History of Churches in Malaysia

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Posted by SoRa | Posted in , | Posted on 12:32 AM

Date: December 2, 2015
Venue: UM
Topic: History of Churches in Malaysia

Today I was supposed to attend council meet, however this topic has been intriguing in my mind for years now as there is no one source that I was able to search for it, or maybe I didn’t search well enough. When Je Hsi told me about this talk, it was definitely a go no matter what, as finally there God revealed this info for me. Thanks God, Malvis also came along and we went over together to UM. The message was located at SELC 3/3, Block F, KPS Kompleks Perdana Siswa UM.

Below are the contents of the message. Hopefully I have documented them down properly, as I do not understand mandarin, however I believe the Spirit has helped me in translating them to English :) 

Message
Starts on introduction on percentages and break down of Christians in Malaysia
  • 10% of Christians in Malaysia (Round up figure)
  • Talks on percentage of Protestant 
  • Talks on breakdown per language 
  • 1/3 of Chinese churches will be the topic of focus tonight (Malaysia)
Talks on the purpose of history, and how it is documented
  • Talks on how difficult to document data in church history, as there is no physical recording of church history during the early days, where history is passed on via word of mouth and memories of the elders.
  • Personal Idea: to start documenting my church history?
Continue talking on when the foreigners starts to come to Malaysia
  • Starts with Portuguese - Malacca (Catholic)
  • Next Holland  (Dutch reform)
  • England : Anglican Church, the era where the church starts to flourish
    • St Mary Church in KL,  was one of the church left by England

But all most of these churches came to our land, not solely for the Gospel, but it is more of a political reason, which is the 3G: Gold, Gospel, and Glory.

  • Continue mentioning a lot of church father passing through Malaysia but not really preaching the gospel, but rather a stepping stone.
  • St Francis was one of the example given. When over all Asia but didn't share gospel in Asia. (hope I documented this part properly, didn’t really understood)
  • Robert Morison (more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Morrison_(missionary))
    • Talks on how Robert Morison shared the gospel. (Similar story to what was shared in Family Camp)
    • Story on how he wanted to preach in China but then unable to enter, due to many reasons and finally ended up in Malacca.
    • His whole life, he only manage to make two disciples, which is the one writing and translating articles to Chinese text, and their contribution is the one which made a huge impact and difference to the Chinese society. The one who prepared and made way for the Chinese bible and the Chinese people to have the materials to go on even today!
    • They were the first in the world, to produce the Chinese newspaper
  • Burma Road Gospel Hall the first church to preach to Chinese in Malaysia, near St.George church. 1960s 
  • Previously all the churches are all native language based on the government ruling that time. No local languages. (churches than did not really focus on preaching to the locals)
  • Talks on how the gospel comes from the north and south of Malaysia. (Couldn’t capture the details)
In 100 yrs, there is not much growth in Malaysia churches, which could be due to the few massages below:
  • Country was still underdeveloped, where means of transportation could be walking/cycling/elephant riding, etc…
  • Mostly, Gospel is transmitted via from one place to another via bicycle 
  • World War 2: All is stopped when the Japanese came
  • The People then do not have a system to lead the church. Thus, when the evangelists, who came and setup the church left, the church mostly dies as well, as no one knows or was disciple to manage them.
  • The churches that time do not have local people to lead. Thus, it is tough to maintain, when the evangelist who came from overseas left them. These was events were observed till they start handling to locals.
  • These events are especially observed during the independence of Malaysia, as foreigners were told to leave the country, which at the same time caused many of the churches leaders to leave the country.
The message then continues talking on the communist era.

  • Talks on gathering all the Chinese in one area, giving them houses to group and gather them in an enclosed compound for all the Chinese community. This allows curfew to takes place that time, where no one is suppose to leave the zone, after 4p.m. stringent checks are also there to avoid supplies from going out of the cities to the communist.  
  • (Reason why Chinese town houses are in such mess, instead of organized nicely and systematically, which is particularly due to the above reason.)
  • The steps above only helped to cut of physical food supply to the Communist, however the Authority then are still afraid that the communist still are conquering the Chinese mindsets.
HOW IS THIS RELATED TO CHURCH HISTORY?
  • ·     Continuing from above, in order to also avoiding the communist from further recruiting and changing the mindset of the Chinese, the authority then, used the church, where after accepting Jesus into their heart, surely they will not go for the Communist ideology.
  • ·      Thus, during this time, the church flourished and there were churches in these many Chinese communities.
  • ·         That is why we will be able to see churches in places which are very remote.
  • ·         However these churches doesn’t maintain a long time


Then now he starts to preach the message on Chinese churches, on how we should continue to spread this gospel, and not let the above initiative which was started die off. After that, independence came. 
The Chinese churches only appear for a short time 1960-1970s. 

  • Stated that UM that time has was one of the effective CF, that now many became Church elders 
  • Started from University, that all those schools, Bible College, started e.g. MBS. 
  • 1980s, starting of Gospel spreading, going to overseas.
Talks on how schools, hospital, and community service, that working and preaching is going hand in hand. The story continues that once it passed on to local, the mind set changed, to only preaching preaching preaching. Separating the spiritual works to only certain things and community work was not part of it.

He continues sharing that Chinese churches have adopted bad concepts upon handing over from the initial church leaders.

  • Works and Spiritually totally split
  • Work is work (not doing those, saying it should be for Buddhist   Etc..)
  • Spiritual is good ( prayer. Bible study , etc..)
  • These are not what were though in the bible. They co-exist with each other.
2nd mentally of Chinese Christian
  • Sees no future in Malaysia, only have thoughts to migrate only
  • The most migrates in Malaysia is Chinese 
  • Christian is the easiest to migrate in countries like the states.
  • Chinese in Malaysia doesn't care with the things in Malaysia 
  • Shows how the Chinese churches are disconnected with the people in the country
All these are not the mentality of the church fathers which initially come here. If it is, there will not so many hospital, schools and places open for the sake to meet the need of the people and the Gospel.

Highlight of the Message:

  • From year 90s till now, the growth of the churches started to get slower and slower, which is the lowest rate of church growth in an overall.  It can be seen up till today, the overall the growth is getting slower. 
  • The rate of people in KL grows exponentially, not because of the people can have so many children. But because all the out skirt people come to the city. 
  • This effects all the churches out skirt starts to close
  • No one is there, to maintain the Church
  • The youth is not there
  • Many of the People in city are without purpose.
  • Going here and there, chasing world things. 
  • So many needs of the Peoples needs are not met. 
  • We can see there are many People started to stand up such as Bersih, and stuff. 
  • Where is the church? 

Reflection:
  • ·      In History, in all other nation, Christians are the one who will be the first to meet the need of the People. The one who will lead others.. The light..
  • ·         The elders have fought their battle. They have fought their fight, but what about us?
  • ·         What is the generation of this age doing?
  • ·         Are we the one who listens, and pretend to ignorant, or are we the one people will look for in times of trouble? 

Overall, am grateful that was able to know more on our church history and how I’m not looking at things at a whole. I pray that God will continue to have grace and mercy on us, and I felt that something big is going to happen soon. Thanks God for His Message.

END



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