The dangers of no pastoral authority, OR how Baptist missionaries inadvertently caused the death of 30 million Chinese

(John Trocke) #1

The largest civil war of the 19th century did not occur in the United States, but in China, and it happened right around the same time. The Taiping Rebellion is listed as the 4th deadliest war of the Modern era on Wikipedia, with the death toll ranging somewhere between 20 and 30 million. The Rebellion was led by Hong Xiuquan, who after having been converted to Christianity by Baptist missionaries, declared himself the younger brother of Christ and established a Millennial Kingdom, which he led from 1851 until his death in 1864, when he apparently ingested “manna from heaven” that God had sent the besieged citizens of the capital city (which turned out to be a poisonous weed.) Interestingly enough, Xiuquan did not allow women to preach.

Knowing how we still feel the impacts of the Civil War in the United States today, it’s no wonder Chinese authorities may be a little nervous about Christianity in China.

I wasn’t aware of this war prosecuted under the banner of Christianity until recently, so thought I’d share with you all. File it under the strange but true category!

(Lucas Weeks) #2

Thanks for sharing! That’s an incredible story.

The story of Hong Xiuquan made me think of two movements that are still going strong in the DR Congo:

  1. Kimbanguism - Started by Simon Kimbangu who also believed he had been sent by heaven to teach a kind of heretical “Christianity” that was mixed up with nationalism.
  2. Branhamism - I couldn’t find detailed statistics, but my father tells me, and the linked article confirms, that Branhamism is huge in the DR Congo. It was started by William Branham, a guy who spent much of his life in southern Indiana.

It is very sobering to think that just these three men mentioned so far in this thread led many millions astray, though they studied and knew the Bible. And that’s to say nothing of billions led astray by Muhammed.

(John M. ) #3

It’s always the postmills.

(Susan ) #4

In the Baptists’ defense, Hong’s movement began with his own visions, not conversion. He later became convinced that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ after reading a Baptist tract. The missionaries refused to baptize him. Later, some of his associates claimed to speak for members of the trinity. (Follow the Wikipedia long to Hong’s own page for more details). Hong’s religion was not Christianity with some errors. It was not Christianity at all.

(Valerie) #5

There’s another large whackadoodle Chinese cult today that’s led by a woman who claims she is the second coming. :roll_eyes:

(Josiah) #6

Where sound teaching and strong pastors are few, all sorts of error creeps in. I see this writ large in the correctional system.

(Josiah) #7

Speaking of error running rampant in correctional institutions and Branhamism… thanks, had not heard of this one until today and what do I find in my mailbox but a letter offeringfree books to prison for Branhamism. To the shred pile!

(Doug Newell) #8

This is pretty ridiculous thread. That’s like saying “The dangers of infant baptism, OR how Presbyterians inadvertently spawned Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate cult.”

(John M. ) #9

Nonbelievers causing trouble while wrapping themselves in a cloak of false Christianity is as old as the sons of Sceva.

And lousy churches are as old as Corinth.

(John Trocke) #10

The title was tongue in cheek. Sorry for any offence fellow Baptist brother!