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耶穌會怎樣做?(WWJD)

原刊於Pastor Kenny Cheung's Blog,2017年4月13日

從一本書說起

1896年,In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?被稱為社會福音小說(social gospel novel)一書出版,幾個月內銷售了十萬本,這書是一個虛構的故事,主角是一個牧者Henry Maxwell,他挑戰教會的信徒在一年內以“What Would Jesus Do?”,“耶穌會怎樣做?”(WWJD),作為行為生活的核心價值。這書被人廣泛閱讀,以配帶印有“WWJD”字樣的手鐲、頸飾作為自我提醒,另一方面也可以向未信者用作傳道的引子,但當然後來這幾個字的意義漸漸流失,成為潮流飾物的商品,配戴的人也不一定是信徒。

在這書中故事前面的好幾章,講到人在生活中有不同轉變的困境,和難以取捨抉擇的處景,就如求職、偷竊、貪污等等,作者要表達出有時有些人很快就因此放棄自己的原則,但有些人卻仍在信仰的賽道上持守著,為的是要看神因著他們的忠誠所施展出來的能力。

作者Charles Sheldon是公理會信徒(Congregationalist),也是牧者,他以這書的故事人物勾劃以上的問題,並卻沒有給予這些困惑答案,卻是帶來讀者個人的反思。故事中的Maxwell牧師在紐約的一次重要講道中,呼籲會眾,不論他們是商人、政客、傳媒、白領,又或是社會大眾,就應以WWJD作為品格的準繩,改變這個世界,走出自我中心的自私,學效耶穌的榜樣,WWJD!(In His Step,138頁)這書的背景和時代和現在已經有很大的距離,但WWJD這個反思問題仍然給人在信仰的實踐上自我反省,也許這是對只講信道沒有行道的人的一種挑戰。

“WWJD”是“社會福音”的作品

這書是當時倡議“社會福音”(social gospel)有影響力的作品(社會福音神學的問題,在這裡暫且不談)。這書對象是從個人層面出發,後來成為“社會福音”的助燃劑。“耶穌會怎樣做?”這種信仰反省本是一個可行的自省方法,從靈修的角度上來看,沒有什麼不對。雖然WWJD給個人的信仰實踐的反省方法,可是這不是普遍的真理和行為準則,換句話說,不能應用在別人身上,或要求別人有你同樣的領受(conviction);或許在向未信者傳福音的時候,可作使人藉著類比的想法,可以使人明白,方便的溝通和了解,但在現代的時空處境下,WWJD?用平行時空的推測和虛構想像,又是否可合適呢?而且當中有許多不對等的原素存在,當用這個方式思想時,我們應要向聽者事先聲明這個說法實屬虛構,意思在聖經和歷史上從未有過,否則就可能有濫用聖經意圖,而且引用耶穌作為推測,把自己的想法讀入耶穌的想法,對敬虔者所敬拜的對象有不敬之疑。“耶穌會怎樣做?” WWJD約化了福音只是一連串的社會行動。

“耶穌會怎樣做?”是“效法耶穌”?

“耶穌會怎樣做?” (WWJD) 的背後的理念是 “效法耶穌”;不用推想就從前耶穌所做的事,我們是要怎樣效法呢?耶穌曾憤怒地潔淨聖殿,我們也要“潔淨”某些教會嗎?耶穌曾替門徒洗腳,所以我們就學效耶穌為別人洗腳?雖然洗腳不是錯事,但學其形,不知其義,只有身體沒有靈魂的模仿,就誤解了“學效耶穌”的含意,這當然不是!就潔淨聖殿來說,新約的教會不就是等如當時的聖殿;耶穌有十二個門徒,當中有爭著做領袖的,耶穌就給那時的門徒洗腳,目的是要教導他們。我們不能和也不可以複製耶穌,耶穌所做的許多事情,不是我們應該作的,並不是我們所能作的;福音書的敘事是叫我們學效耶穌是祂的公義性情和為首的要有謙卑的態度作眾人的僕人。我們不是要潔淨聖殿和找別人來洗腳;效法耶穌並不是做耶穌所做過的事,又或在今時今日的處境中推敲耶穌會什麼?1

耶穌曾做過什麼事?WDJD?

當我們以WWJD 的原則生活時, 我們又是否對福音故事中的耶穌認識, 祂個人和祂的性格有否掌握? 在日常生活中, 當然我們不會問在趕時間的處境中, 問耶穌會搭的士或仍然等地鐵呢? 進入那一個廁所?或使用殘廁? 那都是個人的決定; 在某些的處境中, 推測耶穌會怎樣行, 我們就能作出倫理的抉擇嗎?一個人的行為抉擇, 用推測耶穌要怎樣做, WWJD? 事實上是有困難, 其實, 這是不重要, 又或是不能回答的, 誰又會知呢? WWJD? 是嗎?! 不如WDJD! What did Jesus do? 在耶穌曾做過的事中, 我們能否從福音敘事中了解祂的性格, 是恩慈? 是憐憫? 又或憤怒呢? 祂的品格能怎樣影響我們? 如何能在我的生命中表達出來?2

“耶穌要拆毀什麼?”WWJDQ?

若要問WDJD?對於John Caputo神學家來說,要問的不是“耶穌會做什麼?”而是“耶穌要拆毀什麼?”(“what would Jesus deconstruct?”)(WWJDQ)“耶穌是把固有的拆掉,我們不是要問我們或叫人要做什麼?基督教被呼召傳達的是一個有拆毀性的信仰,要放下,要捨己的顛覆性信息,不是這世界的價值觀,並且基督教的信息是挑戰人為福音的原故要犧牲的是什麼?福音是拆毀性的,生命的改變不是行為的模仿,或只是倫理道德的抉擇,而是內心被感動的悔改,這才能帶來真實“心靈的改變”(heart transformation)。3

歌羅西書 3:23

無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的。

————

  1. Alexander, Archibald B. D., Christianity and Ethics: A Handbook of Christian Ethics: “The Standard And Motive Of The New Life” (Classic reprint), Forgotten books, 2015, p. 161: “But, again, what is meant by the ‘imitation of Christ’ has been also misconceived. Imitation is not a literal mechanical copying. To make the character of another your model does not mean that you are to become his mimic or echo. In asking us to follow Him, Christ does not desire to suppress our individuality but to enrich and ennoble it. When He says, on the occasion of the feet-washing of His disciples, ‘I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you,’ obviously it was not the outward literal performance, but the spirit of humility and service embodied in the act which He desired His disciples to emulate. From another soul, we receive incentives rather than rules. No teacher or master, says Emerson, can realize for us what is good. Within our own souls alone can the decision be made. We cannot hope to interpret the character of another until there be within our own breasts the same moral spirit from which we believe his conduct to proceed. The very nature of goodness forbids slavish reproduction. Hence there is a certain sense in which the paradox of Kant is true, that ‘imitation finds no place at all in morality.’ The question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ as a test of conduct covers a quite inadequate conception of the intimate and vital relations Christ bears to our humanity. ‘It is not to copy after Christ,’ says a modern writer, ‘but to receive His spirit and make it effective—which is the moral task of the Christian.’ Christ is indeed our example, but He is more. And unless He were more He could not be so much. We could not strive to be like Him if He were not already within us, the Principle and Spirit of our life, the higher and diviner self of every man.”
  2. McCall, Larry, Reformation & Revival (TJL-Reformation), Vol. 8, Issue 4: Fall 1999, “Why Should I Want To Be Like Jesus?”: “If the basis of their decision making is “What would Jesus do?” one must make the assumption that the decision maker knows what Jesus would do. Have the WWJD wearers made a study of that issue so that they can make well-informed decisions? A few may have done just that, but sadly, most have not. I fear that as a backlash to this presumptive approach to “what would Jesus do,” some “thinking” Christians might demean the subject altogether. Some might say that the issue of “What would Jesus do?” is unanswerable or unimportant. I would like to passionately suggest that “What would Jesus do?” should indeed be asked by sincere Christians. Knowing in some fundamental way the answer to that question will affect how I approach my life as a follower of Christ. Instead of speculating “What would Jesus do?” maybe a better pursuit would be “What did Jesus do?” And, how did the activities of Jesus reflect His character? And, how is the character of Jesus reflected in my own life?”
  3. Gustafson, Andrew,. Trinity Journal, Volume 29, Issue 2: Fall 2008. Book review of John Caputo’s “What Would Jesus Deconstruct? The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007, 160 pp”: “Caputo, clever as ever, takes as his starting point the spiritual classic of the 1800s written by Sheldon, a preacher from Topeka, Kansas, whose constant call throughout his book is “what would Jesus do?” WWJD is read by Caputo not as “what would Jesus do?” but as “what would Jesus deconstruct?” Caputo says, “Sheldon (author of In His Steps) is effectively proposing a ‘deconstruction of the church,’ a deconstruction of what calls itself Christianity, a challenge to Christianity as it is practiced in our churches” (p. 30). In effect, Caputo claims that the heart transformation which comes from conviction and repentance and which then leads to real sacrificial life change in those affected powerfully by the gospel is an example of deconstruction. All of this is very interesting and challenging, and in my mind quite adaptable by evangelicals of many stripes.”

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