that folks like you do. So, when you start speaking about Buddhism you should learn a little bit about it first. It is quite clear that you have no idea. The reason you fundies (not real Christians, BTW) are in the west is because you are useful to the party as sowers of fragmentation and confusion within the minority communities. You serve at the pleasure of the CCP. If you weren’t doing their work, you wouldn’t be there. It’s that simple. Fundies and party hacks are all in the same boat, all very monotone and in-step. Good luck. I hope you fail.

    PS: still no word back from you on the “dinosaurs and human” question, though I think I already know the answer.

  6. Jacky says:

    Hi Lugyal and Jim,

    Thanks for your heart-felt response. I am very happy to direct you to those who are involved, if you want to send me an email @ j.k.y.lam@gmail.com, then I can liaise you with the said Christian(s) and ex-Tibetan Buddhists for the matter 🙂

    Jim, thanks for sharing with me that you have spent 1 year there. As a bit of forenote, perhaps I should share why I went to Xining, maybe that will soothe your curiosity on that front at least.

    I have lived in Hong Kong and UK for most of my life and have participated in short mission trips to Guangzhou and Philippines and have witnessed the House Church movement in Beijing. There are already a fair share of Buddhists in Hong Kong, let alone the places in China – I’m not sure what type of Buddhism you are referring to (since you haven’t mentioned which “denomination” yet), but most of the Buddhists I know are indeed not nearly as dark as what Tibetan Buddhism teaches on the Lama level compared to the laymen level; and I’ve enough experiences to know a practising Buddhist (of a particular “denomination”) when I see one, which hopefully will answer one of your accusations that I know nothing about Buddhism. I have actually done a presentation for my church in Hong Kong on inter-faith with Buddhists, which you are free to download (with the power-point) on my sermons/papers page.

    Xining in Qinghai, indeed, is a very different place from anywhere I have been to; so my best bet is to liaise with the local missionaries who have been there from between 1 year to 10 years. Now, by no means am I attempting to discredit what you (Jim and Lugyal) have experienced (if they are indeed true), but it is up to you (and your own conscience) to decide to stick to the guns of slander, or to open your eyes to the possibility of Tibetan Buddhism being as dark as many of the Christian groups in China have claimed it to be. So far I have not attacked or undermined anything which you have personally experienced, except to provide you a different light on what is ALSO happening within the realms of Tibetan Buddhism. Instead, you have incessantly claimed that I am ignorant (x million) and so forth, despite my hope to clarify my own experiences, and be the mouthpiece of other like-minded Christians in Xining as well. Furthermore, your slander has not only reached me, but reached those poor local Christians who are being persecuted by all types of groups and have done nothing but pray for and love our God and our neighbours and have shared with me their own heart-felt experiences of close friends who are also Tibetan Buddhists. If the locals (and the ex-Tibetan Buddhists) themselves who have lived there for 30+ years are not testimony enough for the dark practices of Tibetan Buddhism in Qinghai, Tibet, and elsewhere, then only the Spirit of God can convince you otherwise.

    Secondly is that in my 23 yrs as a local Chinese, I could perhaps shed some light on the Chinese Gov’t (in response to your overwhelming generalisation of the ChiCom, PLA and the sort. It is indeed atrocious in many respects, but the Chinese are self-conscious enough to want change: problem is, they don’t know how (esp. after the cultural revolution). The gov’t have made really stupid mistakes (which gov’t has not?), but they are aware of Christian groups – and they are very happy to see the good things which have come out of them, but that doesn’t mean all people working for the gov’t are like-minded about their approach to Christians. Contrarily, if you feel strongly that Christians have done nothing but so-called damage, then we’d be happy to hear out to see whether there is some misunderstanding, or whether these self-proclaimed Christians have truly done damage which even I would be disappointed of.

    Finally, a message of curiosity: are you having an attack at “Christians” per se, at “Christ” or some stick-man I am not aware of? You have yet to explain to me whether you are secular humanitarians, religious volunteers or neither (since both of you claim experiences in Xining, but not explain how, where, when and with whom) – and have yet to measure me up to the Scriptures which I rely on. I’m not sure whether you have a problem with Christians “like me”, or with Christ himself. Furthermore, what do questions of dinosaurs (perhaps you are leading me to the science vs. religion, evolution vs. creation old-hat debates) have to do with telling people about Jesus Christ? If you can explain that, then you would perhaps find my answer in my post on Genesis 1.

    So before you continue down the line of slander, accusations and misunderstandings of the Christian faith (if that is even the real problem at hand), you are free to accept what I have experienced and turn a blind eye what the missionaries there have experienced and especially what the Tibetan Lamas and Buddhists have themselves experienced. You are even free (and have already done so) to accuse us as evil liars who do nothing but damage in these people’s lives. Ultimately, whether our work succeed is down to the blessings of Jesus Christ, the one and only living God, not down to the luck or works of man alone.

    Since this is my blog, I’d like to set down some ground rules (by no means limiting your freedom of speech, but just to regulate your comments in a civilised manner):

    1. Use the Bible: If you are having a go at “Christians”, I’d rather you measure these Christians up to the Word (Scriptures) since that is what we “Christians” measure up ourselves against. Mere slander, hearsay and so forth without comparison to Christ’s teachings are nothing less than empty opinion. If you cannot do so, then I’d rather not slander them since Christians, like anyone else, are prone to the worst sins as well. For Jim especially, what do you have to say to the Bible passages I quoted in my first response? I am also particularly interested in what you classify as a true Christian (as opposed to the “fundies”) and how you came to that conclusion?

    2. Bring credibility to your experiences: If you have personal experiences to share, feel free to share 🙂 Contrarily, you can provide a link to your website and rant to your heart’s content there because the readers of this site are more than likely to have experienced similar things (to what I wrote about) in China than what you have experienced. Lugyal, please share with me how the Christians have committed the said atrocities, the readers (and me) are more than willing to listen. Speaking of which, I have only mentioned (in my original post) off-handishly that there are dark depths to Tibetan Buddhism; you both seem very worked up for a off-handish comment which I have spent nearly no time clarifying in depth, save share some testimonies of my own and others. At no-point have I claimed monopoly over knowledge on Tibetan Buddhism, but there are those who have vocalised my understanding. I recommend you (and the reader) to take a look at the book “The Shadow of the Dalai Lama“, which also has an English translation online, if you want to look elsewhere for detailed proofs of people who have first-hand experiences of the type of Tibetan Buddhism occurring in these regions. You are of course free to label the authors, AND the people who reviewed the book as “liars, deceivers, lunatics, misunderstood or even mistaken”.

    3. The endless spiral of “proof”: If you continue down the line of accusations (i.e. “PROVE your experiences”), there is only so much I can do unless I meet you in person in Xining (or Hong Kong for the matter! If you happen to pass by, I’d be happy to meet you) – but even then, you can still call me a liar in person because you have not witnessed these things for yourself. To which I hope you can either trust what I say, or believe that it is all lies, or both (i.e. I am over-exaggerating bits here and there, etc etc). Of course, you are free to travel all around Tibet if you wish (grassland or not) to disprove what I’ve said, since both of you claim experience in the area.
    That would be my challenge to you. As a word of caution, the chances of me and the other Chinese-looking missionaries getting in especially during this time of sensitivity is probably higher than you (if you both are indeed Westerners and look nothing like the people of the Tibetan tribes) – and if you do manage to get in, to fully experience all facets of Tibetan Buddhism (which I doubt you have, given your incredulous and astounded response to the overwhelming testimony in and out-side Tibet/Qinghai against the darker sides of what its practitioners practice), I pray for your safety… many get in, but few live to get out.

    4. Tit-for-tat slander: However, if you only stick to slander, personal experiences (without supporting these experiences with your own standard of proof) and nothing to contribute (except to say that all Christians AND the Christian God is evil) for Christians to improve their relations with the God (whom you say is more loving than the Christians), then there will be no further discussion unless you calm down for the benefit of the readers. Your accusations thus far will only fall on deaf ears if we do not draw things out in clarity (and I’m sure that is not your intent, since you fully intend to “wish me failure” and so forth – I commend you for your passion, and so I am trying my best to give you an opportunity to do so without discrediting yourself by the attitude in your messages). Sorry to impose an old-habit which I garnered when I studied law – but the burden of proof is on you for the accusations you have made. All I have to do is to raise a reasonable doubt to your accusations which I’m sure I’ve done already 😉 (in-house humour for fellow lawyers reading this).

    5. Focus your points: I have had trouble reading your comments, because it seems to be filled with frustration but very little weight/material. If you want to make your case, make it strongly and logically (i.e. please explain yourself); if you want to make a point, give it substance and whatever suitable proof you have; if you want to point your fingers to someone, tell us who you’re pointing it to; if sensitivity is involved so you can’t tell us who you’re pointing to (I’m surprised I even have to say this to people who have claimed to ‘work’ in China for years, which leads on to my next point), inform us why it is sensitive; if you are doing ‘work’ in China, enlighten us what type of work and how it compares to the Christian work, rather than simply saying “Fundies = Evil, Leaving Tibetans alone = good”; and of course, if you are accusing Christians of doing “damage” to the Tibetans, tell us what type of damage (and I hope the argument rises above “Because you guys are telling them to believe in Jesus” – this is a moot point, and you are talking to a Christian who worships Christ and none other you know!).

    As readers, there is a limit to reading/understanding the comments in this blog post, and if these five points are neither answered nor respected, then further discussion and conversation (yes Jim, I hope this is a conversation and not a web-mud brawl as geeky as that sounds) would be pretty pointless.

    Since I have answered all of your accusations to the best that I can; I now expect you to respectfully answer my questions for the sake of others.

    Thus far, both non-Christian and Christian readers have benefited from open discussion, but I sense a bottleneck to come if these ground rules are not respected. I’m afraid to say that if the ground rules are not respected, then for the benefit of the readers we can only continue the discussion through email, rather than bore the readers with a tit-for-tat debate on philology, terminology and so forth (which I’m sure even you are bored of, given you have time to attack a random/stranger-Christian on the net!). To soothe your conscience, I will not delete any comments, however much you believe it discredits Christ, Christianity and the missionaries for the matter 🙂

  7. Lugyal says:

    I think you should light on yourself rather than on me and Jim, because you are in the most dark for these reasons:
    – you are trying to destroy one’s believe
    – you are insulting a great community and its culture which is the core of the life
    – you are cheating the God and its fellows for your own selfish benefit
    – you don’t know the value of multi-culture co-existence

    One question: are you in Xining now? if so, give me your phone number. or when will you be in Xining? I want to meet you to light on you. I will e-mail you when get this information.

  8. Jacky says:

    To all the readers!

    I’ve contacted Lugyal through email, and we are hoping to continue a conversation from there. If you want to contribute and say your two cents, you are free to contribute as well; I thought I should take the conversation to email because Lugyal has not respected the basic boundaries which I have set down for civilised open discussion.

  9. BL Foo says:

    Your arrogance is obnoxious–you label Lugyal ‘uncivilized’, Tibetan Buddhism as ‘dark’ and so on and so forth. Furthermore, you mission activites in China are illegal and by giving names of your contacts in Qinghai, you are endangering them. Also, I don’t recall the word ‘dinosaur’ being mentioned in Genesis. Your lack of respect for cultures that are different than your own is truly distrubing.

  10. Jack Bloomer says:

    Tell us more, please, about speaking in tongues in Xining amongst the Xining Christians. How widespread is it? Do you have any videos? If so, can you put some on youtube? Would love to see Tibetans being exorcised by that Christian minister speaking in tongues. Keep up the good work of cultural destruction and attitude of colonial arrogance toward people you do not understand.

  11. Jacky says:

    Dear BL and Jack,

    Thanks for coming to this site. I hope you have read the comments in detail; I have tried my best to lay out the Christian perspective, without giving too much away (if you mean names, they are all coded/not fully given). I have to, after all, strike a balance between being sensitive, and giving enough for the readers understand the detail of what Christians are doing up there.

    Tibetan Buddhism is by no means the underlying fabric of Tibetan culture; there is much to celebrate in Tibet that is not related to Tibetan Buddhism, which I heartily enjoy. There *are* Christians who destroy both religion and culture… but I disagree with that entirely. Hopefully it isn’t too much of a generalism to say that it is an American habit to impose culture and beliefs on other people, but hardly the Chinese method of evangelism because we understand the Chinese better than a Westerner does (until the westerner spends enough time in China to learn the ropes).

    To answer specific questions…

    BL Foo: “Dinosaurs” is a modern term, I highly doubt the Ancient Israelites would use English to write the Scriptures, let alone use a Hebrew word to describe an animal exactly the same way as the modern scientists do (there are, however, many descriptions of ancient animals in the books of Genesis and Job). To read the Bible with modern eyes is in many ways doing things anachronistically. There are organisations which speak more extensively about this (www.answersingenesis.org) if you want a scientific argument; I only speak from Scripture, which you are free to read my posts on Genesis and creation – I cannot speak any other truth or read any other opinion *into* the Bible besides that (that is the purpose of this site anyway). I have already given Lugyal (through email) my phone number and other requested contact details, since there is no shame and nothing to hide about what I have to say and have said thus far. For obvious reasons, I’m not exactly going to post those details up on the blog unless you request it!

    Jack: As BL helpfully pointed out, there is a limit to what I can or cannot say (and what I have said is enough to annoy many, but obviously not enough to ‘prove’ myself), let alone what I can or cannot post. There is a lot of skepticism in the world about miracles and such, but if you do not believe then you would not believe even if you saw a person rise from the dead, as Jesus said and did so. As I have provided the same information for both Jim and Lugyal for the benefit of both of them (the verses from Scripture, and the book written by the couple called “In the Shadow of Dalai Lama”), I hope you can extend the same patience in reading through the comments and providing constructive criticism. My time in Qinghai (note: NOT Tibet) has been very fruitful; I have made a number of local friends who are both Christian and non-Christian; who are both Tibetan and non-Tibetan.

    What Christians do is change hearts. The Chinese (I myself am Chinese, and I find it extremely odd that you think I am so very detached from Tibetan or Qinghai culture since a majority of them are Han Chinese as I am and my parents are; I am after all brought up in China, so please don’t let my loquaciousness in English deceive you. I am quite Chinese as my skin colour and behaviour shows.) have cultural habits which are both commendable, and distracting in the Christian faith; we are not looking to “force” converts, or even impose a religion. We are proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, and simply having a relationship with Jesus Christ within certain confines of culture which are acceptable (and other cultural habits which are not compatible with the Christian faith).

    The Tibetans are free to accept or reject it of course. No Tibetan is stupid enough to accept “forced” evangelism, and every decision they make to believe in Jesus comes voluntarily. Surely proclaiming truth is not rejected in any part of the world? The very fact that you are posting on my site is a very expression of that freedom of truth-exchange, and there is nothing to stop you from continuing to post whatever you want on this site (unless I choose to disapprove your comments of course).

    Imposition, religious dictatorship, and cultural brainwashing on the other hand is completely disgusting to me, and fortunately the majority of the Christians in China (especially Qinghai), and hopefully the Christians near you, feel the same.

    Hopefully you understand when I try to put up the five rules for categories of civilised conversation. To BL especially, I think you got the wrong end of the stick; Lugyal broke basic conduct of simple blog-conversation (based on the 5 principles which I set down in my previous comment). I’m sure Lugyal is very civilised; but on the web (and in these comments), I find nothing ‘civilised’ in throwing negative comments at someone without detailing reason or justification. If I was to throw negative comments at Tibetan Buddhism (not Tibet in itself), I would lay down quite clearly why (and I already have) rather than simply say “Tibetan Buddhism is dark”, or contrarily “You are arrogant” etc etc.

    Unfortunately, because you are posting under the same I.P. address (it shows on my email, so I deleted the other messages from “Benny”, “Sally”, and “Blondie” since they are from the same I.P. address), I’ll have to consider you spam. Thanks for contributing thus far though 🙂 I’m sure it has helped the readers come to a firmer conclusion of the type of adversity Christians face, and the way Christians have to handle this adversity. I can only imagine what it is like when the non-constructive criticism is manifested in more-than-verbal ways, as that is the case with many Christian missionaries in Qinghai/Tibet.

    If you want to continue to post (constructive criticism that is!), you can email me at j.k.y.lam@gmail.com. Would love to carry the conversation on, if you are as enthusiastic about it.

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