Life Journal

If you're interested in reading my reflections on the Life Journal Bible readings, check out Ian's Life Journal blog.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Malaysian Christians are not trying to restrict Muslims

I read in “Selangor Sultan calls on state Islamic councils to intervene in ‘Allah’ case appeal” that His Majesty Sultan Sharafuddin of Selangor said, “If Muslims in Selangor can respect those of other religions by not interfering in their religious matters, then I also urge non-Muslims to respect Muslims, especially on the use of the word Allah”.

I believe His Royal Highness has been misinformed regarding this situation. It is not that non-Muslims are interfering in Islam, but rather, that Muslims are effectively interfering in non-Muslims’ practice of their religion in this case.

Malaysian Christians are a minority in a relatively small country. So the amount of Christian materials produced here is relatively small.

I am an English-speaking Christian. I have no problems getting Christian materials and music from overseas for my own religious education and for the religious education of my children. Similarly, for Chinese-speaking and Tamil-speaking Christians.

The situation is much more difficult for our Bahasa-speaking Christian brothers and sisters. The biggest source of Christian materials and music in Bahasa is Indonesia.

In Indonesia, they follow the centuries-old practice of translating the word “Elohim” as “Allah”, because “Elohim” is a Hebrew cognate of the word “Allah”. Another word in the Bible for God, “Yahweh” or “Adonai” is translated “Tuhan”. Therefore, the phrase “Yahweh Elohim”, which appears in the Bible many times, is translated “Tuhan Allah” in Bahasa. In English translations, it is usually rendered as “LORD God”.

Therefore, if Bahasa-speaking Christians were forced to only use the word “Tuhan” and not “Allah”, they would have to say “Tuhan Tuhan” for “Yahweh Elohim” which would sound as if they were worshiping “gods”, rather than the One True God, Creator of the Universe.

By making it illegal for the word “Allah” to be used by Christians, it has become impossible to legally obtain Bibles, Christian teaching materials, worship songs, etc. from Indonesia. This cuts Bahasa-speaking Christians off from the biggest source of Christian material in Bahasa.

Bahasa-speaking Christians seek to uphold the sanctity of the name “Allah”. That the word “Allah” is used by Bahasa-speaking Christians is a testimony of the resounding success of Bahasa Malaysia being taught as the national language. Many Orang Asal are literate only in Bahasa and, hence, use the word “Allah” for God Almighty just like their counterparts in Arab countries and Indonesia. For further explanation on this, please refer to the letter “Berkenaan kalimah Allah”. 

Therefore, I urge Selangor Islamic authorities to recognize that this law is being unjustly restrictive on the free practice of religion by Bahasa-speaking Christian Selangorians.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Monday, 4 March 2019

Someone told me it was Dr. Seuss's 115th Birthday...

Someone told me it was Dr. Seuss's 115th Birthday... so I decided to post this picture which I modified from something I found on the Internet some years back...

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Amen by Watoto

The Watoto Children's Choir came to Malaysia and I heard them sing this song. It touched me so much, especially since it was so in line with the sentiments of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship's 21.21.21 call for prayer.

Therefore I figured out the chords and am sharing it with my friends for us to pray this for Malaysia, even as they have been praying it for Uganda. I hope they don't mind I changed the word "Uganda" to "Malaysia" in this version for this purpose.

Amen – Malaysian Adaptation

    D
Let justice fill this nation
     Bm
Have mercy Jesus please forgive our sin
D
Take the heart of stone away
Bm
Teach our hearts to bow before your name,
G A D
   Amen

D
Break the chains that bind us
Bm
Breathe your word of life unto this land
G
Let our country rise again
Bm                    A
For the glory of your name

 G    Bm
Amen Amen
         D
Let your kingdom come
         A
Let your will be done
 G    Bm
Amen Amen
        D                  A
In this nation as it is in heaven
G A D
   Amen

D
Standing on your promise
Bm
Jesus we repent and seek your face
G
Let our country rise again
D                     A
For the glory of your name

G    Bm
Amen Amen
         D
Let your kingdom come
         A
Let your will be done
 G    Bm
Amen Amen
        D                  A
In this nation as it is in heaven

G    Bm
Amen Amen
         D
Let your kingdom come
         A
Let your will be done
 G    Bm
Amen Amen
     D                  A
In Malaysia as it is in heaven.

            Bm                  \
Now we your people              |
               F#m              |
Called by your name             |
          Em                    |
Humble ourselves and            |3X
          A                     |
Return to seek your face        |
     Bm                    F#m  |
Lord hear from heaven draw near |
         A                      |
Heal our land                   /

 G    Bm
Amen Amen
         D
Let your kingdom come
         A
Let your will be done
 G    Bm
Amen Amen
     D                  A
In Malaysia as it is in heaven.
G A D
   Amen

Monday, 28 August 2017

Sunrise, Sunset

In recent months, I've been getting up at dawn every day for exercise, and have seen some spectacular sunrises. I also occasionally see some great sunsets. Here's my collection of sunrise, sunset photos.




Friday, 19 May 2017

Knowing God

A friend of mine put up this website to help people get into a personal relationship with God. Unfortunately, her website doesn't support SSH so if you're logged in to this blog using https, please click here instead.

Friday, 17 March 2017

My lunch today looks like a Sesame Street character

Today, I decided to have some vegetables and two eggs. Was surprised to find that I was served the Cookie Monster instead 😜