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June 28, 2008

Religion in China for Thousands of Years (Part Two)

Filed under: Religion — himyaosui2 @ 7:52 am

The History of the Christian Faith in China

ELCA in China (Basel Mission)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheran_Church_of_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheran_Church

A. Early history (1831-1847). Karl Gutzlaff first Lutheran missionary to China. Originally accredited to the Netherlands Missionary Society, Gutzlaff first arrived in East Asia in 1823. As China adopted a strict closed-door policy in that period, he was unable to set foot on China until 1831.
B. The first Lutheran missions (1847-1890). Basel Mission sent missionaries to China March 19, 1847. Theodore Hamberg and Rudolph Lechler missionaries.
C. Other Lutheran missions (1890-1907)
D. Towards union (1907-1920)
China Centenary Missionary Conference 1907
Evangelical Lutheran Mission for China 1913
Lutheran Free Church Mission 1917
Union Lutheran Conference (ULC)
Lutheran Theological Seminary
Temporary Committee of the Lutheran Church of China
E. The Lutheran Church of China (1920-1951)

Presiding Bishop – The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
http://www.elca.org/

Mark S. Hanson serves as president of the Lutheran World Federation and is the current presiding bishop of the ELCA is the Rev. Mark Hanson who was elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2007.

The ELCA formally came into existence on January 1, 1988, creating the largest Lutheran church body in the United States. The Church is a result of a merger between the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), all of which had formally agreed in 1982 to unite after several years of discussions. The ELCA’s three predecessor churches were themselves the product of previous mergers and splits among various independent Lutheran synods in the United States.

* The American Lutheran Church
In 1960 the American Lutheran Church, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church merged to form The American Lutheran Church, with the Lutheran Free Church joining in 1963. The ALC brought approximately 2.25 million members into the ELCA. Its immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany, Norway, and Denmark. It was the most theologically conservative of the forming bodies, officially teaching biblical inerrancy in its constitution (although seldom enforcing it by means of heresy trials and the like). Its demographic center was in the Upper Midwest (with especially large numbers in Minnesota).

* The Lutheran Church in America
In 1962 the United Lutheran Church in America, the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the American Evangelical Lutheran Church formed the Lutheran Church in America. The LCA brought approximately 2.85 million members into the ELCA. Its immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark and Finland. Its demographic focus was on the East Coast (centered on Pennsylvania), with large numbers in the Midwest and some presence in the Southern Atlantic states. There are notable exceptions, but LCA-background churches tend to be more formalistically liturgical than ALC-background churches. Its theological orientation ranged from moderately liberal to neo-orthodox, with tendencies toward conservative pietism in some rural and small-town congregations.

* The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
In 1976 the AELC was formed from congregations that left the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in a schism precipitated by progressive-traditionalist disputes over biblical literalism, academic freedom and ecumenism. Its establishment was precipitated by the Seminex controversy at the LCMS’s Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1974. The AELC brought approximately 100,000 members into the ELCA. Its immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany; the complexion of its theology generally resembled that of the LCA, as the dissenting former “moderate” faction of the LCMS.

ELCA Churchwide Organization
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631
Tel: 800/638-3522 or 773/380-2700
Fax: 773/380-1465
E-mail: info@elca.org

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been actively involved in ecumenical dialogues with several denominations. Recently, the ELCA has established “full communion” with several American Churches: the Moravian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ.

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LCMS Beliefs vs ELCA Beliefs
1. Believe in triune God – Same
2. Accept Lutheran Confessions as true teachings of biblical faith – Same
3. Believe that God comes to us through the Word and the sacraments – Same
4. Teach justification by grace through faith – Same
5. Believe that the Bible should not be subject to higher critical methods. Many within the ELCA believe that the Bible can speak effectively through the use of higher critical study.
6. Believe that the Bible restricts women from certain church positions including ordained ministry. ELCA believes the Bible permits, even encourages, full participation by women in the life of the church.
7. High degree of doctrinal agreement necessary before fellowship is possible. ELCA agreement on a more basic level is sufficient for fellowship.

Other Issues:
Ecumenical relations
Social issues
Role of women
Role of feminist theology
Sexuality
Creationism/evolution
Homosexuality
Abortion

—————–

The Lutheran World Federation
150, route de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
CH-1211 Geneva 2
Switzerland

Phone: +41/22-791 61 11
Fax: +41/22-791 66 30
E-mail: info@lutheranworld.org

General Secretary Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe.

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World Council of Churches
150 route de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: (+41 22) 791 6111
Fax: (+41 22) 791 0361

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity.

The WCC brings together 349 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 560 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of denominations from such historic traditions of the Protestant Reformation as Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed, as well as many united and independent churches. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific.

For its member churches, the WCC is a unique space: one in which they can reflect, speak, act, worship and work together, challenge and support each other, share and debate with each other. As members of this fellowship, WCC member churches:

* are called to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship;
* promote their common witness in work for mission and evangelism;
* engage in Christian service by serving human need, breaking down barriers between people, seeking justice and peace, and upholding the integrity of creation; and
* foster renewal in unity, worship, mission and service.

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, of the Methodist Church in Kenya, was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches in August 2003, and took up his new post in January 2004. Earlier in 2003, he served as director and special representative for Africa of the WCC. The general secretary serves ex-officio as secretary of the central and executive committees.

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Religion in China for Thousands of Years (Part One)

Filed under: Religion — himyaosui2 @ 7:47 am

The Worship of God in China and Pre-History China (3896 BC-present)

Our family genealogy books records and tells the whole history of who we are and coupled with other history and religious texts tells the whole history and the true story of our life and religious practices, and as it was influenced by a pagan and Hamite nation. We are paternal Hebrews, who were sinocized and conscripted into Nimrod’s bands in Shinar (Mesopotamia) in 2245-2000 BC. Our form of worship prior to that was the direct worship of God. And Confucian doctrines originated from my family’s origin, worship, and way of life. http://www.geocities.com/zhouclan/chia_pu.html

The Chou Dynasty

By the dynasty of Chou was consummated all that was great and good in China. Preceding dynasties initiated the rudimentary forms of civilization; but laws, customs, ceremonial, ethics, and the first definite forms of the written character all trace their real beginnings to the Chou. The story of its rise and progress is, therefore, of more than ordinary interest. This story as related by the historians of the later period of the dynasty is, in its entirety, incredible. Certain facts recorded are, however, not only incredible, but yield a probable account of the earliest beginnings of the civilization which has guided China to the present. An examination of the historical dawn of the Chou presents us, moreover, with valuable information as to the probable origin of the Chinese people.

The Chou historians assert that their people were the descendants of Houchi, founder of agriculture and minister of Yao, and connects him with Liu, who lived under the last king of the Hsia dynasty. By this king noted for his cruelty and vice, he suffered such persecution for some unknown reason that he fled from China going westward across the Yellow River to seek refuge among the nomadic inhabitants of Shensi. There, in 1796 BC, he took up his abode at the foot at Mount Pin, where he commenced agricultural operations. These he conducted with such intelligence and industry laboring day after day, early and late, that he produced abundance of grain. With a wise liberality he secured the goodwill of his roving neighbors. His prosperity was so great that many of the natives abandoned their nomadic life and betook themselves to farming. They acquired herds of cattle and stores of grain had enough for themselves and to spare for the wayfarer. His bounty was so freely given that his reputation spread widely and men resorted to him from all quarters. His operations extended to the rivers Chi and Chu affluents of the Wei, whose products he annexed. The people confided in his protection, relied on his faithfulness and sincerity, and praised his generosity. So many followed his example that be became head of a considerable community. Thus, did he lay the foundation of the Chou kingdom.

After the lapse at four and a half unrecorded centuries, Tan Fu is said to have been head of Mount Pin settlement. His name appears in 1327 BC as descendant and successor of Liu. He was troubled by the nomadic barbarians who surrounded him on all sides. Mencius states that he lived among the Ti barbarians, who desired to “swallow him up.” He offered them skins and cloth, which did not satisfy them. He presented horses and dogs, but they were not appeased. Pearls and jade did not purchase peace. Then he summoned the elderly men of his settlement and said that what the Ti wanted was the cultivated land. There was a proverb to the effect that men should not injure others for the sake of those things intended for the use of man. There was no ruler in the land, therefore he suggested that he should leave that place and search out another situation for a new settlement. He then abandoned Pin and went south to Mount Ki, a distance of about eighty miles. The men of the Pin “kingdom,” saying that he was a good man, followed him to the number of two thousand like riders going to a fair.

In his new kingdom, he speedily acquired so excellent a reputation that the people from neighboring kingdoms adhered to him. To the new settlement he gave the name Chou, signifying plenty. He was apparently satisfied with the change. The lessons of the past were not lost upon him.

He introduced changes. He erected a fort built houses, with rooms in which to live. The wall was surrounded by a moat. Within a year the houses inside that wall were completed and in another year the fort became a “capital.” He instituted five officials, one to oversee his followers, another to superintend the horses, a third to take charge of vacant ground, a fourth of cultivated lands, and the fifth to superintend criminal affairs. His people praised him and his reputation was widely extended.

The diligence, wisdom, justice, and benevolence exhibited by Tan Fu congregated and welded together a large community and laid the foundations for the Chinese nation to come.

It was in King Wen, however, according to legend, that all the good qualities of the founders of Chou were combined to make a character of such elevation . . . that he, to this day, is regarded as the real founder of the Chou Dynasty. It is said that he devoted himself entirely to the welfare of the State. He formulated laws; he instituted tithing of the produce of the land as income for the government; he made office hereditary. To meet the necessities of aged men and widows, the solitary who were without means of support and young orphans, all of whom were the most helpless of the community. He enacted ordinances of benevolence. He commanded his followers to bury carefully the bones of dead men found in the wilds. The report of the incident spread over the whole empire, producing a most favorable impression, for if he so cared for the bones of the dead how much more would he consider the needs of the living. He was polite to men of the lowest ranks, if they were known to be men of good character. During daytime, he ate sparingly that he might be able to attend at all times to any business.

The last king of the previous dynasty, in his first year, became notorious for extravagance and excessive drinking. He was reportedly guilty of the wildest excesses and the most brutal of murders. He had discarded every good and noble quality. Over the reports of such unnatural cruelty, King Wen sighed in secret. His sentiments were known to his neighboring chief, the Lord of Tsung, who accused him, to Chow Sin, of harboring rebellious designs. He was seized and imprisoned for two years.

His ministers were grieving over his imprisonment. One of them adopted a method accordant with the character of Chow Sin. From a tribe of the Yung, he procured a young woman of uncommon beauty, piebald horses, a quartet of sets of chariot horses of a rare variety, each set consisting of four. These, with various other curiosities, he presented to Chow Sin to purchase the liberty of his lord. The King received the gifts joyfully and set the prisoner free. The Count, in his gratitude, offered to the King the lands west of the river Lo (which was the first part of Shensi annexed to China). The King was so pleased that he granted to the Count a bow, arrows, a headman’s and a battle axe (emblems implying the right of making war). He also granted the prayer of the Count for the abolition of branding. The Count’s political creed is said to have involved the “criminality of rebellion” of what wickedness so ever the King may have been guilty. This creed was not modified by his imprisonment. He, though, restored to the King some “kingdoms” which had revolted.

In the year after his liberation, two Chiefs who could not agree as to their boundaries appealed to the Count.

When they crossed the frontier of Chou, they noticed the farmers yielding to each other on points affecting their property. Travellers going in opposite directions obligingly yielded the right of way. Entering the city, they saw men and women walking, each in their own street, without jostling or pushing. Inside the Court, lower officials made way for the higher and the higher for ministers. The Chiefs were charmed with the order prevailing everywhere and confessed themselves unworthy to enter the palace of such a noble man. They agreed to yield to each other and made the land, which had been subject of dispute, neutral ground. They finished business by acknowledging the Count as their feudal superior. The story was widely repeated and forty “kingdoms” followed their example and submitted to the Count of the west King Wen. He had established a reputation for wise and just rule.

Lastly, with respect to the prevailing social order and religion, it was the duty of the King to perform religious ceremony and to conduct prayer on behalf of the nation.

The original religion of China was or should have been the direct worship of Heaven (or God), rather than any other manifestation. Chinese were originally not Buddhist, Taoist, Nestorian, Manichean, Hindu, or Muslim.

– – – – –
* The last king of Yin was Chow Sin (Shang Dynasty).

Excerpts taken from “The Origin of the Chinese People” by John Ross, D.D. and published by OLIPHANTS of London, Eng. 1916. Additional comments by author, HIM Yao Sui, Emperor of the nation of China.

Professor John Ross got the above information from my family in China, during the turn of the century. Prior to his death, I wrote to him for permission to use his published materials in my family genealogy book, which was sent out to family members in America at no cost to them. The information originally came from my family and from nowhere else. Professor Ross was so kind as to accept and publish our family’s story and version of our history in his book.

All rights protected, 1996, amended text of February 15, 1999. Lester D.K. Chow, P.O. Box 4604, Honolulu, Hawaii 96812 for any inquiries.

(Comments to this posting will only be published, if you have checkable credentials. Please send your curriculum vitae to us by e-mail: guoclan at yahoo dot com)
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June 26, 2008

My Religious Convictions

Filed under: Religion — himyaosui2 @ 6:29 pm

The Migration of My Family to Hawaii and San Francisco

In 1789, a small handful of Chinese settled in the Hawaiian kingdom. The major migration took place with the importation of labor to cultivate and harvest Hawaii’s sugar fields in the 1860s. In 1871, the Imperial claimant and Emperor-designate settled in Hawaii in quiet seclusion. Other family members later settled in California.

The Beginnings of the Christian Faith in Hawaii’s Chinese Community

The Founding of the Chinese Christian Church of Honolulu in 1876 came about when twenty-eight Chinese Christians, including five women, who had been converted by the Basel Missionaries in China (1847), arrived from South China.

Nineteen of those called on the Reverend Samuel Damon to assist them in their Christian nurture. They would later start a small night school at the Bethel Union Church (Central Union Church) with Samuel P. Aheong teaching bible study classes, preaching and doing evangelical work in the Chinese community islandwide. From this group of Chinese people came Chinese people who wanted to form their own church and they chose the Congregational faith.

Fort Street Chinese Church (1879-1926) was started by this group of Chinese people with Dr. Samuel Damon as the co-founder and with a Chinese man by the name of Sit Moon, a Presbyterian, as their first Pastor. Mr Goo Kim being one of the original founders. Mrs. Elijah MacKenzie should, also, be remembered because of her evangelical work in getting the Chinese community to come to church and worship.

Later, a number of Chinese branched off to form the second Chinese Congregational Church of Honolulu, which later moved to Judd Street in Nu’uanu to later become the United Church of Christ at Judd Street. The Chinese Congregational Church lasted from 1915-1947.

In 1948, the congregation (my family at that time) made a decision to embraced United Church of Christ’s faith and the congregation became known as the United Church of Christ at Judd Street with Harold Chow as their head pastor.

The Fort Street Chinese Church sold its property in 1926 and relocated to its present location at 1054 South King Street and was known as the First Chinese Church of Christ with Pastor Charles Kwock as its head pastor.

My Family’s Church affiliations in America (1876-2008):
Chinese Christian Church of Honolulu in 1876
Fort Street Chinese Church 1879-1914
Chinese Congregational Church 1915-1947
United Church of Christ at Judd Street 1948-1992
United Methodist Church 1959-2008
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Hello World!

Filed under: Introduction and Guestbook — himyaosui2 @ 5:05 pm

Welcome to HIM Yao Sui’s WordPress.com blog. Officially by the history of China and by the Han-Chinese imperial succession, I am Emperor of the nation of China residing abroad in the United States of America. This blog and website is my official website.

What my family’s heritage and what the Chinese imperial system is about is summarized at the following opening (main homepage) url: http://himyaosui.wordpress.com. We are China’s current Imperial family and the mission of our dynasty and family is to insure that China will always have good government. That government treats people fairly and that people will obey a righteous and upright government. The Chou, Shang, and Han dynasties of China are Shemite dynasties. These are people who were sinocized and conscripted into forced labor by Nimrod in ancient Biblical times in Shinar (Mesopotamia). Being true paternal Hebrews, it is their task, obligation, and love, today, to return the love of the true god to the Middle East and China. These are good people, upright people, people of God’s choosing.

Upright relations are sought with the United States of America and Western nations, so that God’s people may grow and prosper.

                                                                  (c) 1985 Lester D.K. Chow
                                                                  Lester D.K. Chow, family historian

(1) You may login and leave a short comment in the comment section of “Hello World!”, found at the very bottom of this page, as you would do in a guestbook. Please be polite. Leave your true name, occupation, website, and short comment. It would be nice to tell the world who you are and what you do for a living. If you prefer to remain anonymous or semi-anonymous that’s ok too. (2) You may leave a private message for me in my wordpress mail box or by e-mailing me (HIM Yao Sui) at guoclan at yahoo dot com.

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