Monday, March 28, 2016

O Lord, make us Thy fuel, flame of God!

It has always happened hitherto that whenever I have begun to feel an attachment to places, persons, or things, of a merely temporary nature, I have been carried away from them. Amen! May I live as a stranger and pilgrim upon the earth. May we be brought to that better country where painful changes are known no more.

Henry Martyn (1781-1812), a missionary to India and Persia

Dear readers, thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd like to inform you that I will leave for mission work outside of Greece and I'll be back to you around mid-May.

Before leaving, I'd like to leave an encouraging message to my young Christian readers who have zeal for world mission.

We are daily bombarded with all kinds of fearful news through the world media. Satan then arouses fear in us and whispers to us like this; The land there, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people there are of great height. Compared to them, you are like grasshoppers indeed (cf. Num 13:32,33). Stricken by fright, we start to step back and say; “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”(Num 13:31)

Thus the people became all panic. But then one man stood up and declared the following word of faith.

“Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Num 13:30)

Notice that he used the word "at once." He did not say something like "Well, let's see the situation for a while, pray more, and then we'll decide whether we go or not." He did not shrink back because he firmly believed His promise and was full of faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1).

-If God has work for me to do, I cannot die.
-I see no business in life but the work of Christ.
-Now let me burn out for God.
Henry Martyn

O Lord, make us Thy fuel, flame of God! Come as the fire, and purge our hearts with sacrificial flame. O let our whole soul an offering be to our Redeemer's Name. Amen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Beloved Headcovering Sisters' Community


Last night was a night of the storm. My ego and bad temper screamed like a roaring lion and I hurt my husband so badly. It was just terrible. But the most terrible thing was that I've done all of these with a prayer veil--a biblical symbol which signifies the reverence to God and obedience to our husbands--on my head! Satan then triumphantly whispered to my ear and said; You see, this is your real figure. Isn't so hypocritical for you to write many articles on headcovering/biblical submission while you yourself are not living up to what you've written or said?

I was crushed and depressed. I could hardly sleep. And it seemed to me that there was no one on this whole earth who could understand my current struggles. No one? Oh, no. My headcovering sisters! Yes, I have them! So I wrote emails to some of our covering sisters and honestly confessed my struggles and sins in front of them. Here is a reply message from one of my dears.

Also, this is a perfect example of how important the headcovering symbol really is; it reminds us of our duty and calling, beckoning us forward and upward to a higher standard, to more holy living. It is used of God to convict us of our sinful tendencies, and helps us see where we are not living according to His will for us. This has been my experience, when I have not lived up to the meaning of the headcovering to my shame.

I bring my soul to thee;
break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
Grant that through the tears of repentance
I may see more clearly the brightness
and glories of the saving cross.
-from The puritan prayers and devotions

O Lord, how gracious You are! You've guided me to this loving sisters' community where I can most freely share my inner turmoil and confess my sins. Bless my beloved sisters who are scattered across the globe. Their kind words are like sweet spring to my weary soul and their steadfast faith inspires me.

Dear headcovering sisters, if you want to join our HCM community and pray, please visit this page. Jessica and I will interact with you.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Why was Paul "tolerant" in Rome while very "intolerant" in Galatia?

 Excerpts from Christianity & Liberalism

 by J. Gresham Machen (1923)

 Chapter 2: Doctrine

Paul certainly was not indifferent to doctrine; on the contrary, doctrine was the very basis of his life. His devotion to doctrine did not, it is true, make him incapable of a magnificent tolerance. One notable example of such tolerance is to be found during his imprisonment at Rome, as attested by the Epistle to the Philippians.
Apparently certain Christian teachers at Rome had been jealous of Paul's greatness. As long as he had been at liberty they had been obliged to take a secondary place; but now that he was in prison, they seized the supremacy. They sought to raise up affliction for Paul in his bonds; they preached Christ even of envy and strife.
In short, the rival preachers made of the preaching of the gospel a means to the gratification of low personal ambition; it seems to have been about as mean a piece of business as could well be conceived.

But Paul was not disturbed. "Whether in presence, or in truth," he said, "Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice" (Phil. i. 18). The way in which the preaching was being carried on was wrong, but the message itself was true; and Paul was far more interested in the content of the message than in the manner of its presentation. It is impossible to conceive a finer piece of broad-minded tolerance.

But the tolerance of Paul was not indiscriminate. He displayed no tolerance, for example, in Galatia. There, too, there were rival preachers. But Paul had no tolerance for them. "But though we," he said, "or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal. i. 8).

What is the reason for the difference in the apostle's attitudein the two cases? What is the reason for the broad tolerance in Rome, and the fierce anathemas in Galatia? The answer is perfectly plain. In Rome, Paul was tolerant, because there the content of the message that was being proclaimed by the rival teachers was true; in Galatia he was intolerant, because there the content of the rival message was false. In neither case did personalities have anything to do with Paul's attitude.

No doubt the motives of the Judaizers in Galatia were far from pure, and in an incidental way Paul does point out their impurity. But that was not the ground of his opposition. The Judaizers no doubt were morally far from perfect, but Paul's opposition to them would have been exactly the same if they had all been angels from heaven.

His opposition was based altogether upon the falsity of their teaching; they were substituting for the one true gospel a false gospel which was no gospel at all. It never occurred to Paul that a gospel might be true for one man and not for another; the blight of pragmatism had never fallen upon his soul. Paul was convinced of the objective truth of the gospel message, and devotion to that truth was the great passion of his life.

Should We Seek to Achieve Christian Unity at the Expense of Truth and Righteousness?


Pope Francis and the evangelicals, source


Excerpts from Some Things Are Not Negotiable, by A.W. Tozer

A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads "Thou shalt not disagree"; and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins "Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything."
It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. The purpose of these talks is not to confront truth, but to discover how the followers of other religions think and thus benefit from their views as we hope they will from ours.

It is a truism that people agree to disagree only about matters they consider unimportant. No man is tolerant when it concerns his life or the life of his child, and no one will agree to negotiate over any religious matter he considers vital to his eternal welfare.

Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences; or Athanasius trying to rise above his differences with Arius in order to achieve union on a higher level; or Luther crawling into the presence of the pope in the name of a broader Christian fellowship.

The desire to be liked even if not respected is a great weakness in any man's character, and in that of a minister of Jesus Christ it is a weakness wholly inexcusable. The popular image of the man of God as a smiling, congenial, asexual religious mascot whose handshake is always soft and whose head is always bobbing in the perpetual Yes of universal acquiescence is not the image found in the Scriptures of truth.

The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator had better watch his step. The ability to settle quarrels between members of God's household is a heavenly gift and one that should be assiduously cultivated. The discerning soul who can reconcile separated friends by prayer and appeal to the Scriptures is worth his weight in diamonds.

That is one thing, but the effort to achieve unity at the expense of truth and righteousness is another. To seek to be friends with those who will not be the friends of Christ is to be a traitor to our Lord. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.


In our culture today, do we have to compromise the truth to be tolerant? In this video, D.A. Carson takes a hard look the tendency of our culture to be intolerant in the name of tolerance. Tolerance, he says, has become the premiere virtue of our society, and yet we present a gospel that is most intolerant. How then should we live? How can we be faithful to His truth and speak with gospel with love and grace? Let's tackle with this hard issue together!

Christian Head Covering Issue: Achilles' heel of our Complementarianism

Parenthetically, why do our Southern Baptists friends–and other evangelicals who agree with them–not equally insist on the enforcement of the veil (1 Corinthians 11:3—6) along with the enforcement of "silence" for women? Why this selectivity in the text? By their own hermeneutic, wouldn’t this failure to enforce the veil amount to a capitulation to "liberal culture" and "tinkering with the words of God"?

-George O. Wood, a general superintendent for The General Council of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Missouri; quotes from Exploring Why We Think The Way We Do AboutWomen In Ministry

While I was investigating the history of female ordination in various denominations, I encountered the above criticism from the non-complementarian side.

A Christian feminist Rachel Held Evans has found the same point;

Anyone who says that Paul’s instructions regarding the women at Ephesus are universally binding because he appeals to the creation narrative to make his point can be consistent in that position only if they also require women in their church to cover their heads, as Paul uses a very similar line of argumentation to advocate that. (See 1 Corinthians 11.)

Well, I must admit that their criticism is both correct and logical. Without literal recovery of the headcovering practice in the church, our complementarianism--which is a lifeline of the biblical evangelicalism--cannot testify its truthfulness and validity to the feminist-driven world to the full content. Yes, complementarianism without headcovering practice is simply inconsistent and defective.

 Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Quote Image

Brother Jeremy Gardiner, a founder of the headcovering movement, mentioned that some complementarian friends have begun to question whether appeals to creation are a strong argument for male eldership in light of the head covering issue. Here is a honest confession of one brother;

 I have grown to see that my own treatment of, say, I Timothy 2:9-15 has not always reflected a sensitivity to the points made in an egalitarian exegesis of this passage. For example, I used to think that Paul’s mandate here is obviously trans-cultural because it is rooted in his doctrine of creation. Then I realized that Paul’s instruction about head coverings in I Corinthians 11 (which I have always accepted is culturally conditioned) is also rooted in creation. There is no reason in principle why exhortation grounded in the doctrine of creation must necessarily be trans-cultural.

And this is the very point that we are concerned. Like this brother, we're concerned that more and more will see this obvious inconsistency and start to get lost in the midst. Here is what brother Jeremy says;

I’m concerned many more will also see this inconsistency and instead of embracing head covering, will leave behind complementarianism. It’s not too late to make a change. If we restore the practice of head covering, I believe complementarianism will be embraced by more and will increase its longevity throughout future church history.

 ,,So to my complementarian brothers and sisters, will you devote some time to thinking through this issue? Will you with an open mind, listen to the best case for the timelessness of head covering and consider thoughtful responses to common objections? My hope is that you will, because more than a symbol is at stake.

How Gay Rights Advocate use Head Covering to Support their Position (VTR)
*The head covering passage (1 Corinthians 11:2-16) is a battleground for one of the most important issues of our day. Those who advocate for the normality of same-sex relationships by appealing to the Bible, use this passage to garner support for their position. As Christians we must understand their argument and get consistent in our theology if we are going to faithfully defend biblical sexuality.

Yes, more than a symbol is at stake indeed.

O Lord, help and bless all of our dear friends who are serving the Lord in various parts of the world. Help us to live up to Your word and be faithful to You until the end. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Feminism: The Slippery Slope to Totalitarianism in a New Guise


Excerpts from Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom

Chapter 15. The Slippery Slope to Totalitarianism in a New Guise

But nothing suggests that the promise of happiness can be fulfilled by unlimited freedom. An ideology that promises unlimited, self-designed freedom and self-satisfaction, plunges people into a no-man‘s-land of selfishness, delivers them into the tyranny of their untamed instincts.

Such an ideology causes the very one „who conceals the grossest and strongest tyrant lurking in his soul“ to be tyrant over its people. Plato described this dialectic of absolute freedom two and a half millennia ago.

The looming totalitarianism of the 21st Century wears a different costume than its counterpart in the 20th Century, this time with no mustache, no jackboots. We, in our contemporary society, do not recognize current totalitarian tendencies because, when we look at the crimes of our fathers, we believe ourselves to be blameless and do not see that evil always takes on different forms at different times.

The new totalitarianism is flexible and adaptable to values that are popular today, even placing the mantle of freedom around its shoulders, all the while destroying the very conditions for freedom, step by step.

It brilliantly masters new technological means of communication and puts their potential for total control to its use. It blinds and confuses, mixing each truth with lies and each lie with a grain of truth, so that people can no longer distinguish truth from falsehood, until finally truth itself is suspected of curtailing freedom.

The result is a current of opinion that is so powerful that people no longer trust their own perceptions to the point of replacing them by an ideology, which by their own experience and with their own eyes can be recognized as a lie - the denial of the sexual polarity of man and woman.


The space of intellectual freedom and search for truth is being poisoned by ideology. An ideological thought complex is violating reality itself in the service of political power interests that lurk behind seemingly good goals.

To achieve the ultimate goals, any means is justified, any lie, any falsification, any manipulation. What begins as violation of the truth in the intellectual realm then proceeds in violence against people.
Karl Marx

Karl Marx wrote “Capital: Critique of Political Economy” at his desk; he didn’t kill anyone. But within a hundred years hundreds of millions of people had to die for a utopia that soon was nothing more than a pretext for the total power of a criminal gang.


violence ; Russian Revolution
Whereas Marxism promised to abolish concrete adversities of the working class, and the women‘s movement took up the cause against real disadvantages of women —both movements thereby having a base of real need in the mass population— the current cultural revolution does not call for the betterment of a large oppressed population group, but rather seeks a complete transformation of the whole society in the name of a new anthropology, in the service of a small minority.

The ideological deception of serving accepted values must be in force long enough for totalitarian power structures to be established that ensure the rule of a small minority.
There appears to be no unified ideology which, like Marxism, compresses past, present and future in a stranglehold of interpretation. Today each person is apparently given the freedom to interpret his existence, his sex, his moral values; but this is a freedom that denies the existential conditions of man and will, like any ideology, eventually turn against man.

-the end-

For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. and he shall be for a sanctuary. -Isaiah 8:11-14a

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.-Matthew 10:22

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Will You Trample On A "Fumie"? ; An Evangelical Test Regarding The Homosexual Issues


fumie in Nagasaki, 17th century
A fumi-e (踏み絵 fumi "stepping-on" + e "picture") was a likeness of Jesus or Mary upon which the religious authorities of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan required suspected Christians to step on in order to prove that they were not members of the Christian church. The use of fumie began with the persecution of Christians in Nagasaki in 1629.

Government officials made everybody trample on these pictures and then people who were reluctant to step on the pictures were identified as Christians. If they refused to change their religion, then they were tortured and killed.
Christian response to homosexual issues is considered to be a fumie in the 21st century. That's because the spirit of the age and public opinion in general (both inside and outside the churches) are rapidly inclined to the approbation of the homosexual act and its legalization.

Even some of the most outstanding complementarian pastors start to evade facing the issue, and to avoid the shame and rejection of the Cross of Calvary in order to keep in step with the world. I will present one such example as follows;

It seems to me that Mr. Timothy Keller kept skirting the question in a sophisticated way. What made me grieve most, however, was its non-serious, jokey atmosphere which we can see and feel in this video. I believe that the eternal destination of each soul is so important and serious that one cannot deal with the issue in such a light, joking manner. It is indeed a life and death issue.

I was impressed by the sincere and serious attitude of Robert M'Cheyne who dealt with the hell and judgment issue passionately and earnestly.

One doctor who sincerely concerns the welfare of his dying patients never laugh nor joke with his colleagues when he is asked to explain the condition of his patients to their family members.

O Lord, help us to be earnest and serious toward our eternal destination. Give us power to be faithful to You and Your words at any cost and never to trample on a fumie. In Jesus' name. Amen.
*For those who want to dig these issues, I would recommend the following book.
Kuby chronicles the intellectual infiltration and conquest of virtually all other value-making institutions, leaving Christianity and its individual members standing virtually alone in the public square. Their message that sex is a powerful force that must be regulated and linked to the inherently sacrificial institution of marriage and family is now persecuted – and prosecuted – as homophobic.
,,Kuby, therefore, is warning against not merely the newly powerful ideology of pansexualism, but also the insidious return of totalitarianism, of the wolf clothed as a lamb, and of the tyrant masked as a defender of freedom. -quotes from here.


A Vision for Souls: A fervent call for world missions


The tom-toms thumped straight on all night, and the darkness shuddered ‘round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy precipice, and at my feet at crevice broke down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving in single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding onto her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step…it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, they cry as they went over!
Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; and all made straight for the crevice’s edge. They were shrieks as they suddenly knew in themselves that they were falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered with a wonder that was simple agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not, I was glued to the ground. And I could not call; though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were guards set at intervals. But the intervals were too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned towards the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise.
And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get all excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more guards out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no guards set for miles and miles of the edge.

One girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called, and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for a while; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called — but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, the two little hands still holding right to the torn-off bunch of grass.
And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; they gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was; the cry of the blood.

Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord. And he said, “What hast though done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground.”

The ton-toms still beat heavily, and darkness still shuddered and shivered about me. I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shrieks of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.

What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?
 — God forgive us! God arouse us!
Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin!

-Amy Carmichael, Thy Brother’s Blood Crieth
from Diary of David Brainerd

 About nine withdrew to the woods for prayer,,Toward night my burden respecting my work among the Indians began to increase much, and was aggravated by hearing sundry things which looked very discouraging, in particular that they intended to meet together the next day for an idolatrous feast and dance.
Then I began to be in anguish; I thought that I must in conscience go and endeavor to break them up, yet know not how to attempt such a thing. However, I withdrew for prayer, hoping for strength from above.

In prayer I was exceedingly enlarged, and my soul was as much drawn out as I ever remember it to have been in my life. I was in such anguish, and pleaded with such earnestness and importunity, that when I rose from my knees I felt extremely weak and overcome; I could scarcely walk straight; my joints were loosed; the sweat ran down my face and body, and nature seemed as if it would dissolve.

So far as I could judge, I was wholly free from selfish ends in my fervent supplications for the poor Indians. I knew that they were met together to worship devils, and not God; and this made me cry earnestly that God would now appear and help me in my attempts to break up this idolatrous meeting.

My soul pleaded long, and I thought that God would hear, and would go with me to vindicate his own cause: I seemed to confide in God for his presence and assistance. And thus I spent the evening, praying incessantly for divine assistance, and that I might not be self-dependent, but still have my whole dependence upon God.

What I passed through was remarkable, and indeed inexpressible. All things here below vanished, and there appeared to be nothing of any considerable importance to me, but holiness of heart and life, and the conversion of the heathen to God.

All my cares, fears and desires, which might be said to be of a worldly nature, disappeared, and were, in my esteem, of little more importance than a puff of wind.

I exceedingly longed that God would get to himself a name among the heathen; and I appealed to him with the greatest freedom, that he knew I 'Preferred him above my chief joy.'

Indeed, I had no notion of joy from this world; I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ.

 -David Brainerd
Give me the Love that leads the way,
The Faith that nothing can dismay;
The Hope no disappointments tire,
The Passion that will burn like fire.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Thus, would I blossom even today


I dedicate this little poem for my fellow Christian friends who are serving the Lord Jesus
 sincerely in obscure places.
People say I am of no use,
a meaningless creation.
Is that so?
A tiny little crack of the asphalt is my space.
This only is my place.
Lo, a vast universe and
an eternal stream of time and space!
And all the creations live, move and have
their being in Him.
Far transcending and yet dwelling in me,
O His Spirit!
Lord, isn't it amazing that
there is Thy universe above and within.
 And the stream of His overflowing Spirit
is waving in me.
 Thus, would I blossom even today,
tiny and little I may be.
O that through my living and dying,
will I leave a grain of His message to the world.
written by Kinuko

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Seeking and following the path of our Lord Jesus


That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Phil.3:10


I would bear in my body the dying
Of Him who has died for me—
Here share, O my Lord, Thy rejection
Ere I sit on Thy throne with Thee.
I see Thee alone, broken-hearted,
Of comforters findest Thou none;
Yet Thine was the gladness of Heaven,
The love and the glory Thine own.
The gall and the vinegar only,
The thirst of Thine agony stills;
Yet Thine were the streams and the fountains
Of Thine everlasting hills.
In sorrow, in want, in dishonour,
How dear are Thy footsteps to me;
The fountain is sweet to the thirsty,
But sweeter is thirsting with Thee.
Thus to show to the world that rejects Thee,
To show to the Angels above,
How blessed Thy yoke and Thy burden,
To him who has tasted Thy love.
The maiden who gathereth roses,
Another, another would find;
So sweet are the tracks of Thy sorrow
To him who would follow behind.
Thus would I press on to the glory,
A knight in the army of God,
Whose march will be onward and forward
Because of the foes on the road.
Above me the stars in the heavens,
Stars countless, so many they be;
So glorious, albeit so countless
The sorrows I suffer for Thee.
Heinrich Suso, The Marks of the Lord Jesus