SELF-CENSORING AMERICAN CHURCHES: Surrendering In Liberty While Illegal Churches Thrive In China

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        Real Christianity’s ongoing forty-year surge in China is due in part to the incessant attempts by the Communist government to control and eliminate it.

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        This attempt failed in Rome two thousand years ago. The Roman Empire at first made little issue of real Christianity. Yet, while the Lord’s Community was in its early formative stages, the Romans began getting somewhat concerned as the burgeoning Ekklesia began exploding in growth. Its impact began being seen and felt all over the empire and its presence soon threatened the established ideologies and cults, especially the emperor cult.

         In Rome the emperor was god, and all Roman citizens and subjects were forced to honor this credo whether they wanted to or not. The idea of religious freedom and a personal conscience was a joke. Forced faith was the order of the day. Those countries where religious freedom exists at present should know this but many don’t (or do and don’t care). Legal religious freedom is not only seldom appreciated, those who paid the price to gain it are often slandered by later generations. 

         Constitutional religious freedom in America has been under attack for so long that many American Christians have apparently decided to throw in the towel, get dumbed-down to the fact, made numb by their lack of actually obeying the Lord Jesus, and weakly succumb to largely ineffective and vapid forms of “church life.”

         Many if not most church leaders in America continue to fudge it and censor themselves, and refuse to do what the Lord has commanded we do, namely preach the real Word as He preached it so people can actually get delivered from sin, be born again, and gain spiritual power over the enemy. Real Christians are doing this in China on a massive scale and the government there will never be able to control it now. It is too late for them but they certainly keep trying.

CENSORED “LEGAL” CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA

       They only allow two “Christian” entities and both are government controlled: The National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the official umbrella group for Chinese Protestants, and the Chinese Catholic Church. These two account for about a third of the practicing Christians in China, but the overwhelming majority of Christians there, conservatively estimated at perhaps 100 million, reject both of these government-sanctioned legal bodies and are essentially practicing their faith outside the law. And no matter how much the government tries to control them through authoritative, dictatorial practices they continue to flourish. Sound familiar?

         When Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire it flourished the same way. The real Christians, though, were not anti-government, were not radicals, and were not trying to overthrow anything. They simply honored the Lord Jesus as God and not the emperor, and they obeyed the Lord’s directives and refused to practice the idolatrous religions of Rome. Their impact was staggering. It is presently the same in China.

         The illegal Christians in China now outnumber the members of the Communist Party.

        What do you think will happen next? Will the Communists surrender or clamp down harder? It is now merely a matter of survival and only one of these can win. Here’s a clue which one that will be:

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COMPROMISE THROUGH ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

      The enemy is presently attempting to tempt the real Chinese Christians with the increasing economic prosperity of that nation without understanding that it was the real Chinese Christians who brought it about through spiritual means in the first place. The Lord always brings prosperity to His people but it must be put in perspective and handled with proper discipline. We must understand that blessings can never be allowed to circumvent or detract from our spiritual duty.

         This has mainly failed in America. Christian bodies have given in to being dictated to by money and economic success and eschew any attempts toward reining in that which has caused millions of Christians to become compromised and spiritually lazy. It took place gradually over time but has happened nonetheless and this becomes clear when attempts at proper and corrective reform are made. The reformers sent by God often eventually get shown the door because the nature of such closed-minded congregations and groups borders on the cultish with the usual domineering leader asserting primarily a vaunted rightness and secondly, an imposed inferiority upon those unlike them which must result in the aforesaid rejection. You can see, then, how it makes perfect sense for the Chinese government to make life very hard for those Christians who won’t go along with their program.

CHRISTIAN BARBARIANS

       We know this sinister paradigm quite well if only from the reams of data regarding centuries of church history. Some people have a tendency to go nuts when they gain illegitimate authority and will do anything to keep control. This is the main reason why there has been so much Christian-on-Christian bloodshed and why millions of Christians have been taken advantage of and ripped off.

         One of the clues regarding the real infilling of the Lord’s Spirit is that one will act as the Lord Jesus acted. One will do as He did. One will have His nature. Developing the mind and nature of the Lord and gaining spiritual maturity must obviously take place over time. Some never get there. Most are never filled with His Spirit to begin with and can therefore hardly be expected to act in His stead according to His nature and purpose. As a case in point, why do so many big time preachers insist on special privileges (such as body guards)? The Lord never did this. The apostles never did. We can certainly see by the things that happened to them that they were men of faith who subjected themselves to whatever may happen in spiritual warfare. They simply did not see themselves as special or as members of a higher caste which deserved superior benefits.

         How many real Christians have been murdered for their faith in China? How many have been sent to prison where they often died, languishing away from loved ones? How many have suffered in so many ways and still suffer today simply because they have given their lives to the Lord and faithfully serve Him? And how many have suffered because they were betrayed by other Christians? The numbers are likely in the millions.

         When one considers the fact that the underground “illegal” Christians in China are equivalent to one-fourth or even one-third of the United States population, it should make us all reconsider just exactly what it is that we are attempting for the Lord.

         They are getting so much more done with so much less while American Christian pastors censor themselves to make sure they remain in compliance with whatever will keep the money and prestige flowing in. Many Christian leaders do not see themselves as compromisers and that’s the problem. Though a decided minority, there is always an ongoing dynamic of stronger and more mature Christians wanting us to go deeper in following the Lord, more correctly appropriate what He called us to do, and achieve that which really matters rather than play around in the shallows.

         What a sad occurrence it is to have complete religious liberty in America guaranteed by the Constitution and so much blessing only to squander it all in order to save face and look “respectable” as a means to stave off inevitable persecution. How should the Lord Jesus respond to such an attitude? I have said long ago (and you can find it documented in my book) that a time of great Christian persecution would arise in America. The Lord revealed it during a time of great prosperity in this nation when so many Christians were going the opposite direction and didn’t care. The idea that Christian persecution would arise here was seen then as ridiculous and that remains the case for many. They will get a wake-up call, because when persecution arises there will be no outward distinction regarding who the recipients will be. All Christians will be subjected to it and all will be forced to make a choice. The compromisers will quickly succumb and surrender since that is their adaptive nature.

       The strong and mature Christians, however, will fare best and continue to be productive since they had already been tested and strengthened, having been previously persecuted for years by their own brethren.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    

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Posted on October 27, 2017, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. An honest, true perspective. As a young believer, Watchman Nee was one of “my heroes” as was Hudson Taylor. Our nation is going down a fateful, sorrowful path. But the Lord will cause a fruitful abundance to come forth first and last. Thank you teacher friend.

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    • I always appreciate your comments, Gary. They are well thought out and introspective. Thanks.

      So much work had been done by the early ones, such as Hudson Taylor as you mentioned, only to have the Communists essentially destroy it all. Yet it is the Communists who will be the eventual losers. One thing that many don’t know is that guys like Mao don’t just suddenly turn up on the scene without being heavily financially-backed by people from outside. Those people do what may be termed a reverse evangelism in that they are more interested in enslaving the native populations and ripping them off and stealing natural resources. It is how they take control. They thus must have a heartless and wicked strongman to do their dirty work.

      When Mao went to hell forty-one years ago Christianity in China began to come forth once again where it had been all along but tamped down under the weight of terroristic government control practices. The Lord told us to keep our peace and stay in faith regardless of bad circumstances and we would eventually outlast all enemies, as He did. China now has more real Christians than the US and their presence will only grow and intensify.

      It is impossible for the Lord Jesus to lose. They even killed Him but He didn’t stay dead. He can never be defeated. This is the lesson we must learn. Spiritual compromise is greatly destructive. It is nothing more than disobedience and surrender which results in eventual defeat. Obeying His real teachings consistently in faith, however, proves greatly successful every time in all conditions. Our brothers and sisters in China have proven this. They need our prayers and support. Great blessings to them.

      And blessings to you, brother.

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  2. We have become way too comfortable.

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  3. You said, “Some people have a tendency to go nuts when they gain illegitimate authority and will do anything to keep control” and “It is impossible for the Lord Jesus to lose.” So true.
    Thank God for all the power and authority in heaven and on earth given to Jesus that he shares with those who are in Christ. We are more than conquerors in Christ and nothing can separate us from God with Christ! I am realizing that religious freedom has to do with free will given from God our Father but there is no freedom apart from Christ, and any religion without the Holy Spirit is a mixture of lies and truth. Thank God for pure religion unstained by the world; knowing God and His glory through Jesus!

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    • Thank you Yvonne. Excellent comment.

      The Lord Jesus clearly stated after His resurrection and right before His ascension that He possessed ALL authority in heaven and on earth, meaning there is nothing He cannot do within the parameters of the present set-up, and of course, those parameters go way beyond what most Christians think is possible. He is still the same today as He was then. Nothing has changed. He reached the absolute zenith. One cannot go any higher or have any more power and authority. All He asks of us is to show some faith and trust Him so He can show us that what was possible then, AND ACHIEVED, is also possible now.

      He healed all manner of diseases. He busted innocent people out of jail. He set people free from the overwhelming power of sin and made them victors over it. And He raised the dead, including Himself. Why so many Christians and Christian “leaders” refuse to walk in the real truth of the Gospel and allow the Lord Jesus to exercise His total sovereign power can only mean they have never fully surrendered to His authority and “will do anything to keep control.”

      The lust for personal power and control invaded Christianity many centuries ago and continues to drive the fakers. When they demand their own religious control and authority they must surrender any possibility of the Lord’s control and authority. That’s why you never see the fruit of His ministry in their ministries. They force their congregants to surrender to the flesh and reject the spiritual power than would otherwise set them free and allow themselves to be used as real disciples.

      Blessings to you. Keep up the great witness!

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