Yes, I am still alive and well in China. Every day is something new, and every night is a story time. I cannot say how wonderful this is and how much it has invigorated my faith. When I surf through Christian websites and church stuff (which actually is very rarely these days) I have to chuckle at what I see. It may seem rude, but for the most part the ambiance of these sites gives me a pucker in the posterior. The kind of feeling I get when I don't drink enough water and eat the wrong foods. The trip to the bathroom just isn't the relief it should be and neither are the things I see and read out there. I gotta say that it is so refreshing to get away from all the Churchanese garbage. Now when I say all, I mean all. It has been cool to see some people getting it (Go Pedersons!), but I pray every day for more of us westerners to get 'it'.
I had the privilege the other day to meet with a brother from the homeland the other day who was here on business (He is actually the guy God used to hook us up with this job) and as we talked I realised even more the truth God has been teaching us. We need to drop all the bullshit about who is right and who is wrong and get down to love. Those of us who have been in the camp of those who see the profound emptiness of the Sunday morning ritual and speak of the need for something that really feeds have been all too happy to walk away from the 'herd' in our quest for 'higher truth'. The truth is that we left the Higher Truth when we walked away from the herd. Thankfully the Truth gathers us unto Himself even when He scatters us abroad. Have we truly learned of love?? Have we truly learned from the One who died for the Pharisees. It intrigues me to think that it was a Pharisee and a disciple who took Jesus from the cross and cared for His body not any of the twelve. Hmmm, a Pharisee and a disciple. I believe this is the profound effect of the Truth, it binds across all barriers and unites us in Him. Any other 'truth' is a sadly deformed copy of The Truth. Any truth which leads me away from a brother or sister has already exposed itself by its fruit. His love is found in those who are not like us, whoever us is and whoever those are. I found a profound sadness in what my wife read in a book called 'The Heavenly Man" about Brother Yun of the underground church in China. He said that when the western churches were just sending bibles it was a tremendous blessing, but after awhile some doctrinal broshures began to creep into the shipments, meant for the good of those recieving it of course, and then the theological books began to arrive as well. Since these bibles were not all coming from one church nor were the other 'resources'. The effect was revealing to say the least. Within a short span of time the church leaders began to separate themselves from each other as the doctrinal divisions bore their inevitable fruit. Only the saving grace of our Lord brought them to their senses. You see, these people have had to rely on one another for their lives for so long that all this other shit just couldn't live itself out without being exposed. Division is death, period.
The effect that this time in China is having on us is that we desire to fellowship. You will notice that there is a period after fellowship. We want to be with all who call on the name of the Lord. I couldn't give a rip if they sit the men on one side and the women on the other, or if the raise their hands, or if they only meet in really cool places and do really non-churchy things. I really don't care. What I have realised is that whoever calls on the name of the Lord has the Spirit of the Living God living in them and I must do my utmost to honor His presence there even if the vessel looks like shit to me. Truth is that if He is there then the problem is not with the vessel He is in, the problem is with my eyes. So to whoever reads this I say honestly in Christ that I would love to sit with you and share a meal, and you can pick the place. And to whoever reads this and says no, I will eat with you at the marriage supper soon, either way I still look forward to it.