26 And He has made from one blood[a] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Acts 17:26-28 (emphasis added)
I read an amazing article that projects China to have a larger Christian population than the USA in 15 years. Think on it! A communist country that went through the Mao-ist purge, that has considered religion to be a mental disease, is experiencing an upsurge in Christianity that no one could have predicted years ago.
“The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a ‘miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church’”.
Thousands gathered on Easter, drawn to the cross of Jesus. Thousands of people openly worshiped God at a mega-church in a communist country! This is a country where Christians must still be careful, because persecution still exists. They must worship and preach sermons in a way that is “acceptable” to the Communist Party, but the Christian message is getting out. They have found the fountain that really refreshes after years of communist rule and now a capitalist experiment where the dollar is worshipped.
Everything that has been tried in China has failed to draw its people together, to satisfy their one underlying need – the need for God!
“A recent study found that online searches for the words “Christian Congregation” and “Jesus” far outnumbered those for “The Communist Party” and “Xi Jinping”, China’s president.”
One might wonder how, where Christians are still persecuted, the faith can flourish the way it is. Quite simply, God is too powerful. Working through His people in China, He is backing down the government piece by piece. The government keeps trying to resist, as in when they tried to tear down a Christian church. The congregation made such a public show of resistance, that they had no choice but to back down.
“The number of Christians is growing – they cannot fight it. They do not want the 70 million Christians to be their enemy.”
The Chinese are groping for God, knowing that He is missing from their world, even if they aren’t completely clear on who “He” is. They thirst and are being filled.
Not so the USA. Survey after survey shows declining church attendance, declining success of marriages, and declining morals. You can see “entertainment” on both network and cable TV that would have shocked in dark movie theatres not so very long ago. How about a little time travel with me?
Visit hulu.com, which you may know is a site with access to many TV shows and movies, new and old. Look for Remington Steel, a sitcom that starred Pierce Brosnan in his early days. Just watch one episode. No short skirts, no tramp outfits. It was all very clean compared to today. Even the language was pretty tame. You’ll see the differences very quickly.
No, we like our entertainment down and dirty. Lots of skin and lots of violence. America’s Funniest Home Videos would never show people getting seriously hurt. Now, as our society’s tastes have coarsened, we have TruTV where you can see people doing stupid things that cause compound fractures, broken spines, lacerated internal organs. I’m sure death isn’t too far away.
The pendulum is swinging in both China and the US. But we’re swinging in opposite directions. The US is swinging the wrong way. Although God’s warning to the Children of Israel were directed at them, Holy Scripture is also written for our edification.
“Seek the Lord and live, Lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, And devour it, With no one to quench it in Bethel— 7 You who turn justice to wormwood, And lay righteousness to rest in the earth!” Amos 5:6-7
I can hear our country’s collective response to God, like Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver: “You talkin’ to me?”
Um, yes. Yes, He is. Just as God comes to those who grope for Him, seeking His Water of Life, so He will withdraw from those who withdraw from Him. That is never a pleasant thing. You only have to look as far as the Bible. And today.
What do you think? Are you groping for God? You will find Him. Let us hear from you. I and other readers want to know your thoughts.
Connect to the article I based today’s blog on – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10776023/China-on-course-to-become-worlds-most-Christian-nation-within-15-years.html