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Revival, Truth, and Persecution: An interview with Eugene Bach

To be offended in modern society is such a high crime because the emotional welfare of man reigns supreme, but as Christians we do not have the same privilege. We do not have the right not to be offended.

I decided to start from the beginning, trace the history of revival, identify it’s characteristics, and see what we could learn to help push forward into the nations that have not yet experienced revival.

On university campuses in the West, there is a rising tide of offended people who are demanding the right to safe spaces. “Safe spaces” are places where people can be safe from any trigger words or phrases that would cause offense to their emotional well-being. So, university campuses have responded by creating “safe spaces” where sensitive students cannot be exposed to anything they might find even remotely offensive and where they can be free from any words that might hurt their feelings.

Compounding the problem is that a casual phrase or even a look can be offensive; those are called micro-aggressions. Micro-aggressive phrases are banned on campus, and students who use them are considered to be violating the safe space of other students.

These so-called safe spaces are not merely relegated to university campuses, but this idea is also rearing its head in Christian churches. Churches too have succumbed to the idea that they must become safe spaces that attempt to insulate their congregants from things that might hurt their feelings.

How can we rightly evaluate the impact of the Gospel if the Gospel is found offensive by the world and we have insulated ourselves from that which is offensive? It is impossible—which is exactly how the world would like it to be.

When we are evaluating the impact of the Gospel, we cannot put our feelings before revelation. The light is offensive to the darkness; therefore, the teachings of the Bible will be offensive to society. If the church caters to the desires of society’s wishes, then the majority of what Jesus taught will be labeled offensive.

The Gospel message is also truth, and truth is true regardless of how we feel.

The words of Christ are only comforting to those who are in search of truth, and truth cannot be based on feelings. When I attempt to read the words of Christ without the cultural lens of a secularist society, I realize that maybe I have adopted the world’s idea of Christianity instead of the truth.

As harsh as it might seem, what I have come to believe from this study is that anyone who requires a safe space and cannot deal with the realities of being offended, cannot participate in the Great Commission. They cannot share in the suffering of Jesus that brings about revival, because there are no safe spaces in the Bible, and there are definitely no safe spaces in the calling God has put on our life.

If our walk with God leads to revival, it will entail a degree of suffering because our service to Truth will be offensive to the world.

It is the lack of a safe space that leads us into the will of God and exposes us to persecution, but this is the beginning of revival.

And I get it. It’s hard to embrace suffering. And I understand that the Bible is full of love, grace, mercy, etc. Don’t get me wrong; this is the central message of the Gospel. But the Gospel message is also truth, and truth is true regardless of how we feel. Truth couldn’t care less about our feelings.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2019

About the Author: Eugene Bach is a pseudonym for a member of the Chinese underground church who does not wish to be identified. He was trained in U.S. military special operations and served two tours in the Persian Gulf and Asia–Pacific region, serving primarily as a member of a rapid response team focusing on targeted threat elimination, counterterrorism, and security. He has been working with the underground church in China for about twenty years, helping them to establish forward mission bases in closed countries around the world, including Iraq and Syria. Eugene leads the Chinese mission movement called Back to Jerusalem, which provides essential support for Chinese missionaries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author or co-author of I Stand with Christ: The Courageous Life of a Chinese Christian (2015), The Underground Church (2014), Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk's Encounter With the Living God (2019), Jesus In Iran (2015), and other books about the underground church in places like China, North Korea, and Iran.

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