Theology Prof. Lung-kwong Lo Calls Upon Chinese Church: Community Service is Vital for Mission
By Ruth Wang, October 23, 2015 09:10 AM
Love Your Neighbour: Theory and Practice of Church Community Work, a book written by Lung-kwong Lo, who is former dean of Divinity School of Chung Chi College of CUHK (Chinese university of Hong Kong), published in 2013 inland.
Prof.Lo appeals churches to focus on community work because it is not only the care and service, but also mission is closely related. In a recent lecture, he commended this book to the pastoral staff of Chinese church again and emphasized the idea, appealed the Chinese church to "love your neighbour".
Chinese Churches are paying more attention to missionary work, mentioning "mission" we follow the idea may be various mission, short misson, long mission, gospel tract and so on, indeed these are indispensable, but we cannot do these only. In Prof.Lo’s view, another the most is love your neighbor----- emphasized the importance of the concept and practice of “the church services community”should not be overstated.
Richard Borg’s misson of incarnation is a model
Pro.Lo said a lot of people will remind of Morrison, Hudson Taylor when mentioned mission work, but in addition to these missionaries, it is Pollard to bring him more inspirations as we are the same church ( Methodist Church),he also manifest Jesus love to contribute the local development.
Pollard's deeds were praised by China's former President, hu Jintao During a meeting of cadres, Hu Jintao as Provincial Secretary of Guizhou said: "in 1905 AD, a British cleric called Pollard just arrived at Shi Menkan village of Weining county of Bi Jie prefecture of Guizhou where was a very poor deserted and tough place. He gave the funds to build school, football pitch and swimming pool. He also compiled hmong language and wrote teaching materials----"I am a Chinese, I love China" .He recruit the Poor students were free of charge. Later, the village occured a plague (typhoid fever), local people have fled, but he stayed and treated his lovely Chinese students, finally was killed by the plague. Pro.Lu said, looking back the history of mission, firstly you will see the sinicization is actually not the meaning that today official emphasized.
The first missionary work very stressed sinicization. They wear Chinese clothes, learn Chinese language and characters, keep the Chinese braid, and live with Chinese people. You can see these missionaries’basic idea is sinicization is not only a sinicization,they also service Chinese people. Eespecially the love Richard Borg embodied, such love is not by oral love. Today we tend to equate mission with preach the Gospel in China, that is to use the language to show, not to preach with life. The Gospel of John witnessed Jesus “The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Isn’t that he had done? "The Gospel of John didn't record that Jesus shared bread and wine, but recorded Jesus' s washing of his apostles' feet. It is the core of which. We We believed that the preachers are villain and invader during the Cultural Revolution. But afterward many scholars have made a careful study and argued that they did so, yet most of them are to serve Chinese people like Richard Borg who gave his own drug to a little child while he passed away, which is love.
We do not accept a set of principles, not believe some words, what is the difference between Christianity and other religions? The founder of Buddhism is a prince, the islam is a soldier, hwever,Jesus who we believed was born in a manger. He is fully god and fully man,but we often ignore the latter. This god is not only a fully god but also he was died of the most cruel penalty and god bringing him to life again. Therefore, today’ s churches are the body of Jesus, to represent him continue to perform his mission in the world.
Moreover, Jesus left the church's mission is to made person become his disciples. Disciples do not just hand up,but following the teachings of Jesus Christ every day until the end of the world said Lo. “you have a mission in the world.” We should accord with Christ Jesus and become flesh and dwelt among people not just by mouth.Thinking about how can we use life to witness to the word of Jesus is full of grace and truth.
Updating theological concept
Pro.Lo stressed the topic love your neighbor. Many people insist the world is temporary, all will passed and full of sin, was judged and burned in the end,we will be caught up into paradise, this thought has a bad effect on our churches-----god will destroy the world-----it’s a wrong idea. We are to make clear what is the world, sin will make use of the material world to tempt you, you will refuse it. But god loves his creations, god will update the world. Accoding to Revealation，everything will be updated, not destruct. The purpose of the trial is to update, is to save."And god loved the world, but we often forget that, just thought only the trial, no save.
Jesus, the most importance is to love the world and very stressed love your neighbor Pro.Lo said chinese churches were familiar with "love people as yourself" as Matthew, Mark and John Gospel translated. Yet the factually is to love your neighbor as yourself as the original Greek and RCUVSS. The reason that people have no concept of neighbor in that time. Such considerations was written in the Records of Missionaries, because a long dialogue about Jesus and a lawyer who is desire for eternal life in Luke. So no way to change the text, still remain the word ‘neighbor’ Jesus interpreted deeply what is neighbor.
How about ‘love your neighbor’ in Luke Gospel
Love your neighbor is not the scene that Jesus did good deeds and was praised, but talking about eternal life."Not to say that you do charity, social service, do a good person, you can for eternal life...but to love your neighbor as yourself..?"It is not easy to learn from Jesus.
Lo said the whole conversation is about eternal life,but Jesus have overturned the question. Finally tell the story of the samaritans, let the lawyer to think over who is his neighbor, how to love your neighbor."These three men, which is your neighbor?"
Indeed, neighbor is not live besides you, upstair or downstair, not your circle or net friends, not your Wechat Circle,but the poor man was fought and you don’t know as the metaphor.He extended When Jesus judge you goats, sheep, not to ask you for a baptized card or volunteer card but ask you when I was thirsty you if giving me drink, I'm hungry do you have any food for me, you say you don’t know a man named Jesus! Keeping in your mind, who is neighbor？Jesus did not ask you 'what did you say, diidn’t the lawyer know that? The key is not to do it.
Chinese grass-roots churches should care about neighbor
Although the church have specific locations, but is the Christian's body in there ？Professor Lu took a example that fellows of the same residential area go to church in HK regularly, they sing a paslm, but don’t know many old people live in cage-house (cage-habitant is a social problem has troubled HK long time.Cage-house is also known as the " bed-- house", distribute in the deep step such as buildings. Generally, of residents is new immigrants, or older people, is the bottom live in canned "slum", beds surrounded by barbed wire, like a "Cage" besides the bed, there are all kinds of living goods. The people who live in the "cage" called "cage people".) Can your church really represent Jesus Christ be there? Can you do it? Do you have his love mark? Remember, how can you love god, and love your neighbor as yourself."
The western missionaries have preached gospel including many contents, not just speak. "So do our church. Pro.Lo encourages Chinese church," although today house churches are not open, but actually your chapel has neighbors, and your own home have neighbors." He encouraged the churches care about neighbors by all means, for instance the chapel can invite parents look after children after picking up.
What he said frankly, oneself also can't give a specific method, the most fundamental is every church and Christian give concern and help according to the situation of the people around you " Whatever you do, to find people who are injured, unfortunate people, make friends with them... don't just tell Christian love, but to live for love. That is to say, propaganda is not a strategy or fishing lures, instead is your Gospel full of vivid details.
"Jesus had become a model for us , we just want to see if we manifest his love or not around people and situation
Another example by him, he has a friend who is a pastor usually visit the patients, he always say sorry for late every time, which made people wonder why he said that. He replied “I am a pastor of the region and I care about you from duty.” For him, he is not only a church pastor, a church sermons pastor, but the priest in this region.
Pro.Lo said, indeed we did that is not sure to let all people happy, someone likes you someone doesn’t like you, Paul and Jesus are the same, who said you beloved? Who said you care about him, and he will accept you? But tell him, if you need help, you can find me at any time.
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