Noah Samuels reviewed the book Faithful Disobedience on February 13, 2023. Below are 20 quotes he compiled from the book that give a glimpse into the rich theology and ecclesiology of suffering yet faithful pastors in China. Page numbers refer to where the quotations can be found in Faithful Disobedience.
Why We Are a House Church—Wang Yi
Once the church falls into the trap of being ruled by emotions, depending on power, or yielding to politics on matters of doctrine, priesthood, or sacraments, they have worshiped a false God (p. 27).
The Spiritual Legacy of the House Church—Jin Tianming
In the past, house churches suffered for the right to individual belief; today’s house church must persevere in suffering to build up the church (p. 35).
Tradition of the House Church in China: Nonconformist—Wang Yi
The position of the fundamentalists after 1949 is to uphold their soteriology but not touch on ecclesiology, views on the kingdom, or the intrinsic conflict between Christianity and communism (p. 41).
Rise of House Churches and Urban Churches—Jin Mingri
I think the first issue for the house church to solve is not the issue of its ‘legality’ or registration, but the establishment and affirmation of its identity and subjective consciousness; that is, to know who it is (p. 48).
Why Didn’t We Join the National TSPM?—Sun Yi
An organization cannot be called a church if it does not make Jesus’ great commission its primary objective but rather makes the religious policy of the ruling party and the state its primary objective (p. 60).
Christian Rightists of 1957—Wang Yi
The most ironic thing is this: a so-called self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating Three-Self Movement has established a religious organization that is completely dependent on the ruling regime while it gives up on biblical truth and accepts the reality of political control (p. 73).
The most heroic part of the fundamentalists’ faith is that the darker things got, the firmer they stood. But their weakness was that when the darkness began to fade, they were unable to respond effectively to their times. They could not utilize the entire gospel of the Bible to address the relationships between church and society, gospel and culture, faith and politics (p. 92).
Raising our Voices to End Sixty Years of Religious Persecution—Wang Yi
The reason we raise our voice is because we take pity on those compatriots who cannot have more freedom and more opportunity to hear the gospel (p. 102).
Ninety-Five Theses—Wang Yi and ERCC
If anyone advocates or requires any type of ‘Sinicization of Christianity’ with regards to the fundamentals of our faith, biblical theology, and the doctrines of the church, they reject Jesus Christ and are antagonistic toward Christianity (p. 111).
The Mission and Labor Camp of the Gospel—Wang Yi
Jesus bore the root and essence of suffering for all of those who suffer in him, which is separation from God’s holiness, righteousness, and love. And all of those who suffer in Christ, in turn, receive the full privilege of their suffering in Christ, which is their renewed union with God’s holiness, righteousness, and love (p. 135).
The Way of the Cross, the Life of the Martyrs—Wang Yi
As long as this church is still proclaiming the gospel, as long as God’s Word is still in the mouths and hearts of our brothers and sisters, this church cannot be destroyed (p. 158).
The Cross and the Landfill—Wang Yi
You are a group of master ballet dancers performing at a landfill. And this is the meaning of the landfill—that although you will be deemed lunatics by those who stay near it, because of you, the landfill has become an image of the new heaven and the new earth (p. 170).
Twenty Ways Persecution Is God’s Way to Shepherd Us—Wang Yi
The church-state conflict is also the best antidote for individualism or the prosperity gospel (p. 177).
History Is Christ Written Large—Wang Yi
The greatest worship battle the church has to face is not what songs we should sing during worship services. Rather, it is an age-old battle between the sovereignty of Christ and the sovereignty of the state in worship (p. 186).
An Opportunity for Churches to Walk the Way of the Cross—Wang Yi
We have an opportunity to demonstrate to society what the church is; why spiritual authority should not be in the hands of those who wield the sword; why we can accept or at least endure external governance but cannot allow our faith, worship, teaching, shepherding, church offices, and members to come under the state’s review and control. This is an opportunity for the church in China (p. 194).
Christ Is Lord. Grace Is King. Bear the Cross. Keep the Faith—Wang Yi
We need to correct the church’s understanding of itself. The openness I talk about has nothing to do with legal status. The church is already open. Openness means the church does not need to be recognized by the government in order to exist openly. The church has existed openly from the beginning. We want to strengthen our ecclesiology (p. 205).
In the Face of Persecution, What Will I Do?—Wang Yi
Under no circumstances will we stop or give up on gathering publicly, especially the corporate worship of believers on Sunday (p. 216).
My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience—Wang Yi
All acts of the church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world…The communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it (p. 224).
Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family—the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead (p. 225).
Letter for All Christian Churches to Pray—Western China Presbytery
Through this storm, may the Lord’s church be a city set on a hill that is built firmly on the rock, a lamp on a stand that shines light into darkness (p. 235).
Image credit: via Piqsels.
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