Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hope

I was listening to the Albert Mohler program on the radio today (he's president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). He made a point that really made me think.

He mentioned that according to recent calculations, China, perhaps, has the largest number of Christians in the world. Numbers on the low end are at 70 million, while numbers at the high end tally 130 million.

Even if you take the most conservative numbers, the number of Christians is much, much larger than the number of members in the Communist party in China.

This joins reports from all around the world that show Christianity--serious Christianity, that is--is still dramatically on the rise, even (especially) in places that have heavy persecution.

This is news that despite all the craziness that's going on in the West, God is not done with His church. Though the issues we face here are definitely important, God still marches on.

Another thing Mohler said caught my attention too. He was talking about a recent conversation he had with a Chinese Christian. This Chinese man noted that the Communist government did something very silly that turned out to aid the spreading of the Gospel. As punishment, the government gave Christians dirty, lowly, and unpopular jobs, like garbage collector. These garbage collectors' job was to collect garbage as they went *door to door.*

So the Communist government in China tried to stamp out a missionary religion by sending its adherents door-to-door...nice.

Just goes to show; what men meant for evil, God meant for good.

This gives me hope, folks.

***One thing that gives me pause, though, is that us Christians in the West seem to not have the same strength of nerve as others in more persecuted lands. The most insidious attacks on the church in the West have often come from inside the gates. Also, many of our ranks have been all too happy to lay down our shields and join the wolf pack. Many of us in the West can be and have been bought. We are far too easily mesmerized by bread and circuses. This is not so good....well, perhaps God will use something like what's happening in China to get us to wake up and rejoin the faithful.

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