Taiwan Church News

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Taiwan Church News
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3384 Edition

January 2 - 8, 2017

Editorial

 

Let's Face The Post-Truth Era With Rationality, Thought, And Dialogue

 

On 31 December 2016, PCT General Assembly held her first of a itinerary quadruple-seminar, entitled as "PCT on same-sex marriage issues", in Chi-nan Presbyterian Church at Taipei. After this series of seminars were announced by PCT General Assembly on the internet, many rumors started to emerge and a lot of protests from other denominations kept ringing into the office of PCT General Assembly. Even, after the ending of the first seminar, this PCT event was reported by a pro-Christian media as "flattering", "brain-washing", and "wolf in a sheep's clothing". It is indeed a pity, before publishing those distorted fake-news, that such media did not even bother to check with PCT General Assembly to learn the fact of this open and impartial seminar.

On 9 December 2016, the society for the German language(GfdS) chose the word - postfaktisch(i.e. "Post-truth" in English) - as the Germany's word of the year 2016. The reason, why "postfaktisch" was chosen instead of Brexit, the Trump-Effect, social bots and horror clowns, is that people find the truth mentioned in political or social discussion today is always dominated by a mentality: "The truth is defined by us!". This is a mind set, intentionally to despise rationality and fact, yet following the emotions only. Another dimension of the word of "postfaktisch" is that more and more people become being unable or lazy to think carefully. Facing the age of information explosion, people come to know the word through simple or stunning words instead of a deliberate thought.

If Taiwan society is checked against these postfaktisch characteristics, we would be very surprised to find that our society in the times of martial laws had already possessed these values - easy to be influenced by the messy feeling instead of a cool mind. This was because rational speeches had easily brought people into jails, and the thoughtful actions had even proved to be costing lives. Following the transition into democracy in 1980s and 1990s, Taiwan society was not totally enlightened by a democratic style of communication via reason and fact-checking. Rather, in order to find friends in the same feathers or stress a convenient truth compliant to own prejudices, many people still favor stunning words or simple slogans to solve the real problems. And this phenomenon is not least absent in the churches of Taiwan!

The same-sex marriage seminar, held by PCT General Assembly on 31 December 2016 and open to clergies and laymen from different denomination, was a public forum for the people in pros and cons to speak out their thoughts and feelings with reasons and discourses. This seminar created a space for the participated members to dialogue and understand each other. Maybe, there could not be any conclusion reached, but at least the people there tried to find out what the truth is.

In the very beginning of 2017, we should no more limit ourselves in the old circle of the same feathers or just repeat a convenient truth in cliche. Rather, in a spirit of fact-checking and dialogue, we should open our heart to find the truth and understand our differences in public affairs. This is our sincere wish, and it is also a precious treasure worthy to pursue after in the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!

 
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3384 Edition

January 2 - 8, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Hsinchu MacKay Memorial Hospital Officially Launched From 1 January 2017

 

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

In a vision to strengthen medicare for women and children and strive to become a medical center hospital to serve more patients at Hsinchu area, the Hinchu Branch of Mackay Memorial Hospital was officially name-changed as Hsinchu Mackay Memorial Hospital(HMMH) from 1 January 2017.

The Hsinchu Branch of MacKay Memorial Hospital was initially established as an area hospital in 2002, yet in order to meet the multi-functional demands from the government, church, and hospital's board directors, a transformation of her constitution into a financial legal person was accomplished in April 2016, according to Mr Liu Bor-en, chairman of the managing board of MacKay Memorial Hospital.

A thanksgiving service for celebrating HMMH's name-change and the inauguration of the new superintendent - Dr Su Chong-sien - was held in the international conference hall at the 13th floor of HMMH on 1 January 2017.

Mr Lin Tzou-yien, Minister of Health and Welfare under Taiwan's central government, was invited to attend the hospital's new opening and the inauguration of Dr Su Chong-sien, who is a renown clinical physician specialized in the field obstetrics and gynecology and an experienced administrator in hospital management over 40 years.

Rev Sudu Tada, Moderator of PCT General Assembly was also invited to witness the inauguration of Dr Su Chong-sien as the new superintendent. In his sermon, Rev Rue Chong-cheng, Moderator of PCT Northern Assembly, encouraged Dr Su to become a servant after God's own heart, like the King David, serving the doctors, nurses, administrative staff, the patients and their families, and all the people whoever coming into this hospital.

In his inauguration speech, the new superintendent Dr Su anticipated HMMH to become a hospital actively fulfilling her social responsibility and willing to become a good neighbor to the marginalized and the poor. In order to practice the charity of the Christian faith, Dr Su also encouraged his colleagues to be compassionate to the patients and seeing themselves as own families.

As to the future of HMMH, Dr Su shared his visions, including the methods of improving intensive medicare for the mother and their children, strengthening of the precision medicine and establishing a chronic care network, marching forward to a regional medical center.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Witnessed under Mr Lin Tzou-yien(Minister of Health and Welfare, second from right) and Dr Seh So-chuan (the superintendent of MacKay Memorial Hosital, third from right), Dr Su Chong-sien (the first from right) took the seal from former superintendent, Dr Lee Hung-chong (the fourth from right) to become the first superintendent of HMMH on 1 January 2017.

Photo by Lu Hong-chi

 
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3384 Edition

January 2 - 8, 2017

Church Ministry

 

PCT Itinerary Seminar On Same-Sex Marriage Kicked Off

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

To encourage a rational dialogue and a civilized debate on the issue of same-sex marriage within PCT, four itinerary seminars, entitled as "PCT on the Issue of same-sex marriage" and organized by PCT General Assembly Office, are going to be held island wide starting from 31 December 2016 to 11 March 2017.

Moderated under Rev Hsuei Bor-chan, Secretary of PCT General Assembly, the first ever PCT seminar on same-sex marriage was kicked off at Chi-nan Presbyterian Church on 31 December 2016 with two background reports explaining to the audience about PCT's stance on this issue: first by Rev Ng Tiat-gan, Director of PCT Research and Development Center, reporting the genesis and content of PCT's 2004 official docuemnt entitled as "Studies and Proposals on Homosexuality Issues", and second by Rev Cheng Yin-er, PCT Associate General Secretary, delivering the points of "PCT Pastoral Letter On Same-Sex Marriage" released in 2014. Later, within an eighty minutes forum, about 80 people, including PCT pastors, evangelists, and laymen, expressing their various opinions on LGBT marriage in pros and cons.

Mrs Yu Mei-nu, the most renown DPP lawmaker campaigning for amending civil code to include same-sex marriage, also came to the PCT seminar on same-sex marriage to explain her major three amendment of civil code: "Same-sex marriage couple can possess the same equal rights and obligation as the hetero-sex couple do"; "The contract of marriage is sealed by both parties(not man and woman)"; "The court's ruling on child's adoption should not base on any discrimination against the gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual characteristics, and other reasons etc. of the adopters".

As her version of same-sex code will be compliant to all the laws required of the hetero-sex couple stipulated in the original civil codes, Yu assures that there will be no confusion or chaos happened in our familiar relationships between the naming of father/mother, husband/wife, and other consequent relationships. Even the behavior of adultery in same-sex marriage will be punished according to the related laws in her amended version of civil code, says Yu.

Prof Cheng Yang-en, church historian of Taiwan Theological Seminary and College, expresses that  LGBT people have gone through a process of depathology in the fields of psychology and psychiatry and started to be recognized as a normal group by western societies since 1970s. Yet, in the field of theology, the biggest challenge is how to re-interpret the Bible, Cheng says, adding that a better solution could come from the method of "accommodation", proposed by John Calvin, meaning that a suitable re-interpretation of the Bible could be done, based on a reference to contemporary culture and anthropology, applying the wisdom, reason, and revelation given from God.

Cheng also stresses that no need to worry about that same-sex marriage will destroy the traditional marriage institute, as the hetero-sex marriage will still be the mainstream in any human society. We Christians should not distort the idea of "sexual liberation", as the essence of this social movement is multi-dimensional, says Cheng, adding that Taiwan church should take part into this social movement as she used to fight for the Taiwanese on democracy and human rights.

Assistant Prof Hsu Mu-yen, an elder of Tog-seh Presbyterian Church and a faculty of NCCU Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Management, remarks that since the Bible has clearly declared homosexual behavior as a sin, no alternative theological explanations are allowed to confuse the laymen and engender a chaos further inside the church.

Hsu emphasizes that the church should not accept any homosexual behavior, as it is a sin deemed by the Bible, but a special code of same-sex companion proposed by secular society can be tolerated by the church only if the same-sex couple are "sexually faithful to each other" and "pledged to run a family compliant to the law". Instead of making a hasty decision on whether the civil code of marriage should be amended or not, the church should have a "panoramic perspective" to understand the direction where the amendment of civil code heading for and the problems lurking under the phenomenon, remarks Hsu.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3384 Edition

January 2 - 8, 2017

Headline News

 

Citizen Groups Of Taiwan Social Movement Celebrate New Year 2017 On Taipei Streets

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

To celebrate out 2016 and welcome in 2017, a social activists' party was held on the street beside the Legislative Yuan at 9:00 p.m. on 31 December 2016. Under an application by Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan, this assembly was co-organized by Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation, National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association, and NTU Student Association.

Many citizen groups of social movements were invited to take part into this party and showcase in booths various concerned social issues, including a strengthening of Taiwan consciousness, the pursuit of a transitional justice in history, land justice, environmental justice, labor rights, college student's rights, the promotion of fair trade via launching more start-ups of social enterprises, and etc.

Mr Chang Long-chiau, chief executive official of Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation, expressed that the year 2016 was indeed a jubilant year for the Taiwanese that Democratic Progressive Party took back her power, though, the actual performance of the ruling party still failed the people's expectation. For example, the suspicious money-laundering case of Mega Bank found by New York State Department of Financial Services was still not seen any proper solution submitted by the government, said Chang.

As to the issue of transitional justice, Chang remarked that Taiwan society affirmed DPP's resolute legislation of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations in last August, though, an efficient practice and schedule to effectively liquidate all KMT's ill-gotten assets is still absent from a systematic viewpoint. "We will give the ruling party some time to handle these things for sure, as everybody knows the jobs of reform could not be done over night. But, we do hope DPP to perform better in 2017 and let all the Taiwanese people see there are much more hopes lying ahead!", Chang expected.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Many citizen groups of Taiwan social movement celebrate the imminent coming of New Year 2017 on the street beside the Legislative Yuan at 9:00 p.m. on 31 December 2016.

Photos by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3383 Edition

26 December, 2016 - 1 January, 2017

Church Ministry

 

Insufficient Care Worker: A Big Concern Of Taiwan's Long-Term Care Program 2.0

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

On December 22, entitled as "An evaluation of the execution of long-term care program 1.0 among Taiwan's local governments", a press conference was held by Taiwan Social Welfare Union(TSWU) at Taipei. Based on a comprehensive data analysis, collected from local governments' report of their performance of long-term care in 2016, TSWU listed their findings of defects in the so-called "long-term care program 1.0" and delivered their warnings before the long-term care program 2.0 is about to launch from 1 January 2017.

According to TSWU, the 2016 data showed: 1) human resources of care worker is obviously insufficient. Comparing to current 9,057 care workers nationwide, Taiwan's central government estimates that at least an extra 50,000 jobs should be created in the industry of long-term care program 2.0; 2) care service centers in some local governments are not only insufficient but also unevenly located; 3) on the service items, like day care, respite care, and home health care, there is a big gap existed between central government's target and local authority's actual performance ; 4) a big variance of long-term care performance also existed within local governments due to their different resources, budgets, policy priorities, and etc.

In order to stabilize the quality of care worker against an average job leaving rate at 12.17%, TSWU suggested that care worker's salary should be leveled up and better they could be recruited by public institutes instead of private ones. In the meantime, the government should work harder to inform the public about the accessibility and goods of this new social welfare program - long-term care program 2.0.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Urging the government to rectify some critical defects of current log-term care practice, Taiwan Social Welfare Union launched a press conference, entitled as "An evaluation of the execution of long-term care program 1.0 among Taiwan's local governments", at Taipei on 22 December, 2016.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 
E-mail Print PDF

Taiwan Church News

3383 Edition

26 December 2016 - 1 January 2017

Editorial

 

They Do Not Know What They Are Doing

 

According to a recent social survey, published by the Ipsos "Index of ignorance" Table, Taiwan is ranked the third most ignorant country in the world. This news becomes a hot issue in Taiwan society. As the design of such a social survey is found being conducted through internet only and quite inclined toward a middle-class perspective, most Taiwan media see this news as a humorous reminder and not take it seriously.

But, about the same time when this survey is released, breaks out the coverage of the irksome Nazi cosplay event, occurred at an anniversary celebration of Hsin Chu Kuang Fu High School on December 23, incurring the strongest protests immediately from both Israeli and German diplomatic offices in Taiwan. This shockingly deplorable and regrettable cosplay about the Nazi symbols forces Taiwan society to reflect if it's no surprise that Taiwan deserves a title of the third most ignorant country in the world?

As a matter of fact, not only the Nazi cosplay event trespasses the red line of human rights in the high school's anniversary celebration, another cosplay imitating the Musha Incident in the same Kuang Fu High School is also a disappointing performance when the master of the ceremony help to raise the voice:"Down the japs, restore the Chinese!". The strange part of this slogan is not just using the "japs" to mock the Japanese, but an absolutely wrong historical knowledge mistaking an aboriginal Seediq revolt against the Japanese military oppression as a warfare of the Chinese fighting modern Japanese forces. What a poisonous effects left behind by any educational policy immersed in authoritarianism!

Though the Holocaust is the most heinous crime ever committed by the Nazi in human history, a very embarrassing fact about the Nazi cosplay in Kuang Fu High School is that the supervising teacher of those cosplay students is a history teacher and plays Hitler himself in the cosplay parade. Taiwan society is even more stunned by some students' urge to support their school's original stance after their principal and the responsible officials had made their formal apology to the public. It is obvious that there is something critically out of track in Taiwan's history education!

An open letter of Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei(IECOT) urges Taiwan government to arrange a proper education plan, informing Taiwan students the genuine historical significance of the Holocaust. And, if there is anything needs their support, IECOT would help. German Institute in Taipei also remarks, "Sadly, the students clearly do not understand that the Nazi symbol stands for disregard for human rights and oppression".

Condemnation, in fact, would do nothing positive to rescue Taiwan society from these stunning chaos. On the contrary, it could be easily cause a further temptation of self-righteousness, as our shallow knowledge of history is a common crooked nature inside of us. When Jesus was surrounded by those onlookers, played the clown by the soldiers, and even scoffed by the leaders saying "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!", we as the followers of the Lord Christ also need to meditate what Jesus said at the moment of his crucifixion: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing!".

Just like Jesus sacrificed himself at the moment of human's ignorant evil, Christians as the pardoned sinners were also very vulnerable to the demagogic ignorance and evil in history. In some radically chaotic days, some Christians even succumbed themselves to the temptation of self-righteousness and violence and forgot their true color as the sinners. So, when the complacent Christians lost their initial hearts, the only salvation is to turn back and confess before God. Only through recognizing our sin and ignorance, a soft heart of compassion and love could be back!

 


Page 9 of 189

Counter

mod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_counter
mod_vvisit_counterToday71
mod_vvisit_counterYesterday298
mod_vvisit_counterThis week667
mod_vvisit_counterThis month6303
mod_vvisit_counterThis month704734

Who's online

We have 97 guests online