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The Christian and the Pauper


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An incident provoked an interesting discussion 2 days ago.

 

Henry is a very well off business man in his late 30s. His impressive family profile also ranks him as one of the elites in the Singaporean society. However high up the corporate ladder he is, he has never yield to the temptation of social discrimination. His relatives and friends span from the rich and powerful from high ranking government officials to the regular peasants who drive very modest mass market cars. Frequently, he will meet up with his friends of all sorts outside or at one of his homes for gatherings. To him, the content of character precedes all else.

 

One day, he arranged to meet up one of his friends, Johnny from the peasants level at his home. However Johnny arrived much earlier than expected before Henry reached home. So Johnny, waited outside his gate with his car engine on. A modest little Honda City. He sat at the pavement and started to smoke. Henry’s sister who lived next door saw Johnny sitting outside was startled by the presence of someone whom she never seen. At the same time, another neighbour also saw Johnny sitting outside. Coindentally, they were about to call the police.

 

Henry arrived at the nick of time and immediately showed that both of them are acquainted.

 

I immediately raised the issue of ‘inherent peccant nature’ of humanity. And sorry to say, I asked Henry who was relating this incident, “is your sister a Christian?” Actually I was referring to church participant. Henry replied that his sister is catholic. And I asked, “What if, Johnny was there, but the car with the engine on was an Audi R8?”

 

Henry’s reply was disturbing, “Then they’d have thought that he was another resident in the area.”

 

It seems to me in my disputable opinion, that the following profile of Singaporeans have a very demeaning way of classifying people.

 

(1) Church participants

(2) Highly educated

(3) Wealthy; landed property or condominium residents

 

Has the participation in church events led people to see only the outward appearance? And I recall the bible did once wrote about how bad it is when the church management welcomes the rich to sit on the chair and drives the poor to sit on the stool.

 

Not that I want to mortify church participants, but as bike riders, aren’t we also another manifestation of Johnny? Haven’t we also experienced something similar? 10 years ago, I was also involved in a relationship but was discriminated for my poverty stricken family background. Apart from very condescending false allegations, the worst part was when my ex girlfriend’s family was not even the least interested to know about my character. As though my family background, my bike and job speaks all.

 

During the N-day rally on Sunday, to my understanding which may not tantamount to the truth, the PM raised his concerns over religious activities. Perhaps I was over-sensitive. But I could sense an unspoken dissent in his speech over Christianity when he mentioned about disregard for the feelings of others. And not forgetting the AWARE saga.

 

People who believe in Jesus Christ. Are they all as superficial and hypocrital as how they consider others to be hypocrites?

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  • 2 weeks later...
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hi bro... it's pretty normal tat certain christian r like tat... they r human after all... but not all christians r like tat.. i myself i s a christian .. i do not come from a rich faimly and i ride a kup kia.. n am not highly educated n i hang out wif ppl who smoke n drink 2.. some of them r even my childhood friend.. 4 e as a christian the most important is my faith wif god tat's all!..

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It all started with the trip to Philippines. From a little prostitute, I see the manifestation of the Christian doctrines in irony. It is absolutely distressing to be held in contempt, but many well educated wealthy Christians never failed to treat the unprivileged class with scorn. While participating in a free rice give away event organized by the grassroot community club, I witnessed the chaos of the impoverished pushing their way and attempted wriggling through the stringent screening of the community management. Even though it’s free, nonetheless, control must be exercised to prevent abuse.

 

As the distribution drew to an end, we tabulated the results and saw a considerable number of people not showing up for the event. This spells two things. Either they were well enough to forgo their entitlement in order to benefit the true needy or illiteracy prevented them from coming. The actual statistics are depressingly unknown.

 

Before leaving the premises, a lady who has been actively participating in similar events was introduced to me. Much to my surprise, she professes to be a Christian. And she emphasized that recognition has never crossed her mind. I started to ponder whether I have been too engrossed with the bad sheeps that I neglected those who performed charities anonymously. Naturally, these anonymous Christians who religiously performed the deeds ordered by their God through the bible have been left unknown and thus not being able to propaganda that this is the true Christianity we were searching for. To engage the Christian God without being known by the rest. Therefore we cannot claim any credit for any success. Once again, I have found an opportunity to be truly humbled by an unknown woman with a great heart.

 

 

 

5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Matthew 6:5-7 (New International Version - UK)

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i dnt really understand. how does the story relate discriminating to being a Christian?

 

its jus 1 qn "is she a christian?" and all henry said was tht she's a catholic.

 

and the so-called discriminating factor was tht she looked at the car of tht person.

 

so is this about our pple's choice of faith or their choice of looking at pple and grading them due to the things they possess?

 

frankly speaking, i tink there isn't really much fair grd on your example.

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i dnt really understand. how does the story relate discriminating to being a Christian?

 

its jus 1 qn "is she a christian?" and all henry said was tht she's a catholic.

 

and the so-called discriminating factor was tht she looked at the car of tht person.

 

so is this about our pple's choice of faith or their choice of looking at pple and grading them due to the things they possess?

 

frankly speaking, i tink there isn't really much fair grd on your example.

 

I'm sorry if I have caused you confusion.

The discrimination I have raised here has absolute relation to Christianity. What I was saying in the first post is about the fact that wealthy and highly educated Church participants look at the financially or academically lesser privileged with a different set of benchmark. Perhaps I have yet to encounter, but buddist and taoist believers with equally high education and wealth does not seem to share the same platform as Church participants of viewing other people. This thought was not sparked off by one individual case except that this matter became a very heated catalyst since it took place very recently to a friend of mine.

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I'm sorry if I have caused you confusion.

The discrimination I have raised here has absolute relation to Christianity. What I was saying in the first post is about the fact that wealthy and highly educated Church participants look at the financially or academically lesser privileged with a different set of benchmark. Perhaps I have yet to encounter, but buddist and taoist believers with equally high education and wealth does not seem to share the same platform as Church participants of viewing other people. This thought was not sparked off by one individual case except that this matter became a very heated catalyst since it took place very recently to a friend of mine.

 

u r right to say u haven't encountered such case from the buddhist and taoist side cause personally i know there r pple from these 2 faith tht behaves in the way on how u've mention abt the christians.

 

vice verse, there's also sterotyping as i also know really rich, educated Christians who has no airs at all

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u r right to say u haven't encountered such case from the buddhist and taoist side cause personally i know there r pple from these 2 faith tht behaves in the way on how u've mention abt the christians.

 

vice verse, there's also sterotyping as i also know really rich, educated Christians who has no airs at all

 

Haha.. you do notice that. The stereotyping was deliberate. It reflects the impression of many friends I have towards christianity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something to ponder about…

 

Amy says, “This woman is a prostitute, that man is a gay. They are condemned. We should uphold our moral values as Christians and not stoop to their level.” Benjamin nods in agreement.

 

Benjamin says, “Hi Alex, these goods are manufactured in Japan. Their quality is unsurpassed. Therefore it justifies the price.” He then turns to Amy and winks at her. Amy smiles back in agreement. They both knew that these were much cheaper goods manufactured in China repackaged in a box that prints ‘Made in Japan’. They have no idea about the quality but they will meet the quota for their sales this month if this transaction goes through.

 

We accept the lies we make to our customers as common business tactics despite the fact that we take the initiative to cheat and cause someone to lose the profit he is entitled to. But we cannot accept the eccentricity in a person’s character when they have done nothing to provoke us.

 

A very disturbing trait found in churches. Are Christians accepting double standards to how Christians should behave?

 

Let those who are without sin cast the first stone? :lol:

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Something to ponder about…

 

Amy says, “This woman is a prostitute, that man is a gay. They are condemned. We should uphold our moral values as Christians and not stoop to their level.” Benjamin nods in agreement.

 

Benjamin says, “Hi Alex, these goods are manufactured in Japan. Their quality is unsurpassed. Therefore it justifies the price.” He then turns to Amy and winks at her. Amy smiles back in agreement. They both knew that these were much cheaper goods manufactured in China repackaged in a box that prints ‘Made in Japan’. They have no idea about the quality but they will meet the quota for their sales this month if this transaction goes through.

 

We accept the lies we make to our customers as common business tactics despite the fact that we take the initiative to cheat and cause someone to lose the profit he is entitled to. But we cannot accept the eccentricity in a person’s character when they have done nothing to provoke us.

 

A very disturbing trait found in churches. Are Christians accepting double standards to how Christians should behave?

 

Let those who are without sin cast the first stone? :lol:

 

screw them lah. eventually they only gotta ans to themselves and God for their behaviour.

 

they dnt owe us anything, nor do we owe them anything.

 

there's jus too many things/pple to be disappointed with in this world. only God can satisfy

 

jus make sure u stand to your own principles can liao and tht you dnt go against His word can liao

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  • 7 months later...

Hummm.... i think there is more to this than meets the eye... i do not know fully what are the circumstances nor do i know what prompted TS to start such a discussion, but i'm guessing its something that he has been pondering for quite some time.

 

As such i would like to share with you all what i think, "religion is very simple, its we humans that make it overly complicated".

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i came across some article which stated some or all pastor even go through the course of how to influence or propaganda. that y christian ppl have a different mindset compare to other religion and i just found out that our taoism and buddism practise in singapore is cat under chinese folk religion in wiki. so i think that folk tell u y ppl of taoism and buddism get well with others

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  • 4 months later...

It seems to me in my disputable opinion, that the following profile of Singaporeans have a very demeaning way of classifying people.

 

(1) Church participants

(2) Highly educated

(3) Wealthy; landed property or condominium residents

 

 

there is a difference between highly-educated and wealthy people and people who are refined.

 

off the top of my head, this is my opinion of characteristics a refined person should have (there may be others):

 

- shows an appreciation of the fine arts (music, performance, visual, literary, etc.)

- well versed in history and politics and able to form intelligent opinions and converse intelligently about these subjects

- able to converse well with anybody regarding most subjects, regardless of social class or educational level

- able to present himself well in all occasions and act appropriately

- shows respect and consideration for everybody that he interacts with, regardless of social class or position

- is upright, stands up for the abused who are unable to speak for or help themselves, and does the right thing, has integrity and always follows up on promises made to others

 

note that money/religion does not feature in this. Based on these, I feel that Singaporeans may have quite a long way to go....

boring rider. with a boring bike.

too old to want to appear interesting anymore.

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I should you shouldn't make a sweeping statement about Christians from your own personal perspective. There are many black sheep around professing to be devout Christians, but the ideal of Christianity itself should not be compromised by these hypocritical practitioners. I think you should be aware of churches that run ministry for the disabled and sickly. There are those who are committed to their religious cause and emulate Jesus examples. There are also wealthy arrogant Christians but don't let your worldview be moulded by these few rotten apples

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In Singapore we have a situation where class is tied to religion because past government policies elevated the social status of the "English-educated" group, and this group tended toward a Christian background. This effect should be felt much less by the current generation, since everyone (every Singaporean, at least) can be considered "English-educated".

 

As described, the incident is really of class discrimination and religion just a side issue.

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