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Evangelist Luis Palau Regrets Remarks on Religious Freedom in China
www.crosswalk.com ^ | Dec 1, 2005 | Patrick Goodenough

Posted on 12/02/2005 6:48:46 AM PST by Esther Ruth

Evangelist Luis Palau Regrets Remarks on Religious Freedom in China Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews

An American evangelist has apologized for saying during a recent visit to China that the religious freedom situation there was better than expected, and for saying that "underground" Christians should register with church associations set up by the communist government. Luis Palau, an Oregon-based evangelist, paid a week-long visit to China earlier this month, his fifth to the country. His trip coincided with a visit by President Bush, and Palau was invited to attend a church service in Beijing with the president and First Lady. In an interview with the official China Daily, recorded the day before the church service but published subsequently, Palau said there was more religious freedom in China than people abroad imagined. He also called for unofficial churches in China to register with the government bodies. In response to Palau, a U.S. spokeswoman for the South China Church said in a statement that 16 of the denomination's leaders were currently in prison in China, and more than 1,000 of its pastors, evangelists and believers had been jailed since 2001. Palau said he regretted some of his comments. "It's not my role as an evangelist to suggest that churches in China should register," he said. "My role is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ."

Read other headlines here


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apology; asiavisit; china; chinavisit; chinesechristians; communist; evangelist; freedom; luispalau; persecution; redchina

1 posted on 12/02/2005 6:48:47 AM PST by Esther Ruth
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To: Esther Ruth

Sure. Sign up for the state-approved and state-monitored list of churches. You'll be able to freely worship at will. Suuuuure you will.


2 posted on 12/02/2005 6:52:01 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day (Win the war. Confirm the judges. Cut the taxes. Control the spending. Secure the border.)
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To: Esther Ruth

I can't believe this character has the unmitigated gall to call himself a Christian, let alone a pastor.


3 posted on 12/02/2005 6:58:39 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Esther Ruth

This really makes me mad. I have listened to this man and read his articles and he is a fine christian, but the minute he has a chance to explain to the president about what the real persecution is in China he screws it all up!!!! Did he tell the president that China isn't all that bad? Obviously Mr Palau did not make his mind ready for spiritual deception and now he has possibly brought the president in on it. This is really disappointing and discouraging.


4 posted on 12/02/2005 7:02:24 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: Lemondropkid31
he is a fine christian

Wrong.

5 posted on 12/02/2005 7:03:43 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Choose Ye This Day
You suppose this spirit of appeasement is contagious? Could this appeasement virus be spread by physical contact or airborne? Maybe someone will soon pronounce Communism a peaceful form of government?

1Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
6 posted on 12/02/2005 7:03:56 AM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: wideawake

Just saying wrong doesn't show anything. Please back up your, uhh, statement.


7 posted on 12/02/2005 7:05:06 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: Lemondropkid31
Obviously Mr Palau did not make his mind ready for spiritual deception and now he has possibly brought the president in on it.
**
Wow! Worth repeating - and can it be - could this be the case - spiritual deception or attack? I just cannot believe (again) that anyone could truly be ignorant of the situation over there.
8 posted on 12/02/2005 7:08:08 AM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: Lemondropkid31
Please back up

Anyone who supports the persecution of other Christians in order to curry favor with a despot in the hopes of expanding his own ministry has turned against the Church.

He is what the apostle Paul referred to in 2 Timothy 3: 12-13 as a seducer, a person who has attempted to lead Christians out of their obedience.

While it is possible that he may be severely developmentally disabled and therefore unaware of or unable to comprehend the extremely well-documented persecution of Christians by the Chinese government, I think that he is actually in full possession of his faculties.

Therefore, he did not act out of ignorance of stupidity and is completely culpable for his vile actions.

9 posted on 12/02/2005 7:15:32 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

what do you know about his preaching? is it biblical??


10 posted on 12/02/2005 7:17:28 AM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: Esther Ruth
I just cannot believe (again) that anyone could truly be ignorant of the situation over there.

No serious American Christian, let alone a self-proclaimed pastor and evangelist, is ignorant of the situation over there.

Palau's pleading ignorance in this case is really an insult to our intelligence.

11 posted on 12/02/2005 7:17:33 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wallcrawlr
Some argue that it is not:

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/palau/general.htm

The linked assessment may or may not be unduly harsh.

And as a Roman Catholic myself, you probably wouldn't trust my personal assessment of what is or is not biblical - even though I search the Scriptures every day.

My criticism is that one simply cannot tell Christians to submit themselves to the Chinese government instead of to Christ and to the pastors that Christ has given them.

12 posted on 12/02/2005 7:23:09 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wallcrawlr
what do you know about his preaching? is it biblical??

Yes. The sermons I've heard have been very similar to the types of things I've heard preached by Billy Graham. He preaches Christ, Christ crucified, and risen again. He preaches the Grace and Mercy of our Lord.

I heard him live a few years back and his preaching was powerful and Spirit-filled.
13 posted on 12/02/2005 7:24:35 AM PST by Texas2step (<><)
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To: wideawake

He has not done anything that you claim he has, and he regrets his remarks. What part of what he said do you not understand. You have got to be totally NOT in control of YOUR faculties to think he actually supports christian persecution. You have no idea who Mr Palau is and you are making statements that prove it.


14 posted on 12/02/2005 7:24:57 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: Esther Ruth

" I just cannot believe (again) that anyone could truly be ignorant of the situation over there."

It is amazing what Satan can do to somebody in an uncompromising position, and when you enter such a godless country as China, you are in that position. I would consider this to be both deception and attack, and its doubly bad because he has influenced the president in some way.


15 posted on 12/02/2005 7:27:20 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: wideawake
No serious American Christian, let alone a self-proclaimed pastor and evangelist, is ignorant of the situation over there.

Well, I consider myself a "serious" American Christian, and I was not aware that there were even any openly Christian churches, state-registered or not.

We weren't there. Perhaps they really pulled the wool over his eyes and deceived him about the actual acceptance of Christianity and he said some things he shouldn't have.

He made a mistake, and he owned up to it as soon as he realized the true situation. That make's him evil?

Man, us Christians sure do know all about mercy and grace, huh? One mess-up, and it's time for a crucifixion!
16 posted on 12/02/2005 7:28:59 AM PST by Texas2step (<><)
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To: Lemondropkid31
It is amazing what Satan can do to somebody in an uncompromising position, and when you enter such a godless country as China, you are in that position.

Thank you for some words of wisdom on this thread.
17 posted on 12/02/2005 7:30:11 AM PST by Texas2step (<><)
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To: wideawake
And as a Roman Catholic myself, you probably wouldn't trust my personal assessment of what is or is not biblical

ha ha thanks for that disclaimer... ;)

I will go research him for myself. I agree...we should not put anything between ourselves and Jesus. Submit to an earthly authority but there is only one God.
The chinese have much to account for with their religious persecution.

18 posted on 12/02/2005 7:33:10 AM PST by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: Lemondropkid31
He has not done anything that you claim he has

There is only one thing I claim that he has done, and the article above describes it.

Take issue with the author of the article - but Palau apparently isn't denying that he gave the vile advice he gave.

and he regrets his remarks

He says he regrets some of his remarks.

What part of what he said do you not understand.

You are the one who is apparently unable to grasp the import of his comments.

He said that Christians should register with the fake "official" churches of China, and then he Clintonesquely said "it's not my role" to suggest that.

Either it is right or it is not right for a Christian to apostatize in favor of the Chinese government policy. His final response indicates that while he used to advocate apostasy, he is now expressing no opinion either way because it is not "his role."

That's indefensible.

You have got to be totally NOT in control of YOUR faculties to think he actually supports christian persecution.

He advocated that Christians apostatize from their faith and join the official Chinese-run churches that actively persecute real Christians. These official state churches infiltrate real congregations and spy on real Christians for the government.

At first he said that Christians should join these persecutors and now he is saying that it's not his role to advise people to persecute Christians or not persecute Christians. He's just washing his hands and walking away.

You have no idea who Mr Palau is and you are making statements that prove it.

Palau is an elderly gentleman from Argentina who is affiliated with the Multnomah school of evangelism. He is a world traveler who preaches everywhere in a Billy Grahamish mold.

Am I missing any salient points?

Just because you have formed a personal attachment to the guy for whatever reason does not put his egregious actions above criticism.

19 posted on 12/02/2005 7:39:25 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Texas2step
I was not aware that there were even any openly Christian churches, state-registered or not.

That's an amazing statement. I'm not sure what school of Christianity you identify with but the Southern Baptist, Catholic, conservative Lutheran, Assemblies of God and large nondenominationals have been all over the situation in China for decades, informing their congregations about the persecutions over there and the struggles Christians are going through in China.

There have been thousands of stories in the Christian media about the situation for years and hundreds of stories even in the MSM, including the Washington Post, NY Times, Wall Street journal, CNN, FNC and others.

He made a mistake, and he owned up to it as soon as he realized the true situation.

You mischaracterize the situation.

he started by advocating that Christians apostatize.

When actual Christians raised a hue and cry about this vile advice, he responded by saying "Um, I have no opinion any more. Not my role. Do what you want."

A true Christian would express solidarity with millions of Chinese Christians being persecuted by the Chinese government - he wouldn't just slink off and say "forget the whole thing."

Man, us Christians sure do know all about mercy and grace, huh?

If he had said: "I was wrong. The Chinese government should immediately stop persecuting Christians and allow all Chinese Christians to worship freely without government interference" you would have a point.

But someone who, in effect, says that it doesn't matter to him one way or another if the Chinese government persecutes Christians - well grace may be free, but it is not cheap.

20 posted on 12/02/2005 7:51:12 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Palau, who has zilch experience with China issues, got royally deceived by his Chicom hosts. It sounds like they took him on a tour of foreigner churches which don't have to bastardize their gospel so long as they don't let Chinese citizens in.


21 posted on 12/02/2005 7:54:56 AM PST by The Red Zone
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To: wideawake

I have not formed any personal attachment to this man, but I am not going to quicly attack him just because he makes a mistake and then owns up to it. Yes, he regrets "some of his remarks." We do not know what other remarks he gave, just the ones this article talks about. Are you going to judge the remarks that we don't know he gave? Would you rather he denied giving vile advice instead of own up to it? He did not see the official churches as fake when he was there. You are judging him for something that he said he regrets doing. Where is the forgiveness?


22 posted on 12/02/2005 7:56:47 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: The Red Zone
I'm sure that his tour was very tightly controlled.

But honestly, how could he not know the real deal about what is happening to Chinese Christians?

The truth about what is going on there is well-known.

23 posted on 12/02/2005 7:57:38 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

He says it was better than EXPECTED.

A tour of foreigner churches, his hosts telling him these are house churches, would do that. Had Luis been able to ask a few questions it would have blown the cover, but I doubt he got to hear anything more than a few rousing choruses of "Blessed Assurance" and the like.


24 posted on 12/02/2005 8:01:10 AM PST by The Red Zone
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To: wideawake

"An American evangelist has apologized for saying during a recent visit to China that the religious freedom situation there was better than expected, and for saying that "underground" Christians should register with church associations set up by the communist government."


He apologized for saying this. What is there not to understand?

"In response to Palau, a U.S. spokeswoman for the South China Church said in a statement that 16 of the denomination's leaders were currently in prison in China, and more than 1,000 of its pastors, evangelists and believers had been jailed since 2001."

This is what satan wants covered up. He preyed upon a mind that was not properly prepared to go into a godless country. Yes, this is Mr Palau's fault. He should know about spiritual persecution and wound up a bad influence on our president.



""Palau said he regretted some of his comments. "It's not my role as an evangelist to suggest that churches in China should register," he said. "My role is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ." "

If your role is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, then the people will come to realize what is fake and what is not.


25 posted on 12/02/2005 8:02:49 AM PST by Lemondropkid31 (Conroe, TX)
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To: wideawake
That's an amazing statement. ...informing their congregations about the persecutions over there

Would you mind actually reading my statements? If you would bother to go back and read what I wrote, you would see that I said I wasn't aware that there were any Christian churches, state registered or not. I was not aware that ANY Christian churches were allowed.

Yes, absolutely, I am aware of the persecution of Christians in China. Our Sunday morning bible study class is sponsoring a missionary couple in China, and we know, first hand, about the persecution.

Now, what's so amazing about me not knowing that there were any churches that were openly allowed by the Chinese government?

he started by advocating that Christians apostatize

Uh, no. He was deceived into making a statement that was incorrect. He erred. He was wrong.

he responded by saying "Um, I have no opinion any more. Not my role. Do what you want."

Uh, no. He responding by saying he regretting calling for the churches to register, and he shouldn't have done so.

But someone who, in effect, says that it doesn't matter to him one way or another if the Chinese government persecutes Christians - well grace may be free, but it is not cheap.

You are absolutely putting words in his mouth. That's not what he said at all. It's funny that you're the only one on this thread who believes that this was his intent.

He messed up, he fessed up. That's what Christians do. Maybe you've got some other agenda and you just see this as your opportunity to slam this man of God.

I guess, I'll probably be next. Fine, whatever.
26 posted on 12/02/2005 8:07:07 AM PST by Texas2step (<><)
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To: Esther Ruth
An American evangelist has apologized for saying during a recent visit
to China that the religious freedom situation there was better
than expected, and for saying that "underground" Christians
should register with church associations set up by the communist government.


What was he thinking?
For all the good he does as a pastor, in this case he learned
that "loose lips sink ships" with the utterance of a couple of sentences.
27 posted on 12/02/2005 8:07:30 AM PST by VOA
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To: Lemondropkid31
He did not see the official churches as fake when he was there.

Oh please. It's like trying to defend Walter Duranty's reporting on the Soviet Union as a worker's paradise.

You are judging him for something that he said he regrets doing.

No, I am pointing out that weaseling out of his responsibility by saying "It's not my role" is neither an apology nor is it good example.

Self-proclaimed evangelists have an even greater responsibility to tell the truth "in season and out of season."

He has first given vile advice and then he has followed it up by saying: "At first I supported apostasy. But now I have no comment. Not my role."

Absolutely pathetic.

A real Christian would tell real Christians in China to continue to witness to Jesus without fear or favor, and he would call upon the Chinese government to stop persecuting the churches.

And his response is: "It's not my role."

Some evangelist.

28 posted on 12/02/2005 8:07:32 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Texas2step
Now, what's so amazing about me not knowing that there were any churches that were openly allowed by the Chinese government?

Because one of the key features of the Chinese persecution is that the Chinese government says it permits Christianity by allowing the official front churches while ruthlessly persecuting Christians who refuse to submit to communism.

Every single persecuted Christian has been presented with the decision: "Either submit to the state church or go to prison."

It is an essential feature of the Chinese government's persecution and it has been for more than 40 years.

He responding by saying he regretting calling for the churches to register, and he shouldn't have done so.

That's a half-truth. He starting by saying that Christians should submit, and he ended by saying that he shouldn't have said it because it wasn't "his role."

Wrong! He shouldn't have said it because he should have said the exact opposite! He should have spoken up for the oppressed Christians of China.

Instead of doing the right thing, he washes his hands and says "not my role."

Maybe you've got some other agenda and you just see this as your opportunity to slam this man of God.

Nice headfake.

The question here is precisely whether or not he is a man of God or a fame-obsessed showman.

29 posted on 12/02/2005 8:15:55 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Lemondropkid31
If your role is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, then the people will come to realize what is fake and what is not.

If your role is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, then you have an obligation to denounce the Chinese government for its persecution of your Christian brothers.

He hasn't done so.

30 posted on 12/02/2005 8:18:00 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Esther Ruth

He is a fine man. He just made a mistake. I forgive him for that based on his superlative record as an evangelist.


31 posted on 12/02/2005 8:40:08 AM PST by Doctor Don
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To: Doctor Don
He is a fine man. He just made a mistake. I forgive him for that based on his superlative record as an evangelist.

A fine man, by definition, would vociferously condemn the persecution practiced by the Chinese government in direct, unambiguous language.

Whether you forgive him, as nice as that is, is immaterial since he didn't injure you.

I am sure that the persecuted Christians of China - whom he injured grievously - pray for him and forgive him.

That doesn't remove his obligation to now undo the damage he did.

32 posted on 12/02/2005 9:17:45 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

I agree with all you've said in this thread. I wonder what happened. So very strange all of it.

***

All of this makes me think of Jesus being tempted by the devil for some reason, reminded we have a Lord who knows what we go through in regards to temptations. Also reminds me over and over again how strong the temptation can be and desire to win the approval of men and place men before God as an idol in seeking their approval.


33 posted on 12/02/2005 11:22:18 AM PST by Esther Ruth (I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE, Jeremiah 31:3 Genesis 12:1-3 ***ZECH 12:3)
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To: wideawake
That's a half-truth.

No, it's the truth. It doesn't match your vision of what you evidently believed happened, regardless of what the record said.

Earlier, you said: He has first given vile advice and then he has followed it up by saying: "At first I supported apostasy. But now I have no comment. Not my role."

And, that, at best, is completely disingenious, if not a flat out lie.

Absolutely pathetic.

It's pathetic that a Christian wants so bad to believe the very worst about someone, refuses to acknowledge that the mistake made was acknowledged, and that he admitted he should not have said what he did.

Based on your comments, I perceive your belief to be that he intentionally desired to hurt the Christian movement in China for some type of personal gain. There is no proof of that, and Luis Palau, my brother in Christ, doesn't deserve your harsh criticism.

He did not do what you believe you would have done in his place, and therefore he must be an evil man. That's not a very Christlike attitude, IMO.

Blessings, my brother. Peace, I'm done.
34 posted on 12/02/2005 11:51:35 AM PST by Texas2step (<><)
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