Monday, January 8, 2018

The real business of our Christian faith.

The real business and rationale for our Christian faith is not to be rich, successful or powerful in life.  There is a great misunderstanding of the purpose and rationale for our faith and belief in Jesus Christ, which I believe is often the root cause of well-meaning Christians who end up being angry with God.  Christianity’s uniqueness has never been that it gives believers the ability to sidestep challenges and turmoil in life.  Neither is it akin to some sort of ‘fast pass’ or exit ticket out of suffering and pains that are part and parcel of the journey of life.  If this is the way Christianity has been ‘sold’ to us, it was at best done so by misguided salesmen. Christianity was never meant to be a ‘feel good’ religion, but having said that, it is also not a pity-party and a gathering of pessimists who revel in each other’s dolefulness and despondency either.

More and more, I am wont to believe that a major part of what constitutes a healthy spiritual life is to see this reality about Christianity over and over again till we make a breakthrough and emerge as true believers.  Otherwise, we will only remain believers on a nominal and surface level, but cynics in varying degrees on the inside.

There is no special message or preaching that I or any other skilled theologian or spiritual guru can impart apart from the good news that is Jesus Christ, who is God’s greatest show and tell.  He came to show us that God loves us unconditionally, and also to show that this unconditional love is not predicated on being spared from the pains and sufferings that result from a world and humanity that is drenched in sin. 

The whole issue of salvation boils down to how God wants to make us truly adult in facing and dealing with life and all that life presents to us.  It is when we are only childish and infantile in our approach towards life that we fall into despair and end up blaming everybody and everything else for what we are facing in life. 

The world suffers from a very shallow understanding and definition of what it is to be adult.  Often, one’s physical age demarcates when one is adult, and when one has left childhood behind.  We see this most strangely and most clearly where vices are concerned.  To smoke and drink, one has to be ‘of age’.  The same applies entry into gambling halls and places where pornography are available for procurement.  I tend to chuckle internally whenever I come across terms like ‘adult entertainment’, when in truth, there is nothing adult in them at all, when in fact, it is truly childish and shallow titillation that is purveyed.  I wonder if changing the term to ‘childish entertainment’ would change the way the world views pornography, because it is truly false advertising.  There is nothing adult whatsoever in this insidious industry.

When we are truly child-like in our approach and attitude toward God and religion, we become ready to become truly adult as well, and this includes being adult in the way that we face all the ups and downs of life, and take everything in stride as just a part of our being born into a sinful world that needs to learn how to wait – wait for God to slowly reveal himself to us in the very paths our lives are taking.

Some of you may know already that I am going for a surgical procedure called Core Decompression for my other necrotized femur due to the heavy use of medical steroids taken 4 years ago to fight Leukemia.  Most likely, by the time you read this, I should be in hospital ready for the surgical intervention. 

I know that there are quite a number of you out there who look at my attitude with a mixture of incredulity and amazement, when I take these inconveniences as just part and parcel of life.  I am not one for any form of self-promotion, but if it helps to form the faith and lessen the fears of my readers, I am willing to be personal. 

From the moment I was diagnosed with Leukemia, which was truly life threatening, I thanked God for bringing me so close to him on the Cross.  It has since made the sacrifice of my priesthood tremendously real and raised my awareness of what it means to suffer redemptively.  I may not do this as well as I would like to, but it is still a two-steps-forward-one-step-back movement.  Having another human being who was a complete stranger wanting to save me from my impending death made so real how Jesus is my savior from my eternal death.  (Note to Peter Mui, you will ALWAYS have my heartfelt gratitude).  My hope in writing about this and putting this out in this public way is that it can somehow help anyone who is struggling to make sense of pain and suffering in life, and to see that the ability to face such challenges in life is the real ‘business’ of our Christian faith. 

God doesn’t delight in giving us any form of suffering for the sake of suffering.  That God doesn’t exist.  But the God who truly delights in this – having children who desire so much to imitate Jesus who suffered for a cause greater than his – this is the God who is real, and whom we need to approach with a faith that is truly adult in every sense of the word. 


  1. Our prayers are with you, Fr. Luke!! With much love, your family in Chicago/New York and in Singapore!!

  2. Thank you, Fr. Luke, for helping us make sense of our sufferings. I pray that you'll have a safe & speedy recovery & that Jesus will continue to hold you in his arms. God bless!

  3. Praying for God's hand of protection upon the surgery. Wishing you a speedy recovery process.

  4. Indeed ... God is Emmanuel ...

    Take care ... all the best .....


  5. Thk u Fr Luke for sharing on how to unite our sufferings vs to Jesus; to find rest in Him.You are in our prayers....we pray for your successful op, grace/guidance on your team of doctors & surgical team & your speedy recovery ....that you may continue to shepherd God's people with His love.

  6. We lift up Fr Luke in prayer to our Father that in His infinite mercy and love, restore him back to health and strength. Relieve his pain by the power of Your loving embrace. Unite his suffering with Christ''s sufferings for the redemption of the world

  7. It is indeed a privilege to carry our cross and follow our Lord with deep faith and trust....thank you for sharing your truly courageous journey with us. God Bless you and grant you a speedy recovery Father.

  8. Dearest Fr Luke Fong

    Thank you for giving us all this encouragement. You were 2days away from your surgery yet you still wrote this article to inspire us. Father Luke, you are indeed a Role Model for us. Will continue to keep u in our daily prayers. We are praying for a complete recovery for you. That God continue to shower you with all His graces of peace, love, joy, good health, strength and courage at all times. Amen. God bless.

  9. Thank you Fr Luke..praying for you. God Bless