November 4, 2010 | Da Yong –
Little to no knowledge of the Bible
The growth explosion in the Third Church of China is causing a great deal of stress and trials. Even though the TC is made up of intellectuals there is a great void in solid biblical teaching. Remember that China has been essentially a spiritual vacuum for over 60 years. China is officially atheistic to it’s core even though there is a State run church. From schools to home Chinese learn from day one that there is no God. There is no understanding of basic Bible stories let alone deep theological issues. Kids in the USA have a greater understanding of the Bible than most TC Christians. This causes many false teaching and cults to grow out of this lack of understanding of the harder theological issues. One of the strongest cults in China is known as ”Lightning from the East” lead by a woman who says she is Jesus.
Lack of Full-Time Workers
Even though all these TC fellowships are popping up all over the urban centers of China there is a lack of leadership (pastoral and lay leaders) among them. Member care is falling short because there are large numbers coming to the Lord and very few people to disciple, guide and ground these new Believers. There is a real need for pastoral/lay leadership training to help build up and strengthen the new coverts and to keep out false doctrines, teachings and the cults. It is unfortunate that many of the new Believers are not receiving the milk they need as ”baby Believers” and end up falling away. One church that we helped plant was being lead by a pediatric heart surgeon. This Brother was working 60 plus hours a week as a doctor, he is married and has a newborn. On top of all of that he needed to be ministering to his flock. In reality this Brother should be a lay leader not the pastor, but, there was no one else that could take his place.
Intellectuals and Continued Learning
The intellectuals that make up the TC fellowships pursue knowledge and wisdom continuously. The Chinese have a real love for reading and expanding their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. In the past most Christian literature was written to the uneducated masses in the country-side. These books are intellectually inferior to the TC Believers. They find these books and materials too simplistic. Some big cities in China now have Christian book store with a wide variety of Western Christian books translated into Chinese, but, the supply for the demand simply does not make the cut. The need for more resources is staggering. The Chinese Christians here in the West need to help meet this need by translating more Christian resources.
Living Daily for Christ
In our work among the Chinese we saw a real disconnect between “my Sunday life as a Christian and my weekly life as a citizen”. The mentality was that they were two separate lives that did not merge together. One brother explained as most Chinese look at their faith as a “hobby”, something they did on the weekends. The TC Believers need relevant and practical training for every day life. They need to understand that their faith is not a “hobby”, but, a radical life changing event that goes everywhere with them. Whether it is the home, the
office, on the street or in church they exist for the glory of God and therefore they need to live their new life out in front of everyone. The Chinese are faced with more and more social problems as the country as a whole gains wealth, power and influence. Divorce, abortions, homosexuality, immorality and many more sin issues are coming to the surface and the TC Believers need to be grounded so they can resist these sins as well as help unbelievers out of these troubles to Christ. Training the TC Believers is a huge task, but, it will be well worth the effort when we see the TC making a godly influence at all levels of life.
How Can You Help
Prayer of course is the first step in helping our fellow Brothers and Sisters in China. Pray for the need for more full-time workers, literature and training materials to be translated and that their Biblical knowledge will be increased and deepened. We are all called to SEND and to GO, so, which of these two are you doing? There is no in between! If you want to know more about how you can help send or go contact the author of this article.
American serving the Lord in China
Contributor – Baptist.org
Featuring : The Trials of the Third Church of China