Cash or Christ

The case against the Christians in one particular Dong county now has too many witnesses to not be conclusive. The first suggestion that money was a problem came from some of the more experienced foreigners.

Then, as time moved on, almost every foreign visitor to this county who met Dong Christians could see some degree of the desire for money. The root of the problem may lie in a combination of the perceived "richness" of foreigners coupled with the generous attitude of the Christian foreigners who come, but it has now spread to more than just relationships with foreigners. Now, the attitude pervades to relationships with Chinese nationals.

When asked what issues have come up in ministering to the Dong people, house church Christians from nearby big cities have noted one primary problem: money. Many (but not all) of the Dong Christians have become beggars, not concerned with the sacrifice of the gospel, but rather what can be gained by advantageous relationships with foreigners or big city folk.
Like Paul to the Galatians, many of the house church Christians and foreigners just want to despair, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel." Jesus did not have a home; the 72 could not even take an extra piece of clothing; many have gone without for the gospel of Christ.
How many times should they be reproved? Should we let them stray away to their prodigal passions? What is the proper response?
Pray that Christians, both Chinese and foreign, will seek the Lord for the proper response. Pray also that Chinese and foreign Christians will model a life of simplicity and sacrifice. And for the Dong, ask that the Lord will open their hearts to help them see the greed growing in them and help them to release their earthly passions to him.

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