可是我們基督徒是神的兒女，要如何來應用『為天地立心，為生民立命』呢？其實在華人傳統的觀念裡常會引用【老子】『天地不仁，以萬物為芻狗』(不仁指不偏袒，芻狗指草扎的祭品)，而誤解人生。其實這裡的天地指天空與土地，是物質宇宙，自然並沒有好惡。但是聖經裡告訴我們『自從造天地以來，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，雖是眼不能見，但藉著所造之物就可以曉得，叫人無可推諉。(羅1:20) 』原來在物質宇宙之上，還有創造天地的永恆之神。而永恆之道就是『太初有道，道與神同在，道就是神。這道太初與神同在。萬物是藉著他造的；凡被造的，沒有一樣不是藉著他造的(約1:1-3) 』這一位。因為物質宇宙為神所創造，祂又特別創造人，有神的形象，並賦予人有管理地的責任。所以人的生命有非常重要的目的與意義。我們基督徒的『立人』是要使世人認識這位創造天地萬物的真神，並且人與神的關係。
那麼『為生民立命』呢？在聖經中繼續教導說：『生命在他裡頭，這生命就是人的光。光照在黑暗裡，黑暗卻不接受光。(約1:4-5) 』;又教導說『道成了肉身，住在我們中間，充充滿滿的有恩典有真理。我們也見過他的榮光，正是父獨生子的榮光。(1:14) 』所以要『為生民立命』是因為許多人並不認識這位『生命之光』，仍然生活在黑暗裡，不明白真理，尚未經歷過天父恩典的美好。在普世華人當中，已經認識這位『道成肉身』天父獨生子耶穌基督的更是少數。因此我們的使命，更是要使『生民』得到這位『充充滿滿的有恩典有真理』的『生命之光』。那麼『為往聖繼絕學，為萬世開太平』不就是『你們要去,使萬民作我的門徒…凡我所吩咐你們的，都教訓他們遵守(太28：19-20)』，和『因為他自己是我們的和平，使雙方合而為一…(弗2：14)』嘛！
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the US FEBC Chinese Ministry. We thank our Lord for allowing us to devote our hearts and efforts to the Great Commission of bringing the Gospel to all nations. As Rev. Raymond Lo, current Director of FEBC Hong Kong, mentioned in his article, it was Rev. John B. Lin, the first Director of FEBC-HK, who conceived of the idea of US FEBC Chinese ministry to ensure operation continuity after Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997. He successfully convinced FEBC co-founder Dr. Bowman to establish the self-funded Chinese ministry in the US. It was Rev. and Mrs. Lin who started the ministry as its first coworkers. They drove to 57 cities in 23 states in 68 days, sharing the vision of Chinese Gospel broadcasts to 56 congregations. They rented the first studio in Monterey Park. In April of 1988, the FEBC Chicago studio went into operation for eastern US regions under the direction of Rev. Kenneth Lo, who was later succeeded by Sister Bonnie Ho. Together we produced Chinese language programs to bring the Good News to millions in China. (FEBC’s Chicago office joined the US Chinese office in 2001.)
At our 30th anniversary, we are reminded of Confucius’ famous quote, “At 30 I knew where I stood.” But where are we standing and what do we stand for? Confucius elaborated in his own way: “Without knowing destiny, it is not possible to be a gentleman. Without knowing the rites, it is impossible to establish a stand.” The “rites” here not only refer to the ritualistic rules, but also to the norms in relationships and conduct. It appears that Confucius emphasized interpersonal relationships in his “Stand.” The Song dynasty Neo-Confucius philosopher Zhang Zai stated in his famous Four Sentences to further define Stand: “To establish a conscience for the universe, to create living for the people, to restore the lost teachings for all past sages and to instate peace for the generations to come.” Therefore Stand does not only imply self-establishment, but also includes establishing others.
As children of God, how are we Christians to “establish conscience for the universe and create living for the people?” There is a misunderstanding in the Chinese tradition in quoting Lao Tze as saying “Heaven and Earth heartlessly regard everything as straw men.” While heaven and earth as the material world may be indifferent, the Bible clearly teaches that “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom 1:20) Above all worldly things is our eternal God, the Creator of the universe. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3) God created the material world and He created mankind in His own image to take care of the world. This is the purpose and meaning of human life and where we Christians must stand and establish: to help the world return to and reconcile with its creator, the only true God.
Now what is “creating living for the people?” The Bible teaches: “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) And “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) We need to “create living for the people” because many do not know the “light of life” and live in the darkness, having never tasted the goodness and the grace of God. In Chinese communities around the world only a small minority have known Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, the Word made flesh. Therefore our mission is to bring all nations to “the light of life,” “full of grace and truth.” To Christians, “to restore the lost teachings for all past sages and to instate peace for the generations to come,” is no other than “Go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19-20), and “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one …”! (Eph 2:14)
As our co-workers in Hong Kong celebrate their 60th anniversary, we at FEBC’s US Chinese Ministries are commemorating our journey of 30 years. Following our founder Dr. Bowman’s vision “Christ to the World by Radio” he established 73 years ago, we are one in heart and action with FEBC Chinese coworkers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada, and with supporters and volunteers all over the world, in fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, from generation to generation until He comes again.