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I’m reading the bible now from cover to cover, not that I’ve never read it before. Just that by reading it from cover to cover, I hope not to miss any part of the Written Word. After I’m done with the bible, I intend to read scriptures of the other religions.

I believe I will not convert from Christianity to Buddhism, then to Islam and so forth once I’m done with each holy book. I do not think I’m that shallow. By reading these different scriptures, I hope to capture the beauty in each religion. I hope to understand my friends and their beliefs better.

I speak from the perspective of a Christian when I say this: We are encouraged to read our scriptures as it helps firstly, to understand traditions as faith is not a doctrine that can be adapted to one’s taste. Reading our holy book the way it is written can help us to deepen our faith.

We cannot and should not just rely on fidelity to religious practices alone. We need to grow spiritually and having a profound knowledge of our holy book will be our strength. An inspired person will never speak against the traditional faith of a religion. Believe me when I say, reading the holy book is truly inspiring.

For a religion to grow, there must be people who can express their faith creatively – a gift that springs from spiritual knowledge and habitual contact with the Written Word. Hence, the need from time immemorial for the faithful to read, teach and preach.

It is said that meditating on scriptures can make one wise. Most people today appear to have the partial vision of one who is enthusiastic for a cause but ignores other issues that are equally important, of one whose one facet of his life is impeccable while the rest are in shambles.

The restlessness of one who does not have a goal and who deceives himself by throwing himself in frantic activity. Maybe its time to cultivate a little wisdom; why the need for this Written Word.

The Written Word is necessary for the nourishment of faith. Reading it is the best way of making faith mature. It is a message of love, of hope and of peace. That’s what the mature faithful will offer to the world.

The mature faithful does not intend to create chaos, divisions or cast aspersions on other beliefs. Faith can only work through love, not hatred. One can never be misled by true faith.

It is strange that we are encouraged to take pride in our national language. In fact for some, it must be the sole lingua franca. Yet, bibles written in the national language pose a threat to the very same people who swear to die by the language. Much as I love my motherland Malaysia, some of my fellow citizens are clowns.

If you are truly among the faithful, you will know that the good book teaches us that faithfulness to God does not prevent loyalty to the nation unless the nation itself becomes an idol, and this happens when in the name of the nation, people are asked to obey its rulers blindly. We cannot give up criticizing their errors, nor stop considering as our brothers and sisters those who do not agree with us.

On a more serious note, detaining these bibles is a form of persecution. We are supposed to be a free people. We are supposed to be able to practice our faith. That includes reading the bible in any language we feel comfortable in. These bibles are manna to some, their daily bread. Mine, too.

May Chee Chook Ying resigned as a teacher some eleven years ago in an effort to be a better mother. Eleven years later, she’s still in the dark! Sometimes, because of whats ingrained in her vocabulary, she makes remarks or typecast persons, which her 4 kids deem are racist. She’s trying hard to shake that off, very hard, but believes deep down inside, she is not one. She feels blessed her kids can accuse both their parents of being racists! It is her kids who remind her, now and then, what it means to be Malaysian. She believes a true Malaysia is possible. She has to because it’s possible she may have a grandchild whose name may be Travis Tuppani or Emma Abdullah. She’s going to love them all the same.

May resigned as a teacher some 12 years ago in an effort to be a better mother. Eleven years later, she’s still in the dark! Sometimes, because of what's ingrained in her vocabulary, she makes remarks...

2 replies on “The Holy Book”

  1. Indeed reading alone does not precedes a person to embrace or accepts another religion…such a fear only reveals the shallowness of that particular so called clergy elite ones when they declares so…I believe reading others'holy books will enrich ones'spiritual sphere therby enable a person to best understand the underlying message every individual books wants to convey lest the man of authority feels that a particular one is preaching a more deviant values which when compare to another reflects the opposites in teachings….fikir fikir…la fear not if your way is the truth and indeed someday it will set you free from all emcumbrances…

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