I gotta blog this.
It is about a person, Mr.C, who came over to our company to give a morning sermon to the staffs. The agony is that his main points in the sermon went along with Tertulian's "the blood of the matyrs is the seed of the church"... but he sounded nothing like Tertulian.
He began his rhetorical sermon with the story of Ezekiel's sufferings. He gave a brief survey of that book before his attempt for today's application. His description of Ezekiel's sufferings was vivid and his passion for today's church was as intense as he sounded it. He even shared some of his so-called past suffering moments with us to encourage us (but that looks more like a desperate attempt than a passionate encouragement).
Before he closed, his passion towards the churches in China was being expressed again in his rhetoric. He looked to us and said that, "with such rapid expansion, China churches need young people like you guys to go there and teach them sound theology." (i was wondering why does this guy who has so much passion towards the church still did nothing). It seems that he knew what i was wondering, he, then, said autonomously that his low level of mandarin literacy prevented him from engaging the Chinese churches.
I do felt for the China churches but i retain my skepticism towards this Mr. C.
Just as soon as he finished, our executive director, Victor, who obviously being encouraged by his sharing, turned to him and told him about an american missionary whom came to our office yesterday,"Mr.C, yesterday we met an american pastor who went to Taiwan to studied Hokkien language for 1 and a 1/2 years when he was 55 years old, and came back here (Singapore) to start a Hokkien ministry. That pastor is 70++ now." I believed Victor did so to encourage Mr. C to work towards his passion for the Chinese churches.
So, with all enthusiasism, i turned to Mr.C to see his response. He grined, "well, i have already suffered enough, it is time for me to retired from all these." (i don think he is more than 60 of age). By the way, just a few minutes ago, he was telling us how much he loves 'bloody Christianity'. By bloody, he meant the suffering churches/ Christians. He told us that he admired a Burmese who was imprisioned during war times. This Burmese translated the english bible into his country's language during his imprisonment. Besides that, Mr. C also told us that he prefer the King James Version rather than the New International Version because the former is 'bloodier' (which i beg to differ). In his rhetoric, Christianity has to be bloody so that churches can expand, Christians can grow. With all that being said, i was surprised to get that kind of respond from him...
"..i have suffered enough, it is time for me to retire..."
In another way, he was saying, "I dont want to get 'bloody'". What does that makes? If he believes that the church would grow better with Christians getting bloody, and when he doesnt want to get bloody, then it really means that he doesn't want the church to grow!!!!
At that moment, my respect for Mr. C gone all the way down to none save in the fact that he is still an Imago Dei (made in the God's image). Compare Mr. C's passion towards the Chinese churches with Ps. Stephen Tong, aged 65, who travels to 4 different countries in Asia every week to preach to the Chinese churches, in spite of occasional heart operations. Whenever Ps. Tong was asked the reason why wouldn't he be a retired pastor who just take up the responsibility of pastoring a local church, he asnwered, "because i view my service as not to the churches but to the kingdom of God. And with all the blessings and talents from God, i will be guilty of not using them for the kingdom if i reserve myself to retiree comforts."
I dont mean that i am righteous than Mr.C; we are all sinners who are going to hell if not by God's mercy, but my point is that the manner Mr. C used in his service to God must not be in the practice of any servants of the kingdom.
Mr. C, u are in my prayers.