信德文化研究所主页

张士江 John B. Zhang (信德文化研究所 Faith Institute for Cultural Studies)

         “善牧为羊舍命!”源自新约若望福音(若10:11)的这句话是1937年10月为文致和主教及其八位同伴蒙难所立纪念碑的碑文内容。
        当时侵占正定城的日军方代表、蒙难者各国代表和中国社会各界均承认文致和主教一如善牧是为保护自己的羊群——中国妇孺而献出了其宝贵的生命,因此立碑纪念。虽然日方代表在正定主教座堂参与了追思弥撒,并口头道歉和鞠躬,(还内部支付了“慰藉金”),然而,(所立“慰灵碑”的 )碑文非常简单,(只有“善牧为羊舍命”这句话、九位致命者姓名和年月日,)不但没有立碑者的落款(至今碑的东面还是空白),也没有提及九位国际友人(传教士)是如何被残杀?还有到底是被谁所杀?
        正定教堂惨案的现实意义是在教堂避难的妇孺的生命受到了保护,其人性尊严也受到了尊重,同时,社会正义得到了维护。但其沉重的代价是九位传教士献出了生命。令人遗憾的是,至今历史真相还被制造血案者所隐瞒掩盖,甚至今日还不为其所承认,更难获得其公开道歉。半个多世纪以来,受害国的人民不但没有机会了解历史真相,当地百姓也没有机会感恩和纪念昔日为保护其先辈而牺牲生命的恩人朋友。那么,除了妇孺受保护的现实意义之外,正定教堂惨案致命者为义而默默牺牲的超性意义和价值何在?同样,所有那些在战争年代为义(保护他人生命)而默默献出自己生命的人们, 他们牺牲的超性意义和价值何在?本文尝试以《新约圣经》上两个为义而被杀的个人和团体为案例,结合正定教堂惨案的主角文致和主教及其同伴殉难,来研究包括宗教界人士在内的为义而致命者的意义和贡献。

        《新约福音》中有两个为义而致命的典型案例。一个是洗者若翰的被杀,另一个是诸圣婴孩的被杀。
        前者案例的主人翁既是犹太人的先知,又是将来默西亚的前驱。面对社会的正义现象,若翰不但敢于向各阶层发出先知性的批判声音,振臂高呼,劝人悔改,甚至,他还勇于公开抨击不是犹太人的犹太君王黑落德的不义行为,导致自己被捕入狱。黑落德所娶弟媳及其继女因不满若翰的劝谏而报复和迫害先知。最终,一位曾受到包括君王在内的社会各界尊重的先知性公众人物,一个人孤零零地在狱中被斩首致命。(参考:玛/太14:6—12;谷/可6:14—25;路9:7—9)
        后者案例的主人翁是与耶稣同龄的一群婴儿。君王黑落德因为害怕将要降生成人的默西亚——新犹太人的君王危及其政权统治,在寻找新生婴孩耶稣无果的情况下,竟然下令将耶稣出生地白冷(伯利恒)及其周围境内两岁及以下的婴儿全部杀掉。(参考:玛/太2:13-18)

 

        从一定程度上来看,文致和主教及其同伴的被杀与若翰和诸圣婴孩的被杀有相似之处。


        第一,无论若翰,还是诸圣婴孩,抑或文致和主教及其被杀同伴,都没有主动选择死亡。若翰既扮演了先知性的角色,提醒和要求人们迷途知返,同时他也在做耶稣的先驱,为耶稣铺路,介绍徒弟跟随耶稣。同时,不谙世事的婴儿们唯一的希望就是在父母的怀抱快乐地吃喝、睡觉、玩耍,慢慢地长大成人。正定教堂惨案的主角文致和主教认为,问题可以通过交涉、对话、协商来解决,希望局势可以稳定下来。他曾派两位神父去与日方交涉,但被扣在门房。
        其二,死的方式:虽然若翰是受社会各界尊重的先知,又是默西亚的前驱,但若翰的死既不轰轰烈烈,也不悲壮,他只是在狱中被悄悄地斩首。若翰死时身边没有一个弟子或亲朋陪伴,其表弟耶稣——新的君王默西亚也没有出现。被捕和殉难前,若翰还得忍受寂寞,一个人孤独地接受死亡。婴孩因为与耶稣出生在同一时期和同一区域,不但没有获得祝福和保护,却受到耶稣的牵连而惨遭集体杀害,让人唏嘘,难以接受。文致和主教虽身为正定监牧区的主教,平日政教关系友好,带领当地教会神长教友为当地社会做了大量的公益慈善事业,备受社会各界的敬重,然而,1937年10月9日,他和八位同伴被蒙眼绑缚,离开他所牧养的羊群和照顾过的群众,在漆黑的夜晚惨遭杀害并被无情地焚尸于凌霄塔下。九人中,有的是路过这里的客人神父或者朋友,并不是正定教堂的人,但他们没有解释权,也无法选择,一如那些婴孩一样,被无辜地杀害。
        第三,若翰、诸圣婴孩和文致和主教及其同伴都是为义殉难。若翰是为正义作证而牺牲,为义殉难。 诸圣婴孩是为耶稣的降生作证而牺牲,他们是所有为义而无辜牺牲者的代表。文致和主教在被绑缚离开时,曾断然拒绝了日本士兵用年轻妇女交换他们性命的要求:“我是主教!打死我也不会答应你们!”在那个漆黑的夜晚,凌霄塔下曾传出这群传教士殉难前的忏悔之声。

          第四,从教会学上来看,仆人式和先知性是两种重要的教会模式。文致和主教等通过其教区慈善事业以仆人式的教会模式长期服务了正定社会人群,最后,又通过为义而致命的悲壮方式扮演了先知性的角色,满全了先知性模式。虽然在当代社会,这两种教会模式及角色和作用同等重要,不可或缺。前者仆人性服务虽然相当辛劳,也有危险(如因服务病患而被致命传染病感染身亡),但相对安全。后者先知性的角色和声音的危险性大,代价昂贵,因此,愈显难能可贵。


          最后,从另外一个角度来审视包括文致和主教及其同伴在内的所有为保护他人生命和尊严而默默殉难的人们的意义时,如果他们简单地保持沉默,或象征性地阻挡一下,然后就放弃,社会将无法过分地要求和批评他们,他们最终将不至于被惨遭杀害而失去性命。然而,这些宗教人士却选择了与弱者妇孺和受伤者同行,为了保护其生命及其人性的基本尊严,甘愿冒生命危险而忍辱负重地留在战乱国家或地区,甚至有的默默地牺牲了生命。这种义举虽然不是英雄般地为国家和民族而慷慨就义,但他们选择了一般人不愿意选择的,不言放弃,同样宁死不屈,甘愿为社会最底层百姓而默默奉献和牺牲的精神一样/更是难能可贵。他们反对邪恶、暴力、杀戮,充当了维护社会正义的良心,传播社会正能量,有力地唤起了人们向善和全社会维护正义的意识。如此,文致和主教及其同伴的牺牲跨越了狭隘的民族意识和国家观念,赋予了超性意义。从这个意义上,文致和主教等所有为义而殉难朋友都为人类文明和道德进步做出了不可磨灭的贡献。
当然促使和给予文致和主教及其同伴甘愿为他人和正义献身的动力源自其宗教信仰。文致和主教及其同伴虽然死了,而且半个多世纪不为社会大众所了解,但从信仰的角度,为他们来说,死亡并不是其生命的终结或者毁灭,而只是生命的改变,新生命的开始。他们以爱服务人群、以先知性的声音仗义执言的义举、为义而牺牲的精神还会继续传递下去,他们也理应受到上苍的丰厚福报。

 


         “Good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). These are the words on the tombstone of Msgr. Schraven and his eight companions, who were killed in October  1937.
         The representatives of Japanese army controlling Zhengding city then, the delegates of different countries of the victims, and the Chinese society, all admitted that Msgr. Schraven had died to protect his sheep—those women and children, thus a tombstone was built up to commemorate it. Although the Japanese representatives participated the Requiem Mass, at the Zhengding Cathedral, apologized orally and bowed publicly, and even paid compensation money, the tombstone is very simple, with only the afore-said bible quotation and the names of the martyrs and the date, but without the signature of the builder, nor the mentioning of how those nine missionaries were brutally killed, nor who carried out the atrocities. 
          The practical significance of the Zhengding Church massacre is that the lives of those women and children were protected and saved, their dignity respected, and the social justice was upheld as well, but there was a heavy price paid—the lives of nine missionaries. It’s disappointing for us to realize that the killers had been trying to cover up the truth till now, to say nothing about apologizing in public. For more than half a century, not only has the citizens of victimized country had no opportunity to know the historical truth, the local people has had no opportunity to commemorate and thank those friends who sacrificed their lives for their older generations. The questions need to be asked are: Besides the protection of women and children, is there any transcendent meaning in their silent sacrifices? Similiarly, what is the meaning and value of those who died silently for the sake of justice during the war? In light of the martyrdom of the key figures of Zhengding Church Massacre, namely Bp. Schraven and his companions, this article is to use two New Testament stories, depicting people killed for the sake of justice to in the New Testament, as examples to talk about the meaning of those, including religious figures, died for Justice.


I

       There are two similar events in the New Testament: the killing of John the Baptist and the killing of all the children in Bethlehem under two years of age when Jesus was born.

       John the Baptist could be seen as a prophet of the Israelites; he was also the one who prepared the way for Jesus the Messiah. He challenged people of all walks of life and urged them to repent, to turn away from evil. He even chastised King Herod, for which he was put into prison. The unlawful wife Herod wanted to have was his sister-in-law Herodias, who managed to kill John the Baptist. A prophet, a well respected figure, was killed in prison; he died alone, no one was there to accompany him (Matt 14:6-12; Mark 6:14-25; Lk 9:7-9).

    The second case is about a group of innocent children. King Herod was afraid that the new born Messiah could threaten his throne; therefore, as he could not locate the new born king, he gave orders to kill those under two years of age in Bethlehem where Jesus was born (Matt 2:13-18).

II

       There are some similarities between these two events in the New Testament and Zhengding Church massacre.
        First, whether it was John the Baptist, the innocent children, or Msgr. Schraven and his companions, none of them chose to die; they died without a choice. Playing the role of a prophet, John the Baptist was urging people to repent, to prepare the way for Jesus, he even introduced his own disciples to follow Jesus. What the innocent children wanted was to happily sleep, eat, and play in their mother’s arms, and then to grow up gradually. Msgr. Schraven tried to negotiate with the Japanese soldiers, to solve the problem in a peaceful manner; he sent two priests to talk to the Japanese, but they were detained.
       Secondly, the way they died was similar: John the Baptist, even though he is a well respected prophet, died quietly and alone. No one was beside him at his death, he accepted death alone. Even his cousin--the Messiah--did not appear to save him. Those innocent children could not utter a word, they were born at Jesus’ time, however, they were not blessed nor protected, but were killed instead. It is hard to accept this reality for anyone. Bishop Schraven, the prelate of Zhenging, built good relationship with other people and engaged in various charity works, but on Oct 9th, 1937, he was forcefully taken away from the people he cared for and was killed in the dark night, and his body burned at the foot of Lingxiao Pagoda. Among the nine, some were simply guests passing by, some were friends; they could not speak for themselves, could not choose; they were like the innocent children killed without uttering a word.
         Thirdly, John the Baptist, the innocent children, and Msgr. Schraven and his companions, all died as witnesses of righteousness and justice. When Msgr. Schraven was taken away by the Japanese soldiers, he firmly refused the request to exchange his life with some young women as he said to them: “I am a bishop, I’d rather die than accepting your request!” On that dark night, at the foot of Lingxiao Pagoda, those martyrs offered prayers of repentance right before their death.

III

        Fourthly, there are two models for the Church: the role of servant and that of prophet. Msgr. Schraven embraced both. He served the people of Zhengding through means of charitable works like a servant during his life time, and at the end he offered his life like a prophet. At the present time, these two models are both needed for the church community. Though the role of servant is marked by hardship and danger, is relatively safer. The role of prophet, however, is much more dangerous and costly, and rarer and more precious as well.

       Finally, we can look at the meaning of the silent sacrifices of Bp. Schraven and his companions for the sake of protecting others from another perspective: Had they had kept silence, stopped  symbolically, and then gave up, society could not excessively demanded and criticized them, their lives would have been spared from the inhuman torture and killing. However, these religious figures had chosen to walk along with the women, children, and the injured. In order to protect the lives and dignity of others, they willingly chose to stay in the troubled areas under tremendous pressure and suffering. Some of them even sacrificed their lives silently. Their acts of justice are indeed not the same as those who had died heroically for their country and nation, but they had chosen what others were not willing to choose, and eventually died for the ordinary people silently. In certain sense, this kind of spirit is even more precious and rarer. Their actions against the evil, violence, and killings had become the social conscience and relayed the positive energy in society. At the same time, they had also awakened the sense of social justice in others. For this reason, not only have the sacrifices of Bp. Schraven and his companions gone beyond the narrow-minded nationalism and state concept, but have offered a transcendent meaning. In this sense, the martyrdom of Bp. Schraven and his companions, as well as all those who have died for justice, have done unforgettable contributions to human civilization and morality.


      The motivation for Bp. Schraven and his companions’ sacrifices for the sake of justice and others is undoubtedly originated from their religious faith. Although their sacrifices have not been made known to the public for more than half a century, their lives are not ended but merely transformed with a new beginning when looked at from the faith point of view. Their acts and sacrifices for justice will for sure be passed down and will be richly rewarded by Heaven.

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匿名用户 2015-03-19 21:51:55
  生命诚可贵,信仰价更高。奉献与牺牲,爱人超过自己生命时,其实就是真爱主。                          

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