Home Up Yeung Welch Clark Archer Folarin


 The Chinese Expression of Pentecostalism


by Dr. Timothy Yeung


Introduction: Clearing the Clouds

It is evident that Pentecostalism swept the Christian world and the whole earth even during the last century.  Bringing with it new dynamics to the old time religion of Christianity as well as new problems, especially when Pentecostalism with its enormous cohesive ability to appeal to and renew many a local religious traditions.[i]  Apparently it seems to be a discussion on the capacity of “Christianity” in the face of syncretism.  On the other hand we may challenge the age long definition of “Christianity” in relation to its content and essence, given that Christianity in the coming fifty years will be in the leading role of the Global South.[ii]  The focus of such development will be the Evangelicals and Pentecostals, in particular the latter, even bringing the gospel back to the diminishing northern countries.[iii] The call to re-examine the “essence of Christianity” is becoming more important and urgent.[iv] We must take Jenkins’ forecast seriously:

We can even imagine Southern Christians taking the initiative to the extent of evangelizing the North, in the process of changing many familiar aspects of belief and practice, and exporting cultural traits presently found only in Africa or Latin America. [v]

In fact if we honestly examine the development of Christianity in Chinese communities, such Global South pattern of development is a strong advocate.  Indeed the development of Chinese churches is similar to the Global South phenomenon.[vi]  It is the belief of this author that the Chinese churches may be classified as Global South for examination purpose. For an understanding of Chinese Pentecostal Movement, the Jesus FamilyYe-Su Chia-ting耶穌家庭emerged during the early part of last century in China is essential for a re-examination of Christianity. Yet due to limited space, this paper can only focus on the phenomenon and significance of the Jesus Family during 1920 to the early 1950’s.

The thought to re-examine Christianity may challenge head on the Christian religion brought to us by European and American missionaries.  They began to propagate Christianity and western culture to countries outside Europe as Europe started to expand through her mighty armada.  Hilaire Belloc proclaimed “Europe is the Faith”[vii], and such a statement of faith became a mighty stumbling block to the expansion of Christianity.  Jenkins rightly points out that “the idea of Western Christianity distorts the true pattern of the religion’s development over time.”[viii] The observation of Andrew Walls demands our closest considerations. He concludes that worldviews of the missionaries may not necessarily Christian.

Missionaries were, generally speaking, children of the European Enlightenment, and their Christianity came adapted to Enlightenment values; indeed, they expected its transplantation to Africa, closely allied as it was to education and modernization, to issue eventually in an Enlightenment universe of discourse in Africa.  It has done so, but only in Africa may prove to be its capacity for independence of Enlightenment categories.  The independence is seen even in the new forms of charismatic Christianity, which are often skilled in the use of modern communications, and in the background against which they arise.[ix]

Therefore, it became necessary to re-examine the Christianity preached by missionaries.[x]  In fact, among missionaries and missionary impacted communities, it was easy to misinterpret indigenous Christianity as syncretism,[xi] as a result many an indigenous church belief was treated as heretic. It seems such a re-examination is imperative, considering the development of Pentecostal belief everywhere, in particular China.

Pentecostal belief as a mainstream among Protestantism demands a more accurate definition from us.  This paper does not intent to focus on its theological[xii] and pragmatic definition only.  Theological definition is for the experts.  When Chinese believers use the term “Charismatic” (Ling en) to define Spirit-filled Christianity, it is a pragmatic, phenomenal and technical but not theological definition.[xiii]  And it is not this writer’s intention to employ such a crude definition.  Harvey Cox in Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion In the Twenty-First Century attempted through field study and the use of religious phenomenology “to decipher Pentecostalism’s inner meaning and discern the source of its enormous appeal.”  His study included independent Third Wave practices such as Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare among angels and demonic spirits, which have nothing to do with traditional Pentecostalism that believes in Spirit baptism and tongue speaking.  It was due to the fact that in terms of religious phenomena, traditional Pentecostalism, Charismatic Movement and the Third Wave Movement, in practice they are of one branch rooted in the Pentecostal Movement.  Cox generically called them Pentecostalism.[xiv]  This author also uses this religious phenomenal definition and the analysis of Jesus Family for the re-examination of the essence of Christianity and its significance to Chinese Pentecostalism.  

1.        Jesus Family: the Chinese expression of Pentecostalism

It followed therefore that there was no foreign flavour in their Christianity.  It was theirs and was exclusively Chinese in every way.  How wonderful is Christianity that it can thus adapt itself![xv]

The Jesus Family (1921-1952)[xvi] was not only indigenous, it was a church with practicing Pentecostal faith.  The Jesus Family was indeed a return to the lifestyle in apostolic time.[xvii]

Jing Dianying敬奠瀛1890-1953?was the founder of Jesus Family.  Born in Mazhuang, Tai An county, Shandong Province山東省泰安馬莊, he started school studying Confucianism.  When he was about 12 years old, he entered Tsui Ying萃英 Middle School in 1912, which was established by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Note that this was in the midst of the Shandong Revival in 1908.[xviii]  According to Rees, Jing gathered together some Christians and established a Shengtu She聖徒社Saint Cooperative Society in his home village, which was the forerunner of the Jesus Family.  Jing wanted to avert the social corruption of the time.[xix]  According to Tong, Rees and others, prior to 1920, Methodist lady missionary Nora Dillenbeck had a great influence on him, her auspice started the Shengtu She.[xx]  Besides Dillenbeck’s support, James Hudson Taylor was also instrumental to the establishment of Shengtu She.[xxi] 

            At that time, Shengtu She began to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit.  Tao Feiya observed that most likely believers of Shengtu She were influenced by the Assemblies of God church at Tai An, and opened to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Chinese regarded Spirit baptism as divine spirit falls upon a person.

            Tai An Shangdong was one the areas of early Assemblies of God missionary activities.  1908 L. M. Anglin, an independent Baptist missionary first arrived in Tai An.  1916, he received the Pentecostal experience and became an Assemblies of God missionary.  He started a church which was later turned into an orphanage, The Home of Onesiphorus亞尼色弗之家.

            Tai An Church experienced a revival in 1924.  Helen I. Gustavson, an associate of Anglin reported:

… These meetings were different from the usual ones.  They were led by the Holy Spirit. We expected remarkable things to happen.  All prayed in unison, with the interpretation of tongues.  We were deeply touched by the Spirit.  There were sporadic prophesies about the last days.  Indeed Jesus is coming, and is coming soon![xxii]

            Jing received the baptism of the Spirit in this Assemblies of God meeting. Ma Honggang who received the same baptism with him stated:

… Jing was around thirty-five years old at that time.  He sought very hard to have union with God in love and to apply Chinese mysticism into western theology.  Together with the author of the book, they received the baptism of the Spirit in an Assemblies of God meeting in 1925.  Henceforth he sought after speaking in tongues, prophecy, singing and dancing in spirit, seeking inspirations from the Holy Spirit and living a Spirit-filled lifestyle.[xxiii]

        It was a profound and genuine experience. Jing, in his against arranged marriage, had divorced his wife.  After he was baptized in the Spirit, he repented and went to fetch his wife home.[xxiv]

            Jing worked in the Home of Onesiphorus for about a year in 1925.  His time there was significant to the establishment of the Jesus Family.[xxv] For a year since 1926, Jing was funded by an American Presbyterian missionary Dr. Thornton Stearn.  He bought an old weaving machine and in 1926, he created the Can Sang Xue Dao Fang (silkworm school).  Can Sang Xue Dao Fang then changed its name to Ye Su Jia Ting, or Jesus Family in English in 1930.  In the following 18 years, the Jesus Family had branched out throughout China, establishing over 110 similar meeting stations.[xxvi]

            It is worth mentioning the leadership in the Jesus Family. Besides Jing Dianyian, all five leaders had Pentecostal experience.[xxvii] Jesus Family had three levels of leadership[xxviii] (very likely that due to this kind of leadership that after 1949, Jesus Family was branded as ‘feudal primitive socialism’[xxix]). According to Rees, Jesus Family separated spiritual leadership from administrative leadership.[xxx] Take for instance the original Jesus Family at Mazhuang had four Jia Chang家長 family elder, they were all baptized by the Holy Spirit. Tong Hengxin董恒新, formerly the band leader of Warlord Yan Xisha閻鍚山, after his conversion entered the Baptist Seminary in Kaifeng開封where he met Jian and became his Choir Leader. He once confided to Rees that “the secret of his tremendous change is being filled by the Holy Spirit”.[xxxi] Chen Bixi and Zuo Shunzhen stationed in a church in Peiping (now Beijing), “were baptized, in tears, by the Spirit”.  According to Rees, such experience was shocking as well as hard to understand, because “she (Zuo) was indeed shocked and was not able to offer an appropriate explanation.”[xxxii]  Therefore it was not strange that the leadership carried with them the Pentecostal faith.  Actually, Wang Xipeng汪鍚鵬 noted that every aspect of life and practice in the Jesus Family was reflective of the Pentecostal faith.

Can other Christian communities imitate such a communal, brinish living style of Jesus Family? I can say categorically that nobody can achieved if they don’t have such an unusual religious life of theirs.  They believe in “Ling en” (Charismatic faith and practices), speaking in tongues, rapture…etc.  Their religious zealousness is incommensurable.  We can say that, The communist-liked economic system of Jesus Family is totally laid on the foundation of this special faith of “Ling en”.   It is convincible that the system of Jesus Family will no more exist if the “Ling en” element absent.[xxxiii]

                        It is evident, then, that leaders of the Jesus Family carried in them the Assemblies of God and Shandong Revival traditions.  There is no doubt that the Assemblies of God practices of faith (such as speaking in tongues) deeply influenced the practices of the Jesus Family.  More important was that the belief, concept and mode of operation of churches of the Assemblies of God affected its operation greatly.[xxxiv]

2.        Integration of Faith and Living: Operation of the Jesus Family

Wang suggested that the Jesus Family unlike those contemporary Ling en Churches, the strong sentiment of the last days did not turn into a powerful evangelizing dynamic.  On the contrary, it was all expressed in the Ling en religious living.[xxxv] The Jesus Family believes that Life is religious, to worship, to work and to rest are living.[xxxvi]  There were four important aspects in the practice of faith of the Jesus Family: 1) Break your family (Leave, Chinese 破家) to join the Family; 2) A change of life, Jesus is Lord of the family; 3) To do away with life essentials to actualize life essentials; 4) Resolved to live and die for the Lord.  It will be noticed in the following discussion that the aforementioned have strong eschatological and Pentecostal flavor.

“Break your family”破家is necessary for those who wanted to join the Jesus Family.  To show total love for Jesus and leave every thing behind to join the family, one has to abandon earthly living, break away from every human relationship, forsake life essentials, and sell all belongs for alms giving and put into the treasury of the Jesus Family.  For an outsider, it was the most miserable way of life on earth.  For the 500 male of the family, they share the produce of a mere 43 acres arable land.   At that time each male was entitled to one-third of an acre.[xxxvii] As a result, they lived a very simple life.  This had much to do with the Family’s emphasis of ‘to do away with life essentials to actualize life’ 打倒衣食住,成全衣食住」). We may say bluntly that ‘break the family’ is to do away with life essentials, joining the family is to actualize life.  Accord to Wang, this was akin to the Buddhist concept of 出家(chu-jia).[xxxviii] More aptly, such act can be interpreted as Jesus’ call of self-denying.[xxxix] However, this writer concurs with Wang that out of their conviction of the last days that they deny the present day life style.  The communal life of the Jesus Family was most reflective of their eschatological inclination.  This Ling en element also caused the Jesus Family to ‘resolve to live and die for the Lord’ 存心為主活,立志為主死」). Therefore, a simplistic life style was the total eschatological expression of following Jesus.[xl]           In fact, they were following Anglin, in the Home of Onesiphorus they trusted on the Lord for provisions.  Anglin reported:

…There was not any time we relied on the giving of any organization or community.  It was only in God and His will we trusted to manage this orphanage.  …There were times of laughter, and certainly, times of sorrow, we wept in silent sometimes…… without food nor clothing, in many a cold night they shared their clothing and blankets….[xli]

The experience of the Home of Onesiphorus was decisive to the establishment of the Jesus Family without any question.

‘A change of life, Jesus the head of the family’ (「換一個生命,耶穌為家主。」)is a more obvious Pentecostal facet of the Jesus Family.

As Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life.  To the people of the Jesus Family, Christian believers generally concern themselves with the truth and the way.  Very little attention was given to the fact that Jesus Himself is the living life. Speaking in tongues, the Pentecostals met the Lord face to face, thus they received the living life of Jesus which displaced their original life of this world.  Jesus abides in a family which members possessed this new life. Being the head of the family Jesus directs the family members to work.[xlii]

How to know that Jesus is life?  To the Jesus Family, it was speaking in tongues, spiritual gifts, pray in the Spirit, prophesy, healing and dreams. This writer believes this was what Rees referred to that in the Jesus Family ‘they felt the presence of Jesus which is being filled by the Holy Spirit’, and ‘a lively experience with Jesus’. We can be more certain listening to a conversation between Jing and a new convert.

Believing in Jesus is not of works.  …The Lord will be yours whenever you are sincere. He will live in your heart. Above all, pray.  My beloved brother, you must kneel down in a secret place, and pray with all your heart, “Dear Lord Jesus, forgive all my sins since birth.  Dear Lord, sent Your Holy Spirit moving in my heart, helping me to confess all my sins.”  No matter how sick you are, how terrible your situation is, you can pray to Him and He will show you His way, even whatever you ask of Him.  You will be comforted and helped.  It is even best if there is  crying in your prayer, having a tingle feeling, quivering, loosing control to your tongue.  Then you will know that Lord Jesus is the living God indeed.  You have Joy Unspeakable.  He dwells not in palaces made with hands, he dwells in hearts of those who confessed their sins with delight. He can speak to you through dreams and manifests Himself in visions when you are praying.  However, the most valuable is you are being changed and His presence seen.  You feel that you are His and He is yours.  That’s invaluable.  That good feeling is indescribable.[xliii]

Through praying in tongues, this group of people believed they knew the will of Jesus, therefore, miracles were not uncommon.[xliv]

For example, I mentioned the Jesus Family bought a motor car engine from Nanjing.  They tried to adapt it as a mill engine.  However, the brother who worked on this project has no idea as how to make it work.  He received only high-school level education and has no knowledge on mechanics.  He did not looking for any references but only pray in the spirit.  He just followed every instructions from Jesus through his prayer.  Finally he prevailed, the motor was running and the mill spun.[xlv]

            Wang commented, the consideration to act is not according to capability.  The only concern was whether it is the will of Jesus or not. This was the actualization of ‘Jesus is the head of the Family’.  Could this be the Pentecostal emphasis of being led by the Spirit?  This writer emphatically says yes.[xlvi]

It is worthwhile to note that praying in tongues is part of life in the Jesus Family.  Rees and Wang both pointed out it was the first thing they did in the morning.  They prayed in the Spirit during morning prayer meetings, or before work.  Before each meal and before going to bed, people prayed in tongues. Wang estimated that they spent five hours each day to pray in tongues.  Another source revealed that not only sounds of speaking in tongues were heard, there were also ecstatic behavior.

I almost observed and experienced all the strange sounds and behaviors when I for the first time joined a Jesus Family retreat prayer meeting.  There were three to four hundred people, adults and children, stood as they prayed.  Couple of minuets later, everybody’s screaming and crying, moving their body rapidly.  I heard “ba-ba, da-da” here, and “wo-wo, kua-kua” there (the sound of tongues speaking ).  I even heard “dong-dong”!  There were some people falling on the ground suddenly in the assembly in different locations, some of them slavering, some of them rolling around, crying and screaming, some were lying on the ground silently.  There was a sister standing next to me on my right fell to the ground without my notice.  She rolled and screamed at first but finally remained still.  I tried to pull her up immediately, but a brother to my left  prevented me calling out, “ Leave her alone! Her soul is now lifting up to heaven!”[xlvii]

These tongues speaking and ecstatic behaviors sometimes were followed by dreams and visions.  In fact every morning prayer meeting, there was special time for the interpretations of dreams and visions received during the night.  Such religious practices were based on their understanding that “Jesus if the head of the Family’.

It was fall harvest of potato leafage.  (The harvest time did not fix, the potato leafage could be taken a week earlier or later.)  One morning prayer meeting, a brother reported he was told by God in a dream to take all the leafage immediately at that day, for there would be frost  the next day.  The elder ordered all the members of the family to work immediately. Their neighborhoods saw them, they followed suit.  They trusted in the Jesus Family and their dreams and visions, for they experienced similar scenarios.  They believed in what the Jesus Family has revealed were true and accurate.  They stored all their harvest that day.  The next day frost came as they were told.  They had enough food for the coming year.[xlviii]

            This kind of life style has Pentecostal root (matter of fact the time spent on praying in the Spirit almost equaled to their daily work). “Naturally they resolved to live a life Jesus being the head of the Family. They were doing the will of Jesus together, claiming their lives belong to Jesus.”[xlix]

There is not doubt that the Jesus Family had Assemblies of God influence.  However, the importance of the Jesus Family is that of the inculturation of a ‘foreign religion’ to bring forth an indigenous church. This may not have anything to do with re-examining the essence of Christianity.  Yet if we compare the phenomenon seen in the Jesus Family with the rural churches (disdained as Chris-Bodhisattva) in China today,[l] naturally the question will arise: Whether it is the inculturation of Pentecostalism, or native religion being Pentecostalized (christianized)?  The question will be addressed later.

3.       Cause of Development of the Jesus Family

The Jesus Family was not immediately disbanded as the Communist had control over China.  On the contrary, in the early stage of New China, good relation was maintained.  The Chinese government was positive towards the life style of the Jesus Family. In 1950, when Wu Yiaochong 吳耀宗) drafted the treatise“The Path and Endeavors of Chinese Christianity in New China”, among those endorsed, one quarter of those signatures belonged to members of the Jesus Family.  The Jesus Family dispatched medical teams to the Korean front during the Korean War.[li]  1953, Jing Zhentian, nephew of Jing, in an article published in Tianfeng charged him as collaborating with imperialists.  Series of persecutions and suppressions came upon the Jesus Family caused the group to change the mode of existence.[lii]  The Jesus Family though was disbanded but not wiped out.  A report in 1988 stated there were traces of proliferation of the Jesus Family after the Cultural Revolution.  Until October 1988, there were about 2,000,000 members in Shangdong.[liii]

The tenacity of the Jesus Family cannot be separated from the Shangdong Revival.  It may be said that it was the condition then that gave birth to the group. 1858-1868, Tientsin and Peking Treaties were signed, Chefoo (煙台Yantai)was opened for trade. As a result London Missions and Southern Baptist missionaries came to Shangdong.  Since1860, Presbyterians, Methodist missionaries joined the parade.[liv]  Perhaps the fact that Shangdong was among the first cities to open to missionary activities, there was greater number of believers than other places.  Statistics in China for Christ 1920, “Only second to Kwangtung (Now Guangdong), Shantung has 41821 believers, 12% plus of that of the whole country.”[lv]  Mission activities were flourishing due to better funding and more proactive than most local religions.  Traditional Chinese religions such as Buddhism and Taoism their finances were mainly from Xianghuo (香火, something like our offerings, usually are money given after worship) and ‘donations’.  Missionary activities enjoyed stable adequate funding, thus more competitive.[lvi]  Shangdong situated in the lower stream of Huanghe (Yellow River) suffered much because of poor water conservancy.  The province was under constant threat of draught and famine.  During the years 1876-78 great famine came to the province, the impotent Qing Dynasty was not able to provide aid that some had to feed on dead bodies.  Missionaries were considered more able in giving aids.  Shangdong people changed their perceptions of missionaries, eg., Richard Timothy and Christianity.  They were more respected.  Chronicles of the Congregational Church had an entry: ‘Bad year lapsed, proclamation fast, believers increasing.’[lvii] There were severe famine in Shangdong during the year 1928, floods in 1935 and 1937.  However, around the times of these calamities, several revivals broke out.

The most remarkable was the work of the Holy Spirit in Shangdung Peninsula during 1931-1932.  The Holy Spirit deeply touched the Chinese congregation in the Wang County, the base of Southern Baptist Church.  In Ping Du, the mighty power of the Holy Spirit manifested and evangelized a group of non-saved, and Christians revived.  One of a missionary reported that was ‘marvelous’, hundreds of people in the village believed in Jesus.  There was a great revival in Lun Yang and Lun Du…

The Presbyterian church in Shangdong attributed the revival to the Pentecostals.  They admitted that the revival may seem a bit overwhelmed; it indeed revealed the marvelous work of the Holy Spirit. [lviii]

The Revival was indeed the spiritual outlet and hope for the Shangdong people during times of hardship.  Besides, there were long years of wars and fighting.  Since the Boxers Uprising in 1894, many missionaries were killed.  Armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance stormed Peking.  1897, two German Catholic priests were killed.  With this as an excuse Germany demanded a lease of Jiaozhou Bay, Shangdong, which led to Japan and Germany quarreled over the control of the territory.  Law and order was no longer prevailed, theft, kidnapping and rapes were rampant.  Jing’s home in Tai An was in the strategic position of Yiao Pu Railway油浦鐵路, and was always caught in the middle of a conflict.[lix] From 1926-28, the Nationalist Government in Nanjing wished to revamp the Chinese Administration, condemned the warlords during the Northern Expedition.  At that time in addition to the Northern Expedition Army, Japan was increasing her military strength in Shangdong.  The incident on May 3 1928 was oil added on fire.  Japanese army occupied Government Buildings along the railway for almost a year.  This could well be one of the incidents leading to the eight year long Sino-Japanese War.  In the early 1930’s, Japan seized Manchuria and invaded most part of Northern China.  Social order was disrupted.  It was no little wonder the development of Christianity was much affected.[lx]

Christianity’s influence on the community during these times of turmoil exceeded many local religions.  Christianity was able to offer protections from the foreigners to the dispersed farmers.  Such protections were beyond the power and ability of the local dignitaries and officials.[lxi]  Matter of fact, almost twenty years since the establishment of the Nationalist Government, it was still weak in military and administration.  To live peacefully under a form of protection, to the people of the Jesus family, it was utopia.  As Tong pointed out, ‘whether one praises the Jesus family or criticize Jing Dianying, all will concurr it was the social condition that caused the rise of the Jesus Family.’[lxii]

…more and more people who love the Lord joined the Family in spite of very stringent rules.  After more than ten years living in privation… By the power of Jesus on the Cross, we were able to overcome every situation of our hard life.[lxiii]

However, the many Ling en (Pentecostal) elements aforementioned made the revival witnessed in the Jesus Family more reasonable.  This writer does not say that these elements caused the establishment of the Jesus Family, more important is that many Pentecostal Revivals appeared together with the Jesus Family in Shangdong at that time.  True Jesus Church was one of them. Besides Jing and his co-workers, there were other Christian leaders conducting similar crusades.  The most well known was John Song of the Bethel Evangelistic Band.  One may say that Song did not emphasize much on these Pentecostal elements, one cannot refute that such Pentecostal elements did appear in their meetings.[lxiv]  One missionary noted in the Chinese Recorder characteristics of the Shangdong Pentecostal activities: ‘seek after visions with sporadic tongues speaking, divine healings and exorcising. In the meetings there were prayers of releasing, they did not observe orders, head and hands shaking, dancing, rolling on the floor…. [lxv]

Such Holy Spirit believing faith was not merely the result of Christianity proclaimed in the east.  As pointed out, the Pentecostal element had a deep impact on missionaries involved in the revivals.  Such easy adaptations in the Jesus Family as well as in many Shangdong churches were the result of collision of Pentecostal elements of the Shangdong folk religious traditions with the Christian Pentecostal elements.[lxvi]

Some ceremonies of the Jesus Family had their roots in Chinese traditional cultures. ‘Tongues speaking’, ‘visions’, ‘dreams’, ’raptures’, all can be found in Chinese folk religions.  Daniel Bays mentioned something like ‘rapture’ was quite common in the Boxers.  More further into history, the Tai Ping Rebellions, they borrowed the term ‘speaking in the name of the Father’, ‘possessed by Jesus’ etc. Possessed by a spirit was in fact had a Taoist root which influenced the local society, spirit mediums were also familiar to such concept.  To the common people, they were not a bit strange as the founders of the Jesus Family exhibited such abilities.[lxvii]

            Daniel Overmyer observed there are two tracks in Taoism propagation and practices: doctrine of last days and absorbed by folk religions.  The latter’s concern is on healing of diseases and magic for the building of an utopia on earth as well as the presence of an ideal savior.[lxviii]  Such folk religions paid more attention to their charismatic leaders or even those who possess special power to heal.  Of course, as a group of people with common belief follows those leaders, naturally a faith community will emerge. In China during the nineteenth century, especially in Shangdong, many such communities came to being. The most notorious was the Boxers Rebellion.  Many others, unlike the Boxers, did not pay too much attention on politics.  They were more soteriological.[lxix]  Overmyer, Bays and Yang all pointed out that all along the small sects were accused of possessing political agenda.  That of course was the result of the self defense of those in power, persecutions often followed.[lxx]  Rev. Tong Baochen (董寶忱牧師) was formerly an alchemist, spoke of his conversion to Christianity:

I was from a simple poor family.  Therefore we turned and looked to alchemy for comfort. My grandfather was one of the small leaders. Government officials mistook our sect as revolutionary and sought to purge us.  My grandfather fearful of being murdered and worried of livelihood took refuge in Chefoo.  There he met Rev. Karl F. A Gutzlaff郭士立 and was baptized.[lxxi]

Bays noted that doctrines, practices and structures of these sects easily merged with Christianity.[lxxii] Therefore, it was noted many Shangdong Christians were originally form these sects.  Bays mentioned a booklet《天命例》 (On Destiny, a book about prophesy) by Baguajiao( Religion of the Eight Diagrams八卦教). The book stated that there would be truth brought by foreign missionaries to whosoever believed on that booklet.  Many accepted Christianity and declared that there was no conflict of their former faith and practices with Christianity.[lxxiii]  Baguagiao claimed that Mother of No Beginning (or Parents of No Beginning) is Jehovah.  They accepted Christianity because in their original doctrine there was similar concept of ‘incarnation’ akin to Christian belief.[lxxiv].  

5.     Critique and Re-examination

All along indigenous Christian churches (especially those with Pentecostal elements) were under attack by Christians of other denominations with the exception of Church of Christ in China.  This is an indigenous group that was started by missionaries.  The Jesus Family was criticized by the Principal of Yenching Seminary, Zhao Zichen趙紫宸 as ‘merely the replica of cultic festivals of old.’[lxxv] It was because on the one hand the emotional expressions as seen in many indigenous Pentecostal Christian communities, they were also thought as unorthodox, or even called Christopaganism.  Apparently, such remarks had not grasped the significance of indigenous Pentecostal Spirit filled churches such as the Jesus Family to their contemporaries and the Chinese people.  In fact churches in China, in particular those rural churches, or churches started by many a lone itinerant evangelist or urban churches established by missionaries sent by rural churches, mostly have Pentecostal charismatic flavor.  To understand and grasp their belief is necessary for our hope of future development of Christianity in China.

In Jenkin’s analysis of the phenomenal growth of Global South, he presented a very useful perception for the understanding of Chinese Pentecostalism.

The Southern churches have similar economic situations. This refers not simply  to their being comparatively poor.  Those from rural areas were greatly attracted to  those ever increasing urban complexities which were not able to meet the sudden increase of needs.  They still live in poverty.  Jenkins suggested that churches should take the opportunity to exercise a paternalistic role to offer them comforts (such as to replace village family networks with congregational relationship).  In the religious dimension, pray for healing to make up for medical attentions….[lxxvi]

The above is not only the picture of Jesus Family during the 1920’s to 1930’s, it is also the witness of many Chinese cities.[lxxvii]  Churches not only filled with urban Christians, there are believers from the villages as well.  They brought with them the practices of churches in the villages.  On the other hand, the fact that villagers migrated to the cities, a number of house churches (many are Pentecostals as they focus on the work of the Holy Spirit) sent some of their young pastors to work in urban factories and pioneer churches there.  One can imagine these churches still maintain a rural worldview and religious mentality.  Given that, we may foresee that believers will take with them their own cultures to join a church, some even merged with the faith of the church.[lxxviii]

As mentioned, faith of the Jesus Family and the like were accepted was based on such a harmony of faiths.

Bays argued that Ling en Movement had some sort of unconscious psychological connection to those folk religious sects prevalent in Shangdong in the latter days of Qing Dynasty.  There were similarities among some extreme cultic sects in this revival movement with the Bailianjiao and the Boxers tradition.  There was close connection between the revived religious experiences with the popular folk religious experiences of the Shangdong people.  There was traces of Shamanism and the future hope of Pre-millennialism, as well as healing through exorcism. …The revival experience of Ling en Movement is closely identify with the popular culture of Shangdong believers, therefore, the revival movement spread rapidly.[lxxix]

            Is such form of belief syncretism as understood by quite a number of Christian scholars?  We need to bear in mind the long history of Christian development in the West, and is changing.  As Christianity reaches a new level, is it permissible to evolve according to local conditions?  The present rapid growth of the Southern Church (so is the churches in China) is due to the fact that it was not affected by Rationalism and Secularism of the Enlightenment.  Churches in these areas can meet and dialogue direct in their own world view with the biblical ones.  Jenkins bluntly states: And even at the height of the missionary endeavor, non-Western converts very soon absorbed and adapted the religion according to their own cultural needs.[lxxx]

Therefore, we must not say that Pentecostalism is an alternative of folk religion when we want to explain why Pentecostal faith swept the world for more than a hundred years using then a faith community like the Jesus Family.[lxxxi]

This writer wishes to borrow the research of F. Landa Jocano on Filipino Christianity to explain the legitimacy of development of Chinese Christianity (or Southern Church) such as the Jesus Family.  Some thoughts put forth by Jocano call for serious consideration:

1.           Religion is an embodiment of human experiences committed to the expression and explanation of what Paul Tillich calls the “ultimate concern” of society – that is, the fulfillment of the “restlessness of the heart” within the flux of daily activities;

2.           Central to this commitment is the organization of feelings of people toward life so that they find importance and inspiration in what they do;

3.           These feelings are embedded in the social and cultural values learned and acquired by individuals as they grow up and participate in the affairs of their society;

4.           The learning process involves incorporation into an individual’s self the perceptual and the ceremonial aspects of religion;

7.           Because of this cultural orientation, whatever is introduced from the outside is not readily incorporated into one’s religious system but these elements are first modified to suit one’s cultural ways of believing and doing things before acceptance is made;

8.           In the event that these elements do not fit into the individual’s existing pattern of cultural and religious values, they are rejected; or if they are not rejected, they are retained as alternatives but their significance is not emphasized;

9.           If, On the other hand, these new and modified religious values are found to be more feasible than the traditional ones for social and cultural adjustments, the original belief system is either given up or restructured to accommodate the nuances of the new pattern.[lxxxii]

Bays has similar conclusion in his study of Chinese indigenous Pentecostalism.   He believes the most essential quality of Pentecostalism is the compatibility with Chinese culture, thus easier to indigenize.[lxxxiii]

Some scholars described Pentecostalism as “the most important event in religious history since the Reformation.”[lxxxiv] This is not an overstatement.  In the beginning of this paper, this writer noted it is common knowledge the remarkable growth of Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement in the world. By the end of 1980’s, Pentecostalism was called the Third Force, being the third largest in number of believers after Catholicism and Protestantism.  A decade later, it became second to Catholicism.[lxxxv]  In East Asia, Southeast Asia, especially in rural areas of mainland China, the growth is unsurpassable.[lxxxvi]  Looking back into the development of the Pentecostal Movement, there was integration of ethno-cultural factor with forms of Holy Spirit believing Christianity and Negro folk religion which bled the early Pentecostal Movement.  This demands our closest attention.  Because this was the way Christianity appeared in Global South.  Chinese churches are going through this process, and it still will be in the future, in order to do away with the misnomer of foreign religion to become an indigenous religion.


[i] Andrew F. Walls, The Cross-cultural Process in Christian History (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books), 2002, p. 46. Also Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 75.

[ii] For the discussion, please see Jenkins, The Next Christendom, Chapter 1. Global South is not only geographically the southern hemisphere but rather an economic and cultural concept. Global South is in contrary to the secularized but financially advanced northern hemisphere. Global South replaces the term “third world” which almost excluded the territory from the world financial system.

                Jenkins is optimistic with the global development of Pentecostalism. He refers to recent observations that Pentecostal churches locate mainly in areas with rapid population growth. Therefore, Jenkins believes that by year 2050, Pentecostal population worldwide will reach 1 billion.

[iii] Jenkins states that Latin American and African churches, whether traditional or independent, are now sending missionaries to North America and Europe. In addition to evangelize Europe, these churches are more conscious to help the northern churches to a “home coming”.  The Anglican Mission in America, sponsored by Anglican archbishop of Rwanda, Emmanuel Kolini announced its goal was to help “lead the Episcopal Church back to its biblical foundations” (The Next Christendom, p. 203) For mission activities of southern churches in the north, see also Jenkins, pp. 204-9. Evangelizing old Christendom is not only the endeavor of southern churches, Chinese churches have like minds. A popular hymn in China chants, “…marching onto Jerusalem, braving frost and storm, our minds are strong. The name of the Lord to proclaim, to prevail in the Kingdom of God.” This is also the theme of the Global Chinese Prayer Conference. Returning to Jerusalem originally emerged among Chinese churches during the Shantung Revival in 1910. Enthusiasm shimmered after change of Chinese regime in 1949.  Not until after the recent reform in China “Return to Jerusalem” re-lives as Christian businessmen in house churches developed overseas enterprises. See Paul Hattaway, Back to Jerusalem: Three Chinese House Church Leaders Share Their Vision To Complete The Great Commission (Waynesboro, GA: Authentic Media, 2003).    

[iv] Jenkins states that if indeed we do away with the idea of “the faith is Europe” or “the faith is the west” and beginning to examine the issue with a global perspective, it should make us think carefully before asserting “what Christians believe” or “how the church is changing.”  Jenkins, p.3.

[v] Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p.14.

[vi] Ibid, pp. 69-70.  Many Chinese scholars are wary towards the explosive church growth in China after 1970, among which many (especially rural churches) were Charismatic. Such re-enchanted Christianity is in fact the addition by indigenous believers’ local worldview and culture into Christian belief.  Scholars differ in opinions; nevertheless, it is certain that Chinese Christian scholars are more negative on the issue. For a discussion please refer to Leung Ka-lun, The Rural Churches of Mainland China Since 1978 (Hong Kong: Alliance Bible Seminary, 1999), pp. 202-4.

[vii] Quoted by Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p.1.  Also ‘Hilaire Belloc,’ Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilaire-Belloc.

[viii] Jenkins, The Next Christendom, p.16.

[ix] Walls, The Cross-cultural Process In Christian History, p. 122.

[x] More serious is the fact that the Christian belief presented by missionaries from the west was adulterated, though unconsciously, with Western political ideas, economic invasions as well as military and attitudinal supremacy. These are but fresh memories to many Chinese Christians.  Interesting though, such admixture was not recognized both by Chinese and missionaries who did not possess the ability to self-examine nor discriminate, eventually impaired the image of Christianity in the mission field. Moses Yu, Western Missionary Movement and the Rise of Chinese Church, Moses Yu, 2006, p.14.

[xi] This is most evident in Leung Ka-lun’s comment on the development of Chinese rural churches. To him, a syncretic Christianity adapts a lot of folk religion practices which as the same time manifests the social function of folk religion.  Such model of belief causes the believer to become more secularized and utilitarian. With no apology, he bluntly in denouncing such folk religion Christianity, coined a term “Chris-Bodhisattva”(基菩薩). The Rural Churches of Mainland China Since 1978, p.437. 

[xii]There is no clear distinction between Pentecostalism and Charismatic among Chinese churches.  For a Pentecostal, such differentiation is important.  Within the present Pentecostal-charismatic tradition there are three major theological schools: the Classical Pentecostal Movement of 1906, the Charismatic Movement or otherwise known as the Neo-Pentecostal Movement prevalent among mainline and Catholic churches of the 1960’s.  There was also the Third Wave Movement emerged during the 1980’s. The Pentecostal Movement claimed that speaking in tongues being the initial physical evidence of Spirit Baptism with the endowment of power to witness (Acts1:8).  Charismatic’s emphasis is on the various gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification of the churches (I Cor. 1:21-11).  The Third Wavers believe that the work of the Holy Spirit as well as signs and wonders bring about the Power and Kingdom of God (Matt. 12:28)  Such categorization was first suggested by Roger Stronstad at a lectureship given at Ecclesia Bible College in 1993. However, during the 1990’s revivals were witnessed through out the world.  Some Third Wavers were involved and thus, Third Wave Movement and such Revival Movement were given a new name, Neo-Charismatic Movement.  

[xiii] In fact to many who whether embrace, sympathetic towards, or even reject Pentecostal-charismatic belief, their stance were to a greater degree not theological.  Jenkins brilliantly noticed that for Asian and African believers, their acceptance of faith is based mainly on the capacity of such faith to meet and delineate the world they are in. The decision was often a result of feeling and not theology. He zeroed in as he quoted a young Nigerian Iglo scholar: “It was not the mad logic of the Trinity that captivated him. He did not understand it. It was the poetry of the new religion, something felt in the marrow…… He felt a relief within as the hymn poured into his parched soul.”  Jenkins, The Next Christendompp. 43-44.

[xiv] Harvey Cox, ‘Preface’ Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality And the Reshaping of Religion In The Twenty-First Century (New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1995).

[xv] D. Vaughan Rees, The “Jesus Family” In Communist China: A Modern Miracle Of New Testament Christianity (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: Christian Literature Crusade, 1971), p.28.

[xvi] Lifestyle of the Jesus Family was greatly praised by many writers on the subject. The most read and original was The “Jesus Family” in Communist China by D. Vaughan Rees. There are other publications or articles by Jing’s associates or students. The most recent is a Chinese work by Tao Feiya, A Christian Utopia in China: The Jesus Family (1921-1952) (The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong, 2004). Tong Xiaojun was correct to point out that it is challenging to conduct a study on the Jesus Family.  First hand material is few and such reports or documents might have been greatly affected by the political condition of the time and therefore biased. In fact articles on the subject which appeared in Tianfeng, official publication of the Chinese Christian Church Council were “politically instructed”, their credibility became doubtful. (‘The Jesus Family in Real History,’ Bridge 57:8-9) .

[xvii] Moses Yu, Western Missionary Movement and the Rising Up of Chinese Churches, Moses Yu 2006, pp. 386-8. It is a brief but trustworthy account since it is the author’s own experience.

[xviii] Ibid, p.386.  Also Tao Feiya, pp73-79. The revival was cross denominations and impacted the whole province of Shangdong.

[xix] D. Vaughan Rees, pp.21-2.

[xx] ‘Jesus Family,’ Chinese Encyclopedia: Religion, p. 448. Ma Honggang, Jing’s pupil, noted that Dillenbeck’s influence on him was mainly due to the fact that Jing was affectionate towards her. The “love affair” was soon ended because of the mutual respect and maturity of both. They became good friends since. (Tong, p.9)  Rees confirmed Dillenbeck’s influence on Jing. Rees, p.105.

[xxi] Definitely, Jing was deeply touched by Taylor’s self sacrifice. Rees, p.30.

[xxii] Tao Feiya, A Christian Utopia in China: The Jesus Family (1921-1952), p. 63cited Helen I. Gustavson, The Shantung Revival!  A Report and a … Challenge!  Home address, 1616 Thomas Avenue, St. Paul 4, Minnesota, U.S.A, p. 2.  Tao recite「這些聚會並不像通常那些特別的佈道會。這是主的復興,我們都非常清楚聖靈在我們中間引領我們,我們都期待著不尋常的事在我們中間發生。我從沒有見證遇像當時那樣聖靈的感動降臨到整個教團。所有的人以一個聲音在祈禱。聖靈使大會的唱詩非同凡響。我們被聖靈在我們大會作的工深深打動。當時也有方言翻譯過來的消息。(林前十四21-33)(在這種場合)預言的能力也大大的實施了。有一些預言是莊嚴的警告:「上帝不是人,那人是一定要說謊的,上帝也不是人的兒子,那人的兒子是一定要懺悔的:凡他所說的,他會不做麼,凡他承諾的。他會不實現麼?(民廿三19)上帝警告說將會有許多戰爭、饑荒、洪水、悲哀和沮喪降臨到中國,也降臨到其他國家。這些預言都應驗了。這是最後的日子了。耶穌就要來了。」

[xxiii] Ibid, p.64 quotes an article of Ma in which reported it was the former Jing Dianyin. (引馬鴻綱:介紹新興教派「耶穌家庭」〉,《協進》月刊,19481016日,第7頁。)Original text cited「那時的敬先生是三十五歲以前的人,敬先生最大的努力是追求人神一體愛的經驗,和那中國玄學溝通西洋基本神學的理論。後於民國十三年同編者在神召會中得到靈洗的經驗,便專心切慕靈恩──說方言,作先知講道,唱靈歌,跳靈舞──走向了聖靈啟示之路。」

[xxiv] Tao Yafei, p.66.

[xxv] Ibid, p.67

[xxvi] Lam Wing Hung, ed., A Source Book of Modern Chinese Theology (Hong Kong: CGST, 1986), p. 690.

[xxvii] Tao Yafei, pp, 75-77.

[xxviii] Besides the top leadership under whom were deacons and twelve working department heads.  These people were responsible for agriculture, education, metal works, sewing, food storage, architect and child caring.  However, they were more prone to collective leadership. See Philip L. Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground: Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Movement, and China’s United Front (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1988), pp. 161-2; also 劉潔貞著:〈中國基督教的獨立教會〉,《景風》,No. 46 1975秋,頁5

[xxix] Wickeri, Seeking the Common Ground, pp. 161-162.

[xxx] Rees (Chinese), p. 27. Spiritual leaders were Jing Dianying, Tong Hengxin(董恒新), Chen Bixi(陳碧壐), Zuo Shunzhen(左順真); Administrative leaders were Chou Xinmin(周新民)and Cui Xiang(崔祥) who was assistant to Chou.

[xxxi] Ibid. p. 32-33.

[xxxii] Ibid, p. 36.

[xxxiii] Lam Wing Hung, p.695 especially note the term ‘Charismatic’ (Ling en靈恩) , Pentecostals were called by this name by Chinese believers at that time, referring to the manifestation element in Pentecostal practices.  The author cited, 「耶穌家庭這樣的共產勤苦的生活,是不是其他的基督信徒集團,也皆能模仿得到的呢?我可以斷然的說,若沒有他們那特殊形態的宗教生活,絕不能做得到。他們信仰靈恩,說方言,被提等,宗教的熱忱實在超過一般的人。可以說耶穌家庭共產的經濟制度是完全建築在這特殊的靈恩信仰上。沒有這靈恩的宗教生活,就沒有耶穌家庭制度的存在。這是無可疑義而可斷然論定的話。」Italics are the writer’s.

[xxxiv] Tao Yafei, p.67-69.

[xxxv] See note 34.

[xxxvi] 劉潔貞,頁5

[xxxvii] Rees (Chinese), p.70.

[xxxviii] Lam Wing Hung, p. 696.

[xxxix] Matt. 19:29, And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  In fact, Jing disclosed that it was the young man’s action that cost him to ‘break’ his family.  See Tao Yafei, p. 132.

[xl] This author came across story about an aide of a Christian General Feng Yuxiang which clearly depicts their attitude.  See童小軍著:〈耶穌家庭史片斷補遺〉,《橋》,第五十八期,一九三年四月。

[xli] Tao, p.67. Original text in Government Documentary cited by the author, 「我們任何時候都沒有依靠過哪個機構和團體的恩賜,而是全靠上帝給予的意志去管理這個孤兒院。……我們不是只有歡樂而沒有悲傷,有時找們在房間裹掩面哭泣。……有時缺衣少食,不得不忍飢挨餓。在寒冷的晚上分出被褥、衣物給他人禦寒。」

[xlii] Lam Hung Wing, p. 696. italics are this writer’s. The author said, 「耶穌說,我是道路真理生命。在靈恩派的耶穌家庭中人看來,一般的基督信徒,僅僅知道重視耶穌的真理和道路而已,未注意耶穌就是自己的活生命。靈恩派能說方言,被提覲主,便是獲得了耶穌的活生命,這生命已替換了自己原來屬世的舊生命。而是全新的屬靈的生命,以這些新生命的分子所組合的大家庭,耶穌便居住在他們家庭中。每日指揮他們勞動工作。」

[xliii] Tao Yafei, p.66. During such conversation, writer’s italics, Jing encouraged the new convert to pray and speak in tongues.  Then you will know that the Lord Jesus is truly lives. 信耶穌不在乎工夫多少。只在乎誠心與否。弟既誠心,主就是你的。主他就住在你的心裡。最要緊的是禱告。親愛的兄弟啊,你要在無人處跪下,誠心禱告「親愛的主耶穌啊,求你赦免我從小所犯的一切的罪。主啊,求你差聖靈感動我的心。認出我一切的罪來。」無論頭疼病患,及各種難處,各樣事情。都可求問主、,他都能指點你,安慰你,幫助你。若能禱告時痛哭,或發麻、或顫抖、或舌頭不由自己才好哩。到那時你就知道主耶穌真是活神,你必快樂的不能說。他不喜歡住在廟宇,住人手所建造的房子,最喜歡住在人心裡。就是那誠心認罪的人心裡。他能在夢中向你說話,或在你祈禱時在異像中向你顯現。但最寶貝的是在你心裡改變你,和你同在,叫你覺得你就是他,他就是你,那才寶貝極了。那滋味沒法再好。

[xliv] Tong Xiaojun, The Jesus Family in Real History, p.16. tong noted that ‘although not everyone agreed with the Jesus Family, it was strange though, that non-Pentecsotal background scholars did confirm that there were particularly more miracles’.

[xlv] Lam Wing Hung, p. 697. 「譬如上面已說過耶穌家庭那天從南京買來一部汽車引擎,想用此改作為木炭引擎,做推動石磨的動力。可是鐵工部的那兄弟,望著汽車的引擎,茫然不知如何改作。他只是受過高中教育的知識,而全無此項技術。但是他並不翻閱書籍而在靈恩的禱告中祈求耶穌。睜開眼後便著手去做。茫茫然的遵照耶穌的靈感去改作。終於把這部舊引擎改造成功,而推動了耶穌家庭中的那石磨。」

[xlvi] See similar account in Moses Yu, pp.387-388.  He was eye witness to many Jesus Family incidents.

[xlvii] Tong Xiaojun, p. 16.  He quoted an eye witness was told not to disturb the person on the ground. 「我在第一次參加耶穌家庭退修會中的禱告會時,才觀察體驗到幾乎上列全部的古怪聲音與動作。那時,三、四百男女老少站著禱告。不到數分鐘,便人人呼叫哀號,個個手舞足蹈;這裡吧吧咑咑,那裡嗚嗚呱呱(按:這是說方言的其中一些聲音);有時聽見「鼕鼕」之聲。原來有人在會場前後左右突然挺身倒地,有的口中流沫,打滾亂叫,有的殭如槁木,臥地不動。在我右手邊,同我並肩而立的一位姊妹,忽然倒地,起先打滾哀號,漸而殭臥不動。我即刻往前,要把她扶起來。可是站在我左手邊的一位弟兄,即刻出而干涉,向我耳邊大聲叫道:「她的靈魂被提升天,千萬不可打擾!」」For her soul was lifted up to heaven. In the same meeting people were shaking and rolling on the ground besides making strange noises.

[xlviii] Ibid, p.16. 「某年秋季,正是收割蕃薯葉子的季節(平時早割或晚割十日八日都無關緊要)。一日晨禱時,一位弟兄報告說,神在夢中吩咐當日積極收割全部蕃薯葉子,因為次日必下大霜,葉子必損壞無餘。家長即刻宣佈全家動員,下田割葉。鄰里四舍見狀,也都動員收割自己的蕃薯葉子,因為耶穌家庭以往多次這樣的行動,使他們深信神夢的啟示,是絕對準確的。當日他們把田間的蕃薯葉子全部收割回倉,次日果然天下大霜。這使他們在未來一年中,有足夠的蕃薯葉子煮糊塗稀飯。」It was a morning prayer meeting during the fall harvest.  A brother reported in a dream he was told by god that there would be frost the next day. Jia Chang immediately had all the members out to harvest. Neighbors followed suit for former experiences told them so. There was frost the next. (italics are writer’s.)

[xlix] Lam Wing Hung, p. 698.

[l] See footnote 11.

[li] Tong Xiaojun, p.17.

[lii] ibid, pp.17-20. Also F. P. Jones, The Church in communist China (N. Y.: Friendship, 1962), pp. 18-19. The reason for the persecution, according to Jones, was that Communist China could not tolerate the existence of another form of Communism.

[liii] Dennis Balcombe, Shangdong Revival and the Jesus Family. Also Latter Rain, No. 26, 1988 Oct. pp.26-27.

[liv] 馬克正:《山東教會簡史》,頁17

[lv] 陶飛亞,劉天路著:《基督教會與近代山東社會》,頁123。引《中華歸主:中國基督教事業統計(第二冊)》(北京中國社會科學出版社1987)頁419

[lvi] 見陶亞飛,劉天路著:《基督教會與近代山東社會》,頁127

[lvii] 馬克正著:《山東教會簡史──一九四九》,頁17-8。另見陶亞飛,劉天路著:《基督教會與近代山東社會》,頁130

[lviii] 參歐伊文著,司徒焯正編譯,張有德,台雅各合譯:《東亞教會大復興》(香港天道1981),頁88-89This writer’s translation and italics. It was astounishing to note that these movements of the Holy Spirit were observable.

[lix] Tong Xiaojun, pp. 9-10.



[lxii] Tong Xiaojun, p. 11

[lxiii] Ibid, Tong quoted Wang Yunglin, ‘Introducing the Jesus Family in Majiazhuang,’ Tianfen, 254, 10 March 1951. Wang wrote, 「雖是這樣嚴格,而真實愛主至進家的人卻日益增多,又經過十餘年的窮苦生活,因時局的演變和1943年的荒年,家庭也受了相當的窮苦和患難。靠著主耶穌的十架大能,在實際生產工作、吃苦捨己的生活上,勝過了一切。」

[lxiv] Tao Yafei, pp. 22-3.

[lxv] ‘Indigenous Revival in Shangtung,’ Chinese Recorder, 62:12 (1931), pp. 786-722.(translation author’s) 見馬克正著:〈山東教會簡史──一九四九〉,頁21

[lxvi] Tao Yafei, pp. 22-3.

[lxvii] 見陶飛亞,劉天路著:《基督教會與近代山東社會》,頁107。「『耶穌家庭』的某些宗教儀式,也來源於中國的傳統文化。『說方言』、『異象』、『異夢』、『被提』的種種宗教儀式,在中國的民間宗教中都可以找到出處。裴士丹就指出類似『被提』的活動在義和團中就很盛行。更遠一點,與太平天國領袖所借用的『耶穌附體』、『代天父傳言』等方式也是一樣的,只是角色不同而已。這種借神靈附體的行動,實際上是從道教傳向民間社會的,巫婆神漢們都會來幾下。所以耶穌家庭的創始者們使用起來得心應手,一般群眾也不感到陌生。」


[lxix] C. K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, pp. 229-232. Yang noted that such kind of religion bringing personal salvation often propagates through divine miracles and healings.  Personal salvation was only the means to the salvation of the whole group.  Therefore, miracles are common in these sects.

[lxx] Ibid, pp.3-7. Also Daniel Bays, ‘Christianity and Chinese Sects: Religious Tracts in the Late Nineteenth Century,’ Suzanne Wilson Barnett and John King Fairbank, ed., Christianity in China: Early Protestant Missionary Writings (London: Harvard University Press, 1985), pp. 122-3. C. K. Yang, Religion in Chinese Society, pp. 192-210. Sects differ from (會社) societies, the latter were folk religions with political agendas.

[lxxi] 見陶飛亞,劉天路著:《基督教會與近代山東社會》,頁129。「吾董家庵居民,素性憨愚。生活困難,兼之勞役終年,一無所獲。上之視吾民,遠不如一草一芥,……徵徭疲憊,不遑休息。故人皆遁於金丹教,以求慰於其心。官吏不察民隱,竟以白蓮黃巾視之,捉將官里,動輒杖斬戊遣。吾祖父亦金丹教小領袖也,捻匪初過,官家欲滅絕革命,為斬草除根之計大事搜索。廬室為墟,生計凋弊。正值危害惶惑之秋,吾伯父逃至煙台,從郭牧師傳道,受洗入教。」

[lxxii] Daniel Bays, ‘Christianity and Chinese Sects: Religious Tracts in the Late Nineteenth Century,’ p. 129.

[lxxiii] Such phenomenon is similar to Jenkin’s understanding of the Southern Churches.

[lxxiv] Daniel Bays, ‘Christianity and Chinese Sects: Religious Tracts in the Late Nineteenth Century,’ pp.124-125.

[lxxv] Tao Yafei, pp. 77.  Zhao critics,「實在只等於從前的迎神賽會」。

[lxxvi] Jenkins, pp.72-73.

[lxxvii] This was this author’s experience during a visit with fellow classmates to Nanking churches in 1990. The pastor of this particular church persuaded non-believers to leave the over crowded sanctuary to make room for the serving of communion.  On the other hand, there was also an appeal to believers not to privately keep the communion bread with them. There were some did treat their sick relatives with the communion bread, and they were healed. Such appeal, according to that pastor was not to encourage superstitions among believers.  This speaks strongly of the folk religion element in Chinese Christianity.

[lxxviii] Ibid, p. 75. The Jesus Family during those warring times did in fact become the refuge of many who wanted to escape from the bitter war.

[lxxix] Tao Yafei, p. 77. 「裴士丹認為靈恩運動與晚清時期在山東很活躍的某些民間宗教異端派別有某種無意識的心理上的聯繁,即從白蓮教到神拳傳統,復興運動中的一些極端派別與這些早期宗教運動有某些共同的特點。其中包括了相信降神附體──與薩滿教類似一些極端者聲稱見到神啟或者聽到神的指示。另一些相似之處包括了前千禧年派對未來安寧和繁榮的企盼,以及通過趕鬼來醫病。……當年靈恩運動所復興的宗教經驗與山東普遍信徒早已熟悉的大眾文化之間的密切聯繫,因此就能野火春風一樣蔓延開來。」

[lxxx] Jenkins, p. 16.

[lxxxi] Leung Ka Lun, p. 223.  He was very negative and even suggested “such kind of Christianity adapted divers form of folk religions and served as a folk religion. And many people do hold such attitude, their spiritual concepts and practices were based on their original religious mentalities.” Vide Leung, p. 408.

[lxxxii] F. Landa Jocano, Folk Christianity: A Preliminary Study of Conversion and Patterning of Christian Experience in the Philippines (Cathedral Heights, Quezon City: Trinity College, 1981), pp.2-3. Points 5, 6 and 10 did not fall into the milieu of our discussion, thus omitted.

[lxxxiii] Lecture given by Daniel Bays in Chung Chi College Hong Kong Chinese University, 24 March 1999.

[lxxxiv] Harvey Cox, Fire From Heaven, p. 156.

[lxxxv]參蔡滋忠著:〈震撼生命的動力:聖靈的權能與香港教會更新〉,《時代論壇》,九0年三月廿日五,第一四三期及Vinson Synan,  ‘Preface,’ The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal – How God Used a Handful of Christians to Spark a Worldwide Movement (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001)

[lxxxvi] Ken Benintendi著,劉祖永譯:〈聖靈在中國大陸的事工〉,收於張俊建編:《神召神學院1990年刊》(香港神召神學院1990)。另見趙天恩,莊婉芳著:《當代中國基督教發展史1949-1997》(台北中福1997),頁ii-iii




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