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, and 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, 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.

History of Persecution in China

Chronology of Protestant Christianity in China in the Last Two Hundred years. This was copied and pasted from China Aid.. Please go there and pay them a visit. The editor of IMARC only made one comment as noted at the very end. All else belongs to China Aid.

1807 - Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary (London Missionary Society) reaches Canton.

1841 - Henry Venn, Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, advocates the principles of self-responsibility and self-support for mission-planted churches.

1851 - The Venn concept is formulated as the Three Selfs: self-supporting, self-governing, self-propagating.

1860 - Following the loss of the Second Opium War, China signs the Treaty of Tianjin, which also grants foreign missionaries the right to share their faith in China.

1900 - Boxer Rebellion; 189 missionaries and children are martyred.

1919 - Communism emerges.

1922 - Anti-Christian movement breaks out.

1926 - Watchman Nee establishes The Christian Assemblies, also known as The Little Flock.

1930s - The northern China province of Shantung experiences a supernatural visitation of the Spirit of God, characterized by deep repentance and public confession of sin by both believers and new converts, accompanied by signs and wonders in healing, speaking in tongues and casting out demons. People from all denominations are affected.

1949 - The Communist Party gains power. Estimates place about 1 million Protestants and 4.5 million Catholics in China. By 1991, estimates claim 50 million house church Christians. Most growth occurs in rural areas where 80 percent of the population lives.

1949-1953 - Foreign missionaries expelled from China.

1950 - Under Mao Tse Tung and the Marxist/Communist regime, the Christian Manifesto calls on the church to expose and oppose imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism and help promote an independent, democratic and patriotic China. The Three-Self reform movement is established by the state.

1952 - Watchman Nee is arrested and never released.

1954 - The Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) is formerly organized by liberal Protestant leaders, headed by Wu Yaozong. The name is a prostitution of the "Three Self" principles espoused a century earlier by Christian missionaries. In the TSPM, where the Bible and patriotism conflict, the party line wins.

1954-1966 - Christians abandon the TSPM and establish house churches, a fertile soil out of which explosive growth occurs.

1955 - Wang Ming Tao, an eminent Beijing pastor, is arrested, imprisoned, brainwashed and tortured. He is not released until 1978.

1966-1976 - The Cultural Revolution begins. Red Guards carry out a ruthless campaign to crush religion. All religious activities were banned and church buildings were either closed or destroyed. Hundreds of clergy, including TSPM pastors, were sent to labor camps for re-education through labor.

1977 - A more moderate set of pragmatic policies is pursued by Deng Xiaoping. Christians are released from prison to demonstrate to the West a policy of religious freedom and attention to human rights issues.

1978-1982 - House churches see great multiplication and initially enjoy relative peace. Christians boldly evangelize, worship and teach in large meetings. In one city, 60 percent of the population embraces Jesus Christ.

1982 - The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee formulates "The Basic Viewpoint and Policy on the Religious Affairs during the Socialist Period of Our Country," known as "Document No. 19." This document continues as the basis of the religious policy and itemizes "five characteristics" (wu xing) of religion in socialist China: that it 1) will exist for a long time, 2) has masses of believers 3) is complex, 4) entwines with ethnicity and 5) affects international relations. The document concludes that: 1) religious affairs should be handled with care, 2) religious believers should be rallied for the central task of economic construction and 3) religious freedom should be guaranteed, as long as the believers love the country, support CCP rule and observe socialist laws. It acknowledges the mistakes of militant atheism, yet clearly reaffirms the atheist doctrine that religion will wither away and that atheist propaganda should be executed unremittingly.

Mid-1983 - Hundreds of arrests, occasional incidents of torture and other forms of harassment since mid-1983 constitute the first sweeping crackdown against Christian activity since the Communist regime instituted a measure of toleration in 1979. The repression is especially aimed at a zealous Protestant revival occurring among the unsanctioned house churches, which are in increasing conflict with the government-approved Protestant organizations.

1989-1993 - Following the Tian'anmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989, a great spiritual awakening breaks out among Chinese intellectuals and professionals. Thousands "both in China and overseas" embrace the Christian faith.

1994-PRESENT - Beijing escalates and intensifies efforts to force registration of house churches and end all unapproved religious activities.

1999 - The Chinese government officially bans more than a dozen Christian organizations with house church background. They are labeled as "evil cults" that endanger the health of the masses and disturb the stability of the society.

2004 - In November, Beijing announces new Religious Affairs Provisions (RAP) to take effect March 1.

2005 - Officials claim RAP experiences a "paradigm shift" in official thinking about religious affairs. Most analysts see no real change.

2006 - Chinese Christian intellectuals (house church Christians) are hosted by President Bush at the White House for dialogue, fellowship and prayer. President Bush pledges his intervention if they suffer any repercussions from the government upon their return to China. This is the first time, Chinese house church Christians are received at the White House by a U.S. President.

2007 - Prominent Christian Human Rights Attorney, Gao Zhisheng, writes an open letter to the U.S. Congress exposing the abuses of the CCP against house church Christians and others persecuted for their beliefs and, as a reprisal, is kidnapped and severely tortured for over 50 days.

2008 - The world watches as the Olympic Games take place in Beijing. The same year, incidents of Christian persecution in Beijing alone increase by more than 400%.

2009 - In February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publically announces that U.S. concerns about human rights abuses in China must not interfere with the economic crisis, global warming and other issues. (Editors notes from IMARC. Poor Hillary, as a socialist she can not have it both ways. Socialists should be able to manage both at the same time for they are the ones who claim that they have all the answers.)

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.