Posts in 撒种子 Sa Zhong Zi
Denominations – What Every Pastor, Church, and Congregant Needs

In the period of time it has taken me to write this short piece, I have been monitoring the chatter on our network (denomination) chat group. The pastor of the church under investigation has never before experienced this level of harassment, but other pastors in the chat group have extensive experience with being harassed and even arrested. The outpouring of concern has been very encouraging. Pastors offering support to other pastors, in the form of advice, prayer, encouragement, and admonishment – these are all things that every church, every pastor and every congregant needs.

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Connecting Our Evangelism to the Idea of Sabbath

Both Chinese and Westerners have much to learn about rest; that our ultimate rest is in Christ.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”The peace and joy that come from resting in Christ is a message that Chinese can connect with. At that the same time it is something Western missionaries need to practice and learn to model, not just for the sake of those they minister to, but for their own sake.

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Cupping and TCM – A Call to Be Reasonable and Balanced

Cupping is practiced in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Chinese culture is, roughly speaking, 5,000 years old and many of their practices – including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) – have been around for thousands of years. The best Chinese doctors I have visited and been treated by are very honest about the limits of TCM. Recently I visited a doctor in our city who is considered an expert in respiratory issues. He prescribed some Chinese medicine, but informed me that in my condition I may also need to take western medicine. The doctor’s approach seemed very reasonable and balanced. He is familiar with both schools of medicine.

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Remarkable Things Can Happen When a Pastor and a Church Get Involved

What has made the difference? Ultimately, of course, it has been the Lord who has worked in his heart. But God used his experience in China to shift his focus and cause him to realize how important his role is as a pastor and how precious his congregation is to God and to him. Seeing the hunger people in China have for the gospel awakens us to the working of the Holy Spirit. The freshness of the people’s faith and the newness of the gospel here are powerful reminders of the gospel in our own contexts.

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Divine Irony: China and the Roman Empire

There is a similarity between China and the ancient Roman Empire. The roads, the common language, and the political unity that characterized the empire all contributed to the spread of the gospel in the first few centuries of the early church. China, like the Roman Empire, has experienced a combination of similar factors that have contributed to the churches amazing growth. 

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How Can We Respond to China with Shrewdness and Grace?

All this points to a tremendous opportunity whereby we can get involved. We can get involved by learning about China - her culture, her people, and what makes her tick. We can pray and we can get involved, either by going to China or we supporting those who do. We can look in our own backyards for the growing population of Chinese immigrating to the US and befriend them.  They are often the most open to Christianity, fueled partly by the curiosity and discontent I mentioned above.

In any case we have an opportunity. And instead of responding in fear, we can respond with love.  Instead of responding with anger, we can respond with grace.  

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Suffering for Jesus and a Knight in Shining Armor

As they sat on our couch retelling the story there was joy in their eyes. “You suffered for Jesus,” I said. “Yes, and God gave me the strength,” Fu said. Hui not only saw Fu stand up to her relatives for her, she saw him stand up for Jesus.

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