Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"Back to Jerusalem" Along the Silk Road

I posted recently about how Spengler thinks that the Muslim word needs to keep an eye on the burgeoning Christian population of Africa. It also appears that that there is a peaceful crusade mounting up in the East.

The vision is known as the "Back to Jerusalem" movement. The leaders of this movement explain that it is not a plan by the Chinese to hold a conference here in Jerusalem, but rather a vision to take the Gospel to all the nations in the Earth, between China and Jerusalem.

The vision is one of the most ambitious goals in church history. The idea is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ back along the ancient trade routes known as the Silk Road.

These routes would take the Gospel through some of the most inhospitable regions in the world.

This region, also known as the '10/40 Window,' contains some of the people on Earth most resistant to the Gospel - the Hindus, the Buddhists and the Muslims. Despite the formidable challenge, many Chinese see an opportunity, and as Jesus said, fields white unto harvest.

This vision has been brought to the West by Chinese underground church leader Brother Yun.

According to Brother Yun, the story of the church in China today, and for the past several decades, has been like a modern-day book of Acts.

Yun said, "We just went everywhere. We found people who didn't know about Jesus. We healed the sick, we cast out demons and we led people into salvation of Jesus, and that is what we are doing today."

The history of the Chinese house church is a powerful chronicle. In 1949, Mao Tse Tung expelled the Western missionaries, and began a campaign to purge China of Christianity. During this long campaign of persecution, many in the West feared the light of the church would be extinguished. But like a stream in the desert, the church not only survived the harsh conditions, it thrived. Today, it is estimated that there are from 70 to 100 million Christians in China.

During this time, Brother Yun, like many other Christians, was imprisoned and tortured, but his faith remained strong.

"It's that God Himself, or Jesus Himself, in a special way helped me to overcome this thing," Yun said. "It was more like, in myself in my spirit and in my heart, I have to focus my eyes on Jesus. Think about His suffering for me. And so I was receiving strength from His suffering, and that made me strong enough to overcome the persecution."

Even in jail, he says the Holy Spirit moved powerfully. "And I saw a revival to break through, many multitudes of heavy criminals and gangsters came to salvation and the change in their lives was so dramatic, that even the director of the prison, he recognized and he said, This Jesus is amazing! How He can change the people! Who is He?"

Through a series of miraculous adventures described in "The Heavenly Man," Brother Yun left China in 1997. Along with Peter Xu, his pastor, they are proclaiming to the church in the West a vision that has captivated the church in China.

I've learn one way to tell if something is genuinely from God is if it is so outrageously ambitious that no human would have the chutzpah to conceive of it. Human logic would counsel the persecuted church to put their own ministry in China first. But I get something of a sense of poetic symmetry to this vision that is truly captivating, it has the cosmic scope of Kingdom work.

...[T]he church in China is uniquely prepared for this task. It is expected that as many as 100,000 missionaries will be needed. Many of these Christians have been forged in the furnace of persecution.

Hickson remarked, "This is a total life commitment. They are willing to die for this vision. And that's very humbling for people, when you are working with people who are willing to lay their lives down for a vision which is costing them their lives."

He continued, "Most of the people who are beginning to be trained in this, before they even come into the training schools, they have to be willing to say, "I'm ready to die outside of China. I'm willing to actually be buried outside of China. So that's heavy stuff."

The leaders of the Back to Jerusalem movement believe the idea could help complete The Great Commission in our generation, and help fulfill China's destiny.

As Napoleon once said, "When China is moved, it will change the face of the globe."

If you are interested in learning more about or even encouraging this Divine madness, click here.
papijoe 3:14 PM