Chinese Independent Churches - Extra-Mission Indigenous Sector - The True Jesus Church

The True Jesus Church

See also: Pentecostalism in China

Between 1917 and 1919 a very different Christian movement, the True Jesus Church, took shape. This was a dynamic movement drawing upon one of the "new" Protestant currents that came to China after 1900, Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism stresses the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and the use of supernatural spiritual gifts such as prophecy, healing, and speaking in unknown tongues, and is fired by a strong millennialism (expecting the return of Christ at any moment; this feature was also characteristic of many others of the newer mission groups (especially Holiness and Adventist ones).

This independent church is an offshoot or breakaway from the first wave of the Pentecostal movement in the United States during the early 1900s. Early workers include Paul Wei, Ling-Sheng Zhang, Peter Wang and others. The early workers believed, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, that they were establishing a reformed true church which was to correct all the mistakes in doctrines and interpretations made by other denominations. They believed that all the teachings of the gospel must have biblical references to back it up in order to avoid misinterpretations or false teachings.

In the 1920s, this new church grew rapidly in central interior provinces, especially Henan and Hunan. It was highly exclusivist; that is, it insisted that Chinese Christians renounce their old churches and acknowledge the sole legitimacy of the The Jesus Church and its unique dogma. (a mix of "unitarian" Pentecostalism, Seventh-day worship, and intense millenarianism). The General Coordination Board was established in Nanjing which was later moved to Shanghai. Its proselytizing efforts were widely felt, and thoroughly resented, by mission churches. The True Jesus Church was almost certainly the largest of the independent Protestant churches from the 1920s to the early 1950s, when it was banned as counterrevolutionary and its leaders jailed, only able to recommence openly in 1980. Its headquarters are today in United States; it is very active there and in Chinese communities around the world.

Read more about this topic:  Chinese Independent Churches, Extra-Mission Indigenous Sector

Famous quotes containing the words church, true and/or jesus:

    I believe with all my heart that the Church of Jesus Christ should be a Church of blurred edges.
    George Carey (b. 1935)

    Moreover, the slogan “highbrows and lowbrows, unite!”, which he had spouted already, is all wrong since true highbrows are highbrows because they do not unite.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    When pain of the world surrounds us with darkness and despair,
    When searching just confounds us with false hopes ev’rywhere,
    When lives are starved for meaning and destiny is bare,
    We are called to follow Jesus and let God’s healing flow through us.
    Jim Strathdee (20th century)