Sharing grace in China.

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MINISTRY// I don’t know anything about Christians

MINISTRY// I don’t know anything about Christians

A Bible institute professor who last month traveled in China for 316NOW shares a story about an encountered he had on a plane.

Because our American culture is heavily influenced by Christianity, I’ve found it hard to understand the impact on a country where 90% of the people are not Christian. Worse, where 50% of the people are atheists. But I keep accumulating pieces that help me assemble that jigsaw puzzle. One of those pieces came to me during a discussion I had with a man in his mid-thirties while on a plane traveling between Chinese cities.

This man had good English skills so we were able to talk for most of our two hour trip. At one point our conversation turned to what I do for a job. “I’ve a retired Lutheran pastor,” I told him.

I could tell from the blank look that I had just introduced him to two new English words. I tried again. “I’m a Christian minister.”  The same blank look. 

“I don’t know what that is,” he said. 

“I’m a priest,” told him, hoping that he would know something about Buddhist priests or Hindu priests.

“Oh, I understand,” he said. “I don’t know anything about Christians.”

My first thought was, how could you not know anything about Christians? But then I realized how small an influence Christianity has in China. That thought was closely followed by how huge the need is for God’s people to share the good news about grace in Jesus with more and more of the 1.4 billion people who live there.

“We believe that God sent his Son to forgive all our sins by being punished in our place,” I told him. “His Son, Jesus, died on a cross to forgive us.” 

“Ok,” he said. Then he turned the conversation to other topics.

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