According to China Christian Council/Three Self Patriotic Movement Protestant Church website, close to 50 representatives of different denominations from Korea visited the CCC/TSPM headquarters in Shanghai on July 1.
The National TSPM Presbyter Xian-Wei Fu, CCC President Gao Feng, and CCC General Secretary Pao-Ping Quan received the guests, and they held a seminar titled “China Korea Church Exchange Seminar.”
After mutual introductions and meeting each other, they’ve proceeded with the pre-arranged meeting agenda, where both parties had 10 representatives who each gave a 15 minute speech on several topics.
According to the report, both parties proceeded with an exchange on the “Principles of Three Self.” Elder Xian-Wei Fu spoke first with the topic of “The Purpose of Three Self Patriotic Movement Committee and the Principles of Three Self”, where he explained the principles of Three Self, and the TSPM’s fruits in five different aspects within the past numerous years.
Fu said that the church in China is still very young, is a growing church, but has vision and is filled with vitality; he hopes that overseas churches can respect China to independently manage and setup the churches and welcomes them to have a friendly exchange and sharing.
Addressing this point, Korea World Mission Association General Secretary Rev. Seung-Sam Kang, the report wrote, responded with the speech titled “China-Korea Christianity Exchange that Impacts Religious Policies”, where he said that the Korean churches support the Three Self Principles, and they are also following the principles.
Afterwards, Rev. Gao Feng spoke on the topic of “The Present Situation of China’s Church”, where he spoke of the relationship between CCC and TSPM, or lianghui, and the present development situation that China’s Protestant Churches face. In response, Chongshin University & Theological Seminary Dr. Jungwoo Kim delivered the speech titled “Present Situation of Christianity in Korea and Future Hopes.”
Then, Rev. Pao-Ping Quan spoke on the topic of “China-Korea Church Relations”, where he expressed that China’s church is developing rapidly and the development space is very good. Even though China and Korea are neighbors and as the idiom says that “Close Neighbors is Better than Distant Relatives”, the current Three Self Principles has not been understood by some church coworkers in Korea, said Quan, so he hopes that through exchanges the future friendly relations and partnership of both country’s churches can be build on a solid foundation. Rev. Jeong-Ho Oh responded correspondingly.
Continuing on with other topics of discussion, National TSPM Vice Presbyter and Jiangsu Province Christian Council President each spoke the topics of “Ministering of City Churches” and “Church Serving the Society”, and two representative from Korea’s side each gave a response.
At the concluding part, Gao said that although the seminar lasted for a short-time, it is very meaningful for both parties kept an open-minded attitude while the exchange proceeded, so he hopes to have more deeper level exchanges in more aspects. The Korea representative team leader Rev. Jung-Hyun Oh, senior pastor of Sarang Community Church, also expressed the hope to continue the exchange in the future. Lastly, both parties exchanged gifts and took pictures.
Presently, Korea Church media outlets have not reported about the seminar’s meeting nor provided any details.
Some of the China-Korea Protestant leaders have been conducting discussions through exchange meetings on the construction and theological exchange of both countries’ church. One of the topics has been “Three Self Principles.” In the Fourth Korea-China Christianity Exchange Meeting held in 2006, China-Korea Church leaders have engaged in sharing and discussion on this matter.
In that meeting, Jian-Hong Ji, the Presbyter of the National TSPM at that time, delivered a speech on “Three Self Principles and Construction of China’s Church.” In the speech, he illustrated the necessity of Three Self Principles for China’s Churches from five aspects: Three Self Principles is God’s revelation and is in line with the church historical experience, the indigenization of the church is in line with the church being wide-spread, the reality of the church is in line with the results, a results-driven church is in line with a characteristics of a church, patriotism is in line with church-loving.
Later on in the meeting, a Christian leader from Korea expressed Three Self Principles are political and non-religious, which is separate from the church itself, so they are existing only temporarily as they are mixed with external factors. Church leaders from Korea hope that China’s Church can become more independent and open.