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Should we allow Christianity to make penetrating POLITICAL inroads in China?  Close [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2006-2-6 03:34:02 |Display all floors
I am going to move this ongoing debate over to this forum.  The subject matter has changed its focus from a pure religious standpoint to its potentially disruptive nature in Chinese society.

Christopher is right.  Unlike other formal religions, Christianity in its various forms is backed by political forces which do not necessarily wish us to go to Heaven.

Heaven can wait, but Chinese prosperity can't.  

The entire history of Vatican meddling in Chinese politics shows that the Pope might in fact be the Devil's Incarnate.  

Mind you that I grew up amongst Catholics as a child and amongst non-Catholic Christians as a youth, and therefore I had had first hand knowledge AND experience of how they worked in East Asia.

Not much has changed since those days in their methodology.  Bishop Chen's antics against the mainland government are the best proof of the validity of the following arguments.

Christianity is unapologetically making penetrating inroads into the fabric of Chinese society and we are underestimating its potential harm to our nation.

I think most of the people in China who join the Christian faith are totally mesmerized by the strong pull of not just the biblical stories but also the allure of the sense of togetherness in belonging to a well-organized group singing and reading from standardized texts praising an enigmatic entity loftier than anyone they have encountered in their earthly experience..

These folks enjoy the weekend communal experience which goes well with Chinese emphasis on the family, and the general atmosphere of cordiality inherent in the tightly organized institution built on a bedrock of Western mythology.

Not least is the fact that they like to intermingle with 'gaoshan' (higher-class) English-speaking laowais or indigenous converts of the opposite sex all in the name of opening to the outside world.

They have conveniently forgotten why in the pre-1949 days Christianity had more often than not been associated with imperial aggression rather than spiritual salvation.  

Only a few years ago the Vatican had stubbornly refused not to canonize more than a hundred Catholic priests who had been accused of raping and murdering numerous Chinese subjects amongst their flock of converts in China especially in the city of Tientsin in northern China.

In those days when China was weak the missionaries had always come in the wake of foreign aggressor troops and that's why few Chinese became converts.  Now that China has become richer and more powerful they are now appearing in front of us with more humility and  kinder faces, and yet on closer scrutiny they are still wolves wearing sheepskins.  

The paradoxical truth is that it is precisely during these prosperous times in China that these Christian faiths have met the least resistance and made the most penetrating inroads in China.

The Chinese government should therefore probe into these faiths and begin thinking seriously of how to counter the influence of Christianity through institutionalizing home-grown beliefs and religions in a contemporary setting.  

That is, we should start building ritual ceremonies to enhance the physical appeal of homegrown faiths and teachings such as Confucianism and Daoism which were founded on a firm foundation of Chinese cultural values.  

We should take the mystical element out of these indigenous faiths and modernize their wardrobes into modern clean-cut attire and their gathering places into clean, smoke-free entities acceptable to  sophisticated intellectuals who are vain enough not to attend physically unattractive functions.

It is a commonly mistaken belief amongst Asians that Christianity is a modern progressive system of beliefs accounting for the prosperity of the West during the previous centuries.  The modern West does not owe a debt to Christianity and this point should not be lost in the Chinese people.

Yes, our people are about to massively endorse Christianity in an unprecedented scale in the next two decades as even Chinese toddlers are learning English in all-English environments and an ongoing  mad craze about American pop culture is converting the nation into a ripe fruit for sinuous Christian worms.  

Remember Europe was in its Dark Ages because it was under the intellectually suffocating stranglehold of the Christian Church, which developed a chain of monasteries and used the monastic movement to promote Christian unity in the West by developing important sets of rules such as the Benedict of Nursia in Sixth Century Italy.  

Now China has picked up this religion which is actually experiencing diminishing influence in the West and, like many of their outmoded, 'sunset' industrial counterparts, is now finding reinvigoration in a hapless China which is taking these alien leftovers as the foundation upon which she plans to inaugurate her new gourmet dish.

We only have to remember that Martin Lee has his strongest ally in the Catholic Church in Hongkong to realize the real danger that the Chinese nation faces -- not the cruise missiles from the Seventh Fleet, but the House Christian meetings in private homes on the Seventh Day of the Week.

Christianity (especially the illegal House Christians) is more evil than Felongoon because their method and political agenda is not manifest, and so people are not on guard when they are nabbed by this faith during routine social gatherings.  

Like Time Magazine's Aikman admitted in his interview with American television evangelist Pat Robertson, their ultimate aim is to control the Chinese people's world outlook, and in this regard it already has succeeded in South Korea.

Therefore, to lose vigilance over the inroads made by the Christian Church is to endanger the culture of the Old Country.  This is the ultimate subversive act on the part of folks such as Aikman and Robertson.

If they are allowed to make further inroads in China like the way the Chinese government is already prioritizing the learning of English at all levels, they can claim that they have achieved victory without firing a shot because the influence of Chinese religions and culture in the West is spasmodic and not of mainstream vintage, and such eagerness to embrace an alien culture by the Chinese is not reciprocated.

The Chinese think highly of South Korea and in their minds they have attributed the success of this little nation at least partially to Christianity.  That's why the control over the House Christians (those who hold meetings in the members' homes) is showing manifest signs of attenuation for fear of Western umbrage about so-called 'Human Rights' of these secret societies.

[ Last edited by wchao37 at 2006-2-6 03:55 AM ]

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Post time 2006-2-6 03:34:38 |Display all floors

Continued from above

The government simply doesn't seem to recognize the full extent of the danger China is in from the subversive activities of Christian hooligans and religious fanatics.  

I have been under the influence of both Catholicism and Protestant faiths all through my life so I am familiar with their methodologies.  I haven't been converted because I had been immunized against blind faith with a large dose of Chinese literary tradition as a boy.  

Many of my contemporaries aren't so lucky.  They had been nabbed by the faith almost imperceptibly every time they faced a personal crisis in life and could find no alternative resources to turn to for assistance. They don't like the antiquated incense-burning and funny-looking garbs associated with those other religions like Buddhism and Daoism -- so the modern suit-and-tie snobs all end up talking to Jesus in Christian churches.

Similarly, many young people don't want to be seen as communist enthusiasts or stalwarts because in their minds communism as a faith has lost its appeal with the shameful disintegration of the Soviet Union, and they do not aspire to be political leaders in China.  They want to find a mate who supposedly has good morals as Christians, so what alternative do they have other than to join the Christian Church and come under the influence of Western propaganda in the House Churches?

It is therefore not enough to ban these House Churches and emphasize the availability of  San Zi (Three-self) alternative churches.  The government must see to it that traditional Chinese faiths are given financial incentives to reinvigorate themselves through a fundamental facelift and paradigm shift of their antiquated rituals and ceremonies, as well as modernization of their imagery, with concomittant simplification and standardization of their own religious texts.

Another problem with infinite tolerance of the Christian faith is that after a person becomes a Christian, he will become more familiar with the Western rather than the Chinese Weltanschauung (world outlook).  

I have seldom if ever run into a Chinese Christian who knows as much about the history of Han Dynasty (the contemporaries of the Romans) as he/she knows about Roman history of the Christian era.  They seem to know more about King Herod than they know about Emperor Han Wu Di.  If you expect such a person to put the interests of the nation above his/her own in a crisis or during war, you are fooling only yourself.

One Christmas eve three years ago there was a crowd gathered in Tsimshatsui area of Kowloon, Hongkong.  I overheard an American talking to his companion that Christianity had lost its appeal because of its manifest hypocrisy and superstitious ideology, but it seems while the people in the West are beginning to wean off the Christian faith the East Asians are adopting it wholesale instead.  The man seemed to be delighted in the fact that Asians are sucking up to Jesus the magician.

Christianity is appealing to East Asians because of its superficial veneer of humanity and kindness.  Many of Christianity's beliefs sound innocent enough and the Chinese group these positive attributes together as "Quan ren wei shan" or preachings of 'doing-goodie-goodie.'

They don't understand that Christianity in the old days was extremely repulsive to the Chinese because the missionaries always came after the invaders and committed crimes such as rape and murder in cities such as Tientsin.  That, combined with the fact that Christianity did not allow ancestor worship, turned many Chinese away from the faith.

Ironically, it was communism -- the nemesis of organized religion -- which cleared the way for Christianity because Chinese Marxism drove away ancestor worship from China and replaced it with personal worship of the leader.  

Since even the greatest of all Chinese leaders is still only a mortal, once he passed away it took only one step to cross over the gap between personal worship of a great leader while he was alive to illogical worship of a mystical figure calling himself the Son of God long after he had died.  

Such is the power of the Big Lie.

I think China ought to imitate the Christian faith and institutionalize her native religions such as Daoism and Confucianism; by building a structured organization complete with buildings, Little Yellow Books to standardize their beliefs, and build Confucian or Daoist schools to spread the ideas.  This will simultaneously give the young people places to gather and socialize in their free time, instead of flocking by default into the embrace of the Christian faith.

The Chinese have been too honest in calling a spade a spade -- that's why there were only high achieving mortal saints like Confucius, Mencius, Mo Zi, Han Fei Zi, Zhuang Zi, etc. but no inscrutable deity calling himself 'son of God' in Chinese culture, while Christianity had started with an illiterate crowd of commoners (only the scribes and Pharisees knew how to read and write during Jesus' days) around the Mediterranean who could believe such tall tales as Jesus' return from the dead, healing the blind with a touch of his hand, walking on water, turning water into wine, feeding large crowds of more than five thousand people with two little baskets of bread and fish, etc. etc.

Those biblical stories were in fact the source of Goebbel's Big Lie technique -- the bigger the lie the more the people will believe it.  

Small minds would disbelieve small lies but would readily believe Big Lies because they cannot conceive of anyone other than a lunatic who would dare to make such unbelievable claims pointing to himself as the 'Son of God' in public, and that if such a person had twelve disciples as witnesses it must then be true.  

That's also one of the reasons the Pharisees did not believe Jesus was the 'Messiah' or 'savior' as taught in their Torah or Pentateuch.  They were too educated to believe the myth because they knew of Jesus as one of their contemporary mortals.  

Other than the discredited political agenda, the same can be said of the Felongooners.  You should not be surprised to find that there is always a fraction of the population ready to devour any Big Lie or follow an evil cult because they feel safer under someone who has the mind-boggling audacity to make outlandish claims.

Those then are the basic reasons why after a lifetime of living under the influence of the Chrisitan faith in its multitude of manifestions I still haven't become a convert, and why I believe such inroads will become a great hazard to China in the future if their challenges are to go uncontested or if we lose our vigilance over their ultimate aims as outlined above in propagating their sunset religion in our sunrise China.

Wei Chao, M.D.

[ Last edited by wchao37 at 2006-9-14 09:36 AM ]

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Post time 2006-2-6 06:06:20 |Display all floors

masterkung is right

"The Siege Within" by masterkung

I have been saddened in these last few years at the increasing numbers of Chinese converting to Christianity , here in Australia , in Canada as well as in mainland China and among Chinese communities in south-east Asia . Being a long time admirer of Chinese culture & its three classical religions ( Taoism , Confucianism & Buddhism ) this trend shatters my confidence in the belief that the Chinese have a sense of pride for their own.. There is tremendous ongoing erosion in Chinese values as a result of these large-scale conversions to Christianity the overall national character or Chinese ness has become threatened. Overseas, whenever I am in conversation with Chinese friends they seem to have scant knowledge of their own traditional faiths & their great civilization. They share a misplaced fascination for western values & Christianity.

I was living with a Presbyterian Korean couple in Brisbane , Australia , they were devout Christians , but when I probed them further about the Christian faith , it seemed they only had a superficial knowledge of Christianity . Even after the fact that they were third-generation Christians. Let抯 look at South Korea , this country became a prime target for evangelists post the Korean war, so that today almost 40 % of South  Koreans now profess Christianity , in effect replacing Buddhism as the majority faith. South Korea stands out as a blatant victory for the church and a defeat for Korean cultural-nationalism. This trend can be equated to a nuclear explosion which has hit at the very cultural fabric of the East-Asian Confucianism-Cultural milieu. There is a maxim in India which goes like this ?Dharma-antarana Va Rashtra-antarana?meaning renouncing ones native faith equals renouncing ones national ethos. Now it is amply clear that South Korea has sold out to the Christian west, in its national culture, its world-view & most importantly its unique spiritual traditions.

The Chinese people need to speak-out against this blatant misrepresentation by Christianity of its true intentions compel the evangelists to show their true face & intentions. Again harping on the Korean experience, hitherto alien ideas like a jealous god, immaculate conception, sin & redemption, Satan, god抯 only begotten son, judgment day, hell-fire , guilt & the original sin etc were absent from the Korean spiritual psyche. These concepts, which are, so out of place in the east Asian context now dominate the hearts & minds of a vast number of Koreans. Whereas for centuries China inspired & provided much of the spiritual & ethical basis for Korean society, it seems that now the Koreans are getting their sustenance from the western devils. These devils reinterpret Korean ethos in light of their Semitic beliefs and cajole the natives( Koreans ) to condemn ancestral & native ideas that have been their national inheritance for thousands of years as being satanic inspirations . The West , one that is rational & scientific in its thinking has rejected these outmoded &  ludicrous ideas far back during the renaissance , so the churches now come to sell these wares to unsuspecting east Asians , this campaign has given these evangelists a reason to be relevant in the modern 21st century world. Suddenly these Christian apologists reflect on how the biblical truths need to be re-interpreted . The great flood , Noah抯 Ark, parting of the Red sea, seven day creation myth , Christ抯 ascension to heaven &  immaculate conception by virgin Mary , are rather symbolisms of a higher reality , which need not be taken by their literal meaning but in a spiritual sense. Then their show of remorse for their past misdeeds in rendering apologizes to the native Americans etc. The evangelists are master practitioners of wretchedness & deceit . Their thirst for new converts never ceases , it seems that they have an eternal appetite to convert ( bringing the good news ). It is not enough that all of North , Central & South America have been converted including  Europe & Africa and parts of Asia ( Philippines & Timor etc) . They must go on & on & on , till before judgment day , when the dead will rise from their graves and answer their call by Jehovah the jealous god & dad of Christ the savior of man. For them the final frontier is Asia more specifically China & India (the two satanic monoliths) with a third of the human race between them.

It seems like a trade 杘ff , the west gives us Asians access to critical  technology in return we embrace their discarded garments( Christianity ) , & pretend to be like them in spirit ( modern ) & thought ( materialism). We give up our identity , our culture & our spiritual inheritance discard our ancestral legacy to the dust-bin of history and as museum pieces. . No this can never be, we are capable in re-invigorating our native beliefs. There is no dearth of Taoist, Confucian & Buddhist sages and wise men in China who pride themselves in their cultural nationalism. There needs to be a synthesis of these three classical religions of China , they in themselves are capable enough to take on this serious challenge presented by the Christian evangelists . The government in China needs to bring together like-minded Chinese to debate this issue and introduce the ideas of the ancient three TCB to counter the spiritual vacuum that was created in the middle kingdom due to the upheavals of the last century. The Evangelists have taken sufficient advantage of these factors to further their evil agenda , but now it is time to bring about public debate on the intentions of people like Aikman & his hue. Do not persecute them but counter their propaganda with the light of reason . These creatures of the darkness will not be able to face the light of reason. They will not be forthcoming and will flee the middle kingdom; they only thrive in darkness & in falsehood.

I am a secular humanist with an active interest in religions, particularly Taoism and Hinduism/Buddhism, and keeping a close watch on the variegated Pagan revival in Europe. My opposition to Christianity stems from the fact that the basic doctrine of Christianity in all its denominations is untrue. While ultimate truth may elude us, it remains perfectly possible to decide on the untruth of a given doctrine, when it is found to be contrary to reason and to observable facts.

Clearly wchao u seem to have identified the disease & suggested a cure . It is about high time that there was public debate on this very serious issue . Clearly I would appreciate more likeminded scholars including wchao to come forward and contribute meaningfully on this debate of  utmost national importance to China.

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Post time 2006-2-6 06:14:09 |Display all floors

machjo's comment

First, I never said I'm not religious, simple not Christian.  Not all foreigners are necessarily Christian.

Second point is, from my experience, though the Chinese education system is in dire need of improvement, I don't believe Chinese are somehow intrinsically stupider than their foreign counterparts and are therefore in need of special intellectual and spiritual protection by the government.

As for the mention of Christianity growing at an "alarming" rate, well, perhaps if the Chinese education system allowed for the books of the traditional Chinese religioons and phylosophies, such as the Analects, the Sutras, the Tao Te Tsing and the Qur'an to be taught in school, then, although that wouldn't guarantee people wouldn't convert to other religions, at least it would reduce the chances by filling a spiritual vacuum in china to some degree.

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Post time 2006-2-6 06:15:14 |Display all floors

What gtnbia said about cultural imperialism

The problem with Christian missionary work in general is that there is always an imperialistic and political agenda underneath it all. One doctrine in Christianity is that it is the One True Religion, and therefore, everybody must be converted before the Rapture lest they be doomed to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire. This One True Religion doctrine is the reason why, for example, people were once burned at the stake for refusing to believe in Christianity or the version thereof that the prevailing church espoused. It is also the reason why many of the early Christian monks destroyed much of the knowledge accumulated by the pre-Christian peoples of Europe, and why the Spanish monks in Mexico burned the Aztecs' books (along with a lot of the Aztecs themselves), thus erasing another several thousand years of priceless knowledge.

I had an argument a while back with a Southern Baptist kid of about 16 whose dream was to become a missionary and convert people to Christianity in Mexico and Vietnam. Though he decided not to go in the end, I had a hell of a time convincing him that he shouldn't do it. What struck me as interesting were the tactics that missionaries use today. Apparently, they will go to impoverished rural areas such as those inhabited by ethnic minorities and do charity work - building houses and schools, feeding people, and so forth - essentially holding a bag of food in one hand and a copy of the Bible in the other. In other words, they're taking advantage of people's desperation and, in addition to doing something substantial to improve their lives, they're also offering them a new religion that seems to provide "the Truth" and answer all their questions in life. This has already worked in Thailand, where missionaries have been going hog-wild converting the hill tribes. In addition to introducing the Christian religious doctrine, the missionaries have been introducing customs associated with it as well. Now, people in converted villages go to church every Sunday and celebrate Christmas instead of seeing local shamans and celebrating their traditional festivals. These people are basically being whitewashed, so to speak.

One appeal that Christianity has is that it isn't based on reverence of natural forces. Therefore, people who convert feel they are above nature rather than a part of it, and it gives them a feeling of control. The downside of this, of course, is that it also can lead to a collapse of traditional values and respect for nature and the environment.

The "Spirit" of cultural imperialism lives on...

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Post time 2006-2-6 06:16:58 |Display all floors

mark069 pointed his finger

By repressing religion you GIVE them a politcal agenda...

Religions/faiths like Christianity do not ostensibly have political agendas.  They wish to be left alone to practice their faith throughtout the world.  

But when a governement starts targeting a specific religion,  they GIVE them a political agenda.  The agenda is simply to be allowed to exist and practice their religion.

When this happens a relatively unpowerful and uninfluential group suddenly becomes very powerful through publicity and external support.  


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Post time 2006-2-6 06:18:03 |Display all floors

Supertek comes in

So they often crave a standard...a set of rules and morals. In the absence of such they will cling to anything that offers the hope of such. Belief in a party or an ideal is not a replacement for spiritual nourishment that every religion is designed to bring.

If you weren't raised with a wide scope of religion to view then how can you so easily condemn one brand?  
That being said, I am not religious, I just see how it is useful, and how has actually shaped the western nations vs. Middle Eastern ones vs. African ones vs. Eastern ones...

PS. Catholicism is not the only brand of Christianity, not even close. In fact many argue that it's not Christianity at all.

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