Sunday, May 31, 2009

Terminator: Salvation

ChristianityToday explores some themes from the Terminator movies:

The human-machine relationship. From cell phones to iPods, technology is playing a bigger and bigger part of our lives, to the point where some people have said that we are all becoming de facto cyborgs ourselves. The original film makes humorous references to pagers and answering machines, both of which were fairly new at the time, as well as the bigger, factory-sized machines that make such devices possible.

In this increasingly mechanized and technological world, it is more important than ever that we hold on to something spiritual, to the thing that makes us uniquely human; in Terminator Salvation, a teenaged Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) points to his head and his heart and tells his fellow prisoners to "stay alive, in here and in here." But humanity is no mere spiritual abstraction; it is also rooted in the world of organic, physical life. So the people in these films love each other, have children together, and die for each other sacrificially.

The source of meaning and morality. In the first two sequels, John Connor and his wife-to-be, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), are assisted by Terminators that have been re-programmed to protect them—and they ask these robots if there is anything more to them than their programming. Are the Terminators "worried" about dying? If John and Kate are killed, will that "mean anything" to them? Faced with such questions, the Terminators betray little emotion, and reply simply that they would have no reason to exist if John and Kate died, and that they need to "stay functional" in order to keep their human masters alive.

But there is more to a meaningful life than simply following your programming, and both T2 and T3 end on notes which suggest that the "good" Terminators have achieved something resembling free will; in both films, the Terminator goes beyond the orders he has been given and sacrifices himself for the greater good, even though he didn't have to.

T2, in particular, goes even further and suggests that the Terminator of that film has learned "the value of human life." Interestingly, though, when John initially tells the Terminator it is wrong to kill people, he can't think of a reason beyond "Because you just can't, okay?" It isn't until the TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles that a former FBI agent named James Ellison (played by the openly Christian Richard T. Jones) explains to a Terminator that it is wrong to kill because human life is made in the image of God and is therefore sacred.

And so, just as the re-programmed Terminators derive their meaning partly from the ones who have programmed them, but also partly from their freedom to go beyond their programming, so too we humans derive our meaning from the One who breathed life into us, and from our ability to exercise our free will in his service.

Destiny, prophecy and fatalism. The future is not set, and there is no fate but what we make for ourselves. So say several characters in each of these films, and yet, these characters don't always behave as though they truly believe this. After all, John Connor sent the adult Kyle Reese back in time to become his father—and much of the new film revolves around John's conviction that the teenaged Kyle needs to be rescued so that he can fulfill that destiny.

The films even play with the idea that efforts to change the future will just make things worse. In a couple of deleted scenes from the original film (available on some versions of the DVD), Sarah convinces Kyle that they should destroy the company that built the machines, to prevent the machines from being born—just as the machines are trying to kill Sarah to prevent John from being born. But, as we also see in T2, all Sarah ends up doing is luring the Terminator to one of the company's factories—thereby guaranteeing that the technology which makes the machines possible will end up in that company's hands.

In this, the films sometimes resemble Greek myth more than anything biblical. (T3 makes its debt to the Greeks explicit when the general who puts the machines in charge on Judgment Day tells his daughter, "I opened Pandora's Box.") To the Greeks, fate was unavoidable, and efforts to prevent a prophecy from coming true usually ended up fulfilling it.

And yet, the films resist fatalism. Just as the biblical prophecies often came with a call to repentance or an assurance that salvation was waiting on the other side of judgment, so too the Terminator films stubbornly cling to hope.

Death is certain, but human life remains precious nonetheless. The human spirit cannot be defeated or assimilated by machines. And, as the newest film makes especially clear, we can never rule out the possibility that we will get a "second chance."

Christianity Explored!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Petikan dari artikel Keropok Lekor di Cahayanusantara:

Alkitab mengatakan bahwa Yesus Kristus adalah Penebus kita. Dia adalah Anak Domba yang tidak bercela yang digiring ke Kalvari untuk menutupi dosa kita dengan darah-Nya. Kematian Yesus tidak terjadi karena Dia melakukan tindak kriminal. Yesus mati sebagai penanggung dosa kita. Dia mengambil dosa-dosa kita dan menjadi bersalah karena dosa-dosa kita. Dan oleh karena hal ini, Dia menanggung murka Tuhan.

Dengan kematian-Nya, Kristus juga menghapus murka Tuhan. Dia melakukan ini untuk memenuhi semua persyaratan yang Tuhantetapkan untuk seorang pendosa kembali kepada-Nya. Tuhanitu adil. Keadilan-Nya menuntut dua hal dari pendosa agar dapat diperdamaikan dengan TuhanPertama, semua pendosa harus mati untuk dosanya. Tuhan tidak main-main dengan dosa. Dia menghukum semua pendosa dengan maut. Kedua, pendosa yang ingin diselamatkan dari murka-Nya harus memenuhi semua perintah hukum Tuhanyang benar. Dosa adalah suatu pelanggaran terhadap hukum TuhanDan untuk diperdamaikan dengan Tuhan, seseorang harus menaati semua perintah-perintah TuhanJika kita dapat memenuhi dua persyaratan tersebut, Tuhan akan mencabut murka-Nya atas kita.

Masalahnya sudah jelas. Semua orang telah berdosa. Tidak ada satu orang pun yang dapat memenuhi persyaratan Tuhanyang sempurna. Manusia harus menemukan penggantinya. Pengganti kita adalah Yesus Kristus.

Yesus Kristus pergi ke Kalvari untuk memenuhi tuntutan kebenaran Tuhandan untuk menarik murka-Nya atas kita. Yesus Kristus sangat cocok untuk melakukan penebusan ini karena Dia adalah Manusia yang sempurna, Manusia tak berdosa. Pada saat Yesus Kristus menawarkan diri-Nya sebagai Penebus kita, Dia melakukannya sebagai Seseorang yang menanggung dosa-dosa kita. Jadi, Yesus menggantikan kita menanggung maut. Selain itu, saat Dia memberikan diri-Nya sendiri kepada Tuhansebagai Penebus dosa-dosa kita, Dia menampilkan diri-Nya sendiri sebagai Seseorang yang telah memenuhi tuntutan kebenaran Tuhandemi kita.

Tuhan dipuaskan dengan kematian Yesus. Di sepanjang hidup-Nya, Yesus menaati mandat Bapa untuk menderita bagi umat-Nya dan menaati hukum atas nama mereka. Dia tidak menyerah terhadap tekanan yang mendesak-Nya untuk meninggalkan tugas-Nya. Dia memenuhi misi-Nya, bahkan saat Dia mengetahui bahwa misi tersebut mengharuskan-Nya untuk menanggung murka Bapa. Yesus berhasil menuntaskan misi tersebut. Di kayu salib, Dia berteriak, "Sudah selesai." Penebusan telah terpenuhi. Arti sesungguhnya dari hal ini adalah bahwa Yesus sungguh dan secara efektif menghapuskan murka Tuhandan membawa perdamaian antara Tuhandan manusia. Di kematian-Nya, Dia telah mencurahkan darah-Nya untuk menutupi dosa-dosa kita sehingga Tuhantidak lagi menghukum kita dengan maut. Dalam kematian Kristus, kita sungguh-sungguh dibebaskan. Kita dapat mengatakan bahwa penebusan-Nya efektif; yakni, penebusan ini sungguh menyelamatkan kita dari murka Tuhan, karena kalau tidak, kita pasti sudah masuk neraka.

Bahkan sebelum kita menjawab pertanyaan tentang arti luas penebusan, yakni, "Untuk siapa Kristus mati?", kita harus yakin pada fakta bahwa Kristus, dengan kematian-Nya, sesungguhnya memenuhi keadilan Tuhanyang sempurna, dan akhirnya menebus kita dari kutuk maut. Bukti dari hal ini adalah di Ibrani 9:12: "dan Ia telah masuk satu kali untuk selama-lamanya ke dalam tempat yang kudus bukan dengan membawa darah domba jantan dan darah anak lembu, tetapi dengan membawa darah-Nya sendiri. Dan dengan itu Ia telah mendapat kelepasan yang kekal."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Exodus East Asia Conference

1st Exodus East Asia Conference-Change is Possible: This is a bilingual (English&Chinese) conference

Date: 22 & 23 May 2009 (Fri & Sat)
Time: 8am—5pm (22 May), 8am—3.30pm (23 May)
(Registration required)

8pm (Night Meetings)
(Free admission, open to all)

Venue: Full Gospel Assembly, KL
Lot 689, Tmn Goodwood, Jln Kuchai Lama
Off Jln Kelang Lama, 58200 KL, Malaysia

Fees: Before 30 April 2009
RM 90 (1 day only)
RM 150 (2 days)

After 30 April 2009 RM 120 (1 day only)
RM 180 (2 days)

Inclusive of teaching notes, conference materials in file, lunches, tea breaks and mineral water

Group rate: Every 10 pax full registration (2 days) in a single form entitles you to 1 pax free

Exodus overview & homosexuality as today’s trend
Hope for those who struggle with homosexuality
Are there signs that one is a homosexual?
Raising gender-confident kids
Christian answers to the Pro-gay Agenda
Dealing with a real life issue: pornography addiction
How to journey with strugglers
Understanding & reaching the transgender community
other related topics & testimonies


Alan Chambers (USA)
(President of Exodus International-North America, left homosexuality for more than 14 years)

Bryan Kliewer (Canada)
(Executive Director of Exodus Global Alliance, more than 20 years experience of ministering homosexuals)

Ps. Jenny Li (Taiwan)
(Regional Director of Exodus East Asia, Director of Rainbow-7)

Dr Melvin Wong (USA)
(Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Board Member of Exodus Global Alliance & author)

Leslie Lung (Singapore)
(Founder & Director of Liberty League, author & creative consultant)

Amanda Chan (Hong Kong)
(Former project officer with The Society For Truth And Light with many years of pro-gay agenda research experience)

Rev. Heisha Fernández (Puerto Rico, USA)
(President of Exodus Latin America Board, Director of Nueva Condición, radio speaker, counselor, writer & poet)

Exodus East Asia (EEA) is a new region of Exodus Global Alliance formed in May 2008, led by Regional Director Pastor Jenny Li with Vice Regional Director Pastor Tryphena Law. Exodus East Asia consists of member ministries from Singapore (Choices & Fountain Gate Ministries), Philippines (Bagong Pag-Asa), Taiwan (Rainbow 7) and Malaysia (PLUC).

Download the brochure and registration forms here and please contact us for more details about this conference.