Movement of Repentance and Renewal in Taiwan Churches

Jan 29, 2003 02:26 PM EST

"We must repent. I must repent." An open letter of apology from the Rev. Chou Sin-cho, pastor of Taipei's independent Bread of Life Church" was sent by fax from North America where Rev. Chou was on a trip. He emphasized that the need for unity of ministers as churches in Taiwan gear up for a movement of repentance and renewal. The letter was occasioned by protests against historical errors and linguistic insensitivity towards many people groups in Taiwan which were contained in a prayer manual issued in advance of the movement. Rev. Chou said that he could not shirk responsibility for the work of the editing committee, and asked forgiveness from those who were offended and from God. He expressed a wish that all churches and ministers work might pardon the team that produced the book.

Rev. Chou emphasized that the movement for repentance and renewal was not centered on past historical appearances, but on mutual repentance. Some of the contents of the prayer manual were offensive. They were rightfully questioned. Their errors were harmful. That is why he turned not only to God in confession and repentance, but also to the churches and the public with apologies.

However, according to Rev. Chou, the committee that produced the book was not malicious, though they may have been careless and insensitive to certain issues of justice. Nonetheless, he took personal responsibility for the book they produced. Its distribution has been suspended while it is re-edited and reprinted.

A native of Nantou County in central Taiwan, Rev. Chou grew up in Chang-hwa County. He studied and worked in Taipei City. He loves all the places where he has lived. Though during times of political crisis in Taiwan he has had many opportunities to emigrate, he has chosen to remain in this land he loves. Ethnically, Rev. Chou is a mix of Hakka and Minnan (Taiwanese). Members of his extended family suffered during the period of political repression in the late 1940's that is known as "the 2-2-8" in Taiwan's history. "The evil of that time is not something that we can neglect. But the movement for repentance and renewal is not centered there. It is a call for mutual confession of sin and single hearted repentance."

He hopes the movement will not be derailed by the fracas over the book. He urges Christian sisters and brothers to continue in prayer for this land's repentance and renewal.

For more information: Chou Sin-cho [email protected]

By Albert H. Lee
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