I Want To Believe

I want to believe.

I want to believe the promises the Chinese government made.  I want to believe that the Beijing Church of Christ, sanctioned by the Chinese government as an opportunity for foreigners to worship during the Olympics, will be allowed to continue once the Olympics are gone.  I want to believe that the government will lift restrictions on church attendance now that the Olympics are over; during the games, only those with overseas passports were allowed to attend worship services.  I want to believe that the Chinese government – the same government that sent two septuagenarian widows to a “re-education camp” for the crime of applying for a permit to protest in one of the “free speech zones” established for the Olympics – will allow the seed of the gospel sown in their country during the last two weeks to bear fruit.

I want to believe.

I want to believe that the people of God aren’t afraid even of the harshest governmental oppression.  I want to believe that we will not abandon 1.3 billion souls – 10% of all the human beings who have ever lived on Earth – because a totalitarian bureaucrat tells us to go away.  I want to believe that no amount of pressure – government, political, economic, social, or otherwise – will silence God’s people in our spreading of the gospel.

I want to believe.

But that’s the beauty of God’s providence.  Even when what I want to believe bears little to no resemblance to reality, God is not hindered from enacting His will.  No one will ever know how far and how wide the seed of the gospel sown during two weeks in Beijing will spread.  And no amount of government interference can hinder the spread of the Christianity.

In fact, it might help.

The New Testament pattern is that when God’s people rely on Him for strength, protection, and encouragement they would otherwise receive from society and government, Christianity prospers.  Only when safety and security come from somewhere else – money, government, you name it – are Christians effectively silenced.

I want to believe that the Chinese government will see the error of its ways and finally keep a promise, for once.  But for the sake of the cause of Christ, I kind of hope they don’t.

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