Taiwan Church News
August 9~15, 2010
Editorial: Living out our confession of faith in our pursuit of justice and peace
Translated by Lydia Ma
“We believe that the Church is the fellowship of God’s people, called to proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ and to be ambassador of reconciliation. It is both universal and rooted in this land, identifying with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering becoming the sign of hope.”
These words are taken straight from PCT’s confession of faith and they reflect the uniqueness of PCT as a Christian denomination. They are not only confessions of what we believe in, but also blueprints for our actions. They are declarations of how we must act as a church and they remind local churches to strive toward becoming the kind of church that reflects these ideals.
We all have our own ideas of what a church should look like or how it should operate. In reality, we seldom use PCT’s confession of faith and what it says about churches as a blueprint for our church ministries.
In an age that touts diversity, we’ve become afraid of voicing our core values for fear that we might lose our “multicultural” badge of honor. This fear is best illustrated by churches shying away from speaking out on justice, taking a stand, or talking about politics for fear that broaching these issues might offend those who sit on their pews.
In the 1970s, two movements with irreconcilable differences spawned within local churches, namely the “charismatic movement” and the “street movement”. These two movements later birthed their own ministries and their adherents stayed out of each other’s hairs, but the tension between these two movements is still felt today.
In this day and age, our hearts have grown cold and distant. We no longer care about many things happening inside and outside church buildings. We are no longer willing to spend time understanding and reaching out to people around us, opting instead for things that will produce tangible results with the least amount of time and cost. We actually buy that church ministries should be cost-effective above all else.
But when we look at Jesus, we see a man that didn’t concern himself with the local street movements of his time. Instead, he cared more about “heart” issues such as repentance, prayer, and fellowship with God. But Jesus didn’t live like a monk in reclusion, either. He rebuked sin and rigid religious traditions and reached out to marginalized people of his time.
Jesus proved with his life and actions that transforming a heart and transforming a society are inseparable and must achieve a delicate balance. Whenever he was faced with challenges, he’d draw strength from his intimate relationship with his Abba to flee temptation and sin.
As we commemorate Church and Society Sunday on August 15, let’s urge one another to examine whether our churches are modeling PCT’s confession of faith. Let’s use this confession as our guide for staying rooted to this land. Let’s rekindle our passion, love, and commitment for Taiwan and everything that’s happening here.
So, let’s turn our attention to Jesus and model how he cared for people’s hearts and social justice, and draw inspiration from him when we reach out to Taiwanese people and society. There are lots of things around us crying out for our attention and urging us to be the ones who will plant seeds of justice and peace.
We pray that PCT’s confession of faith will not just be a statement of what we believe in, but a living document that will inspire and shape the direction of our churches and a guide that will change and shape the foundation of Taiwan.