Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Prayer Request 5/3 - 5/9

Chinese people are easily confused by religious ideas because they have grown up with little knowledge and understanding of religion; the differences between orthodoxy and heterodoxy are even more difficult for them to distinguish. We pray for great wisdom for Christians Chinese believers as they encounter onslaught of lies and lies of cults. Churches must spend more time and effort to educate their members how to defend the Biblical truth and able to discern false doctrines.
The state announced the names and details of 14 cults, among which 12 were a variant of Christianity. Christianity is not a cult. These variant cults have long been at odds with Christianity. Rural churches have few well-trained pastors is a sad reality, believers are not fed and become easy targets for the ravaging cults. We pray for extra mercy and grace, so no sheep are stolen and churches ravaged.
In a positive sense, government’s crackdown on cults in China, allow orthodox churches some respite and room for growth, it will help them to define what is orthodox Christian doctrine and teachings. Churches suffer attack from cults because believers lack teaching of Biblical truth, and even church leaders are ignorant and undiscerning. We pray for God’s mercy, great emphasis on teaching of sound doctrine, and faithful shepherd to protect the flocks.
Many house church leaders support government’s crackdown on cults because of the intense harassment they have received from cults. At the same time, house church leaders are worry that social media and public figures cannot distinguish good churches from cults.Some cults corrupt leaders and hijack the entire church with sex and money. The Lord have mercy, help church leaders to realize that they cannot be isolated, cannot falsely believe they are invincible and refuse accountability or fellowship with other church leaders.
Recently, house churches encountered antagonism, being treated with great suspicion and even arrest when they try to share the gospel in public. This is due to the high profile murder case by cult members which is widely demonized in public. One reason cults are so prevalent in China is lack of contacts, fellowship and coverage among churches. We pray that churches in China will really care for other churches, rather than just caring for their own interest.
Cults and orthodox churches are like: ‘In the darkness a crow and a dove feel the same; it is difficult to distinguish the two. But if the light comes in, you can clearly differentiate between what is black and what is white.’” Chinese churches have long been fragmented, attacking each other’s theologies and even reputation, there is dearth of acceptance and unity, this allow the cults to divide and conquer weaker churches. We pray for love and acceptance for all church leaders.
Discord and distrust among house church leaders in China have created a gap for the heresies to sneak in. They capture the leaders first and then cause the congregation to break up. We pray that the Almighty Lord will protect all churches from these vicious wolves and churches will quickly form defensive strategies by teaching their members how to discern the truth from false teaching.