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June 1988


Editorial Comment

China's Intrigue

In Hudson Taylor's Day....

Why is the China Inland Mission/North America's 100th Year Celebration So Significant For Us Today?

Why Suddenly Are Many Reports On the Number of China's Christians So Drastically Subdued?

At the Center

Dividing the Church-- What is TSPM Leadership Up To?

China's Three-Self Church

Wise as Serpents, Harmless as Doves: Christians in China Tell Their Stories

Around the World

Regional Workshops Spark Cooperation!

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In Hudson Taylor's day they eagerly looked forward to the completion of the Great Commission÷and the Return of Christ. Today, while there are almost four times as many people to be won to Christ, there are forty times as many believers to do the job, and better transportation, language analysis, medical insight, relative wealth ...by far.

by Ralph D. Winter

Our purpose in this issue is not to comment on the remote-control censorship of American periodicals resulting from Chinese government threats to those who write, although this is spelled out across the page. We have two purposes that are much more important:

1. The main reason we want you, our readers, not to be taken in by the official down-playing of the size and strength of the Christian movement in China is so that you won't miss the startling implications for today of the sweeping wave of new hope which occurred 100 years ago. (That is the fascinating significance of the OMF Centennial, ..see opposite page).

2. Our second purpose: In a more general sense, we want to continue to urge our readers to think twice about the way Americans look at things.

Look Beneath the Surface! 
In last month's issue we took a look at the drug trade and the skewed perspective our culture has on the so-called "approved" and the "unapproved" drugs. It is hard to preach the Gospel to the Nations while our own nation is pushing drugs on them without even the warning labels.

In the last issue we went on from there to the full meaning of the Gospel and its justice content. But where we ended up was with the panorama of coming events in the remainder of this year which signal the upswing of concern for the completion of the evangelization of all peoples by the year 2000. That is where final justice will appear÷with His appearing! That is when every tear, every starving child, every open wound will be dealt with. We cannot in good conscience hope that He will delay His coming! Must we not do everything within our power to "hasten His Coming," as Peter put it (II Pet 3:12)?

In this issue we deal with that huge community called China and widespread suppositions about what is or isn't happening there. Again we have to look beneath the surface, not to check up on China's information reliability but to check up on the mighty works of God. Who cares if China's statisti-1 cal reports are warped (as no doubt our own are) to favor their cause? What really matters is whether we are up-to-date with what God is doing.

God has built into the very structure of our universe the changes of seasons and, indeed, even the nightfall "when no man can work," which "teaches us to number our days..." Why would He not take into account the change of a millennium, especially one which is based on a calendar intended to remind us daily of the First Coming of His Christ?

Are you a "Saint on Tiptoes?" 
Indeed we need to become "Saints on Tiptoes," like Simeon in Luke 2, who saw the Coming Christ in no more than the evidence of a tiny baby. It says he was "looking" just as Peter advised us to do later (when he had begun to wake up to God's agenda÷II Pet 2).

Try yourself out
Let me give you the equivalent of "a cloud the size of a man's hand," no, two of them! Next issue we'll tell a whole lot more about both of them. These are meetings mentioned last time which have now occurred÷two of the very most important!

First, the Portland meeting May 9-13. Yes, it came off with great success. A new move has been made on the world level by outstanding leaders from the entire Third World. Much too much happened in that week to relate just here. There is now for the first time a Third World cooperative structure, intercontinentally based, focusing on missions.

On May 18 about 15 people were called together by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (three from the Portland meeting). They constitute a Steering Committee for an AD2000 consultation to take place on a world level. In turn they appointed a program committee for a world-level meeting to take place in Singapore, not Nov 8th this year as we announced last time, but Jan 8-10, 1989. The members of the Program Committee will be meeting soon, and you can pray for them: Luis Bush (Latin America), Panya Baba (Africa), Floyd McClung (Europe), William O'Brien (North America), and Thomas Wang (Asia). Initiated by Lausanne, this entity is not sponsored by but is independent of the LCWE.

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