Pantian - Look What God is Doing

Pantian Guangdong Travel Blog

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Welcomed us with band and open arms

 

PANTIAN

 

We had the privilege on our first morning in Guangdong to return for a special service at a church we constructed in January 2005 (see my December 2004-January 2005 travel blog).

 

It was humbling to see how God has blessed our Pantian friends. The church is reaching many with the Good News and is exploding with new believers.

 

CHINA'S CHRISTIAN HISTORY

 

When Catholic missionaries first arrived in China (16th century), they were astounded and dismayed by the Chinese flexibility of belief.

In 2 years, grown from 40 to 400
  One frustrated Jesuit said, “In China, the educated believe nothing and the uneducated believe everything”.  The first noted Protestant missionary was Robert Morrison, a Brit who came to
China in 1807.  The outreach grew to around 8,000 missionaries and 500,000 Christians in 1926.  In general, Chinese considered Christianity a foreign religion with a motive of political domination.  With the Communist takeover in 1949, foreigners were forced out.  They initially tolerated Chinese Christians, but soon subjected believers to control. 

 

In 1950, the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) was formed to direct the affairs of the Protestant Church.  TSPM based its activities on the three principles of “self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating” in order “to remove foreign influences from the Chinese churches.

God is moving by His Holy Spirit
  In reality, it was used by the People’s Republic of China to register Protestant Christians and infiltrate churches with government officials. 

 

An incredible time of persecution for both Catholic and Protestant Christians, as well as other “suspect” groups, came during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).  During this period, hundreds of thousands of churches, temples, ancestral halls and religious objects were defaced and destroyed.  Monasteries were burnt to the ground.  All religions were forbidden to meet.  Most Christian leaders were jailed, sent to labor camps or murdered.  However, the efforts to squash Christianity backfired.  The growth of “underground” house churches exploded.   

  

In 1978, China’s open door policy reforms allowed the Three Self Patriotic Movement and the China Christian Council to, together, reemerge as China’s only government-sanctioned Protestant church.

Church built for $9000 US
  Slowly, churches were permitted to reopen after registering with TSPM under control of the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB).

 

Many question whether TSPM is still a tool of the Communist government.  Dale Mueller of International Christian Mission has an interesting view.  He believes that, although TSPM started that way, “God has other plans. Despite original intentions, political controls and restrictions, revival in Three Self churches is real.”  Christianity Today writes, “TSPM churches are struggling to keep up with recent dramatic increases in attendance…especially among young people.”  The official Protestant Church has grown to over 15 million members.  Even with 17 seminaries, TSPM can’t meet the demands for trained pastors  (If the official church has problems with 15 million members, imagine the difficulties of providing theological education for the unofficial multiple millions).

 

bipbipouai says:
Interesting the absence of freedom of Religion is seldom a subject of attention in Western medias. I think though that the quote "the educated believe nothing and the uneducated believe everything" apply everywhere.
Posted on: Aug 09, 2010
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Welcomed us with band and open arms
Welcomed us with band and open arms
In 2 years, grown from 40 to 400
In 2 years, grown from 40 to 400
God is moving by His Holy Spirit
God is moving by His Holy Spirit
Church built for $9000 US
Church built for $9000 US
We finally arrive in Pantian
We finally arrive in Pantian
As 2 years ago, welcomed by band
As 2 years ago, welcomed by band
Friendly folks greet us off bus
Friendly folks greet us off bus
Mark renews 2-year old friendships
Mark renews 2-year old friendships
Nonie quickly makes new pals
Nonie quickly makes new pals
Parishioners applaud our entrance
Parishioners applaud our entrance
Fantastic to see so many smiles
Fantastic to see so many smiles
Great turnout for special service
Great turnout for special service
Choir leads congregational songs
Choir leads congregational songs
Pastor gives Jesus all the glory
Pastor gives Jesus all the glory
Church feeds everyone after service
Church feeds everyone after service
Remains - it used to be a chicken
Remains - it used to be a chicken
Sandy happy for food she recognizes
Sandy happy for food she recognizes
Something fishy is going on
Something fishy is going on
Jimmy honored to eat fish eyeball
Jimmy honored to eat fish eyeball
Just like mom didnt used to make
Just like mom didn't used to make
Kids everywhere love cameras :-D
Kids everywhere love cameras :-D
Three preachers pose for photo
Three preachers pose for photo
Everyone enjoys memorable day
Everyone enjoys memorable day
Western vs. Chinese toilet-U decide
Western vs. Chinese toilet-U decide
Original 1-room church (Jan. 2005)
Original 1-room church (Jan. 2005)
Team began laying brick (Jan. 2005)
Team began laying brick (Jan. 2005)
Completed building 26 months later
Completed building 26 months later
Time to start saying goodbyes
Time to start saying goodbyes
What a privilege to revisit Pantian
What a privilege to revisit Pantian
Girl will grow up knowing Jesus
Girl will grow up knowing Jesus
Look what God is doing in Pantian
Look what God is doing in Pantian
Pantian Guangdong
photo by: travelman727