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The Forerunner

Jesus Fever in China

By Editorial Staff
Published June 1, 1988

BEIJING, China (FR) – Chinese youth are becoming disillusioned with empty Marxist slogans and corruption in the Communist party and are turning to Christianity in record numbers, according to a recent report in Newsweek. “So many Communist Party members don’t practice what Marxism preaches,” said Chen Yinghui, a Protestant student at Beijing’s teachers’ college. “They give us nothing to believe in.”

Another student agreed with Yinghui: “Party members are not the ones helping others. They just do things to get ahead. But Christians do good deeds without telling anyone about it.” Although few students attend church, Bibles which were once forbidden are now being purchased at more than double the official price.

Party officials have become concerned about “Christianity fever” and recently reviewed an internal report on the reasons for the growing popularity of Christianity, especially among intellectuals and young people. The report was prepared by the Hong Kong-based Chinese Church Research Center and compiled by two writers from the New China News Agency who visited several cities. The writers described the growth of “Christianity fever” as being due to government corruption and the Communist party.

According to the report, some Chinese have turned to Christianity to find happiness or because Christians have shown them kindness. However, the report added that most of the Christian activities are harmless to the development of the country’s socialist civilization.

Before Chairman Mao Tse Tung came to power, there were only 700,000 Chinese Christians in his country. Today there are more than 10 million, and every 36 hours Christian officials claim that a new church opens up somewhere in China. “Society has a need for Christianity,” related Kang Xuequing, a stout, silver-haired pastor at Beijing’s Protest Chongwenmen Church. “People are looking for reliable and believable things, and they find that God is dependable.” Kang spent 10 years being “re-educated” in a factory, in which he was forced to bow 100 times to a picture of Chairman Mao. But he returned to the church full-time in 1979 after Deng Xiaoping came to power.

President George Bush and his wife recently visited Kang’s church during their recent whirlwind tour of Asia. Their daughter Dorothy was baptized there as a teenager, 14 years ago, when Bush was head of the U.S. mission to China. In those days services were held in a single room at another location, and attendance was restricted to foreigners, according to church sources. Bush described the church as “our home away from home” in the 1970s, and he borrowed a theme from sermons Billy Graham preached in China last year: “Some things change, some things never change.”

The congregation laughed when he told how he rode a bicyle to services years earlier. However, on this occasion he arrived in a 20-car motorcade. Kang, 67, was Bush’s tennis partner as well as pastor when Bush was based there. He gave the Bushes hymnals and a Chinese Bible, along with a tape cassette of choir music for Dorothy. Bush in turn gave Kang a black leather pulpit-size Bible. Bush said, “Sometimes our problems can seem bigger than life itself, intractable and fearsome. But I am convinced that with each other, that with our faith in God, we can meet any challenge, and we will.”

In a culture that upholds atheistic values, church leaders are careful not to offend the government or the Communist Party. Foreign evangelists are outlawed, but underground churches are growing at the same rate as the official church, due to missionaries who pose as tourists or teachers.

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

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The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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