but sometimes, it's hard to ignore news such as this when it is widely publicized in mainstream media such as in print or electronic and as much as we want to put it at the back of our mind, the nagging feeling of wanting to know the actual truth still remains.
take the recent raid of a multi cultural dinner at a church in Damansara Utama (for those who do not know where this is, it's in Petaling Jaya, in the proud country of Malaysia) that claimed the church was trying to apostatize Muslims in its activities. my first reaction was to condemn the church for being insolent, but after awhile I was dying to know what had actually transpired. was it really as what was claimed or was it just a propaganda of some sort. for this case, the investigation is still on going so can't really say much about it.
a particular mainstream Malay paper has been following up on stories such as these with the recent one about a Christian shelter in another part of the country trying to convert Muslims to Christianity either by monetary or goodwill assistance. as a christian myself, this is quite worrisome. not because of the fact that Muslims are converting but because the churches are 'inadvertently' pushing them to do so. i believe that everyone has a right to choose what they believe in, but to impose a belief on others by means of dirty tactics is outrageous! i do not recall being taught that we must convert people, but what i do remember is to show who we are as a person with religion. if these reports are unbiased and true, i would be in league with those who are trying to bring the church down.
on another note, although it is appreciated that this issue was highlighted in the aforementioned paper, the way it was reported could be done in a more tactful manner, for instance:
'mereka yang menyertai kumpulan ini akan lupa pegangan agama asal buat seketika aabila kerap diberi minuman air suci dan selepas menjalani upacara Black Tiding pembatisan dalam kolam renang'
-pg 8, Tuesday, 9 August 2011-
'those who participate in this group will momentarily forget their original religion when they are (frequently) given the holy water to drink and after undergoing the Black Tiding baptism ceremony in the swimming pool'
i went like what?!!! drinking holy water doesn't do that and besides, the holy water isn't meant to be drank and even if it was, it doesn't make you forget..it's only water for f*** sake! and what the hell is a black tiding ceremony?!!! i couldn't even find anything about it when i googled it up. reports such as this not only give a bad portrayal of the religion but also hinders the understanding of inter-faiths...not unless, the paper was never intended for the Christians to read.
the other thing which made me uncomfortable whenever the paper report this kind of issue is how they generalize all Christians as the same. at least mention the name of the places or churches who are making all the ruckus, as what they did with the Damansara Utama Methodist Church so we can do our own digging.
Nothing much to say again, just that to all the Christians... if you want to evangelize, do it to those who are willing to listen. if you want to help others, do it out of the goodness from your heart. and if you think you have the (so called divine) right to convert others, it's not your call to make. Just remember that having a religion alone doesn't make one good, its your actions which proves it.
anyway, it's common sense for us to know what respect is all about, as the proverb goes:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
which roughly translates as:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto youor for those who finds this a bit tough to understand:
If you don't like anyone trying to convert your brothers or sisters, try not to convert anyone yourself!
now that felt good :)