A Chinese minister who suffered years of torture questions popular American Christianity By Paul Steven Ghiringhelli “We live in a totally insecure world. There really is no such thing as a secure building. There is no insurance policy that can keep death away. Everyone heads in that direction [the grave] no matter what insurance you have. We have put our trust in things instead of focusing on what’s true and real.” So says Brother Yun, a Chinese evangelist who says Jesus has been his only form of security since he accepted Christ some 30 years ago. “For me, death is irrelevant,” he says. “Everyone has to die one day.”
Yun has been imprisoned, beaten and forced to flee his country because of his evangelistic efforts. Yet he rejects bitterness and hostility toward his detractors. “I’m just looking for Jesus,” Yun says. “Where is Jesus? I fix my eyes on Jesus. And if the people don’t like me, I don’t mind that. Just let them be pleasing Jesus. Let them be happy in Jesus. I point out-don’t look at man, look at Jesus.”
Yun said if God ever gave him three minutes on American television, he would spend the first two minutes talking only about Christ. “I have not come to share anything new, actually,” he said during a trip to the U.S. last fall. “I understand that Christian and church media have their own plans … to reach this generation, and we may have different visions of how to do it. “But not necessarily everything is from the Lord. The reason for the success of Jesus was that He came to simply fulfill God’s purpose for His life. “My emphasis is stop listening to your own heart. Stop listening to your own mind. Stop listening to the news and to the people who just share their own ideas. What is Jesus saying to you?” Yun says Christians in America seem impossibly distracted. Instead of listening to the “one voice” that brings peace and joy, he says thousands of anxious Christians aimlessly follow the voices of mainstream pop religion. He believes it is a form of persecution for Western Christians. “All of these different religions [denominations] have actually become mega-prisons,” he says. “They are just capturing and keeping people in prisons. The [Christians] are not free.” Yun believes a self-serving gospel message lures people into a false security that eventually leads Christians to ignore sin in their lives, stop admitting their weakness and ultimately lose sight of their need of Jesus. He believes real freedom comes only from being bound to the cross of Christ. “For a long time we have proclaimed a very strange gospel in this nation,” Yun says. “The gospel is a very comfortable and pleasant thing for everyone. But the gospel is really to die for Jesus. “The core of my message is taking up your cross and following Jesus every day-walking out from the security of the church structures and buildings. Jesus never said it would be a wonderful and peaceful joy ride to follow Him in this world. He said, ‘In this world you will have suffering, but do not lose heart, for I have overcome the world.’ “The requirement for a disciple, according to the Bible, is very high. First of all, you have to die. Taking up your cross means you have to die to your own desires-to self-and walk behind Jesus. That’s a disciple.” Yun says the way of the cross is to humble yourself before the wisdom of God. “One time in prison I was made the shepherd of the sheep,” he says. “I was the shepherd, and there was only one way that I could get this old stupid sheep, the oldest one, to follow me. When I picked up the youngest lamb and carried and cared for it, then all the sheep followed. I didn’t need to do anything else. I was just carrying the weakest and the youngest of the sheep, and everyone followed. “Sometimes the Lord allows us to become like that weakest one. Then if we let Him carry us, it can become the direction for a whole nation. “One day America will face an impossible situation, with no diplomatic or military solution. On that day, will this nation awake?” Yun called the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an alarm clock for Christians. “We must shake from our sleep and wake up,” he says. “We have the power of the gospel. Have we done everything we can to bring the gospel to the nations that are now attacking us?” He said missionary groups have told him it’s “too dangerous” to send Christians into many areas of the world. But he says Jesus Himself sent out His disciples on suicide missions. Many American Christians forget that, he says. “I don’t understand all of these political babblings going on here with everyone mocking the U.S. government or mocking the president,” Yun said just before last November’s midterm elections. “What if all these believers of Jesus Christ would stop and look inside their own jackets and ask: ‘Is my relationship with Jesus Christ right? Am I personally fulfilling His purpose for my life?’ This nation would be changed in a day.”
Brother Yun is featured on the cover of the April 2007 edition of Charisma magazine. To read a sample chapter and to purchase Yun’s book, The Heavenly Man, Click Here.