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Thai Church
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Tag: Thai Church Ordering

Can you recommend an English speaking church in Bangkok?

We are usually in Thai speaking churches but on occasion, we have had the opportunity to worship at an English-speaking international church in Bangkok.  I don't know enough about any of them to give an unqualified endorsement, although at the ones we have had occasion to visit, the experience has been positive on the whole.  Check out their websites for more information, directions, and worship times.

The Evangelical Church of Bangkok (http://www.ecbbangkok.org) is located downtown on Sukhumwit Road, Soi 10.  I am told that it is quite international interms of worshippers and overall feel.  Friends have told me that they have been appreciated the more-or-less expository preaching at ECB.Christ Church Bangkok (http://www.christchurchbangkok.org) is an Anglican church in downtown Bangkok, in a large building that looks like it was imported straight from England.  Decent sermon when I visited a number of years ago on Easter.

Chaengwattana Community Church (http://www.cccthailand.org) is a standard evangelical type church, with a very American feel, located in northern Bangkok on Chaengwattana Road (not far from old Don MuangAirport)

International Church Bangkok (http://www.icbangkok.org/) describes themselves like this: "ICB's morning worship is in a traditional Presbyterian style. Evening worship is sort of InterVarsity meets casual contemporary. We are a church where anyone (Christian or non-Christian) can come and draw close to Jesus in an atmosphere that is safe, honest, and open. We come from a wide variety of countries, cultures and ways of thinking about just about everything. What we have in common is a love for (and an interest in learning about) Jesus. He is at the center of everything we do."

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Is there persecution of Christians in Thailand?

Although Buddhism is the predominant religion of Thailand and has the official sanction and support of the government, there is freedom of religion for all people in Thailand.  There is no government opposition to the open and free practice of Christianity or other religions.  However, Thai Buddhists who become Christians (or Muslims or some other religion) often face opposition from their families and friends and experience social pressure to return to Buddhism.  This pressure can be very strong during family and community activities such as weddings, funerals, and neighborhood events.  To not participate in the Buddhist or spirit-worship aspects of these activities can be misunderstood as disloyalty to family or nation.

 

Thailand Ministry Photos 2006 to 2010

This is an album of photos from our first full missionary term in Thailand, from 2006-2010.  Included are pictures of where we lived, daily activities, people whom we knew and worked with, outreach events, church, Thai Buddhism, Thai culture.

 

Click on any picture to see a larger image.

 

When the bigger picture pops up, you can scroll through the whole album by hitting your right arrow key (and left arrow key if you want to go back) 

 

 

 

 

What is the main religion in Thailand?

About 95% of Thai are Buddhist.  4% are Muslim and about 1% are Christian or other.  Only about 0.58% would be counted as Protestant, the majority of which would probably fall under the category of broadly evangelical.

 

รายงานเรื่อง เบนนี ฮินน์ ต่อคริสตจักรไทย

รายงานเรื่อง เบนนี ฮินน์ ต่อคริสตจักรไทย

รายงานเรื่อง เบนนี ฮินน์ (Benny Hinn) ต่อคริสตจักรไทย

กรกฎาคม 2012

 

“และ​ด้วย​ใจ​โลภ​เขา​จะ​กล่าว​ตลบตะแลง​ค้า​กำไร​จาก​ท่าน​ทั้ง​หลายการ​ลงโทษ​คน​เหล่า​นั้น​ที่​ได้​ถูก​พิพากษา​นาน​มา​แล้ว​จะ​ไม่​เนิ่น​ช้าและ​ความ​วิบัติ​ที่​จะ​เกิด​กับ​เขา​ก็​หา​สลาย​ไป​ไม่”

2 เปโตร2:3

โดย

ศจ. คาร์ล ดาห์เฟรด

ศจ. ดร. มนตรี วิสเซอร์

นักเทศน์ที่มีชื่อเสียงจากตะวันตกเมื่อเดินทางมาทำการประกาศที่ประเทศไทยก็สามารถดึงดูดคนเข้าร่วมได้มาก นักเทศน์เหล่านี้มีประวัติการทำงานยาวนานและเป็นที่รู้จักกันดีในประเทศของตน แต่ในประเทศไทย มีน้อยคนที่รู้จักคนเหล่านี้ พวกเขาเป็นคนดีหรือเลว? พวกเขานำพระพรมาหรือสอนผิด เป็นเรื่องยากที่จะรู้ได้

รายงานสั้น ๆ นี้เป็นรายงานเกี่ยวกับเบนนี ฮินน์ ซึ่งกำลังจะเดินทางมากรุงเทพฯ ระหว่างวันที่ 11-12 กันยายน 2012

เบนนี ฮินน์ คือใคร? ประวัติการรับใช้

เบนนี ฮินน์ อ้างว่าจุดเปลี่ยนชีวิตของเขาเกิดขึ้นในปี 1973 ขณะที่เขายังเป็นวัยรุ่น และได้รับมอบหมายให้ดูแลสตรีร่างกายไม่สมประกอบคนหนึ่ง ระหว่างการเดินทางไปร่วมประชุมการรักษาโรคของแคธรีน คุลแมน เบนนี กล่าวว่าเขาได้เห็นหญิงผู้นั้นได้รับการรักษา อาการเจ็บปวดได้หายไป และขาของเธอก็ “ไม่บิดเบี้ยว” อีก

หลังจากเหตุการณ์นั้น เบนนี ฮินน์ ได้กลายเป็นนักเทศน์ และผู้จัดการประชุมเพื่อการรักษาโรค เขาได้อ้างถึงการอัศจรรย์หลายอย่าง แต่ก็ยากที่จะยืนยันได้ บางครั้งก็ดูเหมือนว่าเขาได้แต่งเรื่องราวเหล่านั้นขึ้นเอง ตัวอย่างเช่น ฮินน์อ้างว่า ในปี1976 เขาได้เทศนาที่โรงเรียนคาธอลิคสำหรับหญิงล้วนแห่งหนึ่งในกรุงเยรูซาเล็ม และ “เด็กหญิงทุกคน รวมทั้งนางชีทั้งหมดได้รับความรอด” ในกรุงเยรูซาเล็มมีโรงเรียนคาธอลิคสำหรับเด็กหญิงเพียงแห่งเดียวเท่านั้น คือ วิทยาลัยสตรีชมิดช์ ผู้ทำการตรวจสอบเรื่องนี้ได้สัมภาษณ์นางชีผู้ประจำการอยู่ที่นั่นในปี 1976 รวมทั้งบาทหลวงดูซินด์ ผู้รับผิดชอบงานศาสนกิจทั้งหมดของวิทยาลัยมาตั้งแต่ปี 1955 และท่านได้ตอบคำถามนี้ว่า “มันเป็นเรื่องเหลวไหลไร้สาระ เรื่องนี้ไม่เคยเกิดขึ้นเลย เพราะว่าไม่มีทางที่เราจะยอมให้นักเทศน์โปรแตสแตนท์ หรือ นักเทศน์ที่เชื่อเรื่องการอธิษฐานรักษาโรคมีโอกาสเขามาสั่งสอนเด็ก ๆ ของเราอย่างเด็ดขาด”  

ปี 1979 เบนนี ฮินน์ ได้ย้ายไปอยู่ที่ออรันโด รัฐฟลอริด้า สหรัฐอเมริกา และในปี 1983 เขาได้ก่อตั้ง “ออรันโด คริสเตียน เซนเตอร์” ปลายทศวรรตที่ 1980 เขาเริ่มจัดประชุมเพื่อการรักษาโรคทั่วอเมริกา และในต่างประเทศด้วย ในการประชุมเหล่านั้น ฮินน์บอกว่าพระวิญญาณบริสุทธิ์ได้ตรัสกับเขาโดยตรงและคนเจ็บป่วยที่เขากล่าวถึงอย่างเจาะจงนั้นได้รับการรักษาให้หาย เขากลายเป็นนักเทศน์ที่น่าสนใจติดตาม ผู้คนจำนวนมากมาร่วมในการประชุมของเขาด้วยหวังว่าจะรับการรักษาโรคให้หายได้ สำนักข่าวของอเมริกันสองแห่งได้ทำการสอบสวนเรื่องนี้และพบว่าไม่มีสักคนหนึ่งที่ได้รับการรักษาจากการจัดประชุมของเขา และในทางตรงกันข้ามบางคนได้เสียชีวิตจากโรคภัยที่น่าจะได้รับการรักษาด้วย เมื่อมีคนสอบถามถึงเรื่องการรักษาที่ล้มเหลวนี้ เขากลับหลีกเลี่ยงคำถาม หรือไม่ก็ให้สัญญาว่าในอนาคตเขาจะทำให้ดีกว่าเดิม แต่เขาก็ยังคงทำทุกอย่างเหมือนเดิมโดยไม่ได้เปลี่ยนแปลงอะไรเลย    

ทุกวันนี้ เบนนี ฮินน์ เดินทางไปทั่วด้วยเครื่องบินส่วนตัว จัดการประชุมสำหรับการอัศจรรย์ และใช้ชีวิตหรูหราฟุ่มเฟือยด้วยเงินถวายที่ได้จากการจัดประชุมต่าง ๆ

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Putting the Prosperity Gospel on the Radar

Putting the Prosperity Gospel on the Radar
อ่านบทความนี้เป็นภาษาไทย

I am glad that Benny Hinn came to Thailand in 2012.  Really, I am.  He is a false teacher and a false prophet who will probably end up with a millstone around his neck in the final judgment.  But I am glad he came because he provided the opportunity to make the prosperity gospel into a live issue among Thai churches.

The prosperity gospel has been in Thailand for many years but prior to Hinn’s visit, it was not a topic of controversy.   Various teachers, both foreign and domestic, have put on big shows, made outrageous claims and promises, and generally given people false hope while taking away their money and/or their hope.  Some churches are into that kind of thing, and others aren’t.  But Thai people are generally polite and don’t like to stir up controversy.  The Christian community in Thailand is small, people know each other, and it seems more important to affirm each other in light of the Buddhist majority, rather than cause problems.  So while prosperity preachers and self-appointed prophets came and went, barely anyone said much about this form of false teaching even as it has continued to spread and work its way into a larger number of churches through big, exciting “revival” meetings, translated books, and YouTube videos.  

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Timeline: Thai Church History in Global Context

Timeline: Thai Church History in Global Context
อ่านบทความนี้เป็นภาษาไทย

Embedded below is the English version of a timeline of "Thai Church History in Global Context."  The Thai version was developed as a study aid for my students at Bangkok Bible Seminary, and it is my hope that the English version will be useful for my fellow Thailand missionaries and interested Christians worldwide.

Click on each frame of the timeline (or use your left and right arrow buttons) to advance to the next frame or use the scroll bar on the bottom to travel back and forth through time.  In the top right corner you also have the option to view as a chart (default) or as a list (vertical listing of events).

Click Here to View Full Size

 

 

  Download Timeline (text only) .doc  .pdf The text of this timeline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Brief Survey of Thai Church History (Audio Lecture)

Brief Survey of Thai Church History (Audio Lecture)

I recently took about 20 hours of lecture notes on Thai church history and condensed them into about 1.5 hours for a session on Thai church history at my mission organization's annual conference.  Embedded below you will find an audio version of this very brief overview of Thai church history which will give you a big picture view of the development of Protestant Christianity in Thailand. 

My lecture here is not as polished or fluid as I would like, but a number of listeners gave me positive feedback so I decided to post it for those who would like a quick overview of Thai church history in a short period of time. (Please excuse the fact that the recording starts abruptly and there is no mention early Roman Catholic mission work in Thailand - I forgot to hit the record button until 15 minutes after I began talking)

If you do not see an embedded audio player and/or download link above, you can click here for direct access to the audio file.

For more on Thai church history, please see my website www.thaichurchhistory.com

Should We Dump Foreign Missionaries in Favor of Native Missionaries?

Should We Dump Foreign Missionaries in Favor of Native Missionaries?

In recent years, there has been a trend for some missions supporters and churches in the West to move away from sending their own missionaries in favor of supporting “native missionaries.”   The logic goes something like this: “Why pay $60,000/year or more to support a family of American missionaries who will struggle to learn language and culture when you can support a native missionary who knows the language and culture already for $50/month?”  At first glance this seems like a great idea.  And in some places it might be.  But there are other factors at play when deciding to support a missionary from your home country or someone more “local.”  

The historical, cultural, religious, and economic situation varies greatly from country to county and not all non-Western nations can be lumped together when evaluating whether foreign missionaries are still need. In this post, I want to look at several questions that can help us evaluate whether missionaries are really needed (or wanted) in a given location. I will use Thailand as a case study since it is the context that I am most familiar with.

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[Video] Tracing 175 Years of Thai Protestantism

[Video] Tracing 175 Years of Thai Protestantism

The short 20 minute video that you'll find below is a good overview of the birth and history of Christianity in Thailand.  It was prepared for the 2003 celebration of 175 years of Protestant Christianity in Thailand, counting from 1828 when Karl Gutzlaff and Jacob Tomlin arrived as the first two Protestant missionaries.

There is also a Thai-language book that goes along with the video, called "๑๗๕ ปี พันธกิจคริสต์ศาสนาโปรเตสแตนต์ในประเทศไทย, ค.ศ. ๑๘๒๘-๒๐๐๓" (175 Years of Protestant Christian Ministry in Thailand, 1828-2003).  The book is currently out of print but should be able to be found in libraries of seminaries and bible colleges in Thailand.

If you don't see a video above, click here to watch it on Youtube.

 

คลิกที่นี้เพื่อดูวีดีโอนี้เป็นภาคภาษาไทย

 

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Bangkok Street Protests 2013

Bangkok Street Protests 2013

Those outside of Thailand may have seen in the news recently reports about massive street protests in Bangkok and wondered what it is all about. In this post, I want to give a super short summary of the background to this situation and provide some prayer points.

Timeline

2006

Prime Minister Taksin ousted in military coup, because Taksin was alleged to be corrupt.

2007-2013After a year of military rule, the government has swapped back and forth between the party favorable to Taksin and the one opposed to him. The people not in power protest those who are, saying they are illegitimate. Also, Taksin was convicted of corruption, etc. by Thai court but he is not in the country. If he comes back, he goes straight to jail.

2013 Prime Minister Yinglack (Taksin's sister) and her party (puppets of Taksin?) try to pass amnesty bill to forgive all political transgressions since 2004 (which would let Taksin come home a free man). That triggers street protests against the amnesty bill.

 

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Interview with Dr. Manoch Chaengmuk, Director of Bangkok Bible Seminary

Interview with Dr. Manoch Chaengmuk, Director of Bangkok Bible Seminary

I recently had time to sit down with Dr. Manoch Chaengmuk, director of Bangkok Bible Seminary to talk about his life and ministry.  We talked about how he came to faith, family opposition, the current state of the seminary and the church in Thailand, and prayer requests.  It was a fascinating interview all around and I wish I had more time to chat with him. 

I interviewed him in Thai and I have included below an MP3 of the interview for those who understand Thai.  For those who do not, I have written up an abridged transcript of the interview in English.  I didn’t include everything in the English transcript, but about 90% of our conversation is there.  I hope that you find this interview with Dr. Manoch as interesting as I did.

 

 

DOWNLOAD MP3 - INTERVIEW WITH DR. MANOCH เดาว์นโลด MP3 การสัมภาษณ์ ดร. มาโนช แจ้งุข 

 

 

 

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Why Thai Churches Don’t Send Missionaries

Why Thai Churches Don’t Send Missionaries

Today I asked the students in my world missions class if their home churches send out missionaries.  They looked at each other, then looked at me and said, “Uh, no.”  Granted, my class was only 13 students but from what I have observed in Thai churches, sending out cross-cultural missionaries is on nobody’s priority list.  Thankfully, there are some Thai missionaries. Unfortunately, I can count all of them on one hand.  Why is this?  Why is it that a country that has received thousands of missionaries over the years hardly sends out any of its own?

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Church Attacked In Udonthani, Thailand

Church Attacked In Udonthani, Thailand

On November 14th, an article came out in the Thai newspaper, "Daily News" about a group of 20 men, including one wearing a Buddhist monk's robe, who broke into a church in Udonthani province, Thailand.  They looted and vandalized the church building. The group were apparently upset that a number of villagers have become Christians since the church was started 3 years ago. They want the church to move someplace else and the church had agreed to do so, but requested some time to find a new place to rent and to settle their rent contract with the current landlord. Apparently, the church didn't move fast enough and was ransacked openly while the caretaker was confined to his bedroom.

 

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Money, Grace, and a Thai Sermon

Money, Grace, and a Thai Sermon

In Thai churches, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the nature and purpose of giving money to God.  Some people think that God requires 10% of their income and if they don't give it, they are sinning.  Even more common is the idea that if I give to God, He will bless me.  This transactional mentality is likely a holdover from the animism that is so prevalent in Thai folk Buddhism, where people make specific ritual offerings to spirits in order to get specific desired blessings.  But then again, human nature left to its own devices can also come up with the "give-to-get" approach to God. 

 

The crass idea that you can get stuff from God by giving stuff to Him is further propagated by prosperity gospel teachers who urge people to give money to God (through their anointed ministries, of course) as a way to demonstrate that they have enough faith to receive their desired blessings.    The larger the amount of money, the more faith you have.  Or so they say.

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Anointed Faith Healer Kills Woman in Bangkok

Anointed Faith Healer Kills Woman in Bangkok

A tragic story has recently come out in Thai national news reports about two people who have died as a result of visiting a Cambodian faith healer.  For those who understand Thai, I have included the TV news video at the bottom of this post.  For those who are not fluent in Thai (or just prefer to read), the summary of the story is this: A Cambodian woman who has been in Thailand for 30 years opened a clinic in Bangkok, in the Asoke area.  She claimed to be a doctor, and to have a special anointing from God, enabling her to heal every disease. Her methods included an extremely painful massage method, combined with injection of medicine.  Her clients were mostly Christians, including Ms. Ammy, who had recently graduated from a prestigious university but suffered with a chronic health problem.  She went to this healer (who claimed to be a doctor) three times, became sick, including vomiting.  Her mother was worried but the healer said she would soon improve and the vomiting was due to the sickness being driven out of her body.  The mother reported that Ammy started to talk nonsense, and upon a third visit to this doctor, she died. 

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Benny Hinn in Bangkok - September 11, 2012

Benny Hinn in Bangkok - September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012I just got back from Benny Hinn’s crusade in Bangkok this evening and wanted to give a quick report of what I saw.  Regular readers of this blog probably know my views on Hinn and the prosperity gospel, but my commentary here is extremely little.  This is mostly just a report for those who are curious but have not been able to make it to the event.The event went from 6:00pm to 10:00pm or so. Lots of people there but room not full.  First hour was Thai worship songs, Pentecostal/praise band style.  This first hour also included an offering where the leader said we reap what we sow about 4 times.  Example of fish and loaves was given.Benny got on at 7pm and sung “How Great Thou Art” to start with.  Then he explained salvation is the greatest miracle and did an about 20-30 minute basic Gospel explanation.  We are sinners, God is holy, Jesus paid for our sin, we can receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness if we accept Jesus in our heart.  He never mentioned repentance. Then he had an altar call.  I think he only wanted 1st time commitments but a bunch of people went forward, some of them seeming to want recommitment or anointing or something.  So he did group prayer with them, assured them they are born again and instructed them to read their Bible, pray, and find a church.  A 6 year old girl was brought on stage and everyone rejoiced that she had just been born again. Then he sent them back to their seats.

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2011 Thai Church Statistics and Map

2011 Thai Church Statistics and Map

The latest statistics for the growth of Christianity in Thailand have been released by Dwight Martin and his team at the eStar Foundation.  The full report can be view online in English or in Thai, but I wanted to give a few highlights here. (For more information about the data, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." mce_' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy24288 + '\'>'+addy_text24288+'<\/a>'; //--> ).

 

The Big PictureAt the end of 2011, the Protestant Christian population of Thailand is 0.58%, up from 0.54% in 2009.  The 2011 annual growth rate of Christians in Thailand is 5.22%.  The 2011 annual population growth rate in Thailand is 0.57% (source).  That means that the number of Christians is growing 9 times faster than the general population.

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Discernment, Thai Culture, and the Traveling Prophets

Discernment, Thai Culture, and the Traveling Prophets

One of the great strengths of Thai culture is the high value placed on maintaining the peace.  Social harmony is very important to Thai people.  You don’t get upset at bad drivers or pushy salesmen.  You don’t have an argument in public.  You avoid saying things that would embarrass other people or make them feel bad.  In many ways, this value on maintaining social harmony and good relationships makes Thailand a wonderful place to live.  

But there is also a downside.  Feelings get hurt and people never forgive each other.  Injustice, error, and corruption run rampant and are swept under the rug.  Leaders at all levels abuse their power and no one says anything.  Sin is winked at and everyone pretends that everything is okay when they know it isn’t.  The need for holiness and reconciliation is one the great challenges facing the Thai church today.

When the Prophet Comes to Town...

Into the midst of this cultural milieu come the traveling prophets.  Teachers like Joyce Meyer and Cindy Jacobs parachute in to Thailand and receive huge venues to speak to the Thai church.  They are big names in many evangelical and charismatic circles in America but are relatively unknown in Thailand.  But they quickly become known as their big show event is promoted broadly in the small Christian community in Thailand.  It is big.  It is exciting.  And it is “Christian.”

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Challenges and Hope for the Church in Thailand

Watch the following six minute video to understand some of the great challenges that face the church in Thailand, but also the great hope that we can have because of what God is already doing.

If you can’t see the video above, you can watch it on Vimeo by clicking here.

 

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