My Recent Romania Trip, Rev. Stephen C. Magee, Exeter Presbyterian Church
I am so thankful to the Lord for Hong Key Chung and for his important ministerial work over the course of these many years. Most recently, Hong Key has been cultivating Christian friendships among the political and social leaders in this important nation. I had the privilege of spending several days with him as we met with various people all over Romania.
Hong Key organized a series of seminars in Suceava, Oradea, and Cluj on the topic of living out our faith in business and society in our contemporary world. I saw firsthand the determination of Romanians to avoid the latest streams of European/American culture, particularly as these touch upon family life. I also saw an interest in understanding the historic pillars of healthy Christian living.
A Christian view of history helps us to understand that the latest ideas are not always the best. The coming of the Son of God, His death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension on high, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the New Testament Church—these are not old events that have been superseded by more important philosophical and social developments. Everything prior to the coming of the Messiah prepared us for this turning point in history. Everything after the resurrection of Jesus and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is the outworking of the mission of our best Prophet, Priest, and King.
The church in Romania and throughout the world needs to proclaim healthy Christian doctrine, ethics, and fellowship. The modern and postmodern instinct to restrict the Christian life to private religious experience is not a fitting mission for the One who is over all as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Several of our most encouraging meetings were in small settings where we heard from sincere Christians grappling with what it means to have a Christian business or a biblical community life. Members of Parliament have been blessed through gathering together to discuss the Scriptures and to pray for their nation. These good beginnings need to be encouraged by all of our churches.
I am more convinced than ever that solid Christian experience must involve learning and teaching others about true doctrine, ethics, and fellowship. Throughout the centuries of church life, the Nicene Creed has been a guide for Christian understanding of doctrine; the Ten Commandments have provided a summary of the best Christian ethics; and the Lord’s Prayer has reminded us that Christianity is not just a religion of abiding religious and moral truths, but also of a shared life of fellowship with God and with one another.
We need to develop tools that will affirm orthodox Christian assemblies including every true church all over the globe. Those who can hold to the doctrines of the Nicene Creed, the ethics of the Ten Commandments, and the relationship that Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer, need to find the confidence to present these profound truths of life to others in our families and in our communities.
We face a worldwide onslaught of individualism that is destroying the fabric of many nations. Contemporary life comes with its own competing doctrines, ethics, and standards of relationship. People have lost a sense of what it means to gather together and to cry out to God from the heart saying, “Our Father!” But this is no time for us to be silent. We need to learn these fundamental truths again so that we will be able to teach others. The Lord will give us grace for this spiritual battle. As we follow Christ together, may His churches be more and more effective in rebuilding our nations with true doctrine, God-honoring ethics, and warm relationships with our Lord and with one another.