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對傳福音的省思Some Reflections on Evangelism
作者: Rev. Dr. Ed File 愛台灣
經文: 路加福音4:16–21

Some Reflections on Evangelism

Rev. Dr. Ed File

Fundamentalist/ Evangelistic perspective: 基要主義者/傳福音式的觀點
“I love to tell the story.” Stories about Jesus calling sinners to repentance and to join the community of faith called the church. Sometimes this evangelism is seen more as recruiting of new church members.

The Greek Bible uses the word ‘ekklesia’ for the community of faithful followers of Jesus’ teaching. (Paul’s letters) It is translated as church and there is no clear record that Jesus ever used such an expression. Yet Jesus speaks so many times of the Kingdom – Greek word is ‘Basileia’ – in parables and teachings. Jesus says “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.” Not “build the church’. Fundamentalists promise a heavenly rhapsody. Cynics refer to this as “Pie in the sky by and by when you die”

Reflection on Text 經文的省思
Greek word ‘euangelion’ means ‘good news’ – Good news to person in chains is to be released, to person blind is to see, to poor and oppressed is to recover dignity and justice. Jesus didn’t just talk about God’s love, didn’t just tell stories. From the Bible, He lived God’s love. He healed the sick, fed the multitude, released the chains of those controlled by evil spirits, chased the greedy money changers from the place of worship. The Kingdom of God is built on peoples’ response to the good news – not just the words but the actions – not just the commitment to love but compassionate responses to neighbors. Jesus summed up the law and the prophets saying ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and strength and mind and love thy neighbor thyself. Loving thy neighbor is bringing good news to thy neighbor. If we are Christians, followers of Jesus and his teachings we seek to bring the good news, ‘euangelion’, to our neighbor. Long ago a great evangelist taught us: “The church exists by evangelism as a fire exists by burning.” Unless we bring good news to the world we are not being the church.

There is here a sound suggestion that we as Christians ought to earn the right to tell our neighbor the story of Jesus from the gospel. First we should show our love and compassion by our actions bringing good news to others, just as Jesus in the text (and as Good Samaritan in parable). Then when they ask us why we do good news actions and where do we find strength and courage to seek justice and dignity for all – we have earned the right to tell the gospel story of Jesus and his call to repent and change our ways and receive the good news of Jesus and his Father’s love. Our identity as Christians is in the spirituality of being anointed with Christ to bring the good news in our actions in seeking to build his kingdom. In Taiwan today Christians also struggle with their identity as Taiwanese, as Aboriginals, facing Chinese hegemony.

Our reflection on evangelism asks questions about our identity as Christians:
(a) Who we are as Christians seeking the building of the kingdom of God.
(b) Who we are as citizens of various nations seeking democratic self-determination and autonomy civil and human rights for all.
(c) Who we are as people with the name of Taiwan, Formosa, Aboriginal tribe.
(d) Who we are as human beings with human dignity in a world created through God’s love wherein so many live without such dignity, wherein so many live without opportunity to seek and control their autonomy and their identity as persons, as communities, as nations.

I believe good news for this world today means for us to be agents of love and peace with social justice, preserving our Creator’s gift of the whole environment, and all of nature, for each to share with full human dignity, for each to enjoy their chosen identity as mutually respecting neighbors and partners in creation. That is surely evangelism today – Good news is Jesus told his neighbors in Nazareth. The spirit of our Creator is upon us – in Christ we have been anointed to be good news in word and action to Taiwan and to the whole creation. Peng-An
Rev. Dr Ed. File(愛台灣牧師)簡介:
Senior Professor of York University, Canada(加拿大約克大學資深教授)
Pastor of United Church if Canada(加拿大聯合教會牧師)
同時,Rev. Dr Ed. File(愛台灣牧師)與林哲夫教授同為台灣城鄉運動(URM)開創者。
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