China’s Deadly Lightning By Ruth Moon

“The only positive effect is that it makes the house church more alert and vigilant of their teaching on biblical truth to their flocks,” Fu said. 

  In 2002, Eastern Lightning gained attention from the global church when members kidnapped nearly three dozen leaders of the China Gospel Fellowship, a house church network, by luring them to training sessions, Lambert said. 

  Since the kidnapping, China Gospel Fellowship leaders have been sharing information with government officials, said G. Wright Doyle, senior associate at the Global China Center. It’s a tricky step to take, since the churches have been wary of state persecution. But it’s an important one, said one Christian worker who regularly meets with house church leaders in China. 

  ”The government isn’t very good at distinguishing between house church and cult movements,” the worker said, citing the case of a pastor who was mistakenly jailed for 11 days as a cult leader. 

  Lay Christians can have trouble telling the difference, too. In response, pastors told ct they are building up theological resistance in their churches by adding lessons on church history and doctrine to their Bible teaching. As a result, the cult is less successful at recruiting church members than it was a decade ago, though it still has strong followings in rural China, said an anonymous source who leads a large Chinese house church network. 

  ”It’s like a virus that has entered the body,” another Chinese ministry leader said. “It may create an antibody resistance, but it also could get worse.” 


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