Pastor: The Era of Christians’ Deeply Spiritual Crisis

A machine printed with the word of "crisis"
A machine printed with the word of "crisis"
By Phoebe SunJune 18th, 2024

“The crisis of Christians in this era is spiritual.”

Recently, Pastor Zhang in South China shared his thoughts on the current church. He pointed out, “What Christians need to repent most today is the unbelief in miracles and that the gospel is the power of God.”

He quoted the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night, wondering why Jesus could perform miracles. Jesus could perform miracles because he lived in God’s kingdom. Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3) The pastor said, “And to be born again requires accepting the gift given by God, Jesus Christ.” 

Spiritual crisis one: Christians seeking rationality and not believing in the supernatural

After listening to Jesus’ answer, Nicodemus thought of a natural way – being born from the womb. But the rebirth that Jesus spoke of was supernatural, “…unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)

Pastor Zhang talked about the situation he observed that Christians understand their faith as natural and do not believe in the supernatural, and that is the major crisis for Christians today. “The church today has already lost to the world – when you feel that believing in Jesus is natural, you have already lost.” He gave one example, elaborating that Christian businessmen should not do business at all if they do not rely on God, because they cannot succeed. “Without God’s guidance, Christians cannot live out a testimony in a world that is full of greed.”

In recent years, the United States and some traditionally Christian European countries have been facing the impact of LGBT people, and they are morally opposing the LGBT.

“American society seems very free now, but the morality of American churches still remains. However, when American churches no longer pursue spirituality but morality, decay begins.”

Pastor Zhang believes that it is a deterioration of the relationship between man and God. “Pursuing morality as a standard, people even condemn God by asking, for example, why God killed the seven tribes of Canaan. In these doubts, it seems that the doubters are more loving than God!”

In a situation where faith has fallen into rationality and criticism, Pastor Zhang believes that “the first repentance that Christians need to do is to turn away from the unbelief in the supernatural. We not only need to believe in miracles but also live in miracles.”

“Christianity is very simple, requiring true repentance and acknowledgment of Jesus.”

Spiritual crisis two: Christians not believing that the gospel is the power of God

Pastor Zhang believes that when Christians cast their mindset on “the environment is difficult,"  they are in a spiritual crisis, and faith needs to return to the understanding that “the gospel is the power of God.” Compared to the hardships faced by many missionaries who came to China to spread the gospel, our current situation is relatively easier. 'In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood,' Pastor Zhang countered. 'Why could Paul preach the gospel regardless of everything, but now we feel overwhelmed by even the slightest difficulty?'

"This is because today's Christians have fallen into a spiritual crisis, no longer believing that the gospel is the power of God. Those who truly believe that the gospel is the power of God will still have hope in the midst of suffering. Just like the missionaries throughout the ages who, even in difficult circumstances and at the cost of their lives, still believed that the places they went to would rise and change because of the gospel, for the gospel is the power of God."

Apart from elaborating on the spiritual crisis, Pastor Zhang also gave opinions on some difficult situations in today’s church, believing that the hope of the church lies in Christians imitating the spirit of Jesus' incarnation and having their lives first filled with God’s love and Spirit.

Pastor Zhang pointed out the pains in Christians’ lives. “In today’s church, there are many who want to show themselves up in the pulpit, but very few who want to clean the toilets.”

Pastor Zhang holds that Christianity is about doing, and the Bible is a guide for us to live out a good model. He reflected on whether a blindly busy ministry would please God. He bluntly said, “Many Christians do many things and do not please God.” He sees many Christians being very busy serving in the church or ministries. “They think that tiring themselves out will please God, but this is wrong.”

“The world lets us be slaves, but many full-time church co-workers are no freer, living just like slaves.”

Pastor Zhang added that Christians need to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit to deal with these spiritual crises. Christians’ lives also need to be constantly filled with God’s love and the Holy Spirit. Serving comes second, and the essence of serving is to let people know God, who is the essence of love and life.

“Therefore, the spirituality of Christians is very important because every crisis is a test of the solidity of the faith foundation.”

- Translated by Charlie Li

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