116 Chinese Pastors Sign Joint Statement on the New Religious Regulations

Beijing ancient-1866754.jpg
Editor's note: On the morning of Saturday, September 1, 2018, one of China's leading house churches, Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, posted a joint statement on Facebook declaring its stance on the new religious regulations. So far, the document has been signed by 116 church leaders across the country and the call for signatures remains open. 
This is an interesting and important document for the ongoing development of the house church's response to the new regulations, particularly as the church continues to reflect on and articulate its theology of the gospel and the kingdom, rather than resorting to language of liberty and rights. Along with Early Rain's 95 Theses, documents like this are important for the history of the church in China and should encourage Christians across the globe.

 

A Joint Statement by Pastors: A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith (2nd edition)

We are a group of Chinese Christians, chosen by the Most High God to be His humble servants, serving as pastors for Christian churches throughout various towns and cities. 

We believe and are obligated to teach the world that the one true and living Triune God is the Creator of the universe, of the world, and of all people. All men should worship God and not any man or thing. We believe and are obligated to teach the world that all men, from national leaders to beggars and prisoners, have sinned. They will die once and then be judged in righteousness. Apart from the grace and redemption of God, all men would eternally perish. We believe and are obligated to teach the world that the crucified and risen Jesus is the only Head of the global church, the sole Savior of all mankind, and the everlasting Ruler and supreme Judge of the universe. To all who repent and believe in Him, God will give eternal life and an eternal Kingdom.  

In September, 2017, the State Council issued the new “Regulations on the Administration of Religious Affairs”and began implementing these regulations in February, 2018.  Ever since then, Christian churches across China have suffered varying degrees of persecution, contempt, and misunderstanding from government departments during public worship and religious practices, including various administrative measures that attempt to alter and distort the Christian faith. Some of these violent actions are unprecedented since the end of the Cultural Revolution. These include demolishing crosses on church buildings, violently removing expressions of faith like crosses and couplets hanging on Christians’ homes, forcing and threatening churches to join religious organizations controlled by the government, forcing churches to hang the national flag or to sing secular songs praising the State and political parties, banning the children of Christians from entering churches and receiving religious education, and depriving churches and believers of the right to gather freely. 

We believe that these unjust actions are an abuse of government power and have led to serious conflicts between political and religious parties in Chinese society. These actions infringe on the human freedoms of religion and conscience and violate the universal rule of law. We are obligated to announce bad news to the authorities and to all of society: God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment. 

But we are even more obligated to proclaim good news to the authorities and to all of society: Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and King of mankind, in order to save us sinners was killed, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God, destroying the power of sin and death. In His love and compassion God has prepared forgiveness and salvation for all who are willing to believe in Jesus, including Chinese people. At any time, anyone can repent from any sin, turn to Christ, fear God, obtain eternal life, and bring great blessing from God upon his family and country. 

For the sake of faith and conscience, for the spiritual benefits of the authorities in China and of society as a whole, and ultimately for the glory, holiness, and righteousness of God, we make the following declaration to the Chinese government and to all of society:

1. Christian churches in China believe unconditionally that the Bible is the Word and Revelation of God. It is the source and final authority of all righteousness, ethics, and salvation. If the will of any political party, the laws of any government, or the commands of any man directly violate the teachings of the Bible, harming men’s souls and opposing the gospel proclaimed by the church, we are obligated to obey God rather than men, and we are obligated to teach all members of the church to do the same. 

2. Christian churches in China are eager and determined to walk the path of the cross of Christ and are more than willing to imitate the older generation of saints who suffered and were martyred for their faith. We are willing and obligated under any circumstance to face all government persecution, misunderstanding, and violence with peace, patience, and compassion. For when churches refuse to obey evil laws, it does not stem from any political agenda; it does not stem from resentment or hostility; it stems only from the demands of the gospel and from a love for Chinese society. 

3. Christian churches in China are willing to obey authorities in China whom God has appointed and to respect the government's authority to govern society and human conduct. We believe and are obligated to teach all believers in the church that the authority of the government is from God and that as long as the government does not overstep the boundaries of secular power laid out in the Bible and does not interfere with or violate anything related to faith or the soul, Christians are obligated to respect the authorities, to pray fervently for their benefit, and to pray earnestly for Chinese society. For the sake of the gospel, we are willing to suffer all external losses brought about by unfair law enforcement. Out of a love for our fellow citizens, we are willing to give up all of our earthly rights. 

4. For this reason, we believe and are obligated to teach all believers that all true churches in China that belong to Christ must hold to the principle of the separation of church and state and must proclaim Christ as the sole head of the church. We declare that in matters of external conduct, churches are willing to accept lawful oversight by civil administration or other government departments as other social organizations do. But under no circumstances will we lead our churches to join a religious organization controlled by the government, to register with the religious administration department, or to accept any kind of affiliation. We also will not accept any “ban” or “fine” imposed on our churches due to our faith. For the sake of the gospel, we are prepared to bear all losses—even the loss of our freedom and our lives. 

Signatories of the Joint Statement (116 people total) 

First Group (29 people): 

Pastor Wang Yi  (Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church) 

Pastor Yang Hua (Guiyang Living Stone Church)

Pastor Jin Mingri (Beijing Zion Church)

PastorZhang Xiaofeng,Elder Sun Yi,Elder You Guanghui (Beijing Shouwang Church Governance Committee)

Pastor Huang Xiaoning (Guangzhou Bible Reformer Church)

Pastor Dou Shaowen (Zhengzhou Conerstone Church)

Elder Zhang Chuanlei (Guiyang Renai Reformed Church)

Elder Wen Hongbin (Chengdu Xishuipang Reformed Church)

MinisterYang Xibo (Xiamen Xunsiding Church)

MinisterJiang Jianping (Foshan Olive Tree Church)

Elder Xue Honggen (Chengdu Yudu Zhuen Reformed Church)

Elder Char Changping (Chengdu Shengmingzhiquan Church)

MinisterShi Shangbiao (Zhangzhou Feilizhijia Church)

Pastor Li  Tao(Kunming Endian Church)

Pastor Shen Xianfeng (Wuhan Zhongfu Chenxing Church)

Elder Tang Bohu (Shanghai Caihong Reformed Church)

Pastor Cui Quan (Shanghai Wangbang Xuanjiao Church)

Pastor Su Yaorong (Taizhou Tianfu Reformed Church)

MinisterWang Teng (Taizhou  Mingdao Reformed Church)

Pastor Wang Changyi (Tiazhou Tiantai Fuyin Church)

Pastor Ji Jianyang (Tiazhou Xianju Mengen Church)

Pastor Guo Chuanyu (ChangchunLinhezhifu Reformed Church)

Pastor Li Lianmin (Shenzhen Shajing Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Zhuang Zhiyong (Shenzhen Huaqiang Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Chen Jingtang (Shengzhen Guifangyuan Bible Reformed Church)

Pastor Huang Lei (Wuhan Shangxiatang Church)

Pastor Zhang Yong(Changchun Yangguangzhijia Reformed Church)


Second Group (87 people): 

Pastor Gao Lijun (Wenzhou Wangkun Church)

Minister Cai Jingliang (Foshan Fangzhou Church)

Minister Xu Jianwei (Hebei Tangshan Church)

Minister Jiangtian (Chengdu Gospel Church)

Minister An Yankui (Taiyuan Xuncheng Reformed Church)

Elder Haoming (Deyang Qiuyu Qingcaodi Church)

Minister Li Zihu (Chengdu Ziuyu Enyue Church)

Minister Cheng Zhangchun (Chengdu Qiuyu Jianan Church)

Minister Cao Qingen (Chengdu Linxishu Reformed Church)

Minister Wang Tianmin (Shamen New Creation Church) 

Elder Wang Zhaorong, Minister Wan Changchun (Bangbu Huoshi Reformed Church)

Pastor Li Jiale (Beijing Daohang Zhijia Church)

Pastor Huang Yizi (Wenzhou Pingyang Fengwo Church)

Pastor Lin Yage (Guiyang Mengen Church)

Pastor Wu Yiqi (Changchun Fuyin Zhiguang Reformed Church)

Minister Gu Hongfei (Beijing Aixuan Church)

Pastor Xu Zhibing (Jiangsu Guanyun Xiansi Duizhong New Church) 

Pastor Peng Qiang (Chengdu Enfu Reformed Gospel Church)

Elder Zheng Zhaobei, Minister Ren Lichuan, Minister Jie Shoutuan (Chengdu Xishuipang Reformed Gospel Church)  

Elder Jiang Guocheng, Elder Peng Yuan (Renshou Enhui Reformed Gospel Church) 

Elder Liu Maolin (Linyi Enyue Reformed Church) 

Elder Yan Xiaoxin (Rizhao Enzhao Reformed Church)   

Elder Huowei (Linyi Enquan Reformed Church)

Elder Chen Shun (Linyi Enyuan Reformed Mission)   

Elder Li Rongtai (Linyi Enlin Reformed Church) 

Minister Yang Binchuan (Zaozhuang Zhuentang Church)   

Pastor Liu Hongwei (Beijing Ganlanshan Church)

Minister Lin Hesheng (Chengdu Fanglin Church)

Minister Liu Zhiyong (Xi’an Jitaicun Cornerstone Church)

Minister Luo Ruisheng (Guangzhou Sui Guizheng Fuyin Tuanqi Huangshen Jiangdian)

Minister Ye Xinde (Fujian Zhangpu Yilin Zhijia Reformed Church) 

Minister Meng Yongguang (Gansu Lanzhou Chenxing Church)

Minister Wang Zisheng (Qingdao Jimiya Church) 

Minister Huang Wenyou (Hong Kong Chinese Christian Church)

Minister Chen Huizhen (Zhangzhou Longhai Shima Xincheng Church) 

Pastor Liu Yang (Xi’an Xinwang Ai Church) 

Minister Sun Chao (Yunnan Qujing Feila Tiefei Church)

Pastor Xu Mei (Xi’an Enquan Church) 

Pastor Dong Zhi (Beijing Hemujia Church) 

Brother Liang Yongen (Dalian Shien Zhen Church)

Pastor Ju Dawei (Xi’an Halleluiah Church) 

Pastor Zhao Yanwei (Zhengzhou Zhongai Church)

Pastor Ren Jinbiao (Hebei Botou Shihong Grace Church) 

Pastor Huang Lei (Hunan Yueyang Shipan Shisheng Jingdu Church) 

Pastor Sun Hong (Jilin Shengyue Zhendao Church) 

Minister Zhu Lehai (Zhangjiajie Hope Christian Church)

Pastor Zhang Qianjin (Beijing, missionary) 

Pastor Gao Quanfu (Xi’an Zhiguang Church) 

Pastor Guo Zhi (Dongguan Reformed gospel Church) 

Minister Chen Shengda (Wenzhou Boteli Church) 

Minister Wang Lanqing (Shandong Linyi Tiancheng Shengyue Church)

Pastor Guo Yijun (Beijing Endao Reformed Baptist Church) 

Minister Xu Fengchuan (Anhui Fuyang Nanzhao Xingqi Faguang Church) 

Minister Huang Wenguang (Shenzhen Jehovah Yile Church) 

Minister Li Jianxuan (Shenzhen Thanksgiving Church)

Minister Yin Xuguang (Beijing Shijing Shanshuguang Church) 

Pastor Zhou Yunfeng (Xianyang Xin Wang Ai Yangwang Church)

Minister Yang Fuli (Shijiazhuang Hongdao Church)

Teacher Cheng Chaohua (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Minister Qin Shengjie (Henan Balizhuang Church) 

Teacher Wang Weixin (Wenzhou Yufutang Church)

Pastor Weng Xiangkun (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Pastor Huang hanxin (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team)

Minister Wang Xiao (Henan Dongguocun Church) 

Pastor Zhu Jiahao (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Minister Xinyi Chuandao (Datong Lirenzao Church) 

Minister Zhao Lihui (Datong Lirenzao Church)

Pastor Lin Jinlian (Wenzhou Shenzhou Preaching Team) 

Pastor Yan Xiaojie (Wenzhou Shangjiang Church)

Minister Chen Jiafu (Chen Dawei) (Fuzhou Boteli Reformed Church)

Pastor Du Youchang (Jingmen Ganlanshan Church) 

Pastor Wang Yongcheng, Elder Feng Guangxiong (Shen Ai Shi Ren Fengshou Church) 

Pastor Ruan Dawei (Zhanjiang Gengxin Church)

Minister Guan Xinyuan (Jiangsu Liyang Family Church) 

Minister Zhao Ruohan (henan Xihuo Church) 

Minister Sun Chanli (Hubei Shiyan Rongguang Biliya Church)  

Elder Li Youhong (Chengdu Shengming Zhi Quan Church) 

Elder Yan Xixia, Elder Su Bingsen, Elder Li Yingqiang, Elder Tan Defu, Minister Zhang Xudong (Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church) 

All pastors, elders, and ministers of Chinese churches are welcomed to co-sign the joint statement. Please include your church’s abbreviation. Send emails to earlyraincovenantchurch@gmail.com

 

牧者联署:为基督信仰的声明(第二版)


我们是中国的一群基督徒,被至高的上帝拣选,成为祂卑微的仆人,并在各城各乡作基督教会的牧者。

我们相信并有责任教导世人,一位又真又活的三一上帝,是宇宙、世界和地上各族的创造主,人应该敬拜上帝,而不应敬拜任何人和任何事物;相信并有责任教导世人,上自国家领袖,下至乞丐囚徒,人人都犯了罪,人人都有一死,死后且有公义的审判,若没有上帝的恩典和救赎,人人都将永远沉沦;相信并有责任教导世人,那位曾被钉死在十字架上、又复活了的耶稣,是全球教会的唯一元首,是全人类的唯一救主,也是全宇宙永远的统治者和最高的审判者,一切信祂、向祂悔改的人,上帝赐给他们永远的生命和永远的国度。

从2017年9月国务院颁布新的《宗教事务管理条例》以来,到2018年2月该条例执行以后,中国各地的基督教会,在公共敬拜和信仰实践上受到了来自政府部门的程度不一的逼迫、藐视和误解,甚至包括各种企图改造和扭曲基督教信仰的行政措施。其中一些粗暴的举动,是文革结束以来前所未有的。如拆毁教会建筑的十字架,粗暴干涉基督徒家庭悬挂、张贴的十字架和春联等信仰表达,强迫和威胁教会加入官方控制的宗教组织,强迫教会悬挂国旗或歌颂世俗国家、政党,禁止基督徒的未成年子女进入教会和接受信仰教育,剥夺和取缔教会和信徒的自由聚会等。

我们认为这些诉诸公权力的不义之举,使中国社会面临严重的政教冲突。这些行为违背了人类的信仰和良心自由、也有悖于普遍的法治原则。我们有责任告诉掌权者和全社会一个坏消息,那就是对人的灵魂的一切压制和对基督教会的一切迫害,都为上帝所憎恶,并必将受到上帝公义的责备和审判。

我们更有责任向掌权者和全社会传扬一个好消息,那就是上帝的独生儿子、人类的救主和君王耶稣,为了拯救我们罪人而曾被杀,埋葬,并以神的大能从死里复活,胜过了罪恶和死亡的权势。因着爱和怜悯,上帝为包括中国人在内的一切愿意相信耶稣的人都预备了赦免和救恩。在任何时候,任何人,都可以从任何罪恶中向主悔改,归向基督,敬畏上帝,使个人得着永远的生命,使家庭和国家蒙受上帝慷慨的祝福。

为信仰和良心的缘故,也为中国的掌权者和全社会的属灵益处,并最终为着上帝的荣耀、圣洁和公义,我们向中国政府及全社会作出如下声明:

1、在中国的基督教会,无条件地相信《圣经》是上帝的话语和启示,是一切公义、伦理和救恩的来源和最高权威。任何政党的意志、政府的立法和人的命令,若直接违背《圣经》的教导,损害人的灵魂和反对教会所信仰的福音,我们有责任顺从神、而不顺从人,也有责任如此教导教会的全体成员。

2、在中国的基督教会,始终仰慕和决心走基督的十字架道路,也乐意效法那些曾为信仰而受苦、殉道的中国教会的前辈圣徒,在任何情况下,我们都情愿和有责任以和平、忍耐和怜悯之心,承受来自政府和社会一切可能的逼迫、误解和暴力。因为当教会拒绝服从恶法时,不是出于任何政治目的,不是出于怨恨和对抗,乃是单单出于福音的要求,出于对中国社会的爱。

3、在中国的基督教会,愿意顺服上帝在中国设立的掌权者,尊重政府有管理社会和人的行为的权柄。我们相信并有责任教导教会的全体信徒,政府的权柄乃是出于神的,只要政府不越过《圣经》为世俗权力所设定的界限,即不干涉和侵犯一切关乎信仰和灵魂之事,基督徒就有责任尊敬掌权者,并热心为他们的益处祷告,也切切为中国社会祷告。甚至甘愿为福音的缘故,忍受不公平的执法所带来的一切外在损失;出于对同胞的爱而情愿放弃一切原本属于我们肉身上的权利。

4、为此,我们相信并有责任教导信徒,凡在中国属于基督的真教会,必当持守政教分立的原则和基督是教会唯一元首的立场。我们声明,教会愿意在外在行为上,如其他社会团体一样,接受民政或其他政府部门的依法管理;但在任何情况下,不带领教会加入官方控制的宗教组织,不带领教会在宗教管理部门登记,也不接受任何方式的挂靠。我们也不接受因信仰的缘故而对基督教会的“取缔”和“罚款”;并愿意为着福音的缘故,预备承担一切损失乃至失去自由和生命的代价。

牧者联署

第一批29人:

王怡牧师(成都秋雨圣约教会)
仰华牧师(贵阳活石教会)
金明日牧师(北京锡安教会)
张晓峰牧师、孙毅长老、游冠辉长老(北京守望教会治委会)
黄小宁牧师(广州圣经归正教会)
窦绍文牧师(郑州磐石教会)
张春雷长老(贵阳仁爱归正教会)
温洪斌长老(成都溪水旁归正教会)
杨希伯传道(厦门巡司顶教会)
蒋建平传道(佛山橄榄树教会)
薛红根长老(成都郫都主恩归正教会)
查常平长老(成都生命之泉教会)
施尚标传道(漳州腓利之家教会)
李涛牧师(昆明恩典教会)
申先锋牧师(武汉中福晨星堂)
唐伯虎长老(上海彩虹家归正教会)
崔权牧师(上海万邦宣教教会)
苏耀荣牧师(台州天福归正教会)
王腾传道(台州明道归正教会)
王昌以牧师(台州天台福音教会)
暨建羊长老(台州仙居蒙恩教会)
郭春雨牧师(长春临河之福归正教会)
李怜悯牧师(深圳沙井圣经归正教会)
庄志勇牧师(深圳华强北圣经归正教会)
陈景堂牧师(深圳桂芳园圣经归正教会)
黄磊牧师(武汉下上堂教会)
张勇牧师(长春阳光之家归正教会)


第二批(87人):

高丽俊牧师(温州望坤教会)
蔡景良传道(佛山橄榄树教会)
徐建伟传道(河北唐山堂)
姜添传道(成都福音堂)
安彦魁传道(太原郇城归正教会)
郝鸣长老(德阳秋雨青草地教会)
李子虎传道(成都秋雨恩约堂)
程章纯传道(成都秋雨迦南堂)
曹庆恩传道(成都邻溪树归正教会)
王天民传道(厦门新造教会)
王兆荣长老、万长春传道(蚌埠活石归正教会)
李迦勒牧师(北京导航之家教会)
黄益梓牧师(温州平阳凤卧教会)
林雅各牧师(贵阳蒙恩教会)
吴轶奇牧师(长春福音之光归正教会)
顾洪飞传道(北京爱宣教会)
徐之兵牧师(江苏灌云县四队中心堂)
彭强牧师(成都恩福归正福音教会)
郑照北长老、任利传道、界守团传道(成都溪水旁归正福音教会)
江国成长老、彭玉安长老(仁寿恩惠归正福音教会)
刘茂林长老(临沂恩约归正教会)
阎小新长老(日照恩照归正教会)
霍伟长老(临沂恩泉归正教会)
陈舜长老(临沂恩源归正布道所)
李荣泰长老(临沂恩临归正教会)
杨斌传道(枣庄主恩堂教会)
刘红伟牧师(北京橄榄山教会)
林和生传道(成都芳邻教会)
刘志勇传道(西安祭台村磐石教会)
罗锐生传道(广州穗归正福音团契黄深江点)
叶新德传道(福建漳浦以琳之家归正教会)
孟永光传道(甘肃兰州晨星教会)
王梓晟传道(青岛积米崖教会)
黄文祐传道(香港中华基督教会)
陈惠珍传道(漳州龙海石码新城教会)
刘洋牧师(西安信望爱教会)
孙超传道(云南曲靖非拉铁非教会)
徐梅牧师(西安恩泉教会)
董志牧师(北京和睦佳教会)
梁永恩弟兄(大连市恩真教会)
巨大卫牧师(西安哈利路亚教会)
赵燕伟牧师(郑州钟爱教会)
任金彪牧师(河北泊头市宏恩堂)
黄磊牧师(湖南岳阳市磐石圣经基督教会)
孙宏广牧师(吉林圣约真道教会)
朱乐海传道(张家界盼望基督教会)
张前进牧师(北京,宣教士)
高全福牧师(西安锡安之光教会)
郭志牧师(东莞归正福音教会)
陈胜达传道(温州伯特利教会)
王兰青传道(山东临沂天城圣约教会)
郭易君牧师(北京恩道归正浸信会)
徐峰传道(安徽阜阳男照兴起发光教会)
黄文广传道(深圳耶和华以勒教会)
李拣选传道(深圳感恩教会)
尹旭光传道(北京石景山曙光教会)
周云峰牧师(咸阳信望爱仰望教会)
杨赋立传道(石家庄弘道教会)
程超华教师(温州神州布道团)
秦胜杰传道(河南八里庄教会)
王伟信教师(温州渔夫堂教会)
翁祥昆牧师(温州神州布道团)
黄汉新牧师(温州神州布道团)
王枭传道(河南东郭村教会)
朱家好牧师(温州神州布道团)
辛义传道(大同利仁皂教会)
赵丽辉传道(大同利仁皂教会)
林金减牧师(温州神州布道团)
严晓洁牧师(温州上江教会)
陈家福(陈大卫)传道(福州伯特利归正教会)
杜友长牧师(荆门橄榄山教会)
汪永诚牧师、冯光雄长老(神爱世人丰收教会)
阮大卫牧师(湛江更新教会)
管新元传道(江苏溧阳家庭教会)
赵若翰传道(河南喜获教会)
孙产力传道(湖北十堰荣光庇哩亚教会)
李友洪长老(成都生命之泉教会)
严熙夏长老、苏炳森长老、李英强长老、覃德富长老、张旭东传道(成都秋雨圣约教会)


中国教会的牧师、长老或传道联署,请附所在教会的简称,致函:earlyraincovenantchurch@gmail.com