On October 16 to 18, 2019, Wuxi Christian Council & Three - Self Patriotic Movement (CC&TSPM) held a three-day closed-door training for local pastoral staff.
Three fellow workers from Mei Village Church attended the training, according to the church.
The theological course lecturers were Pastors Wen Ge and Pastor Wu Bing. They shared theories and experiences from a doctrinal and pastoral perspective about the sinicization of Christianity. They encouraged pastoral staff in the current situation in China to interpret the Christian faith with an open mind - to serve the society and benefit the people through love.
Pastor Wen Ge's training topics were, "The Wholistic Salvation - An Open Theological Subject Regarding the Process of the Sinicization of Christianity in China", and "Fellowship From The Perspective of Universal Theology and the Construction of the Chinese Church ". From a doctrinal perspective, Pastor Wen explored the theories of Indigenization of salvation and the church in China.
He claimed that currently there was a narrow mindset in the church's understanding of salvation. In that way, salvation was categorized into being "spiritually and individually focused and oriented towards the future, and towards paradise". He said that that mindset separated salvation from life and from the people. However, salvation was for all human races and even for the whole universe, as a wholistic salvation. In regards of salvation, we should keep our mind and conversation open in order to bring about peace between people, even reconciling man and nature so as to reach the full width and depth of reconciliation. From a certain perspective, this was the social harmony advocated by our country.
As for the understanding of the church, it is traditionally known by specific places and for certain activities, while neglecting the fact that the church consists of Christians. But they are in relationship. The core of this relationship is about participation, sharing, companionship, and joint action in the presence of Christ. It is connected by faith, the power of love through faith. It is the greatest motivation and builds cohesion. Together, in the faith, this kind of love is embodied in the Trinity but also embodied amongst the believers. Thus, the church is required to guide believers to love one another, to achieve "harmony despite difference" in love, and to build "the church of love."
Pastor Wu Bing gave a course entitled "Passing on Love - Seeing the Church's Pastoring Ministry from the Acts". By analyzing the prosperity and problems of the early churches in Jerusalem in the early days, Pastor Wu pointed out that the driving force of church development was the power of the Holy Spirit which bore witness to Christ. Real problems of the church could also be transformed into opportunities for the development of the church. By returning to the Bible and going back to the Word of God, one can find the right answer. He suggested that in church ministries, if one wanted to be loved by all, he needed to start from "love". Only by serving with love could great power come about which in turn can achieve great miracles.
- Translated by Jake