One of the main goals of the Chinese “cultural revolution” through the 1950s and 60s was to eliminate all religion from China – particularly Christianity. Missionaries were expelled, pastors were arrested, and the Church became an illegal, underground movement. After more than half a century of systematic persecution, China opened up. To the world’s surprise, the Church had not only survived during the years of persecution, it actually grew tremendously. Today, some estimate that China has more than 100 million Christians. That is explosive church growth!
How Would You Like to be Part of a Church like That?
I don’t know about you, but I would love to be part of such a move of God. I have seen God move in amazing ways in my lifetime, but nothing compares to being part of one of the greatest movements of the Holy Spirit in the history of Christianity.
The Other Side: Five Core Values
To understand how the Church could thrive under such persecution, we need to understand what is at its core. I recently heard someone share the five pillars of the Chinese underground Church. These are the core values that Chinese believers live by and teach. They are the reason why the Chinese Church is so strong and continues to grow in spite every attempt made by the atheist regime to shut it down.
1. The Word of God. Chinese believers are fully devoted to the truth of the Scriptures. The Bible is central to their faith and they are committed to studying and living by (all) its teachings.
2. Prayer. Every revival that ever happened in the history of the Church had a solid prayer foundation, and it isn’t any different with the Chinese Christians. This is not just casual prayers said at meal times, but the kind of intense, travailing prayer that Jesus speaks of.
3. Faith-Sharing. Every Chinese believer is expected to share their faith boldly with others. Again, that is really the secret to any successful movement in the Body of Christ.
4. Regular Expectation of Miracles. One of the best-known books about the Chinese Church is called “The Heavenly Man.” It is filled with stories that could well have come out of the book of Acts. Miracles and supernatural manifestations happen on a regular basis and validate the message of the Gospel, just like the Bible says.
5. Embrace Suffering for the Glory of God. There is no way around it, the Church in China suffers greatly under a systematic persecution by the authorities. In recent years it has been more tolerated, and even public places of worship have been erected. However, most believers still face threats for professing faith in Christ. The surprising aspect of this particular core value is that Chinese Christians actually embrace the suffering that they have to endure, considering it a privilege – again, just like the Bible teaches us.
What strikes me is that there is nothing really extraordinary about these values. They are simply Christianity being lived to its fullest, no holds barred, no compromise, no backing down, whatever it takes. So, let me ask you the same question again: How would you like to be part of a Church like that?