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Taiwan Church News
3200 Edition
June 24-July 1, 2013
General Assembly News

New PCT General Secretary Officially Takes Over

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

Translated by Peter Wolfe

On June 24th 2013, under the witness of General Assembly Moderator Hsu Jung-fong and the affiliated officials, Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong received the stamps and all financial records of PCT General Offices from the former General Secretary Rev. Andrew T C Chang, officially kicking off the 7th term’s service as General Secretary.

Succeeding the missionary efforts and evangelical contributions from previous general secretaries, such as Rev. William J.K. Lo and Rev. Andrew T C Chang, Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong would lead PCT entering the historic 150th mission anniversary. He pledges PCT will carry on preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, serving the State of Taiwan as a steward and becoming the reliable and trustworthy “symbol of hope” for Taiwan people

During his departure speech, Rev. Andrew T C Chang frankly admitted that the general secretary office was a very tough job confronting kinds of difficulty and hardship. Yet, these challenges also granted him opportunities to experience the grace from God. Especially, when he learned our church members change their critical jargon from “ You! PCT General Assembly ” into a inclusive starting words like “ We PCT General Assembly”, this made him full of gratitude and thanks to Lord.

In his concluding prayer of this office handover, Moderator Hsu Jung-fong delivered his appreciation for what Rev. Andrew T C Chang had achieved: leading PCT to have an excellent ecumenical relationships with world church partners, and convincing PCT members to stand behind the ministry of General Assembly. He prayed the new General Secretary. Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, could stick to the spirit of “Glorify God and Benefit People”, carry on what God have wonderfully blessed to our ministries and contribute to the well-being of Taiwan churches.

Incoming and outgoing general secretaries take one last shot together.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News
3200 Edition
June 24-June 30, 2013
Editorial

Editorial: The reason why “salami tactics” are so frightening

Translated by Lydia Ma

The recent signing of a cross-strait service trade by the Ma administration and Beijing under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a sign that the dangerous tiger we call ECFA is on the prowl. Under this service trade pact, Beijing has requested that Taipei allow many “non-designated professions” to come and set shop or invest in Taiwan. Examples of these professions include hairdressers, caterers, logistics, warehousing, publishers, funeral homes, etc. The list of professions ranges from services rendered to people from birth to death and in sickness and in old age.

China may well be the only country in the world that dares to ask our government to allow foreigners to invest in these industries. We can expect an influx of Chinese workers to come to Taiwan in the near future to invest and seek permanent residency. Once cheap labor becomes easily available inside Taiwan through Chinese workers, we can expect the already struggling Taiwanese labor force go into higher unemployment. Though manufacturing companies in Taiwan have been hit the hardest with unemployment in the past few years, once Chinese cheap labor becomes available, we can expect unemployment to spill over into the service sector as well.

President Ma Ying-jeou has really been bending over backwards in his attempts to help and serve his Chinese “compatriots”. The way in which Ma and Beijing have attempted to strip away and conquer us is reminiscent of Hitler’s “salami tactics” (also known as the salami-slice strategy). During World War II, Hitler used this clever strategy to annex neighboring countries. The “salami-slice strategy” involves eliminating one’s opponent “slice by slice” until the other side realizes too late that it is too late. Using this strategy, Hitler would calculate and time his moves precisely and smoothly so that they would reach just a tad short of the tipping point for his neighboring countries. Hence, these countries were never provoked to the point of taking action and they were virtually caught unaware of the true extent of their losses. Now, decades later, it seems Beijing has learned to threaten Taiwan using the same maneuver.

Surveys conducted in June of 2013 reveal that more than 80 percent of Taiwanese people believe that this cross-strait service trade should be scrutinized clause-by-clause by the Legislative Yuan. Furthermore, 62% of Taiwanese people disagree with KMT honorary chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s recent meeting with China’s President Xi Jin-ping about a “One-China Framework”. However, the Ma administration seems to know that Taiwanese people will mind their own selfish business at the end of the day and they have passed one pro-China policy after another in recent months.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who was also an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler and spent the last 7 years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is best remembered for the following poem, which we would do well to remember and reflect:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

When ECFA was first negotiated in 2010, the PCT invited Taiwan Thinktank CEO Chen Poh-chih to speak on what ECFA would mean for Taiwan. Chen described ECFA as a “beautifully wrapped box with a dangerous tiger inside” to stress how ECFA would harm Taiwan. In related news, the State Administration for Religious Affairs of P.R.C. recently stated that one of its main missions for the year 2013 is to “instruct” the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China in how they should collaborate with Taiwanese Christian churches in a cross-strait religious forum to be held in Taiwan. Hence, a word of caution to my dear friends in the Christian church in Taiwan: As you blindly and passionately go about evangelistic missions with China, have you let yourself become an instrument of China’s salami-strategy?

 
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Taiwan Church News
3199 Edition
June 17-23, 2013
General Assembly News

Sharing gatherings of “New Eyes Bible Reading” in July

Reported by Yi-ying Lin in Taipei

Translated by Hsun-Yi Chang

Since 1988, Evangelism Committee and Taiwan Church Press of PCT have been working together to promote the New Eyes Bible Reading Movement. Seasonal devotional booklets have been published since 2000. There will be three sharing gatherings of “New Eyes Bible Reading” in July to facilitate the use of booklets; July 13th at Chung-Shan Church (Taipei), 20th at Lek-Heng Church (Taichung), and 28th at Chao-Chou Church (Pintung). Rev. Yang-en Cheng (Taiwan Theological College and Seminary) and Rev. Kong-hi Lo (Tainan Theological College and Seminary) will be the speakers, and the writers of booklets will communicate with users.

New Eyes Bible Reading Movement was launched by Christian Conference of Asia (CCA). According to Rev. Nan-hsin Tsai, there are two reasons for advocating New Eyes Bible Reading Movement. First, the Bible is the message proclaimed by the living God in society today. Secondly, the message of the Bible is proclaimed to liberate God’s people from suffering. Therefore, reading the Bible with New Eyes is to assure that the Word of God would combine with society wherein the Church, and with people’s experiences. This corresponds to our Confession of Faith that the Church identifies with all its inhabitants, and through love and suffering becoming the sign of hope.

In Sep. 1997, General Assembly held The Seminar of New Eyes Bible Reading in Asia, followed by four seminars of the theology and method in different parts around the country, and “The Promotional Booklet of New Eyes Bible Reading” was published. The movement started in 1998, and the schedule was to read the whole Bible in three years. Taiwan Church Press included the column of “Weekly New Eyes Bible Reading” in the newspaper, and the articles were compiled and published as a booklet. “Manual for Leaders of New Eyes Bible Reading” was published in 1999, and “Daily New Eyes Bible Reading” has been published every season since 2000.

In 2001, the promotion team of New Eyes Bible Reading set out the schedule to read the whole Bible in six years. “Daily New Eyes Bible Reading” and “Weekly New Eyes Bible Reading” were combined and published every season. Revised Common Lectionary used by ecumenical churches was implemented in 2007, as texts for four days of a week. In reference to mission stories, historical events and cultural festivals of Taiwan, texts were chosen for the other three days of a week. It helps Christians to have a better understanding of the life of Jesus and more related to their faith experiences, so that they can live out the teachings of faith.

This year, “Daily New Eyes Bible Reading” resumes the schedule of reading the whole Bible in six years and systematically guides believers to read carefully through the Word of God, while “Weekly New Eyes Bible Reading” continues to use Revised Common Lectionary. Current circulation of each season is nearly 52,000 copies, and there are 1,016 churches of PCT using the booklet.

In the past, Writing Workshop for New Eyes Bible Reading was held twice a year. However, there was no direct communication between writers and readers. The three sharing gatherings of “New Eyes Bible Reading” in July this year will assist people to better use the booklets, provide practical help for living out the faith, and listen to users’ opinions. Rev. Yang-en Cheng will give a speech on “Reading Exodus in the perspective of Church history” at Taipei, and Rev. Kong-hi Lo will give a speech on “Reading Exodus with New Eyes” at Taichung and Pintung. Moreover, writers including Reverends Chin-shun Kang, Fang-chou Wang (Taipei), Chih-chang Tai, Kumu Tapas (Taichung), Chih-jen Wu and Vuluk (Pintung) will be there to communicate with readers.

 


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