Effort Against Secularization from a Church in Central China, and the Faced Challenges
By CCD contributor: Hui Zhiling , December 02, 2016 02:12 AM
Nowadays Chinese churches are facing the greatest challenge of secularization. Since China's reform and opening up, the country has gone through rapid development of social economy and culture.
Meanwhile, the Chinese church has great opportunity of development. Many churches are built and the number of believers is getting larger and lager.
However, the rich and comfortable life has made some churches ignore the pursuit of spiritual life. They chase the loaves and fishes instead. The secularization of the church is astonishing in China.
1.The foundation of faith is not solid
Some churches would take the church as an approach to make profits. They only worship God on Sunday. During the rest of the time the church is usually open to the public as a tourist attraction.
Some churches would make money by holding weddings for people. Even believers must pay a high price to hold funerals or weddings in the church.
Some people would release commercial information during the gatherings and group activities of the church. Some of them even sell products, conduct pyramid sales or look for investment guarantee among brothers and sisters.
2. Behaving like non-Christians and going against the teachings of the Bible
Some believers are still drunk in sex, smoking, alcohol and playing mahjong. They think these habits are cool and show their personality.
Once upon a time, a pastor was invited to evangelize in a church. To his surprise, all the pastors, elders and fellow workers got drunk when they had meals together. The invited pastor said that the Bible teaches us not to drink. One of them said that drinking alcohol is the most popular custom. He was very proud to tell the pastor that drinking is the feature of their church and he was the key cultivation object of the church.
3. The church doesn't follow the principle of Sanctify and loses the holy testimony.
People who devote much money to the church want to control the church. They want to command the elders and pastors of the church. They take the church as a secular institution.
Some church leaders would invite people these rich people to make a speech and pray on the podium even though they are not baptized.
Some churches invite government leaders to make a speech at the celebration ceremony of the church. Some monks and Taoists were also invited as guests to the church, sitting on the holy podium.
4. Over emphasizing the form and ignoring the nature and truth of praise and worship
Some churches worship and praise God with popular music especially electronic musical instruments and percussion. Some churches invite pop music stars to attend the evangelism so as to attract public attention.
Once upon a time a believer returning to the motherland from overseas found that a Chinese church even sings red songs. He was astonished and never went back to the church. It is hard to list out all the examples of secularization in Chinese churches
The Revelation tells us that different kinds of churches would arise before doomsday. A secular church would lose its testimony and spiritual life.
God said: "You said you have made a fortune and lack nothing. You don't know you are actually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." The sentence tells us that some churches are rich in the secular world but poor in the spiritual world.
How is the relationship between such churches and God? God said in the Revelation: "You are neither cold nor hot. I think you should be either cold or hot. I have to give up you." If a secular church doesn't change, it will face serious results.
What should the church do to overcome the challenge of secularization? God said: "I persuaded you to buy real gold refined by fire from me because the gold will make you rich; I told you to buy white clothes so that you won't be naked or shy; I asked you to buy eyedrops from me to make you see the world."
The gold refers to the confidence and loyalty of the church. The white clothes refer to God's grace which covers all the sin of human being. The eyedrop meant that the Holy Spirit would lead believers to build a church which meets the requirements of God.
The Zhumadian Church has made great efforts to overcome the challenge of secularization.
1. No matter in what kind of environment, the church still relies on truth, confidence and keeps holy.
The Chinese church has experienced many twists and turns since it was spread to China. In the past, many Chinese Christians endured unbearable torture, but they never denied that they were the disciples of God.
After the trial of history, true believers with confidence and holy faith have made holy testimony and stuck to the principle of sanctify in the church.
The church is located in the secular world. However, it should never be secular. The more open the society is, the more cautious the church should be; the more degenerated the society is, the more holy the church should be.
2. Everything done in the church should conform to the holy tradition of the Bible.
Modern science, technology, and management can be used to better serve the church and guarantee that the church won't fall behind the times.
However, everything should be conducted on the basis of pure faith.
All the sacraments in the Zhumadian church, including worship, baptism, festivals and the Bible lessons are conducted according to the traditions of the church and under the guidance of the Bible.
The form of choir's worship and praise is solemn and elegant. The dancing and singing at a sermon is fresh and lively. The holy drama at the Christmas party is provoking. All the activities in the church are based on the truth and loyalty, no matter what form they take.
Zhumadian church also respects the government officials who have helped the church and may god bless them.
However, the officials can't participate in the sacraments or speak on the podium.
Only baptized Christians can hold weddings in the church and there should be no sex before marriage. They couldn't hold another wedding in the secular world if they have held the wedding in the church.
To make brothers and sisters of the church live a happy life in their later life, the church has invested more than two million yuan to build a nursing home where the elderly are looked after well. Believers would handle the funerals of the elderly in the nursing home for free.
3. The church should switch freely from the secular world to the holy world.
Nowadays the church should handle various relations well and play an important role in the construction of a harmonious society.
The Zhumadian church has set following requirements for its pastors, fellow workers, brothers and sisters:
1. Operate three families well-the church, the country and your own family.
We should pay attention to the relationship between individual and God, between the church and the government. We should also deal with the relationship among fellow workers and believers well. The relationship between we Christians and non-Christians, between the Hans and ethnic groups can't be ignored either.
We should be qualified as a believer, a citizen, a worker, a neighbor, a husband (wife) and a child.
When making great decisions of the church, we should ask ourselves whether the decision conforms to the Bible, the politics, the national policy, the laws and regulations. We should also consider whether the believers can accept the decision.
4. The church should bear the social responsibility and show the love of Christianity
Love is another characteristic of the church besides holiness. God ordered us to love each other. The Bible has talked about the social responsibility of the church and believers for many times. So the church should pay more attention to charity than any other social institution. Compared with foreign churches, the Chinese church still has a long way to go.
Zhumadian City is less developed than other areas of China so the church is not so rich. However, besides the building of the church and nursing home, the pastors also lead the brothers and sisters in the church to help the victims of Jiujiang earthquake, Wenchuan earthquake and Yushu earthquake. They have devoted more than 300 thousand yuan.
The church also devotes clothes to the orphan and helps elders with no family. At every Mid-Autumn festival and Spring Festival, poor believers would be visited. The church has also paid all funeral expenses of dead old men from poor families. To support poor university students, the church has devoted more than 100 thousand yuan.
Translated By: Emma Ma
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