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Cross-Cultural Ministry Analysis

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This shows that the international relations’ development and the domestic politics significantly determine the degree of Gospel spread in China. Cultural Factors Most Christian missionaries, in their enthusiasm to perfect evangelization, have failed to acquire a deeper understanding of the diverse degrees of the Gospel’s living dynamics. As a result, they have been insensitive to the cultural and social barriers of the Chinese to the Gospel. Most of these missionaries have knowingly or unknowingly had the sense of their cultural superiority, typified by despise for Chinese culture; Chinese also consider their culture superior.

This has blinded most missionaries from viewing the Chinese in the intricacy of their social and cultural modes of existence, making evangelism a problem. Balcombe (p. 28) comments that most missionaries have in the past and at present not understood the intricacy of the families and community organizations in China, and the implications for Gospel spread and growth of the church. Blurred by their Western notion of individuality and family, which they have carried with them, yet isolating the Chinese concept of “compound” living, they continue to persist in their Western outlook; associated to this are the filial piety and the ancestral veneration in the Chinese family.

Most evangelists have failed to appreciate the social dimensions of filial piety and the ancestral veneration about economic security, paternal authority, and family loyalty, instead they denounce it as idolatrous and demonic. In broader terms, due to cross-cultural differences, missionaries have failed to formulate ways in which the structure of the Chinese family can turn into a vehicle to salvation. Missiological Factors The Christian message delivered to the Chinese, particularly in the past, was/is very individualistic; Chinese culture does not recommend individualistic character.

It may be right to emphasize on individual commitment to Christ, and while churches and missions have done a commendable social relief work, the transformation mostly focuses on the individual. Elmer (p. 297) asserts that Chinese evangelists and pastors have unfortunately continued in this way of thinking. This simply implies that despite the substantial missionary presence in China, Christianity contributes negligibly to the transformation of the people of China. Most still deem Christianity an “alien religion. ” This brings out the question of how Christianity entails relaying and understood to the requirement of the Chinese people as a country.

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