Apologetics Index

The Modern Chinese Revival

By David Kowalski

I have devoted a good deal of time to studying revivals and I think most Christians don’t realize we are living in the time of history’s greatest one. Sadly, for those of us in the West, we are not participants. We also seem oblivious to the nearly countless lessons we can learn from that revival.

When the communists prevailed in China, they expelled all foreign missionaries — including the Americans (how could the Christians survive without us?).  The poverty-stricken, severely persecuted, tiny band had no hope — or so conventional wisdom said. David Adeny of the Overseas  Missionary Fellowship (formerly called the China Inland Mission) admits to feeling pessimistic about the Chinese Church after he was expelled by the communists:

We felt we had failed…could they [the Chinese believers], a tiny minority, stand against the mighty tide of a triumphant, Communist ideology that proclaimed ‘the kingdom of man’ — with no place for a crucified savior?

It turns out God did not need Western techniques or money. After the communists prevailed militarily, He showed who was really in charge, sending a revival in which over 80 million disciples were made. Mind you, these 80 million are not “adherents.” In China, one risks their life to follow Christ. Lukewarm “adherents” do not last.
What I find especially challenging is the quality of the Chinese church. They surpass us in wisdom, power, love, and sacrifice. The Western Church needs to study and learn from these brethren who have much to teach us. Of course, the Chinese Church has aberrant elements, but these kinds of aberrations have appeared everywhere the gospel has gone.

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The Chinese believers are now sending missionaries to areas neglected by the West. One of their leaders, Brother Yun, comments as follows:

There is little that any of the Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu countries can do to us that we haven’t already experienced in China. The worst they can do is kill us, but all that means is we will be promoted to the glorious presence of our Lord for all eternity! … Many of our missionaries will be captured, tortured, and martyred for the sake of the gospel, but that will not stop us. The Chinese Church is willing to pay the price.

They don’t need us. They have all they need in God. We, however, need to learn from their example. Thank you, our Chinese brethren, for your faithfulness.

Above all, thank you Lord, for showing your mighty hand when your people were at their weakest. And thank you for shining your light most brightly in the darkest place.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB)

Books are still being written on the Chinese revival and I have not read all of them. I do endorse, however, anything written by Tony Lambert, Paul Hattaway, Brother Yun, or Luke Wesley. Any differences of opinion between these four authors is minor, in my opinion.

© Copyright 2013, David Kowalski. All rights reserved. Links to this post are encouraged. Do not repost or republish without permission.

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Category: Column: David Kowalski, Renewal and Revival Movements
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First published (or major update) on Sunday, January 20, 2013

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