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Monday Memo - July 13

I found an article today entitled The Inextinguishable Church. Elwood McQuaid, the author, begins, "The global campaign to eliminate Christianity and the followers of Jesus Christ is as diverse as it is unrelenting." In the Middle East and Africa, barbaric tactics are liquidating churches and believers. In the West, it is more subtle, though its soldiers are as determined. We are "feeling it" more here than ever before in my lifetime.

Whichever, Dr. McQuaid claims, "that they will not succeed in destroying Christ's body of believers can be certified by a look at history over the last 2,000 years." He uses China as a current example.

 

(Excerpts) In China, the antagonistic aggressor is the government, officially the Communist Party of China (CPC)... With the phenomenal growth of China's churches has come a crackdown of epic proportions. China Aid recently reported a 300 percent increase in religious persecution of Christians since 2013. Among the victims were 17,884 believers, including 1,592 church leaders, according to the 2014 China Aid annual report, available at chinaaid.org... The Chinese government's persecution campaign included forced demolition of churches and crosses, the detention and imprisonment of pastors and church members on criminal charges, forcing churches into bankruptcy by confiscating church property and imposing fines, and manipulating state-run media to label house churches as "cult" organizations.

Yet, according to China Aid, approximately 70 million people attend churches in China. The estimate is conservative, and the number is growing rapidly.

Persecution has intensified because government officials are alarmed by the tremendous increase in the number of Chinese converts to Christ. They see the church as a threat to their regime.

Although methods may differ, the objective is always the same: demean, discriminate, disenfranchise, criminalize, then destroy. And to every despot who lives that dream, Jesus Christ is always an obstacle to be removed. Few have labored more diligently to eliminate God than the Communists - or, for that matter, liberal, secular progressives. Will success be theirs?

China is splendid affirmation why it will not. Wrote China Aid, "Dr. Yang Fenggang, a professor of religion and sociology at Purdue University, has estimated that by 2030, the number of Christians in China will exceed those in the Unites States, thus making China the largest Christian nation in the world."

The church is not a hobby or a nice break on Sundays where we get something to improve our lives. The church is a supernatural body that is inextinguishable! I am very excited to be a part of our little expression of Christ in our community. I am relying on Paul's great encouragement and hope you will also.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
                                                                                   - 1 Corinthians 15:58

P.S. Your special gift to GFC would be of great encouragement at this time as our summer giving is lagging. Click here.

Grace and Peace,

Tom Oyler
Lead Pastor   

   


 

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