One and Only

A common question people ask about ministry in China is how willing most people are to receive Christ. The truth is, there’s a sense in which people are very ready to receive Christ, but it is unfortunately not in the only sense that the Gospel calls for.

There’s a lot of Chinese people that are perfectly wiling to accept Christ as their teacher, guide, counselor, mentor, friend, companion, confidant, advisor, benefactor, and example. As long as Jesus is put into any one of these categories, even if he’s put at the front of the line (the best teacher, the best advisor, etc.), he is an attractive character to many. The case could possibly even be made that Chinese people are more interested in these types of figures than Westerners.

The problem with this vision of Christ is obvious – it bypasses the Jesus of the Gospel, who is our substitute and savior. He’s in a category all by himself, the Gospel insists. There is no other name. There is no other way. There is no other door.

It’s not enough to exalt Jesus as the greatest ______. He still won’t be high enough. Grace is not law on a ladder. For example, yesterday our message in church was from Titus 2. The moral content of that chapter is something most Buddhists would completely support. The Gospel-based motivation Paul offers, however, is worlds away.

In preaching the Gospel, we must teach a new category. Jesus is not Buddha 2.0. He’s not Confucius for Christians. He’s the Savior of mankind – the only mediator. Until he’s the only, he’s not himself. What is this category? The man who is God, the Creator dying for his creation’s rebellion, reconciling his world to himself. This is a constant challenge: are we portraying Jesus as absolutely unique? If someone comes to our church, can they sense this uniqueness from one service, one message, one prayer, one song?

So, to rephrase the question: how willing are Chinese people to by faith accept Jesus as the Son of God who as their substitute paid the only acceptable price for their sins against their Creator? About like anywhere else I think. A unique faith is an outrageous, demanding, protest-engendering faith.

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One Comment on “One and Only”

  1. creationartist February 10, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Very neat blog I love to read what missionaries are going through and what it’s like in different places when your witnessing to people.

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