Worse than Invisible

I read a book once that talked about how much advertising we’re exposed to everyday and how little attention we pay to it. The book’s point being that if people aren’t looking for what you’re advertising for, your advertising is worse than invisible. Invisible doesn’t cost you, ignored advertising does. I think this is a great picture of China’s spiritual condition. Let me try to explain why.

Tonight after our Bible study, Dn. asked me why the Bible said only 144,000 people were going to Heaven. And why it was wicked to observe holidays. Sounds like she made a friend, huh? Then Mt. asked me what Catholics believe. These questions are becoming more and more common. Which really confused me. Where was all this info about false religion before they became Christians?

It’s true that the Chinese people live in a spiritual vacuum, but it’s not a vacuum for the reasons most of us think it is. It’s not a vacuum because there’s no information outlet, no way for people to find out about God. No, the Communist Christianity-destroying machine is far more effective. Eliminating information is close to impossible. Eliminating interest is surprisingly easier.

The advertisements for God are everywhere. After all, Creation itself bears witness of God’s existence. Their conscience agrees. There are churches here. There are Bibles here. The internet is here – ’nuff said. So where are the multitudes coming to Christ (You’ll have to forgive me – I know they’re supposed to be here – I just can’t find them)? Unfortunately, the advertisements are ignored. The vacuum is a result of a lack on interest. And the ads fade into invisibility.

Two of our girls tonight shared that the people in their dorms regularly taunt them for reading the Bible. The Bible has zero credibility for most people. Someone asked me in shock last night if I really believed all the Bible’s stories. They double-checked my answer. Just couldn’t believe it. The education system here has, for a few generations now, strangled out, not the information, but the interest in God. When these students became believers and gained a genuine interest in the Lord, all the invisible “God” ads were suddenly visible. Now we’ve got a lot of the same crazy questions to deal with that a lot of ministries have. Great.

What I take away:

  • the problem isn’t a lack of information, rather a lack of interest
  • exposure to the Word of God generates interest
  • after interest is created, the invisible become clearly seen

So, we have to lead the horse to water. Still can’t make him drink, but we can’t trust him to find the pond by himself, either. Posting a “Gospel in Chinese” website isn’t enough. “Living like a good Christian English teacher” isn’t enough. Starting a house church in one corner of the city isn’t enough. An English class with a Bible verse vocabulary lesson isn’t enough. All largely invisible advertisement. It’s our job to give people exposure to the Word of God. Why?

It generates life-changing interest. My wife was answering some girls’ questions about marriage and relationships tonight from the Bible. They just could not believe the information that was coming out of the Bible! They just shook their heads and said over and over, “I can’t believe that’s in the Bible!” Their life’s challenges + the Bible’s answers = genuine interest. We have to help every believer develop their own daily walk in the Word (the topic of our leaders’ meeting tonight).

Still don’t know about that last part. It’s amazing how much info is really here. We can only keep pointing people to Jesus and letting Him draw men unto Him. He sure isn’t high enough here.

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One Comment on “Worse than Invisible”

  1. Ben September 23, 2007 at 11:08 pm #

    Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    I don’t fully understand why we think that people are hungering for the true God of the Bible but just can’t get to Him. As i read your posts it becomes more and more clear, we aren’t entering a vacuum where everyone wants the Gospel. Just a place where people just don’t really care to know about it. Well, I’m praying for you both and hope to be able and call you soon.

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