Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why did I join the vigil (leh)?

Why did I join the vigil (leh)? (Read KJ John on the same title)

I have received quite a number of comments; patriotic (being the most flattering so far), [pathetic] joker, lawyer-wannabe, flaunting legal-knowledge, troublemaker, excitement seeker, human right (or rather "human left") activist and even plain "kepo" (busy body). I guess it was all of those, but definitely much more. None of them actually came close to the main and primary motivation of why I am at the vigil.

I am convinced that God said this to every single Christian:

Hear the word of YAHWEH...
Give ear to the teaching of our God...
What to me is your many sacrifices? says YAHWEH
I have had enough your tithings, your money, your properties!
I do not delight in the blood of bulls, of lambs, of goats!

When you come to appear before me,
who gave you the rights to trample my courts?
Bring no more vain offerings;
Your empty praises are an abomination to me...
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
When you lift up your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from my eyes;
cease to do evil
learn to do good
seek justice
correct oppression
bring justice to the fatherless
plead the widow's cause
(Isa 1:10-17 - paraphrase)
O Man, what is good,
and what does YAHWEH require of you
but to do justice
to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 - ESV)

I believe that it is no less a Christian duty to stand in the gap of unrighteous laws. In my disobedience to such laws, which I see as evil and ungodly, I am proclaiming my allegiance to the God whom the prophets called Just and Righteous, Judge and Law-giver, King. To cooperate with an evil system was to deny God and God's higher law (Martin Luther King Jr.) and the only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke). I do not and indeed from Scripture, I dare not think that I am a good man. Yet, I am a citizen of Christ's country by virtue of his grace. He only is good. And this good King, who is the King of Kings, has commissioned all his citizens to be the heralds and ambassadors of his righteous rule.

And Christ's is not a rule in the private region of life but in EVERY sphere, there is no spot, even a thumb-breath that He did not claim, "'tis mine" (Kuyper). If Christ came to destroy the work of evil, then whether in religious, or moral or social or political or economic or legal sphere, we must proclaim the victory of Christ our King. Some of my Christian fellows taught me that we ought to claim this and that territory for Jesus, "amen" I say. But let us not think that Christianity and Christ's victory is some unseen mumbo-jumbo in the sky. There will be real consequences affecting real lives. As we mark territories for King Jesus, let us do it on bended knees in trembling prayers, and let us do it on our feet in full assurance that Jesus indeed has won the battle against evil. Let us DO IT because Christ has done it.

Not too long ago, I quoted Tom Wright in my essay Mission for the Glory of God: A Reflection, he said:

"If you were to shape your world in following Christ, it isn't enough to say that being a Christian and being a professional or an academic is simply about high moral standard, though it is, or using every opportunity to talk to your student about Jesus, though it is, or praying with or for them, being fair in your grading and honest in your speaking, that is all non-negotiable, but you were called to do something much, much more, you were called prayerfully to discern where in your discipline the human project is showing signs of exiles and humbly and boldly to act symbolically in ways which declares that the Powers have been defeated. The Powers don't like that by the way, do this only with prayers. That the kingdom has come in Jesus the Jewish Messiah, that the new way of being human has been unveiled. And be prepared to tell the story which explains what the symbols are all bout. In all this you were to declare that Jesus is lord, and Caesar is not as the New Testament did; that Jesus is lord that Marx and Freud and Nietzsche aren't; that Jesus is lord and neither modernity nor post-modernity are. When Paul spoke of the gospel, the euangelion, he wasn't simply talking bout a system of salvation but about the powerful announcement in symbols and words that Jesus is the true lord of the world, the true light of the world…."

If Jesus is lord, then Article 121 (1A)*** is not! If Jesus is lord, then unrighteous laws and screwed up Constitution are not. And when these false lords forced themselves on me, I must stand (literally stand) and reject them thoroughly. This is the logical reasoning from my conviction of my citizenship under King Jesus.Yet I can only do it by the grace of my King; because he is the stronger, no, the STRONGEST King, and because he is the final victor, it only makes sense to obey him rather than those seemly strong false overlords.

This is not Moorthy's cause, this is a Malaysian cause, the people's cause. And these are the people for whom Christ came to destroy the work of evil. gloria dei vivens homo - the glory of God is in the living person (St. Irenaeus). The God who creates did not create my career or my car (at least not literally), but he created my neighbour and I. The God who suffers did not suffer for my career or my car, but he suffered for my neighbours and I. To all humanity, we shine because we were made in God's image. To all the elects, we shine doubly because we were made in God's image and washed in God's blood. I do not know who are the elects, but I don't care, it is not my business to know. Everyone reflects the glorious God, as the Fathers declared. And it is a Christian duty to restore the dignity of man. It's my business to respond when a fellow Malaysian, someone so near to me suffers injustice because God created him and Christ died for him (I sincerely pray). I believe I will forfeit my rights to tell him about this true King, King Jesus if I do not love him enough to be bothered with his sufferings. Christian mission must include the restoration of human dignity, whether in elevation of proverty or elimination of unjust laws. (Yes, evangelism is non-negotiable). For now, in this case, elimination of unjust laws is part of our mission as the Church, or the Colony of God's people in Malaysia.

Wednesday, 8pm, Corridor of Change, High Court, Jalan Raja, the Vigil goes on.

The Press are coming this time, but this is besides the point. If the Church who serves the God of Righteousness and Justice does not live out the promotion of such virtues, WHO WILL?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this:
to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, i.e., to be concerned with the cause of the suffering ppl
and to keep oneself unstained from the world, i.e., to be unconquered by the evils of the world.
(James 1:27, ESV)

***Read my reflection on Article 121(1A) for the context on why I think the current interpretation is unjust and does not reflect the spirit of the Constitution ( And some links to other xtians who blogged on the vigil)

2 comments:

jacksons said...

very convicting.

The Hedonese said...

sungguh bersemangat! Read all about it in http://theagora.blogspot.com