Survivor China and Standing Up For Your Faith

This clip is from the beginning of Survivor China that aired last Thursday night.  Jeff Probst welcomes the new contestants at a Buddhist temple and tells them that the people of China would like to welcome them with a welcome ceremony.  He specifially states that even though the ceremony is in a Buddhist temple, it is not a worship ceremony.  Sometime during the ceremony the Christian radio host becomes emotional and leaves because she doesn’t want to bow down to any other God but the one of the Christian faith.

I think I recorded the clip with the volume low, so you make need to crank the volume up on the YouTube clip and your PC.

I think after watching the clip most people will fall into the following categories:

  • People will be proud of her for standing up for her faith and leaving the ceremony.
  • People will think that she should have went through with the welcome ceremony as awkward as it was but knowing that in her heart Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings.
  • People will think she is an ultra-sensitive over-reactive Christian and think it is strange how she says she’s not a religous person but has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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9 Responses to Survivor China and Standing Up For Your Faith

  1. Rev. Hart says:

    I don’t think this is a case of “did she do the right thing.” There is no moral imperative for what she felt; it was a worshiping act and she was convicted–I didn’t get the sense that she was convicted by a “shouldn’t” in her brain; I got the sense that she was convicted by a genuine sense–from the Holy Spirit?–that she was worshiping something other than Jesus.

    People who don’t also know Jesus wouldn’t understand what that feels like, I suppose.

  2. littlepastor says:

    I agree with the Reverend. It’s hard to explain…

  3. Before watching the video, based just on the description, I felt like she was being too picky. Being in Hong Kong, I have been in a couple of different Buddhist temples, where people are worshipping. As a Christian, I did not feel bad about doing so, as I was just an observor, watching and learning. But, in the video it looks like they were getting them to participate in the ceremony. I definately wouldn’t feel comfortable bowing as part of any religious ceremony that’s not Chrisitan.

    It probably would have been better if she just waited in the back and watched quietly instead of leaving altogether.

  4. sistergeeding says:

    Personally, I think going through the motions in this scenario was just to show your respects to the culture and its people… And as stated, IT WAS NOT A WORSHIP CEREMONY. Maybe she did feel convicted on a spiritual level…and in that case more power to her… But I’m sure being on national TV with the title “Christian Radio Host” had a little to do with why she walked out… if ever the slightest influence. I’m sure I fall in one of the categories mentioned above… But I can see how foreigners would also view her as a possible candidate for an overzealous Christian missionary representative… You know, like the ones that usurped habitation somewhere in the Amazon to “civilize” natives…. not the few that made their purpose to educate and still give people the God-given free will to chose whether or not to believe.

  5. paul says:

    i think she was taking it way too seriously. what does bowing mean if in her heart she is not sincere about what she is doing…much less if she even knows what she is doing? the physical act means something when connected to our hearts and minds. bowing means nothing…just like our worship to God means nothing if we dont mean it in our hearts.

    they told her up front that it was not an act of worship. so why put your interpretation on top of what was said by the people holding the ceremony. if you were tricked into doing something dishonoring to Him…can God hold you responsible for doing something you didnt know or were tricked into doing? is God really that unreasonable…is He really up there waiting to strike us w/ lightning if we cross the line?

    commenting on Nick’s comment, the only reason why you would feel uncomfortable bowing is b/c its not a part of your daily culture (please excuse my assumption that you are american born and raised). in america, we hold our head up high and dont bow to anyone. in china, much like korea, you bow everyday. does that mean that you are worshiping the person you are bowing to…as the apostle paul would say…”hell no.”

    however, that waitress from NY…no wonder people outside the US hate americans.

  6. Warren says:

    Would offense be taken by people of a Christian faith if a member of a non-Christian religion left a place of worship because they didn’t feel “comfortable”? There are many in North American society who are xenophobic enough to castigate people of other cultures for not following “Christian rules” when in North America.
    She’s someone who’s entered a televised contest to win a million dollars and it’s expected that she’ll eat bugs and lie and cheat to step over others to be the victor. How will her values of honesty and truthfulness stand up?

  7. Paul, there is a definate difference between bowing as part of a greeting and bowing as part of a religious ceremony. I would not have a problem greeting someone with a bow, if that was their cultural norm. BTW, if you ever visit Hong Kong, don’t bow when you greet people, you’ll probably get laughed at…no one does that here…I also haven’t seen much of that in mainland china, either..or most of the asian countries I’ve visited. I do know it’s quite common in Korea and Japan, which I haven’t been to yet.

    But, I digress….many of you have taken Jeff Probst at his word when he says it’s not a worship ceremony. How do you know that’s true? It certainly wouldn’t be unlike Survivor to practice a little deception, would it? It looks exactly like what I’ve seen in other Buddhist temples, where definite worship was occuring. It’s actually an interesting theological debate to have. What defines worship to the Christian? What defines it to various non-Christian groups? How do we know if we are partaking in something that another religion would regard as worship? I certainly wouldn’t blame her if she partaked in the entire ceremony…I do believe that God judges intentions and what is in your heart. But, likewise, I don’t blame her for not wanting to take part. People need to be free to trust their convictions more.

    I think the concern is that not partaking in the ceremony would be offensive to their hosts. I think that is part of a common American misunderstanding of foreign cultures…it’s a little demeaning, actually to assume that the “natives” can’t appreciate that someone may not want to participate in the ceremony…as long as she is still respectful and not preachy about it.

  8. Rev. Hart says:

    Much of this conversation has to do with “shoulds” or “shouldn’ts”. If the Christian faith was all about moralism or ethical imperatives, then such talk would be appropriate. But the Christian faith is not about that–it’s not just another religion of morality, no matter what you’ve been told in the Bible Belt–rather, it’s about a relationship between sinful humans and a loving God. The woman’s response in that temple seemed reflective of the fact that she felt a betrayal of a relationship. It wasn’t a case of “should I be here?” just like the question “should I cheat to win this game show?” Instead, it is akin to a husband spending time with another woman, suddenly feeling like he is being unfaithful because of what he feels in his heart.

  9. blurdo says:

    I’m not a Christian (as will become apparent), but I can’t really fault her for her reaction. I would have been uncomfortable and would probably have left the ceremony as well. However, I wouldn’t have participated from the beginning.

    I am not a religious person and it irritates me that I am constantly defined based on others beliefs. (Don’t call me an atheist.) I don’t fault anyone for their beliefs and I don’t think that anyone is any less because of them. I just don’t believe in god. As long as you don’t attempt to enforce your beliefs on me, then I don’t care. You believe what you believe and I’ll believe what I believe.

    I think that this woman was treated badly because she was put in a situation that was clearly incompatible with her beliefs. When she acted with her beliefs, she was questioned. Why??

    An interesting topic for much further discussion……

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