When will there be a turning point so that the whole world can go back to normal - the world in which we don’t often talk as good enough?
Human beings are different from animals. We live with goals. We may continue thinking when lying down. During the pandemic, many people have begun to reflect on the gains and losses of their past life. They think of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Some people died yesterday. They never saw the sun again this morning. The living people, however, are somewhat panicked and don't know which one will come first: tomorrow or the accident that will take their life.
Will the pandemic stop? Will a vaccine be successful? Will the economy recover? What is our future? What about our children's education? In whose hands is tomorrow? Is the road still under our feet?
If we are in such confusion, we need a turning point in our life. So who can bring us such a turning point? This is a question worthy of our consideration. This is the most important consideration. This is a philosophical consideration - perhaps the answer to this question may only be found in faith.
People walk so fast that they don't want to stop and think. We race against time and leave Jesus far behind. When the world experiences a stoppage in its normal activity as it has during the pandemic, we should not waste this opportunity. We can seriously reflect on our relationship with Jesus. Jesus, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His righteousness and love will never change.
We need to forget yesterday because it is useless to be filled with regret, but we can grasp today so that we can truly glorify God and witness to Christ in our relationship with people, things and God.
At the same time, because we believe in the ability of the Most High and His nature we can live with assurance because tomorrow is in the hands of our Lord.
By the grace of the Lord, let’s take advantage of the spiritual turning point in our lives and stop living our life so casually, and stop treating our faith casually.
Let's define the meaning of “church” first. The root of the original word “church” contains the meaning of calling and being called out. In the Old Testament, it especially referred to the gatherings of the Israelites to worship God. In the New Testament, it was Jesus who first mentioned the Church, referring to the group of people who went in and out with Him and admitted that He was the Lord in public and accepted the principle of the kingdom of heaven that he proclaimed.
From a broad perspective, the Church refers to all believers who have been called and are born by the Holy Spirit and belong to Christ's body from ancient times to the present, in heaven and earth. From a regional perspective, it refers to those Christians who gather in a certain area.
So, what is the relationship between Christians and Church? When the physical Church no longer meets, how can Christians live by themselves and become less dependent on the Church? Can the breadth and depth of Christian life support us to get through this difficult time smoothly?
Considering the above questions, the Church must honestly face and think about its role as it interacts with believers.
1. The churches that do it all.
This kind of church is really good during ordinary times, when everything is going well. Just bring yourself to every service. The whole church's organizational system is perfect, so you don't have to do anything when you are there. The church has arranged it all and you don't have to lift a finger.
However, such a church should be careful. Will perfect arrangements and good organisation delay the spiritual growth of the congregation? We often think that attending a service equals spiritual growth. Every time we come to a service, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but is that truly so? In that way, faith itself becomes only a religion and everything is superficially perfect.
2. The churches that treat you like a customer.
Such churches regard believers as customers and customers are always right. Even when customers are wrong, they need to be dealt with as if they are right.
The original intention of worship services is very good - caring and serving others, but Christians have been turned into customers. In our relationship to God, we are the object and God is the subject. In customer-oriented churches, believers are often placed in the main position. In order to retain customers, everything is people-oriented, and there is no bottom line because everything is open to compromise. The pastor dare not talk about sin with his or her customers, dare not ask customers to make commitments, and dare not mention punishment for their mistakes.
They forget that the root of meeting together is to help believers establish a connection with God, and then they can have a connection with each other. This connection is not to make believers feel comfortable, but to help believers know God and themselves. Know your own value and also know your own sins and offenses.
3. The churches that have an incorrect understanding of size.
Many churches have established overly complex organizational systems from top to bottom, not only mega churches but also many tiny churches with dozens of members who because they have misconceptions about size they individuals. They often regard the value of organizations higher than that of individual Christians.
Many such church leaders have a mysterious desire to become a mega church, always wanting to be bigger and stronger. This is certainly understandable from the perspective of sharing the gospel. However, we should not lose sight of the spiritual growth of each individual. If we pursue numbers and the organizational system of a large church, it is easy to ignore the needs of individuals. People's energy is limited, and so are the resources of the Church.
In this pandemic, we are forced to think about the feasibility of small churches. When mega churches are forced to press the pause button, we have to think; is it possible to have a small church of two or three people?
If parents always hold mobile phones, children will think that mobile phones are the most important thing in life.
We should make some changes. We should lead our families to read the Bible, sing hymns and pray for the world, the country, our neighbors, our friends and ourselves. Let every family member realize the value and significance of faith and tell children that Jesus is the most important person in their lives.
In the Church, there are many families that believe in God unilaterally so that we can't realize the significance of family to the Church. In fact, the family is the core and the most important component of the Church.
Every family should be a Church. Some of which are all Christians and some are friends of the Tao. Every family member can become a preacher, lead singing and teach because Jesus said, "Wherever two or three people meet in my name there I am among them."
If large-scale gatherings continue to stop indefinitely, it is both a challenge and an opportunity that we have to face. We have shouted "Everyone is a pastor" for 500 years, but this time we have a chance to truly practice this vision that the church has had.
It took us nearly two thousand years to bring people into the Church. Now, should we have a turning point and try to bring the Church into the crowd? Because the purpose of a worship service is to get closer to the people, but the worship service is not there for the purpose of people.
Families begin to turn over and churches are turned over. Only when the Church is revived again can it light up the world and illuminate the desperation that people feel.
Jesus Christ brought a turning point to the world 2000 years ago, changing the world from barbarism to civilization.
The turning point we need can only be pointed out to us by Him. Let us not waste the time of the whole world and the extremely heavy price paid for all mankind.
- Translated by Charlie Li