Brother Gao Zhisheng, We Love You and are Praying for You.
06/12/2009 -Dateline: Chinese Embassy Responds Regarding Kidnapping Christian Attorney Gao Zhisheng Persecution in China For more info click here for China Aid.
Recently, IMARC was the victim internet hack attack job. We were off line so to speak until we resolved that attack. There were no virus on the page of IMARC. However, there was placed into the main index page a url that would forwarded a person to another site. That site lead to China. So also were two other web sites hacked, www.fwponlin.cc and www.315charge.org which the web master for IMARC also authors. We have no clue as to why these sites were hacked, but as I said before, one of the hackers foot prints pointed to China. That is all that can be said. We do not think it was orchestrated by any government entity.
China. It has always been a most mysterious nation to most Americans. I should add that most Americans no doubt have good friends who originate from that region of the world. China has, according to the CIA, a population of approximately 1,330,044,544 (July 2008 est.) that is over a billion people. Every year about 12 million Chinese babies come into the world. Most of the people are poor, and hard working. All to many live in very humble dwellings. In the last 20 years China witnessed and colossal economic boom. That boom however, is largely located in the coastal cities. 80% of China's nation does not benefit much from it.
Historically, the Methodist Church was second to none before Mao and the Communists took over. The Methodist Church South, sent missionaries to northern China. Oddly the Methodist Church, North sent their missionaries to southern China. In both places Methodism grow spreading the Gospel of Christ. At first for most missionaries going was tough in that country. Yet God gave remarkable growth.
For the Northern Methodists, Judson Dwight Collins led the way. Upon his graduation from the University of Michigan, he sent a letter to the Secretary of Missions, saying, "The chief desire of his soul was to carry the gospel to the unsaved in China." In another letter, this time to Bishop James, Collins said, "Secure me a place before the mast, and my own strong arm will pull me to China and support me while there." The burning desire to bring the lost to Christ and a divine call gave Collins a holy enthusiasm to serve his Lord. The Southern Methodists, who arrived in Nanking in 1848. Rev. Charles Taylor had just graduated from the New York University and the Philadelphia College of Medicine. His colleague, Rev. B. Jenkins was "one of the best linguists in the country. With the knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, he adds a familiar acquaintance with French, German, and Spanish languages." It was from these beginnings that Methodist Christians planted the seeds for the Kingdom of God in China.
January 1852 Liew Tsoh-Sung, a native of Nanking, and his wife, a native of Chang-Chau, were baptized by Jenkins and became the first Chinese Methodist converts. Other Chinese preachers came after Liew: Tang Ni-Lai at Deng-diong, Hu Bo-Mi, Tek Ing-Guang in Fouchow and Kwe Tsang-Iz in Shanghai. It must be added, of course, that according to the official Methodist church records, four of the Chinese preachers of the "Seven Golden Candlesticks," where Sia Sek-Ong, Hu Yong-Mi Hu Bo-Mi and Tin Ching-Ting, were Confucian scholars. By1881, Methodism opened the Anglo-Chinese College in Shanghai. Ding Maing-Ing became the first graduate of the Anglo-Chinese college in 1880. The Methodist Church took a leadership role in China in the field of education. In 1884, the Methodists opened a medical school in connection with Soochow Hospital. In 1888, the Chinese and American Methodists opened a University in Nanking, Nanking University. This university, by 1914, had "seventy-five acres of land, eleven buildings, and thirteen residences." By the turn of the twentieth century, the Methodists had sponsored and built a host of colleges, universities, medical schools, and children homes in that great country of China.
Because of such Christian works, by so many Christians around the world, men like Sun Yat-sen confessed Christian belief. A bit later Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek would also be identified with Christianity and received an honorary Doctors degree from Bob Jones University. He wife was no doubt more gracious and popular in with Americans at that time. Her faith as she to graduated from the Wesleyan College for Women in Macon, GA, stood head and shoulders with the faith of any during that time. What a Christian leader she was. No matter what we think of these two men, Christianity had played, and still is important in modern China's history. These then, are our "blood" relatives as well as Gao Zhisheng. China is the real world leader in the Faith.
Today it no different. Christianity can not be stopped and it is still growing China. You can kill its disciples, run off its evangelists, and close down all access to communications, and the Christian faith will not go away. The Communists in China understand this clearly. They do not like this. In spit of their brainwashing of the population, Christ's Kingdom is growing.
This brings us to the main point. Recently a Chinese Christian man was stolen from his home in the middle of the night. His name is Gao Zhisheng. His crimes are being a Christian, and fighting for the rights of others. One time before, he was incarcerated for 50 days. He was tortured beyond description.
I have always found it strange how most modern leaders in Communist, and Socialist countries hate Christianity. Perhaps the reason is that as they want to set up their kingdoms, they run smack into Christ's. Whatever the reason, persecution is the normal out come of Communism, and Socialism. Christ told us that they would do the same to us as to him. But he reminded us that it was done to us because of their hate for Him.
All human kingdoms are in conflict with Christ's. While we here in the United States are looking for the Lord's soon return, most Christian's around the world are not so disposed. For them, if trials and persecutions means his soon return of our Lord as American pastors seem to imply, Christ has failed them. Rather these Christians know the pain of spiritual warfare. They live with it daily. Yet they seem to find joy in serving Jesus. Strength in times of need.
As I was looking at the site chinaaid.org, I noticed a time line of Christianity. I was amazed at what was reported. It does not take long to notice the hubris of the world and the reality of who is winning the battle. I am reminded of what our Lord told us in Matt. 16:18 and 19 "...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This is real power. This is the power that we have. Sadly, I believe that Communism and Socialism know this to be a fact, somehow we Christians in the United States totally miss point. We are here today because God wanted us here. Wesley, nor my hero Bishop Asbury, could have handle it. Nor could we have handle their day. We were created for this time. We are here for the struggle but in the United States or do we believe God will zip us out due to the rapture? IMARC embraces whole heartedly Christ's second literal bodily return. But a rapture to the rescue never occurred anywhere in the Bible. Even Enoch was taken up, but nothing is said about hard times. Just that he walk with God.
Many Chinese Christians lost their lives for Christ. They will continue to do so until the hell in which they live will be destroyed. And it will. Let's us hold Gao Zhisheng up in our prayers. Let's pray for him in a serious manner. The power is ours, not Washington's, or Beijing's. But if we do not pray, well, we will deserve what we shall get. The Chinese Christians are very deserving of your prayers. May God give them the victory real soon, and may Gao be released quickly, that is, if he is still alive.
The time line below to illustrates how God is working. Go through it and see how hard it is to keep the Church down. The Church is like leaven, the Holy Spirit works, it grows, then is kneaded down. The Holy Spirit works, then it is kneaded down again. The cycle repeats itself through out the course of man. O may God continue to shed his grace on all of us. Both in China, and the United States.
Pastor Hartman has been in the ministry for thirty seven years. He graduated from the Institute of Christian Service of Bob Jones University. He also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Columbus State University and did post grad work at the same school. He has taught in the public school system for fifteen years, and is currently working with a small private academy. He has traveled once to Russia, three times to the Ukraine, twice to England in a humble effort to help the missionaries spread the Gospel of Christ. After resigning form his pastorate in 2005, he does supply work for other pastors in the community. While he is Independent Methodist, he is currently attending a neat conservative UM Church. If you wish to contact Pastor Hartman, please feel free to do so.