标签: 文化

To the weak became I as weak

此文是《宣教基础》课程的阅读报告之四

The reading of Chinua Achebe’s novel No Longer at Ease leads me think of my country and some American missionaries in my country. I was led to Christ by American missionaries. They came to my university and made friends with a lot of Chinese students. I was one of those who were willing to study Bible with them and prayed to accept Jesus Christ as savior. I still remember a serious talk between me and one American brother regarding pirated software. He was persuading me to stop using pirated software, which is very common in China and it costs only 1 dollar to buy a CD, from music to enterprise level database. I agree that using pirated software is absolutely not the right thing to do. I also feel guilty while doing so, but if stop doing that I will have no software to use because the legal copies are too expensive comparing to Chinese average income, moreover, everyone is using that and if I don’t use, I will fall behind my class.

Several years later, as a manager working in Microsoft, my salary can afford me to buying legal software. But many of my friends are still using illegal copies because their salaries are still quite low. It is still hard for me to tell them it’s not the right thing to do because I’m no longer in their situation. But I think it’s already easier than letting the Americans to tell.

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Immigrant Church: another sub-culture

注:此文是《宣教基础》课程的阅读报告之二

The “foreign community” thing mentioned in Storti’s book [1] make me think of the Chinese church here. I have seen American missionaries’ foreign community in several cities in China. They live in the same or close complexes, and their wives always meet with each other and having things to do together. However when I came to US this time, I also found similar things in Chinese churches here. The Chinese churches are not only a spiritual home, but also a cultural home to Chinese people.

On the positive side, we can see that the Chinese churches are doing their best to host new immigrants and also lead them or a portion of new immigrants into Christ. The atmosphere in the church is very friendly and people are very willing to help each other. This kind of willingness to share and help is very rare even in American and house churches in China.

Is there any negative side? From my point of view I found following two:

1. The churches are very reluctant to have influence in local community and local people. Even there’re many US citizens in Chinese churches, I’ve rarely seen them talking about cultural mandate in US, not even mention social justice and mercy in US.

2. The new immigrants coming to Christ partly because of that they are afraid of losing the connection in this “foreign community”. Once they don’t need it, e.g. back to China, they will leave the faith as well. As a house church leader in China, I have seen that only 10% of returnees continually go to church.

There are many Chinese immigrant churches around the world. China has such a large oversea population so that Chinese missionaries even don’t need to study another language and can work in any country. But be aware that if mission work is only setup in a foreign community, it’s not a true local church.

[1] Craig Storti, The Art of Crossing Cultures, Intercultural Press, 2007

25年前对岸的野火

1985年龙应台的《野火集》在台湾出版,三年后大陆的时事出版社旋即出版同样内容的《中国人,你为什么不生气》,定价人民币一元六角;同年湖南文艺出版社以《野火集》出版,定价人民币三元二角;8年后上海文艺出版社以“龙应台自选集”为副标题出版《野火集》,定价却涨到了十二元九角……

2005年时报文化出版《野火集》20周年纪念版时,是以胜利者的姿态出版的。1985年以来的台湾经历了太多太多的故事,以至于20年后的无论是作者、出版者还是旁观者都不胜唏嘘,似乎20年前的《野火集》成了社会的先知,字字珠玑。不是吗?1986年民进党成立、1987年宣布解严、1989年开放党禁、1990年三月学运导致修宪、1994年台北市首次由反对党执政、1996年全国公民直选……今日台湾的民主政治,不单单是蒋经国李登辉的开明,也是自雷震、胡适以来一代代的自由主义知识分子、青年学子和龙应台这样的社会良心震聋发聩的呼喊而来。虽说国、共两党都是苏俄指导下建立起来的列宁主义和民族主义政党,但是在执政方针和建国宗旨上存在着根本分歧,也就导致了今天两岸的两种局面。

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