Pray for Christians in China

The Chinese government continues to persecute religious groups, including Muslims and Christians. This is largely a policy by China’s President, Xi Jinping, who is attempting to construct a cult of personality around himself not seen since the days of Mao. Organized religion is an obvious roadblock to this goal; thus the systematic persecution. If you have a New York Times subscription (or some free articles remaining), see these background article on China’s attempts build a civil religion centered on the State: https://nyti.ms/2SCC5cO

An evangelical Chinese pastor was recently sentenced to nine years in prison for his refusal to lead his church to bow to persecution. For a latter-day example of Acts 4:23-31 in action, see the church’s statement on its pastor’s sentence, which includes the following:

Praise God for the faithful witness of our brother in Christ, whose reward is now great in heaven. May the Lord use Pastor Wang Yi’s imprisonment to draw many to himself and to bring glory to his name.

China’s mass imprisonment of Muslims in the Western portion of the country is likely the largest mass incarceration and round-up of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. For some context on the crackdown on Muslims, see https://bit.ly/2SQf4n9, and especially:

For news about the Christian persecution, see the articles here: https://bit.ly/39nOGqm.

Pray for the Christians in China!

The Depths of Human Sin

I woke up to read a startling new story out of China. A mother apparently flushed her newborn baby down the toilet immediately after giving birth. By the grace of God, this poor little boy did not die. Neighbors in their apartment block heard him crying and telephoned authorities, who were able to rescue him from inside the building’s sewer pipe.

baby boy 1

God only knows if this poor boy will be all right, going forward. As I looked at these sad pictures, and thought of the terror and fright this poor baby was experiencing trapped inside that wretched pipe, I am reminded about what Scripture says about our own sinfulness.

10 as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. 13 Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. 14 Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin (Rom 3:10-20).

baby boy 2

This tragic story is a sad testament to the corruption of the human heart. Who can look upon this poor little baby, stuffed like filth into a sewer pipe, and not believe people are sinful? Men and women, alone among God’s creations, are unique – we are made in the very image of God (Gen 1:26-27; 2:5b). This makes man special and unique before God. He was created by the very breath, or creative force, of God (Gen 2:7). This image was not physical, but relational. Just as God has authority and power over everything, man was given special authority over God’s creation (Gen 1:28; 2:15). Adam was appointed a steward of God’s creation, meant to have dominion over it all. Eve was created to be a help and companion to Adam in fulfilling this task (Gen 2:18).

Human life is therefore sacred. This why, after the worldwide flood, God commanded men to impose the death penalty for murder; “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image,” (Gen 9:6).

baby boy 3

It breaks my heart to see such wickedness and sin, especially against a helpless little child. Our world is full of sin and wickedness. Praise God He provided a Savior for us in Jesus Christ. This is why Scripture speaks of the “grace of God.” We do not deserve this kind of mercy; how could sinful men who are capable of this terrible act, and so many more, ever hope to earn their salvation? We cannot. There is nothing in sinful men and women, you or I, that God can find pleasure in or accept for salvation. We are dead in trespasses and sins, and are “by nature the children of wrath,” (Eph 2:1-3).

In light of this, Christ preached everywhere for men to repent of their sins and believe in the Gospel (Mk 1:15).

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (Jn 14:6)

As we look at these sad pictures, we can see clearly how much people need Christ.

baby boy 4

baby boy 5