Jul 08 2012

An uncommon path: Pantai Baptist Church and meeting good friends

Original post at http://www.dionforster.com/blog/2012/7/9/pantai-baptist-church-and-meeting-good-friends.html

Yesterday was another wonderful day here in Malaysia.  

Young Soon, the director of Malaysian Care collected me from my hotel in Sentral KL at just before 8am. We drove the short distance to Pantai Baptist Church where I was kindly given an opportunity to preach in their two morning service.  Pantai Baptist Church (formerly First Baptist Church) is a wonderful, vibrant, socially engaged, Christian community.  The worship was wonderful - I always find being in worship with sisters and brothers across the world as a rich and deep experience of grace.  There is an aspect of worship that makes me feel at home, among family, not matter how far I am from home.

Marvin Wong is the minister of this thriving Church.  As we chatted we discovered that we have many friends and interests in common.  Marvin did his studies in Cambridge and knows Wesley House well.  He also knows Mark Greene from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and Peter Heslam from Cambridge's Transforming business (Enterprise solutions to poverty) institute.

I had a chance to talk about the importance of integrating faith and every sphere of life (work, politics, economics, community life etc.)  Marvin had asked that I share from my book 'Transform your work life', which was a great joy.  I am passionate about that message.  Of course I also focussed on 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption' and the Unashamedly Ethical campaign.

A few persons asked me to post my powerpoint slides from the sermon online.  So, here they are! The title of the sermon was a question:  Are you a Monday morning atheist?  

Simply stated, an atheist is someone who acts as if they have no faith or belief in God.  Sadly, I have experienced that many Christians live parts of their lives as if they are atheists - sure, we find it easy to be people of faith in 'places of faith' (like a Church building or Church service), but do we live our work life, or social life, our community life with the awareness that God is present there?  Do we ask God to guide, direct and inform our decisions, choices and actions at work, when we are given a chance to cast a vote, to participate in shaping an institution or making ethical decisions?  It is critical that we recapture our responsibility as Christians to be 'salt and light' in the world - working for the transformation and renewal of every aspect of society, to the glory of God and for the blessing of all people and the rest of creation.

Last night was a wonderful time of friendship as I went to dinner with Alvin Tan and one of his leaders Charlie.  Alvin and I have been good friends for a number of years - he is one of the leaders of the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical in Malaysia.  He and Charlie blessed me with a relaxed evening of good conversation and fellowship.  It is wonderful to know such brothers in Christ.

About the author

Dr Dion Forster

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2012/07/pantai-baptist-church-and-meeting-good-friends/

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