Los Angeles, CA - On April 23, 2005, “RETURNING TO HOMEBASE”, an English-based seminar designed to strengthen marriages of Christian immigrants, hosted by Louis Lee, was held at Logos Theological Seminary. It was a source of blessings for the many attendants in their late 20s to the early 60s, because the main speakers, well-versed in the topic that they shared, provided discerning answers that emphasized the biblical teaching on marriage and family is the right way to build a strong and happy family in this dysfunctional society.
Rev. Anthony So, assistant professor of practical theology from LES, stated that the audiences were very responsive and were deeply blessed by the speakers, since it was an interactive seminar. The talk show format allows for interaction between the audiences and the speakers, which greatly enhances the experience for the audience as well as the speakers.
The speakers were Rev. Cory Ishida and Reine Ishida, Rev Louis Lee and Eileen Lee, and Rev Kuo-Liang Lin. In addition, representatives from Evangelical Formosan Church General Assembly (EFCGA), LES President Rev. Felix Liu, and local Chinese Pastors also attended this event.
Rev. Cory Ishida, who holds a highly Biblical perspective on marriage and family over cultural emphasis, said that he would not support his children picking a college far away from home, but he would rather that his children stay close to home and stay close to a good home church. He does not hold a dogmatic view on Asian parenting that places much more emphasis on education and career status. On the contrary, he believes it is important to values the responsibility each person has to respond to God personally. In regards to a suitable mate, what mattered most was whether or not the person truly loves his daughter and loves the Lord, rather than what school they went to, and what kind of job they have.
Along with the distinction on what matters more in marriages, Rev. Louise Lee shared the importance for parents to share their love and affection for their children and vice versa. He also advocates for non-prejudiced attitude towards interracial marriage. What matters most is following the will of God. He used the example of Jesus’ baptism to describe how the Father speaks words of affirmation and affection toward the Son, without the Son having to perform well for the Father. He sees this as an example of practical demonstration of expressing love for a child.
Rev. Kuo-Liang Lin emphasized the importance of family origin. He shared about how family origin impacts a person; the effect parents have on children and their personal, social and spiritual growth.
Both Mrs. Ishida and Mrs. Lee entertained questions from the audience on “stay-home” moms. They both support the importance of being stay at home moms. They both saw that as a God given responsibility for them to nurture children and bring them up in the way of the Lord. They count it as their calling. They acknowledge that not every Christian mother stays at home with their children, they pointed out many important advantages of moms staying home with their children while they are growing up.
The problem of dysfunctional and divorces within the Chinese Christian Community have not been properly addressed, which was the primary reason why the seminar was held.
“The need to address such problems is long overdue,” said Rev. So, “We have seen an increasing rise in number of divorces and dysfunctional families in the Chinese Christian Community. Therefore it is imperative that we should return to the bible and to address some of the unique cultural issues that plague the health of the Asian Christian Families.”
However, because the seminar was limited in its range of coverage, follow up workshops are essential to provide a comprehensive education on this issue of marriage.
“The limitations of this talk show manifest in the inadequacy of addressing more marital issues and single issues. Follow up workshop may be more focused on the topic of marriage,” said Rev. So.
Despite the inadequacy, the seminar provided the audiences biblical model for marriage and family, and many of their “presupposition ideas about marriage and family were dispelled.”
“They were greatly impacted by the biblical wisdom and personal experience of each of the speakers.”