Church Write-Up: A Speaker from China

The Lutheran church that I attend had a men’s breakfast this morning. It had a speaker, whom I will call “C.” who is from China. He and his wife and children became members of the church a few months ago, but they attended a while before that. I said in a post a few weeks ago that he was from Hong Kong, but that is not accurate. He is from southern China, near Vietnam and Myanmar. He said that outlaws are usually exiled to there!

Here are some items from his talk:

A. As a child, C walked five kilos to school each day, traversing through hills and valleys and carrying everything he needed for the day in a backpack. One day, he met a missionary, who asked him if he was a Communist. C responded, “Of course,” and the missionary invited him to come to church and hear some things he may not have considered before. C went to the church, and he was struggling with Christianity. C was playing soccer and asked God for a sign, which involved scoring a second then a third point. God answered and C scored the points, but C still struggled for a few months before becoming a Christian. A while after becoming a Christian, C encountered a Lutheran pastor over the Internet and came to embrace Lutheran doctrines and to attend a Lutheran seminary online. C left his medical profession to become a pastor, which angered his Communist brother, who had supported C through medical school. C has two siblings who are also Christians, but they are the sorts of Christians who are chasing miracles and are searching for “your best life now.” C talked about a couple miracles that occurred in his church: a man who seemed to be possessed was healed, and a witch who had been unable to walk got up and walked with a cane. C was skeptical about these sorts of things before he became a Christian, so he was amazed when he actually saw them. Unlike his siblings, C does not believe that one should chase miracles in themselves, but he thinks that the function of miracles is to point people to the Bible.

B. There is an official Communist church. Pastors there are required to submit their sermons to the government, but the government is often lax in reading them. Unofficial churches were mildly tolerated, as long as they did not exceed 120 people; now, they are not allowed to exceed 30 people. C’s church met on the beach and sang songs, and the government tolerated that, until it didn’t. The government confiscated C’s computer and burned his books, and the church had to split up. Missionaries come to China, and the government accepts them as long as they work with the official Communist church and do social work, such as teaching English. Some manage to get the Gospel out.

C. C’s wife is from Taiwan. Her background is different from that of C, who grew up in rural China. She grew up playing the piano. She met C when her school was visiting China, I think as part of a mission trip.

Announcement: I will not be going to church tomorrow morning, since I have orientation for a job. I may still do a church write-up on Sunday’s service at some point during the week, since I can listen to the sermon online, plus one of the members will pick me up a handout from Sunday school.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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