China Notices Link Between Christianity and US
Michelle A. Vu
But while the Chinese government is open to Christianity, it also “wants to control Christianity.” Those in authority are very much aware of the Church’s role in bringing down the Berlin Wall and advancing democracy in the Soviet bloc.
“They view Christianity as a belief system that if not controlled will potentially overthrow the government,” said Jeynes during his lecture titled, “God, China & Capitalism: Is Christianity in China the Key Ingredient for Economic Success?” “But on the other [hand], they see that if you try to oppress Christians that it could lead to this explosion as it did in Eastern Europe and [they could] lose control that way.
“So they want Christianity for the benefits but they want to control it, and that is the balance they are currently trying to achieve.”
The scholar, who has multiple degrees in different
disciplines and graduated first in his class at
The Harvard scholars, Jeynes noted, were baffled and did not know how to respond.
Weber observed that Christianity produces good work ethic and subsequently economic prosperity because it instills a sense of calling and people are more determined and more passionate about their work. The German economist also contended that Christianity promotes honesty, which is necessary to build trust that is essential in economic transactions; encourages people to be their best and be concerned about their neighbors’ standard of living; and discourages materialism.
Other world religions do not promote economic prosperity like Christianity, contended Weber.
Hinduism believes Hindus are born and not made so there is a large degree of passivity in the religion, Weber observed. Also, the Hindu caste system is not conducive to instilling a work ethic where people push themselves harder with the hope that they can rise above their current situation.
In Buddhism, which shares many similarities with Hinduism, followers are taught the importance of respect and deference to the point that they support the status quo instead of change. Buddhism also defines “desire” as fundamentally wrong, whereas in Christianity there is a distinction between the desire to glorify God and love people versus selfish and evil desires.
Meanwhile, Confucianism, dominant in
And with Islam, the hierarchical value is even more emphasized than in Confucianism. Islam emphasizes compliance rather than freedom of grace that Jesus brings. Christianity’s teaching of God’s love encourages followers to help raise the living standards of others, the economist also observed.
As Weber, other scholars, and now the Chinese government observe, where Christianity is dominant there is economic prosperity.
American Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who is a political commentator, noted that 90 percent of scientific discoveries over the last 1,000 years were in nations where Christianity was dominant.
Many in the Chinese government, said Jeynes, believe that Christianity might be
“The Chinese believe that if the level of immorality that exists today, sexual immorality especially, persists, then the economic strength of the country cannot continue,” said Jeynes. “So they very quickly want to teach morality, especially to the young before their economy might indeed collapse.
“It is not that they embrace Christianity with the most pure motive,” Jeynes noted. “A lot of their motive is it is good for our country, the morality of the country, and if we want economic prosperity to continue we need to have a more invitational approach to those who are Christian.”
There are an estimated 100 million Christians in
The professor of education at
Jeynes concluded by saying that the key message he wants to
convey is that