4. Connecting Chinese to Jesus
Many ask, “how can I ask good questions, respond properly to their negative presuppositions, and best present spiritual truth?”
Ask questions to create spiritual conversation:
1) “Have you ever attended a church service?”
2) “Have you had any experiences with various religions?”
3) “Have you ever read the Bible?”
4) “Do you have friendships with any Christians—in China or the U.S.?
Respond thoughtfully to negative notions:
1) “Christianity is a Western religion” –Explain that Jesus was born in the Middle East and that Christianity developed within an Eastern culture.
2)“My family is opposed to Christianity” Offer your personal understanding for a student who feels that becoming a Christian may cause him/her to appear to be abandoning family traditions. Add your suggestions for how a person can be loyal to God without rejecting his or her family.
3)“Christianity is unscientific” – Expose your friend to tools that address topics of faith and science.
4)“Christianity is incompatible with Communism” – Realize that students who are Communist Party members are told to avoid faith in God if they want to maintain their political affiliation. (Party membership is considered an honor and it is accompanied by opportunities for career and financial advancement.)
After demonstrating your sensitivity to the situation, urge your friend to weigh the current and eternal benefits of believing in Jesus. (You may wish to share many Scriptures including Matthew 16:26.)
Present spiritual truth
1)There is a God – For people who lack a “God-consciousness.”
2)They can be loved – Those who have never heard of unconditional love may believe their prior bad actions have made them unlovable to other people and even to God.
3)They have sinned – Because the closest translation of “sin” in Chinese literally means “crime,” some students will not grasp their sinfulness. Because they have not broken the laws of their society, they may consider themselves to be “good” and not in need of being saved from anything.
4)They can be forgiven – With no clear concept of sin or atonement, the student may have no authentic basis for understanding forgiveness. Ironically, their lack of clarity about “sin” may prevent them from dealing with distrust or hate toward themselves and others.
5)They can trust Christ – Without affirmation of the Bible’s historicity and veracity, some students will consider Jesus as a mythological figure. They fail to understand his purpose or plan.
6)They can have hope after this life –Most Chinese students fear death; for them, it is the end of all existence. As a result, they focus on present goals and generally avoid any discussion of death or the hereafter.