我不太了解耶稣。I must have gotten a funny look on my face because what that means is “I’m not very familiar with Jesus.”
The evening started with me calling a DiDi car (the equivalent of an Uber). Somewhere along the way I mentioned God and he proceeded to tell me that he was also a Christian. I was excited and I asked when he believed. He said his parents were Christians.
A long history here has led me to the point where the statement, “I am a Christian,” is no longer enough for me so, I pried a little deeper with a question or two. Then, I asked him to tell me his favorite story about Jesus. He replied, “我不太了解耶稣。” (Translated: “I’m not very familiar with Jesus.”) In other words, “I am a ‘Christian’, but I don’t know Jesus.”
Unfortunately, this is not a completely unusual response. I have met a number of Chinese people in the last few years who said they were Christian and referenced their parents’ belief rather than their own. It is sad, but often these older believers have completely failed to pass on a faith to their children. Instead, what they have passed on is a cultural version of Christianity where the practitioner refers to himself as a Christian, but actually has no idea what that means and has no faith in Jesus. It is sad but true.
I can think of few things more heartbreaking than to have a grown child who professes Christianity, but has little knowledge of Jesus. Our children are our primary discipling responsibilities. We cannot delegate this task to a Sunday School teacher, pastor, or anyone else. We are to disciple our children. Other people can help us, but it is our responsibility.
The driver and I talked about faith a little more, and I told him it was not enough for his parents to have faith. He needed to have a faith of his own.
I do not know what happened with him, but I pray some of my words soaked through and made him re-examine his belief. However, he did not seem especially interested. Had he been inoculated from the good news by his believing parents?
What about you? Are you inoculating your children from the good news? What are you doing to make sure your children are really getting connected to Jesus and not just to a “Christian” cultural identity?