Wednesday, March 8, 2017

From Deity Worshiping to Christianity

I finally got reconnected with another long lost junior high school buddy of mine.

Leng Hong and I went separate ways after Form Three. I left for Kuala Lumpur and he, Singapore - for his senior high school as well as to seek medical treatment.

WhatsApp is doing wonders. I recently lost my eldest brother. Cedric has tracked down Leng Hong and he whatsapped me to say that Leng Hong would be coming with him for the wake.

Leng Hong I remembered was a pinweight. But the Leng Hong today is a big man. He also goes by a Christian name now - Peter. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to reminisce with him long, since I had to leave these two old buddies early to fetch my son who was flying in from Kuala Lumpur.

Although Peter was in physique one of the smallest in the class, his demeanor gave the impression he was well-connected in the “adults’ world”. No one dared to bully him. But he was really a caring friend. I used to cycle with him to while away our time around our very sleepy town – Muar in Johor.

We met up for dinner with his wife at East Coast's Jumbo. We were also joined by Cedric and wife and my daughter Monica who was in transit in Singapore to pay last respect to her beloved uncle.  

The first thing I asked Peter was about the hole in his heart.

“The Lord has healed me!"

But wasn't he a very staunch deity worshiper?

"Yes, I was, but that’s history."

He showed me a photography of himself taken many many years ago. He was not shy to say that he looked like a drug addict. All of us had to agree; indeed, he looked like one in that picture.

This is his story:

In my earlier days in Singapore, I tried many things, including owning and running a temple. Devotees came to my temple to ask for “divine” favours. For each of these consultation sessions, he had to recite incantations to call upon a particular deity to “enter” the medium. Once in trance, the medium would dispense favours – 4Ds (a form of gambling), or issues that bothered the devotees (health, marriage, fortune, and what-have-you).

I finally met my wife. She took me to church. My health improved and my businesses started to grow.

* * *

I see that Peter is a wealthy man today. He has passed his business to his son and is going places with his wife. He owns properties in Melbourne, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, I believe, amongst others.

“Do you still believe in all the medium stuff?” I asked.

“Sure, I do.”

“How do you reconcile this with your present devotion to Christianity?”

“The medium stuff is for real. Devils are roaming everywhere all the time. When you recite incantations, a passing devil will “enter” the medium and took it upon itself to masquerade the deity you wish to call upon. You think you are talking to your deity. No, no, no. You are talking to an opportunistic devil. But not all devils are bad.

“You see mediums in their trance would do all sort of self-inflicting acts – chopping, cutting, piercing, etc,, and blood oozes out everywhere, right? Yet there were few signs of injury when the trance stops. He looks all normal after that, right? 

"These are certainly no play-play acts; the devil has actually taken possession of the medium's body.

“But the Lord reigns supreme. He could send all these devils scurrying for cover. He is therefore the only one we should worship!”

I couldn’t help asking, “I thought there is only one devil in Christianity. Isn’t that Satan?”

Peter corrected himself, “No, no; the devils I am talking are actually angels.”

I suppose he meant “spirits”, but never mind, I really do not want to know all these. He has his logic, though.

Before we parted, Mrs Lee said to me, “Do go to church.”