Three Reasons Why Few Children of Chinese Christians Accept Jesus

By Yetta Yao, August 02, 2017 07:08 AM

Youth Fellowship (Crystal Cathedral)

Some said that children of Chinese Christians rarely believe in the Lord. The majority of them act against the Bible. What is the cause of this harsh phenomenon? 

John Fan, who pastors in a house church, analyzed it. Having been a Christian for nearly two decades, serving in the church for more than ten years, he has seen the phenomenon existing for years in churches ranging from the most isolated rural one to urban churches.

Rev. Fan claims that one's conversion is the work of God and predestined by Him under His sovereignty, but this doesn't deny the duty of man.

Below are three reasons why the offspring of Chinese believers fail to inherit the Christian faith:

First of all, most Chinese Christians' faith is questionable. From the 1970s to 1990s, a surge of people rushed into the church. Before entering the church, they were almost unreached; if reached, they heard a false gospel of simply healing and demonic deliverance.

In the church they didn't hear the pure gospel, but just the teachings of healing and casting out devils. Later the church talked about justification by faith. However, they received this kind of distorted moralistic teaching of "being justified by faith and sanctified by deeds" because their faith was formerly built on the teachings of healing and the church failed to explain "righteousness by faith" clearly. As a result, many people don't have an orthodox faith, only staying at the level of benefiting from belief in Jesus. Basically they don't think of "witnessing for the Lord" or "glorifying God", and even if they do the thought does not grow into action.

A large portion of these so-called "believers" never believed in the Lord and their hearts never changed. Their values still belong to the world and they love the world and things in the world. It's no wonder they don't have "faith" or courage to entrust their descendants to the Lord. It's normal for them not to pay attention to the faith of their offspring.

The second factor is humanism in the church. 

The distinction between faith based on humanism and one based on God lies in our motives for belief. The Bible tells us that everything is the work of God and grace. "Sola gratia", or "only grace". However, the Chinese church more or less adds personal work to God's salvation, having a confused understanding and ideas of the doctrine of "grace alone". Strictly speaking, this kind of understanding is wrong.

This leads to the tendency of legalism in the church's teaching and nurturing. Works by men are included in sanctification. It produces believers that have "weak" lives, losing fervor and testimony in faith, let alone creating enormous vitality and influence. Therefore, it's inevitable that church teachings and their faith struggle to have an impact on the next generation.

The third factor is the impact of "secularism" and the serving philosophy of the Chinese church.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The world is more and more secular, especially China. Secularization is all-pervasive. Today's people, including the church, are crazy to pursue and covet material and the world is even crazier than in any era of history. It's so hard to convert a person (in essence, forsaking the world and pursuing the kingdom of God) under such social circumstance! So the effect of "secularism" on our next generation is obvious.

The serving philosophy in the Chinese church is another contributor that the church always pay no attention to families. In recent years marriage, family, and parenting courses and lectures held in the church were not effective in making families Christian. Their purpose was just to improve relationships and parenting. Rare families started family worship and Christianity hardly touches the aspect of family.

-Translated by Karen Luo

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