Interview With Chinese House Pastor

Posted: August 25, 2009 by Scott Kistler in Missional Thought

Christianity Today also published Rob Moll’s short interview with the pastor of a Chinese urban house church in May 2008.  His answers to two questions emphasize some important themes that have come out in the small amount of reading that I’ve done on Chinese Christianity:

What do everyday Chinese think about Christianity?

The people in China are hungry to accept Jesus. The Holy Spirit has already opened their hearts. People are rushing to church. When you have an evangelical meeting and you ask who will accept Jesus as Savior, many people raise their hand.

People want to know why Western countries are advanced. Because of Western religious belief, the Chinese are interested in Christianity. That is one reason. Also, I share with people that there are the words “In God We Trust” written on the U.S. dollar, from the one-cent coin up to the $100 bill. “In God We Trust” is a basic concept among Americans.

In what ways is the church having an influence right now?

Many Chinese people think Christians are trustworthy. If they want to hire an employee or they want to have a babysitter at home, they prefer to invite a Christian. Christians have good reputations. During many disasters in China, churches were involved in relief work to poor areas, and even the government was encouraged. Churches are having an influence by being examples of moral behavior.

First, the pastor reaffirms the involvement that Chinese churches have had in society.  Second, there is a sense of the importance that religious values have in a society.  The Chinese government seems to have expressed interest in the Catholic church for this reason.  I think that the pastor in the interview is conflating the broad civil religion in the US with genuine Christian commitment, but he’s got an interesting perspective on these issues.

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