Mar Gregorios in China
A group of representatives of the National Council of Churches of India visited China in 1986 and brought back high praise for Ting
and the attempts by the Chinese communists to control the churches. One of the members of the tour was Paulos Mar
Gregorios, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Syrian Church and one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches. Gregorios gloried in the fact that
there was emerging "one Christian church" in China. He referred, of course, to the liberal ecumenical apostate "church" which is
represented by the China Christian Council (National Christian Council Review, Church of South India, Sept. 1986).
The March 1981 issue of Tian Feng, the official voice of the Three Self movement, reprinted a message by K.H. Ting, in which he made
the following statement: "We want to declare before the whole world: church and evangelistic work inside China is the right and
responsibility of our Chinese Church; no people outside China, regardless of the color of their skin, should carry on any activity
of a missionary nature inside China or directed at China, without the expressed consent of Chinese Church authorities."
December 29, 1999 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O.
Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061-0368, firstname.lastname@example.org) - Communist China has
sentenced six leaders of underground churches in the Henan province to labor
camp for being criminals of an "evil cult" (Reuters, Dec. 27, 1999). Two of the
pastors were sentenced to three years, two of them were sentenced to two years,
and the remaining two, to one year. Dozens of others who were arrested at the
same time were given heavy fines of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,200).
I do not know the doctrinal position of the churches represented in these
arrests, but I do know that Communist China has long persecuted churches that
refuse to submit to the Religious Affairs Bureau.
In the 1950s, the Chinese communist government began pushing the "three self"
movement as a means of pressuring churches to break all ties with Christians
outside of China. The "Three Self" movement supposedly stood for
"self-supporting, self-governing, self-propagating." That is a good description
of a biblical church, but this is not what the communists meant by the term.
Like their friends the theological modernists, the communists are masters of
changing the definition of good words. Their emphasis was on disassociation from
foreign influence, which was labeled imperialism, and submission to the
communist government. If it were honestly named, it would not be the Three Self
movement, it would be the Three Communist movement, because the object is not
"self government" but communist government of the churches.
"The Communist government organized the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) to
control religion. In 1951 the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) was organized
under the control of the RAB to direct the affairs of the Protestant churches.
All churches were to be brought under the control of the TSPM. and detailed
files were kept on all church leaders and their activities. By 1958 the churches
were firmly under the government’s control Christian leaders who refused to
submit to the TSPM were publicly accused and sentenced to prison. At the
Shanghai Conference in 1981 it was stated, ‘To be anti-TSPM is to be
anti-government, for religion must be organized and under control.’ It is
evident that the government controls the TSPM and that the TSPM seeks to control
all the churches in China. They designate what buildings can be used for church
services, which pastors can preach, and what areas can be traveled to spread
religion. The TSPM has recently called on the Public Security Bureau to close
the meetings of the house churches, arrest the house church leaders, and arrest
traveling evangelists. The clergy in the Three-Self churches are all on the
government payroll, and their salaries are much higher than the average wage
earner in China" (Gary Hart, "History of the Three-Self Movement in China,"
Faith for the Family, April 1986).
The man in charge of the Three-Self movement and the China Christian Council
from its inception was K.H. TING, who recently retired from his position. Ting
was also head of the Nanjing Theological Seminary. He is a communist puppet and
a theological modernist.
If Ting and the other China Christian Council leaders truly cared for the souls
of the multiplied millions of Chinese who have not heard the gospel, they would
rejoice at EVERY effort made by EVERY true Christian from ANY PART of the world
to preach Christ in China. Instead, they have continually ranted against
Christian broadcasts coming from outside China. They have ranted against those
who have tried to smuggle Bibles into that needy land. They have ranted against
fellow Chinese from Hong Kong and Singapore who have attempted to preach the
gospel in China. They have claimed the authority to control all Christian work
in that vast country.
After the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead He repeatedly gave the command to
go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and to baptize and
disciple those who believe. The book of Acts describes how this is to be
fulfilled -- by the preaching of the gospel to every community and the planting
of churches wherever the gospel is received. In the account of the Great
Commission in Matthew 28, the Lord Jesus Christ first says, "All power is given
unto me." He then commands His disciples to go and teach all nations. Thus we
have the authority of the very Son of God to go into every nation and preach,
baptize, and plant churches. That includes China. For the China Christian
Council to pretend to have the authority to rule over all evangelistic,
missionary work in China is a blasphemous usurpation of Christ’s position as
Head of the churches and Lord of the Harvest.
Let me give SOME FACTS ABOUT THE CHINA CHRISTIAN COUNCIL AND THE AFFILIATED
THREE-SELF MOVEMENT. During the 1980s, the CCC implemented the "Ten Don’ts,"
which were ten rules for the churches. These included such things as forbidding
young people under eighteen to attend worship services, forbidding night time
gatherings, forbidding the reception of overseas Christians, and forbidding any
preaching from the book of Revelation. "Local Christian meetings which refused
to register with the TSPM or the Religious Affairs Bureau were systematically
closed, and itinerant preachers who refused to join the TSPM were either
arrested or made fugitives. Even today unregistered meetings are considered
illegal. Privately published books and Bibles, mimeographed by house church
leaders, have been confiscated by local authorities and used in court as
evidence of producing and distributing ‘anti-revolutionary’ materials" (Jonathan
Chao, "How Evangelical Is the Three-Self People’s Movement, Chinese Church
Research Institute, 1985).
The communist Three-Self movement not only attempted to restrict foreign
missionary work in China; it attempted to force the end of denominational
doctrinal divisions. K.H. Ting calls this new era "the post-denominational
period in the history of the Church in China," and "instead of denominational
services, united services are held in the different churches." This sounds like
something Promise Keepers would be excited about. During our missionary years in
Nepal and India, I subscribed to many of the Indian publications and followed
the ecumenical movement there. I frequently read glowing reports of K.H. Ting
and the China Christian Council in the liberal ecumenical Indian press. For
example, a group of representatives of the National Council of Churches of India
visited China in 1986 and brought back high praise for Ting and the attempts by
the Chinese communists to control the churches. One of the members of the tour
was Paulos Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Syrian Church and one of
the presidents of the World Council of Churches. Gregorios gloried in the fact
that there was emerging "one Christian church" in China. He referred, of course,
to the liberal ecumenical apostate "church" which is represented by the China
Christian Council (National Christian Council Review, Church of South India,
The March 1981 issue of Tian Feng, the official voice of the Three Self
movement, reprinted a message by K.H. Ting, in which he made the following
statement: "We want to declare before the whole world: church and evangelistic
work inside China is the right and responsibility of our Chinese Church; no
people outside China, regardless of the color of their skin, should carry on any
activity of a missionary nature inside China or directed at China, without the
expressed consent of Chinese Church authorities."
Ting studied at the infamously liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York
City (1947-49), and he is a thorough-going modernist, denying that the Bible is
the inspired Word of God. Ting became president of the China Christian Council’s
Nanjing Seminary, and turned it into a hotbed of theological heresy. Ting is a
universalist, who believes there is light in all religions. In a lecture on
September 23, 1984, at Rikkyo (St. Paul’s) University, Tokyo, under the
sponsorship of the Anglican-Episcopal Church of Japan, Ting said we should
reject the type of "arrogance" Jonah had toward the Ninevites. Instead, "We
should welcome any and every move Godward on the part of men and women, no
matter how slight" (K.H. Ting, "Theological Mass Movements in China,"
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, July 1985, p. 98). In the same
speech, Ting said we should see the logos (the Word in John 1:1) in every man.
He denied that there will be a judgment upon sinful mankind. He praised
liberation theology, which replaces the salvation of the individual sinner with
the salvation of society.
Ting has always referred to the Chinese dictator Mao and his murdering hoards as
"liberators of China." He refers to the 1949 revolution as China’s liberation.
In a speech in 1980, Ting said: "New China is the people’s China. It exists for
the broad masses of the people. It has brought liberation, benefits and
happiness to its people. It is revolutionary and progressive" (K.H. Ting,
"Retrospect and Prospect," October 6, 1980; Tian Feng, March, 1981; reprinted in
the Chinese Theological Review, pp. 1-17). In an interview with the Christian
Century for February 23, 1977, K.H. Ting’s wife, who taught at the Nanjing
Seminary, stated, "We love Chairman Mao for all he has taught us," and, "As
Christians we do not see Christianity and socialist China as opposed to each
other. It is God working, whether in his name or not." China’s communist leader
Mao Tse Tung established one of the most brutal dictatorships under the sun. Not
only did he take away the basic human liberties of the Chinese people, he was
directly responsible for the murder of millions.
Studies at the modernistic Nanjing Seminary are permeated with Marxist
philosophy. They include classes in socialism and international Communism. "A
Western observer who visited the Union Seminary and interacted with students
reports that the course on the history of Christianity in China vilified all
major Protestant missionaries. Apart from the regular courses, occasional
courses on Jews in Chinese History (in which Jews were attacked as capitalists,
etc.) Theological Abstracts, and Evolution of Theology in China (‘rethinking’
theology to fit Marxist philosophy) were also offered, as were courses on
comparative religious studies in China, government, religious policy, and
‘questions most commonly asked by foreign visitors’--public relations training
enabling students to correctly answer those from outside China" (May Cheng,
"Theological Education in China," China and the Church Today, October, 1985, p.
As we have seen, independent churches in China continue to be persecuted today.
Pastors are jailed because they refuse to buckle under the China Christian
Council’s "authority" and regulations. All the while, the leaders of the CCC lie
to the world, claiming there is no persecution, that there is religious liberty
in China. And ecumenical groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention continue
to support and work with the China Christian Council.