We Need to Learn from the Church in China

BROTHERS AND SISTER BEWARE!

For decades the Three Self Patriot Churches in China, capitulated to government intrusion, in order to remain open to the public rather than joining the persecuted underground Church. Now they are being told hey cannon reopen unless if they praise the Chinese Communist Party in sermons and extol President Xi Jinping and slander the united States.

(here is a link to the Christian Post Article revealing these measures… Chinese pastors ordered to praise Xi Jinping, slander US from pulpit or risk closure)

They were allowed to preach… just not on divine healing, the return of Christ or the blood of Jesus. They were allowed to sing so long as they avoided those topics, and registered with the government, as an official government approved Church; and do not speak on political issues against the communist government’s culture or programs.

When they did as they were told, they were asked to give in more. What the Chinese government now asks, which is described in the articled linked below, is too far for many of them.

Perhaps now the practitioners of the pseudo Christianity, in the Three Self Patriot Christian Churches will recognize and repent; seeking to lose their lives for Christ’s sake with our wonderful underground church brethren.

Perhaps, we followers of Jesus Christ (in the U.S.) will understand that for over 93 years, through federal tax exemption, the church has been capitulating to the government in small but ever-increasing increments; for meager tax exemption.

This fatal flaw has conditioned Christian leadership to be careful, rather than courageous and bold—led us to a lack of sobriety in how we deal with the world around us—and kept the church always looking for the political person or movement to save us, for maintaining our hope for life as we desire it to be.

This flaw has led us to inappropriately teach Romans 13, concerning obedience to unlawful authority, which has been seen in abundance during the unconstitutional overreaches of Governors, mayors and leaders across the United States.

Remember, in this nation, the authority of leaders is vested only as they exercise constitutional powers. Otherwise we live at the whim and imagination of dictators. Sound familiar?

Now do we see how accepting mandates based on public health are only to condition the people of this nation to accept further unnecessary intrusions, till blind allegiance is achieved; and anything else is eradicated.

This flaw has been used to manipulate the Church to accept intrusions to our faith and practice and jump on the “social justice” train, so we avoid cultural guilt.

Truth told, we followers of Christ ought to expect this from the lost world around us, but we largely have been moving in behavior (speaking of the church), which is largely based on our fear of the government shutting us down, should we not comply with further non-proven methods of combating Covid-19.

Many Churches wrongly complied with shutting off fellowship in “the building”, back in March. To agree with the word of God (and some of my detractors who think I believe “the church is a building”) . The church of Jesus Christ, the bride of Christ is not a building. It is the “living stones” “being built together in a spiritual house” by which “we have access to the Father” together (Ephesians 2:17-22; I Peter 2:1-10).

Read Hebrews 10:19-31 and discover the true nature of the body of Christ in being together, in the “let us” statements—consider the penalty, when Christians forsake gathering together in that same passage of scripture.

Consider also, that although the Hebrews followers of Jesus (written too in the letter) were beginning to suffer invasive persecution, no excuses are made for the “living stones” to cease meeting together for any extended period of time.

The void of Christ manifest presence, left from weeks of not being together in fellowship (during the March to May shut down), agitated many Christians in the right area. Although in some case (perhaps many), reopening was necessary to gain needed funds to keep the building afloat.

The powers that run the world and its system, apart from Christ (Ephesians 6:10-18; I John 2:15), now understand that they can further encroach on Christian fellowships, who are willing to consider any unlawful mandate, in order to occupy their gathering spot, and keep their ministries afloat.

In Ohio, now it is wearing a mask, perhaps next a face shield with the mask or googles (yep that is being discussed). A growing number of states are mandating limits on numbers in attendance. Eventually will they maybe demand another unconstitutional lock down?

Let us learn a lesson from what has taken place in China. The underground church, which refuses to cease meeting together, has grown exponentially for almost 70 years. Yes, they get arrested, imprisoned and some of their leaders are never seen again, but they don’t complain or even ask for prayer that the persecution end. They simply continue to love Jesus, preach the cross and gather together.

They have learned well our Lord’s words in John 15:18-6:4 is meant for all Christians in every nation and age until the end. Like Paul they understand that God is our protector, and Christ our Healer from any physical malady experienced (they can’t run to a pharmacy to get medication to mask a condition, but make them dependent on said drug).

They meet in homes, caves, crawl spaces and only God knows where else, in order to please their Lord Jesus, as they love one another. They have no internet church, because the government will find them through using it. For them to live is Christ, to die is gain. They live by Jesus words “If you love me, keep my commandments”… Chief among them “love one another, as I have loved you”.

That commandment cannot occur through regular separation from one another.  Love is action, in your face and yes often times “touchy feely”.

Jesus Himself, laid hands on those with infectious diseases and healed the people He touched. He commanded the same out of the apostles, even before He was crucified and raised from the dead or were filled with the Holy Spirit. Not one of them came away sick.

We are called to the same in John 14:12-14.

John 14:12-15 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Why are we so afraid of getting Covid-19? It is a real disease, no doubt, but is Christ our Lord not still our Healer? Is the Holy Spirit not with us to empower, guide, bring peace and energize our faith?

It would appear that those who are not to fear death (US), as it has been swallowed up in Christ’s victory, either are holding to this life to tightly or have lost our focus on our only awesome blessed hope (Titus 2:11-14).

Why are we so afraid of the government shutting down our facilities, over non-compliance with unconstitutional orders, specifically meant to hinder our faith. Can we not continue to meet and minister and love one another in homes, crawl spaces or in caves? Sure enough, we can, but we may get dirty and sweat, and have to light candles.

These avenues may not be our top choice, we’ll have to give up our electronic music and majesty—part company with our teleprompters, smoke machines and lights—ministers mat have to exist on love offerings or actually work a job, rather than gain a salary.

This model has worked for His Bride from the beginning, the only time the church loses its way is when it is in bed with the world and culture, and has not clue that is it? Look to Rome, England and now the U.S. A. to understand this historical truth.

Will we learn too late, like the Chinese Three Self Patriot Churches? Or will we walk in faith and love? Will we continue to wither, complaining about our rights being trampled?

We are not on this earth to bring back some glorious age of a Christian America. We are called to make disciples for Jesus Christ and endure till the end, whatever comes our way. Not in belligerence or violence, but in love of God, love of neighbor and love of our enemies; obeying Christ’s command to gather together.

BROTHERS AND SISTER LET US WAKE UP!

 

About Michael J Erdel

Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.
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