Building Our Baptist Legacy

MESSAGE TO MESSENGERS OF MALAYSIA BAPTIST CONVENTION

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1

“These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’ ” “But the Lord said, it is time.” Haggai 1:2,4  (paraphrased by RT).

For over 60 years, MBC has been talking about building projects but often times, it was just a good idea, since the timing was not right. In the last few years, MBC has been getting her house in order in the areas of administration and constitutional matters despite being short- handed. We are now more poised than ever to do something for our Lord. The vision of MBC is to unite the Baptist and to do mission in our nation and beyond. Apart from working at the strategies, the Executive Committee felt that it is time to have a building that the Baptist could be proud of. We want to call it WISMA BAPTIST.

There are many issues to be ironed out but the mission is clear. Our fore-fathers’ original mission is to provide spiritual, educational and community works. Therefore, Wisma Baptist is to house the MBTS Klang Valley campus, MBC headquarters, and to provide community works.

A steering committee was formed comprising of Dr. John Ong (MBTS), Dr. Sim Quan Seng (First BC), Rev John Kok (Kuala Lumpur BC), George Tee (Pantai BC), Pastor Chan Theam Lai (Canning Garden BC) and Pastor Richard Toh (Community BC, PJ). This steering committee left no stones unturned as they explored the strengths and weaknesses of all the properties held under MBC. Wisma Baptist emerged as the best option for the Baptist to move forward. The next tasks are to tackle the usage of the building and the strategies for MBC to be relevant to the churches in the coming years. In this area MBC will continue to explore with pastors in our nation for relevant inputs.

Perhaps the questions in many peoples’ mind are ‘why have a building at this time’ or ‘why not use the money raised for missions or missionaries etc.?’ These are pertinent questions, and the fact is, we can have both. I feel the building will be a legacy that we can leave to the future generations of Baptists – something they will be proud of, and all the Baptists in our nation can rally behind this project. It can be the beginning of a unifying effort to doing something meaningful.

Why this time?

I have been meditating on 2 Corinthians 8:1-5. Paul was collecting for the poor saints in Jerusalem because of the famine. Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to follow the example of the Macedonian churches. The Macedonian churches were remarkable, resilient, and in the midst of hardship and suffering, they demonstrated the most Christ-like ways. They thought of others and their predicament more than their own safety and needs. They begged Paul to allow them to give to the saints in Jerusalem. I have 6 observations from these verses.

They gave out of severe afflictions, trials, and extreme poverty.
They gave beyond their ability and with great generosity.
They considered this giving a privilege, a partnership in the Gospel.
Their giving was accompanied with overflowing joy.
Their giving was first to the Lord and then, to the project.
Their motivation for giving was from the grace of God.
Application: When we give to Wisma Baptist, we are not giving to bricks, stones and cement but to what happens inside the building – the students, the community works, the poor, etc. We are giving to the future of Baptist work in our nation. It is unselfish giving. It is giving for the glory to God.

So the timing and economy is not the issue, but rather, it is in God’s plan. The Executive Committee and I believe it’s in God’s plan and it’s time to build Wisma Baptist. Our decision is unanimous. Now it is up to the messengers to decide.

When this project was presented, it was given a unanimous vote by the messengers at this 63rd AMC at Malacca BayView Hotel, on 22nd June 2016.


马来西亚浸信会联会:致会使的信息

“若不是耶和华建造房屋,建造的人就枉然劳力。若不是耶和华看守城池,看守的人就枉然警醒。”诗篇127:1

“这百姓说,‘建造耶和华殿的时候尚未来到。’”,“但是主说现在就是时候了。”哈该书1:2,4(RT的意译)

在过去六十年,马浸联一直以来都有商讨着建堂的事,不过由于时机尚未成熟,所以无法落实。在这几年来,虽然面临人手的缺乏,马浸联已经处理了许多在行政和体制方面的问题。如今,我们整装待发,要比以往为主作更多的事了!马浸联的异象就是要把马来西亚的众浸信会联合在一起,在我们的国家,甚至超越我们的国家之外,完成使命。除了制定策略,执行委员觉得是时候应该拥有一个让浸信宗引以为荣的大厦了。我们把它称为浸信大厦。

虽然我们有很多的事情要做,但是我们有明确的使命。我们前辈的最初使命就是提供属灵,教育和社区工作。因此,浸信大厦要成为马来西亚浸信会神学院巴生谷的院校,马来西亚浸信会联会的总部和社区事工的场所。

筹划指导委员会成员有:王美锺院长(马来西亚浸信会神学院), Dr. Sim Quan Seng (第一浸信教会), Rev John Kok (吉隆坡浸信教会), George Tee(Pantai BC), 曾添来牧师(桂和园浸信教会) 及卓振金牧师(牧邻浸信教会)。筹划指导委员会竭尽所能检讨马浸联属下所有产业的强项和弱点之后所得出的结论,浸信大厦便是让浸信宗前进的最好选择。我们下一步的任务要着手在大厦的使用,以及未来马浸联与教会在相关合作上的策略。在这方面,马浸联会继续与牧者们进行交流以提供相关的意见。

或许很多人要问“为什么要在这个时候建堂?”或“为什么不用所筹到的钱来支助宣教工作或宣教士等?”这些都是重要的问题,但是,实际上我们可以两者兼得。我觉得这个大厦将成为我们留给浸信宗下一代的遗产,一件可让他们引以为荣的事,并且可让马来西亚众浸信会为着努力完成这件富有意义的事而体现团结一致的精神。

为什么是这个时候?

我经常默想哥林多后书8:1-5。保罗为着在耶路撒冷面对饥荒的贫穷圣徒筹备捐献。保罗勉励哥林多教会的信徒要效法马其顿的众教会。他们在面对艰难和试验的时候,仍然表现出非凡有光彩,格外显出基督的样式。在窘境之中,他们不看自己的安全和需要,反而更多为别人着想。他们央求保罗准许他们在这供给圣徒的恩情上有份。从这些经文中,我观察到六个方面:

  1. 他们在大患难,大试炼和极穷之间仍然乐意捐献。
  2. 他们超过了自己所能给的力量乐意捐献。
  3. 他们把捐献看作是一个荣幸,在福音上同工。
  4. 他们的捐献带着满溢的喜乐。
  5. 他们的捐献乃是先献给主,然后才是归附给有关需要。
  6. 他们捐献的动力来自神的恩典。

应用: 当我们为着浸信大厦作出奉献时,我们并不是为着大厦所需要的砖块,石头和泥灰而作出奉献,乃是为着大厦里面将要进行的人事而奉献,如神学生,社区工作,贫穷的人,等等。我们是为着浸信宗未来在马来西亚所要完成的工作而奉献。这是无私的奉献,为着荣耀神的奉献。

因此,如果这是在神的计划当中,那么时间和经济就不再是问题了。我和执行委员会相信这是在神的计划当中,现在正是建立浸信大厦的时候。我们全体一致作出了这个决定,我们也把这个计划交给会使们做出最后的决定。

当我们在2016年6月22日在马六甲Bayview 酒店举行第63届会使大会宣布了这项计划之后,会使们全部一致通过这项议决。


Please click here for a full Powerpoint presentation