On December 9th 2018 authorities in China began arresting members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China. By the next three days, more than a hundred members had already been arrested and more arrests were being made. Among those taken were pastor Wang Yi, the senior pastor, and his wife Jiang Rong, who had not been heard from since their arrest. Foreseeing this possibility, Wang Yi had written in October, a declaration which he had asked his church to publish if he should be detained for more than 48 hours. In it, he describes what he calls “faithful disobedience”, as distinct from political activism. “Faithful disobedience”, Wang Yi stated, does not try to change the government but it uses the corruption within the government to demonstrate a greater government: the Kingdom of Heaven. You can click on the link in the description of this video to read more about what is happening there in China today. What follows here are excerpts taken from Wang Yi’s declaration. This is what Wang Yi says: “on the basis of the teachings of the Bible “I respect the authorities God has established in China, for God disposes kings and raises up kings. “This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China. At the same time “I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this “communist regime. At the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedom of religion. “But changing political institutions is not the mission I’ve been called to. “All unrighteous politics only manifest the cross of Jesus Christ “which is the only means by which every person can be saved. “They also manifest the fact that a perfect society will never be found “in the transformation of any earthly institution. “My rebuking of all evil proceeds from the unfathomable love of Christ, my glorious King. “Every man’s life is extremely short. The goal of all the efforts of the church in China “is to testify to the world about our Christ, and about the Kingdom of Heaven “and to testify to earthly momentary lives about a heavenly eternal life. “For this reason I accept that this communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. “The goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again towards him. “At the same time, I believe this communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked “unlawful action. “I must announce this wickedness openly and severely. “The calling I’ve received requires me to use “nonviolent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey God. “My Savior, Christ, also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws. “The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world. “All acts of the church should be attempts to prove to the world “the real existence of another world. “In all matters relating to the gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. ” For this reason spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are how we testify “to another world and to another glorious King. “The commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions “that the hope of humanity is only in the redemption of Christ. “If God decides to use the persecution of this communist regime to make others know Jesus “then I’m joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for His plans are always ultimately benevolent and good. “Believers in Jesus who have done no wrong should not be afraid of dark powers. “As a consequence the communist regime is filled with fear of a church that is no longer afraid of it. “If I am imprisoned, if I can help reduce the authorities fear of my faith and my Savior. “I am joyfully willing to help them in this way. “But I know that renouncing the wickedness of this persecution against the church “through peaceful disobedience is the only way to truly help the authorities. “I hope God uses my detention to tell those in authority “that there is a higher authority and a deeper freedom that they cannot restrain. “This freedom fills the Church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. “I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I may be executed, but I will not plead guilty. “Pray that the Lord will use me, that he will grant me patience and wisdom “that I might take the good news to them”. Think about Wang Yi’s declaration and his commitment to follow Jesus even in the face of brutal persecution and suffering. Are you still holding onto a lukewarm self-satisfied, watered-down version of Christianity? Or are you taking seriously the example and teachings of Jesus that call us to take up our cross, forsake everything we have and testify of the kingdom of heaven with our entire lives? Will you have what it takes to survive spiritually, the time of testing that is soon to come upon the whole world? If you want to link up with others who are making serious efforts to dedicate their lives to Jesus’s message. please send an email to the address on screen. I look forward to hearing from you today!