Sunday, November 14, 2010

Patrick Fung at Lausanne 2010 on the gospel, discipleship and reconciliation

The International Director of OMF, Patrick Fung, spoke at the recent Lausanne Congress 2010 in South Africa.

There are plenty of good reflections in this short talk. I will cite a few below. Some of my friends in Australia might think that Patrick Fung does not talk enough about social justice and indeed he says nothing about peace activitism. But I must say that the workers in his organisation encounter plenty of poverty, injustice and violence - much more than people in the West experience. Also, they seek to be incarnational and identify with the people they seek to share the gospel with. The contexts in which they work are often the same as that of the early church (socioeconomic hardship and religious-political oppression). Patrick's voice needs to be heard with deep respect, for he represents many authentic disciples of Jesus who pay a high price for their faith and have sacrificed immensely for serving their Lord and Saviour. Here are some quotes from Patrick Fung's talk.
  • "Making disciples in all nations must be our most urgent and ultimate goal."
  • "Generosity is always a way life of the early church. There was always sharing."
  • "Sharing of God's resources is mutual and not unidirectional... A unidirectional over-enthusiastic giving and over-receiving with greed often cripple the work of God. As a matter of fact, they are detrimental to the growth of the church. And more than once I have heard from the leaders and pastors of the church in China saying to me, 'Please do not give us money', for money will divide the church. And I challenge all of us to think beyond just money terms for God's resources are more than money."
  • "In the global family, in the body of Christ, there are many different gifts. Some will give a model of faithfulness in a context of suffering, and some will model perseverance in a context of poverty and injustice... And some will model critical theological and missiological reflections and thinking beyond the Western paradigm." (Emphasis mine)
  • "God's redemptive purpose... [According to] John Stott... nothing is more important than what the church should be and should be seen to be God's new society. And this society - this community - is to be characterised by reconciliation - that is, reconciliation to God and reconciliation to one another. And, therefore, reconciliation is the foundation of all partnership." (Emphasis mine)
  • "Reconciliation is not just to happen between ethnic groups, but between generations, between the young and the old, between genders as well."
  • "I was deeply humbled when I received news of a Japanese Christian woman... who passed away recently... and she donated all her assets for the ministry of the gospel to the Chinese people. If you understand even a little bit of the recent contemporary history... you will understand the significance of this act of love."
Click here for the video clip.

No comments: