Opinion: How Can the Church in China Reconcile the Three Layers of Relationships Injured in this Coronavirus Pandemic?

By:Joseph Benjamin Taylor

Outline:

  1. An introduction
  2. Reconciliation needed for the relationship between God and the Chinese.
  3. Reconciliation needed for the relationship of the Chinese people with each other.
  4. Reconciliation needed for the relationship between the Chinese and the rest of the world.
  5. Conclusion

An introduction

The coronavirus pandemic has placed the world under distress and a hardship which people never thought they would ever encounter. By June 10th, 2020, the reported cases reached 7.4 million worldwide with over 416 thousand lives lost.Survivors of the virus are not necessarily immune and may test positive again and the U.S. military has stated that anyone who has been infected by the virus will be permanently disqualified from joining. No one knows how many more people will be plagued by this virus before a vaccine is successfully developed.

During this time many people all around the world are pondering the connection between God and humanity. Many Chinese Christians are also thinking about the relationship between God and the Chinese, the relationship of the Chinese people with each other, and uniquely, the relationship between the Chinese and people of the rest of the world.

Concerning the relationship between God and the Chinese, there are many questions to ask. That if God knows all these sufferings? Is this pandemic part of God’s judgment? Is this just a foreboding sign of the Lord’s coming. If this is God’s judgment, what sin(s) should be repented of? If it is the herald of the Lord’s coming, how to understand the multitudes of human suffering, especially those innocent? This article believes this pandemic can be both God’s judgment and the foreshadowing sign of the Lord’s coming.

As for the attitude of the Chinese people towards each other, it is sad to see many Chinese people discriminate against those from Wuhan and recently also those from Harbin and Shulan. The nature of this discrimination stems from the fear of contracting the virus from those who might be carriers (including those who are asymptomatic and the survivors). Chinese Christians also have this concern; otherwise, they wouldn’t have to have their services online. The issue that is focused on is not so much about what attitude should be taken toward those infected as ‘what if I am infected while serving in ministry’.

If the above two challenges apply to churches in other parts of the world as well, Chinese Christians still face a unique one; that is, how to be a peace-maker for the hurt or broken relationship between the Chinese and people of the international community. It is not possible to meet this need without a fair understanding of the current worldwide fury against China nor would it be possible without a true understanding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Furthermore, a tacit understanding between the Church in the mainland and the oversea Chinese churches is also important.

Facing the injured relationships above, the Church in China, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and as the light and salt of God, has been endowed with the irremissible duty of healing and reconciliation. This paper will look for answers to these relationship issues by calling on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, faith, and from common sense.

【Part-1】Reconciliation needed for the relationship between God and the Chinese

【Part-2】Reconciliation needed for the relationship of the Chinese people with each other

【Part-3】Reconciliation needed for the relationship between the Chinese and the rest of the world

The above content only represents the author’s personal opinion.

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