Chinese churches in North America are challenged to respond more actively to social problems in the post-modern era, as a new resource book was published last month.
"Church, Stand Up As Salt and Light" written by Dr. Bill Tam, chairman of the Traditional Family Coalition (TFC), is a book designed for Sunday School. The nine chapters in the book focus on some very common social and ethical issues impacting Christians nowadays, such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, liberation of the media, stem-cell research and others.
By entailing the real situation in American society with the aid of statistics, churches are to be reawakened to recognize the crisis. Most importantly, at the end of each chapter, biblical perspectives are given with relevant verses in the Bible quotes to reveal what God has intended for each area of human life.
"Questions are provided to facilitate discussion, to encourage independent thinking and to explore how Christians can make a difference in slowing down the moral decay of our society," wrote Dr. Bill Tam, in the preface of the book.
Tam highlighted the commission of a Christian to be the "light" and "salt" of the world while he explained about the title of the book. He said that many churches have been playing a good part being the "light" of the world, sharing grace and righteousness of God, but he lamented that not many are being good "salt" to help slow down the moral decay.
Through the publication of the new resource book, Tam said, churches will become better "salt" as they are "reawaken" and equipped to "revive the moral values of the generation and the generations to come."
In Chapter 6 of the book, which is about homosexuality, is probably one of the highlights. It gives many aspects of the homosexual issues: biology, cause, danger and reparative therapy. The myth saying that "homosexuality is inborn" is being tackled with results from scientific investigation, clearing the wrong concept that the schools are trying to preach.
Experts attributed homosexuality to the dysfunctional families where father and son or father and daughter cannot communicate well emotionally. The study has suggested that homosexuality can be changed and there are many cases of success.
Without advocating homosexual relationships, the book reminds churches that they may play a role to help homosexual revert their sexuality and attain happy married life through therapy, religious teaching and peer support.
The book is backed by many evangelical leaders and organizations. Great Commission Center International, Chinese Christian Herald Crusades, Traditional Family Coalition and the Chinese Family Alliance have supported the publication.
"… a much needed book to serve as a road map and lamp post to both young and old generations of this post-modern age.. not only for personal reading, but also for church, Sunday School, fellowship and small group discussions," wrote the leading evangelical Rev. Thomas Wang in the foreword.