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Eastern threat

"If one part suffers, every part suffers with it..." 1 Corinthians 12. 26

Should the news from Hong Kong trouble us? What business have we in the affairs of another country? Why should we care about a law that would allow mainland China to rein in its troublesome province?

Apart from China's betrayal of its guarantee to preserve Hong Kong's liberal heritage for at least 50 years since 1997 (exactly 23 years ago today!), there is an even more compelling reason: China itself is home to nearly 100 million Christians - these are our brothers and sisters in Christ, a bond which transcends national loyalty. That they are denied the right to worship freely is an outrage. That their gatherings are monitored and their opportunities curtailed should concern us.

While it is true that the apostle Paul insists that Christians are not a threat to civil society and that we should aim to live quiet lives (Romans 13. 1-7), the whole New Testament insists that, when it comes to the crunch, our loyalty to Jesus comes first. And that is why Christians will always have a hard time under totalitarian regimes.

At the trial of Nazi dissident, Helmuth James von Molke, in 1944, the prosecution stated tellingly: "... one thing Christianity and we National Socialists have in common, and only one: we demand the whole man." Governments have their place, yet so does God. His comes first and it is exclusive. We owe it to him, who won our freedom at the cost of his own life, and to one another, to whom we are related through the water of baptism which is thicker than the blood of human kinship, to champion that priority.

And who knows when we shall need someone to speak up for us...

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