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The Future of the Church in China: Why China’s House Churches will Prevail

[2] Carey Lodge, “Is Religious Freedom in China Really About to Get Worse,” accessed at 96.htm on January 7, 2017.

[3] Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. I have found that rural churches, even those associated with the TSPM, are often quite independent and appear to experience more freedom. This is especially true of churches comprised of minority (i.e., not Han) believers in remote regions.

[4] In his book on the Charismatic movement in Britain, Nigel Scotland chronicles a litany of problems related to authoritarian tendencies in church leadership. Although past extremes appear to have sobered the movement and much progress has been made, the abuse of “apostolic” authoritarianism is clearly a key concern for the future (Charismatics and the Next Millennium: Do They Have a Future? [London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995], see chapters 4 and 5). I understand why many might see the house church movement in China as susceptible to the same kind of problem.

[5] “China plans its own ‘Christian Theology’,” accessed at on January 9, 2017.

[6] Lu Xiaomin, Sounds of the Heart, 455 (Song #404).

[7] Lu Xiaomin, Sounds of the Heart, 585 (Song #524).

[8] Robert Menzies, “Pentecostals in China,” in Vinson Synan and Amos Yong, eds., Global Renewal Christianity: Spirit-Empowered Movements Past, Present, and Future, Volume 1: Asia and Oceania (Lake Mary, Fla.: Charisma House Publishers, 2015), 67-90. See also Menzies, Making Pentecost Your Story: 50 Days of Reflection and Prayer – A Devotional Companion to Pentecost: This Story is Our Story Inspired by the Church in China (Springfield, MO: The Asian Center for Pentecostal Theology Press, 2016).

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2017

About the Author: Robert P. Menzies, PhD (University of Aberdeen, Scotland), has lived and served in China for over twenty years. Robert is currently the Director of Synergy, a rural service organization located in Kunming, China. He is editor at the Asian Center for Pentecostal Theology and the author of Speaking in Tongues: Jesus and the Apostolic Church as Models for the Church Today (CPT Press, 2016), Pentecost: This Story is Our Story (Gospel Publishing House, 2013), Making Pentecost Your Story: 50 Days of Reflection and Prayer (Xanesti Creative Solutions, 2015), Spirit and Power: Foundations of Pentecostal Experience (Zondervan, 2011), The Language of the Spirit: Interpreting and Translating Charismatic Terms (CPT Press, 2010), Empowered for Witness: The Spirit in Luke-Acts (Sheffield, 1995), and co-editor of Pentecostalism in Context: Essays in Honor of William W. Menzies (Wipf & Stock, 2008), The Spirit and Spirituality: Essays in Honor of Russell P. Spittler (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2004), Robert Menzies, Christ-Centered: The Evangelical Nature of Pentecostal Theology (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2020), and Robert Menzies, The End of History: Pentecostals and a Fresh Approach to the Apocalypse (Hong Kong: Asian Center for Pentecostal Theology, 2022).

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