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Nine Significant Features of the Chinese House Church

The underground House Church is mobile, with no large facility that can be monitored, raided, attacked, or razed to the ground.

The underground House Church is mobile and hard for the authorities to follow and observe on a regular basis. Again, this is mainly because the networks and churches don’t have “headquarters.” There is no large facility that can be monitored, raided, attacked, or razed to the ground. Any facility used for logistical missions, such as Bible deliveries, is rented on a month-to-month basis utilizing fake identification cards and disposable phone numbers that can be quickly discarded.

 

A Work of the Sovereign Creator

After examining the underground House Church, one cannot help but be amazed at what God is doing in the world today. It is remarkable that there are no dominant personalities in the movement who lead the charge for their own personal gain. On the contrary, each leader within this movement in China is mostly guaranteed a life of persecution, hardship, imprisonment, and sometimes even martyrdom.

After examining the underground House Church, one cannot help but be amazed at what God is doing in the world today.

One of the first mysteries we uncovered about the House Church networks was that, most of the time, they were built by people who had sought relief from poverty, sickness, and/or death. They had an illness, or a dear family member was sick, and they saw Christ miraculously move in a way that changed them forever.

It is quite interesting that Chinese Christians who found Jesus in the most desperate of circumstances became passionate about following Him, even to death, despite not knowing much other than His power to save and heal. In the West, where we have access to so much information and Bible knowledge, we can easily live our entire lives absolutely passionless before Christ.

House Church networks were built by people who had sought relief from poverty, sickness, and/or death. They had an illness, or a dear family member was sick, and they saw Christ miraculously move in a way that changed them forever.

The underground church in China seems to be built on a mixture of ignorance and blind faith, but the believers’ blind faith is anchored in their Savior, Jesus Christ. In general, Western churches seem to be built on the confidence of their own understanding of the Word of God and rationalism; they rely more on tangible and reasonably attainable goals.

When the Israelites were at the banks of the Red Sea with a furious Egyptian army at their backs, God commanded Moses to take all the people across: “Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:16). If that command were given to us today, what would be our reaction? Would we rely on our own abilities, or would we trust in the power of God? Would we put a committee together to discuss how to go about obeying the command? Would we try to find some more “practical” way to cross the sea other than by the directions already given by God?

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Category: Church History, Spring 2018

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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