CHINESE CHRISTIANS ARE PRAYING THAT PERSECUTION COMES TO THE AMERICAN CHURCH SO IT CAN EXPERIENCE THE REVIVAL THAT IS SWEEPING CHINA
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
NASHVILLE, TN (ANS) — A Southern Baptist leader has revealed that the Chinese house church movement is praying that American Christians might experience the kind of persecution they have seen in China so that it would ignite a similar revival in America.
Draper said that a reporter asked this leader how American Christians could pray for house churches in China .
Stop praying for persecution in China to end, for it is through persecution that the church has grown, he responded.
Draper then said, What astounding faith! I thought when I heard the story. However, my admiration of his faith was quickly tempered by what he said next.
Draper recounted that the man then stated, We, in fact, are praying that the American church might taste the same persecution, so revival would come to the American church like we have seen in China .
ON THE ROAD TO PERSECUTION BROUGHT ON BY OUR OWN ARROGANCE
Draper then said, Once I recovered from the shock of such a profound statement, I thought about the irony: We in America keep praying for God to bless us and Christians in other nations are praying God will allow us to experience persecution so that well act like the blessing we were made to be. I shudder at the thought that we are on the road to persecution, brought on because of our own arrogance.
I recently wrote a column titled, Are you Chasing Donkeys? In it, I said that the book of Isaiah is replete with examples of God humbling the haughty. Arrogance followed by judgment is a recurring theme; survey the Old Testament and confirm it for yourself. However, before dismissing those examples as ancient history, flip to Revelation and read Christs seven letters to the churches. More specifically, read what Jesus says to the church of Sardis : I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die…. (Revelation 3:1-2, HCSB).
Draper then spoke about a cover story in the Aug. 11 edition of USA Today which he said, confirmed his concern.
The articles title is Religion Takes a Back Seat in Western Europe and details the 25 percent drop in church attendance in Western Europe in the past 20 years. The reasons identified for the drop are Europe s turbulent history, an increasing separation between the church and government and the continents unprecedented affluence.
The USA Today article reports the social changes implemented in Spain since its new Socialist prime minister took office last year. Divorce is quicker, embryonic stem cell research is allowed, gay marriage is legal and religious education is becoming elective in schools. The undersecretary at the Ministry of Justice in charge of religious and social affairs says that Spanish society has become much more open, more tolerant, more secular.
Sound familiar? We in America are being bowled over by the ball of secularism. The church doesnt have enough muscle to support the pillars of our culture built on the foundation of the Bible.
Many will say, Well, thats Europe and its got nothing to do with us. Thats arrogance and its got everything to do with us! What makes us think history is going to give us an exemption? Why should we be any different than historys other self-destructed superpowers that arrogantly turned their backs on God and relied on their affluence?
A SPLASH OF COLD WATER IN THE FACE OF NORTH AMERICA S SLEEPING CHRISTIANITY
Draper then said, This article should be a splash of cold water in the face of North America s sleeping Christianity. This isnt a clarion call to political activism by the religious right, as we are called. It is important for us to be involved in the political process, but politics directed by man is temporal and corruptible. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal and incorruptible. A changed America will come not from ballots in a box or amendments to the Constitution, but from changed hearts that guide godly lives. Research shows that the majority of unchurched people are not antagonistic toward the church, but have simply never been invited by a Christian to attend church. Weve mobilized the church to flex our political muscle in our culture, but when is the church going to flex its missional muscle and become Jesus to a self-destructing culture? Put another way, when are you going to become Jesus to your next-door neighbor?
He concluded by saying, Christians, we have to make a choice: Continue on our present trajectory of self-absorbed arrogance confined to our self-contained little worlds and reap the inevitable consequences; or humble ourselves, ask for revival and strengthen what remains so that we can be the blessing we were made to be.
They are watching. Our brothers and sisters around the world are praying … and waiting.