Taiwan Church News
August 19 - August 25, 2013
Editorial: Jesus Looks Around The Unbelieving In Anger
In the mind of the general Christian, Jesus always appeared as a kind shepherd with a posture to encourage and comfort the suffered. But, we should not forget the story recorded in Mark 3:5. Annoyed by the cunning observation to see if he would heal the patient with a shriveled hand, Jesus looked around at them in anger and asked those in synagogue: "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But, they remained silent. In addition, also written in Mark 11:15, "On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves".
The former story, that Jesus went against the tradition to heal the patients, reminds us we should put down our religious hypocrisy. Instead of sticking our eyes on the religious stipulations, it would be better for us to reflect, observe and listen to what the people sing! The latter story of cleansing the temple requires us to repent about our confused and sinful mindset, which existed in our church lives and corrupted our behavior.
Mission of Presbyterian Church to proclaim the Kingdom of God is to expand the frontier of the church and confess the the who society is under the sovereignty of God. Reading the scriptures with this new perspective, Jesus would request contemporary Christian not to keep silent. Instead we should listen the voices of the oppressed, and beware about those accustomed wrongs and evils which are destroying the foundation of our society.
Facing a series of atrocity imposed by the Ma regime, waves of citizen movements are stirred up like "Return The Country Back To The People, 818 Tear Down The Government" and etc. Regarding these trends of civil disobedience, isn't it proper for the church imitating Jesus to stand by the oppressed, act as an physician to heal and look around in anger at those hypocritically hand-folded scripture teachers? Or, do we just become the silent Pharisees and complacently scolded the government and the protesters safely in balance? Or, should we ask our brothers and sisters to follow the government's leadership and comply with all those lousy propaganda to build a harmonious society?
When those non-violent protesters started to throw the eggs or draw graffito on the ground, there seems a neutral voice saying: "The appeals of the protesters deserves sympathy, but their method is not correct. To communicate had better to be more rational!" But, when Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers, is he a "political correct" to be rational enough?
Max Weber classified the human rationality into "instrumental rationality" and "value rationality" respectively. The former is the method, and the latter is the end. They are intervened together and should not work separately . When people ask the protesters to be more rational, actually the rationality discussed is follow the instrumental side. But, we should be reminded that to pursue a better human society is within the field of the value rationality. The importance of instrumental rationality is beyond doubt, as it maintains the basic functions of a society. Yet, when it fails or runs out of order, we have to solve the problems and reflect our praxis using the value rationality.
The recent events in Taiwan society are precious opportunities to reflect our social responsibilities as Christians. When we are accustomed to think that we Christians have nothing to flirt with this secular world and should fix our eyes on the city of God, let us not forget Jesus looked around the unbelieving in anger, rebuke the hypocrites, overturned the tables of those religious merchants, and restore the functions of real worship back to track. Are those protesters in current Taiwan society irrational? No! Only those who keep silent or even stand aloof with a vicious counter-measure, they are the true oppressing, faithless, unbelieving and audacious terrorist!