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Pastor in East China Says Church Must Face Secularization as Serious Challenge

Pastor in East China Says Church Must Face Secularization as Serious Challenge

A picture shows a person holding a mobile phone to play a game. A picture shows a person holding a mobile phone to play a game.(unsplash.com)
ByLi Shiguang June 30, 2022
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A house church pastor based in East China, urged the church to spend time helping the congregation establish an intimate relationship with God amid the challenges of secularization.

G (pseudonym) has served in East China for many years where now he leads two churches. He claims that today the impact of secularization on believers is very serious. With the rapid development of the economy and the advancement and popularization of electronic technology, we have already entered the era of network society which provides us with convenience, as well as challenges.

Christians spend a lot of time on entertainment, but not on faith, not focusing on God, the pastor adds. A common problem among believers is that their personal relationship with God is relatively weak. The temptation to believers in the current world is in all aspects, and powerful.

"A few years ago, even if believers didn't go to work on Sunday, they would lose no more than 100 yuan a day. But now, if they miss work on Sunday, they will earn much less money, which will make some churchgoers feel that they have lost a lot for attending services. Meanwhile, it's more than just money for them."

He stresses that how to use and manage time is very important. Human life is composed and displayed by time. Everything must be completed within time, which in fact, applies to faith too. "If you want to have strong faith, you must make real efforts on it so that you can have a close relationship with Him. A person cannot have an intimate relationship with God and his life cannot grow unless he spends more time on it than other things."

Responding to why many Christians have no power in their beliefs, or no enthusiasm and no power in ministry in this age, G said: "Actually, a big reason is that they waste too much time and energy on their mobile phones, and on a lot of superficial things, which equals 'spending money to suffer', such as playing games. It costs some believers a great deal of money on gaming, yet they don't pay much effort to seek God. Therefore, once encountering something, they will fall down immediately. When having the opportunity, they will immediately sin. All at once, faith becomes weak. Their faith is all on the surface, in pretty appearance, which they can speak of eloquently, but has no internal strength. Why do many believers run away as soon as there is any trouble in the church? Because their faith has no foundation."

"If you have no foundation in your personal beliefs, you will not have a real commitment to the church." In pastoral practice, G finds that many believers are actually very refined egoists, who strive to do things that are good for them, and stay happily in the church if there are any benefits. If the atmosphere and environment of the church make them feel comfortable, or if they can skim the church, they will stay. But if you just give them the pure Word of God or only spiritual resources, some believers will have other ideas and even leave. The reverse is also true. Believers who have a solid foundation of personal faith and a very intimate relationship with God will have a real commitment to the church. Whether the church or individual believers encounter difficulties, they can still advance and retreat with the church.

- Translated by Shuya Wang

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