“Rise up”, called Bishop Ng Moon Hing to the Malaysian Church, aside from urging Christians to come out and vote.
Datuk Rev. Ng Moon Hing is chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia and Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia.
The extract below is from his presidential address titled ‘The Lord is Here‘ delivered at the St Katherine’s Church, Kajang on 21 Aug 2012.
“The RM2 billion question of the actual date of the GE13 is being discussed in every coffee shop, by newspaper, social media and on the lips of most Malaysians. A related question to the GE13 – ‘Who is the next government?’ On the surface, we are looking at Barisan Nasional versus the Pakatan Rakyat. Deep beneath, we need to look at the question of who a more ‘Integrity-Justice-Fairness-Policy Driven’ government is. If we are not careful, we can end up either with a government which plays God or a government which exclude God. It is very dangerous and bad for the nation.
“Quite a number of Christians as well as non Christians have asked me ‘why is the Malaysian Church not vocal and are they too scared to voice up?’ Prior to 2008, it was a different scenario altogether. We all have to take the blame together. The Christian Church in Malaysia like any citizen was then having a sort of ‘phobia’ to speak up directly and indirectly created by the former ruling leaders. After the political tsunami of 2008, everyone including the Christian Church somehow has the ‘guts’ to ‘face the music’ in the event of speaking up. There are also some considerations to ponder over before making a conclusion here. First, the Christian Federation of Malaysia has among its members many different theological stands on almost every issue and many schools of thoughts. [Christian Federation of Malaysia has 3 main component bodies, namely the Roman Catholics in Malaysia, the Council of Churches of Malaysia and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship.] It is always a challenge to get consensus from everyone or at least from the leaders of the three component bodies. Second, CFM has always been engaging with the relevant authorities for the concerns and benefits of the Christian communities since its conception. Some of the issues facing by the Christian Church then were resolved within many sessions of close door discussions with the relevant authorities. When a matter has been dealt amicably, there is always not necessary to be vocal on it. However, there are still issues unresolved for some time such as the 1986 Printing & Publication Act on the usage of the word ‘Allah’ and the State Legislative Enactment of the usage of the word ‘Allah’ and other words.
“The question here – “Is God still in control and present within the Malaysian Church?” We who profess God must discern His leading and direction for us in this nation. Therefore it is prudent and essential for all of us to exercise our vote. Leave the result with God. He knows what the best solution for our nation is. The Hebrews were sent to Egypt for 400 years before God raised Moses to be their liberator. The early Christians had to hide in caves and catacombs for 300 years before they were allowed to live as normal citizens during Constantine’s era. The Soviet Union closed its door to churches for 70 years until its collapse. The Christian door in China was closed for 30 years before liberation came. Myanmar’s 60 years military rule since 1962 has finally opened this year. As we sense the time of God’s movement, I strongly believe that now is the time for the Malaysian Church to awake and rise up and move to the running track for the ‘real’ event. I sense that so far we have only been doing the warming up exercise and getting prepared. The time has come and ‘the Lord is here’. Let’s inquire of God and move with Him: as the Lord told King David, ‘as soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you…’
[Quotation: Bible verse 1 Chronicles 14:74-75. Here it records an event after King David has inquired of the Lord about the second Philistines raid and got into a preparation mode. David definitely has waited for the Lord’s initiative above his own. He was deliberately sensitive to the leading of the Lord and the Presence of the Lord was clearly with him.]
“‘It is time for all of us to reclaim the public square as a forum for responsible and civil discussions on the social ond political malaise that we are facing, rather than allowing it to be deformed and impair the health of our democracy. The choice lies within each of us.’
[Quotation: Christopher Chong, an article, Democracy in Malaysia, in the book edited by Joshua Woo and Tan Soo lnn, The Bible and the Ballot, GraceWorks, Singapore, 2011, p18]
“‘It is precisely because I know that only Jesus can usher in the perfect government that I continue to share the good news of the kingdom. True change will only come when sinners are transformed by the gospel. No human leader can bring this about. But as representatives of the coming kingdom of God, Christians are to live by kingdom values in every sphere of life. And this includes coming out to vote‘.”
[Quotation: Tan Soo Inn, an article, Vote, in the book edited by Joshua Woo and Tan Soo Inn, The Bible and the Ballot, GraceWorks, Singapore, 2017, p23]
The Bishop’s speech in full, pdf here
The demand for “freedom to propagate” Christianity
Previously, the Christian Federation of Malaysia circulated to Malaysian churches the following letter signed by Bishop Ng Moon Hing.