China, Once Officially Atheist, Now Booming with Religion
When Ian Johnson first went to China as a student three decades ago, he pronounced religion there ‚Äúdead.‚ÄĚ
But Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist now based in Berlin and Beijing, has witnessed a transformation, one he documents in ‚ÄúThe Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao,‚ÄĚ published in April.
China is experiencing ‚Äúone of the great religious revivals of our time,‚ÄĚ Johnson writes. ‚ÄúAcross China, hundreds of temples, mosques and churches open each year, attracting millions of new worshippers. ‚Ä¶ Faith and values are returning to the center of a national discussion over how to organize Chinese life....
We all deserve heaven...haven't had anyone tell me that, I've had people say that they're good enough to go to Heaven, and I've even had a guy tell me that the universe is in a clam, and another guy told me that blue lizards are demons, but I've never had someone tell me that they deserve heaven.
Well, keep on telling the truth, as hard as it may be, and even if the people don't accept it, I've found that to be the hardest thing, when I'm telling people truth then they get mad at me for telling them the truth and it seems that sometimes "Christians" get more upset when you tell them the truth.
I'll be praying for you, hey what's that website you mentioned once, I think it gave updates about China, I can't quite remember.
Thanks! I had frustrating month, and it is reflected in my posts. Just yesterday I had 1 hour bus ride with an african Christian who said we all deserve heaven. I asked her what did she do, and she went into her own good works, and she teaches children at her church. A few days ago, a girl complained to me she was lonely and to pray for her, I told her if God makes her single forever, can she say amen and not be angry at God? She said God will never allow it such a thing, and he promise her a husband. My student from the underground church, I asked her in class if she could share what she did for Easter, and she no, because she wants to run away from persecution, that's the message they teach her at that "church" with no elders, or deacons (clue: it's not a church).
Thanks Youth in Asia for the info, I was actually going to email you to see if this article was true and what is really going on down there, you are clearly doing what St. John the apostle taught, "Test the spirits whether they be of God" and you are doing just that and praise God for that.
Your questions are perfectly valid, truth is always open for examination, if someone says, "Don't examine this because it's true" then red flags ought to be going up everywhere, that's when you examine something.
John Mackay, I guess I'd say that I trust Youth in Asia, and his analysis lines up with what other missionaries say, it's not discouragement it's enlightening to know that we have missionaries and genuine Christians who can discern between true and false conversions and be honest about the situation in China.
Chris G P wrote: In some ways, the situation of "revival" is similar in South America, which I know a little better than China. There is much reported revival there, but when one examines it closely, there are many strange doctrines prevalent such as Health / Wealth, Hyper Faith, rigid pyramidical cell systems, heavy shepherding, Oneness type heresies, as well as scandals involving money, power and sex.
Reminds me of the largest church in the world in Seoul, South Korea (membership in 2007 was 830k). I guess that many unknowing Christians would rejoice in such a church, imagining a revival is happening there. That is, until they analyse just what is being taught, and the motivation for conversion. The former pastor David (Paul) Yonggi Cho wrote many books, detailing his bizarre beliefs and occult tendencies.
I am sure that there are some isolated rural underground churches in China, where there is probably some growth, but once the Communist Party officials get to hear of it, no doubt there is a quick reaction against the church.
Also I am sure that there are also heretical groups that sadly deceive people, although they too, no doubt, also attract unwelcome attention from the authorities.
In some ways, the situation of "revival" is similar in South America, which I know a little better than China. There is much reported revival there, but when one examines it closely, there are many strange doctrines prevalent such as Health / Wealth, Hyper Faith, rigid pyramidical cell systems, heavy shepherding, Oneness type heresies, as well as scandals involving money, power and sex.
Having said all that, God is sovereign, and has His people, the true saints, in both China and South America, and His true Church will prevail, and in those places, God will add His people who have been saved by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for His glory alone, according to the Holy Scriptires alone.
Youth in Asia wrote: .., we can have different opinions, but in order to have a proper dialog you have to provide more information . ...How do you know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit? Doesn't the bible confirm that in the later days, people go from bad to worse, and there will be more deception?
Thanks for "on the ground " report. Polyanna preachers' numbers were rebuked by one of my early teachers (a China Missionary of renown) in home bible fellowships- & he was dubious of BOTH China & the state's preachers fisherman estimate of the catch. Another early influence in assessing #s was AW Tozer - his salty realism about just how many really wanted to be filled with the Spirit has continued to make me do a "hype correction" on reports of conversions/ revival
Tozer. Good stuff.
We want to think the best , but Tozer always makes for an honest plumbline - foundation might be a bit sandy. 2Tim3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, " But good to see Allegience to God seen as A Threat To ANY government " fear of God=beginning wisdom"
That's alrght John Mackay, we can have different opinions, but in order to have a proper dialog you have to provide more information about your experience with Chinese believers, in Scotland you see a different picture of the Chinese church? Most are faithful followers of Christ? Are you like Hank Hanegraaff, see much fruit and maturity? Then please give us your experience with interacting with Chinese believers. How do you know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit? Doesn't the bible confirm that in the later days, people go from bad to worse, and there will be more deception? I personally think you are wrong Mackay, so hopefully you can explain yourself.
I do agree with the article but not the comments on sermonaudio from youth in asia on the church in China.this sounds to me like a discourager of Christs sheep.they offer no evidence to demonstrate their assertion that the huge church in china is largely fake.if the Almighty Holy Spirit has done a wonderful work and we have the audacity to denigrate it that is dangerous ground we are on.we must tread very carefully
And I understand people want to paint an encouraging picture of the church in china... but most Christians here are not saved, God is their lucky charm, for young girls Jesus is their boyfriend, for guys it is an opportunity to meet some girls. And the worst is that there is no accountability here, everyone is a believer no matter what their theology is, we are all one and the same.
I feel like this article is not accurate in many of it's statements. Out of a billion people, even 1 percent can seem like a very big number. He did provide a stat that 61% are not religious. He just doesnt want to believe it. Living here in I can say most people don't think about God too much, so who goes to these temples and churches? The millions of retired people who have nothing to do, if they didn't go they would be sitting outside on the street playing mahjong or doing nothing, making their daily rounds around the neighborhood.. Most of these people have no purpose in life, and are simply waiting to die. I would encourage the article writer to show us a picture of these "followers", and we would see most are old abandoned people.