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Turning the World Upside-Down: Chinese Christians
Breakpoint with Chuck Colson ^ | 8/27/2007 | Mark Earley

Posted on 08/27/2007 7:21:12 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

Every week during the fall, approximately 70,000 people attend NFL games in cities like Detroit and Houston. They pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for the privilege, and, if all goes well, they come away with some happy memories.

Every week throughout the year in China, approximately 70,000 people do something very different: they, too, pay a price, but it’s not measured in money. And what they come away with not only changes their lives but promises to change a nation, a continent, and even the world.

According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, 10,000 Chinese become Christians every day. That’s 70,000 a week!

At the time of the Communist takeover in 1949, there were 4 million Christians in China. Today, there are an estimated 111 million, which makes China the third-largest Christian country in the world, behind the United States and Brazil. By 2050, the Center estimates that the number of Christians will have doubled.

The explosive growth of Christianity in China is only part of a larger story. The ordeal of Korean missionaries at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan reminds us of Christianity’s growth in Korea.

A happier story is the one Chuck told “BreakPoint” readers about the people called the Nagas. Little more than a century ago, these people living in the area where India and Burma meet were headhunters. Today, an estimated 90 percent of the population attends church on Sunday, and Christian leaders there have set the goal of sending 10,000 missionaries to the rest of Asia.

The Asia Times columnist “Spengler” recently wrote that China may soon occupy the role that the United States has occupied for the past 200 years: “the natural ground for mass evangelization.” He adds that “if this occurs, the world will change beyond our capacity to recognize it.”

He foresees Chinese Christians, like their Korean counterparts, “[turning] their attention outward.” Only, with a Christian population fifteen times the size of Korea’s, and a Chinese Diaspora all over the world, the impact will be far greater. “Spengler” uses the word “earthquake” to describe it.

According to John Allen of the National Catholic Report, the most “audacious” Chinese Christians dream of taking the Gospel along the historic “Silk Road” into Muslim lands. As David Aikman has written, they believe it is their task to complete the mission of preaching the Gospel in every land. To that end, Chinese Christians are already secretly “training missionaries for deployment in Muslim countries.”

This is what “Spengler” means by an “earthquake.” As he puts it, “the greatest danger to Islam” comes from Chinese Christians looking westward toward Jerusalem.

What’s remarkable is this vision is taking shape even as Chinese Christians undergo persecution. Then again, Christianity’s initial explosion took place under even worse conditions. So it probably shouldn’t surprise us that there are more Chinese worshiping in “house churches” than belong to the Communist party.

According to “Spengler,” the “fearless” Chinese evangelists may do more to transform their nation and the world than all the armies and diplomats combined. That would be an earthquake worth experiencing.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: breakpoint; china; christian; christianity; evangelization
May my brothers and sisters in China indeed turn this darkened world upside down.

There are links to further information at the source document.

If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail. Breakpoint with Chuck Colson

1 posted on 08/27/2007 7:21:13 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback
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To: Mr. Silverback

Soon there may be more Christians in China than in the US.


2 posted on 08/27/2007 7:24:59 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: 05 Mustang GT Rocks; 351 Cleveland; AFPhys; agenda_express; almcbean; ambrose; Amos the Prophet; ...

BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

3 posted on 08/27/2007 7:31:25 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Brilliant

Yep.


4 posted on 08/27/2007 7:34:45 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Praise the Lord if this is true.


5 posted on 08/27/2007 7:40:38 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rear view mirror.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
It’s a terrible thing, Silverback, but it seems the Church shines its brightest during persecution, and withers away during conditions of great ease and complacency. The European West is now described as "post-Christian" and is wandering in spiritual darkness. What goes around, comes around, and maybe we'll blessed by some of those Chinese Christian missionaries.
6 posted on 08/27/2007 7:54:33 PM PDT by xJones
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To: Brilliant
"Soon there may be more Christians in China than in the US."

I'm thinking that pretty much already happened back when there were about 50 million Christians in China.

7 posted on 08/27/2007 7:55:56 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: xJones

Yes! My Chinese brothers, don’t forget to come to America! We need you here, too!


8 posted on 08/27/2007 7:59:02 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

According to the CIA World Factbook, 76% of Americans are Christians.


9 posted on 08/27/2007 8:04:15 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
"According to the CIA World Factbook, 76% of Americans are Christians."

According to the CIA, in 1989 the Soviet Union was going to be with us for quite some time.

10 posted on 08/27/2007 8:14:29 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
Well, I'm not a CIA fan, but let's consider that when you said China passed us at 50 million, you're saying that about 16% of Americans are Christians.

Gee, I think the CIA is closer.

11 posted on 08/27/2007 8:35:45 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Mr. Silverback; Constitutionalist Conservative; Gator113; Zhang Fei; DanielLongo; Tamar1973; ...

Asia pinglist ping.


12 posted on 08/27/2007 8:42:28 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Brilliant

China could have already beat out Brazil as the country with the second largest Christian population.


13 posted on 08/27/2007 8:43:23 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Mr. Silverback

“As David Aikman has written,...”

Reference for the forum:

Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and
Changing the Global Balance of Power
by David Aikman

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Beijing-Christianity-Transforming-Changing/dp/1596980257/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4093065-4320608?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188272545&sr=1-1


14 posted on 08/27/2007 8:44:40 PM PDT by VOA
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To: xJones
Europe is often neglected as a place for Christian missionaries to go, especially American missionaries, who consider Europe to already be Christian, and therefore not as much in need of evangelization.

Fortunately for the Europeans, African and Korean missionaries recognize there is a need in Europe and are going there, in the case of African nations, sometimes sending missionaries to the same countries who sent the Gospel to them.

15 posted on 08/27/2007 8:50:40 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

Since God alone has the information on who or who isn’t a Christian, nominal Christian statistics should be used. Around 80% of the American population professes to be Christian.


16 posted on 08/27/2007 8:52:42 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: xJones

Several years ago I met a missionary to China. She said that the Chinese Christians, who were growing so fast in number and strong in their faith, that THEY were praying for US. That WE might be persecuted. I said “well thanks, I guess, but could you please have them stop!”


17 posted on 08/27/2007 8:54:12 PM PDT by geopyg (Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I wonder how many of the 76% can even tell you what the Gospel is if asked (faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God).

I wonder how many of them can tell you when or how they became Christians?

Theres something about the verse that says narrow is the way and few that find it telling me 76% may be high.


18 posted on 08/27/2007 9:11:24 PM PDT by bota
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To: Mr. Silverback

I agree America is long from desolute. Many powerful works by God in America. I don’t base any thing on the mainstream. We are going to be a part of the whole thing. Jesus Christ will be lifted up.


19 posted on 08/27/2007 9:42:41 PM PDT by jokar (for it is by grace, http://www.gbible.org)
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To: bota

I am not happy with the state of American Christianity, but when one considers the number of peopl who have lived in the last 2,000 years, tens or hundreds of millions of Christians would be “few.”


20 posted on 08/27/2007 9:47:28 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Brilliant

I suspect there are already more

authentic, servant-hearted, loving, Biblical Christians in China than in the USA.

All the more so, if as some think, the total is closer to 150 million than 115 million.


21 posted on 08/27/2007 9:55:04 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Mr. Silverback

It only makes sense when you look at recent history. Mao obliterated traditional Chinese confucianism with his cultural revolution. The natural religious impulse in humanity needs more than Deng’s crass materialism. “To be rich is glorious” makes a poor substitute.


22 posted on 08/27/2007 9:55:14 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: Brilliant

I believe there already are. It’s only indirect information but it was estimated that there were 100 million Chinese Christians twelve years ago.


23 posted on 08/27/2007 9:57:30 PM PDT by elephantlips
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To: Mr. Silverback

The atheists who rule China should quake with fear. A Force is coming that will blow their kingdom of straw to pieces. No power can stand against the Kingdom of Christ.

...and after China, Arabia!


24 posted on 08/27/2007 10:02:29 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Re: 15

Europe is often neglected as a place for Christian missionaries to go, especially American missionaries, who consider Europe to already be Christian, and therefore not as much in need of evangelization.

You bring up an interesting point. I don't know if it is so much that they consider Europe Christian, or whether it is because they know Europe has already heard the Word... and they've turned their back on it. In order of priority I'd tend for those places that haven't heard - those that were either trapped behind the iron curtain of satanic marxism; or those that were far removed from any preaching of the Gospel.
That said, we should keep our European breathren in our prayers -- there for the Grace of God go we ... and we often seem in a race to catch up with them to see who falls into the pit first. If we turn our backs on God, HE will turn His back on us turn us over to our idolatry and lusts. We see glimpses of that in Europe (Gaia-worship) and disrespect for marriage, as well as in our own Country. Pray that we repent and return to our Lord, and HE will have mercy on us, and to our God, for HE will abundantly pardon...

Fortunately for the Europeans, African and Korean missionaries recognize there is a need in Europe and are going there, in the case of African nations, sometimes sending missionaries to the same countries who sent the Gospel to them.

God Bless the African and Korean missionaries, that they are not as cynical as I. I pray they reap a wonderful harvest in Europe, and the Holy Spirit rains down on their dry and thirsty land, and brings repentance and revival...

25 posted on 08/27/2007 10:36:21 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: bota

I think you make some good points. I believe this concern with numbers or percentages is all wrong. Paul never mentions these things for the church at Ephesus, or Corinth, or anywhere else for that matter. Show me a church that brags about its number of “members” and I’ll show you a church that has its priorities out of whack. Sure you have to have numbers but quality is far more important. But even that is not up to us, all we can do is plant and water and God gives the increase. And even that is up to Him.

Talking numbers or percentages is bragging rights which is arrogance.


26 posted on 08/28/2007 12:05:45 AM PDT by jwh_Denver (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA&NR=1)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Jesus is alive and well in the People’s Republic of China.
Thanks for sharing, Mr. Silverback :o)


27 posted on 08/28/2007 2:44:52 AM PDT by GracieRose
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To: gulfcoast6

Ping for your interest. This is a great time to see God at work!


28 posted on 08/28/2007 5:00:43 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ Liberalism only works in the abstract.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I agree with the post that says we should not focus on numbers and percentages, that would of course be silly. Our focus should be on praying for Christians and non-Christians who we know and who God has placed on our hearts.

That said, this article blesses us precisely because there are some amazing numbers reported which inspire us. I have heard other reports that there are ~28,000 people being saved each day in China. That sounds ludicrous, but do the math - assume there are 1 billion people in China. At 28,000/day that means there would be a little over 10 million Chinese getting saved each year. That’s only 1% of their total population! If it is 10,000/day as this research group reports then that is less than half of 1% of their population getting saved each year. Totally believable.

In the “our God is too small department”, this means that since there are about 86,000 seconds in each day our Lord is redeeming souls back to Him once every 2 - 6 seconds! Wow.

Blessings, Ted


29 posted on 08/28/2007 5:09:38 AM PDT by Ted
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To: Mr. Silverback
Any discussion of worldwide Christianity should have a link to this:
Global Schism: Is the Anglican Communion Rift
the First Stage in a Wider Christian Split?
It's long but very interesting.

30 posted on 08/28/2007 5:41:42 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Wow, what a coincidence that I just happened to read the Spengler column about this yesterday!

Here’s a link to it.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/IH07Ad03.html


31 posted on 08/28/2007 5:46:01 AM PDT by ksen ("For an omniscient and omnipotent God, there are no Plan B's" - Frumanchu)
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To: elephantlips; Brilliant

Somewhere north of 75% of Americans are Christians, so we’re well north of 100 million. Sure, many of them are nominal, but the thing is, we can only count nominal people because only God knows if someone’s heart is really true to Jesus.


32 posted on 08/28/2007 7:10:57 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: geopyg
That WE might be persecuted. I said “well thanks, I guess, but could you please have them stop!”

Nobody ever says 'oh, boy, give me persecution," but IMO nothing else will ever cause the Christian element in America to get serious again. We all worry about everything the world does - money, political power, success. The truth is, only Jesus Christ can bring us into peace, and if we have manufactured our own security and peace, frankly, we act like we don't need Him. We should be praying that the Chinese church fulfill its calling, and that the American church needs to wake up.
33 posted on 08/28/2007 7:36:18 AM PDT by Amalie (FREEDOM had NEVER been another word for nothing left to lose...)
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To: Mr. Silverback

This is such a hopeful post and we all need to keep praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our friends adopted a little girl from China 2 years ago, and they met some Christians there. The stories they told us were so humbling - the Chinese Christians are so on fire for their faith, so dynamic and you can see the sparkle in their eyes too.

Before they adopted their daughter, the husband of this couple had gone to China to bring Bibles. It was a little scary because he could’ve gotten into trouble but after he went, he just got a burden for the Chinese.


34 posted on 08/28/2007 7:39:46 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

You are absolutely correct at how dead Europe has become - it is very secular - even Italy! But don’t think they are being ignored. We have friends that finally returned to the U.S. after spending about 18 years in Europe planting churches.

If you are interested in evangelization in Europe or donating to a very good missionary organization, it is called Christian Associates, International. I’m sure they’d appreciate the help. All of their missionaries must raise their own support and it is not easy since it is expensive to live in Europe.


35 posted on 08/28/2007 7:42:43 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: Mr. Silverback
OK. I'm sorry. The CIA is right. A huge percentage of people in America do in fact claim that they are Christian.

That's why abortion is still illegal, homosexual marriage/unions aren't even a matter of discussion, pornography is almost non-existent, and drug abuse is a minor problem. (/sarcasm)

36 posted on 08/28/2007 9:28:12 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
"Since God alone has the information on who or who isn’t a Christian"

Jimmy Swaggart. Yeah, he calls himself a Christian. I think I'll give him a bunch of my money to do good works with.

I'm sure glad there's something in the Bible that says that only God knows the ultimately truth so that I can misconstrue it to mean that I can have absolutely no idea whether or not a specific person is likely or unlikely to be a hypocrite.

That will save me a lot of agonizing.

37 posted on 08/28/2007 9:31:32 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Mr. Silverback
That’s why I inserted the “twelve years ago” part. Since then it has been growing at a remarkable rate and it would seem to have surpassed the number in America.
38 posted on 08/28/2007 11:58:35 AM PDT by elephantlips
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
Yes, yes, you are so right. And the fact that the number of Christians in China is now greater than that of the Communist Party is the reason that they have free speech, freedom of religion and the press, full rights to bear as many or as few children as they wish and a free market.

Kind of funny that Americans attend church at a higher rate than any country in the world, but you seem determined to portray this nation as the whore of Babylon. We definitely need a revival if we're going to get anywhere near our former glory, but if we're not a Christian nation, there aren't any Christian nations.

39 posted on 08/28/2007 1:23:21 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: who_would_fardels_bear; Jedi Master Pikachu
That will save me a lot of agonizing.

The problem is not that you're saying that you can tell some people aren't real Christians (BTW, how much do you know about Swaggart's activities since his scandals?) it's that you're assuming that the vast majority of Americans who say they're Christians are liars, and I don't see how you have the knowledge to make that judgement.

Saying Bill Clinton's not a real Christian is easy stuff. Saying about 200 million people you know little about aren't Christians is a bit arrogant. I would expect a person with some humility who was serious about the Gospel would busy himself helping those people become more devoted to Christ instead of condemning them without knowledge.

40 posted on 08/28/2007 1:44:25 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Libs obviously donít believe pro-lifers are terrorists, or they'd placate us by banning abortion.)
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To: Amalie
My dear sister you are absolutely correct. As I travel it becomes clear that the US is the most comfortable place in the world. Our poor are rarely hungry. They wear designer clothing, drive cars,have free health care and watch color TV. In exchange they sell their freedom to the government. For all their hardships, winos on the street consider themselves the freest among us, enslaved only to booze.
Oppression by the world is an essential proof of the Christian life. If this Godless world is sinful then we capitulate to sin by seeking comfort and safety in the arms of government, industry, even family and home. Yes, and even the church; for, it, too, is an institution of power and corruption.
Chinese Christians know that their reliance upon Christ is their only hope. They seek salvation not through a perfect state but through the perfection of Christ. We have so convoluted the message of Christ that we earnestly believe financial success and community status are God's blessing when they are more commonly Satan's curse.
A Christian who lives in Christ is at war with the world. Persecution is a mark of the Christian life. The sweetness of love and the persecution of the world are both gifts of the Holy Spirit.
41 posted on 08/31/2007 4:30:20 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (here come I, gravitas in tow.)
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