二○一九年七月十三日／七月十四日 Click here for English version
今年是宣道會創辦人宣信博士（1843-1919）逝世 100 週年，北宣人承傳了他哪方面的屬靈傳統呢？我們或會想起會徽中的「四重福音」、崇拜中唱頌的「今要主自己」、「非我惟主」，以及全教會推動的「宣教」。至於「社關」，宣信可有留下甚麼榜樣給我們？
A B Simpson on Social Concern
Rev Kinia Ng
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Dr A B Simpson (1843-1919), founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). What sort of spiritual legacy do you think the NPAC Family has inherited from Dr Simpson? Perhaps you will point to the Fourfold Gospel in the Alliance logo, or the lyrics of "Himself" or "Not I, But Christ" in worship services. You may also cite church-wide evangelism initiatives. But what about social concern – did Dr Simpson leave behind any examples for us?
Care for the needy: A B Simpson was pastor of the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York before he founded Christian and Missionary Alliance. Near his church was an Italian community with many poor new immigrants. In around 1879, Dr Simpson, then in his thirties, devoted himself to street evangelism which saw more than 100 Italians converted to Christ. However, the new converts were not welcome by Dr Simpson’s middle-class church. That did not stop him from caring about the new immigrants. After setting up the Christian and Missionary Alliance, he returned to his caring effort – this time for new immigrants from Germany.
Share the burden: By the end of the 19th century, middle-aged Dr Simpson continued to walk with his congregation, setting up orphanages, temporary shelters for the sexually abused and women empowering courses. Education courses were organized for the black, mainly drawing on resources from believers.
Do not despair: In 1893, A B Simpson was 50. He traveled to Hong Kong, Guangdong and some other places in Southern China to see the local situation and evangelism needs. In Guangdong, he saw a baby girl drowning in the river and he was greatly distressed that nobody from neighboring boats came to her rescue. Would the outcome be different had that been a baby boy? On return to the US, he turned his grief into mission, and sent more missionaries to China.
Reflect with the generation: In 1914, World War I broke out in Europe. Later, the US joined the war. A B Simpson was 71. In the course of a few years, he time and again in his writings shared his beliefs and reflections on the war, including: 1) People should keep up vigilance and seek peace; 2) Cherish hope for eternity and the return of Christ; and 3) Fulfil one's civil duty in respect of the war as US Christian citizens.
Today, are you aware of the vulnerable minorities in society, matters of grief or the tense circumstances? Can you see any examples, challenges or exhortations from the life and writings of A B Simpson from a century ago?
Dr Simpson noted that we need to share one another's burdens and grief in order to fulfill the law of Christ.1 May every believer rely on Christ and care for our fellow citizens in Hong Kong. May they live out the law of love from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 A. B. Simpson, "Not I, but Christ," The Christian and Foreign Missionary Alliance Weekly (Sept. 25, 1896): 277.