Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China

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Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China
   MI 880 – Doctoral Seminar in MissionTopic: Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China A. INTRODUCTION Someone once said that God loves the Chinese people very much and so make them the most  populous people in the world. According to a source from the Joshua Project, and uoted in the !ook, Great Commission companies  "#undle $ Steffen, %&', the (andarin Chinese is the largest people group in the world. )hey are in *+ countries with a total of a!out %* million individuals. %+ million of these are in China. )he task of reaching the Chinese in China for Christ is a mammoth one, yet it is not a formida!le task for China stands as a testimony of - missio Dei,  the mission of God. )he nation is an e/ample that demonstrates how God, in his sovereign will, turned the seemingly negative event of the victory of the communist army, used the communist regime of (ao 0edong to uproot the deep1seated traditional Chinese religions and form a new generation of young people who are void of religion, filled with dissatisfaction in the vacuum of their hearts, and prepared them for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.2n 3*&*, it was estimated that when the communist came to power, there were one million Christians "4amamori $ Chan, 56637 +6'. Christians faced severe persecution in the 3*86s and 3*96s. 2n the 3*%6s, there was a slight rela/ation of the government toward religious practices. Christianity wasstill a tiny minority. )hen in the 3*+6s, with the opening up of China and greater li!erali:ation of controlover the religions, there were 36 million Christians. China does not give the latest updates on the religious affiliation of its people. )he population is so huge and diverse that it is near impossi!le to keepup with the num!ers. )he official figure that the Chinese government gave in 3**% for the com!ined  population of #oman Catholics and Protestants was around 3& million. -At present, China has four million Catholics, &,666 clergy and more than &,966 churches andmeeting houses. )here are a!out 36 million Protestants, more than 3+,666 clergy, more than 35,666 churches and 58,6661some meeting places throughout China. "2nternet source7 China;m!assy, <eijing, 36, 3**%' 2n an interview srcinally pu!lished in  BC Christian e!s , #everend =avid >ang, 2nternational President of Asian ?utreach, said,-)oday, the church in China is +6 to 366 million strong, and maturing with a strong sense of mission to reach the lost. She is no longer just the recipient of outside !enefactors. She is a 3   MI 880 – Doctoral Seminar in MissionTopic: Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China  partner with churches from the outside world, to e/tend the kingdom of God. As the church e/plodes, young and old inside China are committing their lives to serve the @ord in response to the great need for workers. 2n the outside world, shepherds are looking for sheep. 2n China, sheep are looking for shepherds. "2nternet source7 Canadian Christianity, 6, 566& issue'Another unofficial estimate puts the present num!er of Christians at a!out 386 million "4amamori, Class "esson , 63, 5669'. owever, this num!er is only less than one1fifth of the %+ millionChinese in China. >orld mission and evangelism today must take into consideration the necessity and urgency of reaching the Chinese for Christ. Given the contrasting reports, how many of ChinaBs 3. !illion people are actually !elievers, and how many have heard the Gospel in a meaningful, conte/tuali:ed manner as to give them an opportunity to respond to it As an overseas Chinese, like the Apostle Paul who !ore hissoul to us and shared his concern for his fellow Jewish people to !e saved "#omans 3673', 2 am naturallyconcerned for the millions of unsaved Chinese. )he focus of my paper is to discuss the pertinent issues and opportunities, share the use of the -strategic engagement approaches and methods of mission in reaching the Chinese in China. )he following is an outline of this paper73.2ssues and ?pportunities in Contemporary China5.<i!lical <asis for using Strategic ;ngagement Approaches "olistic (ission' to (ission in Contemporary China.Strategic ;ngagement Approaches and (ethods ?f (ission in Contemporary China B. ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA )here are at least three things  that cause China to open its doors to the outside world7 ChinaBs admission into the >orld )rade ?rgani:ation, its hosting of the ?lympic Games in (ay 566+ and rapid glo!ali:ation. <esides these opportunities, there are also at least  four issues  that China needs to tackle. )hey are7 the 2DEA2=S epidemic that is spreading in the ur!an areas especially among migrant workers from rural areas, the issue of religious freedom in a socialist society, the relationship !etween 5   MI 880 – Doctoral Seminar in MissionTopic: Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China the official )SP( churches and the house churches, the issue of Chinese conte/tuali:ation, and the  proliferation of cults and new religions in China. )he Chinese people are a pragmatic people. >hen they encounter pro!lems, they would seek to find a solution as uickly as possi!le. -)his pragmatism often leads to an Fend justifies the meansB mentality. "Chan $ 4amamori, 56657 56' ;ven in their traditional folk religion where they worship a  pantheon of gods, they would congregate toward those -gods that seem to !e more powerful, a!le to  protect and perform healing of illnesses. )hus, many systems could e/ist in harmony as long as they fulfil their purposes in society. )his sort of pragmatism e/plains how socialism and capitalism could e/ist together and religions are allowed in an atheistic, communist country. )oday, many mission agencies and missionaries are once again seeking to enter China and finishthe jo! of evangeli:ing the Chinese people for Christ. )he Gospel remains the same and the needs are still there. owever, the methods of reaching ChinaBs millions must change. 2f they are to !e effective, outside Christians must address the issues confronting China and the Chinese church today. )hese issuesare also areas of opportunities the overseas church, mission agencies and kingdom professionals could take advantage of, come in and help the Chinese government and people, and show the love of Jesus Christ in practical ways.  I believe   the best people could bring the Gospel in a most creative, holistic and authentic manner to China’s millions. 1.China’s Entry into Worl Tra! Or"ani#ation $WTO% an its I&'li(ations ?ne of the greatest sign of ChinaBs willingness to come out of its many years of isolation from the rest of the world is its admission into the >)? in =ecem!er 5663. )here are positive and negative implications to this >)? mem!ership for China and they include, first, China has to lower its trade  !arriers to international !usiness and allow for fair trade and eual opportunities for competition. Second, foreign companies are no longer reuired to team up with Chinese partners to do !usiness in China. )his means that they could compete on eual grounds. Also, there is no restriction or limit on the amount of profit foreign companies could send out of the country "Chan $ 4amamori, 56657 /iii, &6'.    MI 880 – Doctoral Seminar in MissionTopic: Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China )hese are favoura!le conditions for foreign !usiness investment in China. ?n the other hand, ChinaBs  peasants who make up %6 "*66 million' of the population are poor farmers in the agricultural industry who produce sugar, wheat, cotton, dairy products and edi!le oil. )hey face undue competition and hardships as these commodities are cheaper to import than produce. Another area which faces the same  predicament is the countryBs state1own automotive industry. "Chan $ 4amamori, 56657 &1%'2n an interview after a four1day visit !y Pascal @amy, director1general of the >orld )rade ?rgani:ation ">)?' last year he fielded uestions !y Chinese reporters who asked him, -Are you happy with ChinaHs implementation of its >)? accession commitment e said, -?verall yes. Iot a hundred percent. ChinaHs implementation of its accession commitments has !een reviewed !y all the >)?, !y all mem!ers. And the result is that overall the record is good. )here are worries like intellectual property, su!sidies in the manufacturing sector. <ut overall the picture we get from what the governments say is good. >e just had a meeting with ;uropean !usinesses this morning. And thatHs also what they say. " China Daily , 6* 69, 5669' ChinaBs entry and continual mem!ership in the >)? is crucial to its political image and economic survival as it seeks to !e a glo!al player in the world economy. 2t cannot afford to offend its major trading partners of the S, ;urope and Japan.-)he >)? as an insurance policy against protectionism is e/tremely valua!le to China. Chinais one of the main !eneficiaries of this insurance policy. )his country has to adjust to commitment reuirements, and so on. )hatHs true. <ut the other side of the coin is that China  !enefits from the rules and from the system. ?thers have to treat China fairly. )he fact is that the political value for the Chinese authorities of a vi!rant multilateral system is very high. "2!id.' ).China’s Hostin" o* th! )++, Oly&'i(s )he hosting of the (ay 566+ ?lympics in China is a !oost to ChinaBs image as a nation that has come of age. ChinaBs leaders are an/ious to maintain a clean and good image with the world and human rights organi:ations. >hen visiting ?lympic Games venues, Chinese President, u Jintao stressed that to hold the ?lympic Games is a dream of all ethnic groups in the country and a desire the nation has  !een conceiving for a long time. e further said, &   MI 880 – Doctoral Seminar in MissionTopic: Issues and Methods of Mission to the Chinese in Contemporary China ->e should try our !est to make the <eijing ?lympic Games successful so as to strengthen the peopleHs confidence and go1aheadism, intensify the cohesion of the nation and drive the peopleto struggle for the great national revival. "  #inhua e!s $%ency,  36 65, 5669')he ?lympic games would also create an economic !oom in virtually all areas of ChinaBs industry, especially in the construction, service, transportation, financial and tourism, and even the computer industry would stand to !enefit. A report said that !ecause of the countryBs home1grown computer making companyBs involvement with the ?lympic Games, @enovoHs share in ChinaHs PC market rose to 9.% percent in =ecem!er 5669, compared with 5.% percent late 566&.-@enovo Group, ChinaHs only worldwide ?lympic partner, is e/pecting a windfall from its 566+ <eijing ?lympics marketing campaigns, the company said on Kriday. " China Daily , 6& 5+, 566%' )he ?lympic Games in 566+ would surely open up the country to people from all over the worldwho come for the games, whether as officials, competitors, support workers, !usiness people, spectators or tourists. A report in the official news said,-)he <eijing 566+ ?lympic Games will !e a spur to AsiaHs tourism industry as many people looking to attend the event also plan to spend time e/ploring other parts of China and Asia, according to a recent industry survey. Almost nine out of 36 people planning to visit <eijing for the ?lympics will visit other Chinese cities if time permits, while three out of four will visit other destinations, with ong Long the most likely stop, followed !y Singapore and Japan. "  #inhua e!s $%ency, 68 6, 566%' )his is also a great opportunity for Christians to visit China and !ecome tourist1evangelists. Some Christian organi:ations are already planning to recruit and train visitors who pay for their own  passage to enter China. 2nformation concerning this type of -mission work will definitely !e restricted. )hese Christian visitors will !e tourists and at the same time seek to do evangelism and find opportunities to share the gospel to the people in a discreet manner. -.Ra'i lo/ali#ation an Un!0!n roth #apid glo!ali:ation creates economic growth of the coaster regions and the southern parts of China where goods, communication, transportation and technology gain easy access. )he introduction of the Special ;conomic 0ones of Guangdong and Shen:hen in the 3*+6s as an initial e/periment of the socialist government toward capitalism and market economy !rought much economic success and 8
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