Word has reached us last night that police are sweeping our entire region concerning house churches. Two churches that we know of, one in which we supported and helped continue was targeted and most likely will be shut down. Ruth and I discussed the issue and continue to pray for direction, especially for our church since I'm a foreigner in China.
The issue is, especially with this new religious regulation China imposed last year which only now has become law, and is being implemented, that the authorities themselves are going to all churches that they know of and registering its members. Then it will be determined if the church is shut down or not, chances are, they will stop the church from engaging in activities.
There is a spiritual war happening here that is rising to great heights to challenge what God is doing. Make no mistake, this is not by mere chance. An estimated 200 million Christians (if not more) and the growth of the church itself, has made the Communist party weary, not to mention concerned, about what is happening here in China.
Today, there are more Christians living in China than there are members of the Communist party, and it's still growing (the church). But that growth is coming at a cost. Pastor Wang and his wife were recently detained and placed under house arrest, not permitted to go outside their home. Their crime? They were Christians preaching the gospel.
Churches whose members have been isolated and even regulated to the point of closure, have been persecuted, their homes taken away from them, and their very jobs threatened. So what does China want? They want control. This is the game plan. Send everyone to a State sanctioned church where they will NOT hear the gospel, where what they will hear is that the Communist party is above Christ, and that the believer must conform itself to Socialist values. It's where a new State sanctioned bible is now being developed where it will reflect the values and ideas of Communist China. It is where the image of China's premiere leader will be erected in the sanctuary of the church, but not the cross. This is why Chinese Christians do not wish to join the State sanctioned church, because it's heresy.
Many challenges lay ahead, and right now, as China seems to becoming more aggressive in some ways, challenging the U.S. in the southern China seas, where the direction the nation is heading DOES seem to be one of confrontation (anyone who thinks that a China and U.S. war is not coming is a fool), yet at the same time, China is fast moving into the open.
China itself is a very beautiful place. The nation is changing rapidly, and the people are beginning to realize its potential. Yet there are issues that must, and will be dealt with, and the main issue is, what do you do with a Communist party who wants to move into the 21st century where the rest of the free world no longer supports that view? The problem then becomes a dangerous prospect indeed.
I believe God has said, not only thru me, but through others, that a great spiritual awakening is coming to this part of Asia, and which is why the church here is facing significant persecution not seen since the last remnant of the cultural revolution in the 50s-60s. All of this is a clear example that China is in a spiritual battle, and Satan sees his hold to this nation that he's held onto for centuries, beginning to be broken, but it will come at a price.
Until then, we will continue to preach, teach and declare the gospel, not to worry or fear, but to trust in the one whose called us for such a time as this.