Communist China and The Christian Church: A Glimpse Into The Future

Chine Creating “system of persecution for the future”, Open Doors warn.

WASHINGTON — China is creating a “blueprint” “system of persecution for the future” that could be sold to persecute people across the globe, head of the prominent Christian persecution watchdog agency Open Doors USA has warned. 

Open Doors CEO David Curry, joined by pastors from China, issued the dire warning about how China could be shaping the future of international religious minority oppression through its use of surveillance technologies to monitor Christians and other religious adherents. 

Open Doors, which operates in 60 countries, released its influential annual World Watch List data report Wednesday at an event attended by representatives of the Trump administration, Congress and human rights activists. The annual report ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.

During a briefing, Curry warned that the “greatest threat,” in his opinion, to human rights worldwide is China, which rose in the rankings from No. 27 to No. 23 in the 2020 report. 

Although the communist nation is not ranked as highly as other violators on the list, Curry stressed that the implications lie in China’s development of surveillance to control its people. 

“Its implications are not just for Christians within China but for every country and for religious freedom generally,” Curry said. “Let me put it together. It is like a puzzle. The pieces are there but it is not until you put it together that you see it clearly. When you see it clearly, it is frightening.”

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, addresses the rise of global Christian persecution at the 2020 Open Doors’ World Watch List press conference in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, 2020. | Open Doors USA

The pieces of this puzzle, Curry said, involve China’s use of a social score system that grades its citizens based on their actions and the government’s creation of a network of surveillance cameras that have been put on street corners and in churches. 

“Imagine a system where citizens are given 2,000 points and every time you do something they government disagrees with, you are marked down for it,” Curry detailed. “Eventually, your travel is restricted, your children won’t get into the best schools. You lose points for taking your children to Sunday School. That is what the experience is like for many Christians in China.”

Curry traveled to China just a few weeks ago. 

“I saw with my own eyes the surveillance on the street but also in the churches, watching their congregation,” he said. “Facial scans when you come in and then tracking you and generating reports [with] assumptions built into their artificial intelligence system that is tracking Christian behavior.”

Curry said that the more often a person is seen going to church, the more often they are to be labeled a “radical.”

“They are shutting down house churches at a massive rate — 5,596 churches shut down, many because they refuse to put surveillance cameras up to watch their congregation.”

Pastor Jian Zhu, who was raised in China but now is the director of the China Institute at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois, told those in attendance that China’s persecution against house churches is now the worst he has seen since 1979. 

“The Chinese government now has placed severe restrictions and policies on the house churches, asking neighbors to spy on one another, pressures school teachers and college professors to betray and sign a statement to denounce their faith as well as to do the same to the students,” Zhu said. 

Zhu explained that many churches are asked to take down crosses inside and outside their buildings and put up pictures of President Xi Jinping at the center of their worship stages. Underground churches are also accused of illegally fundraising because they collect offerings from congregants. 

Zhu said he has heard of cases where some cities have shut down all house churches.

“Now, they are trying to eliminate Christianity from public life,” he said. “Cameras are all over to watch church and Christians go to Sunday service. Families are threatened to not go to church or they will be punished or their relatives could be in trouble.” 

One Christian from China who attended the Open Doors event told The Christian Post that he and his family fled from China after the house church he attended was shut down.

Curry stressed that the data “seems to point to the fact that China seems to be resurrecting the god-as-government state.”

“We are all threatened by this: atheists, Jews, Muslims, everyone,” Curry said. 

“They are using this artificial intelligence and surveillance to a whole new level,” he added. “All indications show that in 2020 — and this is why we are highlighting this — they are bringing these two systems together. They are merging the social scoring system and surveillance and artificial intelligence to give them the tools and the power to oppress the people.”

Curry said that the indications are not “just fear” or “unfounded.” 

“It is already happening in a very grave way: not to Christians but to Uighur Muslims,” he said, noting that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Uighur Muslims have been sent to “re-education centers” in Western China. 

“Muslims are forced to give up their faith and their culture. It’s only a matter of time before the world is going to jump on this technology because China is selling it to Iran, they’re looking to sell it to Egypt and other countries as well.”

When asked why China was not ranked lower on the World Watch List, Curry told CP that the World Watch List scores across measurements of private life, national life, violence, and others. 

“So while China is No. 23, we are highlighting it because of what I think is this blueprint,” Curry contended. “They are creating a system of persecution for the future and we have to call it out now. Otherwise, it will be too late. Otherwise, they will sell it to Iran and others to oppress their religious minorities. That is why it needs to be really highlighted. Within five years, it would be almost too late to stop them.

Curry said that Open Doors has asked the White House and others to support proposed legislation that he says would provide steps to “control the use of artificial intelligence and facial recognition around the world.”

“What assumptions are being built into this that we need to know?” Curry asked. “Does going to church make you a terrorist in China? These are things we need to know.”  

From The Christian Post

Dream Catchers

I recently shared a sermon titled The End Times and The Unsuspecting. The sermon is based on Romans 16: 18 which reads:

[18] For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

The “men” are people trying to deceive Christians into error.  The “unsuspecting” are those Christians who go through life unaware of the demonic snares.  

As I was reviewing the PowerPoint, when I reached the section stating that “unsuspecting Christians participate in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices”, the Holy Spirit impressed me that I needed to add Native American spirituality to the occult practices list.  I had created the list from Deuteronomy 18: 10-14 which contains most of the occult practices God considers an abomination. So I added it to my notes and made a few comments during the sermon.

I found out later some church members were convicted by the Lord to dispose of their Native American “dream catchers’ hanging over their beds.  Goes to show that only the Lord knows the hearts of His lambs. 

As a follow up, I would like to share a short article on “dream catchers”.   The author is Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Native American Christian woman of Cree First Nation. Nanci’s father and grandfather were both medicine men or shamans; therefore, she has first hand knowledge concerning the occult powers behind Native American spirituality. May your spiritual eyes be opened if you are involved in this snare. God bless you! Carl

Dream Catchers—Those Popular Spidery “Sacred Hoops”

November 21, 2019 by Lighthouse Trails author

By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)

Dream catchers—those spidery “sacred hoops” with feathers. They originated with the Ojibwa tribe during the ’60s and ’70s, supposedly to protect a sleeper by “catching” bad dreams or evil spirits. Then they caught on with other tribes and spread through the New Age movement into popular culture. Today, it is not uncommon to see dream catchers in gift and variety stores.  Dream catchers are even used in some public school settings, as the following describes:

Every classroom displayed at least one dreamcatcher—a magical spider web inside a sacred circle. The students explained that dreamcatchers protect them from evil spirits and nightmares by catching the bad dreams but permitting good dreams to pass though the center. According to fourth grade teacher Ms. Preston, the amber crystal in the center of her dreamcatcher meant proper spiritual alignment with the energy of the universe.1

But you can be sure, most of the general public has no idea of the meaning and purpose of dream catchers.

Basically, using a dream catcher in its intended purpose is nothing more than a form of practicing occultism. How can an inanimate object “catch” evil spirits, much less bad dreams? And why attempt to “catch” evil spirits or nightmares when you cannot fight them physically?

Although Native people can sometimes see into the spiritual world of darkness, dream catchers, or anything having to do with the occult, merely attract evil spirits and demonic activity and provide no means of protection from them. Using dream catchers is an open invitation for more spiritual works of darkness.

If you are a born-again Christian, you have a Protector—God Almighty—who stands between us and the evil realm. We need nothing more than Jesus Christ Himself who overcame all works and powers of darkness by His death and resurrection. If we pay attention to God’s Word and not to seducing spirits, we can walk in His freedom from fear.

Ephesians 6:12 says that our battle is not against “flesh and blood,” but is against “principalities,” “powers,” “the rulers of the darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” And in Hebrews, we read:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

(To understand more about Native Spirituality, read Muddy Waters, by Nanci Des Gerlaise).

Notes:
1. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Kjos Ministries, http://www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/1-globalvillage.html), ch. 1.

The Insanity of Sacrifice

“Coming out of an environment of debilitating persecution and death in the Horn of Africa, we set out to visit other believers in similar settings to discover for ourselves if Jesus was trustworthy. Is Jesus able to accomplish in the Somalias, the Afghanistans, and the Syrias (and in every other place!) of today what He did among the Roman Empire of His day? Was His resurrection simply an isolated historical event –or is that same resurrection power available to those who walk with this Living Jesus today?

Within a brief time, we were given the opportunity to travel the world and learn from brother and sisters in Christ who had survived —and who were continuing to survive—in settings of severe persecution. Over the next decade, we visited more than seventy-two countries, and interviewed more than six hundred followers of Jesus who live in environments of persecution and the possibility of imminent death. Much to our amazement, we discovered that these fellow followers of Jesus were not merely surviving —they were thriving in their faith. And God was blessing them in remarkable and startling ways.

What we learned were life lessons from believers living in persecution, who are living out the resurrection —even today. Our search through countries revealed dramatic testimonies of believers who have come to know God intimately as a faithful friend —a friend who calls us to a life of sacrifice modeled after His own.

This matter of sacrifice is a challenge for all of us. And we will be wise to approach any conversation about it with a spirit of humility and prayer. It is our sincere hope that, through the stories contained in these devotions, God will change all of us. It is our prayer that God will give you a heart for the world. It is our desire that you will embrace the privilege of sacrificing for His glory.

God, we are so thankful for Your sacrifice that allows us to know You as Father, Savior, and Lord. God, we recognize that You have sacrificed Your Son for us. And we wonder if maybe that sacrifice should be the end of the story.

But You invite us to join You in sacrifice.

Why is our sacrifice still needed? Following You is so much harder than simply studying about You. Please give us courage as You call us forward.”

Excerpt from The Insanity of Sacrifice, A 90 Day Devotional by Nik Ripken with Barry Stricker, p. 6 – 7

Other recommended books by Nik Ripken:

The Insanity of God

The Insanity of Obedience

Please pray for an abundance of God’s grace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be with those suffering persecution and the possibility of imminent death, in many nations today, for the cause of Christ. Do not forget them. May God fulfill every desire for good works that are in your heart and the desire for resurrection power.

Carl

Drag Queen Story Hour ‘greatest grooming program ever devised,’ counselor says

A clinical counselor who has worked with over 4,000 serial predators is urging parents to be vigilant after a Texas library hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour for kids featuring a reader who has a criminal record. 

Parents in Texas discovered that David Lee Richardson, who goes by the drag name “Miss Kitty Litter” and has been participating in Drag Queen Story Hour events for the Austin Public Library System over the past year, has a criminal record for prostitution. 

This is not the first case of a library inviting Drag Queen Story Hour readers with a criminal history to read to and interact with young children. Two men charged with sexually assaulting a child were allowed to read to children at a library in Houston last year.  

The group Mass Resistance, which has been at the forefront of exposing other sex offenders hiding behind drag names elsewhere in the state, posted evidence of Richardson’s history from the Texas Department of Public Safety on its website Tuesday. A criminal history search document shows that in 1996, Richardson was arrested and convicted of offering sex for money, which is prohibited in the state penal code.

Activists also highlighted Richardson’s social media postings from earlier this year, which included extremely lewd messages and photos that included swear words, references to prostitution, and celebrations of sexual violence like sado-masochism.

Jon Uhler, a licensed professional counselor who has worked clinically with approximately 4,000 serial predators for over 11 years, said in an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday that he believes Drag Queen Story Hour events constitute “the greatest grooming program ever devised” and predators “are laughing all the way to the bank.”

While drag queens reading stories to children at public libraries has been billed as an innocuous activity, community groups and mothers who resist are right to oppose it, he adds, because sexual predators and offenders prioritize convincing people to doubt their instincts and think that their “red flags” are nonsense.

“The question is: Why are these men dressed in women’s underwear and drag wanting greater access to children?” Uhler asked.

He noted that because predators can calculate that the public senses something off-putting about them, they manipulate perceptions about what they are really doing. Such has been the case with the public relations efforts surrounding the Drag Queen Story Hour.

“Their favorite phrase is: ‘Well, I know what it looks like but it’s really not that,'” he said.

“So now they’ve spun it. And what we’re hearing from these guys is 100 percent a lie.”

Uhler calls the push to foment confusion in the minds of children and break down their boundaries with gender-bending messages — with Drag Queen Story Hour at libraries and gender fluidity lessons at schools — a “moral e-bola virus” that is spreading rapidly through society.

“We cannot afford to do nothing because we have very darkened and deviant individuals that are predators [going] after our kids and they are expanding. To not do anything is to hand our kids over [to them],” he said.

But Uhler does not believe marching and picketing Drag Queen Story Hour events is effective because by the time they are scheduled it’s almost always too late. Instead, parents should go to the events and tape what goes on with their phones or hidden cameras and then expose it.

“The only way this is going to be stopped is if the public sees that every single time, at every single one of these, really perverse things are going on. So you let their own actions speak for themselves,” Uhler said.

“But then at the same time, you go to the decision makers, usually the county commissioners or supervisors, and follow the money. Whoever has the checkbook for the library, that’s who you

talk to,” he added, noting that he has never met a public official who has a clinical background in working forensically with sex offenders.

Because of their lack of expertise, these people in office have no meaningful way of assessing risk, and determining who is and is not a predator.

“Predators are using this [Drag Queen Story Hour] as a test to find out the degree of resolve of that community,” he continued. “And if it’s easy pickings, trust me, predators are going to begin to flock to that community.”

While he could not comment definitively on the specifics of the funding streams behind the Drag Queen Story Hour, a nonprofit organization that began in San Francisco in 2015, he does not consider these events as something many communities would ordinarily have.

“You just don’t have this degree of coordination,” he said. “If you look at how many libraries around the country now are hosting these, that takes time, effort, energy, money, and coordination. You cannot tell me that this is just some spontaneous thing in local communities that just happen to be all happening at the same time, that this is an organic movement.”

Uhler created the nation’s first intensive treatment program within solitary confinement and

headed up one of Pennsylvania’s high intensity sex offender programs for predators and has written hundreds of parole sex offender psychological evaluations.

Asked to respond on the how men become deviants, he replied that it is “100 percent” fueled by pornography.

Source: The Christian Post

He Is Able

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory BLAMELESS and with GREAT JOY, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Emphasis added)

If that does not bless you, the Amplified Bible says:

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]–

To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

May God’s word lift you from the earthly to the eternal, heavenly today, fixing your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:13)

May Great Joy in-Christ be yours no matter what the world and the devil throw at you. Blessings to our brothers and sisters over-seas who are in the thick of the fight. God has not forsaken you but is pouring forth grace upon grace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit for you.

Carl

THE IMPERSONATOR

IMG_0586

At this moment I am sitting in my yard listening to a flock of blue jays squawking in the woods. They discovered a four or five foot pine snake in a tree and, surrounding him, are making a terrible racket to scare him off. In the photograph above, the snake is impersonating a tree limb by stretching himself between the two small, limbless tree trunks. He is lying still, patiently waiting for a bird to land so he can inject his poison.

This scene calls to remembrance another snake that uses deception. The Apostle John described him like this:

“… the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…. ” Revelation 12:9

This snake disguises himself as “truth” through various false religions. Since he deceives the whole world, he is a pro at “blending in the surroundings” and mixing his lies with the “truth”, in order to ensnare the unwise and unsuspecting.

But, no fear disciples of the Lord Jesus, the word of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you through his “garden”, that is, this world. Therefore:

“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.”    I Peter 5: 8-9

Carl

“…the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

This diseased leaf is from a live oak tree infected with the deadly Oak Wilt fungus. While in the Texas Hill Country, I learned that this reddish pattern is one of the ways to detect the fatal disease. It is an outward manifestation of an otherwise invisible, usually fatal, malady.

When I saw this, I was immediately reminded about what King David wrote in Psalms 1 concerning the righteous man who meditates on the word of God:

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

King David uses a tree planted by a streams of water as a metaphor to describe a person who meditates on God’s word. Notice as a result of meditating on God’s word, the tree is firmly planted and its leaf does not wither.

The tree is not blown over by the wind. The person who meditates on what God says is not carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). Because he knows God’s truth.

The word of God is like a river of life bringing spiritual “nutrients” to us as we sink our roots or thoughts into it. Because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), it can change us, bringing refreshing where there is drought! The Holy Spirit uses it to “judge the thoughts and intentions of ” our hearts bringing revival to us as we deal with what He reveals, good or bad. He wants to restore us to fellowship with the Son and the Father “…so that our joy may be made complete (I John 1:4).

Proverb 11:28 says

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

Are we spiritually dry today? Do we feel like our spiritual “leaf” is not flourishing but withered; evidence of an invisible disease eating away at our soul? Has the wind of life blown us over or broken part of our values?

Maybe we are feeding our souls too much on the “bread” of the world, the words and images that constantly bombard us during a typical day. Words and images that may even tickle our fancy and offer a distraction from the abrasion of the world but, when it comes to feeding our human spirit, that which communes with God’s Spirit, it is just vanity….nothingness. Like eating sugar all day; sweet but does us no good.

If this is you, I encourage you to plug into His streams of water today. Pick a scripture from the word of God and meditate on it for five minutes or through out the day. Use your mind to dissect the verse and get all of the “water” out of it you can. You will be surprised what His Spirit will show you. Let it free you from the things that choke out the word of God IN YOU: the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22). The things that bring drought to your soul, paralyzing your mind, making your will passive and depressing your emotions.

May we let the abundant life Jesus talked about begin to flow out of us as we meditate on His Word. May His word reorder our priorities, expose the enemy’s snares, reveal sins that have defiled us, renew fellowship with Lord Jesus and Father God. He will pour His peace and joy into your spirit which will change the state of your soul!

Lord Jesus said

“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ ”

Let us not try to feed our spirits with the world’s “bread” but with His Truths revealed in the Holy Bible.

Blessings and peace to you in Christ Jesus.

Carl