07/01/2017, 13.01
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The Christian faith in a Chinese society that worships money

by Yetta Yao

Chinese society risks being superficial and without faith. It engenders only children for rich magnates, but "no Mother Teresa". The vision of poverty and wealth is wrong because it is tied only to money. Real wealth is in being strong "in His salvation".

Beijing (AsiaNews/China Christian Daily) – "If you are poor in this society, even a shopping guide pulls a long face." A Christian sister says. The single sister works in a company that holds on to Christianity, being paid at the average level.

Chinese people always hold that mammonism is a capitalist outcome, but the reality shows that there is an overflow of money worship in China. Instead, it is generally believed throughout the capitalist countries like the Europe and America that money is not that important.

Obviously, the conclusion that China has ranked first in money worship is agreed by Chinese rather than imposed by the Westerners.

A survey claims that China is considered as one of the most erotic nations in the world. Mammonism and a pornography plague consist of the most distinct features of modern Chinese society.

In such a society -- we have Wang Sicong, only son of Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin, but no Mother Teresa.

Han Han, claimed as the representative of China's post-80s generation, once commented that China lacks faith and ideals in this moment. The dominated education aims at making money and the goal to cultivate students is to make them realistic talents.

People work hard from dawn to night, burn incense and worship Buddha for promotion and wealth. Are promotion and wealth the gods of the whole nation? It turns out that reform and opening up is a Pandora's box. Though it has inspired China's great initiative to develop economy, which has resulted in remarkable achievements, many negative phenomena have been generated, including mammonism.

Then what comes along with money worship? A society of materialism, shallow relationships, scheming against each other, moral decay, and lack and belief. A recent hot incident that a woman was hit by two cars twice was ignored by people passing by may be the proof.

In such a world, how should Chinese Christians adhere to the Christian values and be the salt and light?

Sha Yu tells his own story in his article entitled "Meditation on Poorness and Richness": "My family was poor in my childhood. When I grew up and believed in Christ, I was resolved to walk on the path of ministry. However, all of my relatives become rich rednecks. So every time we meet, they despise me for I don't make money for serving in the church, which is embarrassing. Similar to these upstarts who think highly of themselves, many people think that they know the two concepts of poorness and richness, but as a matter of fact, they don't know what they really are."

He points out another social issue: the monotonicity of the mainstream viewpoint on poverty and wealth -- the modern society relates richness to money while things that have nothing to do with money are excluded from richness. He sees it as a "childish" view because life is a whole of things, consisting of many areas, for instance, health, relationships with God, family and friends, work, wealth, hobbies, and social intercourse. These parts are pretty essential, which together forms a man's whole life. Neither aspect can be removed to determine the whole life alone.

Christian have a responsibility to judge social concepts according to the Bible so that they don't fall away, meanwhile build others up. Sha declares that God doesn't put money as the criterion in measuring the poor and the rich in the Bible. The church in Laodicea that acquired wealth did not need a thing, while it was poor and blind in God's eyes; the poor widow who tithed two very small copper coins was poor, as people saw her, but Christ valued her donation than others.

We can know from Abraham the father of faith that despite wealth as a kind of God's blessing, the Bible never says decisively that being rich is good, standing for a blessing of God, and vice versa. The idea that being rich represents being blessed is wrong and the gospel of success. However, the point is that this concept is popular not only in society, but also in the church. The Lord Jesus had no place to lay his head when he came into the world, who can say that God didn't bless him?

Therefore, the author states that the real poverty refers to the state in which you lose God's salvation and all sorts of grace, and remain unconscious to that; the real richness is the state in which you are content with and steady in His salvation and all kinds of grace.

Below are some Bible verses about money:

Leviticus 25: 35-37 "If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit."

Psalm 49: 6-8 Those who trust in their wealth

and boast of their great riches?

No one can redeem the life of another

or give to God a ransom for them-

the ransom for a life is costly,

no payment is ever enough-

Psalm 112: 1-3 

Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,

who find great delight in his commands.

Their children will be mighty in the land;

the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in their houses,

and their righteousness endures forever.

Proverb 23: 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,

for they will surely sprout wings

and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Luke 16: 14-15 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.

Revelation 3: 17-18 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 

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