Defeating the Enemy

Mark 16: 15

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

There is much political and economic attention on China. China is not our adversary. Satan is (1 Peter 5: 8). Therefore, I would like to suggest a different way of thinking about China. Let’s bring spiritual attention to China rather than meditating on the political and economic issues. Below is part of an article about the challenge facing Chinese Christians.

Elder Li, whose family is closely monitored by police, asks Christians in the United States to pray for his family and for Early Rain Church. “We pray that we depend on God when we lack, because apart from Him we have no good thing,” he said. “We pray God makes us put our trust in Him at this difficult time. We pray the Holy Spirit fills us to respond to our situation with gentleness and respect.”

I believe that is a prayer we can all get behind. It speaks to our own lives too and I pray that we always respond with gentleness and respect.

The key for us, as Christians, is to intellectually separate the Chinese people from Chinese Communism. We are tied to Christians of all nationalities. We have the same interests and the same father. It is important for us to remember that while the world spins in fractured antagonism, our Father is a God of reconciliation and love. We can be the voice of calm and reason because we speak from a heart of love and love must, and always will, carry the day.

So, my appeal to Christians is that we claim China for the Lord. Communism and political systems are not God, nor do they make good masters. They are institutions of men, but the Lord has established His government where Jesus is Lord. Faith and love are how we overcome adversity, that and the word of our testimony and the blood of Christ. That precious blood was shed for Chinese and North Koreans and Russians. It is up to us to win these countries, and their citizens, for Christ.

There is a war. We are warriors in this fight for the souls of the Chinese people and indeed the souls of all people. The good news is that Jesus has already won. Now it is up to us to pray in that victory for China. Through prayer Christians around the world can intercede in the affairs of man. To succeed, we must proceed without judgment. This must be an act of love. We can change the course of human history in China by getting into agreement with Jesus. You have the power of salvation in your hands. Do not waste it. Pray for China. Intercede with a heart of passion and compassion. Let us do the work to which we are called, preach the good news to all creation; spread the love of Christ to all people. We can do this. May it be done according to the grace which is within us through Christ, our Lord.

Communism and Compassion

Matthew 12: 7

But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

Many of you know my background but for those who do not, I was a Political Science major in college. After college I went to law school and got my Juris Doctor degree. I was known in college for my conservative views and argued for small government which should be administered as closely to the people as possible, civil liberties, and privacy. I lean towards the writings of John Locke and away from Thomas Hobbes. I tell you this so that you will appreciate that communism is not a governmental model that I believe best meets the needs of its people nor does it guard individual liberty and privacy. This is where I come from, a conservative libertarian. The best government is one which least affects my life.

I have also believed that God chooses republican forms of government for us where individuals selected by the people administrate government on our behalf. For a long time now, my philosophical, religious and political views have lived in harmony. Imagine my surprise when I recently understood Father to teach me that He is not wedded to a form of government. He loves people, all people.

As this current crisis wears on, I watch as forms of government affect health care responses. I watch as people around the world struggle to balance freedom and their social conscious. Governments don’t necessarily represent the thoughts and concerns of individuals. Nor do the messages of those governments necessarily reflect the thoughts of the public. As I pondered all the questions of my mind in regard to governmental forms and power responding to a health care crisis, Jesus spoke to me. Please understand, it has taken me a while to grasp where he is leading me, and I am not sure I have it all yet.

Compassion – that is the theme of Jesus’ message to me. I have heard that word and wrestled with it for weeks. I find that Jesus’ compassion knows no political borders. Wherever people are suffering he is there. I found myself less concerned about communism than about the people dying in communist countries. Further, I am supposed to care about and pray for people regardless of their political affiliation or their country of residence. I cannot pray against China nor judge and criticize them. Now how do I reconcile my beliefs? Still, I am happy to find a change has occurred in me. I am so happy for nations who have fared well, but literally mourn over losses even in communist China. I absolutely feel compassion for China. No matter what the rhetoric, no matter what the failings, I keep coming back to Chinese people are dying too and I think, it doesn’t matter if you are communist or live in a democratic republic if it is your parent dying. Political choices make no difference to a person who cannot go see their loved one who is dying in a quarantined space. Compassion – that is the message.

We will have an opportunity to ask ourselves what changed in our lives during this historic time. I will say, “Never have I been more compassionate in my life. Never has the tenderness of God’s love so affected me such that I would eschew my political beliefs in favor of humanitarian sympathy.” I cannot tell you how surprised I am about this when the word “humanitarian” used to make me think, “Here comes some bleeding heart, liberal tripe.” In fact, I am embarrassed to know I thought that way. I hope, when this is all done and dusted, I will find I have grown personally and professionally. I hope my liberal friends will be able to tolerate me more and that my conservative friends will love the strength I have found in caring about others.

I believe we don’t win unless every country on the planet wins. I think if I cannot pray for China, Russia, and North Korea, I haven’t learned the lesson Jesus has brought me to. And I pray, that at the end of all this, he will be able to say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant.” This has been challenging for every one of us and don’t doubt it, but we can come through it personally stronger and improved.

I pray for you, my beloved. Though I don’t know each of your personal stories, I do know you are not getting to do some of the things you are accustomed to, you are not getting to travel, even see your family perhaps. Some of you have been sick, scared, angry, politicized, apathetic, and so on. Collectively we have run the gamut of human emotion and I know it has been hard on everyone. I am praying, compassionately, over you today, not in judgment or condemnation, but rather that you would find everything you need and that our Father will not only meet those needs but embrace you in His uncompromising love. Be blessed!