Monday, September 19, 2005

Prayer of Jabez decimating China churches

BEIJING - The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, one of the best-selling non-fiction books in the past ten years, has gutted China's house church movement, say observers.

"Chinese Christians used to sacrifice everything for Christ. Now they only want God to bless them," says one Chinese elder who has served five prison terms for planting churches. He and others say China's Christians have "grown soft with navel-gazing" and have lost their tolerance for persecution. Copies of The Prayer of Jabez began circulating in China in 2001. Many Christians began "talking endlessly about God expanding their borders and keeping them free from pain," says one Chinese pastor whose weekly prayer meeting shrunk to half its previous size.

"Instead of asking God to strengthen the Chinese church they pray for personal fulfillment. They ignore all the Bible except Jabez," he says.

Sun Young, 24, says he and other Christians are tired of hearing only about "the way of the cross."

"Jabez changed my life. I pray every morning, 'God, let your hand be with me and keep me from harm,'" he says.

Unlike his parents, he does not want to suffer for Christ, but rather hopes to flourish in his personal giftings. "Jabez showed us a new way," he says.

According to 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was "more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, 'I gave birth to him in pain.' Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.' And God granted his request."

As the Jabez book spreads to China's interior, the house church movement, once a model of Christian endurance, is bracing for even greater loss of members.•

Not only is the Christian Church spiritually rotting in America, our infection spreads out to corrupt healthy ones in distant lands. The more I read about persecuted Christians in China or elsewhere being tortured, burned, raped, sold into slavery (all for even wearing a cross) the more I find spiritual breakthrough and revival in those communities. Very similar to the early Christian church and subsequent revivals. I constantly wonder, is America's material wealth a blessing or a curse? I also recall no spiritual awakenings (of note) or growth has come in times of prosperity. Only through severe persecution. Which gives weight to the opinion that our wealth will be judgmentnt against us and we (the American Church) will be found wonting. Lest God grant us repentance. Help us Lord, I pray.

America needs a revival like China's. The more prosperity American Christians receive from God the more uncaring for their Lord's kingdom they become. The more needy they become. The more unfulfilled, discontent, and ungrateful. They become... well, like the culture.

Christians (in America) have become quite irrelevant to the unbelieving world and it could be argued effectively, less respected than any other Christian community there has been. True, there aren't any public calls for violence against Christians, we're not persecuted unto death. Could that be because we've capitulated with the world? Christians in times past sooner died a horrible (God honoring) martyr's death than to have Christ's enemies gloat. Nowadays Christians walk hand in hand with pornographers, adulterers, gamblers, and thieves. In their business practices, marketing, and even worship (see Rome) all for the glory of God don't forget!

Sounds to me like worthless servants. Matthew 25: 14-30

God have mercy on us, at times I can scarce tell the difference between the sheep and the goats.


At 9/19/2005 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/19/2005 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/20/2005 1:30 PM, Blogger CDM said...

These 2 deleted posts were spam. Of which I damned.

At 12/07/2005 9:02 AM, Blogger CDM said...

You're right. My comments were more for the "insider" reader.

You can see where "America needs a revival like China's..." comments applies anyway.

In other words, my opinions are not reached based merely on this Lark news article.



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