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Village of two gods – the importance of getting down off the fence

There is a peculiar village outside of Chiang Mai called “Village of Two Gods”. At first I wondered if there had been some kind of mythical battle in the past between two rival gods… a kind of Buddhist version of the “Battle of the Titans”. But it turns out there is a temple in this village that has two Buddhist images made out of different metals (usually there is just one main Buddhist image in a temple). As I reflected more, it reminded me of the tendency of the Thai to absorb and adopt whatever god they think can be of help. That is the reason why many Thai wonder if you can simply add Jesus to their pantheon of dieties. The exclusive nature of our faith (John 14:6) often ends up being a stumbling block to a Thai world view. To counter this, I often use a series of Thai proverbs to help them see why it is necessary to make a firm decision about who you follow as your master in life: 1) Step each foot into two canoes (chances are you’ll split right down the middle); 2) Love the older sister, but forfeit the younger sister (you may fall in love with the older one, but forfeit the cuter younger one); 3) Catch a fish with two hands (trying to do two things simultaneously).

In each case, the lesson is that one must make a clear choice in life, you cannot vacillate. Lot was sternly warned by two angels to flee Sodom, but in Genesis 19:16 it says he “hesitated”. Fortunately the angels pulled his whole family out of the city and even with that, Lot’s wife hesitated again and turned to a pillar of salt. Pray that our message to the Thai will be clear enough that they can easily see the uniqueness of the gospel and be able to make the correct and eternal choice of Jesus.

Written by Larry Dinkins

Larry Dinkins is an OMF missionary who has been serving in Thailand for many years.

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