[省思] A Christian theology of public engagment: Dialogue with Luke Hsieh-從「大學生打工笨死了」開始

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On December 5, 2010

Chiou Mu-tien

族群未必是沒有討論意義的詞彙範疇。當今在美國,「黑人犯罪率高」、或全球性的研究「非洲人智商較低」,都是統計事實、但任何政治人物講出來不到十二小時就得道歉或下台的話。但這既是關連事實(即 correlation 而非 causation),當然需要被探討是何種關連關係。為何白領特別容易晚婚、同性戀染病率高,一如天龍人發話總帶有既得利益者的優越感?這都是我們不光該停在浮面的數字或議題表層,而需要深層檢討的。這樣才能更近一步地了解改進。
台灣的確有很多議題,是不應該被族裔操作給搞爛的。只是希望誰做事誰有擔當。當政治人物就好好貼近人民、傾聽人民。特別是我特別敬佩的基督徒政治家、過去投票給他過的人。只是有兩點我覺得可以在一個公眾神學的框架下提出:
1. 政治人物應該接受公評,本身必須是「見證」或「榜樣」。他丟什麼議題,跟他「是什麼樣的人、有沒有信服力來發起這個議題」同樣重要。
2. 歷史的真相和事實必須還原。人民的代表或公僕特別不該站在既得利益者的立場說一些不恤民情的話,二度傷害弱勢百姓的感情,然後搬出「讓過去歸過去好嗎、講議題啦別跳針」的理性超然態度。因為政治也是需要很多的感性的。過去台灣有讓人感念的政治家(孫運璿、蔣經國、俞國華、陳定南、高玉樹、盧修一),都是因為有在自己的基本職責外,像這片土地的人民認同踏出一步。我對王建煊有很高期待。我不希望他一片好意被誤解,但他也要正視自己說話內容呈現的思考盲點。

Luke Hsieh i have to say, I agree with most of what you say. 但我覺得在接觸政治議題時, 公民應該學會 »先用 »一種dialogue的態度來面題問題, 只有在非必要時, 才進入argument的模式, 這時再按個種criteria來檢視對方的真誠性. 我覺得台灣太缺乏這種初步的hermeneutic of trust….

換言之, 一個政治議題的出現時, 公民的第一個想法不應該是: 他講這句話是不是因為他得到某種利益, 是不是因為他是什麼族群, 什麼政黨 . 如果是這樣的話, 那事情永遠不會有進展. 當然如果在對話過程中, 對方完全不願傾聽, 完全不理采你的意見, 也完全不肯做出任何讓步, 這時公民就有理由改變交流模式, 進入論辯. 我認為這種公民素養是必需的…

最後, 我其實不是很喜歡政治道德化的理念. 當代民主理論的一大前題就是絕對的權力絕對的腐敗. 因此, 民主才需要權力分立, 定期改選, 目的就是要約束人性的敗壞. 民主預設的不是別的正是人性的敗壞. 但古典政治哲學(中西都一樣)一直都有個理想就是聖人之治. 而這理想也一直在民間流傳著. 但我覺得, 這種理想其實是不可能實現的….我也勸各位盡早放棄這種理想. 政治, 我唯一對他的期盼就是他可以建立一套公平的論辯環境….

  

Chiou Mu-tien

一定程度上的政治道德化,我認為又是不可避免的。
民主選舉所選何也?選賢與能。

如果絕對的權力導致絕對的腐敗,那麼相對的權力導致相對的腐敗。這樣要政治幹嘛?
最後不啻無政府主義。(Zizek: 無誤。)

所謂「公平的論辯環境」,我想還不若法治的理念。法至少有強制力。但論辯,若沒有道德,恐怕太過蒼白無力。最後變成知識的權力在決定利益團體的地位。(Foucault: 無誤。)

我主張,政治的論辯,目的還是要積極形塑具備道德的公民政治氛圍:政治人物廉潔操守、勤政愛民、社會公義、弱勢保障、國際人道救助、和平與睦鄰外交。(Chomsky:無誤)

Luke Hsieh

i’m not sure how i’m suppose to interpret 賢and能, but i don’t think they are moral concepts, if they are, then i think they are wrong. the one on zizek, i don’t quite understand. by 公平的論辯環境 i would include law. but law is not morality. law is to restrick 人性的敗壞. so that no matter who comes on stage, they won’t do outrageous things…
to still have the hope that governments could produce good people… i applaud for you. But i think that could only be achieved by the church.

5 décembre 2010, 02:02 · J’aime

Chiou Mu-tien

http://cd.kdd.cc/9/56A/ 賢能:virtuous and capable (快典網)

我正正認為教會(作為基督徒個人和群體)將成為社會良心。這不是政府的任務,所謂的政府做不到、法律也有限。
只是基督徒必須去積極成為這樣的政治人物、或是形塑議題和行動方針。就算在帝國時期基督徒都是對政治有責任的(Rom 13:1-7),在被允許的參與範疇中積極見證神掌權的國度。

民主時代更不該縮回去了,具體模範可參考被稱為「香港良心」陳日君前樞機主教。

以下來自台灣大百顆的詞條:

天主教社會實踐 [Social Practice of Catholic]
天主教會對當代社會問題反省後的回應和踐行。源自於福音精神,強調人性尊嚴,譴責社會的不公義,以具體行動實踐愛和關懷。天主教社會實踐根源於該教社會訓導,也是教會倫理訓導的延伸,且擴及對全球社會問題的關注。

http://taiwanpedia.culture.tw/web/category?subcategory=1780&category=377
(全文)

我認為這接下來可以放在教會論或解經神學中探討。
(至於Zizek 就不解釋了,其實我沒有真的想談他 :p)

我也承認聖人之治是儒家(內聖外王)和希哲(哲學家皇帝)共有的概念。
民主相反,它的萌發到完善,受基督教思想的幫助極大。
而少了基督教底蘊的民主-我之前好像在某處談過這是台灣民主的一個癥結-是恐怖的。

對教會而言,以下三者的差異需要先分辨:
基督徒間的政治
外邦人間的政治
基督徒和外邦人間的政治

現在如果是談最後一種,
我只想基本說,「民主的基督徒」會期望將部分的天國價值反映於立法的精神(公義、社會互助等)才是,還由彼此監督(從教會倫理延伸到社會的監督機制)避免權力所帶來的腐敗,發隱惡揚善之效(從社會角度而言,我們最多只能講「隱惡」揚善,人心底的罪惡在神面前是藏不住的,都需要悔改和基督寶血的醫治)。

那既然應該約束的是人性的敗壞,約束權力本身當然做到的只是有關民主精神的一部份(而且是屬於消極面的)。
至於積極面是什麼我希望是我前面已經說了。

————-
補充:
「我的百姓阿、你們當追念摩押王巴勒所設的謀和比珥的兒子巴蘭回答他的話、並你們從什亭到吉甲所遇見的事、好使你們知道耶和華公義的作為。」 (Mic 6:5 CU5)

「世人哪、耶和華已指示你何為善。他向你所要的是甚麼呢。只要你行公義、好憐憫、存謙卑的心、與你的 神同行。」 (Mic 6:8 CU5)

=> 第五節講的是神的百姓,但第八節神的期盼卻是向著世人( אָדָ֖ם )
————-

我擔心的恐怕是一種「教會圍牆外的政治不干教會的事」的思考,
除了神國要在地如在天必須應該是信徒的企盼之外,

約翰福音 17:16 他們不屬世界,正如我不屬世界一樣。
約翰福音 17:18 你怎樣差我到世上,我也照樣差他們到世上。

應該有告訴我們,有關「怎樣、照樣」的耶穌生活,除了為有形的教會鋪墊之外,應該還包括了在世上「行公義、好憐憫、存謙卑的心、與神同行。」
這絕對不是帶著要在地上建立基督王國的心態。只是這必須是教會信徒生活的一部份,即,當信徒禱告「爾國臨格、爾旨承行、在地如天」時應該相映的社會參與和生活態度。
政治人物的言行是我反躬自省的稜鏡。而如果在他們身上不能看到一絲絲的榜樣(非信徒就算了,基督徒政治家呢?),那還真是虧欠自己手中的選票和民主制度精神 [的選賢與能]。

雖然再怎樣不會絕望,因為總有終極榜樣的基督可以仰望。
但如果世界是黑暗的、悲傷的,教會不用太開心吧(有些人認為世俗政治顯現得愈無助,才愈證明只有教會所提供的信仰能被突出重要性,因而歡喜),因為撒旦的掌權往往是伴隨著教會的軟弱。德國國家教會的沈默和自欺欺人導致希特勒獨裁的惡果,前車之鑑不遠矣。亦即,當信徒大量的公眾生活板塊都被邪惡的意識型態所席捲,成千上萬的人每天靈魂滅亡、存活的百姓被排擠到社會的角落,那正是主耶穌在世上好憐憫的動機啊。

馬太福音 20:34 耶穌就動了慈心,把他們的眼睛一摸,他們立刻看見,就跟從了耶穌。
馬可福音 1:41 耶穌動了慈心,就伸手摸他,說:「我肯,你潔淨了吧!」
路加福音 10:33 惟有一個撒瑪利亞人行路來到那裡,看見他就動了慈心,
馬太福音 18:27 那僕人的主人就動了慈心,把他釋放了,並且免了他的債。
馬太福音 14:14 耶穌出來,見有許多的人,就憐憫他們,治好了他們的病人。
馬可福音 6:34 耶穌出來,見有許多的人,就憐憫他們,因為他們如同羊沒有牧人一般,於是開口教訓他們許多道理。
路加福音 7:13 主看見那寡婦,就憐憫他,對他說:「不要哭!」
馬太福音 9:36 他看見許多的人,就憐憫他們;因為他們困苦流離,如同羊沒有牧人一般。

我擔心教會對基督信仰的理解變成一種狹隘的利己思考,覺得教會除了幫助人歸信外,便不該有任何所圖。(這叫小眾群體主義sectarianism ,過去有人以此指控Hauerwas,但那是錯的。)

就算不是從門徒入世生活的整全性來著想,我想到Milbank說“secular politics is but a parody of the Christian body”如果是真的,那麼只求主憐憫:外邦人弄的政治就算是 parody,難道parody不能跟原作有三分向(像)善嗎?

我想是能的。過去我們聖經上並不是沒有記載這些使神的名直 接或間接得尊榮的外邦人政治家:尼布甲尼薩(Dan 3:28; 4-5)、波斯王古列(c.f. 2 Chr. 36:22; Ezra 1:1)、約瑟下監時的司獄(c.f. Gen 39:21)、以斯帖記中的亞哈隨魯王(c.f. Est. 6:1; 10:1-3)、「不認識約瑟的新王」以先四百年來埃及法老們(Ex 1:8)、下召讓尼尼微全城悔改的巴比倫王(Jonah 3-4)、以弗所城的書記(Acts 19)…

這些不是救恩本身,卻是神要藉此指向祂的百姓並訴說祂的恩典有夠大:

耶穌回答: »我被差遣,只是到以色列家的迷羊那裡去。 » (Mat 15:24 CNV5)
那婦人來拜他、說、主阿、幫助我。 (Mat 15:25 CU5)
耶穌回答: »拿兒女的餅丟給小狗吃是不好的。 (Mat 15:26 CNV5)
婦人說:主阿、不錯.但是狗也喫他主人桌子上掉下來的碎渣兒。 (Mat 15:27 CU5)

如今的教會,只是到神家中[可見] 的迷羊那裡去嗎?
還是允許世俗政治(敘利非尼基的希臘婦人)也吃教會聖壇掉下來的聖餅(Eucharist, symbolizing of some sort the theo-political union of believers)。
不給吃(即幫助世俗政治也能享有某種唯有在神國度中才能完全的公義和善),只因為他們還不在聖約中嗎?
(我想用政治神學的角色寫一篇後自由神學的基督論和聖餐觀。)

Luke Hsieh

True God does things that are miraculous, but still, it is not « my » calling to go into secular politics. My calling is to build up the church and to invite people into the true polis.

The first and foremost mission of the Church is for the Church to be the Church

Thru Eucharist, we invite people into the theo-political union of believers, Amen.

台灣教會最嚴重的問題之一就是她的政治想像被世俗政治意識形態搞的面目全非….

Chiou Mu-tien

我同意政治無論如何若被上綱成一種信仰,信徒便應該拒絕。

但神對信徒有沒有入世的呼召呢?是有的。
神有沒有說信徒不應當屬世呢?也是有的。

« joining » secular politics
« calling to go into secular politics »
« [secular politics] has nothing to do with me »

我認為這樣的語言若非把入世和屬世的觀念模糊了,
就是可能對「信徒入世」的意義還需要再界定。

基督徒間的政治
外邦人間的政治
基督徒和外邦人間的政治

三者之間,存在著必然的張力。從政治神學角度而言,教會政治和世俗政治必然互相侵蝕。例如如果你在中國南京需要建堂聚會或傳教,立刻要面對的就是[不]合法性的問題。

如同耶穌在安息日治病、彼得或使徒傳道下監後被搭救,教會做教會的事,一定會干預到世俗政治、也會被政治干預到的。
William Wilberforce見奴隸不合法、Martin Luther King 見種族遭歧視,這正是教會以為那些不甘自己的事,殊不知這正是被世俗政治意識形態導致的良心沈淪。

不知道你是否認為教會或基督徒社會不應該支持廢奴與平權運動,因為
the church of which i am a participant has nothing to do with « joining » secular politics
« that’s not my calling to go into secular politics »
« [secular politics] has nothing to do with me »

我認為說以為諸如廢奴、環保、教育、經濟、民主均等、公義、兩性盟約等訴求,應該丟給世俗政治(即外邦人)去搞,而信徒只需在自己人當中建立反映神國度真實的城邦(然後邀請他人加入)。是一個社會學和歷史輕易揭露的巨大假象。

事實上,上述所有的議題都是神學的議題。

而抽離基督思想底蘊的民主,不用多久就玩爛了(剛果、前薩伊、賴比瑞亞、莫三比克、辛巴威、坦尚尼亞,這幾個後殖民獨立國家的情況比台灣爛太多了。奈及利亞、布及那法索以及南美洲諸國,則是最終能夠穩定的例子,其共通點就是你能看到教會(包括基督徒知識份子和神學家、神職者和平信徒)在社會中扮演的積極角色。

更別提終其一生對抗社會不公和種族隔離政策的Desmond Tutu 主教和Nelson Mandela總理是如何幫助南非政治和公眾生活走上軌道的。
這些我以為前面已經藉由「天主教社會踐行」說明我的觀點了。

你的前面兩篇舊文(如果我理解的對),基本是說明政治意識型態(如「國族主義」)的屬世性,並教會的不屬世性,但這並非「政治」本身的問題。與教會還基督徒應成為社會良心(打擊「族群本位的思考、國族至上的言論、金錢萬能的迷思、黨同伐異的陋習、劫掠生態的開發、為富不仁的貪腐、權術操弄的詭詐、對天災人禍的漠然…」,還有我們向享有利益、代表民意的參政者建言—包括用輿論用投票選賢與能、為執政者禱告—希望他們能夠恤民等等),怎麼會是衝突的呢?

否則其實我想知道你對「香港良心」陳日君、Desmond Tutu 、Nelson Mandela、William Wilberforce、Martin Luther King等人的政治參與是怎麼評價的?

世人哪、耶和華已指示你何為善。」
總結一下,我主張:
教會必須關注和扭轉社會(作為一個基督徒與外邦人共同生存的文化實體)的政治議程,而不是被世俗的政治議程來主導教會(這是台灣本土教會目前的最大問題)。

看來我們雖然同意後者是為當前癥結,但我可以說對於前者,你比較主張伊比糾魯式的教會論,而我堅持亞理斯多德式的教會嗎(in terms of their consensual assessment of the presence of moral luck and their differing approaches to address it)?

Luke Hsieh

[the church does not require less than 廢奴, they require more, they require people to love others as themselves. If, for example, the American church had lived as a church, there wouldn’t be a need for 廢奴.]

God may have different calling for different people. I praise God for what God has done through them (陳日君、Desmond Tutu 、Nelson Mandela、William Wilberforce、Martin Luther King…)

The church is a community of saints (holiness, meaning separation); the political agenda of the church is not to become 基督徒與外邦人共同生存的文化實體; the political agenda of the church is to be a communion of saints

Chiou Mu-tien

“The church….they require more, they require people to love others as themselves. If, for example, the American church had lived as a church, there wouldn’t be a need for 廢奴.”
– 我擔心這句話是空話。
第一,歷史上,過往教會(美國、英國、西班牙)就是長期地支持著蓄奴。且還有專門的神學家、基督徒份子生產支持蓄奴的神學論述。在美國,種族隔離最嚴重社團群體就是基督教會社群(白人、黑人、拉美人、亞洲人)。

第二,就算教會自己不蓄奴,如果其他人(外邦人)為奴役制度所迫,難道就不伸手搭救?

「你們中間誰有驢或有牛,在安息日掉在井裡,不立時拉他上來呢?」

對待物猶如此,何況是對我們的人類手足?
但只怕遇到這種情況,你說的教會施行起來要不像會主張守安息日的法利賽人教會都難。

這難道是當 citizens of heaven 的意思?

所以我覺得解經有幫助。
我們真的需要回到聖經是怎麼看的。耶穌為什麼要醫治敘利非尼基的希臘婦人?
除了上十字架和復活,耶穌做的其他事都是好玩或插花?

“We praise God for what God has done to them through Jesus. But what really matters is only his death and resurrection?”

約翰福音 5:19 「我實實在在的告訴你們,子憑著自己不能做什麼,惟有看見父所做的,子才能做;父所做的事,子也照樣做。」

約翰福音 17:18 「你怎樣差我到世上,我也照樣差他們到世上。」

因此耶穌做的事,是天父所做的。天父差耶穌到「世上」所做的,又是耶穌差門徒到世上去做的。
那麼,門徒在世上應該做的,絕對不少於「行公義、好憐憫、存謙卑的心、與神同行。」
而這是教會作為聖徒群體,談「教會政治」又不可少的一塊。聖經基本立場已經表明基督徒間的教會[內部]政治,和基督徒和外邦人間的外部政治(不等同世俗政治,但必然牽扯世俗政治—很高興你已經同意這點。)同樣屬於教會政治的範疇:
羅馬書 13:3-7
作官的原不是叫行善的懼怕、乃是叫作惡的懼怕。你願意不懼怕掌權的麼.你只要行善、就可得他的稱讚. 4 因為他是 神的用人、是與你有益的。你若作惡、卻當懼怕.因為他不是空空的佩劍.他是 神的用人、是伸冤的、刑罰那作惡的。 5 所以你們必須順服、不但是因為刑罰、也是因為良心。 6 你們納糧、也為這個緣故.因他們是 神的差役、常常特管這事。 7 凡人所當得的、就給他.當得糧的、給他納糧.當得稅的、給他上稅.當懼怕的、懼怕他.當恭敬的、恭敬他。

即,聖經既藉著保羅而對「聖徒群體」提出社會參與的要求(納稅、供糧、服役、行善、敬畏、尊重…),又將世俗政治和教會內部政治全都放在神的管轄範疇。

The first and foremost mission of the Church is for the Church to be the Church.
“the church is a community of saints (holiness, meaning separation)”
我覺得到這篇,你說教會是聖徒群體。基本還是在談教會不應「屬世」的問題。
但聖經無處說教會信徒不當「入世」。
聖經中所說的分別為聖,從來都是說不道德、不潔淨、或抵擋神的東西。

例如你說的國族意識型態是抵擋神。但「政治」本身或「社會(作為基督徒與外邦人共同生存的文化實體)參與」並不是。廢奴、環保、教育、經濟、民主均等、公義、兩性盟約等訴求,若都是神喜悅的價值,那反映的是聖靈的果子,「這樣的事沒有律法禁止」(Gal 5:22-23)。

神沒有叫基督徒脫離社會或脫離文化。如果有,或許引出具體的經文,我們可以再討論。
從來都是說棄絕當中不道德、不潔淨、或拜偶像抵擋神的成分。

彼得啊,「神所潔淨的,你不可當作俗物。」(Acts 10:15; 11:9)
隨著耶穌來到世上而展開的新約,我發現使新約教會的聖徒群體和舊約盟約子民的聖俗產生了一種根本性的物理差別。

舊約的分別為聖,在於以色列成為神選民的獨特性底下過聖潔生活(particularity)
新約的時候聖靈積極地將普天下賺到神的名下(universality)。

當初耶穌使用舊約舊律法的回應好叫敘利非尼基的婦人作難,才展現她的信心而成為耶穌在外邦工作的開始。
此時彼得還在使用舊約舊律法的思考。神的啟示告訴他神的大使命是向著普世萬民、外邦做的。

這樣的教會如果要按著聖經被稱為天國的公民,絕對不能過得太像伊比糾魯大師。

—-
最後我突然想引馬丁尼莫拉的德裔牧師留下的短詩,作為納粹的受害者,他在晚年懺悔自己原先的教派意識 (sectarianism)時寫下這首詩:「 在德國,起初他們追殺共產主義者,我沒有說話─因為我不是共產主者﹔ 接著他們追殺猶太人,我沒有說話─因為我不是猶太人﹔ 後來他們追殺工會成員,我沒有說話─因為我不是工會成員﹔此後他們追殺天主教徒,我沒有說話─因為我是新教教徒﹔最後他們來抓我時,再也沒有人站起來為我說話了。」

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

—— Martin Niemoller,1945

Luke Hsieh

[Sad story indeed; in various points of the history, the church failed to be the church]

[I am not against社會參與. But, if church politics is the true politics, why wouldn’t you want to put all your efforts into that which is true?]

[Indeed the church should have loudly proclaim their message in the age of corruption, that is, they should of proclaimed the gospel, condemning the Nazis, and refuse to be part of them (the secular politics); the Christian polis should have entered war with secular politics, but sadly they didn’t ]

  

Chiou Mu-tien

What’s really ironic is that you need Wilberforce’s leadership of the abolitionist movement to really stop the British church people from keeping slaves, King’s social engagement to awake the church about the importance to live closer to what’s already explicitly taught in Gal 3:28, and numerous other Christian political activists to help the church to be like the church.

Preach the gospel? Right. What does Jesus say about the gospel?

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 « The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. » 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, « Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. » (Luk 4:17-21 ESV)

I doubt if Paul sets all politics, secular or ecclesial, under God’s providential will, how could “obey…for the sake of CONSCIENCE” (Rom 13:5 CJB) and the LORD’s requirement of you “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God” (Mic 6:8 ESV) mean nothing more than paying homages and tax alike to the rulers to the exclusion of, say, rescuing a foreigner that was attacked, stripped, and beaten by robbers? (Luk 10:30 CJB)

Orally preach the gospel?

Jesus replied, « A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? » 37 He said, « The one who showed him mercy. » And Jesus said to him, « You go, and do likewise. » (Luk 10:30 ESV)

Hear Jesus said, “you go, and do likewise.”

If you try to “love people as you love yourself”, and you see the third world orphans live in poverty, I wonder how your claim to bring them into the true polis can be achieved without fighting the structural injustice of war, AIDS, unilateralism, economic exploitation, and so on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Tutu Bishop Tutu’s wiki is worth taking a look at.

I hope we learn more from those steady involved in the mission field. Sometimes I feel they have even much better grasp of how the church should be the church than we academic theologians [-to-be].

So ………….
約翰福音 5:19 「我實實在在的告訴你們,子憑著自己不能做什麼,惟有看見父所做的,子才能做;父所做的事,子也照樣做。」
約翰福音 17:18 「你怎樣差我到世上,我也照樣差他們到世上。」
[we are sent to preach the gospel]

I am afraid that this short reply neglects the necessary step of exegesis
We are sent to be good Samaritans, to be a community of character, to be good stewards of the earth, to liberate the oppressed, and to bring spiritual and physical healings to the world.
The gospel entails nothing less than those (Luk 4:18ff), just as Jesus never falls shorting of doing anything of them.

He is the Gospel. And he is not doing this on his own. He sees what God has done and does them accordingly as He sends him for that reason.

If this is how (καθὼς Joh 17:18 BGT) God sent Jesus to the world, Jesus is sending us to the world for all those same purposes, through which God name will be exalted above all!

« I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world- just as I myself do not belong to the world. 15 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. (Joh 17:14-15 CJB)

So, if church politics is the true politics, why wouldn’t you want to put all your efforts into that which is true?
I believe it is because “to endeavor that which true” entails we do everything that God deems right and adorable, regardless of what kind of political engagement it is termed or classified.

Concerning Rom 13, I am worried that your insertion of “and nothing more” in the following verses may be too much of eisegesis:

For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Rom 13:6 ESV)

It seems far more like that Paul is giving an illustration concerning the RIGHT kinds of civil duties that believers ought to perform, rather than making an exhaustive list of Christian dogma for political involvement.

From the Greek you can see the shorthand parallel sentence structure. This is typically used when paradigmatic and illustrative purposes are intended, through which the audience is expected to observe the underlying principle of it and apply accordingly:

διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ φόρους τελεῖτε• λειτουργοὶ γὰρ θεοῦ εἰσιν εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο προσκαρτεροῦντες. 7 ἀπόδοτε πᾶσιν τὰς ὀφειλάς, τῷ τὸν φόρον τὸν φόρον, τῷ τὸ τέλος τὸ τέλος, τῷ τὸν φόβον τὸν φόβον, τῷ τὴν τιμὴν τὴν τιμήν. (Rom 13:6 BGT)

So, the government requires that you comply with the civil obligation of military service. Would you say “no”, because Paul teaches “nothing more” for that matter?

The government requires that you have to be licensed in order to drive on the road. Would you say “no”, because Paul teaches “nothing more” for that matter?

So then why is that when the democratic regime asks you to actively oversee the rulers you all have selected and advocate the right cause of social justice through all kinds of civil forums and political channels, you would persuade your Church to shy away from it because “it is not part of the church [as a community of saints]’s responsibility”? (Plus the underlying assumption of democracy is a deeply Christian one.)

Luke Hsieh

[yes indeed, it is ironic; the church sinned badly; like the Corinthians, they did things that even pagans won’t do]

(Luk 4:17-21 ESV) is fulfilled in the kingdom of God that is brought about by Jesus.

[yes, the church needs to get together and fight against war, AIDS, unilateralism, economic exploitation, and so on. The church should teach their member not to be involved in war and in economic exploitation; I believe if the Church does live up to its standards the world will be very different] i believe the word of God has great power, the power to save, both the soul and the body

Basically, i have to say that the NT is filled with apocalyptic imagrey, the world is evil; the kingdom of God is light. You might be able to find one or two evidences that support your thesis, but overall, the church is a society and a polis. To be involved in society and politics is not to go to another polis and help them build their polis; but to build up the church, and to be a light to the world.

  

Chiou Mu-tien

But then will your light have any use? ie. enlighten the world.

I mean,
1) Will the light to the world do anything, if the world symbolizes darkness for sure?

2) I have pointed to moments of church history when God is really using Christian figures who embodied the theological ethical ideals to re-direct the church.

Indeed, the world is approaching its doom according to the Bible, but the Church is NOT.

The Church engaging in politics has less to do with helping the world to build up a parodic polis than a step for them to reflect the glory of God by being incorporated in the church in a true sense.
It’s a biblical mandate that Christians fulfill their civil duties and be a Good Samaritan. It does not matter if the Doomsday is tomorrow and two millions years later.

You are right that Act 6 is talking about the Church as an alternative society. I never reject the idea and I am as supportive to it as you are. It may not really give weight to the part of my position which is not shared by you.

I am saying, “Working in secular politics in a non-sectarian way” is sanctioned by God’s will for the Church. That it is inevitable is recognized by Paul and Peter (1 Pet 2:12-21).

The Church does unique things within believers in the intuitional church. I agree.
However, you really cannot say that you are refusing to get a driver’s license on the road or you should not be fulfilling the civil duty of overseeing the government or you dismiss the public cause of ending the AIDS in Africa on a structural level SOLELY because the world is evil and you just want to be the church.

For I can’t see how these will make the Christian church less churchy, what I have seen in history is that churches fail to be Christian over and over again only because it is way too sectarian and aloof to the turbulence of the surroundings, not attending to the Breath of the Holy Spirit, who “blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it’s going. That’s the way it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (Joh 3:8 GWN)

The HS can work in a muslin girl dream and make converts. It is the greatest force behind Wilberforce’s abolitionist movement.

It will be sad if we have a predefined notion on the breadth of Christian political engagement, and then stop short from where the Holy Spirit could fire up its power of revival that then makes people’s heart receptive to the Word of God.
At the “Church as the polis”, people can quickly move from the notion of church being the witness to “God’s kingdom come and will done” to the misconception that their only [direct] duty to the pagans is announce the written/oral gospel.

I hope the Bible is not wasting its pages on portraying those
「使神的名直接或間接得尊榮的外邦人政治家」:尼布甲尼薩 (Dan 3:28; 4-5)、波斯王古列(c.f. 2 Chr. 36:22; Ezra 1:1)、約瑟下監時的司獄(c.f. Gen 39:21)、以斯帖記中的亞哈隨魯王(c.f. Est. 6:1; 10:1-3)、「不認識約瑟的新王」以先四百年來埃及法老們(Ex 1:8)、下召讓尼尼微全城悔改的巴比倫王(Jonah 3-4)、以弗所城的書記(Acts 19)

Neither on giving account to Joseph, who as a foreign politician saves Egypt –
創世紀 41:54 七個荒年就來了。正如約瑟所說的,各地都有饑荒;惟獨埃及全地有糧食。

…as well as protects the seed of Israel.

Luke Hsieh

[You are right about John 3:8, as long as their aims cohere; I think an involvement in secular politics is to be appreciated. But Christian must keep in mind that what they are doing is for the kingdom of God; and whenever, their aims divert, Christians will have to dropout]

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