中国的宝石

中国的宝石 ‘the gem of China’

 

Religious freedom and Chinese law
The current Chinese Constitution (adopted in 1982) grants “freedom of religious belief,” but only specifies that right as belonging to the individual citizen. It refers to, but does not define, “normal religious activities.” These two items have been pressure points in religious policy and law ever since. Article 36 reads as follows:

“Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.”

I receive the weekly Christian History Connection newsletter via email from Christianity Today. This week the news letter profiled the Church in China in an article entitled ‘Worshiping Under the Communist Eye’  (Source Christianity Today Read the article in its entirety)

In the newsletter, the church profiled ‘the former Anglican cathedral in a provincial capital’. The article goes on to say concerning attendance….

“it is jammed to the rafters. A thousand voices echo from the unadorned brick walls as they recite the Apostles’ Creed, and the elderly blind pianist, raised in a Christian orphanage until the Communist victory in 1949, leads her small choir through a lovely rendition of “Alas, and did my Savior bleed?”

From all indications it appears that the church in China is a growing and thriving spiritual success. Of course there is more than one church in China today. I am not talking about the distinction between protestant or Catholic or even the distinction in protestant denominationalism. The distinction that is seen in China is that of a visible church which is known as the state church- ‘Three Self Patriot Movement’ church and the other is less visible and it is known as the ‘underground church’. To the later, the article gave little or no credence, so it (the underground church) is what are in my thoughts in this post.

In the early 1900’s the only strong mission presence still present in China was from the ‘China Inland Missions’ that was founded in the late 1800’s by J. Hudson Taylor.

In the early 1930’s it was a time when other missionaries in China were declining, that CIM successfully launched ‘the 200’ campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to send 200 new missionaries into China. Missionaries that answered the Spirit’s call were the likes of David Adeney and John and Betty Stam. During this time of immense opposition by the enemies of the cross it was very dangerous to be a Christian, whether native born or foreign.

David Adeney, a Cambridge University student, came to China in 1934 where he worked with the students in China and served until 1950. He returned some 30 years later to find quite a different church.

For John and Betty Stam the story ended quite differently. They did not leave China to return some 30 years later as Adeney. They left, carried to the loving arms of our blessed Savour. Like Stephen, they being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

This is still the case for some in the ‘underground church’ in China today. They can loose all their material possessions, undergo severe beatings and even imprisonment, but just like John and Betty Stam, no one can separate them from their Lord Jesus Christ. 

I am convinced that the believer that has a strong enough conviction to stand with the same faithfulness as Christ stood, that no man can even take their life, they lay it down.. just like He did. Many in the underground church are doing such for His honor and glory.

malachi

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Free Quran coming to your doorstep?

“If you’re in your front yard, working in the flower bed or chatting with a neighbor, they’ll pass by silently to attach one of the bags they’re carrying to your front door knob and leave without speaking or engaging you in debate. Their mission? To place a copy of the Quran in every home in the United States.”  Source: WorldNet Daily

If you read the article in its entirety, you would have read that the reason ‘Book of Signs’ which is also known as the Al-Furqaan Foundation is distributing the Quran to every home is so “You can make you own judgment”.

The article goes on to say that the foundation usually receives one of three responses to the Quran being hung on ones front door.

  • 30% are appreciative
  • 30% are indifferent and request that the book be taken back.
  • Rest are often filled with expletives.

I am not really surprised with the three above mentioned response to finding a Quran hanging upon the front door knob of your home. I am a little surprised with the 30% that are appreciative although there is no mention of what spiritual affect, if any, the book has on the 30%.

If we consider the number of congregants that frequent mainline denomination, protestant churches on Sunday mornings, we must admit that there is very little evidence, if any of God’s word in terms of their daily lives. Does one think that the Quran will be any different? I guess my thoughts on this may seem a little strange, especially coming from a pastor of the Christian faith.

You see, the Muslim wants to prohibit any opportunity for the Christian faith to have free course in their society. They vehemently oppose and even persecute the word of God and those who have placed it in high esteem, in an attempt to suppress the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Personally I have no problem with someone hanging a Quran upon my front door, because my faith is grounded in the truth of God’s word. It does not matter if it is a Book of Mormons, Literature from Jehovah Witness’ or even the ‘mighty Quran’. They have absolutely no power or influence. Very similar to what we see in those who go to church Sunday after Sunday, yet come away with a spirit that is devoid of God’s word and it has no power in their life.

I kind of liken it to what Christ told His disciples in the gospel of Matthew….    “Let them alone, the blind need leaders. If the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch”.

You see error is for no one, but the one who chose to live in error. If one wilfully rejects the word of truth and the Spirit of Truth, they must immerse themselves in some element of error. That’s the purpose of all the other material, and it is sufficient for the day. The purpose of God’s word is to shine light into the heart of darkness, those who do not chose it’s revelation must remain in darkness… It is sadly man’s choice.

Concerning the negative responses to those who contact Wajahat Sayeed, founder and director of  the foundation, concerning the receipt of the Quran…….

“It is not pleasant to hear that after all the effort you made,”

Guess one should not have trouble understanding how God will feel when He finds one has openly rejected His word and trodden under foot the precious blood of His Son….. Yeshua ha Massiach

malachi