Voice: 'Besieged' Christianity in China May Become Grain of Wheat to Break Walls

Suzhou Dushu Lake Church with a sculpture of Jesus, Jiangsu Province
Suzhou Dushu Lake Church with a sculpture of Jesus, Jiangsu Province
By Li DaonanJanuary 17th, 2024

A reader with a university background sent me an email sharing his story. He met a Christian woman online, and they developed mutual feelings, often chatting and pouring out their hearts. The boy confessed his feelings, but the girl rejected him because he wasn't a Christian and didn't believe in Jesus. While the boy continued to pursue the girl, she wanted him to join the church and become a believer, but the boy didn't want to deceive her and could only say he couldn't immediately accept the Christian faith. The girl rejected him again, leaving the boy puzzled about why someone willing to understand the gospel couldn't be accepted without Christian beliefs.

Another female believer, pressured by her parents and hastily introduced to a man, entered into marriage. The mismatch in their marriage made it difficult for both of them to adapt, leading to an eventual divorce. However, her church, upon learning about her divorce, continuously pressured her to remarry, arguing that marriage was divinely ordained and should not be easily dissolved.

On public transportation, elderly Christians sometimes discreetly handed out gospel pamphlets, with the content remaining largely unchanged. The message conveyed is the judgment that people will face if they don't believe in God.

In a university Christian group consisting of doctoral and master's degree holders or associate professors, discussions were still confined to topics like the devil and Jesus, with societal issues being attributed to Satan's influence.

While attention is given to the challenges facing the church, anxiety about its current state persists, yet people tend to seek comfort during difficult times.

Despite Christianity having a history of over two thousand years since its inception, Chinese Christianity seems to remain stagnant, shutting itself off from the outside world. It neither seeks nor finds a way out.

Throughout history, Christianity has faced hardships and persecutions, yet it has entered people's hearts by providing faith and hope. However, Chinese Christianity seems stuck in dreams of controlling hearts and establishing a religious empire.

A portion of today's Chinese Christians often view themselves as adversaries of society, believing that society will deteriorate without the presence of Christianity but standing by in observation of this decline. They possess a sense of superiority and look down upon society, yet deep within, they feel timid and lonely facing society.

Christians in China today still frequently blame societal pressure for their problems, much like a child who trips over a chair. Instead of teaching the child to be careful next time and taking responsibility for the fall, the grandmother angrily lifts her hands to strike the chair, placing the blame for the child's fall on the chair. This is what we are doing today.

Where is the way out of Christianity? An olive that doesn't break itself is obviously of little use; it is only through breaking that oil can be extracted. A grain of wheat, if not sown in fertile soil, remains just a grain; it is only when planted in the land that it can sprout, grow, and yield a greater harvest. The church is no different; if it closes itself off and doesn't break itself, it cannot escape from the walled city and its predicaments.

When the Roman Empire brutally persecuted Christians, they continued to develop and provide comfort and hope in times of societal crisis. The gospel is needed in any society, and if it is deemed unnecessary, it's a problem with how we are spreading the gospel rather than a societal problem.

The church should re-embrace the new commandment of Jesus, which emphasizes the importance of loving one another and applies to fellow believers and non-believers. Thus, others feel that Christians are an open group.

The church is a gathering of believers who support each other in faith. No one has the authority to command others; instead, those in higher positions should serve those below them.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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