While the People’s Republic of China is celebrating their 60th anniversary, China Ministries International Canada and Vancouver Short-term Missions Training Center held a seminar Christian’s Perspective on China’s 30 Years of Economic Reform, where speakers interpreted the modern history and theological meaning of economic reform.
Following Dr. Victor Yang’s review of China’s 30 years of economic reform, China Ministries International missionary Rev. Edwin K. L. Lee reflected with the crowd on the theological meaning of the economic reform.
Beginning from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident, Lee said that the economic development of China at that time has reached a certain threshold so Deng Xiaoping once again started another round of economic reform; however, while the reform signifies that China is heading towards globalization, what kind of preparation should the nation make?
China used to an enormous agricultural country, but as she industrialized in the 80s her economy model changed so she faced the problem of urbanization, he said. While the Chinese citizens are filled with hope for the rising up of their country, there must be a sustaining inner moral strength. In China’s historical culture, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism have been the center of influence on the people’s morals and values, but the ideals of Confucianism are difficult to achieve, the seclusion of Taoism emphasizes self-preservation, Buddhism lacks motivation for actions, so they are difficult to be the moral standards of the people and cannot break China’s historical bad cycle.
On the contrary, Western civilization are tolerant towards the authorities, where the government allow their citizens certain space for critiques, and this kind of freedom originates from Christian faith, for the Bible says that all men are equal before God.
Lee believes that the only way out for China is to be tolerant towards Christianity. “Looking from a personal level, everyone needs to be honest with himself, asking for God’s forgiveness; however, looking from the society’s level, there must be this open-minded attitude towards God and not shut-down Christianity.”
In conclusion, he said that “Only Christianity can bring about a transformation in the people’s hearts and souls; therefore, China’s future hope is in the church.”