The senior pastor of the fastest-growing and largest Chinese-church in America said at a special men’s conference to get ready to embrace the golden era that God has prepared for the Chinese people.
On Jan. 30th, River of Life Christian Church Senior Pastor Rev. Liu Tong gave an analysis of the changes that have taken place within the Chinese world in the last two decades and described how God has been preparing the Chinese all the while.
Looking at the overall situation in the Chinese world, Liu said that three recent world events have brought about much good.
In 1988, Taiwan’s former president Chiang Ching-Kuo died, which loosened the centrifugal forces of the Kuomintang, the ruling party then, so a new political era opened up in Taiwan, where freedom in politics brought freedom of expression and thoughts to the entire society.
In 1989, the Tiananmen Incident shocked the western world. Since then, Western countries have been pressuring China on its human rights problems. Looking from a different angle, Liu said, China has been searching for social stability and economic growth ever since then.
Yet another major event of influence was the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which symbolized the complete dissolve of Soviet Unions’ communist power and the opening of the freedom of thoughts.
Passing through the above changes, Chinese world today, China, in particular, have made giant strides in economics and all aspects of civilization; as a result, the international community have been focusing in on this land with enormous potentials.
In 1982, John Naisbitt, an American author and public speak in the area of future studies, authored a #1 New York Times bestseller titled Megatrends. He has recently authored another book titled China’s Megatrends, in which he gave an analysis to China’s changes and her future.
Liu went over the eight reasons that Naisbitt attributed to China’s current growth:
1. The liberalization of thoughts; 2. “China’s Own Democracy” – connecting the top to bottom and bottom to top; 3. Planting trees around the land so the forest to freely grow within; 4. Crossing the river while touching the stones; 5. Liberalization of Arts and Academics; 6. Entering world stage; 7. Creating a new “China Dream”; 8. Stepping onto a creative path.
Of these eight reasons for China’s growth, Liu brought out the importance of the so-called “China’s Own Democracy.” This type of connection between top to bottom and vice versa originated from China’s traditional value systems, which the West cannot understand. The West emphasize on individualism, where people can without much restraint disconnect from their families and the society.
On the contrary, no one in traditional Chinese society can rebel against the orders of the rulers and the father, and it is under such values that China’s own form of democracy exists. This democratic method that is centered on this type of moral ethics has provided China’s society a stable background for her rapid development of the economy, society, and civilization.
When reflecting more on Capitalism and Socialism in recent years, Liu said that he reached a conclusion and that was neither of these two political systems are absolutely good or evil. The fundamental question is “Where does the authority of man come from?”
Speaking from a Christian worldview, man’s authority is given by God. Socialism replaces the place of God with the government, who would then control the people, but the people cannot enjoy true freedom. Meanwhile, Capitalism replaces God with self-centered man, which eventually will bring the collapse of the entire society.
Nevertheless, if a government agrees that the authority of man comes from God, then the government’s duty is to serve its people and not be totalitarian or be Laissez-faire.
America was founded upon Christian principles, but as the people become farther away from God and replace God with themselves and money, the entire society will collapse as a result. In recent years, rounds after rounds of economic crisis have stunted America’s development, which is a consequence not having God in their hearts.
“Therefore, fundamentally, the answers to all the problems lie in the hands of that true and eternal God. We really must fervently pray for China and United States to return to God,” said Taiwanese-American pastor based in Silicon Valley.
Addressing China’s gradual entrance to the world stage, Liu believed that without a doubt it is happening. Since Deng Xiaoping implemented the economic reforms in the late 70’s, promoting both economic and thought developments, and the recent shocks from the return to mainland of Chinese who studied overseas, China has gain significant achievements in the fields of academics, technology, scholastic arts, and sports, and some fields, if not surpassed, have caught up with the West.
Liu said that the Chinese is more likely to succeed, because we are more willing than any other nation groups to immerse ourselves into the local society’s culture and to conform to the locals; we have very strong abilities to adapt and learn. In third world nations, the locals are all very fond of the Chinese and want to learn about our secrets.
Moreover, Liu pointed out the reasons for Chinese’ advantages, “The West is a society that is eager to lecture, but the Chinese world is a society that is eager to learn. China’s special traits are searching for stability in survival, developments in stability, and breakthroughs in developments. When the West and the totalitarian communist world face crisis in their policies and values, the Chinese world should be able to walk out a creative path.”
Aside from the changes in the world in the last two decades, the Chinese churches have been experiencing a great spiritual awakening, which is apparent especially in four aspects: the rise of praise and worship, the rise of Pentecostal Movement, the rise of prayer transformation movements, and the calling of ministers in the market places.
Liu reminisced of the time when Korean missionary Rev. Stephen Hah led a three-day praise and worship conference at the Taipei Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in 1989, during which a typhoon poured down heavy rain and strong winds; despite the condition, over 10,000 people participated throughout the three-day conference. That touching image was a turning point for the Chinese churches. Bread of Life Church is also the spring tender shoots that sprang up after that event.
Moreover, the Pentecostal movement within the Chinese churches started around twenty years ago. Pastor Miller from Argentina went for the first time to Taiwan, but brought a new model for life devotion to us. In addition, the Agape Church from United States, which has lost much influence since, has once brought a renewed model of churches to the Chinese churches, teaching them the proper understanding of how the Holy Spirit works within the church.
With regards to Chinese churches participating in the prayer transformation movement, Liu said it began from when American missiologist and Rev. Thomas Wang together coined the term “10/40 Window” to represent the world’s poorest nations and the places where the gospel is hardest to reach. Since then, the Chinese believers were encouraged to pray for the countries in the 10/40 window.
Furthermore, the Chinese churches have been awakened to the calling of market place ministries around two decades ago, which was when the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship began to gain influence. In recent years, the FGBMF Chinese chapters in different parts of the world have encouraged numerous brothers to be the salt and the light in the market places and helped transform the society that they are in, which brought a new era of services of lay believers. Now, the Chinese chapters are more revived than their western counterparts.
“In the last twenty years, we saw how God truly has prepared the Chinese to become His fitting instruments on both world and spiritual levels. We must look at this trend well, hold on to the advantages that the Chinese have, so that we can meet the coming golden era of Chinese,” he concluded.
[Editor's note: reporter Eunice Or contributed to this report.]