I read somewhere that Pearl S. Buck, who was herself the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries to China, when speaking to a missionary conference said that Christianity in China had no more affected it than a hand moving through a pool of water.
Whatever the shortcomings of the early protestant Christian mission to China, the fact remains many were killed and suffered dreadfully in their attempt to proclaim the gospel and nurture the converts in that country.
The mere fact of the persecution and rigorous control of any form of Christianity there, confirms the threat China’s leaders perceive from it. It also testifies to the vigorous faith of the Christian Church and believers in that land.
There is always among Christians a tendency to alternate our views of things between great optimism and great forebodings about the future of Christianity, here and abroad. I wonder how many of us think Christianity and the work of Salvation has failed in its mission.
Were we to think of Evangelism as a task left by God solely to the unaided efforts of man, we would no doubt conclude that what with the prevailing infidelity and disobedience of the visible church, that the “Great Commission “ has fallen on deaf ears in this current age.
The truth remains that while God is pleased to work through human beings, he is not hindered by their sins and failings.That God brings any to Salvation is a work of pure grace and the cause for eternal gratitude. That the saved will at last be a great multitude which no man can number is scripture truth and will resound to the glory of God and the Lamb for eternity.
Like a waterfall I know of in the Grampians, the water hitting the ground disappears and re-appears further downstream: so the work of the gospel sometimes works underground and unperceived until it bursts forth for all to see. This time in history is one such time but does not excuse us from our lack of concern for those yet unreached by the Gospel of Christ.
God’s work and the great Salvation wrought by Jesus Christ are not and never will be a failure.