3. The Chinese Spiritual Journey
Today’s Chinese students were raised under the academic influence of evolutionism and, of course, atheism. As a result, most lack religious or philosophical beliefs to provide answers to life’s ultimate questions. Although their teachers in China probably told them that all religion is “superstitious,” those who have formed friendships with Christians may be open to spiritual truth.
It’s important to realize that Chinese usually approach the gospel from a pragmatic perspective—looking more for God’s hand of blessing than for a personal relationship with Him. After all, they come from an ancient culture with Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist influences, and they’ve been reared under atheism, evolutionism and humanism—with a dash of post-modern Western thought.
Because of their utilitarian approach to the spiritual world, they expect a deity to give good luck or blessing. They only call upon their gods in times of need. The primary concerns of Chinese people are to live life well and honorably and to be prosperous. Their initial thoughts about God may focus on whether He can help them with practical aspects of their academics/career, their finances or their family.
Because of the factors mentioned above, we recommend sharing the gospel by relating truth to these real life issues:
1) Love – Because the average Chinese student is looking for love, descriptions of God’s unconditional love may resonate deeply. (See 1 John 4.)
2) Peace – Students who feel stress from the expectations of others may readily embrace the peace that comes from a believer’s identity in Christ. (See Romans 6.)
3) Direction – Students who lack direction in life may appreciate the reassurance that God gives to His people in times of duress. (See Jeremiah 29.)