Hate the sin, love the sinner

Matthew 7 has a really good quote about judging others. The first verse goes “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (NIV) of which the famous phrase “Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself” comes from.

christians

I was born and raised a Christian and part of the reason I drifted away from the church is due to the unbiblical conduct of Christians. Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ, a beacon of light, the salt of the earth. I’m not talking about Christians committing sins, for that is the lesser evil.

I am turned off by the misguided fundamentalists who are quick to judge, inflexible and unforgiving. These are the ones who whisper, gossip and hate. Yes, hate. Not an emotion you usually associate with Christians. They sow seeds of hate, which is prohibited by the teachings of Jesus.

The Gospel according to St. Matthew has a gem of a phrase in Matthew 7:5: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Taken in context, the preceding verses go “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”

The “speck” and “plank” refers to sin, for the uninitiated. These are the very words uttered by Jesus Christ to his disciples 2,000 years ago.

I like the commentary by Matthew Henry (no relation to the Matthew who wrote the gospel, obviously) which describes the chapter as follows (emphasis mine):

We must judge ourselves, and judge of our own acts, but not make our word a law to everybody. We must not judge rashly, nor pass judgment upon our brother without any ground. We must not make the worst of people.

The Bible is very clear about this.

Gossip is another thing The Good Book (TM) has a very firm stance about. The Bible equates gossip to murder. I shall pick some choice morsels from the Bible to back this up.

Romans 1:29 – “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.” (Note how Paul puts gossipers and slanderers in the same league as murderers)

1 Timothy 5:13 – “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

James 1:26 – “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

One thing that my father (who is a very devout Christian) taught me is this: love. I’m sure a lot of you is familiar with The First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians – an epistle is a letter) where Paul wrote on the subject in Chapter 13. “Love is patient, love is kind.” Perhaps a more familiar phrase would be “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

I asked my dad once, how is it possible to love when the people around you insult you, gossip about you, and slander your good name? He replied simply, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin“.

A lot of fundamentalists claim this is not actually biblical and originated from Gandhi’s autobiography where he writes “Hate the sin and not the sinner”. However, St. Augustine taught that ages before Gandhi was even born – Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum which translates to “Love all mankind, but maintain a hatred of their sins”.

I’ve always liked that phrase, not because it provides a convenient excuse for my lifestyle, but because it is biblically sound. 1 John says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

A true act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though you do not approve of their lifestyle.

You talk the talk, you attend church every Sunday, but do you truly walk the walk?

You ask yourself that before you judge me.

I find solace in The Beatitudes: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you…rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

I leave you with one last verse from the Bible: “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

One year older, one year wiser?

bday cutting

I turn 28 today. My birthday is on the 5th of April 1981 (it’s always Cheng Beng except for leap years) but I don’t make it a habit of celebrating my birthdays.

bday me

I remember less-than-optimal serotonin levels during my birthday, being in rehab during my birthday, and being so totally messed up that I forgot it was even my birthday! Birthdays are not exactly my favorite day of the year.

bday heli

Anyway, I had an office birthday this year, thanks to SH (less than 3 you, always). She was kind enough to go out of her way to get a cake and a miniature helicopter (to commemorate my helicopter ride) for me. Thanks SH! :)

bday cake

It’s a nice feeling to have people remember your birthday and the people at work set up a diversion and got the conference room ready for the cake cutting ceremony. Thanks to Mimi, Vei Teck and all the others for showing up (and the ones who were there in spirit – thanks Joyce). Cheers! I appreciate the gesture.

You the best SH. I know what you did and I’m touched. My eternal gratitude for the office birthday on Friday. :)

Cheers to Eiling and Yiling who were the first to wish me a happy birthday and the lunch invite next week.

Doris, thanks for the birthday wishes. I’m glad you remembered.

Cynthia, Zoe, Mel, Sze, appreciate the birthday wishes. :)

Cheers Teng Loo for the birthday wishes. You didn’t forget the article that Karen sent us. ;)

Abby, my real estate agent, I suspect you read this blog from your text and I’m surprised you let me rent the place despite all that you know. Thank you for your birthday wishes. :)

bday cherie

Thanks Cherie for the…erm, *cough* birthday gift, the single malt whiskey and the kolo mee all the way from Kuching.

The best birthday wish goes to Arthur, who sent me a text which goes “May you be as handsome as you think, as rich as your friends believe and may you have as many women as everyone suspects! Happy birthday!” LOL! I still can’t stop laughing. Cheers buddy.

To anyone I missed out, my apologies, here is a catchall – thank you everyone for wishing me a happy birthday!

Alright, this “Thank You” post has gone way too long so let’s go through what I did during my birthday. I went to the Nuffnang Music Bash on Saturday, dropped by Cherie’s condo after that to chill, and went to the F1 race in Sepang on Sunday. I just got home and I’m coloring my hair back to black now before heading to bed. My apologies for the disjointed post – I’m sleep deprived and I need to catch up on zzz.

…and finally, thank you all for peppering my Facebook wall with birthday wishes. You made my day. :)

Oh, and if you want to give me a birthday present, I really need a wallet. I suggest Mudah.my – get it delivered to my office. ;)

Boss! Secondhand Rolex, mahu?

rolex

I have been loitering around various places during my lunch hour, dodging security and soliciting strangers in an attempt to sell off my Rolex (looks like the one here for your reference: https://www.luxewatches.co.uk/brand/rolex/). It’s harder than it sounds, most people look at me with a mixture of apprehension and disdain when I approach them. It wasn’t a very successful experiment…

…perhaps a lot of it had to do with the fact that I accidentally let slip about the Rolex being stolen goods while attempting to hock it to a couple of women walking out of their office. My friend was there to film me coz I bet I could sell it (the watch is hers) and my less-than-successful attempts cracked her up.

There’s gotta be a better way to go about this. I mean seriously, who does this anymore in the Internet generation? I want an easier way to sell stuff I don’t need – easy being the keyword here. I’m not going to stand around looking dodgy and approach random people. There’s got to be an easier way.

Mudah is the BM word for easy. I’m a bit low on cash so I tried to…er, make my services available on this online marketplace. I advertised under Services – 27 year old for sale, reasonably sane, overseas educated, available for the low, low price of RM 20,000 a night.

It didn’t get listed. :(

I’m not giving up though. I have a lot of stuff lying around at home that I can sell on Mudah.my to help tide me through the month. I’m testing what does and does not contravene their Terms & Conditions to maximize the wares I can sell. :) 

breakfast

I have a slanting breakfast bar which requires a plastic container to prop it up to a reasonable angle. I’m willing to let it go for RM 300. Installation and dismantling charges not included. I’ll throw in the garbage bags for free if you come and pick it up yourself. 

ck

This is a bottle of CK Eternity purchased in 1997. I’m serious. It has undergone an aging process for more than a decade and I’ve barely used it. I’ll let it go for RM 400. My rationale for the higher price is that alcohol is more expensive when it’s been aged. Eau de toilette has alcohol. :) 

dslr

All kidding aside, I got a call from Sony Malaysia telling me that I’ve won a TV. I’m serious. I bought a Sony alpha 350 dSLR earlier this year and the people at Sony Style filled up a contest form for me with proof of purchase. Well, I was informed that I won a Sony TV from that contest and I’ll have to pick it up from Sony Style. I don’t need a TV but I need the cash so I’m going to list that on Mudah.my as soon as I pick it up. No, I’m not selling my dSLR. :p 

mudah

You can conveniently buy and sell on Mudah.my anytime, anywhere. Property, cars, cell phones, computers, and more can be found listed on the site. It’s a Malaysian online marketplace too so you don’t have to worry about customs and expensive postal charges. The possibilities are endless!

It’s particularly useful for those of us who works long hours. I can buy stuff and get it delivered right to the office. 

giving

The convenience of getting gifts for your loved ones online nullifies the effort and time required to go browsing about traditional brick and mortar establishments. Mudah.my facilitates this – I can order a gift online, get the seller to deliver it to my office and pass it right after work. 

cacing

It didn’t go down too well though. Perhaps cacing merah (red worms) wasn’t the best choice. I just thought it would be useful for fishing. *shrugs* 

vios

The Toyota Vios 1.5G was a hit though. Spoil your loved ones (or yourself) by browsing through the “marketplace of Malaysia” and pick an item at rock bottom prices.

Mudah.my – the possibilities are endless! :)

What did you say about my mother's pillow?!?

mother

Okay, I’ve seen a lot of wacky celebration days but this just takes the cake. Did you know that there’s an International Pillow Fight Day? I kid you not, Google it, and ye shall find the answer (complete with photos of hundreds of people bashing each other up with soft, fluffy pillows).

Well, such interesting events are not limited to the States anymore. Does everyone remember the KL Freeze in Unison flash mob? It was awesome – I didn’t get to participate in it (coz I wasn’t in KL at that time) but it was featured on Astro. Mainstream television!

Anyway, the great mind(s) behind the first flash mob in KL is organizing another event – just as zany, and twice as fun. Pillow fight, anyone?

corntozposter

Lucky for us, Corntoz is sponsoring the Corntoz Pillow Fight. It is happening on our very shores on the 4th of April 2009 at 4 pm.

Now, a lot of us have been deprived of the simple joys of slapping each other silly with a feather stuffed piece of fabric since sleepovers are not exactly common over here. It’s great fun, especially if the pillows are made with real feathers and it all comes out. Just like in the movies. ;)

Now, since I don’t have a bedroom sparring partner (okay, that didn’t sound right coming out) I have re-enacted a pillow fight…with miscellaneous action figures and fluffy toys.

panda

Poor Panda: Ouch! You did not just do that. I’m going to get my team to give you a proper pillow smack down.

brawl

Belligerent Bear: O rly? You and what army? Those miniature Gundam figurines?

spiderman

Poor Panda: Nope, this huge Spiderman.
Belligerent Bear: *gulps*

Anyway, if you’re interested in the Corntoz Pillow Fight, you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get at the details. The location of the Gathering Point will be revealed at the Corntoz Pillow Fight website on the 2nd of April (tomorrow) at 2 am.

It’s all very hush-hush. The Gathering Point is not the venue of the pillow fight, but rather a rendezvous point. The actual venue will only be revealed on the day itself so be there at 4 pm on the 4th of April 2009. You’ll be split into two groups and battle it out. There are 60 cities around the world participating! Don’t forget to bring your own pillow.

pillow

You know the best thing about Corntoz Pillow Fight? It’s organized by the same people as KL Freeze in Unison so who knows which media station is going to show up? Fancy your ugly mug on the TV?

I do. I’m going!

(and I’m sure going to stick to the cameraman like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth)


Corntoz Pillow Fight 4 April 2009 from RandomAlphabets on Vimeo.

Look ma, I’m on TV! =D

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