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In a recent development, Communist authorities in China raided a church, forcibly removed over 1000 of its members, and demolished the building. And this was not a small church building either. It was worth roughly 1.4 million dollars.
Now you may be thinking, “What is so unusual about this? The Chinese government has, for years, gone after the underground church in China.” Well, this was not an underground church. It was affiliated with the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement that is the state sanctioned Protestant church of China.
So what is going on? What is going on is the natural expression of the totalitarian beliefs of the Communist Party of China. Many people think that the Communist Party is a political entity, and isn’t really much interested in religion. However, that is simply not true. The worldview beliefs that underlie Communist philosophy are based on Naturalism. This belief system is decidedly Atheist – and Atheism is a religious belief. The political expression of that takes the form of totalitarianism, and the economic expression is some type of collectivism – Socialism or Communism.
What is happening in China is to be completely expected. Communism sees Christian beliefs as a religious competitor. Christian beliefs lead people to long for and work toward liberty and self expression. The Communist Chinese can allow that to exist as long as it stays small and wimpy. But when those competing ideas begin to get to a certain size and start exercising more influence in society, it has to be eradicated.
Sadly, we see these kinds of Communist ideas becoming stronger in America, as well. Recently there was polling done to gauge people’s beliefs about the First Amendment – particularly as it relates to free speech. Shockingly, this poll, conducted by The Campaign for Free Speech, reveals that nearly 60 percent of Millennials believe that the Constitution "goes too far in allowing hate speech in America." This does not bode well for the future. But freedom of speech is not the only sign of collectivism’s increasing prominence. The insistence on political correctness, the suppression or banning of conservative speakers on college campuses, the “cancel culture,” the move to tear down “offending” statues, media efforts to slant the news, and other similar efforts in society are all evidence of how this kind of thinking is taking hold.
Christians ought to be on the front lines opposing all of this. There are Christians that think we ought not to involve ourselves in this kind of political activity. But what must be understood is that this is not simply political activity. Based on naturalistic philosophy, there is no distinction between politics and religion. To them, it is all one and the same. When their side wins out, freedom of expression is suppressed, and Christians lose the ability to freely express and live out their faith – as we see happening in China. We should not let this happen.
Beyond that, when Christians engage this battle, it is an opportunity to witness to our Christian faith. When we share “why” totalitarian and collectivist beliefs are not right, we do it based on biblical worldview beliefs. This should ultimately lead us to opportunities to share Christ with people who are separated from God.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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