Catholic and Enjoying It!
Mark Shea's Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!
…it may not be such a bad thing if America’s cultural suicide prostrates us at China’s feet.
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May be. I try to read the signs of the times, and I’m constantly on the look out for who will be the barbarians that save the wreck of this Empire. I’m still not quite ready to lay my money down on China. Their booming economy is tied to the US. If we crash, they’ll crash harder. They have limited energy resources, and their pollution is some of the worst in the world. . If I had to lay money down right now — and I don’t — I’d bet my dollars that should this world keep turning another hundred years, many of my great-grandchildren will be speaking Spanish. And more power to them. Good music. Great food. The best weddings you’ll ever attend. And Danny Trejo. What’s not to love?
Very touching bit of wisdom from one of the congregants:
“If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime,” she added.. . She gets it. It ain’t rocket surgery, people! Put not your trust in princes.
Actually she doesn’t get it. Christians still sin.
In the future maybe. But we have friends who fled from China. I mean, as bad as our country is – and it’s getting worse no thanks to us – there are still actually places worse than us. I love what that fellow from Africa told me in our discussion: America never does bad that well. Meaning for all the atrocities we beat ourselves over, there’s never a point where we can’t find cases around the world that are worse. That being from his experience living in a military dictatorship and traveling on the other side of the tracks. If China becomes uber-Christian? Maybe. But it’s not there yet. If we go where we’re heading, and China turns around? Why not. But let’s keep it real.
Right. Remember that the present government is still a Communist dictatorship who still routinely forces mothers to kill their children, and who makes a habit of jailing clergymen for that oh so dangerous crime of pledging fealty to the Holy Father.
Yep. And more than that goes on. As a former evangelical, I was always mindful of those Protestants (and maybe Catholics, but I remembered the Protestants) who looked across the ocean and the reforms in Germany and thought, “Sure, there are some problems, but sometimes I think we’d be better off being like them.” c. 1930s. In their defense, by the end of the decade, practically all had abandoned their support and idealized longing for life in Germany. It would be good for us not to make the same mistakes.
A friend of ours, who emigrated from China, visited our house for the first time this past week and remarked that she liked all of our religious art because it reminded her so much of her parents’ house in China – thirty years ago! Christianity is and has been stronger there than ever we in the West might have expected.
“The whole work of healing Tellus depends on nursing that little spark, on incarnating that ghost, which is still alive in every real people, and different in each. When Logres really dominates Britain, when the goddess Reason, the divine clearness, is really enthroned in France, when the order of Heaven is really followed in China – why, then it will be spring.” — C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength
For one thing, the Chinese, unlike Western moderns, prior to criticising something learn a lot about what they would otherwise criticise…in this case Christianity. I have a feeling the El Dorado days of Chinese “capitalism” may collapse, however. Anything that grows to fast is not stable or healthy. Then there is the problem of men vastly, vastly outnumbering women in the near future. That cannot have positive results, even if there were an explosion of monasticism in China.
I do find this fascinating and rather exciting. To think that China (considering both all that we Americans have been told to think about China by the powers that be, and the real stories we’ve heard of various persecutions, etc.) is now, and for some time, been experiencing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is truly wonderful.
I also think it interesting to wonder how this story might play out in many minds in America. We Christians are joyful in Christ, but we often still have fear (like most I suppose). We ask, what will this mean for us? What does this bode for the future? How might this change us, move us in directions we might not want to go? It’s probably difficult for us to hear “Chinese Christian” and not fill that term up with lots of ideas of what “Chinese” means from what we have learned from our culture and taught by our government. I’m sure there are many American Christians who would chose the “brotherhood” of Americans than the “brotherhood” of Christians if those other Christians are Chinese.
But of course, we should have no fear. Not merely because as Christians we should implicitly trust in God, but also because as followers of Christ, who’s example showed us that God is a God of mercy, we should have the attitude that our enemy is not flesh and blood. The U.S. government and the Chinese government may be at odds at times, and our respective cultures may be very different, but Chinese Christians are our brothers and sisters, and we are theirs. Praise God. And we Christians are of the Kingdom of God first and foremost. We are fellow heirs, as the phrase goes.
What joy this is to see faith growing in China, and what an encouragement to us to continue to seek faith and pursue holiness. I hope they are praying for us.
For the past 30 years or so, many educated Chinese have come to the U.S. and elsewhere in the West to attend university and in doing so–based on conversations I have had with such people–they have been invited to attend church services and bible studies.
And that generation is now having children (some with dual citizen have more than one), so this is a factor in the rise in Christianity in Mainland China.
Also, I have met many from Taiwan who are Christian and the Taiwanese conduct a lot of business on the Mainland so that is another opportunity to spread Christianity.
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