Chinese Church Voices

The Milk Powder Crisis as a Christian Spiritual Lesson

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

Food scandals have become all too common in China, but none has caused more concern and fear than reports of contaminated milk powder. As a result, Chinese have been buying up large amounts of milk powder in the neighboring countries and regions, particularly in Hong Kong. In March, the government of Hong Kong announced that it would limit the amount of milk powder that could be taken out of the territory. From a BBC report on April 8, 2013:

Authorities in Hong Kong also introduced restrictions in February to prevent shortages, banning travellers from leaving the territory with more than 1.8kg (4lb) of formula. Last month, 10 people were arrested there for trying to smuggle more than the allowed amount into mainland China.

On March 6, 2013, the mainland site Christian Times published the article translated below, under the title, "The Milk Powder Crisis as a Spiritual Lesson: Have You Mixed Additives to Spiritual Milk?" In it, the author urges Christians to keep their focus on Christ and the Word, and not rely on works or other "spiritual additives."

Ever since March 1st, 2013 when Hong Kong announced limits on the purchase of milk powder, there has been a panicked rush to buy milk powder. Why is it that so many Mainlanders want to buy milk powder in Hong Kong? The reason is because milk powder made in Mainland China is no longer pure and clean. It has been contaminated with harmful substances. This impure milk powder cannot nurture nor grow a healthy infant. In the same way, the spiritual life of a Christian is like an infants need for milk. Both must drink pure milk to insure strong and healthy growth.

The limiting of Hong Kong milk powder to two portions per person has struck a nerve with the general public. I cant help but think how many Christians even care about whether the milk of their spiritual life is clean or unclean. The Word of God is our spiritual milk, and it cannot be tainted with comfortable but unhealthy additives. Therefore Christians must defend and uphold the purity of our spiritual milk [the Bible]. We must learn to distinguish and be aware of additives such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Prosperity Gospel, and salvation by works.

The longer a Christian believes, the more he must understand and remember that salvation is Gods gift of grace freely given to us; it is not because of our own works. Rather, only Jesus Christs death on the cross can rescue us from the bondage of sin. So throughout the journey of our faith, we must often ask ourselves: have we forgotten Gods initial grace that saved us in the first place? Have we become like the Pharisees who were proud and only remember their good actions? Do we think that God owes us something for being good and faithful Christians?

We often rely on ourselves more than we rely on God because we think were not in that bad of a mess. We think were still at the point where we can do it ourselves.

The more you learn about yourself, the more youll discover that youre really not who you thought you were. You may think that although you have some bad qualities, you definitely have some good ones. Your goodness is better than that of others, and youre not as bad or evil as them! That is all deceptive thinking. It is the thinking of someone who lacks the experience of being tempted, tested, and does not have the shining light of the Holy Spirit.

When greed overpowers law and reason in your heart, victory becomes impossible, sinfulness prevails, determination seems useless, struggles result in failure, and you find yourself in hopeless situations. These are the times when you slowly understand that you do not have goodness and it is sin which lives within you.

As we realize our utter despair and inability to help ourselves, we at last feel the need for a savior. Not only do we need a savior who died on the cross as an atonement for our sins, but we also need a savior who lives within us and keeps us from sin. Thankfully, this savior is Jesus Christ who already dwells in us.

"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."(Romans 8:9-10 ESV). Therefore we do not hope in our own goodness anymore or rely on our own strength to do righteous deeds. We have victory over sin and it is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that we have anything good in us. We can only rely on his Spirit, which lives in us, to do good and overcome sin. This is not living just by the flesh, but living only by the Spirit.

Have you mixed any additives into your pure spiritual milk?

Original article: 奶粉危机教给基督徒的属灵教训:你给纯净灵奶掺添加剂了吗?

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