Having spent a number of hours categorising blog posts over the summer holidays, I got a good feel for how often I blog on various topics.
I was unsurprised by a number on the topic of womanhood but intrigued by the frequency of those that I could categorise into prayer. I did, however, note that there was only one that could be placed in the missionary category.
Five posts will now rectify that situation.
“You do not need a great faith in God, but faith in a great God.”
Thank-you Hudson Taylor.
He was eminently quotable and that’s one of my favourites. But who was the guy?
Born in 1832 in England to Methodist parents he is best known for establishing the China Inland Mission (CIM).
There are so many things about Hudson that give him an ongoing ‘fan base’ among Christians today. One element that always strikes me is his lack of cultural egocentricity. Even though he was part of the days of Imperial England, his manner of evangelism in China didn’t have a whiff of the same sort of colonisation practices.
He personally, and the other missionaries he hired, wore Chinese dress and made themselves culturally appropriate as they shared the gospel with the interior of China.
He was decades ahead of some others.
If you asked me what doctrine of the Christian faith I most closely associate with Hudson Taylor, whether rightly or wrongly, I’d say the sovereignty of God. It just always seemed to keep cropping up in the books I read about him and his wife, Maria.
I think Maria Taylor would take issue with some of the ways that women are represented by the modern Church. “China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease-loving men and women”* Hudson once wrote. That sums it up well.
Another quote from Hudson sums up his heart for the Chinese.
“Can all the Christians in England sit still with folded arms while these multitudes [in China] are perishing—perishing for lack of knowledge—for lack of that knowledge which England possesses so richly?”*
There are still multitudes in China today and opinions about the Chinese government are broad and varied: even among the many Chinese students that I teach.
Yet, no matter what you think about the Chinese government, the Chinese people are loved by God, nothing will ever change that.
Hudson Taylor’s work is yet to be finished. Will it ever be? There are, as he said, ‘multitudes’.
For those who believe the Christian message and feel disheartened about the ways in which it can no longer be easily shared (due to politics or pandemic), we would do well to remember that the diaspora is large. There is still great opportunity to continue Taylor’s legacy.
Yours in making rather pathetic attempts at it,
* https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/missionaries/hudson-taylor.html is where I located those two quotes and where you can read more about Hudson Taylor