A Chinese Christian leader addresses the challenge of Post-Modernism to world missions and how to tackle the crisis.
Post-Modernism is not a new concept as similar situation can be found 2000 years ago in the Book of Romans, according to the chairman of the Gospel Operation International for Chinese Christians Rev. Cyrus Lam.
There are five keywords that can be used to describe the ideology of Post-Modernism- "change," "reject," "unreal," "against the nature," and "human-orientated," Lam suggested as quoting the bible verses from Romans Chapter 1. People in the post-modern era "change" because they turn glory to darkness, God to idols, truth to lie, and natural to unnatural.
Following the "change," people tend to follow their own ways that often oppose God’s way. They neither glorify him as God nor give thanks to him. They fall into godlessness and wickedness. In this era where man rejects God, things that are usually accepted in the past or underground activities such as homosexuality are now being acknowledged openly, Lam lamented. The tide has even infiltrated into the society, government, school, family, even long-standing Christian denomination and famous leaders in the world.
Lam pointed out that when human beings refuse to look at the prefect world God has created for them, they confine themselves in the virtual world that they have made. In China, virtual co-habitation has become very popular among college students. They get married, form families and build houses in the cyberspace. In addition, pornography has contaminated the internet and poisoned the life of Christians. Many church leaders and ministers who serve God are also being victimized.
Since the age of renaissance in the 16th century, human beings have tried to replace God. The situation has been worsening in the 17th-18th century when man rejected God after the industrial revolution. While post-modernism rises up in the 21st century, human beings even regard themselves as God just as Isaiah has prophesized.
Lam therefore reminded Chinese evangelists the two important attitudes in face of the challenge of post-modernism. First is to be persistent in the understanding and observance of the evangelical truth, which is the most important commission for a church leader. Secondly, it is to consider how the gospel can be preached more efficiently in this chaotic era.
Concerning the basics of the Gospel, there are five major aspects that must be emphasized in the proclamation of the truth. First is to proclaim that Jesus is the hope of this world as the promise of prophets; second is to proclaim that Jesus is the son of God. Thirdly, Jesus is the king of kings. For all nations to enter the Kingdom of God, the nation of servants- churches- should do the work of missions. Through preaching the word of God, churches must fulfill the Kingdom of God on this earth, creating a new world where Jesus is the king.
Lam said the fourth point is to preach that Jesus is almighty. Through his resurrection, churches today are given the authority against Satan and the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. Lastly, Jesus is the truth of the world. He is the way, the truth and the life of all nations. Therefore, the gospel must be spread to all people and all tribes.
Lam encouraged Christians by quoting the words from the Apostle Paul, who has determined to bring the gospel to Rome- the center of the world.
"Apostle Paul said, ‘I am not shamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.’ I hope all of us can respond to God’s grace with such a prayer and preach the truth from God to the world. May all those who are blinded by post-modernism and live in darkness will see the true light of life," Lam concluded.