Returning to Australia from China during the Coronavirus outbreak: a personal experience

By Jaz – a Thriving Turtles Team member

Each day, my family and I monitored the Central Chinese national news on the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. Each hour I would cross the great fire wall of China hoping to get some unfiltered news of the virus’ latest development. Yet despite the censored, cheery and hopeful nature of the Chinese national news, it seemed more transparent and detailed than any news coming from across the globe.

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碎片化与教会根基

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       由于面临巨大的政治压力和行政手段,曾经兴盛一时、在各地堂会制的中国城市新型教会正在被迅速地“小组化”。当前中国的教会小组化,并不等同于海外的“小组教会”运动,因为后者有极强的组织能力,并有出众的领袖和明确的分工。中国教会的小组化却是在城市教会还未完全成熟,只因现行宗教政策的推出而被动地“分散”。而且这些教会在“分散”以后,还得继续面对被人暗中举报“非法聚会”,和网格化行政管理的体制,使得现有的“小组”面临着更加碎片化的命运。虽然在过去,中国教会不乏“分裂”的发生,但像目前既宣告公民有“宗教信仰自由”,又从根本上打击家庭教会等民间宗教团体,迫使他们彻底地“碎片化”,直至化为乌有的两面派做法,却是从来没有遇到过的。中国教会要如何走向未来?几十年中国基督教的发展,会否因此来到拐点,趋于没落并走向解体?

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The Union Version of the Bible and the Chinese Church

“Fragmentation” and Church Foundations

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Churches in China’s cities were once flourishing, but today’s intense political pressure is causing fragmentation with big churches forced into meeting in small groups. This is not like the ‘small group’ church movements in other parts of the world. It has not come about through the careful decision-making of mature leaders, but purely as a reaction to religious policies. And as if division weren’t enough, these small group churches are under constant threat of being reported by neighbors as “illegal gatherings.” There has never been a shortage of smaller group church meetings in China however, this is something new. The government publicly claims “freedom of religious belief for China’s people” yet, local church groups are being pursued and persecuted.

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The Chinese Church and the New Normal

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“You can take away my freedom, but not my prayers;

My prayers have wings; they leap over barbed wires and high towers.

Many brothers and sisters have heard them.

Ever free to fly, reaching the paradise above the blue sky…”

This poem, entitled ‘You and Me,’ was written by a pastor who is currently serving a prison sentence. He was engaged in children’s ministries

in the southwest minority areas for many years. He also extended this service to areas outside of China, to mountainous tribal villages that lack basic education. But because of this, he was sentenced to severe punishment and is currently in prison.

A Christian lawyer said, “One day in 2018, after posting a hymn on WeChat, my WeChat public account was immediately shut off, and dozens of articles disappeared.”

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中国教会如何看待“新常态“

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“你可以夺走我的自由,却夺不走我的祷告;

我的祷告长有翅膀,飞跃铁网高塔,

众多弟兄姊妹都已听到。

又天天自由飞翔全都抵达蓝天上的天堂。……“

这是目前正在监狱服刑的C牧师从狱中传出来的诗《你与我》。C牧师多年在西南少数民族地区从事儿童教育,不仅在中国境内,他也将这服事延伸到境外,那些更加缺乏基础教育的山地民族村寨里。但也就是因为这服事,他被处以重刑,迄今还在牢中服刑。

一个基督徒律师这样说:“2018年的某天,在发表了一首诗歌后,我的微信公众号立刻被封,数十篇文章也悉数消失。”

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新常态中的新思路

人仰望耶和华,静默等候他的救恩,这原是好的。

耶利米哀歌3:26

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自从今年以来,中国基督教的发展越来越明显地进入了所谓的“新常态”:政府下令停办所有形式的主日学,禁止少年儿童进入教堂和参加基督徒聚会,取缔各种青少年事工。强调国家拥有唯一的国民教育权,禁止教会办学,也禁止基督徒老师在课堂上教导圣经和任何基督教的内容。禁止基督徒未经政治审查和批准,就出国参加海外基督教性质的活动。截查网络上有关基督教的信息和停止含有基督教内容的印刷品,甚至要把“上帝”、“天堂”等俗语从文学作品中删除……

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New Considerations in the New Normal

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

(Lamentations 3:26, NIV)

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This year, the development of Christianity in China has come to a so-called “new normal.” The government has ordered the suspension of all forms of Sunday school and prohibited children from entering the church and participating in Christian gatherings. They stress that the State has the sole right to provide education.

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是俱樂部,還是宣教學院?

本文原刊於《舉目》官網言與思專欄2017.09.18

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不久前參加了校園事工研討會。來自北美不同地區的學生工作者,一起探究如何回應當今大規模的中國留學潮,如何與教會搭配、建立健康的校園事工。

現今北美留學生的校園事工危機甚多,其中之一是海歸的高流失率——在北美信主的中國留學生,回中國後,繼續參加教會的人不超過25%。

兩年前從中國來到美國讀神學的同工分享道:“坦白說,在中國牧會,我很怕接收海歸……他們一直拿中國的教會與北美的教會做比較,說北美的教會有多好!……很多人‘信主了,卻沒受洗’。這是什麼意思?決定跟隨耶穌,卻不委身?在中國,信主是準備付代價的。然而在北美的教會,似乎只強調信主的好處,用各樣溫情攻勢領人歸主。人是受洗了,卻不一定瞭解福音是什麼。”

继续读 : http://behold.oc.org/?p=34504

教会新常态

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过去近四十年,中国基督教的成长,主要体现在参加基督徒聚会的人数不断增长。随着聚会人数的增加,聚会的方式也有很大的变化:聚会的时间安排从比较随意的不定时聚集,到固定在星期天的主日崇拜。由于人数的增长,从早先基督徒开放家庭聚会,到基督徒联合出资租用适合的场地聚会,再到建立教会群体,聘请专职教会牧师;进一步再购买物业为教会会址,甚至购地建堂。而且,随着聚会常态化的发展和聘请牧师,教会的宗派立场也逐渐清晰,教牧的事奉也日趋正规,包括儿童和老人事工,跨文化宣教和社区福音工作等。虽然由于政治原因,家庭教会始终未能成为法定的社会团体,但三自教会和家庭教会在聚会模式等方面,却越来越接近,成为过去十多年中国基督徒发展的一大特色。

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