A latest news reports that a young lady has been beaten to death in a McDonald store by some people of a heretic cult in a city named Zhaoyuan of Shandong province, eastern China. That city is famous for its gold mine in China.
That emerging heresy – Lightening from the East – is derived from a former radical Chinese Christian sect – The Local Churches (another name is: Shouters) led by a Chinese in Taiwan. The belief of The Local Churches remains highly controversial and has once been condemned as a heresy by the Christian Research Institute in 1970s. One of the local chief worker of The Local Churches established an absolute heresy – The All Powerful Spirit – claiming that Christ has already returned as a woman. It has several other names to confuse people and seduce them to join. Such as: Lightening from the East. Even The Local Churches’ author admitted that it was a heresy. This is the most latest emerging heresy and is highly aggressive to both the three-self and the house churches in China. I always saw those people outside my church in China dragging and forcing Christians to talk with them about their belief after Sunday service. They also sent people to my mother in law’s family trying to convert her so as to convert everyone of her house church. The new Christians and the church leaders are their primary targets. Violence and sex seduce is their usual method as well. The tragedy of the young lady reveals how dangerous those heretic people are.
Chinese culture is a good soil for heresy to grow. Even the communism of China had become somewhat “heretic” comparing with the teaching of Karl Marx. I grew up within the communism context and have a strange feeling of it. I used to be very sure that I understood it very well because I had been taught a lot about it and I had lived within it. But when I met a previous Soviet Union engineer in my early year of working in early 1990s, I got some totally different knowledge of how communism looked like in his country (claimed leader of world communism) when we compared our different lives as common people rather than politicians or scholars. Soviet communism is way more absolute than ours. Chinese communism is a distorted one which had been blended with lots of Chinese thinking. What I’m trying to portrait is how Chinese people adapt a foreign object. The strong and rigid culture will always try to change it into a thing that could be reasonably explained in its traditional logic and only those parts which is thought useful by the social elites will be accepted.
The atheism teaching during the past sixty years has a solid ground among Chinese people and make some people fear nothing, even God. The heresies could be established so quickly by those fearless people who actually believe in themselves and turn religions into ways of seeking wealth and power. The highly exaggerated story of Brother Yun is one example. As one of my close friend who is an economist and converted to Christian last year comments: Everything will taste differently after it has been immersed into the Chinese culture. To my perception, heresy would be a much troublesome problem to the future of Chinese Christianity than the persecution of the communist government.
To confront this challenge, disciple building needs to be enhanced.