Foreign Pastors, Better Sermons?
By CCD contributor: Paul Wu , July 13, 2017 05:07 AM
One day a pastor from Singapore came to a church in mainland China to preach. One of my friends happened to be dealing with some important issues so she could not attend the gathering lead by that Singaporean pastor. However, her absence was treated with huge regret by her friends for they thought that nothing was more important than hearing the foreign preacher’s message.
Their positive reaction to this foreign pastor made my friend feel confused: those who regretted her absence did not even attend the regular Sunday Service.
Actually this is not an isolated case. In many Chinese churches foreign preachers occasionally seem to be much more popular among believers than these familiar local preachers. Some even attend church at a great distance just for a foreign preacher’s message.
Since the Reform and Opening-up Policy in the 1980s, China has opened her doors to the West and many overseas Chinese preachers have come to mainland China to preach, teach, and train Chinese preachers. The contacts have facilitated friendly communications between China and the West as well as promoted the self-building of the Chinese Church. However, a strange phenomenon has also occurred: Foreign pastors give better sermons.
There’s no doubt that unlike churches in China, the overseas churches (especially the western church) endured less turmoil and persecution in the 1950s to 1970s. Theological education in the western church, generally speaking, is much higher than that of China. The Chinese church should learn humbly from them.
However, when you open the window to breathe some fresh air you cannot stop the flies. It’s believable that some cults and heresies permeate along with some proper churches communicating with the Chinese church. Some cults running rampant in China came from abroad, such as the Manmin Central Church (From Korea), The Shouters (from the USA) and more.
The cults have brought damage to the church in China. A female pastor from Taiwan was introduced to a youth fellowship I happened to know well and the members in the fellowship accepted her message without hesitation. However, as time went on the Taiwanese pastor preached unbiblical ideas leading to the disbanding of the fellowship.
Dear Christians and preachers, we must be extra vigilant when it comes to overseas preachers. Never blindly follow them thinking that foreign preachers mush give better sermons. Joining hands will never be too late as long as we make sure they come from a proper church or ministry. May God grant us a discerning heart so that we may resist heresies.
-Translated By: Alice Wang
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