Tag Archives: church

Beautiful China

I was fascinated by reading the news about China the other day. I have always loved China. When I was a little girl growing up in the countryside I must say there weren’t many Chinese people however I was always finding myself drawn to people from different nationalities. There was one Chinese family at that time in our town and I remember them introducing me to their culture. I also read Gladys Aylwood’s biography and felt touched. As I went into higher education I found myself becoming friends with some girls from Hong Kong and after I finished school I went with a friend to visit Hong Kong. I had a wonderful time there and fell in love with the culture. However, I always wanted to visit China for real. I got the opportunity to go and live there in 2012.

 

While I was there I saw many different parts of the Chinese culture. The main culture that we associate with China actually is related to the Hans people. I also had the chance to meet people from other minority groups too and learn about their customs. Many of these indigenous people groups have often been marginalised and have suffered terrible human rights abuses under the communist Chinese government. It is certainly much more relaxed than it used to be in many ways. Nonetheless many people face great persecution in China. One of these groups is Christians. I attended an international church in Beijing and I had to show my foreign passport in order to enter. I felt sad knowing that I was doing something many Chinese people can never do, worship freely. Communism brought so much hardships in the former years for the average Chinese person. Many accounts of life show that people had to drink their own urine in order to survive. Times were hard, many died and if you showed the smallest part of resistance you were sent to jail or worse.

Now if you are a Christian the reigns have been loosened a little so to speak however churches must be registered under government approval. They must not preach on certain areas and they must be strictly regulated by the government. They are called the three-self churches. Until recently if you wanted to preach on the Holy Spirit and be free in your worship you had to attend an underground church whose members were highly persecuted.

This brings me to the news that I read:

A pastor named Duan told a news source that God is now moving in a powerful way in these state controlled churches. Topics like healings, miracles, signs and wonders are becoming more mainstream and not every sermon is vetted by the government. Now something different is happening in the government approved churches, there is growth. In the same way that many were drawn to the underground churches many are now meeting God in the state churches! God is doing something wonderful in China, something that for decades people would never have dreamed of.  I believe  however that this is only a preparation for the future, a future where God is going to move not only in China but throughout this entire world.

 

*If you want to read a real account about life for a Chinese Christian then Brother Yun’s story is fascinating and moving.

Taken from: www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/February/An-Unexpected-Move-of-God-in-Communist-Controlled-China

Where will God move next?

 

I saw an article which was discussing the different areas in the UK where people are more likely to call themselves Christians. I found it very interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the areas where people are more likely to call themselves Christians (and the survey is not reflective of everyone) are areas that have a lower socio economic background. Thus these people may find themselves more empathetic towards religion because of the role churches may play in helping people in poorer areas (i.e cap and other charities). Also it is common knowledge that when you go through troubles (i.e financial difficulties) you tend sometimes to look for answers from a higher power.

Secondly, a lot of people from poorer backgrounds tend not to go to university despite student loans being a popular way to enter. Universities are certainly more liberal in many ways and steer people towards humanism and atheism.   So people who don’t go to university perhaps are more traditional in certain viewpoints for example how they see the family and its importance in society, they’re more likely to be more community minded rather than individualistic due to low wages and expensive rents (these are generalisations so please don’t think I am putting everyone in this category.). University on the other hand tends to encourage independence and sometimes to a degree that rejects the family and its values (although this isn’t the case for everyone nor for every university).

Thirdly, I want to take a quick look at the past and remind myself of the people whom were very much on the forefront of John Wesley’s mind. These were the poor, the labourers, the downtrodden, the oppressed, those that had nothing. These people were open and God reached them via John Wesley and his obedience. I believe we were saved from a would be revolution (similar to that of France at that time) because of people like John Wesley whom God used in a great way.

Next, this moves on to the final point. People like this are open to change. This can be a really good thing if a few people are willing to rise up and take a stand just like John Wesley. You see people like this don’t have much to lose from change. On the other hand, those who are wealthy, who have the privilege of living in wealthy, peaceful areas with a myriad of opportunities at their feet have benefited (and perhaps at the expense of many others). These people really have everything to lose from change.

In conclusion, God will change this nation and He will be received with open arms by many. Although he will also be rejected by many. I know that there are also many Christians who have been university educated and are against change I also know many who do want change and are open. I know there will a lot of resistance but it won’t necessary come from the people you think it will. I think it’s more likely to come from ‘well-educated’ (whatever that means), ‘wealthier’ and perhaps even some ‘established churches’. However one thing I do know is that God is about to move.

Let’s be watching very closely because you may be surprised what you see happen in the next year or so. God is on the move and He is going to use some of the most unobvious people to do His work! I know I’m excited… are you?!

Kingdom Age Church

The church of the Kingdom Age won’t look much like church today. Here are some ways that it will be different.

  • It will be messy. I often think of my son and how dirty and messy he gets when playing outside or with paints yet at the same time I remember his look of pure joy when he’s realised he can get as messy as he wants and he enjoys himself even more. Church will be a little bit like that. It’s going to be a place where people are going to be able to ‘be’ who God created them to be.
  • It will be filled with messy people or people who are labelled as ‘bad people’. For this reason there will be a big split in the church because many people with a religious mind-set won’t be able to accept this. This comes from the same spirit that the Pharisees were under. It is a spirit that says ‘I am better than you. Salvation is for me but not for them. They’re not the right kind of person’. I am afraid we cannot pick and choose. Yes we do need to repent but true repentance is never not messy.
  • Church may not be in a church. John Wesley was a great preacher from the 18th He preached in the fields, on the highlands and was persecuted greatly for his faith. He reached thousands of messy people. He wasn’t accepted by the church.
  • It will be creative and fun. I don’t know about you but I don’t always think of the word ‘fun’ when I think of ‘church’. Heaven is really fun so guess what something is going to change.
  • Jesus will be there in the midst of this new church. For many churches who decide to continue with blind religion Jesus may never appear there but for those who are following the Father’s heart He will be very much in the midst. God’s presence will be tangible and He will touch all who enter in.

“Jesus at the center of it all
Jesus at the center of it all
From beginning to the end
It will always be, it’s always been You
Jesus, Jesus”

Darlene Zschech “Jesus be the center”

Dinosaurs didn’t exist and other excuses to argue

Christians will make a lot of excuses as to why people don’t really like church. In case you hadn’t noticed a lot of people don’t really like church…

If you have pondering this issue then here are some reasons why:

Yes there are many things that are right and wrong but I am afraid arguing about whether dinosaurs existed or not is not going to give you a back stage pass to the throne room or to the marriage feast of the lamb for that matter. Dinosaurs did exist by the way (there are some pretty big fossils to prove it) I am not going to argue with you on this one though. You can find out for yourself. 😉

The rest of the world is waiting for the church to bring truth and I am sure most of them will be pretty happy that you can have a pet dinosaur in heaven although the truth I am talking about is Jesus and showing Jesus by living heaven culture on earth.

The world doesn’t like church very much because well let’s face it Christians don’t really seem to get along very well. I mean you’d think that if you were going to argue you’d pick something a little more substantial than the following:

  1. Arguing over what is the most suitable length for the pastor’s beard or anyone’s beard in that church.
  2. Whether women should be allowed beards in church (I’m just joking on this one at least I hope so.).
  3. Fighting over which picture of Jesus to put in the foyer (I think by this point we may really have missed the point.).
  4. Whether the Lord’s Supper had cranberry/grape juice or buck fast Abbey wine (Of course it should be grape juice. It’s right there in Hezekiah 4:11.).
  5. An argument over whether to have gluten-free communion bread or not (No more gluteny!).
  6. Should the church should allow people to wear black t-shirts, since black is the color of the devil (Are you sure he’s not red? That’s what I’ve heard.).
  7. A fight over whether or not to sing “Happy Birthday” each week (I have been in this church and I must say it is amusing when more than one person has a birthday in the same week.).

This doesn’t even cover other stuff like whether the 7 days of creation were literal or not or which year the rapture will happen and whether Jesus was born in December or September.

Anyway jokes aside I think it’s important to get back to basics, to get back to our first love, to get back into that throne room and sit on father God’s knee to listen to His truths, to dance with Jesus and to sing with the Holy Spirit. We need to realise that He is coming for a bride without blemish and that means a bride that is whole.

I believe that yes there will always be people who use the title ‘christian’ but I am going to use Kat Kerr’s word ‘heavenian’ (I’ll be discussing this in my next post) to describe the kind of people a church should be filled with.

Instead of arguing with people who will never see eye to eye with you find people that do. Leave the rest to God. If something isn’t right he will show them or He might show you.  I am not talking about big issues but rather silly little things that don’t define your faith or relationship with God, little things that can be ignored or looked over.

Yes there has been and will be a significant shift and split in the church in the next few years and this will strengthen those who are already on the same wavelength until the Holy Spirit gives a stronger bond like never before.

The darkness is getting darker but we must not be afraid because the light will become lighter until there is an explosion that no man and no demon can put out. This will be the church, walking in Truth (first and foremost), in unity, in love and in joy.

There are two words I want to share with you in Hebrew

1) “FIRGUN” (פירגון)

It means to have a generous, unselfish spirit and a joy in the accomplishment of someone else. It means to make someone feel good without having an alternative motive.

This is the way that Heavenians must be and act with one another. There is also another word.

2) ‘NESHAMA’ (נשמה)

It has a similar meaning to “sweetie” but it means “soul.” People say “neshama sheli” which means “my soul.” It means you are so important that you are part of my soul.

I know that if we can apply these words to the way we treat one another one day it will be again as it was in the early church.

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had” Acts 4:32

Be encouraged, think differently and live fully and the world will want to share in this Heaven culture.