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Archive for the ‘Asian American Christianity’ Category

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Liberal Huffington Post Religion Section has a piece yesterday titled “It’s Lonely Being A Liberal Asian-American Christian.” Personally I found the whole piece reeking of everything that I can’t stand with my generation: A hyper obsession with being different in one’s identity, a super sensitivity of finding things that are wrong with others, and a way of going about always having others have the responsibility instead of self masked in intellectual sounding guises.  Yet where the intellectual powers are suppose to count (in critical thinking skills) it is somewhat lacking.  Somehow the university scene inject all these things on steroids for some Millennials.

For example let’s look at what the writer has to say for why Asian American churches are conservative.  She said the following:

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Jaeson Ma Aziatix controversy

Earlier I wrote a post identifying the fruits of Prosperity Gospel and extreme Charistmatics preachers and how it reveals their functional idol.   Among the “fruits” mentioned is an infatuation of trying to enter the entertainment industry.   I think the preachers in the reality show, “Preachers of LA,” is an example of my thesis and another case study is the anti-nominian, false prophet and Pastor Jaeson Ma.

Although Jaeson Ma retains the title “Pastor” (see this video of him in Malaysia), he has been spending most of his time being a musical artist.  And for Jaeson Ma that means hanging out with artists, music industry reps and insiders.  Of course, there is nothing wrong in of itself reaching out to people who are lost and being their companions so long as one doesn’t compromise their belief and behavior before the Lord.  Has Jaeson Ma been above reproach?  Here I am not merely trying to catch him on a “slip-up,” a moment of weakness when he fails to be consistent to the standard he holds to;  rather, I’m trying to ask a more foundational question, of whether it is biblical with his particular approach in associating with those in the Asian entertainment industry?  I’m more concern about the method driving him than an inconsistency to one’s method since after all, we are all prone to sin and deviate from our professed standard.

One such association (among many) that Jaeson has is with the group Aziatix.  Note Jaeson Ma’s facebook:

Here I quote again what Jaeson Ma wrote just in case the picture on facebook disappear:

Ones up to the sky with @aziatixallday at their new music video shoot single produced by @redone_official They are the first Asian American group signed to @ymcmbofficial (Young Money) and they didn’t get here by chance these four brothers got here by faith. Faith is spelled R.I.S.K. & I saw how each of these men risked it all to follow God and start @aziatix this is just the beginning & I’m serious when I ask all of you following me to pray daily for them as they make this God given music and shine light in the darkness. Aziatix all day!!!!! #salute #respect #proud #pray4aziatix

Note how Jaeson Ma describe this group as following God, having faith, being a light and them taking risk for Him in their musical career.

Apparently, this prompted one of Jaeson Ma’s fan to comment his concern about Aziatix:

Those guys have such amazing music n talent, its crazy. They are humble brothers, though not to hate just being honest, their album Awakening is amazing, but Godly isnt on the menu, especially one of the songs talking about taking some other guys girl and clubbing.

One can find online and read Aziatix lyrics and it seems that Jaeson’s fan had this particular song in mind.

Jaeson Ma’s response is very telling:

Michael what you need to understand is that music is a gift from God that expresses emotion, experience and personal truth for each artist. A song can talk about God explicitly or not explicitly. I personally don’t believe music should be categorized as Christian or not, what matters is that the music is good, is true to ones experience and honest. Sadly most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic, rather it is predictable and created in a certain way to fit a specific religious expectation. Study the gospels and you will see that when Jesus spoke to the masses He didn’t use religious jargon or language, but He spoke in parables with culturally relevant stories that the everyday person could relate with. When Jesus spoke to His disciples He spoke plainly about kingdom truths. there is music inspired by God for the world and there is also music inspired by God for the church, neither one is more acceptable than another. What God loves is that we use our musical talents by, through and for Him, Aziatix is doing just that and before casting a stone of judgment you should spend more time praying for them then judging them or any musician because you don’t know where they are coming from. I really do pray that people who follow Christ would follow His example of loving and appreciating each person human experience, for the only judgment Jesus made was against the religious who saw themselves as better and holier than others. With that being said, Aziatix all day and much respect to my man Jae Chong and the whole crew! God bless & God is love!

What are we to make of his comment?

Point 1: Note how Jaeson Ma comment doesn’t address his fan’s chief concern at all, that Aziatix’ musical content isn’t godly with the specific example of girls and clubbing.  Ma doesn’t even acknowledge his fan’s concern but goes off in a different direction.  He is committing the logical fallacy of red-herring.

 Point 2:  Jaeson said, “A song can talk about God explicitly or not explicitly.”  It seems reasonable that not every song has to be about God explicitly.  Moreover, if every song was about God explicitly there’s nothing wrong with it.  But what if the band’s entire musical career has never explicitly shared about Jesus and the Gospel at all?  How could Jaeson describe them as taking risks and who “shine light in the darkness”?

Point 3: Jaeson said: ” I personally don’t believe music should be categorized as Christian or not, what matters is that the music is good, is true to ones experience and honest.”  Note here that what matters for Jaeson is not the category of Christian and non-Christian but whether it’s “true to ones experiences and honest.”  But how do we know if that person’s experience was honest?  Or is really true?  Here it is important to see that there is a need for a Christian worldview to be worked out and applied to the area of music–and that in order to even talk about “honest” music even require things that ultimately can only make sense in a Christian worldview.

Point 4: Jaeson points out how “Sadly most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic, rather it is predictable and created in a certain way to fit a specific religious expectation.”  I’ll grant that, but what does this “wrong” have to do Aziatix’s worldliness in their music?  We must also remember that two “wrongs” don’t make a right.

Point 5: Jaeson Ma asserts that “Jesus spoke to the masses He didn’t use religious jargon or language,” which is quite unbiblical if one were to realize Jesus’ claim to being the Messiah involve Messianic titles there were explicitly religious and Scriptural (Old Testament) in nature!  One must understand that titles such as “Christ,” “Son of Man,” “Son of God” is rooted in the Old Testament!

Point 6: Jaeson also present a false dilemma between using “religious jargon or language” and speaking in ways “that the everyday person could relate with. ” The two are not mutually exclusive!

Point 7: Jaeson is begging the question when he asserts “What God loves is that we use our musical talents by, through and for Him, Aziatix is doing just that…”  One can’t really make a song for Him that glorifies Him if one goes about it in a worldy way or end up glorifying the lust of the eyes, and the love for this World.

Point 8: Jaeson use a popular line used by those who engage in verse abuse: “and before casting a stone of judgment you should spend more time praying for them then judging them or any musician because you don’t know where they are coming from.”  In essence, “Don’t judge,” says Jaeson Ma, who a few lines ago was the same one who said “most so called Christian music is not honest or authentic..[and] fit a specific religious expectation.”  If one looks at the context of Matthew 7 where the verse of not judging comes from, one will realize it’s against hypocritical judgement.  Jesus points out the irony of someone with a larger serious problem pointing out someone’s lesser problem in Matthew 7:3.  I submit such is the case with Jaeson Ma: When a fan points out the problem of his “spiritual” promotion of a band that’s worldly, he goes ahead and points out the speck that’s in the musical “authenticity” of Christian music.  He needs to remove his log out of his own eye!

Point 9:  Again the irony:  “for the only judgment Jesus made was against the religious who saw themselves as better and holier than others.”  Isn’t this truly the case that when a fan points out the issue of holiness and godliness, Jaeson Ma then proceed to make himself better and holier than his fan’s biblical conviction of being holy (set apart)?

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