Veneration or worship

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Message by Pastor D

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Veneration or worship

  1. 1. Christian &Culture Series
  2. 2. Christian & Culture Series: 2010 The Christian & Chinese New Year Tradition
  3. 3. etain – Cultural & Beneficialeject – Religious & Demonicedeem – Neutral
  4. 4. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial • Reunion Dinner
  5. 5. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial • Reunion Dinner • New Year visitation
  6. 6. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial • Reunion Dinner • New Year visitation • Ang Pow
  7. 7. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic • All forms of idol-worship • Superstitious beliefs & practices • Sweeping floor • Opening business • Inverted “Fú”
  8. 8. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic3. Redeem – Neutral • Couplets (Dui Lian)
  9. 9. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic3. Redeem – Neutral • Couplets (Dui Lian) • Yee Sang
  10. 10. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic3. Redeem – Neutral • Couplets (Dui Lian) • Yee Sang • Lion Dance
  11. 11. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic3. Redeem – Neutral • Couplets (Dui Lian) • Yee Sang • Lion Dance • “Shou Shui” • Family tradition
  12. 12. Christian & Culture Series: 2011 Christian Response to QingMing Festival
  13. 13. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial • Family gathering • Memory of ancestors • Cleaning of graves • Repair of tomb-stone
  14. 14. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic • Ancestral worship – at home and at grave-site. • Food offered @ ancestral worship.
  15. 15. 1. Retain – Cultural & Beneficial2. Reject – Religious & Demonic3. Redeem – Neutral • Filial piety
  16. 16. Christian & Culture Series: 2012Food Offered to Idols
  17. 17. Food offered to Idols  1 Cor 8:1-13  1 Cor 10:16-22  1 Cor 10: 23-33
  18. 18. Conclusions from 1 Cor 81. Motivation of LOVE2. Do not stumble others
  19. 19. Conclusions from 1 Cor 10 1. No participation in idol feasts. 2. Don’t question source of meat sold in market. 3. Eat whatever is served. 4. Abstain if informed.
  20. 20. Concluding Remarks1. Non-essential matter  Our focus in life is to honour God in all areas.  Teaching should be done.  Do not judge & condemn others.2. Do not STUMBLE others  Christians  Non-Christians
  21. 21. Chinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian ResponseVeneration orWorship?
  22. 22. Veneration: • Profound respect or reverence; inspired by the dignity, wisdom, dedication or talent of a person. Worship: • Act of religious devotion directed towards a deity.Chinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian Response
  23. 23. 1. Theological Perception 2. The Practice 3. Our Christian ResponseChinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian Response
  24. 24. 1. Theological PerceptionChinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian Response
  25. 25. “Chinese Religion” –Blending / Amalgamation of: • Confucianism • Taoism • Buddhism • Shenism Resurgence of “Pure” Buddhism Theological Perception
  26. 26. “Chinese” view on DEATH & AFTER-LIFE:1. Spirit world – continuation / mirror image of human world.  Need2. Interdependence between the living and the dead.  Bless or curse Theological Perception
  27. 27. “Chinese” view on DEATH & AFTER-LIFE:3. Concept of the soul … 3 souls:  Yin world  Ancestral tablet  Body of deceased4. Shen and Kui Theological Perception
  28. 28. “Chinese” view on DEATH & AFTER-LIFE:5. Reincarnation (Buddhism)  Death – transition from this life to next  Accumulated karmic forces activated  Transference of merits by the living  Rebirth @ end of 49 days  Ultimate goal  Nirvana Theological Perception
  29. 29. 1. Theological Perception 2. The PracticeChinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian Response
  30. 30. The Funeral RiteEncoffining one of the 3 souls:• Body is ceremonially washed.• Personal items placed in coffin.• Coin in mouth – bribe officials of Yin world.• Grains of rice in mouth – never go hungry.• Pearl in mouth – light the way.• Mirrors, statutes of deities covered up by paper. The Practice
  31. 31. The Funeral WakeAssisting the 2nd soul on its trip toWestern Paradise.• Lying in state, odd no of days, in proportion to respect accorded to deceased.• Mourning period – 49 or 100 days, cloth patch, no bright coloured clothing.• no marriage within 1-3 years. The Practice
  32. 32. The Funeral Wake• Volume of crying – professional mourners hired.• Immediate family members kneel to side of altar.• Mourning clothes – “ranking” differentiated by colours. The Practice
  33. 33. The Funeral Wake• Visitors stand before altar, bow, offer incense & turn to bow to kneeling family members.• “White gift”. The Practice
  34. 34. The Prayer for the deadTaoist rites and rituals –• Assist the deceased to escape from hell, either reincarnated into a better life or enter the Western Paradise. The Practice
  35. 35. The Prayer for the deadTaoist rites and rituals• Family members, led by the eldest son carrying a lantern, would have to circle the coffin 10 times.• Levels of punishment in hell.• Cross from Yin World to Western Paradise. Hawpar Villa, Singapore The Practice
  36. 36. The Prayer for the deadBuddhist Rites• Reincarnation in 49 days.• Chanting (contemplation of life & transference of merit).• Offering of dana to sangha (community of priest)  transference of merit. The Practice
  37. 37. Burial of the Dead• Do not face the coffin… leaving the house, being lowered into grave• Location of tomb… blessing & curses.• Feng shui practice. The Practice
  38. 38. Cremation of the Dead• Buddhists’ preferred mode.• Ashes: • Scattered @ sea • Placed in urn in Temple • Placed in urn in columbarium The Practice
  39. 39. Post Burial of the Dead• Return from cemetery or crematorium – cross over fire or pail of water with flowers.• Burning of the cloth patches – its superstitious meaning. The Practice
  40. 40. The Ancestral Tablet• Rite to invite one of the 3 souls to inhabit the ancestral tablet after 49 days, or 7-7.• Incense urn & candles.• Daily burning of joss-sticks.• Offering on 1st & 15th of each lunar month & festivals. The Practice
  41. 41. 1. Theological Perception 2. The Practice 3. Our Christian ResponseChinese Funeral Practices: Our Christian Response
  42. 42. 1. Should Christians attend Chinese Funerals? You are the light of the world… let your light shine before men… (Matt 5:14, 16) The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 Jn 4:4) It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting… (Eccl 7:2) Our Christian Response
  43. 43. 2. Should Christians participate in Chinese Funeral rites? etain – Cultural & Beneficial eject – Religious & Demonic edeem – Neutral Our Christian Response
  44. 44. etain – Cultural & Beneficial Veneration – Honour & respect. Proper & dignified “Farewell”. Memories of the deceased. Comfort to the living. Help the grieving process. White-gift. Our Christian Response
  45. 45. eject – Religious & Demonic Religious rites & practices. Superstitious practices. Worship of the deceased. Our Christian Response
  46. 46. edeem – Neutral Mourning & grieving. Family “order” – by differing colours of mourning clothes. Ancestral “corner” – for photos of dearly departed for ourselves & our future generations. Our Christian Response
  47. 47. Practical ConsiderationFamily / Relatives• Be present.• Be intentionally & actively involved in all preparations, except religious rites.• Be financial contributor.• Be tower of strength. Our Christian Response
  48. 48. Practical ConsiderationNon-family, Friends• Be present, silent, bow in respect.• Do not hold joss-sticks.• View the body respectfully.• Comfort the family.• Pray with and for the family.• Be a testimony. Our Christian Response
  49. 49. 1 Peter 3:15But in your hearts set apart Christ asLord. Always be prepared to give ananswer to everyone who asks you to givethe reason for the hope that you have.But do this with gentleness andrespect… • Do not criticize • Do not ridicule • Do not condemn Our Christian Response
  50. 50. Practical Steps1. Establish early the Christian standard of living without compromise.2. Show filial piety in non-religious or non-idolatrous ways. Our Christian Response
  51. 51. 3. Honouring our parents while they are alive: • As acts of obedience to scriptural teaching. • Out of love and gratitude towards our parents. • To discredit any who might try to accuse us of not being filial. Our Christian Response
  52. 52. 4. Remembering our parents after they are gone…. Passing on legacy to the next generation.5. Share Christ with our loved ones… and pray for their salvation! Our Christian Response
  53. 53. Our Christian Response to Chinese Funeral Practices Conclusion 1. Honour our parents / ancestors. 2. Glorify God in every aspect of our lives. 3. Bible: the basis of all matters of faith & conduct. 4. Obey God rather than men. (Acts 4:19; 1 Peter 3:15) Veneration or Worship?
  54. 54. Veneration orWorship?

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