Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The spiritually asleep West - a Chinese view

Liu Zhenying - "the Heavenly Man" -- was surprised by the Western Church when he finally came out of China. Here are some discontinuous excerpts:

"Before I traveled to the West I had absolutely no idea that so many churches were spiritually asleep. I presumed the Western Church was strong and vibrant because it had brought the gospel to my country with such incredible faith and tenacity. Many missionaries had shown a powerful example to us by laying down their lives for the sake of Jesus."

"There seems to be something missing that leaves me feeling terrible inside. Many meetings are cold and lack the fire and presence of God that we have in China."

"In the West many Christians have an abundance of material possessions, yet they live in a backslidden state. They have silver and gold, but they don't rise up and walk in Jesus' name. "

"When I'm in the West I see all the mighty church buildings, and all the expensive equipment, plush carpets and state-of-the-art sound systems. I can assure the Western church with absolute certainty that you don't need any more church buildings. Church buildings will never bring the revival you seek."

"Not only is knowledge of God's Word missing, but obedience to that Word. There's not much action taking place."

Then someone invariably brings a comforting message like, 'My children, I love you. Don't be afraid, I'm with you.' I'm not opposed to such words, but why is it that nobody seems to hear a Word from the Lord like, "My child, I want to send you to the slums of Asia or the Darkness of Africa to be my messenger to people dying in their sin"?

"Of course, not all Western churches are asleep! Of all the strong churches I have visited in the West, I've noticed one thing they all have in common: a strong and sacrificial commitment to missions among unreached nations. "

These are hard words for us. There are hard words for me here. God help us -- and me -- to return to a sharp faith; a faith that is not blinded by the prosperous culture around us!

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