Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Uncommon faith

Our good friends S and L took my wife and me to an unusual worship service last evening. There were about 100 people in a small church in To Kwa Wan. Most of them are former drug addicts, released prisoners or otherwise people of the “rivers and lakes” (江湖). The pastor himself was one of them.

There were a lot of energetic singing, shaking of hands, clapping, and praying. A man with late stage cancer of the stomach and several other people were called to the front and specifically prayed for. A lady preacher preached from Jesus’ encounter with the family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus - how the family welcomed Jesus into their home. And particularly, how Mary chose the better by listening to Jesus.

Theirs is a more emotional type of faith, focusing on relationships and the grace from God. Rather than logic, facts, and rational arguments. Christ and the Holy Spirit rather than the historical Jesus. It reminds me that there are two sides to our faith: the rational, intellectual side, and the emotional, relational side - both of which are important.

Later on, we learned about an unusual healing method. Scientifically, it seems possible but improbable. It also looks dangerous. Based on what we have learned so far, it does seem to work miraculously well. It is a mystery to us so far.


Anonymous said...

Yes,there are two sides of our faith. To some, one is more important or appealing than the others but i suppose to some people, both sides are needed, to different extent, to complete our faith. Faith to me, is to believe those seemingly unbelievable, is to believe those we cannot see or imagine. So it appeals to my emotion and senses, more than my rational or scientific self. Ann

StephenC said...

I think we all need both, perhaps to different extents because of our different backgrounds and predispositions.

Faith based on emotion, without any reason at all, is blind and superstitious. Faith based on reason only, without any emotion, is cold, calculating and unloving.

Neither is desirable.

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