Taiwan Church News
March 28 – April 3, 2016
Editorial: Let A Micro-Reformation Come!
Just like Paul’s missionary journey to Athens, utilizing the local concept of an unknown god to proclaim the gospel, the Christians should also possess an encyclopedia-like knowledge beneficial for their missions in the spirit of reformation. According to the media, a policy named as “No Burning Paper, No Burning Incense”, proposed by Shushuei Townnship Office of Changhua County, got a popular welcome from her neighboring 23 local temples and 14 village chiefs. This year, urged by environmental protection groups to love the earth, Nan-yau Temple in Changhua County also promises no burning firecrackers and a remarkable reduction of the number of altars, incense and the related burning time during her annual pilgrimage event.
As all these religious phenomena seem not accidentally happened, a more amazing thing happened when the Bai-sha-tun Matsu proceeds her parade in Yong-ching township in Changhua County. People gave a shouting hurray to Bai-sha-tun Matsu, when this Taiwanese goddess hastily passed through the hypocritical welcoming boutiques and sacrifices prepared by the notorious adulterated oil maker – brothers of Ting-Hsin International – who were shamelessly asking for blessings and luck changing in a manner to offer boutiques to Matsu or pass under her seat. Having seen all these Taiwanese god or goddess are conscientious to stand by Taiwanese people, a religious reformation launched by the people seems secretly under way in Taiwan society.
In this year, most Taiwan churches choose to commemorate a traditional Easter Day inside their church wall through distributing Easter eggs or holding thanksgiving service. But, it is a pity that this traditional commemoration of Easter Day could not reach out to the public Taiwan society. To proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, it is absolutely positive that some churches take on the train to send Easter eggs or take to the street to spread the gospel pamphlet, yet except sending joy and peace by our lips, are we courageous enough to launch a micro-reformation delivering the core values of our Christian faith into the bottom heart of Taiwanese people?
After Jesus’ resurrection, the Bible says, “[t]hen he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem”'(Luke 24:45~47). From these verses, the fundamental elements of the gospel are suffering, resurrection, repentance and forgiveness. Whether our proclaimed gospel today are complaint to the teachings of Jesus, it is a matter we should be vigilant enough to watch and think twice.
On March 28, a heinous homicide of beheading a four-years-old girl tragically happened in Taiwan. The heartbroken mother of the angelic girl urged Taiwan society in tears, “Ultimately, from our families and the education system, let such kind of evildoer disappear forever from our society and hope this kind of people will never show up again in our future generations!”. At that moment, when Taiwan society united together to share their sorrow and condolence for this innocent girl and her families, it reminded us, except attending common religious services, Jesus also went into the bottom of the society to heal those people of leprosy and made friends with prostitutes, tax-collectors and burglars. In addition, Jesus turned his suffering on the cross into a permanent forgiving salvation. In our context today, our faith in Christ do bring us much more abundance than the joyful Sunday service of praise and worship. There are too much ministries beyond what the church are engaging now!
After the Easter Day, may the Lord open our minds to understand kinds of suffered people in Taiwan society, just like we used to learn his sufferings for us. In the meantime, may the Lord let us understand the Bible and know the gospel we have to proclaim are repentance and forgiveness!