Although the Chinese church has endured all these difficulties, we have hardly produced any serious theological reflection from this suffering. We have no theological thought or writing to show from these experiences. The history taking place now is an opportunity for the Chinese church to step forward.
I live just outside the border of Monterey Park, within walking distance of a dance studio where, last weekend, a 72-year-old gunman shot and killed 11 people and wounded nine others. Usually, when I sit down to write a monthly “how I prayed” piece, China is the forefront of my mind. But this week, it is hard to tear my thoughts away from my own community, which is in shock after the tragic shooting.
Understanding how they see and understand Jesus is more important than holding up and pointing to the amazing and remarkable things about their lives. To me, the interesting question about their lives is what they believe about Jesus that allows them to remain faithful.
The Christian’s call to walk with Christ involves a call to suffer with Christ, and we can expect that in our lives…. It was helpful to not just be engaging abstract theology, but also to watch their living testimony as my brothers and sisters count the cost with joy and faithful perseverance. They daily remind me of this aspect of discipleship and following in Christ’s footsteps.
There are few well-organized groups in Chinese society, so the community life of the church is actually very rare. In this community life, the church needs to demonstrate what right and good power relationships look like.
We ought to battle for the sake of our descendants. Although our generation is pursued and punished, we do not want our descendants to live in this way. We cannot escape our responsibility and leave this to the next generation. This is ours. We must stand up, speak out, and suffer.
I went grocery shopping. I was in a very good mood, and bought your favorite chili peppers, thinking everyone would return the next afternoon. I was so joyful that day, but now the peppers are rotten, and you still haven’t returned.
When you endure hardship, you are proclaiming that Christ is all in all, he is my sufficiency. You are not boasting in yourself. Our hope is that, eventually, Christ and the Spirit will deliver us. How can we boast or hold fast? By prayer. We have no external resources, only prayer.
Can the Chinese church of today, with its message and through its life in action, enact an upward gospel narrative? Can the Chinese church reconstruct hope for the culture? …Can overseas Chinese churches welcome the large number of people being swept up in the Run Tide with open arms?
am praying that Chinese Christians who are currently experiencing suffering will follow Jesus’s example laid out in Hebrews 12:2: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” In this life we will have troubles. But that is not the end of the story. Joy comes in the morning, and Christ has overcome this world of sin and death.
Our tithe is an exercise of our duty and privilege as citizens of God’s Kingdom, much like voting in an election in America. Whether the government approves of our giving or not, whether we get a tax deduction or not, it is an honor that our King above has made us citizens of his kingdom, and he deigns to use our two copper coins to advance his kingdom on earth.