Category: Back to the Bible

Whose Neighbours Do I Want to Become?

Written by: The Reverend Anders Chan Ming-chuen (Board Member of CEDAR, Associate Senior Pastor of Mongkok Baptist Church) The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is a well-known passage of scripture. An expert in the law asked Jesus to provide an objective definition for the word “neighbour”, but his real intention was to justify his xenophobic point of view – there were people whom he did not have the obligation to love (to him, “neighbour” probably only referred to other Jews). This reflected the sense of national superiority of the expert in the law and his moral values. Even though the Jews did not have their own country at the time, they still prided themselves in

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Understanding Integral Mission through God’s Sovereignty

Written by: Dr. Mok Chiu Yau (CEDAR China Programme Advisor) When presented with so many suffering and adversities on earth, Christians usually respond with sympathy, expressed by charitable giving and voluntary services. But gradually, Christians may realise that the problem of suffering is too heavy and difficult to solve, therefore they think that the paramount thing is to evangelise people. The belief is that once a person (who suffers) knows Christ, he or she can have strength to persevere in the world’s suffering, be comforted by fellowship members, and eventually enters into heaven after death and never suffers. Yet, such belief  is a one-sided understanding of God’s mission to believers. God’s mission to believers  is a holistic mission.

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Give US our Daily Bread

Written by: Tony Chan (CEDAR’s Senior Partnership Development Officer and Pastor) Matthew chapters 5 to 7 documented Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. At the end of the teaching, He invited the crowds to make a choice: Enter through the narrow gate and live faithfully according to His teachings. He pointed out the consequence of their choices (7:13-23). Jesus then told the parable of the wise and foolish builders; and the wise would put His words into practice (7:24-27). Jesus often took reference from daily life to explain through parables about difficult teachings. From the parables of the house builders, we learn that even in Jesus’ times, people were aware of the power of the nature and would try

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“Our Bodies and Our Land”

Written by: Dr. Bernard Wong (Assistant Professor (Theological Studies) and Associate Dean of China Graduate School of Theology, Board Member of CEDAR Fund) During Joseph’s tenure as Egypt’s prime minister, he managed to keep his country fed while all the other lands experience famine from the great drought. People were buying food from Joseph, and with their livestock when they ran out of money. When they finally ran out of things to offer, they told Joseph, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our

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Sow in Tears Reap in Joy

Written by: Lisa Chai (Former CEDAR colleague, currently involved in community development work in Myanmar) We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. From Syria to Iraq, DR Congo to Yemen, and today we are witnessing the world’s largest growing refugee influx across the border of Bangladesh after violence broke out at northern part of Myanmar in Rakhine State in late August last year. As of 12 November 2017, the UN estimated that over 610,000 people have fled to Myanmar and the number is still growing. How do we react to all the violence and suffering in the world when their impact comes so strong and destructive? In the book of Lamentation we read of the

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We Saw Clearly that the Lord Was With You (Genesis 26:1-32)

Written by: Pastor Daniel Ding During the past 10 years, the Church was able to integrate into the Chinese community through the government’s social service policy which encouraged non-profits to reach its residents. Yunnan was one of the pilot areas. Pastor Daniel Ding, Social Ministry Officer of Yunnan Christian Council, stressed that integration does not mean altering the truth we preach to fit in, but the challenge is to find a way to let our core values prevail. Pastor Ding is going to reflect on Isaac’s faithfulness described in Genesis 26:1-32 and his experiences in the Christian service scene in Yunnan, and let us see how God has always been with us as we serve our community. Isaac

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Joseph: Human Trafficking Survivor (Genesis 37-50)

Author: Roger Seth The Bible was written thousands of years ago but it has much to say about what we might see as a modern problem: human trafficking. We will look specifically at the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, chapters 37–50. Make sure you are familiar with the story before reading this reflection or discussing it with a group. Sold by relatives  Like so many victims of trafficking today, Joseph was sold by his own family. The fact that the Midianite caravan was ready to buy a slave to sell in Egypt (Genesis 37:26–28) tells us that the trade in people was already happening in the region at that time. Today, we are told, trafficking happens

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Transcending Borders and Time with Grace and Love – a Story of an Ethnic Women’s Blessings to Foreign Lands

Author: Dr. Mok Chiu Yau (CEDAR China Programme Advisor) In the OT, Ruth was the very definition of an underprivileged sojourner as she had to leave her home in Moab to Israel, an anti-Moabites community, to take care of her mother-in-law. Ruth was probably born around 1,100 B.C. or earlier. Being a Moabite in eastern Palestine, her tribe was shunned upon by the God-chosen Israelites, as centuries ago the Moabite king hired prophet Balaam to curse and expel the Israelites, who at that time was a massive body of refugees themselves, seeking to pass through Moab (Numbers 24:1-6). And then there was the account where Israelites were being seduced by Moabite women into the acts of adultery, and

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Cared for by the Creation (Matthew 6:24-34)

Author: Dr. Bernard Wong (Assistant Professor (Theological Studies) & Associate Dean, China Graduate School of Theology; CEDAR Board Member) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not

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The Poor You Will Always Have with You, But…

Author: Dr. Chan Nim Chung (CEDAR Board Member) A common response to Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:11 that we often hear is that, “Why should we prioritize helping the poor over evangelizing?” Such argument has dwindled in recent years (people might just have been too embarrassed to talk about it publicly) until Rick Perry, one of the 2016 US president candidates, Texas’ former head of state, and a conservative Christian, definitively reciprocated the exact thoughts while being interviewed by the Washington Post about the large income gap in Texas. Today we are going to take a closer look into some possible explanations of this verse. The Bible did not treat poverty in urban and rural areas separately, hence

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