Many young Christians struggle with the question of whether it is ok for them to dance, smoke or drink alcohol, because if they are prohibited from participating in these things, they might end up losing a lot of their friends. In his book The Spirit-Filled Believers’s Handbook, bible teacher Derek Prince provided some good insights on this subject, which would be helpful to new believers who might be struggling with this issue.
One often hears questions such as these: Is it right for a Christian to dance? to smoke? to gamble? and so on. The answer to all such questions must be decided not by accepted social practice, nor by accepted church tradition, but by the application of God’s Word.
For instance, I remember that a group of Christian African women students once asked me, as a Christian minister, if there was any harm in their attending dances at the college where they were being trained as teachers. In reply I did not offer them my own personal opinion or the regulations laid down by a mission board. Instead I asked them to tum with me to two passages in the Bible.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col. 3:17).
I pointed out that these two passages of Scripture contain two great principles which are to decide and direct all that we do as Christians. First, we must do all things to the glory of God. Second, we must do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God by Him. Therefore, anything that we can do to the glory of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus is good and acceptable; anything that we cannot do to the glory of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus is wrong and harmful.
I then applied these principles to the question they had asked me. I said, “If you can attend those dances to the glory of God, and if you can freely give thanks to God in the name of the Lord Jesus while you are dancing, then it is perfectly all right for you to dance. But if you cannot do your dancing in this way and upon these conditions, then it is wrong for you to dance.”
It was my responsibility, as I saw it, to give those young women basic scriptural principles. Thereafter it was their responsibility, not mine, to apply those principles to their particular situation.
Medical research has brought to light one very definite way in which many modem Christians, like David of old, have been kept from the paths of the destroyer by the application of God’s Word.
The Scriptures teach very plainly that the body of the Christian, having been redeemed from the dominion of Satan by the blood of Christ, is a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in and is therefore to be kept clean and holy. For example, Paul says:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
For this is the will of God, your sanctification … that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel [that is, the earthen vessel of his physical body] in sanctification and honor (1 Thess. 4:3-4).
On the basis of these and other similar passages, many Christians have refrained from using tobacco in any form. Until fairly recently it was often suggested by unbelievers that this refusal by Christians to indulge in tobacco was merely a kind of foolish, old-fashioned fad, akin to fanaticism. However, modem medical research has demonstrated, beyond all possibility of doubt, that smoking – particularly of cigarettes – is a direct contributory cause of lung cancer. The medical associations of both the United States and Great Britain have endorsed this conclusion. In the United States this year there will be an estimated 146,000 deaths from lung cancer (American Cancer Society). Another undisputed fact, proved by experience and endorsed by medical science, is that death through lung cancer is usually lingering and painful.
In the face of facts such as these, the refusal of Christians to smoke can no longer be dismissed as foolishness or fanaticism. If foolishness can be charged to anyone today, it is certainly not to the Christian but to the person who regularly wastes substantial sums of money to gratify a lust which greatly increases the possibility of a painful death through lung cancer. And if foolishness can be charged to the victims of this lust, surely nothing short of wickedness can be charged to those who, by every means of persuasion and modem publicity, willfully seek, for the sake of their own financial profit, to bring their fellow human beings under the cruel bondage of this degrading and destroying habit.
Almost exactly the same that has been said about tobacco smoking applies equally to excessive indulgence in alcohol.
Again, a majority of sincere Christians have through the years refrained from this kind of indulgence on the basis of the Bible’s warnings against it. It is a well-established fact that excessive indulgence in alcohol is a major contributing factor in many kinds of mental and physical disease and also in the modem toll of traffic accidents.
Here again, as in the case of smoking, millions of Christians have been preserved from harm and disaster by their practical application of the Bible’s teaching.
A new, “modem” plague – AIDS – came upon the world in the 1980s. Christians who practice monogamy and refrain from immorality protect themselves and their children from the devastation of that disease.
On the other hand, homosexuality, so often touted as an “alternative life-style,” has proved to be an alternative death-style. Christians who have been protected from these evils can surely echo, with deep thankfulness, the words of David.
Concerning the works of men,
By the word of Your lips,
I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer (Ps. 17:4).
Children’s magazines are no longer what they used to be!
If you flip open most children’s magazine these days, they are filled with tales of witchcraft and carnal fantasy, pandering to the young minds of this age.
However, back in the 70s, there used to be a British children’s magazine called “Look and Learn” (which was sold in Singapore), that featured informative articles and even Christians-themed ones like the one featured below:
ON THE RUN: MARCH OF THE LITTLE CHILDREN
The strange and wonderful story of a London parlourmaid, who went to China as a missionary and became a ‘mother’ to over a hundred children during a long and arduous march to escape an enemy army
SHORTLY after sunrise, the band of orphan and refugee children started out on their long march to safety. Singing hymns at the top of their young voices, they left the only real home most of them had known, heading towards the mountains and the walled city of Sian, in North China.
They knew they might not reach Sian alive, but despite this they showed few signs of fear. To many of them the journey was a wonderful adventure. And they all had faith in Ai-weh-deh, the small Englishwoman who was their friend and leader.
Ai-weh-deh would guide them and protect them from the Japanese soldiers who were devastating the nearby towns and villages. In Chinese, her name meant “The Virtuous One,” and the mission children knew her only as this. They watched her lovingly as she marched along with them, making sure that the stragglers and younger ones weren’t left behind, and keeping the more daring boys in check with strong blasts on her whistle.
Soon they had left Yangcheng behind them. The mission there — the beautifully named Inn of the Sixth Happiness – was a bomb-shattered ruin. The children would never sleep in it again, and Ai-weh-deh had somehow to provide for a hundred boisterous youngsters, aged between four and fifteen, who had no money, and nothing to eat but a basketful of millet.
On the first of the twelve nights of their march, they sheltered in a Buddhist temple which was presided over by a single priest. The millet was quickly eaten and, as the children fell contentedly asleep, Ai-weh-deh wondered who would befriend them next. She couldn’t help wondering, too whether she would ever see England and her home in London again.
Eleven years previously, in 1930,
Ai-weh-deh had been Gladys Aylward, a young London parlourmaid who dreamed of becoming a missionary in China, and who had saved every penny of her meagre wages to pay her fare out there.
It took her months of hard work to raise enough money, and when she eventually arrived in the Chinese town of Yangcheng, she was practically penniless. Not only that. She spoke no Chinese, and she was greeted by the people she hoped to help with great hostility. The children called her a “foreign devil~, laughing when their mothers jeered at her, and throwing dried mud after her in the street.
But neither mud nor insults could dissuade Gladys Aylward from her purpose. She cared little for ordinary life, and felt she owed it to God to live selflessly. She became friendly with another missionary in Yangcheng, a frail Scottish woman called Jannie Lawson, who had spent more than fifty years teaching the Gospel in the rough, mountainous country north of the Yellow River. Together they decided to turn Mrs. Lawson’s house into an inn. The town was a recognized stopping place for mule caravans, and they could cater for the hardy muleteers, who led their teams all over north China. If the men were well looked after, fed tasty meals and given comfortable beds, they would tell everyone they met that the “foreign devils” were not so fearsome after all. And if they could be induced to listen to sermons while they ate, then the Inn of the Sixth Happiness would really be a place of God.
At first the “guests” were so unwilling that they had literally to be pulled into the inn. Gladys would wait with arms folded in the doorway until a mule team came past. Then she would grab the reins, and haul the anima ls and the muleteers into the courtyard.
In due course the mules were unpacked, and the men were listening with full stomachs and open mouths to wonderful stories about a man called Jesus Christ who lived many years ago in a country called Palestine, and who cared more for others than for himself.
Gradually, the two “foreign devils” became an accepted part of Yangcheng life. Gladys started to learn Chinese, and after some weeks of dragging in clients, the muleteers and coolies began to visit the inn of their own accord.
Shortly after this success, Gladys was asked by the prison governor to help quell a riot in the local jail. A convict had run amok with an axe, and no one could take it from him. Perhaps the small woman “with the living God inside her” could calm the frenzied man and stop the prisoners fighting?
Gladys did this with a plucky determination which won her the respect of prison officers and convicts alike. She demanded the axe from the man, and told the prisoners, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”
It was then that she first became known as Ai-weh-deh, The Virtuous One. She gained permission for the imprisoned criminals to come to Sunday service at the inn, and cared for as many urchins and orphans as she had food and space for.
So the years passed until, in 1936, Gladys Aylward became a naturalized Chinese citizen. She felt more at home in China than she ever had been in London; and when, two years later, the Japanese dropped their first bombs on Yangcheng, she felt as indignant and distressed as only a native could.
The war between the heavily armed Japanese and the far worse equipped Chinese was a bitter one. Thousands of innocent civilians were bombed, tortured, and killed.
On one occasion Ai-weh-deh herself was brutally beaten into unconsciousness by a group of Japanese soldiers.
Always she feared for the safety of the children in her charge, and at times evacuated them from their beloved Inn of the Sixth Happiness. They once lived for six weeks m a remote mountain cave, sleeping on beds made from dried rushes, drinking twig tea, and eating the inevitable boiled millet.
The bravery and devotion of the little missionary soon came to the attention of the Japanese authorities. They regarded her as a threat to their military success, and posted a notice about her on the gates of towns and villages.
The notice was headed, “One hundred dollars reward!” and read: “One hundred dollars reward will be paid by the Japanese army for information leading to the capture, alive, of any one of the three people listed below.” The third name on the list – after those of a mandarin and a loyal Nationalist businessman – was “the small Woman, known as Ai-weh-deh.”
It was obvious now that Gladys Aylward and her band of war orphans would have to flee the district. They thought they could find sanctuary in Sian, across the mountains and over the Yellow River, and so the little pilgrimage set out on its march of hope.
After the first night in the temple, the going got steadily worse. They slept in the open for the next few nights, shivering with cold and trying to shelter from the biting wind behind rocks. At the end of a week they were tired, dirty, footsore, bleeding, and suffering cruelly from hunger and thirst.
Still they continued onwards, begging what nourishment they could from villages along the way. A platoon of Nationalist troops befriended them one evening, allowed them to sleep at their camp, and gave them the sort of food they had been starved of for years.
Travelling on foot, by boat across a river, and then by train, the refugees eventually reached Sian. They had been marching for twelve punishing days, and the final pain came when they were denied entry to Sian and had to take yet another train to the ancient city of Fufeng, where they were housed in a temple orphanage.
All this happened in 1941. Nine years later, Gladys Aylward said goodbye to China and sailed home to England.
This is the amazing testimony of ex-Media Corp actor Peter Yu and his wife, Brenda Leow. However, the video is in Chinese and there are no English subtitles.
Individually, Yu and Leow attended church when they were young, but their foundations in Christ were not firmly rooted and they drifted deeply into the world.
When Yu divorced his first wife, T.V. star Quan Yifeng, in 2008, he tried to numb the pain of a broken marriage through gambling and clubbing. He met Leow at a club he had patronised, and subsequently, Yu and Leow moved in together.
The lowest point in their lives occurred when Leow attempted suicide after a serious altercation with her mother. It was at this point, when both Yu and Leow yielded their lives over to God, and it was also at this point, when the Holy Spirit could begin an amazing work of transformation in their lives.
Step-by-step, the Lord renewed them. Shortly after Leow’s suicide attempt, the couple started re-attending church. Later, they attended their church’s inner healing and deliverance classes, during which they were taught to confess all their sins. In so doing, they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by the speaking in tongues. The couple was so deeply impacted by the experience that they after that individually spent much time in prayer and worship.
Yu and Leow married in 2011 and they have a young son. Yu now works as a taxi driver, and although he earns far less than what he used to earn as an actor, Yu says that he is content, and indeed, as he shares his testimony, one perceives a great peace in his heart.
Peter Yu’s story was also featured on national television, on the programme 星期二特写:
This audio-only testimony given by a former temple medium cum drug abuser was recorded sometime during the 90s, and in it, this brother-in-Christ shares how he got saved, of his marvellous transformation, and his miraculous healing from a painful stomach ailment.
He also explains, in some detail, the business of being a temple medium — of how the demons enter and leave the medium’s body as they please (even at the most importune time for the medium), and of how the medium does not feel any pain when the demons are controlling him to mutilate his own body.
Kindly take note that at certain parts of the testimony, the volume levels may be soft, so please adjust the audio volume accordingly.
If you enjoyed listening to this tesimony, you might also wish to listen to the testimony of another ex-medium, Vincent Liow (who was a trance medium for the Monkey God for over 10 years), which can be accessed by clicking HERE.
In this video, ex-MediaCorp artists Darren Lim and Evelyn Tan share their wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision. The video was shot at Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church (BBTC).
Ruth Fatimah was born and raised in Singapore to a devout Indian Muslim family, and this is her real-life story (as told by her herself), of how she found faith in Him, of the subsequent persecution by her family, and of the miracles that God performed through her life (including the raising up of a dead child).