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 (Manna 13)
A Supplementary Note
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A Supplementary Note

Tsai Shen-Min

1.      Should we stand up or kneel down while singing the closing chorus?

The closing chorus is sung immediately after the last prayer of the church services. Hence, if the prayer is conducted in the standing position, it is automatic that the closing chorus is sung while standing. During the first few years of the early period of Taiwan Churches, the prayers were always carried out in standing form; hence, during that period the closing chorus were sung while standing. I myself had been a believer of the early period. After I had received the grace, I began to preach and had established 5 to 6 churches. Since at that moment, prayers were always carried out in the standing position, we sang the closing chorus while standing also.

In March 1936, Elder Thomas Kwok of the General Assembly of China came to Taiwan to conduct a one month Theological Seminar. He pointed out that to pray kneeling down during the closing of the services is to have more reverence. Since the last prayer was carried out in the kneeling position, it would be more convenient to sing the closing chorus while kneeling. These choruses are sung to end the last prayer of the services; they are not part of the hymn singing. Hymn singing, of course, would have to be sung standing, the short chorus that is sung to end the prayer should he sung in the same manner as the prayer.

In 1929, I myself stayed in Shanghai General Assembly for two months. At that time, the Shanghai churches had already started to kneel down to pray and they also sang the closing chorus in the same manner. I had personally attended services of a few churches and witnessed that they knelt to sing the closing chorus. Hence, it is clear that singing closing chorus in the kneeling position had long been carried out in GA of mainland China and it is not something that TaiwanChurch invented and practised alone. The True Churches in various countries should follow accordingly in order to have uniformity. No one should ask the believers who kneels to sing closing chorus to stand up because it would disrupt the order. Hence, there should be no changes but to kneel and pray and continue with singing of closing chorus.

2.      Question regarding the cross.

The cross is the most important part of the salvation grace of the Lord. There are many recordings in the Bible and it is not necessary to elaborate further. Even the secular churches which had deviated from the truth, place importance on the cross (sign of the cross), it is even more so for the Roman Catholic Churches. Presently, there are more than 100 Catholic Churches in the West, each individual Church claiming that they possess the cross which actually nailed Jesus. The secular churches place much emphasis on the cross that they not only put the cross in their Churches, they even put the cross on the tomb of their believers. Hence, there are people who say that the cross is the sign of a dead man’s tomb. The cross is further abused by people who make it an ornament for women to wear, including even the prostitutes and harlots. Hence, the sign of a cross is no longer precious. For the True Jesus Church, eversince its establishment it has never place importance on the sign of the cross but place importance only on the spiritual significance of the cross. Hence it does not encourage people to place the cross in the Church.

More than 20 years ago the Churches in Taiwan brought out the question concerning the cross for discussion and the conclusion arrived at was: “To put up a cross in the Church is to indicate that this is a place where the gospel of Jesus is preached so whoever wishes to seek the Grace may come here.” In a city where buildings are crowded together, a building with a cross could enable others to recognize easily that it is a church. The cross on the building of the TrueChurch with true doctrines is definitely not a sign of a dead man’s tomb but a sign for the propagation of the salvation grace of the Lord. Hence, we must not forbid our church to put up a cross. Let each case be determined accordingly by the surroundings of its location where a new church is to be built.

If a church had through its cross attracted people to come to study the truth and subsequently accepted the Grace, it is indeed a beautiful thing. (In Taiwan, such incidences did actually happen.) So, please let no man object to the cross anymore.

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Author: Shen-Min Tsai