I love living in China and have immersed myself in Chinese culture. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go since I arrived here in 1991—many who approach China with negative attitudes and misconceptions.
I’d like to share my thoughts about how to enjoy this culture that God loves. Specifically, I want to note some wrong approaches to China that I hope will instruct us in a better way.
The massive campaign against church crosses in China’s Zhejiang province is in the news again with the release this month of the US State Department’s 2015 Report on International Religious Freedom.
I once had a discussion with my Chinese professor about the influences of Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism) in the worldview of Chinese people. “You have to understand,” he told me, “that we are Confucian when things are going well, when we have position and authority, and when life is hard for us and we are ‘down and out,’ we are Daoists.”
In the sphere of international film, Jia Zhangke, is a key player that’s putting China on the map. As a part of the “Sixth Generation” of film directors in China, this group has left behind the epic tales of mythical history and instead, focuses their efforts on capturing the raw realities of today’s China. For Jia, this means that films are more than just ways to tell stories. He carefully uses his craft as a vehicle to commentate on contemporary Chinese society.
I recently received the weekly prayer list from our church. Each week we pray for a different nation of the world. This particular week we were to pray for China.
It’s been a long time since I have watched the Olympic Games on American broadcast TV, and not CCTV5, the Chinese sports channel, and there are several things that I miss. I miss the 24-hour coverage of events and watching them in their entirety, not just highlight reels. I miss watching ping-pong and badminton. And I miss getting to know the Chinese athletes.
“She doesn't know me anymore,” my friend Xiao Min remarked offhandedly one day, as though this fact didn't bother her. As the weeks went on, I would slowly discover that this statement reflected a very deep pain in Xiao Min's heart. The first time she brought it up, though, I was surprised she would treat the matter so coolly. After all, she was talking about her own daughter.
Throughout history as various attempts have been made to introduce the gospel to China, a series of “perennial questions” have arisen regarding the relationship between the Christian faith and Chinese culture.
Here’s a question for you: what was the capital of China when Jesus was born? If you said Luoyang, in Henan province, then you are correct! It was the capital of the Han Dynasty, which lasted from 206 BC to AD 220.
It was June 2000. I was on my first trip to China. In fact, it was my first time to leave the United States. My team and I spent six weeks meeting students, sharing the gospel, and helping in other ways.