Friday, July 23, 2010


Earlier this week I read, and listened to, an interesting story on NPR about the growth of Christianity in China. The story looked at both the Government-sanctioned Christian Chuch, called the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (?), and also the underground house church movement of Christians who worship in freedom, in spite of the threat of persecution.

*Read the full article

In the article, this quote caught my attention:

Yao Hong, a 38-year-old woman in a maroon jacket who became a Christian almost two decades ago, seeking comfort after her husband at the time had an affair. She believes it's patriotic to be Christian.

"If you look at the U.S. or England, their gospel is very advanced. Their churches are rich, because God blesses them. So I pray for China."

Is this what Christians in China think it means to follow the Messiah? If nothing else, it should disturb us here in America to see how much these Chinese believers (in the Three-Self Patriotic Movement version, at least), equate Christianity with being a patriotic citizen. It should also alarm us how they equate God's blessings with material wealth.

Thankfully, those in the underground church in China do not believe these things. They understand that following Jesus involves death to self, enduring hardship and suffering for their faith.

Pray for the Church in China. Pray especially for Yao Hong and those like her who mistakenly see faith in Christ as a means to wealth, prosperity, military might, and patriotic duty. Pray for her brothers and sisters here in America who also pledge allegiance to the Government Church and mix politics and military prowess with devotion to the Prince of Peace.


1 comment:

Mark said...

I read this post earlier and meant to comment, and then forgot!

I have had concern for some time about the potential for the WEstern church to influence brothers and sisters around the world, and here may be a tragic example. Unfortunately there is a lack of understanding, as the blessings of God would never result in the construction of opulent temples and financing of large salaries, while children lived out of dumpsters and lived in motels right down the road.

Thanks for the link.