Four Reasons Why the Chinese Church Fails its Mission
By Jonah Zhang, May 09, 2017 01:05 AM
According to the Bible, the church is not a tall building but the group of people gathered together, cleansed by the blood of Jesus who called them out.
Before Jesus' ascension into heaven, he commanded his disciples: "Go to the whole world and preach the Gospel to all the people."(Mark 16:15)
It is evident that the mission of the church is to preach the Gospel; but, the Chinese church is not faithful to their mission. Indeed, many churches which are not walking on the right path have forgotten their first heart, and some of them have become sick groping ahead. As a result, the church has failed to give good testimonies to the world.
What caused the failure of the Chinese church? There are four reasons.
First, the truth the church preaches is not pure.
Jesus clearly teaches that he is the only way to salvation when He said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."(John 14: 6) Jesus is the truth Himself. Since the church teaches the truth, Jesus should be the center of its teachings.
But today, many people like talking about their point of views, which they sometimes put in a higher place than Jesus' teachings. Many churches love the prosperity theology and the social gospel, which weakens the power of truth and robs the truth of purity. As a result, the church has failed to bear a good testimony to the world.
Second, believers' offering is not pure.
"Offering" is a natural product of Christian life. The earliest record about offerings in the Bible is Cain and Abel's offerings to God in Genesis 4. Cain was a farmer while Abel was a shepherd. Cain offered what he had gained from the ground, while Abel offered the fat of the lamb. Looking at why God accepted only Abel's offering, we know that God's acceptance was determined not by the offering itself; but, the life and faith of the one who made offerings.
Today in the Chinese church, many brothers and sisters have misunderstood the meaning of offerings and some even broke the rules regarding offerings. It is not out of love and gratitude for God that they make offerings to God; but, out of their selfish ambition to be blessed. Many people hold the wrong belief that the bigger the amount of offerings to God they make, the greater the blessings God will give. What is worse is that some try to bribe God with their offerings, making it lose its spiritual meaning.
Third, the clergy is not pure.
The priests, elders and preachers are very sacred in the minds of the believers, and whenever they see them, they show great respect. But today, the clergy of the Chinese Church has been defiled. With the development of Christianity in China, the number of believers and churches keeps on growing and as a result, there is a great shortage of clergy members to meet with the demand from churches. However, some churches have begun to put prices on the positions of its pastors and elders, leading many servants of God to pursue theological education for the sake of these prices, which defiles these positions.
Tragically, a trend to ordinate people is developing hotly in some places in China. It is said that one can be ordained to be an elder if he pays 400 yuan and in order to be ordained a pastor, he needs to pay only 400 yuan. Are not elders' value 200 yuan less than that of pastors? How many ordained pastors have failed to fulfill their responsibility? Though they have a high position in the church, what good is it for the church?
Four, believers lack genuine faith.
According to the record of Acts, Christians should live a life marked by faith, love and hope. In the early church, believers were full of hope and faith in the return of the Lord, so they did not despise the temporary insults, bore their sufferings and followed the Lord in carrying their own cross joyfully.
Today, we see many church's believers have negative dispositions, have little faith and lack hope. Some have even fallen into despair. It seems that the church is no longer a place of joy, nor is it a comforting place for believers.
Although Jesus taught several times the teaching "Do not worry about tomorrow", believers are always worried about their body's needs and about tomorrow. Does it mean that they do not trust his teachings?
Since the church has become so ill, how can it fulfill its commission? We need to repent before God, eradicating evil from the church and ask for God's mercy so that revival may happen to China again.
(The author is a grass root church pastor in Hebei. The author does not specific Christian, church, or region.)
Translated By: Alvin
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