Just watched the above. Awesome, awesome stuff. Need to watch more of these kind of things! The more I watch them, the more my heart is challenged to get out of this comfort zone which I’ve been in far too long. As I mentioned here, reading The Heavenly Man really challenged me. And I’ll probably look back upon that as a defining moment in my life. It made me think really seriously about being a missionary to China. It made me think seriously about being a missionary to a persecuted area. It made me think seriously about improving my really bad Chinese (Mandarin)!
I stopped learning Chinese when I was 10 years old when I left for Australia. When I returned back to Singapore, I didn’t want to study Chinese (I had too much to catch up) and was allowed to take German as my second language. So I’m your typical English-educated Banana/Potato (white on the inside, yellow on the outside for those not in the know) Singaporean who grew up not really liking Chinese. Of course I regret not continuing my Chinese because I’m so far behind now. People talk about Singaporeans being poor in their Chinese and that makes me even more discouraged to pick it up now because I’m so much worse than the typical Singaporean of my age! But I think I may pick it up real soon. Not sure whether I should because I don’t know if I’ll use it in future. Besides the fact that I’d like to spend time mastering my Spanish, I’m also not sure if I’ll go to China in future. I think there are places in the world that need missionaries more urgently than China – like Muslim nations and the unreached places. And anyway, I’m not sure how much I’m needed in China. The lives of Christians there would put all of us to shame. They know what it means to live for Jesus more than any of us. They know what persecution is about and they’d gladly suffer it. That can’t be said of us in the developed world. They’d make so much better missionaries to unsafe places (like Muslim nations) because they’ve experienced enough in their own country to not fear persecution!
Christianity in China is easily the real deal – clearly what Christianity is meant to be like. Of course, such forms of Christianity (when people are truly living for God and not building their own kingdom) are seen everywhere. But I don’t see much of it in the developed world. The Christians in China and places like that are the true warriors of faith. No doubt about that. No Christian leader in the developed world (no matter how famous or well-known) could even compare to most of those faceless heroes in China and the like.
I can’t wait to get Brother Yun’s new book Living Water. Though I don’t expect to agree with all the teachings in it (the book is meant to be of his teachings). I can admire his dedication to God without agreeing with everything he teaches. One can live the true Christian life without having one’s doctrines perfect, just as one can have his doctrines perfect (or more perfect) yet not live as one ought to live. I admire his lifestyle. But I probably wouldn’t agree with everything he teaches. I wasn’t comfortable with some of the songs I heard on the above video which focused more on what the Christians are going to do for God, rather than on what God has done for them in Christ. I still love grace and believe that good biblical teaching and preaching should be focused primarily on God’s grace as shown to us in Christ’s death for us. And that’s clear in the posts I’ve written on grace. What God has done for us in Christ is what the gospel is all about. The gospel of Christ is the message of God’s love for us in Christ. The gospel is not about about what we ought to do for God, it’s what God has already done for us. And yet there’s also a side of me that believes so greatly on giving my all to God – a place I’m very far from now, of course. (If I’m truly living that out, I won’t have time to blog. Duh!) I believe that Christians are called to give their all, to stop building their kingdom (which I think most Christians are actually doing, especially in the developed world) and to start living wholeheartedly for God and His glory alone. How do I reconcile the emphasis on God’s grace and the call to give all? It’s difficult. There’s a certain tension there, I admit. I love New Creation’s grace message (not everything, but a lot), but in my opinion there’s no way that the lives of the majority of the members of New Creation reflect how Christians are meant to live. I love the passion and zeal among City Harvest members for the lost (when they’re not thinking only of money), though I can’t agree with a lot of the teachings which lack the focus of grace. The lifestyle of City Harvest members challenges me (when they’re not chasing after money). I want to be in such an environment. It’s definitely closer to what I envision Christianity is meant to be, than it is in New Creation. The missions and reaching the lost. That’s beyond exciting! That’s what it’s meant to be like!
While I’ve been generally supportive of the Florida Healing Revival, I’d prefer to see Christianity in China as a model of how Christianity ought to be like. Up to this point, I don’t doubt that what’s happening in Florida is the work of God. But we also have to get our perspectives right. Christianity isn’t all about healing and miracles. Jesus promised persecution. Christianity as it’s meant to be would be filled with healings, miracles and persecutions too. It’ll be filled with suffering and victory. All of that happened in Brother Yun’s life and in the lives of many Chinese Christians. And I’m very sure that one day the Church will be awakened from its state of slumber. We will see increased healings and miracles, but also increased persecution. To tell you the truth, I can’t wait for that day…
very insightful blog you have =)
I understand what you talked about.
I came from a very mission based church to NCC, and it is a very different climate. I do feel however that many NCC-ers I know spread the Word through their families, their workplace even tho’ they aren’t doing the gungho thing. You can say it is a softer marketplace approach, but their hearts are definitely still about making Christ known.
The lost and sick are not only those who have never heard of Christ. As an ex-Roman Catholic, I know of so many supposed Christians who have no clue who Jesus is or what His death on the cross truly has secure for our lives now and forever. I feel especially led to these people… and I know a few other friends who also feel the same. They came from the more traditional Christian denominations and have seen so many Christians bound by legalistic teachings.
If everyone focuses only on newbies, then these oldies who still need nourishment as they learn how to walk might get left behind. =) Jesus said that until your friend is also experiencing the same joy, freedom and victory in their lives as we do, we should not cease to edify and help them.
Different gardeners and different garden patches I guess. We can’t all be working on one paddyfield just like we can’t all be wielding the same tool. Some people are sowers, some hold a watering can, some fertilise and others dig/till the soil before the seeds can be sown. =) I believe God will position us for His glory =D
Dun get me wrong, I would love to do missions more too – like be all GI Jane Missionary =D but I have a responsibility as a wife and mother to a 6 year old (who incidentally wants to be a missionary!) =D
My hubby and I would like however to go on a mission trip. I learned from a CG member, who just joined our church some months back, that he is going on a mission trip with our church! Can’t wait to ask him more about that. =D
As for now, I am taking baby steps to serve in Church ministry first. I used to serve in my teens, but I was quite scarred by some incidents within the RC church I was in. It took time, but I am healed and ready to serve again. =D To God be the glory!
Keep writing… your blog is food for thought. =D