Archive for the ‘Critics of books and songs’ Category

The 5 love languages [1]   Leave a comment

5 love languages

5 love languages

I read the book “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and found out in it an interesting source of information regarding people’s response to love. Did it ever happen to you that you demonstrate much love to someone and he/she seems not realise it? Or maybe you’re frustrated or feel unloved even if people around say they love you? Gary Chapman has skilfully portrayed 5 categories of love languages that people understand. This is of course not an absolute way of categorizing it but I found it making sense on several aspects. There’s of course some overlapping between these languages but categorizing them help to see clearer.

  • The Gift Language

Some people feel loved or valued when a gift is given to them. It does not necessarily mean an expensive one but the intention. It can be when you give yourself, your time, a nice meal, flowers or invest your money. The person who is sensible to this language feels “Oh look what he/she did for me!”. Some people assume that the more they give to someone, the more the person should feel loved. However, they can still be deceived that the person did not appreciate their gifts. In this case, the gift language is probably the one of the giver and not that of the receiver. This love language remembers me Jesus giving His life for us (John 15:13).

  • Acts of service Language

It refers to people who feel loved when service are rendered to them. It can be about ironing the clothes, putting out the garbage, cleaning the house or washing the dishes. Doing household activities for your spouse, children or parents can be very meaningful if the one to whom the service is rendered is sensible to that language. It can also be about what you do for your colleagues at work or friends at school. Taken alternatively, if the person does not receive help for domestic chores, no one puts out the dustbin and no one proposes to wash the dishes it makes the person feel unloved. The person feels that he/she always do for others and no one do for him/her. Of course, the service language does not limit itself to household activities. It can be when you help a colleague complete his/her work or propose to carry the heavy groceries of someone leaving a shop. This remembers me Jesus washing the feet of His disciples like a servant (John 13:16).

  • Words of affirmation

It’s mainly about things said to value someone. Many are quick to criticize and if the person to whom the #1 love language are words of affirmation, this person will feel inadequate. Destructive criticism has no goal to help, it tears from within the hearer. However, constructive criticism has growth as objective. When someone criticizes constructively, his/her love is genuine and does not have on his/her agenda the intention to say “You’re a loser, incapable, stupid, good for nothing”. Issues has to be addressed in relationships and suppressing feelings will not help at all. It’s not about who will win the argument. Genuine words of affirmation can easily be distinguished from fake ones. When you say for example the dish was excellent when it was not, you’re fooling yourself and if the hearer discerns it you’ll lose her/his respect. However, if you fail to say/see the qualities of someone, it causes that person to feel inadequate. Many people feel insecure with their physical appearance, intelligence or abilities. They have probably been hurt in the past because of some inappropriate remarks and they closed their hearts to express how they feel. Their parents were probably always making them reproach and they feel that they cannot achieve anything good. Words of affirmation renders the hearer his/her value and dignity. Words like “You’re beautiful, intelligent, awesome, a hard-worker” can really lift up someone who has low self-esteem or some sort of inferior complexity. Sometimes, how you say things has more impact than what you actually say. The tonality used can paralyzed the hearer and traumatized him/her. You probably know the qualities of your parents, friends and spouse but if you fail to praise them how will they know your appreciations? Maybe in their minds they are just waiting for a “Thank you”. Praising someone honestly can be powerful and encouraging. This remembers me Jesus calling His disciples friends (John 15:15).

  • Physical touch

Physical touch is a powerful way of expressing one’s affection and love. This is probably because it deals with the body. We have all been wired to respond to touch. This is a chemical/biological respond of our body which gives some good sensations. However, we must realize that one can still be unfulfilled in his emotions even if touched in erogenous places. If someone’s #1 language are words of affirmation and you have always belittled her/him how do you think that person will feel? That person will feel used. Sometimes, what happens psychologically has more impact than the physical. Many men think that sex is what can make them feel loved. But taken in the right perspective, it is mainly their masculinity which make them desire it. One can still be unfulfilled even after having sex. It is probably because there’re other issues which do not render physical contact pleasurable. What will happen if you abstain to touch someone who feels loved when touched? That person will think you do not desire him/her and will slowly avoid you by respect. Hugs or kisses not given to someone whose love language is physical touch can lead him/her seek for it elsewhere. This remembers me John leaning on Jesus’ bosom (John 13:25) and Jesus touching lepers, those people deprived of physical contact.

  • Quality moments

This love language is what I understand as intimate moments. It can be about spent time together laughing, discussing about plans, sharing secrets, playing games, running together, playing tennis, cooking together or just resting in each others arms. It’s not necessarily about how much time is spent together but about the activities done together. Two people can spend a whole day together without actually making the most of these moments. It can also be about being together without saying anything. It’s the presence of the person which matters. There is a high need of mutual trust and transparency. This remembers me the time spent by Jesus with His disciples in prayers and teachings (John 17).

Chapman also mentioned that there’re many dialects in those 5 languages. For example a man and a woman will not enjoy the same kind of physical touch, same kind of gifts, praises, services and activities.  There’re different ways of expressing each other.

One important thing in relationship between spouses, friends, colleagues and in the family is to know others love languages and one’s personal love language.  By this way we can learn a new language and thus communicate our love and affectation through the channel that is best understood by the receiver. A Chinese and an African can be madly in love, however unless they talk the same language they won’t be able to communicate their love. It requires efforts to learn a new language. It is also important to say that this kind of love is not self-seeking but aims at loving someone else. The interesting thing is that when you love someone without expecting anything in return, this person will love you back. Honest discussions can help improve significantly relationships. Last but not the least, it is essential to mention that the efforts made by an individual to practice the love language of someone having a difficult character will be useless unless the heart is renewed by Christ. The heart of man is evil, selfish and deceitful by nature. The knowledge of the 5 languages will be of no value unless divine love finds its way.

1 Corinthians 13 says:

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].”

Advertisements

I know in whom I have believed   Leave a comment

Feel like my heart sings this always:

And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2 Timothy 1:11

Paul was talking about the teachings given to Him by Jesus Christ and which he passed on to Timothy. He knew in whom he believed, he was not ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16). Even if they are old, hymnals are still so powerful and simply great!

Posted July 31, 2011 by Cedric in Critics of books and songs

Tagged with , , , ,

Modern Christian songs   1 comment

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace


There’re many new songs on the market which keep me perplexed each time I listen to them and read the lyrics. The lyrics are just copies of others and the tune a copy of other tunes. Let’s take Hillsong for example, I’m honestly bored by it. Those who sing repeat over and over again the same lyrics while singing. I can’t get it, what is the purpose of repeating chunk of words?

The song leader and the musicians try to create an atmosphere and get people into it. They try to create an emotional atmosphere, musicians play a bit louder and the song leader makes his/her voice tremble to get people in this emotional experience. You know what I’m talking about.. There’re so many people who start to cry, lift their hands or even bow to their knees. Are all these genuine?

It might seem judgmental on my behalf to pass such a kind a judgment, but I saw something fishy in all these. I stopped listening to Hillsong.

But I wonder why these Christians seek for this kind of atmosphere. I cannot tune with Hillsong because I don’t see originality in their songs (lyrics,music). Is it a business to put on the market a new album from time to time? Are these songs inspired? Oh, I can be fired for saying all these!!
Hillsong is just an example, there’re so many on the market. The old Hillsong, the very first one were good but afterwards I saw it degrading. This can be subjective to me you might say…

What I mean is this: Do these writers really mean what they say to God?

Perhaps it’s just a matter of preference or opinion. But I want to question all these songs produced by christians. Are they worth to be sung by Christians and in churches? Do Christian leaders make some research on the life of these composers/singers before introducing these songs in churches?

Another thing, we see sinners singing songs like Amazing Grace in movies and christian songs in Catholic churches. This just shows that anyone can sing a Christian song without really meaning what they say.

The Case for Christ   3 comments

I had the opportunity to read several apologetic books and I was sometimes surprised by the arguments brought forward to defend the Christian faith. Some books argue that the disciples told the truth because they were ready to die for their faith. But even followers of sect leaders die for their faith.

Another argument is that there’re many manuscripts and copies of scripture available to support that the bible is reliable. This can be in itself a very weak and futile argument. If I have thousands copies of a book, the only thing I can do with these is to verify if there’re some discrepancies among the copies. But I cannot verify if what the author originally said was true. For instance, if many religious books confirm that a religious leader said that the earth is flat, they will be telling the truth but the truth in itself is a lie.

I once asked myself, how can we be sure if the apostles did not concoct together to invent a story about Jesus? The Pharisees claimed that the disciples stole Jesus’ body and made up a story about His resurrection. How do we refute these?

We should not be naive to believe that only Christians have proofs to support their faith. Many religions claim that they have historical evidence, that they perform miracles, that they have been changed by their holy books, saw angels, got revelations etc. The teachings in the bible are in themselves unique in genre. I have seen no books in the world which exposed so clearly man’s sinful nature. It would have been humanly impossible for the disciples to describe so perfectly man’s nature. I cannot argue with what the bible said about my sinful nature. If the disciples invented stories about what a fictitious Jesus taught, they should have won multiple Oscars today! Well, this appreciation is based on experience and I cannot consider it as a defense for many other religions can claim the same. Experience cannot decide whether a religion is true or not.

If we examine what has been taught in the holy books of other religions and find evidence after cross-checking with independent sources, we might be tempted to believe that that religion must be the truth. For instance, the apostles claimed that there was an earthquake, that the veil of the temple was torn, that saints were resurrected and were walking in Jerusalem. Could not all these be verified by the enemies and contemporaries of Jesus? For sure, the independent sources will agree with what happened.

However, I became cautious to use independent sources as a basis of defense for the Christian faith. The reason behind is that even if independent sources tell the truth, that cannot make the God of that religion true. Any religion can bring tangible evidence which can be supported by history. If the devil disguised and performed miracles, both the religion and independent sources will acknowledge the miracle but that would not make the devil God.

In my opinion, the most solid defenses to the Christian are Jesus’ divinity and the prophesies made about Him. The prophecies made about Jesus many centuries before and which have been fulfilled consist a very solid defense for the Christian faith. Jesus accomplished meticulously what was prophesied about Him. These prophesies can stand by themselves and the time at which they were written and fulfilled consist a solid proof. These prophesies are not comparable to Nostradamus’ predictions. The biblical prophesies have precisely been targeted on one man by different prophets who lived at different times.

Since it can be proved through the prophesies that Jesus is divine, then all what has been said about Him must be true. By induction, this evidence will also render naught the validity of other religions since Jesus claimed that He is the Only way to God and is God Himself.

If the apostles wanted to twist or invent a story about Jesus, I’m quite certain that they would have invented stories more credible about Jesus. If they did invent it, how come it was prophesied?

Jesus’ statements were very radical. If you were not following Him, you were against Him. He made claims that would lead the hearers to believe that He was supreme:

Love your family more than me, I’m the way, the truth, the life. Eat my flesh and drink my blood. I’m the vine, you are the branches. Destroy this temple and in 3 days I’ll build it again. I’m the Good Shepherd. Before Abraham was I am. I’m the light of the world. You’ll die in your sin if you do not believe who I am.

If Jesus is God, everything written about Him must be true. If someone has solid evidence which can refute that Jesus is God, then the bible is false. The divinity of Jesus is central to Christianity. If Jesus was not God then all His teachings did not have much value, His death would not have any power and there would have been no reason for us to worship Him. His words would have been the words of ordinary mortal man like Gandhi.