Academic Dishonesty- Why Do We All Cheat?

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A recent article in the Indian Express reminded me of a common practice from my school & college days – cheating during examinations.

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Cliff Cooper, via Flickr

You might be thinking of the much-publicized image of parents & other helpers climbing to 3rd and 4th storeys of an examination building to help students cheat during matriculation exams in a district in Bihar; an image that renewed India’s subscription to the ignominy of being known for blatant cheating. But the news article I am referring to is not about Bihar; it’s about some school students in Delhi. Continue reading “Academic Dishonesty- Why Do We All Cheat?”

Answering Questions About The “Christian Superheroes” Post

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It is that time of the year when you clarify what you have written. Yay!

Some members in my church family asked me questions about the Christian superheroes post. It was well-timed criticism. I realised even I could make mistakes (my, my)! Until then, I thought I was the blogger version of the undefeated Iron-man, kuch aisa!

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Sabse Bada Khiladi

I think criticism from people who care for you is like eating from a bag of flavoured candy with no labels. You won’t like all the flavours you encounter. But you’re glad you got the bagful of candy!

You are also glad that somebody, somewhere thinks that your posts are worth spending time on. Lol!

So let me put forth my thoughts in question-answer format. Not all of these questions were asked, but I think this will help.

1) What do I mean when I write “Missions in the context of the local church”? Is there any such thing in the Bible?

A: I must admit there’s no such phrase in the Bible. What then, does it mean? “Missions in the context of the local church” is how the Bible shows missions must be done: with centrality being given to God’s plan, which is His church. That’s how missions happened in the book of Acts (Acts 13:1-3).

Does this mean people need not go out to some far-flung region to share the gospel and make disciples? No, it means that the missionary should begin in the place God has placed them in.

What makes us think that people will labour for the gospel in rural Haryana when we have little desire to speak the good news to people here in Pune?

Continue reading “Answering Questions About The “Christian Superheroes” Post”

When Christians Try to be the Flash, Superman and Batman

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What! Do Christians really try to be these superheroes?

Do they begin with wearing tight, spandex costumes?

Wait, that could get ugly.

Superhero Code Explained
The Flash is very fast. He can be at two places at almost the same time. Superman is all-powerful. No burden too heavy, that he can’t lift, amen! The Batman is more intelligent than most superheroes put together. His genius is so notorious, he once devised a contingency plan to kill major superheroes – including himself, in case they all went rogue.

Let’s say the Flash represents man’s attempt at omnipresence, the ability to be at so many places and do countless things. Superman represents our hopes of omnipotence, powerful beyond the normal, and Batman, omniscience or knowing how to solve all situations.

You might say, “but these qualities belong to God!”. Very well, now we know how we Christians try to be God. Gotcha, idolatry.

At least, that is the premise of the book, Sensing Jesus, where Zack Eswine exposes Christian attempts to be like God. I was, of course, too busy(?!) to read Eswine’s book until my wife reading it caught my attention. Continue reading “When Christians Try to be the Flash, Superman and Batman”

Extremism in My Religion?!

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Have you ever met a person who’s extremely devoted to their work?

You know – the guy who reaches home from work at 9:30pm and hardly grumbles about it because he loves what he is doing. The missionary or pastor who rushes to counsel troubled families in slums at 1am. The teenager who wakes up at 4 am to study for her biology exam.

The company or school recognizes their contribution- Star employee of the year. Rank #1 in the class. It takes a while but the missionary features in a couple of magazines, not to mention the monthly newsletter that is commended by their home-church.

His cubicle is adorned with certificates, maybe a trophy or two.

She loves the way she gets all the answers right and is not wasting her time unlike some others in her class.

In the world of Christians, you will find almost all of us passionate about one thing or the other. There are those of us who are devoted to “social media justice”. We share and re-share the latest outrage and call out for justice on Facebook and Twitter. Our time and efforts are spent on ensuring that the latest “stand for justice” is taken.

Other Christians are all about healthy living. The right kind of diet, cookies, juices, whole wheat, organic (or metallic), on it goes.

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Some others are passionate about the right exercise and body-building techniques. Others love to get their parenting technique perfect to the last word and can correct anyone whose techniques appear faulty. Continue reading “Extremism in My Religion?!”