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Unity with diversity in Christ

Publish Date: 10-Sep-2019

“Refusing to part” is a term that has appeared in news reports frequently these days. The term refers to the commitment to treating each other as brothers and sisters despite different political views or approaches.

If social issues cannot divide people, there should be no reason for Christians to be divided.

The Revd Canon Peter Douglas Koon and the Revd Harwood Fung, two priests with different political views expressed in an interview this week are the best witnesses of unity in Christ.

Fr Koon said that he was mainly occupied with internal affairs of the Church during the 2014 “Umbrella Movement”. However, he began to share his personal views under his own name at the time of the occupation movement. He realized that Christians should have different views and voices on social issues and discovered that his belief was shared by many. Thus, being a Christian, he believes that the voices of parishioners which are different from that of the mainstream should also be heard. He said he feels most uncomfortable about the insults hurled between members of Christ’s family over different political views. The fact that many people jump to conclusions and label others before checking their facts lead him to realize the importance of mutual learning and communication within Christ.

He said that the government might be blamed for insufficient work in responding to the crisis this time and that some of the demands need to be met. However, he was also of the view that all parties involved should calm down before a dialogue could be held. Fr Koon hopes that both sides could quiet down so the deep conflicts existed in the society could be resolved.

Fr Fung took part in many demonstrations, hunger strikes, prayers organized by Christian groups and signed many petitions in protest against the proposed fugitive extradition bill. He agrees that dialogue is essential but the movement takes a direction that surprises many. He said that nobody could predict how the situation might evolve. A leaderless movement reflected that the masses have no trust in any authority or leader. Fr Fung called on the protesters to learn from each other, to reduce violence, and cherish the communication channels that they have built.

Fr Fung believes that the more difficult the challenges, the more we can see God’s light and blessing. God often gives us deeper inspiration when we face difficult challenges. The Bible reminds us that our bonds with God are deepened when we suffer, and that is a good time to reflect upon our faith and deep-seated social problems.

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