I have been a missionary in China now for nearly fifteen years. I have lived with the Chinese people for the majority of these fifteen years, and I plan to live with Chinese people for the rest of my life, because God called me to China and He is a rewarder of them that seek Him.
One thing that I have discovered that is a very conspicuous phenomenon in China is that after nearly 200 years of Christian missions in China the Chinese church has ZERO influence on Chinese society. This is not just an opinion of mine. This is an undeniable fact, and an extremely disturbing fact both to me and to every Chinese who is truly a member of the body of Christ. I frequently ask Chinese Christians in Bible studies the following question:
"Are you a Christian Chinese or a Chinese Christian?" This is an important question to ask Chinese churchgoers, because the vast majority of Chinese who go to church are Christian Chinese and not Chinese Christians.
What is a Christian Chinese? What is a Chinese Christian? A Christian Chinese is a person who goes to church frequently, or maybe even every Sunday. He might even be an elder or a pastor. What is the problem with Christian Chinese? When a Christian Chinese reads the Bible and something in the Bible conflicts with his background, his culture, or his customs he keeps his background, culture and customs and throws away the Bible. He calls this "what he has received."
Our Lord Jesus stated, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." But most Chinese people who go to church do the opposite. They continue in their culture, and they hate Christ. Maybe you think that I'm being too harsh. But the Lord Jesus himself said, "No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Chinese churchgoers love mammon. Mammon is worldly riches. And Christ said that if you love mammon you will hate me!
If you ask the average Chinese churchgoer why both he and his wife work when the Bible clearly teaches that a mother's position is at home taking care of the children, or if you ask why they take their children to remedial English and math classes like all other heathen and their kids know almost nothing about Christian doctrine, they will probably say, "Nothing I can do." But this is not the truth. The truth is that true Christians walk by faith and not by sight, but these people walk by sight and not by faith.
So now what is a Chinese Christian? He's just the opposite. Whenever his background, culture, or customs conflict with the Bible he believes the Bible and throws away his culture. He loves Christ and hates the world. He knows that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him not because he memorized the verse for a quiz, but because he has experienced it. His Christianity is HIS Christianity, not the white missionary's. He is a joyful Christian, and his treasure is not in keeping up with the Joneses, but it is in heaven.
How does a person become a Chinese Christian? Thomas Watson tells us at the beginning of his book. Col. 1:22-23 tells us that we are reconciled to God, "If we continue in the faith grounded and settled." Which means that unless we are grounded and settled in the faith we are not reconciled to God and are on the broad road that leads to destruction. Watson tells us in this very helpful book how we can be grounded and settled, Chinese churchgoer, youMUSTbe grounded and settled in order to eschew hell and reach heaven. It is not an option for special Christians. All persons who are grounded and settled in the faith go to heaven, and those who are not go to hell. May God use his eminent servant Thomas Watson to help you to become a true Christian, a Chinese Christian and not a Christian Chinese!