The Search for Barbie

Confession: The genesis of this topic occurred a few months ago, as I found myself thinking as I was driving, “huh, that woman on the side of the street is good-looking.” And with the generosity of one of the other writers, I suggested we change topics, as now the summer is upon us and some folks are looking to wear their swimsuits and bare some skin.

Over ten years ago, as a 30 something, I attended a forum at the University of Texas concerning pornography. Remember this was 10 years ago or more. The stats I remember:  more porn related businesses than McDonalds, the porn industry makes more money than the NFL, etc. At the end of that session – I resolved not to stare at a woman. The scenario, you’re sitting with your girlfriend or wife, and a shapely, young lady walks in-Do you give a quick look? Where is that point in your mind when  you have “lusted after another”? (Matthew 5:28)

Basically, I realized that at times you can’t avoid that first look, but I have to force myself at times not to take a second look. It takes resolve and discipline, but a thought occurred to me recently, “Am I becoming complacent?”

I recently graduated from an evangelical seminary. The president of the school exhorted us to remain faithful, esp. sexually. If we have a problem in that area, we are to tuck our diploma under our arms, and leave the ministry. The church doesn’t need another fallen minister to defame the name of Christ!

But I wonder about some guys who are searching for a Barbie Doll for a wife.

In a similar vein, I wonder about modesty. If men try to not “look,” what is the role of women and how they choose to dress? I know that Southern Baptist Seminary (not my seminary) has a resource  on modesty.

And what of the pressures of living in a society that focuses on looks? I found a blog that  addresses body image from the Asian woman’s prespective http://www.thickdumplingskin.com/ (perhaps worth a look, and a possible followup post).

 

Cultural Evangelism

I only recently understood the concept of “vision”. And in finding a vision for ministry I had a great discussion with a friend who is more philosophically minded. He said that “Chinese churches have an unstated vision/purpose. They are cultural centers where these “refugees” come to get Chinese culture. Is that true of other AA churches?
Evangelism is thus done in a passive way as people are brought in, versus sending people out.

It occurred to me that part of going out involves being friendly to visitors and living with joy at home, church, and work. But that joy must come from  God! Too many though are not living in joy, and thus churches are dying.

Part of that may be due to more programs then true fellowship and true discipleship. One big activity after another. Another person pointed out to me the component parts to the Chinese character for busyness. It is composed of the word death and the “radical” heart. Busyness is literally death to heart. I guess some of our churches have brought into the idea that the more busy you are, the more spiritual.

The Narrow Road?

Living differently. The last few years I’ve been attending SWBTS and lately the chapel sermons have been centering on living differently, esp. for those called to the ministry. I guess the message has not changed much over the years, but why has it been hitting me so hard lately? Do I act like the world? Do I need to change? I wonder is it all legalism? But I guess in a world where evangelical leaders are found out to be gay, drug taking fiends (hyperbole), well its not your mama’s church leader. Where even the question of homosexuality as a sin is questioned?

Should we be watching certain movies? Or listening to certain kinds of music? Is it ok to smoke? Can we drink a beer if we don’t get drunk? Is it ok to use profanity? Definitely I am convicted that we need to live a different kind of life. (If you have time, about 1 hour, check out this sermon by Paul Washer). The sermon calls on the carpet “American” Christianity…y’know stuff like how our divorce rate is higher than outside the church…

I also wonder where does being AsianAmerican fit into all this? (When being Christian is hard enough.)

Ministry Idea

David’s recent post  made me think about church ministry.  I can’t guess where your church is at. Church plants can be  preoccupied or hampered with small manpower…and it just seems worthwhile to have ministries that confront our society (for the gospel). And David talked about the abuse of women, and in particular, in the Asian American/Asian community. We need to stop the violence. (that’s a great slogan, don’t you think?)

I have been thinking about outreach ministries.  I think that churches outside of the Bible belt have been working hard on presenting the Gospel in new, engaging, and challenging ways. Seems to me that we aren’t as innovative…until I came across a church in Alabama (the pastor was at Chapel a few years ago and had spoke at one of Dr. S. Tsoi’s Youth Camps in Phx).  The church decided not to televise a worship service but to have a hunting show

So I thought that my seminary should do a “This Old House” Type show…or that a Chinese church do a cultural broadcast, or cooking show, or martial arts, and of course like that hunting show, present the gospel at the end. 

For a few years I’ve been holding on to an idea about fixing up a Honda to appeal to the “Rice Rocket” crowd.  Then on the news I saw this story about the National Guard detailing cars to promote the guard, why not one of our churches “soup” up a car to present the gospel.  (The news segment was about a soldier who made a tribute car to his fallen comrades, the army saw it and asked the soldier to detail cars to promote the army).  We could “pimp” our church vans!  But seriously I know tons of Asian guys getting all into their rice rockets…can you see it, we can have gospel stickers to place on our windshields.  Jesus written in Kanji…ok, j/k about that…but definitely invision going out, opening up the trunk and sharing with the young men and women.  “Ladies; gents, your cars will rust away one day, just as we do too. Like our cars our souls need preventative maintenance…”