Here are my favorite quotes from the book, “The Registered Church in China” by Wayne Ten Harmsel published by Pickwick Publications an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. If you want to support the author, you can buy the book by following this link.
“..the church believes that it should be able to function unhindered by the power or influence of the State, without the humiliation of registration. At the same time, the State claims the right to rule unhindered by any moral opposition from the church. Both claim to be seeking hexie, harmony. “
“The Chinese church exists in a different but real world where the Spirit of God is not about politics and where the Christian church is a gift and a blessing for all of China.”
“The contention that the registered churches are in bed with the government is for the most part simply wrong. It would be beneficial for all churches to realize that the problem is not other churches, but the threat that the government poses and will always pose to Christianity in an atheist Communist regime.”
“Their churches were referred to as “Three-Self Churches,” referencing those churches that had registered with the government and were part of an organization called the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. The Three-Self, they said, did not define their church; Jesus Christ defined their church. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement simply provided a bridge between State and church so that dialogue was possible.”
“One of the great ironies of religious life in China is that while the constitution supposedly allows and protects religious freedom, that freedom is circumscribed when the government deems a religion to pose a threat to the status quo.”
“The church/State relationship in China is fraught with tangible and intangible complications. Both bodies have fundamental ideological views regarding the role each should play in shaping Chinese society and government, and these views could hardly be more different.”
“Registered church leaders tell me that they can compromise on nonessentials while holding firmly to the fundamentals of the faith. They believe that silence regarding political and social justice issues buys them the ability to continue preaching and teaching the basic Christian gospel. “
“On the whole, in spite of all the problems and hassles it faces, the registered churches in China are an important and thriving Christian presence in China”
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