DO 1835 8/84
1. CHRISTIANITY NEVER EVER WENT OVER AS MUCH IN JAPAN AS IT DID IN CHINA, including the Chinese environs such as Hong Kong & Taiwan. I know the Kuomintang, the Nationalist Party of China under Chiang Kai-shek which moved to Taiwan, was Christian, & he & Mrs. Chiang Kai-shek were outstanding Christians. It was definitely Christian & they were Christians, & all the governors surrounded themselves with generals & everybody who were Christians. So the government of Taiwan actually is conservative Christian, which is one reason why we probably haven't done very much there. It got around who we were & they didn't want us.
2. SO CHINA HAS HAD SEVERAL MAJOR REVIVALS & HARVESTS BY MISSIONARIES‚ WHO FOR YEARS WERE JUST SWARMING ALL OVER CHINA ESTABLISHING MISSION STATIONS‚ & there were hundreds & hundreds of Chinese missionaries. So that generation of China was really evangelised. The Lord made sure He got a good harvest there before He let the persecution & Communists come & sift them. Even the government confesses that they've got at least a million Christians in China, & Christians in some of the churches claim they've got two million. That's a lot of Christians! I don't know how many they claim in Japan.
3. SO I DON'T DOUBT THAT BECAUSE OF THOSE CHRISTIANS & THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES' INFLUENCE IN CHURCHES & MISSION STATIONS FOR YEARS & YEARS, THAT THAT HAS HAD ITS EFFECT! And although the Chinese response we're getting may not all be Christians, I wouldn't be surprised if many are either of Christian background or parentage & that they have some knowledge of Christianity. It would be interesting to have a survey & find out! They could ask each one to tell their life story or something about their parentage & religion & that sort of thing‚ or even send them a little questionnaire.—Because I believe that the Lord is trying to search out & find His sheep in China & He already has. Those that are going to be saved, He already counts them as sheep now, & when they do hear His Voice, they'll follow. (Joh.10:4)
4. REMEMBER, THE CHINESE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MUCH MORE IN CONTACT WITH FOREIGNERS & were having tremendous trade with foreigners for a long time before the Japanese emperors would even open up Japan at all! It's just been within the time of Admiral Perry's first visit to Japan that they made the first opening for English traders. So Japan was never open to foreigners or foreign traders or anything along that line until recently. It's never been very Christian & Christianity has never had much of a chance to take ahold there. Even Korea had several great revivals under the Presbyterian missionaries.—Genuine born-again salvation revivals & Christianity swept Korea!
5. I DON'T THINK MARCO POLO EVEN GOT TO JAPAN‚ DID HE? He was working with the Chinese Emperors who were at war with Japan‚ so I don't think he ever got in there in all his travels. Japan was closed until the middle of the last century & has only been open to foreigners for trade or any kind of foreign influence for 130 years!
6. CANTON IS CHINA'S MAIN TRADING CITY & CENTER‚ ITS OLDEST PORT. When I was a boy I remember missionaries saying that Southern China‚ the Cantonese, were the most civilised, richest, softest, smartest & smallest of the Chinese in stature, the least warlike, & they all feared the day would come that the Northern Chinese would take over China—which is exactly what happened under Mao. It was not just the Communist thing, but sort of a racial ethnic thing.
7. SOUTHERN CHINA HAD ALWAYS BEEN VIRTUALLY AT WAR WITH NORTHERN CHINA. The Northern Chinese are taller, bigger, stronger, more savage & warlike, & they were always fighting them. And as Southern China became richer & more corrupt & weaker‚ as so many civilisations do become, when I was a boy the missionaries were warning that some day the Northern Chinese, these invaders from the North against which they had once built the Chinese Wall, would someday take over.—And that's what happened under the Communists, under Mao. They were largely Northern Chinese warlords & bandit kings & whatnot that he managed to get together or force in or out—either they had to get in or get out—& then he brought his hordes from the North & conquered Southern China.
8. DR. SUN YAT-SEN WAS FROM CANTON, & HIS REVOLUTION WHICH OVERTHREW THE LAST CHINESE DYNASTY OF EMPERORS, THE CHING DYNASTY, OCCURRED WITHIN MY LIFETIME! The first one was 1911 & the last one was 1927. He was the one who founded Kuomintang, which was the Nationalist Party, & it's my vague recollection he was either a Christian missionary or Christian head of a university. Canton was the center of revolution in those days & that's where he began his revolution against the Ching Dynasty, the last Emperor of Southern China, & that's where Mao began his revolution, Mao Tse-tung with Chou En-lai. The only way I ever remember their names is Mousy-Dung & Chew-&-Lie!—Ha! I think they taught there as late as the 30's & 40's, the Depression years.
9. IN WORLD WAR 2 THE U.S. WAS HELPING CHIANG KAI-SHEK TO TRY TO KEEP THE COMMUNISTS FROM TAKING OVER CHINA, but General Marshall, who instituted the Marshall Plan, reported to President Roosevelt that China was indefensible & the U.S. could not possibly defend China against the Chinese Communists of both Mao & Russia at that time, that they had better just let it go & let Chiang Kai-shek do the best he could, at least help him flee to Taiwan & make him satisfied with keeping Taiwan & that's it. So they made some kind of a chicken-out at that time & I can remember reading that Chiang Kai-shek was furious about it! He said his American allies had let him down & deserted him, which is what they're still saying now.—Which is what they have done! But at least the U.S. is still supporting Taiwan undercover & it's probably only U.S. protection that doesn't let China grab it right now.
10. SO THERE WAS A LOT OF CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND IN CHINA FROM CHRISTIANS IN CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITIES, MISSIONS & SCHOOLS, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN AFRICA. Most of those African dictators & Communists who took over, like that monster Mugabe, were all trained in mission schools & were mission school teachers there who went into Communism, because so many of the big denominational churches became so Leftist & so Communistic & so dominated by Communism‚ like the World Council of Churches, or as it used to be called‚ the Federal Council of Churches. They changed their name because it stunk so as being pro–Communist, & now it's the World Council of Churches & they still stink! They're still pro-Communist, financing Communist revolutions here & there, buying guns & everything, especially in Africa.
11. SO THOSE KINDS OF UNBELIEVING, SO–CALLED LIBERAL, MODERNISTIC CHURCHES—THE BIGGEST DENOMINATIONS‚ PROTESTANTS, PRESBYTERIANS, EPISCOPALIANS—ALL HAD BIG MISSION STATIONS & EFFORTS IN CHINA‚ huge schools, hospitals & everything‚ & China was pretty well evangelised at that time, almost like Africa. Africa was virtually Christian at one time, saturated with the Gospel & with missionaries, mission stations, mission schools & hospitals, all under Christian governments. But their present Communist leaders & pro-Communist leaders were trained in those very schools, because those very denominations became pro-Communist & pink & "fellow travellers" as they used to call them.
12. SO THOSE GUYS WERE INDOCTRINATED WITH COMMUNISM BY COMMUNISTIC PROFESSORS IN THOSE DENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS‚ & that's where Mao & Chou En-lai both had their origin, in such schools in Canton. But finally the Kuomintang led by Sun Yat-sen & Chiang Kai-shek, his successor, crushed the Communist Revolution in Canton & about 5,000 Communists led by Mao & Chou En-lai were massacred & slaughtered in the civil war there where they crushed their rebellion. He had taught in this university there & had gathered hundreds, in fact thousands by that time & was leading thousands, including the peasants, in the Peasant Revolt which was back in the late 40's, because Chiang Kai-shek was driven out of China completely in 1949.
13. ANYHOW, MAO & CHOU HAD TO FLEE CANTON & FLED TO THE NORTH WHERE THE COMMUNISTS WERE STRONG & where they had Russia right beside'm & behind'm to supply'm & arm'm & send help. So they went first in the so–called Long March in which he led the Communists from Southern China‚ all those people who had been with him down there. They had to have a Great Trek to the North & live in caves up there until they had sufficient forces that were able to start coming down invading the South again, & they drove the Kuomintang forces further & further South until they drove'm right off the South coast into Taiwan!
14. BUT BOTH OF THOSE REVOLUTIONS, BOTH THE KUOMINTANG & THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION, BEGAN IN CANTON. As I've often said, revolutions are not led by the poor nor by the peasants or the peons‚ they're just the cannon fodder. They are led, just as they were in Russia & have always been everywhere & were in the U.S.‚ by intelligent, well-educated, middle-class intelligentsia, especially their youth‚ who are fed up with their parents' system & want change. So they turn radical‚ fanatical & revolutionary & they're the ones who then inspire the masses of the poor & labourers & peons to revolt, but they lead'm. Just like Sun Yat–sen was highly educated, I think even a College President. I can remember seeing a statue of him in Chinatown in San Francisco when I was a little boy. As I recall, my Mother said, "Oh, he's a great Christian of China who is leading the Chinese against this whole heathen government." How Christian it was I don't remember.
15. SO THAT'S A LITTLE BACKGROUND OF HOW IMPORTANT CANTON IS‚ Canton, of course, being the first major Chinese port that was open to the British & the French & the Portuguese etc. long before there was even a Hong Kong. Canton was the first major port & Canton had been having intercourse & trade with foreign nations before that for centuries, clear back to the days of Marco Polo, which was in the 1200's.
16. SO CHINA WAS BECOMING FAMILIAR WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD & HAVING INTERCOURSE WITH THE WEST FOR 600 YEARS BEFORE JAPAN! Japan has only recently been Westernised, & considering that China had a 600-year headstart on them, it's amazing how rapidly the Japanese have progressed. They have that drive & aggressiveness & intelligence! Of course, Japan was originally just a penal colony for China where they sent all their criminals & political prisoners, in other words, the smart minds that had enough drive to try to rebel against the System. They put'm over there, & look what they did with Japan! They got so strong & so smart they even licked China in a war back in 1895 & have survived ever since.
17. DURING THE DAYS OF THE JAPANESE INVASION THEY TOOK OVER A LOT OF CHINA, at least down to the islands & in Southeast Asia. How much of China they took over, I don't know. Of course, the Japanese took over Korea, & Manchuria which is above Korea. In the days of WW II when the Japanese were winning everything they took a lot of the North, I think they even had Beijing & Shanghai. The Japanese came clear down the Peninsula & took Singapore from the rear & nearly all of Southeast Asia & all the islands of the Pacific & everything. Talk about drive, & smart! The Japanese were on their way to taking over the World if the U.S. hadn't stopped them, & I'm not so sure that the World wouldn't have been better off if they had!
18. ANYHOW, THE JAPANESE WERE CENTURIES BEHIND CHINA IN YOU MIGHT SAY WESTERN CIVILISATION & CHRISTIAN PENETRATION. In the early days the Catholics were penetrating China & apparently even Japan, but that was so long ago it all got wiped out by the Japanese. Well, they got wiped out off & on by the Chinese too, but the Christians survived a lot better in China apparently, & in recent days, in the past generation, the past century, China was finally really wide open to the European countries & their spheres of influence & their enclaves, followed by the missionaries. They swept China with the Gospel & had a great harvest & tremendous institutions established there—schools, hospitals, churches & missions, so that China has really in the past had the Gospel. But that was that generation & those generations, & as so often happens, churchianity doesn't seem to last very long, it doesn't seem to capture their youth very well.
19. BUT CHINA HAS HAD THAT CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND & CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE, & the South of China, Canton, was the center of the beginning of it all, the major port city & the major point of penetration by the European traders & countries & governments & missionaries‚ & it spread out from there. But the missionaries would talk about how they were always afraid that the Northerners who really didn't get evangelised much, if any, would some time sweep down & take over Southern China & maybe wipe out Christianity, & that's just about what happened under Mao.
20. BUT TODAY SOUTH CHINA IS STILL THE PART OF CHINA WHICH WAS THE MOST CHRISTIAN, the most evangelised‚ the most missionaried & the most Europeanised‚ & they still don't like the Northerners. They still resent being told what to do by Beijing. If you'll look at a map of China you can see why Peking, now Beijing, is the capital of the present government of what amounts to Northern China, it's way up in the North where they thought they were safe to have their capital in the center of their own territory. What the situation in China amounts to is these Northerners, call them what you will, Communists or whatever—if it hadn't been Communism it would have been something else—simply took over China. Southern China was rich & weak & corrupt‚ & like most corrupt civilisations, it fell. But they've had the greatest contact with the outside World.
21. NEARLY ALL OF THE IMMIGRANTS FROM CHINA TO THE WESTERN WORLD‚ PARTICULARLY IN THE UNITED STATES, CAME FROM CANTON & WERE CANTONESE & SPOKE CANTONESE. That's why my Grandmother learned Cantonese. They weren't all just from the city of Canton, but from that Southern area of China where in those provinces they still speak Cantonese. Virtually all of the Chinese food with which the Western World is familiar is Cantonese food! All that Chinese food you eat in Chinese restaurants‚ they're Cantonese restaurants run by Cantonese which serve Cantonese food & speak in Cantonese.
22. OF COURSE IT'S ONLY 100 MILES FROM HONG KONG, & that gives you a little idea of why Canton is like it is, so much more influenced by the West & Western civilisation, Western trade & missionaries & all the rest. I've been learning a little bit about it lately, but some of those things I learned years ago. Some of those things I learned from my Mother‚ that she learned from her Mother & Father, my Grandmother & Grandfather who had been to China on a couple of World tours. My Grandmother was just about to take her third World tour to China again when she died.
23. OUR PEOPLE VISITING CHINA ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL & only visit those they think are pretty interested, not necessarily anybody & everybody. They'll have to be led of the Lord, that's all. Search out His sheep. They may be the children of the older Christian generation whose parents or grandparents are praying for'm. Thank God our Chinese Radio Program covers this Cantonese part of Southern China which was formerly Christian & we've had a good response there. Please pray for China!—And give or go if you can or are qualified. Just be prayerful & counsel with others who know the ropes & the region!—GBY‚ in Jesus' name, amen.