The pastor at the Early Rain Covenant Church drafted the letter over time, asking that it be made public two days after his arrest. In it, he expresses his “disgust” for Communist persecution of Christians, but says he is not interested in changing the country’s social system. His goal is to bear witness through non-violence and slam violations of religious freedom. God will bring down the communist regime. The Church has existed for thousands of years, but no political power has lasted thousands of years.
Chengdu (AsiaNews) – Wang Yi, pastor of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan, wrote a letter before his arrest last week-end along with about a hundred members of his congregation.
Although he expresses his “disgust” for the Communist Party of China and its persecution of Christians, he reiterates his support for non-violence and accepts China’s social order whilst claiming the right to proclaim the Gospel. The clergyman drafted the letter over time and asked that it be made public 48 hours after his arrest.
In it, Wang says that he is “filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience.” At the same time, he notes that “changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the Gospel.”
Following the Bible, he accepts and respects “the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily.” Indeed, “As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.”
“At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely.”
“The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Saviour Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.”
In his long letter, Wang says that he is not trying to change any institutions or laws in China. The only thing he cares about “is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.”
“I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience.”
“For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.”
For the clergyman, the persecution of Christians is driving many Chinese to lose hope in their future; yet, it is leading “them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus.”
The persecution of Christians “is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society.” But “This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.”
“If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.”
Finally, “Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws”.