The Wuhan Coronavirus – A Wuhan Pastor Responds

Most people do not realize that there are more real Christians in China than there are in the United States. With all the persecution that they have begun to suffer in China, the Christians there still number at least a hundred million. And, for years, they have been demonstrating what it means to follow Christ.

A recent example arrived in the form of an open letter from Pastor Tan Songhua of Cornerstone Church in Wuhan. This letter demonstrates exactly how we Christians should be approaching an outbreak like this. Not with fear, but with love and service to God.

I hope that you will be inspired by what Pastor Tan said.

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The Wuhan Coronavirus – A Wuhan Pastor Responds

 

The Wuhan Coronavirus – A Wuhan Pastor Responds – The ShockCast

YouTube shortlink: https://youtu.be/r0YwHhoYYn0

MP3 Audio:

https://www.omegashock.com/shockcast/2020/20-02-07-the-wuhan-coronavirus-a-wuhan-pastor-responds.mp3

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Someone once remarked to me that – should the Lord tarry – the center of Christianity will move to China. With about 10% of all Chinese identifying themselves as Christian, they are probably the largest body of serious Christians in the world. No one in China identifies themselves as Christian, unless they are willing to pay a very high price for doing so.

This means that every disaster in China will have a Christian response. One of those responses was shared by a friend, who saw an open letter written by a pastor at the center of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, the original source of the English translation of this letter, claimed that the pastor was anonymous. This was definitely not true, and I am sorry to see another example of Fake News from a Christian website.

Pastor Tan Songhua of Cornerstone Church in Wuhan, deserves public recognition and praise for his fearless stand for Christ in the midst of persecution, and for his faithful service to God in the middle of this epidemic. His words show us how all Christians should act during fearful times.

So, I hope that you take this moment to hear what our brother has to say. You will be blessed by his words.

NOTE: This is our best translation of a letter written by a Wuhan pastor. The colorful and idiomatic language has a strong regional context and might not have translated well into English. Any theological issue that you might have with this letter, might be due to our translation, and not the original text.


Peace to brothers and sisters:

In the past few days, Wuhan pneumonia has almost become the center of my thoughts and life. I always looked for updates, and  always thought about how my family and the church should deal with it.

As for my family, I stored some masks and food. I tried to go out as little as possible, wear a mask when I went out, and left the rest to God.

On the church side, the safety of meetings, the witness of our faith, and the possibility of members contracting this disease – all pose great challenges to us. Obviously, we are facing a trial of our faith.

Even though the situation is so grim, however relying on God’s promise, we believe that what he gave is the mind of ​​giving peace, not the mind of ​​disaster (Jer. 29:11). He allows the trial to come to us, not because he wants to destroy us, but to build us up. Therefore, Christians should not only suffer with the people in this city, but also have the responsibility to pray for this shaken and scared city and bring to them the peace of Christ.

First of all, let the peace of Christ reign in our hearts (Col. 3:15), and let the peace of Christ take control of our hearts (Col. 3:15, new Chinese translation). Christ has already given us His peace, but His peace is not without suffering and death. We have His peace in suffering and death, because Christ has overcome these for us (John 14:27, 16:33) . Otherwise, what we believe would not be the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), and we would panic in this epidemic and despair in the face of death, just like the people in this world.

Why should only Christians have such peace? Because of sin, a man is worthy of any affliction that comes. Jehovah says: The wicked will not have peace (Isa 48:22). We were all wicked, but because of our faith, Jesus bore the penalty of sin for us and gave us His peace. So Paul said, who can accuse God’s chosen ones? God called them righteous (Romans 8:33). Christians face suffering like the rest of the world, but this suffering is no longer a judgment for them, but an opportunity to draw close to God, cleanse the soul, and witness the gospel.

In other words, when suffering comes to us, it is a way that God loves us. And just like Paul said, who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can suffering? Can difficulty? Can persecution? Can hunger? Can nakedness? Can danger? Can a knife? … But, in the Lord who loves us, we have more than victory in all these things. Because we deeply believe that whether it is death, or life, or an angel, or a demon, or a powerful entity, or any present thing, or things in the future, or if its high, or if it is low, or other creatures, None of them can separate us from the love of God; this love is in our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8: 35-39).

Applying this to our current situation, this epidemic in Wuhan city cannot separate us from the love of Jesus Christ either. This love is in our Lord Jesus Christ. Such words comfort us very greatly. We have become one with Christ. We take part in His suffering, we also take part in His glory. Everything of Christ becomes ours, and everything of ours becomes Christ’s. Therefore, Christ is in this city, with us to face this epidemic. The epidemic cannot hurt him, and it will not hurt us. If we die in this epidemic, we still are witnesses for Christ and have the opportunity to enter into His glory.

Therefore brothers and sisters, I encourage you to be strong, relying on the love of Christ. If we, in this epidemic, experience death more deeply and understand the gospel more deeply, we will then experience the love of Christ more deeply and be closer to God. Just as our Lord Jesus, through faith experienced cruel death, but God raised him from the dead and set him on his right hand side (Acts 2: 32-36).

If after reading all these truths, you still do not have peace, I encourage you to read the scriptures listed above with all your attention and ask God to make you understand until the peace of Christ rules you. You must know that this is not only a visible disaster, but also an invisible spiritual battle. You must fight for your heart and then for the soul of this city.

I also hope that you will know that a sparrow needs God’s permission to fall to the ground (Matt. 10:29). Shouldn’t this be more true for the many lives in Wuhan that face this epidemic? Isn’t what we are experiencing like what Abraham faced with Sodom and like what Jonah faced with Nineveh?

If God would not destroy Sodom because there were righteous people, and not destroy Nineveh [where] there were more than 120,000 who could not distinguish between their left and right hands. What about Wuhan, where we are? We are clearly the righteous in this city. And not just one, but there are at least tens of thousands who are righteous. Let us all be as sorrowful as Lot for our cities (1 Pet. 2: 7), and pray for Sodom as earnestly as Abraham (Gen. 18: 23-33). You see, Jonah reluctantly preached the gospel to Nineveh, and the city of Nineveh repented and was saved. We are the Abraham and the Jonah of this city. We must, for Christ, pray for this city to reconcile with God, and for this city, call out for God’s mercy, so that the whole city will receive peace through our prayers and witness.

I believe that this is the mission for which God has called us to live, in Wuhan. We must pray for peace for this city, peace for infected patients, peace for the medical staff at the front line, peace for government staff at all levels, and peace for all people in Wuhan! We can also use the gospel to guide and comfort relatives and friends through the Internet, reminding them that their lives are not in their own hands, that they must entrust their lives to the faithful God.

In the past few days, I have received greetings from many [Chinese] pastors outside of Wuhan. They and their churches care about this city, and even more about us. They are facing this epidemic with us and serving this city with us.

Therefore, I strongly invite you to turn your eyes to the Lord Jesus, and no longer worry about your safety, and no longer lose heart, but pray in the name of the Lord Jesus. The kind people of the world are using their actions to serve the city, especially the medical staff who risk their lives. They are carrying worldly responsibilities, shouldn’t we bear even more spiritual responsibilities!

If you do not have the burden of prayer, ask the Lord to give you a heart that loves souls and prays earnestly; if you do not cry, ask the Lord to give you tears. Because we deeply know that only the mercy of the Lord is the salvation of this city.

Tan Songhua
January 23, 2020

[Translation by Mrs. Little]


Original text in Simplified Chinese:

弟兄姐妹平安:

這幾天,武漢肺炎幾乎成了我的思想和生活的中心,總在看有沒有新的消息,總在想家人和教會該如何面對。

家人方面,我儲存了一些口罩和食物,儘量少出門,出門戴口罩,其餘就交托給上帝。

教會方面,聚會的安全、信仰的見證、成員被傳染的可能,都對我們構成巨大挑戰,顯而易見,我們面臨著信心的試煉。

可雖然形式如此嚴峻,但憑著主的應許相信,祂向我們所懷的是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念(耶29:11),祂許可試煉臨到,不是要拆毀我們,而是要建立我們。所以,基督徒不僅要和這座城市裡的人同受苦難,更有責任為這座人心惶惶的城市祈禱,把基督的平安帶給他們。

首先,要叫基督的平安在心裡作主(西3:15),讓基督的平安掌管我們的心(西3:15,新漢語譯本)。基督已經把祂的平安賜給我們了,但祂的平安不是沒有患難和死亡,而是在患難和死亡裡有平安,因為基督已經替我們勝過了這些(約14:27,16:33)。否則,我們相信的就不是平安的福音(弗6:15),會和世人一樣在瘟疫中恐慌,在死亡面前絕望。

為什麼唯獨基督徒有這樣的平安呢?因為犯罪的緣故,人配得所臨到的任何患難,耶和華說:惡人必不得平安(賽48:22)。我們從前都是惡人,基督卻因我們的信,替我們承擔了罪罰,把祂的平安賜給我們。所以保羅說,誰能控告神所揀選的人呢?有神稱他們為義了(羅8:33)。基督徒雖和世人一樣面對患難,但患難對他們而言不再是審判,而是親近上帝,潔淨靈魂,見證福音的機會。

換句話說,患難臨到我們,是上帝愛我們的一種方式,又如保羅所言,誰能使我們與基督的愛隔絕呢?難道是患難嗎?是困苦嗎?是逼迫嗎?是饑餓嗎?是赤身露體嗎?是危險嗎?是刀劍嗎?……然而,靠著愛我們的主,在這一切的事上已經得勝有餘了。因為我們深信無論是死,是生,是天使,是掌權的,是有能的,是現在的事,是將來的事,是高處的,是低處的,是別的受造之物,都不能叫我們與神的愛隔絕;這愛是在我們的主基督耶穌裡的(羅8:35-39)。

用今天的話說,武漢市的瘟疫也不能使我們與基督的愛隔絕,這愛是在我們的主基督耶穌裡的。這話是何等地安慰我們,我們跟基督已經成為一體了。我們在祂的苦難裡有份,也在祂的榮耀裡有份,基督的一切成了我們的,我們的一切也成了基督的。因此,基督在這座城市裡和我們一同面臨瘟疫,瘟疫不能傷害祂,也必不能傷害我們,若我們在瘟疫中死去,仍然是基督的見證,更是進入祂榮耀的機會。

所以弟兄姐妹,我鼓勵你們靠基督的愛剛強,如果我們在瘟疫裡更深地體驗死亡,理解福音,也會更深地經歷基督的愛,與上帝也更加接近。好像我們的主耶穌,祂因信經歷了殘酷無比的死亡,上帝卻使他從死裡復活,使祂坐在自己的右邊(徒2:32-36)。

如果你看到這些真理仍然沒有平安,我鼓勵你用心讀以上所列舉的經文,呼求上帝使你明白,直到基督的平安統治你為止。你一定要知道,這不僅是一場看得見的災難,更是一場看不見的屬靈的爭戰,先要為你的心爭戰,然後為這座城市的靈魂爭戰。

我更盼望你們知道,一隻麻雀掉在地上都須上帝允許(太10:29),武漢市這麼多的生命面臨瘟疫,豈不更在上帝的旨意裡?我們所經歷的,豈不像從前亞伯拉罕面對所多瑪,約拿面臨尼尼微?

如果上帝因為所多瑪城裡有義人而不予滅絕,因尼尼微有十二萬多不能分辨左手右手的而不予滅絕,更何況我們所在的武漢市呢?我們分明是這個城市的義人,何止一個義人,至少有成千上萬。但願我們都像羅得那樣為所在的城市憂傷(彼前2:7),像亞伯拉罕那樣懇切地為所多瑪代禱(創18:23-33)。你看,約拿勉強傳福音給尼尼微,尼尼微城就悔改得救了。我們就是這個城市的亞伯拉罕和約拿,我們要替基督求這座城市與上帝和好,也要替這座城市呼求上帝的憐憫,叫整座城市因我們的禱告和見證得平安。

我相信,這就是上帝呼召我們生活在武漢的使命,我們要為這座城市求平安,為感染的病人求平安,為戰鬥在一線的醫護人員求平安,為各級政府工作人員求平安,為武漢市的所有百姓求平安!我們也可以通過網路,用福音引導和安慰親朋好友,提醒他們生命不在自己手中,要把生命交托給信實的上帝。

這幾天,我收到好多外地牧者的問候,他們和所在的教會牽掛這座城市,更牽掛我們,在和我們一起在面對疫情,一起服侍這座城市。

因此我特特邀請你把眼光轉移到主耶穌那裡,不再為自己的安危擔心,也不再彷徨失措,而要奉主耶穌的名禱告。世上善良的人們在用他們的行動服侍這座城市,那些冒著生命危險的醫護人員更是如此。他們在擔當屬世的責任,我們豈不更要擔當屬靈的責任!

如果你沒有禱告的負擔,就要求主賜給你愛靈魂、懇切禱告的心;如果你沒有哭泣,就求主賜你眼淚。因為我們深知,唯有仰望主的憐憫,才是這座城市的拯救

譚松華

2020年1月23日

SOURCE.

Click HERE for the original original from WeChat.


Pastor Tan is just like you and me. The only difference is that he living out a real faith that we could only hope to have. His has been challenged and is being challenged. He has been through and is going through great trials, and he is immensely stronger in his faith because of that.

You need a faith, like the one that Pastor Tan has. And, the time to start laying a foundation for that faith is now.

The choice is yours:

Do you cave in to fearfulness and terror?

 – OR –

Do you accept that you have been called to this place and time, to do God’s will and show the world what a child of God is REALLY like?

The fear-mongers and clickbait hoaxers want you to live a life of fear and terror. God wants you to live a life of faith and service to Him.

Which will YOU choose?

The irony is that fear and terror actually leads to a shorter, more difficult life. So, even if your faith is small or non-existent, you would do well to live a life without such panic, but I’m not here to help you live an empty life. I’m here to help you build a life that is eternal with eternal blessings.

If you don’t know where to start, then open your Bible. Read from Genesis to Revelation. Do it in a year. Every year. Invest at least some of your life in reading the WHOLE Bible. All of it. Then, constantly seek for God’s direction in your life. As you invest your life in serving God, the Holy Spirit will guide you to the right place and time.

As you fulfill your commitment to serving Him, God will make sure that your service will be meaningful and blessed. You literally cannot go wrong in doing your best for God. It just isn’t possible. And, I can promise you that serving God will lead you to places that you never, ever expected to see.

 

I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3

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If you find a flaw in my reasoning, have a question, or wish to add your own viewpoint, leave a comment on the website. Your input is truly welcome.

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18 thoughts on “The Wuhan Coronavirus – A Wuhan Pastor Responds”

  1. That… was something beautiful. I’m speechless, I think we all should remember this letter, and preserve it in our hearts – in various moments of time it will be our duty to say it.
    And, the words “Because we deeply know that only the mercy of the Lord is the salvation of this city” should be carved in stone and placed in the center of each and every city on this planet. Thanks Mrs. Little, thanks, John!

    As for the issues of less importance (compared to the letter of Pastor Tan) – things are happening as expected:
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/04/reuters-america-update-2-hyundai-motor-to-suspend-s-korea-production-as-china-virus-hits-parts-supply.html
    Yours in Christ
    Chris

    Reply
  2. Hello,

    They have a new bible out and I wanted your opinion on it. It is the New English Translation (NET)?

    Many thanks, I just don’t trust the companies doing these anymore.

    Reply
    • Hi BJ Bouchard,

      Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to check that translation. One of these days, I’ll need to do a deep dive into these translations and figure out which one is best. I am upset that all of them have some kind of corruption.

      I haven’t heard anything positive or negative about the NET. That might be one point in its favor.

      The main thing is to read all of your Bible. Over and over. Do that enough, and real understanding will come.

      Sorry that I don’t have more to offer than that, BJ.

      Yours in Christ,

      John Little
      omegashock.com

      Reply
  3. What a wonderful letter from the heart of a true pastor. I’m so blessed and encouraged to read it and know that someone is standing in the middle of the storm and lifting high the banner of Christ. It’s completely rearranged how I have been thinking about the Outbreak. Thank you Mrs. Little and John for sharing this with us. Blessings in Christ

    Reply
  4. The facts that have been suppressed about the origins of these viruses lead you back to the same establishment that looks to profit from the cure. Beware of the Beast system

    Reply
  5. Wow!!!! What a beautiful letter full of truths. It made me cry. Sometimes Christians forget who God is and get scared for these kind of things, scare of death and horrible things but we shouldn’t. This letter touched my heart and reminded me of the love of God no matter what! I think the end of times are around the corner and what is happening in the world right now is a big wake up call for everybody to get closer to God before it’s too late. Loved the letter really! I admire that pastor. Those words should be in every christian heart.

    Reply
      • Yes, I hope so. Right now this virus is hitting New York and the huge impact that this is having on economy is crazy. People are in panic, so many lost their jobs, etc and now is the time to talk to people about Jesus. In the beginning I was afraid also and going crazy until I read that beautiful letter that reminded me of God’s promises. This is the perfect time to give that message to ppl who dont know God. Thank you!

        Reply

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