World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Wang Ming-Dao

Wang Mingdao
Wang Mingdao at the Christian Tabernacle in Beijing, c. 1950
Born July 25, 1900 (1900-07-25)
Beijing, China
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.
Shanghai, China

Wang[1] Mingdao[2] (Chinese: 王明道; pinyin: Wàng Míngdào; Wade–Giles: Wang4 Ming2-Tao4) (July 25, 1900 – July 28, 1991) was an independent Chinese Protestant pastor and evangelist imprisoned for his faith by the Chinese government from 1955 until 1980. He has been called the "Dean of the House Churches."[3]

Contents

  • Biography 1
    • Childhood and conversion 1.1
    • Pastor 1.2
    • Conflict with the Japanese and the Communists 1.3
    • Final days 1.4
    • Marriage and personal characteristics 1.5
  • Religious teachings 2
  • Bibliography in English 3
  • References 4

Biography

Childhood and conversion

Wang was born in the foreign legation quarter of Beijing in 1900 while it was under siege of the Boxers.[4] His early life was one of extreme poverty and repeated illness; but he had an inquiring mind and did well at a London Missionary Society school. He later said his poverty had been something of a spiritual advantage because there were many sins that took money to commit.[5] At first Wang hoped to become a great political leader, and he put a picture of Abraham Lincoln on his wall to remind himself of his goal.[6]

Converted to Christianity 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Pastor

In 1923, after a good deal of personal Bible study but no formal theological training,[10] Wang moved towards a more mature understanding of the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith.[11] In February 1925, he began holding religious meetings in his home in Peking, meetings which eventuated in the founding of the Christian Tabernacle, a church which by 1937 had its own building seating several hundred, and which was one of the largest evangelical churches in China during the 1940s.[12] Wang also had an itinerant ministry throughout China, visiting twenty-four of the twenty-eight provinces and taking the pulpit in churches of thirty different denominations.[13] Wang was often absent from his own church for six months of the year. In 1926, Wang began publishing a religious newspaper, Spiritual Food Quarterly.[14]

Conflict with the Japanese and the Communists

Wang believed both that church and state should be separate and that Christians should not be "yoked together with unbelievers."[15] When the Japanese occupied Peking during

  1. ^ Arthur Reynolds, who translated and edited Wang's autobiography, translated Wang's family name as "Wong." A Stone Made Smooth, "Publishers' Preface."
  2. ^ Wang's personal name was "Yong-shung" until 1920, when he "unconditionally submitted to God" and formally changed his name to "Mingdao," which means approximately "Testify to the Way." A Stone Made Smooth, 49.
  3. ^ Thomas Alan Harvey, Acquainted with Grief: Wang Mingdao's Stand for the Persecuted Church in China (Grand Rapids: Brazos Books, 2002), 7.
  4. ^ Lian Xi, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 111. His father was so terrified of being tortured by the Boxers that he strangled himself a month before his son was born. A Stone Made Smooth, 2.
  5. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 7-20, 27.
  6. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 31-32.
  7. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 20-21, 48-49.
  8. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 42-64.
  9. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 66-67.
  10. ^ "I have never studied at a theological college, but I have been taught in the theological college set up by God. I have not yet graduated." Stone Made Smooth, 106.
  11. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 71-73, 81-82. Wang also credited the teaching of an elderly Norwegian, one Eric Pilquist (who wore "extremely untidy clothes"), with pointing him away from salvation through obedience to the law.
  12. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity
  13. ^ Xi, Redeemed by Fire, 116.
  14. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 144-52. Wang was gratified that the publication could continue for twenty years without a subsidy from foreign missionaries and that, except for the original capital, he neither put money into it or took money out of it.
  15. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 216; Stephen Wang, 89.
  16. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 215-38.
  17. ^ a b Li, Yading (Spring 2008). "No Compromise". Christian History & Biography (98): 21. 
  18. ^ Stephen Wang, The Long Road to Freedom (Kent, England: Sovereign World, 2002), 10.
  19. ^ Stephen Wang, 19-28.
  20. ^ Xi, Redeemed by Fire, 200-01.
  21. ^ Stephen Wang, 122, 126, 142, 147, 171; Harvey, 98-99. Among other things, Wang was forced to confess that he had made personal attacks on Wu Yiaozong, the founder of the Three-Self movement under the direction of the Communist government, by calling Wu a modernist, an unbeliever, and a false prophet. (122)
  22. ^ "But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, 'Let those men go.' And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, 'The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.' But Paul said to them, 'They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.' The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city." English Standard Version
  23. ^ Stephen Wang, 205-210. Wang's wife had been released in 1977.
  24. ^ Stephen Wang, 214-19. American evangelist Billy Graham visited Wang in 1988, having been invited to China by the Three-Self Church. Graham's connection with the Church made him unwelcome to Wang, but Graham came anyway.(228) Billy Graham, Just As I Am (New York: HarperCollins, 1997), 613-14: "I asked if he had a word from the Lord for us. He was silent for some time. 'Be faithful, even to the point of death,' he finally said, 'and I will give you the crown of life.'"
  25. ^ Stephen Wang, 238-39. Wang's wife died in 1992, and their ashes were buried near Taihu Lake (244).
  26. ^ Xi, 221.
  27. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 156-67. "Someone inquired whether our marriage was new style or old style. I could only reply, 'Neither new nor old; both new and old; half new half old.'" (167)
  28. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 189-202.
  29. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 197, 194.
  30. ^ Lian Xi, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 117-121.
  31. ^ Stone Made Smooth, 130-31.
  32. ^ a b Stone Made Smooth, 135.
  33. ^ Xi, 113, 117.
  34. ^ Xi, 115; Stone Made Smooth, 64-65: "Mr. Ju had taught us simply to cry 'Hallelujah' and to repeat those syllables in succession without stopping. Thus it seemed to be the manufacture of tongues by a man. Naturally we did not regard Mr. Ju, who was a sincere and devout man, as having deceived us. Rather he was deceived himself, and through his own lack of commonsense it was he himself who suffered loss."
  35. ^ Xi, 117.

References

  • Harvey, Thomas Alan (2002), Acquainted With Grief: Wang Mingdao's Stand for the Persecuted Church of China. Grand Rapids, Brazos Press. ISBN 1-58743-039-8.
  • Reynolds, Arthur, tr. (1988), Strength for the Storm, Singapore, OMF, ISBN 9971-972-62-X
  • Wong, Ming-Dao (1981), A Stone Made Smooth, Southampton, Mayflower Christian Books, ISBN 0-907821-00-6
  • Wang, Ming-dao (1983), A Call to the Church, Fort Washington, CLC, ISBN 0-87508-094-4
  • Wong, Ming-Dao (1983), Spiritual Food, Southampton, Mayflower Christian Books, ISBN 0-907821-01-4
  • Wong, Ming-Dao (1989), Day by Day, Crowborough, Highland Books, ISBN 0-946616-43-4
  • Wong, Ming-Dao (1990), The Spiritual Gifts Movement, Southampton, Mayflower Christian Books
  • Wang Ming Tao tr. Ding (1993), God's Grace in Suffering, Hong Kong, Living Books for All (CLC), ISBN 962-7329-04-5
  • Wang, Stephen (2002), The Long Road to Freedom: The Story of Wang Mingdao, translated by Ma Ming, Lancaster, UK: Sovereign World.

Bibliography in English

Wang never took the title "pastor," he permitted no choir, and his church had no liturgy.[35] He rarely allowed anyone but his immediate fellow workers to preach from his pulpit, fearing that other preachers might harbor heretical ideas or be living lives "full of deceit, covetousness, lewdness, envy, pride and selfishness."[32]

Wang founded the Christian Church in Christ (CCiC), which emphasized "the practical aspects of the Christian life." Wang believed that the greatest responsibility of church leaders was to help Christians "tread the path of holiness."[31] He often refused baptism to converts until they had proved that their Christianity was more than a "profession of their lips."[32] An obsessively orderly man, Wang's advice included admonitions against spitting, flirting, brawling, and chewing on raw garlic. Conversely, he advised Christians to be timely, wear proper attire, and observe traffic rules.[33] Although the Pentecostal preacher who had immersed Wang tried to have him speak in tongues, Wang balked at making repetitive nonsense sounds, and he was repelled by the "indecorous behavior of some Pentecostals who 'danced, clapped, and shouted wildly' during revival meetings."[34]

Wang Mingdao believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, the depravity of man, and justification by faith. He criticized shortcomings of both Chinese and missionary churches, emphasizing that Christians should live holy lives. Wang likened himself to the prophet Jeremiah who had attacked social corruption and false prophets, and Wang especially opposed purveyors of liberal theology such as Western missionaries and the YMCA, which he said had destroyed the faith of young people.[30]

Religious teachings

In 1928, Wang (through what might be called semi-arrangement) married Liu Jingwen, the much younger daughter of a Protestant pastor in [28] Wang recalled that after twenty years of instruction from his wife, he had made "a measure of progress," but he also warned readers of his autobiography that Jingwen "should not necessarily be taken as a model in this respect.".[29]

Marriage and personal characteristics

Between 1987 and 1989, Wang's physical and mental abilities noticeably declined. In July 1991, Wang was diagnosed with blood clots on his brain, and he died on July 28.[25] As one authority has noted, despite Wang's old age and declining influence, he had "remained an unrivaled symbol of uncompromising faith until his death."[26]

After Wang's release he received numerous visitors to his tiny apartment in Shanghai, including foreigners from Europe, North America, and Asia. The sheer volume of visitors made Chinese security officers nervous, especially since Wang made frank statements about his past treatment by the government. Wang remained unapologetic, and when a member of the Three-Self Church sent him a donation, Wang sent it back.[24]

Final days

In August 1955, Wang was arrested for refusing to join the St. Paul in Acts 16: 35-40)[22] to leave until his name had been cleared. In 1980 the prison tricked Wang into leaving, in Wang's words "not released but...forced out by deception."[17][23]

When the Communists gained control of China, Wang believed that the new government might indeed allow the religious freedom it had promised.[18] Nevertheless, when the Korean War broke out, the government pressured churches that had been started by Western missionaries to unite in denouncing Western imperialism. Wang was pressured but refused on the grounds that his church had never had any connection with missionaries.[19]

[17][16]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.