A Religious Defense: They Compare the True God with False Gods

Editor’s note: This pastor recently spent two weeks in a detention center after he was arrested for preaching the gospel. His firsthand account of his experiences in prison can be found here.

Here we publish his impassioned defense of Christianity as a true and good religion. This religious defense stands in opposition to the strategy currently pursued throughout much of China to delegitimize Christianity by equating orthodox Christian faith with a cult or destructive religion.

Wang Jianguo is the collective pseudonym for a group of Chinese house church pastors thinking and writing about issues related to the spread of Christianity in their nation. They are committed to preaching a grace-centered gospel, developing resources for the church, and loving China’s urban centers.


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

 

A few months ago, I was sent to the detention center with my hands cuffed behind my back on the charge of “illegal missionary organization.” It is too late to mention the brutal law enforcement that I encountered during the process—these words alone are enough to choke my conscience to death.

More than two weeks later, the morning I came out from the inside, brothers and sisters presented me with flowers and smiles. They poured out pure tears. Their red, swollen eyes spoke silently of how the big prison of the world outside was mercilessly crushing their hearts—more so than the small prison inside the detention center, even after my face was slapped and my dignity cursed! Not only was our worship space ransacked on the day of the incident, but its water and electricity was cut off and the locks were forcibly changed before I got out of the detention center. This seemed to represent the treatment of ordinary citizens by their masters in their own country. It also represents the life of God’s people as alien strangers in a foreign land. The face of the city became instantly hideous. Each building seems a towering, jagged monstrosity, pouring out all the power of the world in its teeth and claws!

Just as I came out of prison, I received a call from home that my father’s health had taken a sharp turn for the worse. The doctors have told us that he has terminal cancer, which has invariably been accompanied by many graces for over a year. Yesterday morning he was not able to take in any water, yet his eyes still gushed many tears of gratitude. My father whispered in my ear that the day had come for him to go home, and his heart wanted to praise the Lord, but unfortunately he could no longer sing. During the fifteen days I was detained, he had been waiting patiently, using his last breath in his terminal illness to fight in the Lord alongside me, his own child! As for my dear wife, she has had a low fever for many days in a row. Other than placing her in the hands of God’s mercy, she was always the last in line to be mentioned.

Throughout this experience, I have pleaded our case with police officers, officials, and even my fellow inmates. To them, our words do not count; our voices are not important enough to be heard; and even our proclamation of God’s word is nothing but a lie. Christ, on the cross, was long ago presumed guilty by the world. All those who do not believe in Christ participated in this crime with their prejudices. Who can understand that the innocent was condemned in order that we, the guilty, might be forgiven and justified by faith?

Our so-called “illegal evangelism” or “illegal religious organization” has been quickly elevated to the level of a “cult.” Although this word was not written in formal documents, it was hinted everywhere in the words of the officials. At every turn they compare Christ, the Son of God, with Falun Gong. In their dull and hardened conscience, the bull, the ghost, the snake, and God are placed in the same hierarchy. [牛鬼蛇神 The bull, the ghost, the snake, and God were derogatory terms people used to describe capitalists and anti-revolutionary forces in the Cultural Revolution.] Fallen and lost souls, they are unable to distinguish between the basic directions of up and down, left and right, and the philosophical concept of the absolute and the relative. Although truth and lies are black and white, they naturally compare the true God with false gods.

For those who say “cult,” please tell me what the standard for “true religion” is? For those who accuse us of “illegal evangelism” or being an “illegal religious organization,” please tell me, what laws have been violated? Is the standard of our law legal? 

The legal standard for judging a called and sent preacher is: “Is he biblical? Has he been called and sent by God? Does he preach from the Word of God? Is his testimony the way, the truth, and the life that Jesus Christ proclaimed?” A legitimate church is a church in accordance with God’s Scriptures and in accordance with God’s will. God’s pastoral care is personally known among this church. God’s grace is personally experienced in their midst. They acknowledge that Christ is their Savior who has redeemed them, even when they encounter persecution. Their Lord will likewise acknowledge them before the Father and the angels.

From the perspective of society at large, the law is a fundamental border. The irreligious does not understand religion; all he understands is the fruit that religion brings. Are people more law-abiding because of their religion? Or are they more criminal and evil? The law defines the fruits of religion, not the root of religion. The law defines the actions of religion, not its teachings.

The police officer I spoke with mentioned this point, saying that many demon-worshiping religions bring all kinds of evil—we distinguish between positive and evil religions based on this. Religion that worships the true God is orthodox, and this God is righteous, loving, faithful, and merciful. The true God does not only judge the sins of the world, but gave his life to save the souls of those who are dead in sin. Those who worship false gods and demons are so-called cults. Why is there so much evil in this world? Because the whole world has fallen under the power of false gods and idols!

To judge a religion is to make a judgment about God. This is extremely significant. This judgment cannot be wrong. If we make a false judgment about people or matters, it will cause great turmoil. How much more so when we falsely judge God and nail him to the cross?  What kind of judgment and punishment will we receive? We are human, not God. Our judgment of God is only a retrospective recognition, not a decision!

Share This Story

Further Reading

shio-yang-g_C8w1QBca0-unsplash
Nanjing: Love Under Pressure
Read More
zhang-kaiyv-L9NHlk2CGOQ-unsplash
Why Should I Love My Enemies?: Give Up Revenge, Love Enemies
Read More
yifei-wong-HfLKjg2ic64-unsplash
Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.