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時代講場文章(至2017年2月14日)

回應胡志偉牧師,談「為何基督徒不像樣?」

近日,天道書樓出版了一本翻譯自 David Kinnaman 的新書,名為 Unchristian,中譯為《論盡基督徒》,本書作者查訪美國青年人對福音派教會的看法。胡志偉牧師就這本書發表了介紹文章《為何基督徒不像樣?》(http://www.tiendao.org.hk/phblog/?p=1139),我讀後有意作出回應。本文的目的,是繼胡牧師再談現今福音派教會的現象,願與各人一起反思。

一、教會形像負面的原因

福音派教會的形像無論在美國或香港的教外人士眼中已漸趨負面,很多基督徒歸咎於現代社會的自由思想和開放道德,以致他們的價值取向與教會愈走愈遠,甚至故意抺黑對方。然而,這個理由並不足以解釋福音派教會形像低落的原因,因為教外人士對基督徒的主流批判並不在於價值取向,而在於思維模式和處事手法!

當然,我們可以理直氣壯地堅持一如以往的態度,以持守真理之名,毫不在意教外人如何看。但這樣便失去與教外人對話的空間,福音大門只會更加收窄,也失去讓自己反思的機會。實事上,我們確實要好好想想基督徒有那些地方真的「不太像樣」。胡牧師引述書中指新一代教外人對基督徒的看法是這樣負面的:「思想封閉、反同性戀、反墮胎、易怒、暴力、不合邏輯、建立帝國、得救至上、不能與人和平共處」。其中「思想封閉」和「得救至上」是我深感認同的。

二、思想封閉

「思想封閉」可以從科學和道德兩個層面來看:在科學上,福音派教會的基督徒大多反對大爆炸宇宙論和進化論,而他們反對的理由表面看來是很科學的,例如我曾在多個不同的基督教媒體裡聽到這樣的論調:「爆炸只會造成混亂,如果宇宙是由大爆炸產生,就不可能形成現今有秩序和規律的自然界」,「進化論是不成立的,因為我們還未找到物種與物種之間的缺環」,可惜這些論調在現代科學家眼中是可笑得不屑回應的,其實只要稍微接觸過天體物理學和遺傳學的人也知道這些反駁理據完全站不住腳,但令人癈解的是福音派教會卻視之為智理名言,還不斷在基督教書刊、講座裡重覆提點,信徒也欣然接受,從不考慮另一方面的理據。大概,這種片面的取態是源於基要主義的聖經觀,認為基督徒要堅持所謂「聖經咁講我就咁信」的準則,若支持那些科學理論便等於違反了創世記教導,故縱然那些理據是如此薄弱不堪,也只好拿來反擊。可是他們並沒有深思,這種自命忠於聖經的堅持,是建基於一種純字義的釋經假設,並認定創世記是為宇宙和人類起源作科學解說,卻完全忽略了經文的歷史文化背景及寫作原意。

在道德上,福音派教會的立場傾向保守,例如不支持同性戀、婚前性行為、娼妓、賭博等,當然基督徒按照在聖經中所領受,持守這些立場確實無可厚非,可是在實踐的方法上卻出現了很大問題。首先,很多基督徒有意無意地把這些道德觀加諸於未信者身上,認為他們需要接受改變(其實無論在舊約或新約,神的教訓和誡命只給予祂的子民,並沒有要求外邦人或未信者遵守)。例如有基督教道德團體主張「給同性戀者一個改變的機會」,以協助他們挽回正常的性取向,顯然地,這種姿態並沒有從對方的角度出發,因為對於同性戀者來說,他們的性取向本是正常的,用不上甚麼人去「幫助」,道德團體以救助者的姿態出現只會令對方反感。其次,他們在要求未信者認同這些道德觀念的過程中,是以一種社會上的後果論來達至他們在神學上的議程。簡單來說,就是他們先有一套神學觀念(如「同性戀是不合神心意的」),但在勸導對方改變時卻不提及這個觀念,而是用了其他理由(如「同性戀會助長愛滋病蔓延」、「同性戀會破壞家庭結構」等社會後果),最終目的是要驅使社會風氣盡量符合基督教的道德倫理,難怪這些道德團體給人偽善的感覺。更糟的,他們所列舉的社會後果基本上是一種蝴蝶效應理論,例如恩福堂主任牧師蘇穎智聲稱同性同居會為社會帶來更多「養鴨一族」,「令很多大學畢業生成為性奴」,「帶來更多AIDS同HIV受害者,鼓吹同性同居,最終社會負上沉重的代價去照片他們」,這種邏輯跳躍的論述非但沒有說服力,更轉移了問題的焦點。

三、得救至上

至於「得救至上」,福音派教會在傳福音的進路上走向功利化,注重技術性層面考慮,諸如場景、氣氛、有多少人決志、能帶多少人返教會等,而非佈道內容的質素,其中不乏為了叫人信主搬出一大堆證據,卻無視那些證據背後的合理性和真確性(最典型的例子是影音使團所舉辦「方舟不是神話」佈道會),違背了傳福音是為了見證真理的精神,簡言之就是為求別人信主而不擇手段。

四、基督徒活得不像基督

今天福音派教會裡的基督徒有很多的確是不像樣的,意思是說,他們雖然有聚會、有事奉、有靈修、有讀經、有禱告、有奉獻、有傳福音、凡事循規蹈矩,但卻活得不像基督!基督昔日在世一方面過著聖潔的生活,另一方面走入群眾,與稅吏、妓女、奮銳黨人為伍,他包容罪人,對於性不道德的罪從不以禁制式手段處理,但對於不公義和偽善的罪卻嚴厲斥責;基督沒有事事遵從律法,也不隨便附和宗教領袖的權威。基督就是以這樣的生命來見證神,但現今福音派教會的基督徒卻鮮有這種生命特質。

為何他們鮮有這種生命特質?我認為最少有兩個因素:第一,福音派教會把聚會、事奉、靈修等的多寡看為基督徒屬靈生命的指標,基督徒便隨之以這些標準看自己是否「屬靈」,信仰變成了宗教活動,而非聖潔生活;第二,教會中論資排輩的階級觀念頗為嚴重,名牧(或主流基督教機構)的說話比傳道人有份量,傳道人的說話比一般信徒有份量,一般信徒的說話比教外人的有份量,在這種封建的文化傳統底下,信徒對事情判斷的準則不再是客觀的理據,而是說話人的身份,久而久之福音派教會為自己建立了一個封閉的體系,難容納異見聲音,附和權威,缺乏自我批判精神,思想與現代社會脫節。

當然,我不會以偏蓋全,說所有福音派教會的信徒都是如此,但我必須承認上述所說的是一種主流現象,這個從福音派內具有代表性的堂會及機構中可見一斑。

五、總結

與現代學術脫節的思維、虛偽的道德論證、規條化的靈屬指標、功利化的佈道方式,是現今福音派教會所面對的危機。若我們仍然繼續固步自封、不作出變革,將會失去廣大的福音禾場,教會只會更被邊緣化,更枉論為主作鹽作光。

http://www.christiantimes.org.hk,時代論壇時代講場,2010.08.03)

社長給讀者的信

舊回應15則


張國棟 / 2010-08-13 00:33:49

回應 weak 君

1. 我的回應與一個人有很多邏輯、神哲訓練無關。沒有那些訓練的人都可以講得出來,也會聽得明白。

2. 若您否認您的言論對「自由派」是負面的,那麼我想大家都無話可說。不過,您的用詞是 all bad ,那麼,你一定對的,只是,我也沒有說您說他們是 all bad 。

Weak / 2010-08-09 12:15:58

web page changed

I tried to see Rev Wu's book review again by clicking to that web page showed on the article. But it did not show up. However, I do find Wu's review on Tien Dao's other page: http://www.tiendao.org.hk/phblog/?p=1232. For some reason, they change its web page.

Weak / 2010-08-08 23:35:01

Liberal/Openness/Non-evangelical


Daniel Cheung : You are very good at logic, philosophy and philosophical theology and I am weak on them. But there may be much to learn about HK churches. When I mention liberal, I do not mean that it is all bad. It means that they are more open and at least before 90s, they are certainly more concern then Evangelical churches on social justice and the poor. You may just call them Openness or non-evangelical. But how can you say that they do not exist. What do you call Anglican, CCC, Lutheran?You may say that most of their members do not know much about theology, but their leaders do. Do you know the theological background of these leaders? Do you know that most of theses denominations only recognized formal theological degrees from Chinese Univeristy, may be Lutheran Seminary(for Lutheran Churches) and oversea liberal education institutions? And I guess you know most of the theological backgrounds of those teachers from those institutions cannot called Evangelical. Therefore I think it is fair to called those leaders "non-evangelical". And most of those denominations belong to HK council of churches, and thus WCC and the theological standpoint of WCC is well known. Most leaders of those denomination never called themselves Evangelical and I think they are quite proud of themselves as non-evangelical. It is more insult to say that they do not exist than calling them liberal. They may be smaller in terms of members, but most of the Christian schools and Christian social institutions are at their hands and have great influence on the society.Do they have responsibility of the situation of HK churches as a whole? Why do they so silent on the social issue recent years, especially on those issues that may lead to confrontation with Central govenment?                                     I want to make clear that I agree with most of the criticism on the original article, but some the them would not just point to the evangelical churches, but all the churches in HK.

張國棟 / 2010-08-07 14:20:27

自由派啊,自由派,你的名字是專背黑鑊

Weak君說: Where are the liberal or mainstream churches eg. Anglican, CCC, Lutherian? In recent year, those liberal(or leftist) mainly keep silence in anything that may seem to confront the government and Central government .And they are those who activly interact with the Central controlled Three-self Church of China and even the Central government, this clearly influence their attitudes. Why are most critics focus on Evanglical churches?

這可反映出Weak君的思維真的很 weak。首先,如何定義福音派?胡牧師最愛說全港九成以上信徒(包括那些在宗派教會裡的信徒)都是福音派。那麼,當然沒有一些叫做 leftist church 的信徒走去親政府!那麼,信徒來來去去都批評「福音派」裡的主要人物,有甚麼問題,根本沒有甚麼值得旁人如此大造文章。

若要硬把某些信徒和堂會列入為「自由派」,他們也未必佔據著宗派教會的主要人數和權力的。那麼,這與宗派教會何干?請不要胡亂找個不存在的東西來罵。

最後,香港信徒中最像自由派的,要算是經常被明光社罵的基督徒學會吧。然而,偏偏他們卻又比所有「福音派」信徒及機構都多批評政府。看來,在香港的信徒中,最不像福音派的,碰巧又是最不滿意政府的(這是 correlation的觀察)。那麼,請問 Weak 君指摘的那些親政府自由派是誰?大陸的三自教會?幹嗎扯到去大陸?而且,那好像是幾十年前的講法,今天也是一樣嗎?

虞瑋倩 / 2010-08-07 13:32:12

Weak -- why should I be grateful for my rightful freedom of expression ?

If you say that I should Christian Times for publishing my article then you are a bigot.
In here they have NO restriction as to whoever writes to them or who can publish -- this is a given freedom of expression -- why should I thank somebody for not being BIGOTRTY ?

張國棟 / 2010-08-07 08:29:21

或可考慮這樣做

各位不如恭請幾位香港最知名、最頂尖的神學院教授、基督徒學者,和最具影響力的教會領袖,共同寫兩、三本毫不掩飾和不留情地批評及反思教內缺點的書,主題跟 The Scandal of Evangelical Mind, UnChristian, 論盡明光社的差不多的,內容要更深入的,並且指定要各大基督教書店有售。

教會領袖坐言起行,身體力行,對信徒的影響力是很大的。

那麼,我們以後至少有90%次數要引用那幾本書。就這樣吧!

張國棟 / 2010-08-07 07:57:14

噢,真對不起

講得多也是罪。

如果有人支持某個神學思想,經常提起某本書,可以嗎?

如果香港有信徒很支持要「維護家庭價值」,經常用某兩三本明光社出版的書來作為理支持,可以嗎?

如果香港沒有其他書談某個觀點,我若要說,於是多提我所知唯一有談的那本(哈,原來碰巧是我寫的),有何不可?

其實,教會主日講壇也是幾十年如一日,把十個八個主題重覆幾百遍。那又不可以?再看明光社背景的人寫的東西,幾篇文章原來都只是重覆某兩三個主題的,那又不可以嗎?

《時代論壇》這廿多年來,某些話題年年都重覆,並且有時是後人寫得比前人更差,那麼,又是不可以嗎?



若您要不滿,不如不滿教會為甚麼總是犯同一類錯誤,令那麼多人寫文章批評,令那麼多話題都可以連接到我的某些著作和立場。

alex / 2010-08-06 17:30:18

想起中國的信徒

看到這篇文章, 令我想起大陸的弟兄姊妹.....

相對其他發達地區, 及其他華人社區. 中國大陸的信徒顯得不一樣....

近代中國歷史令經歷過的人不禁不能反思人性, 這令人對信仰更堅定追求.

或者另外一樣, 是中國大陸的信徒比較勇敢的面對社會, 回應社會.

而不是在教會內高談一些虛無的神學議題(當然我不反對神學反思的必要, 不過很多時是脫離實際)

甚至大陸的信徒因為迫害的原故,打破了很多教會的形式化, 諷刺的是他們更活出初代教會的生命力.

生在香港的我, 透過對他們的接觸, 找到了現今基督徒缺少的一面.

原來安逸令人失去進取的心, 反思的能力, 令人變得于腐而不可理喻,剛復自用,同樣適用於教會.

令人討厭基督信仰, 除了"賴撒旦"之外, 是否要想想其實我們都有跘倒未信的人呢......

Weak / 2010-08-06 15:02:24

Not just Evangelical Church has those problems


There are some points in this article. However, not just Evangelical church has those problems, especially on social justice and righteous.The biggest Evangelical churches are Baptist, Alliance and Evangel. However, the most vocal pastor on this issue is Rev Chu, who is a Baptist. Where are the liberal or mainstream churches eg. Anglican, CCC, Lutherian? In recent year, those liberal(or leftist) mainly keep silence in anything that may seem to confront the government and Central government .And they are those who activly interact with the Central controlled Three-self Church of China and even the Central government, this clearly influence their attitudes. Why are most critics focus on Evanglical churches?

Weak / 2010-08-05 21:26:09

God Delusion vs Dawkins Delusion


Because of our faith, no Christian publisher will publish "God Delusion".                                                                                    Because of our faith, one HK Christian publisher published Chinese translation of "Dawkins Delusion" even though it would sell a lot less than  "God Delusion" .                            By the way, God Delusion originally published in 2006 and 4 years had gone and still no publisher publish it in traditional Chinese, what's wrong with the atheist publisher?                                                                           Yu: I don't seem anything wrong with me in defense of Christianity as you are in defense of Atheism.I think you would be grateful to Christian Times ever showed your articles. After all, you are atheist and they are "Christian".                                                            


            

虞瑋倩 / 2010-08-05 15:32:24

To Weak -- I think you should quit being defensive about Christianity

The book was out in 2007, almost a full three years -- the issues in the book was already relevant to Chinese church back then -- only until Evangelicals humiliated themselves twice before they finally realize they have the same image problems, and I already warned them as early as 2007 (Christian Times publish my article in 2008, a full 5 months after I submitted it).
Well, if Dawkin's "God Delusion" can make lots of profit, I challenge your HK Christian publisher "publish according to the rule of business" and make some profit too...

weak / 2010-08-04 22:23:16

response to Yu and Cheung


To Yu: Since relatively few readers read English titles and the Chinese edition of "Unchristian" just came out, there is no big fault for the author to say that it is a "new" title. Yu liked to magnify any small "mistakes" in this web site, is it because she is a atheist?There is nothing wrong for publisher to publish according to the rule of business, afterall, someone has to pay all the bids and wages. Leftists and atheists do the same. If Dawkin's "God Delusion" can make lots of profit, why nobody publish it in traditional Chinese. At least a HK Christian publisher dare to publish a response to Dawkins.


To Daniel Cheung: your first response seems very similar. I think you have written similar comment or response about 10 times. And you take every opportunity to mention the name of your title.I think most people here notice it.  I know it is not easy to get people to buy books these days, However, it is not an effective way to promote sale  of book.

張國棟 / 2010-08-04 00:23:24

看看新聞

Novelist Anne Rice says `I Quit Being a Christian'
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/07/novelist-anne-rice-says-i-quit.php#ixzz0vYnYjPRk

Vampire novelist Anne Rice says she's leaving Christianity -- again -- because she no longer wants to be identified with such a "quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group."

Born and raised a Catholic, Rice left the church but returned after a 30-year absence in 1998. Best known for "Interview With the Vampire" and other vampire fiction, she later turned to spiritual writing, including a "Christ the Lord" series on Jesus' life and a well-received spiritual memoir, "Called Out of Darkness."...

"My conversion from a pessimistic atheist ... to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following his followers," she said....

問題不是各位中間誰有神學知識和思辯才能去批評這些觀點,更不是基督教學者應否努力一點唱好基督教,而是為甚麼教會存在著和縱著那麼多令人卻步的缺點而無人理會。

張國棟 / 2010-08-03 22:28:02

回應

看到這文章會談談科學和同性戀等 hot issues ,是感到欣慰的。早前我回應胡牧師那文章和我寫的該書讀後感裡也提過,福音派很嚴重的問題是思潮上脫了節,但胡文和該書作者卻沒有認真面對過。

其實十多年前還有一本書,恐怕對福音派更震撼,也恐怕因此沒有香港出版社翻譯。那就是 Mark A Noll, The Scandal of Evangelical Mind。就我膚淺所見,在香港基督教文字裡,有討論或最多引用該書的,要算是拙著《論盡明光社》。

為了推廣,其實早年我甚至撮譯了第一章,放在網上供人閱讀。http://s-h-c.org/forum/showthread.php?p=32599#post32599

虞瑋倩 / 2010-08-03 20:11:27

一D都唔新

本書出版了三年喇﹐ 仲話新。不如說香港的出版社係屬于穩陣派﹐ 本書唔賣得都唔敢引入。。。