Thursday, February 22, 2007
Chinese Christian Roots
I thought I would share an interesting fact with you. This is a chinese character that represents a small boat. I'm not very good drawing on the computer, so forgive the kindergarten appearance. It you look at this carefully, you will see that it kind of looks like a small boat as if you were looking down on it. See the two people inside? And see the oar that stretches across the boat between them?
In Chinese culture, when they want to take a census, they count how many mouths there are in the home. I think of this like "how many mouths do we have to feed?". The small box you see on the bottom left is the character that represents mouth. (sorry for the awkward computer writing...it isn't a good sample lol) The character on the top is the chinese word for eight, or BA. In this example, we are saying there are 8 mouths.
When you put all of these characters together, you get the character for a large boat, or a CHUAN. We Christians look at this with great interest. Can you think of a large boat that had 8 people in it? Noah's ark comes to mind for most Christians. If, as we believe, China at one time had the Gospel as was had in Old Testament times, then it would make sense that they would interpret a large boat as one that had 8 people in it.
Okay....now on to lesson number two....continuing with another good example.
This is the chinese character for son...boy child.
This is the chinese character for Tai...or altar. In Chinese culture they often have altars that they use for worship.
This chinese character combines both elements of Son, and Altar. It is the Chinese character for "Filial Piety" or "Xiao Sun". Filial Piety is a word that refers to a child honoring a parent. In Christian history, we remember the story of Abraham and Isaac. God wanted to test Abraham, so told him to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. Just as Abraham was raising his arm to slay Isaac, an angel of the Lord came and told him to stop. The Lord then blessed Abraham for his obedience. This was symbolic of when God the Father would allow His own son, Jesus Christ to be sacrificed. Abraham's obedience is a perfect example of Filial Piety.
There are other examples, but I have forgotten them. I will ask my Christian Chinese friends if they can remember the other examples, and if so, I will post them here.