December 3, 2015
Greetings, Canaan English ministries members and friends!
We live in a time of terror and violence. Though I have strong opinions about who to blame and what could be done, as a Christian, my starting point is the belief that humanity needs to be transformed. One historian has called the United States a “gunslinger nation” because our cultural sanction of violence as a way to resolve conflict.
The story of Christianity in America has been the hopeful struggle to transform American selfish, fearful, and violent tendencies into a nation of peace, love, and justice – especially West of the Mississippi. Christians did this by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and planting churches that were to be salt and light in a brutal world. And for the most part, they succeeded.
But in recent years, something has gone wrong. It’s not just that Christianity is losing its influence in America (it is). Asian American Christians, in particular, are either “circling the wagon” or avoiding church commitments. In the first case, many have become fearful of the unsafe world outside the church. In the second, many have uncritically allowed a narcissistic and consumerist culture to have greater influence than Jesus.
Many of us are finding it impossible to be faithful to our calling to transform the world when we let these approaches dominate us. In fact, we can become dead weight to those who want to be faithful.
As we prepare to receive Jesus, the coming King, during this Advent season, let us stay alert to our calling. Let us be mindful that transformation begins when we yield ourselves to God’s will and live graciously. It begins with us when we learn to truly love as Jesus loved.
See you at church this Sunday!
[All church service at 10 a.m. in Worship Hall 1 and English welcome reception at 11:30 a.m. in Worship Hall 3]
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD