Saturday, December 09, 2006

Church In The Raw...

I can't get the thought out of my mind that I have come as close as I have ever come to seeing the church in it's most raw form. There is no sophistication here at all. It is simple and basic, but it is powerful and passionate. I watched people spend the afternoon and evening in church for 3 days straight. They worshiped without a sound system or a band. At one session they had no instruments at all and worshipped with enthusiasm and passion for 45 minutes. The rest of the time they had an out of tune guitar, but no one noticed!

There have been some significant surprises. It is not illegal to meet, own a bible or even pray in public. There are some things that you can't do, like promote your group, have public meetings and that sort of thing, but it's not like the police are breaking down the door on a regular basis.

Along that line, I learned something very interesting. The Chinese value "face". When the church gives "face" to the police, they do not harass them. "Face" means not flaunting what you are doing. The police in turn look the other way provided you do not provoke them to a response. They provide "face" to the church by allowing her to go about her activities unharassed. It's almost a "don't ask, don't tell." kind of thing.

I can't help but be overwhelmed at what I have seen and expect to seeover the next few days. If there was a way to instill this kind of focus and passion into the NA church, we might really see the national move of God that we all long to see.

Getting late here...

Tim

2 comments:

Danica said...

What a cool experience. I'm wishing I could go do something like that.

Val said...

Hi Pal, I can hear the joy and excitement in your words. All I can say is hang on world, we are about to go on the ride of our life when you get home. This is great to live vicariously thru' you. Continue to have a great experience. And stay safe in our Lord's love for you. Your ol' Dolly in Heaven.