This last election season the spin masters discovered a word that resonated with the hearts of the American people – “Change”.
In fact, it seemed that both major party candidates were in an all out battle to prove that they were the “changiest” candidate of them all.
Being sold on the idea of change isn’t anything new.
“The New Deal”, “The Great Society”, “The Reagan Revolution” and the “Contact With America” were all variations on this same theme.
But although these initiatives promised much, when the sound and fury passed and the dust settled we ended up in much the same state as we were in before.
As the Who so eloquently put it,
“Here comes the new boss. Same as the old boss.”
Looking for a political solution to the world’s problems inevitably ends up in disappointment.
As the great Russian writer Alexsander Solzhenitzen observed,
“You have changed nothing until you have changed the hearts of men.”
Governments can never change the hearts of men, but have you ever stopped to consider that the hearts of men can change governments?
Consider this shocking dispatch that moved on the web today.
Beijing in talks to reconcile church and state
A SECRET meeting between Chinese officials and leaders of the banned underground Protestant Church has marked the first significant step towards reconciliation in decades.
The discussions, which were held in an office in Beijing, were the first time members of the communist Government and followers of the outlawed “house churches” had sat down as negotiators rather than foes.
The timing was significant: this year is the 60th anniversary of communist power, and the Government is keen to ensure there are no disturbances to mar its celebrations.
The Year of the Ox began yesterday, and Beijing is anxious to usher in 12 months of stability, despite economic difficulties.
For three decades, China has allowed approved churches to operate within strict limits. Protestants are supposed to worship under the aegis of the official religious body, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement – standing for self-governing, self-teaching and self-supporting.
Catholics can worship in churches run by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
Other Christian organisations are illegal.
In recent years the number of Christians has soared. Some officials privately estimate the total at up to 130million – outstripping the 74million members of the Communist Party. Many are Protestants and are affiliated with unofficial house churches.
Church leaders believe this is one reason why the State Council Development Research Centre – an official party think tank – called the two breakthrough meetings late last year. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24965831-2703,00.html
The story of the underground church in China is a fascinating one.
When Mao came to power in 1948 he immediately moved to eliminate Christian dominated towns and villages.
The thinking was that if these believers were scattered from each other they would soon lose their faith and identify with the Communist government.
Ironically, these scattered believers did the opposite. They began sharing their faith in their new surroundings. The explosion of conversions to Christianity in China soon followed.
When it is all said and done, Chairman Mao’s Communist party may go down as one of the most effective missionary sending organizations of all time.
And a movement that started in the hearts of people touched by the Spirit of God, is now shaking up the establishment in the halls of power in Beijing.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “If God calls you to preach, do not stoop along the way to become a king.”
It is one thing to identify what’s wrong with the world. It’s quite another to change it.
The only way this world will change is if the individual worlds of people are changed – one heart at a time.
The secret to realizing the change we all long for?
Sharing, one heart at a time this timeless truth –
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)
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