Chinese Bibles: To Smuggle or Not to Smuggle? Part 1

You’ve heard the need. Billions in China dying in darkness.

You know the answer. The gospel of Jesus Christ.

A traveling missionary comes through your church on fire to see those billions of Chinese saved. His vision is to give them access to the gospel by sending – smuggling – Bibles into the country.

The missionary has been doing this for years – possibly decades – and boy, does he have stories. Stories of Chinese believers crying tears of joy upon receiving their first copy of God’s Word in the Chinese language. Stories of himself being caught at customs at the airport and being able to share the gospel with the border agents before being sent back to the States.

And then there’s that video the missionary shows in his presentation with Chinese believers kissing the Bible when they finally get one in their hands.

As he wraps up his presentation, he explains that your church can send X amount of Bibles to China for Y dollars. No cost seems too great to reproduce the testimonies he has relayed to you in the lives of millions of other Chinese who could be blessed in similar ways.

Not wanting to pass up such an opportunity, your church takes up an offering to ship 250 Bibles into China for the missionary to retrieve in country just a couple of weeks before Christmas. They will make perfect Christmas gifts for the believers there in China who are thirsting for the Scriptures.

As you place the order for the Bibles with the missionary, you notice that the cost of freight is actually more than the cost of the Bibles themselves. While the high cost of freight is a bit discouraging, you remind yourself that your Chinese brothers and sisters will be overjoyed to receive them and finalize your order, satisfied that you have invested in their spiritual well-being by providing them with the Word of God.

But you still have your misgivings. Is there not a better, more cost-efficient way to evangelize China? What about after these brothers receive these Bibles? Are they a part of a church that teaches them to rightly divide the Word?

Though I have only been on deputation a few short months, I have already had numerous people ask me about the access the average Chinese person has to the Bible. What I am beginning to realize is that there is a great deal of confusion among American believers as to whether or not this is an effective way of evangelizing China.

In my post for next week, I set out to dispel the confusion once and for all…

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