It’s not disputed that the growth of the church in China has been explosive… but how do we know that the cause for this is the oft-assumed environment of persecution, and not significantly due to the decentralized underground structure of the church in China?
If the church in the west voluntarily decentralized and went ‘underground,’ what would happen?
Just wondering aloud, that’s all.
I think you are right that people often over simplify a rather complex dynamic. I truth, persecution does not so much increase the size of the church, but rather reduces the number of people half committed. Imagine a church with 90%, hardcore participation in the face of suffering and death?
I think that faith, confidence, motive, etc. all benifit when the enemy has you by the collar. if our western world church was to go underground, we would be justly regarded as fools. As it stands, the western world is tolerant, obiviously far too much. while i think it goes without question that our faith will one day be world-wide regarded as hatred and the ever unspeakable “intolerant”, we are, currently, widley accepted. this i think is the cause for the weak and fake church families we have here in the west. but we will all be “made pure as silver” one way or another.