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Notes from THE HAVEN
Monday, October 13, 2003
It is 11:35. I feel terribly clean and well rested. Hong Kong seems to be a place where when it rains, it gets cleaner. When it rains in Shanghai, it just seems to get mankier. The wet version, if you may, of the dust bowl Greater China is considered, there is black mud everywhere, even though your shoes get the most abuse, it is like the paranoiac fit you become after you get attacked by a single mosquito, then the grime is all around you, you just feel extremely dirty. Now back at The Haven, taken a shower, watched some English TV, typing away, banging my head to the fast version of "Sometimes".. its good to be back home.
Travelling to the airport at 6:30 Saturday morning was really what I did not want to do after saying a "see you later" to Sandy earlier that morning. Getting to the airport, I realised what it was that was making me queezie and irritable as I was too tired to notice my stomach telling me to purchase, bite, chew and swallow. Getting into China, I hopped onto a taxi, realizing slowly how over-staffed the country is. Things I had forgotten were creating a micro-culture shock for me. I tried to speak in my tongue-like Madarin, trying t give instructions to the smartly dressed driver who gave me a nod and proceeded to drive like a Kung-fu master of Monkey Fist on Bacardi with a twist. I tell you, we call cabbies "Shi-fu" (master) in China because it takes martial arts to negotiate the roads there. Anyhow, it began to piss down and the hour-long ride from the airport was doing things to my head. I would love to tell you all that I was admiring all the development there and the large buildings were very impressive, but I just slept. Helping the cabbie find the building my parents live in, we drew near to the guard, who began to have a theoretical debate with me about where the main entrance should be. I do not know much but I know that back door to the parking lot cannot be the main entrance to a luxury residential complex. And do that have to be that LOUD??? Their pitch was so screech-like and piercing that I had to tell them to Shush, literally. I paid the cabbie and told him to leave so that the noise would stop. Standing there, I thanked God for mobile roaming and called my mum to come save me. She did.
I can tell you that the main entrance streched 100 meters and had glass walls three stories high, a sles counter, and a reception with about 10 people greeting you by name. That my dear gurad, is a main entrance. It had been a while since I last saw me mum. She seemed, despite the weather, quite up-beat and lost a little weight. I settled in, and took a tour round the new appartment. It was lovely.
We went to the restaurant opposite for lunch where I replayed the misadventures I had in Tokyo and about the investment conference last week. We then went to visit the appartment that my dad bought that would become our home if we so chose, in another part of Shanghai and chilled out there. This appartment was lovlier, full view of what looks like a beautiful river from far (different story up close). Then went for a 32 yuan massage for 2 hours before dinner.
Dinner was a stunner. I do not know if it is simply because I am a natural critic at heart, or because this was my former job but I just couldn't stop. Chez Flo is a very reputable brand of Parisian brasseries across the world. However, its reputation god lost somewhere crossing the pearl delta because there was nothing worse than Chez Flo Shanghai. First of all, allow me to introduce the line-up. There was my parent's friends, the Hsu's who are a very cute couple, the husband, a good businessman and sociable, the wife, shy. the type that would cover her mouth when she smiles naturally. The wife always tried to sneak off to pay the bill and I always manage to do it before her and she sits there speechlessly embarassed because I sussed her out.. every time. There was my mum's mate Jane, aka Xiao Fei, who is well in her fourties but has the energy of a 28 year-old and the wit of a auctioneer. There was another one of my mum's mates, who's name eludes me, and her daughter. She was always seemed to be a very loving woman with super-normal intel, a woman I have admired, something her husband, on the other hand, had failed to recognise. Good for her to be rid of him. There was also, my childhood friend Lawrence and his wife Nora, whom I met for the frist time.
I shall now go to sleep before I introduce Chez Flo and its verious atrocities. I hope are ready for it.
Right, before I get into anything I would like to give special and honorable mention to Michelle for baking her first meat pie!!!! Hoorah for Michelle!!!!!!
Tonight's plus has been cancelled, the perishability of pluses just leave me dumbfounded, one minute you cannot make one but when one is cancelled, you realise that you will just have to wait. In honour of the plus that was not to be, I will tell you, dear friends of the amazingly challenging bible study we had last week.
The book is 1 Cortinthians the chapters include 5 and 6. Before we go further, I would suggest you prepare yourselves. DISCLAIMER: THIS SCRIPTURE IS HARDCORE copyright Dawn Strachan.
Again, the group was small with some of the usual suspects, RR-Honda, Lolly, my lovely sister Linnet (who was so keen she turned up at 7), a couple who comes often but will remain nameless as my memory fails me dramatically, Andrew (who needed to make a conference call mid-way) and Ross who delivered us the word.
After worship, Ross introduced the subject by bringing in a caption from Savage Love, a write-in and let me console you, sex talk for the modern world you can find in many publications including our very own Hong Kong Magazine. This particular article follows on the establishment that men will inevitable subscribe to pornography in previous articles and was focused on a woman's questions on practical ways she should deal with her other half reading, watching and doing other things with porn. The answer, my dear lady, is that although boys will be boys, it doesn't imply that that is right.
To create even more of a disturbance, it was followed by another article on Bishop Spong, who goes across the nations peddling his view that the church is too ridged and should accept openly homosextual priests, open its doors and be happy with all sexual preference, gay, straight or otherwise.
These articles were brought up to give an outline of what the people of the modern world find acceptable. Or, in Spong’s case, pushing to make acceptable.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians chapters 5 and 6.
I will not go into detail with every bit of scripture but underline the segments we focused on and disturbed us the most. Background: Paul wrote to the people of Corinth whilst he resided in Ephesus to help them break from sin. The believed in the Christ Jesus but had some skewered values like being boastful about their sexual activity and believing in other gods. Please read the chapters.
Paul goes on to explain the following
11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler (Basically everyone). With such a man do not even eat. 12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
Ok so we are not allowed to even keep company of, eat or drink with those who are sexually immoral, and we are to turn them over to Satan, back in the day basically, take them out and stone them.
The issue is that this is the word of God. God knows all the events that have past and have yet to come. It is therefore challenging to follow this particular teaching if we view it as literally turning the immoral over to the enemy. Should we, in this day and age allow for open homosexuals or immoral people into our house and into our community, or should we exclude them and, well, stone them?
We came to the first conclusion that none of us would allow for sexually immoral individuals to become leadership figures of the church as this teaches against God’s teachings. I even find that if I, for example, were to date a non-christian girl, then I feel that leadership should not allow me to continue my duties with 180 nor church. I say this not because of segregation but because God has planned a perfect partner for each of us and to date before she knows him means we are going before him, we also have a lack of faith as we act in haste. I do not mean that Christians should not date non-christians as I myself had been a follower of that model before I met Jesus, and she led me to Him, and I was on fire, it does work and God works in many ways but church leaders should not condone people in service who do the same as they mis-represent the basic teachings. So openly homosexual leadership – big no-no.
We have, however entered the period of grace where everyone should be allowed access to the Lord in any which way that can be provided. Looking at homosecuals, for example, they have their own churches and they have their own beliefs, how then if we reject them, which we have for so long, shall they ever enter salvation? If we turn from them, condemn them and disallow them to enter the church, we turn them over to the enemy, then how can we have faith that they ever will be saved. We felt that everyone has a right to salvation and we are in an age where the doors are wide open for everyone who seeks. The bible tells us that to think about killing is the same as killing and the being angry is just as sinful as beating on someone, in this sense, we all carry some sort of sin why would the sexually immoral be any different from those who slander? I personally will refuse to give up on anyone, let alone those who need God the most and I know that most of us at plus feel the same way.
The real challenge is understanding the truth in this scripture and how we can apply it to our lives and the age we live in today. Perhaps we completely missed the point. The King James Version reads that we are to turn the flesh over to Satan so that his spirit will die and find eternal life in Christ Jesus. It may be a metaphor for the act of baptism where we die and rise again in Christ Jesus.
I know that all the pluses are studying the above this week. I will be anxious to get your input.