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MEET WANG MING-DAO, THE FAMOUS CHINESE PREACHER WHO TRIES TO RESIST THE CHINESE COMMUNIST POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS REFORMS AND WHAT HE PREACHED BEFORE HIS ARREST.









Many cultures believe that our names affect our character. That seemed true in Wang Ming-Dao's case. He was born in 1900, during the Boxer uprising in China. This uprising was a revolt against foreign influences that were destroying ancient Chinese culture. The Wangs were in deadly danger, because they had associated with Christian missionaries. Terrified, Wang's father killed himself shortly before his son was born. Mrs. Wang named her new boy "Iron" which, because of his strong personality, soon became Tie-zi, "Iron son."
Mrs. Wang hated to cook and was quarrelsome, so Wang grew up with many fights and little food. After a wicked childhood, he became a Christian at the age of fourteen. Deep spiritual struggles followed until he understood that Christ demanded complete obedience. Then he gave up his dream to become a politician. He changed his name to Ming-Dao which means "understanding the word." He even gave up a secure position at a Christian school when he insisted on being baptized again as an adult believer. He and five friends broke ice at a creek in January and plunged themselves in the frigid water in obedience to their consciences.
At fourteen, Wang came to believe "that all kinds of sinful practices in society had their exact counterparts in the church." He decided that the church "needed a revolution" and that God had entrusted to him the mission of bringing it about. In 1919 Wang became a teacher at a Presbyterian mission school in Baoding, a hundred miles south of the capital, but was dismissed in 1920 when he insisted on being baptized by immersion. His mother and sister thought his behavior so peculiar that they believed him mentally ill, and Wang himself later admitted that the "persecution" he had received from others was in part the result of his own immaturity.

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After years in which God trained him, Wang was asked to preach. His messages stressed holy living. He also wrote a newsletter called Spiritual Food Quarterly. So many people came to hear him that he needed a bigger place to speak. Chinese Christians raised funds. The tabernacle that they built in 1937 was simple, without even a cross. No one was baptized without first showing real fruits of salvation. "Better a few good things than many bad ones," said the Christians.
After World War II, the Communists gained power. They arrested Christian leaders who refused to go along with them. Many Christian leaders buckled and criticized Ming-Dao, making ugly charges against him. He replied, "The one who faithfully preaches the Word of God cannot but expect to meet opposition in the form of malicious slander and abuse from some leaders in the church and from 'Christians' who are spiritually dead." 

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In 1942, the North China Christian Federation Promotion Committee was established by the Japanese, and Wang was pressured to lead his congregation to join or “subsequently encounter difficulties.” Wang believed many false Christians had already joined the organization, and he refused to be yoked to it. Amid growing pressure to capitulate, he preached on the suffering, faithfulness, and protection that Daniel and his friends faced in Babylon. He continued to stand against the ongoing pressure from Japanese authorities and other Chinese Christians.
In 1954 the Communists brought accusations against him. Ming-Dao sat calmly, eyes fixed on the ceiling, refusing to answer a word. Many in the court wept. The Communists could not get a verdict against him.
Later, the rise of communism in China brought with it the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, a state-sanctioned, interdenominational Protestant body that sought to tie Chinese Christians to Chinese nationalism through removal of Western influences. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement actively pursued political reform in the religious sphere through publications and accusation meetings. Wang was strongly convinced of regenerate church membership, and he refused to meet with unbelievers in an ecclesiastical setting.
He went home, knowing he would be arrested. While he waited, he wrote articles showing that the "Imperialist poison" of missionaries was for the most part the truth of the Bible. "...we are ready to pay any price to preserve the Word of God...Don't give way, don't compromise!"
He preached his last sermon at the tabernacle on this day, August 7, 1954, taking as his scripture, "The Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners." Afterward, he handed out copies of his spiritual manifesto. Around midnight, the police came. Tied with ropes, Ming-Dao, his wife and eighteen young Christians were taken to prison.
Mrs. Wang was released in 1973 and Ming-Dao in 1980. By then he was old, toothless and deaf.


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