The phenomenal growth of China’s church has, justifiably, given rise to much discussion about how Christianity will impact China’s future...Beneath the upbeat reports of the church’s growing numbers and influence, however, is the harsh reality that unprecedented growth accompanied by a severe shortage of trained leadership has left the church increasingly vulnerable to cults and heresies.
Last year members of the Almighty God sect savagely attacked a customer in a McDonald’s in northeast China after she refused to give them her cell phone number. Formerly known as Eastern Lightning, the Almighty God sect has emerged as one of the most active cults in China.
Lambert writes: “China has been experiencing a major revival of religious faith…at the same time there has been an upsurge in cults, many of them quite bizarre.” He traces a brief history of China’s cults and then deals with how a cult is defined in China. He goes on to look at the difficulties that emerge when applying unclear and subjective definitions of what constitutes a cult and concludes with an overview of Eastern Lightning.
Church of the Almighty God (Eastern Lightning)
A Mandarin Language PowerPoint Course
The author takes an in-depth look at Almighty God Church (formerly Eastern Lightning) and its impact on China’s house churches. He looks at early house church responses to this cult as it began infiltrating congregations as well as later responses as it became a greater problem. Yu shares with us a portion of the biblical Christology he developed to refute the erroneous teachings of this group.
How can a cult be identified? This article alerts the reader to characteristics that can serve as warnings for the possible need to make a further examination of a church or group. It discusses specific issues related to authority and exclusivity, control and submission, secrecy and darkness, and abnormal changes in goals and conduct.