Taiwan Church News
June 13 – 19, 2016
PCT’s Missionary Attitude Toward A New Era
“Follow Jesus In Unity And Be A Loyal Servant in Humbleness”, this is the main thread of PCT General Assembly’s proceedings from 2016 to 2017. And this very catchphrase, after our enthusiastic celebration of PCT150, symbolizes PCT’s critical attitude and theological reflection marching toward a new era. Through this thematic thread, PCT’s determination to root in Taiwan society and fulfill her comprehensive ministries is demonstrated.
Reflecting the history of the Christian evangelical movements, especially within the 19th century theological reflections of ecumenism, major missionary sending countries had only one vision: preaching no denominational creeds but only Christ. This is a vision to materialize the ideal of “one Lord, one faith and one baptism” in the third world’s evangelical missions.
Though this vision was not fulfilled, due to denominational creeds and teachings, resulting a splitting and fractious Christianity within Asian and African areas in last century, we still learned a very precious lesson in the missionary history about what unity in Christ means: not a nominal equality, but a recognition and respect of the difference among us and a common effort to pursue our values in faith. And this is the base of the 20th century’s ecumenical missionary movement!
Today, when we talk about evangelical mission, we are not pursuing the unity transcending or across the denominational lines. Instead, we do our missions or work for unity following the spirit of Presbyterianism and the confessions of PCT. If we do not stand firm on the teachings and confession of PCT, our missionary ministries and ecumenical visions would be lost in those flooding data and extravagant propaganda.
In his ministry, Jesus did not create any magic words to attract the people or guarantee his disciples any successful life. Strictly speaking, from a historical perspective, Jesus’ mission ended up as a failure. Jesus’ disciples followed him with their own desires and dreams, expecting to reap religious power and glory. They did not understand Jesus’ love and mission, until they experienced his resurrection which dramatically made them surrendered to proclaim and witness for Jesus Christ. In the past 150 years, PCT have also experienced such “resurrected presence of Christ” within different power regimes. These experiences of peace, justice and life in our Lord enable us to carry on witnessing God’s love and compassion to Taiwan society.
Therefore, when we talk about “unity in Christ” again, it is not a mindset of nominal equality, but an understanding and respect for the difference within multiple ethnicity and cultures; it is no more a provocation in the name of language or ethnicity, but with the same mind in us that was in Christ Jesus to learn our difference in respect and love Taiwan in care. When we are marching toward a new era, allow us to remind each other: we do not come to command or order, but come to serve. Wherever our ministries are located, in the church or the affiliated institutes, we are all commissioned to manage, not to perform or invest. Only could we be humble down before God and ask Him piously how should we do to glorify His name, the church and the believers and the people are to be blessed by Lord!
Only in the spirit of “Follow Jesus In Unity And Be A Loyal Servant in Humbleness”, we are able to hold fast the six dimensions of our evangelical mission making our ministries more comprehensive and participate in the building of the kingdom of God proclaiming His name be praised!