John MacArthur, Donald Trump & Calvinism cause abuse problems in China, scholar claims

Donald Trump, Calvinism, complementarianism a threat to deculturalize China, says new book.

Talking points sound eerily like Beth Moore’s attack on complementarianism.

Anti-US, anti-Christian rhetoric based in Critical Theory presents geopolitical problems for US.

An article published by Baptist News Global shows how concepts like Critical Theory and racial identity politics are a geopolitical risk to America. An interview with Mary Li Ma on her newest book attacks Evangelical Christians who voted for Donald Trump and pastors like John MacArthur for spreading complementarianism and Calvinism in China. The scholar says, the spread of Evangelical Christianity in China came with “the danger of deculturalization for the indigenous community,” and urged working against colonialism.

“We need to continue preaching against colonialism, and decolonization is a perpetual mandate,” Li Ma told Baptist News Global.

America has a long history of trying to infiltrate China with Christianity, the scholar said.

Also, the rise of a New Calvinism in America spread to China via popular sermons by John MacArthur, John Piper and Tim Keller among others. These sermons taught “complementarianism” in China. Li Ma said, “It was about this time when a complementarian theology, with these Reformed brands from America as you mentioned, were imported to China.

The scholar blames American evangelical Christianity for spreading patriarchal ideas in China. According to the interview, “About gender roles, it was not until a decade later in the 2000s when a patriarchal belief was gradually institutionalized, partly through the translation of some conservative preachers’ books and the implantation of some brands of ministry. But even in the 1990s, South Korean missionaries and some traditional sects of Chinese Christianity also perpetuated the understanding of conservative gender roles in Christian families.”

So, what explains the widespread practice of aborting female babies under China’s One-Child Policy? As NRP reported, the policy resulted in 30 million bachelors in China. Was that gender oppression caused by the US and Evangelicals or Chinese cultural practices?

But, it is American Evangelicalism in general and Calvinism specifically that led to abuses, according to the scholar.

According to Li Ma, “Many of China’s churches were founded by women, but when this conservative Reformed theology entered and spread, there was a trend to not only exclude women from leadership, but teaching spiritual submission of women to men in all areas of life. This inevitably created lots of tragedies from women preachers being deposed and publicly humiliated, pregnant female staff being fired, to single women and single mothers being sexually preyed upon by abusive male leaders in the church.”

Does this sound eerily similar to Beth Moore’s recent comments about complementarianism? Moore recently insinuated the doctrine was used misused in an oppressive manner for control purposes. She dated her awakening to 2016. What happened in 2016? Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Evangelicalism and the Chinese Communist Party

Oh, and what good takedown of Evangelicalism would be complete without the Donald Trump and misinformation trope?

Li Ma said, “There was a more fervent pro-Trump wave among evangelicals and pastors in China in 2020, mainly because of disinformation on Chinese social media. So despite Trump’s explicit anti-Chinese racism, evangelical leaders in China and America formed a kind of coalition — they think Trump is right in bashing China’s regime, a major obstacle to the realization of their ‘Chinese Christian civilization’ dream.”

Also, note how the scholar defends persecution of Christians under China’s “public security concern” rhetoric.

She said in the interview, “My 2019 book documents how a church community in China not only reformed its structure in terms of gender roles but also heavily relied on a Republican, anti-communist and Christian civilization-themed vision of government. Like some evangelicals in America, they liked to hold public worship meetings in front of police stations, and when taken away for public security concerns, they claim to have been persecuted.”

So, the Christians are to blame for their arrests, according to this scholar.

I didn’t realize victim blaming was acceptable. Perhaps, you can victim blame only conservative Christians?

But, as we’ve noted before, identity politics and Critical Theory present geopolitical challenges for the US.

With scholars blaming Christians for their own persecution in China and media outlets joining in the anti-Calvinism, anti-complementarianism rhetoric, the Chinese Communist Party is only strengthened in its domestic repression and geopolitical competition with the US.

However, helping a revanchist China is only one element of this. The promotion within the Church of anti-missionary rhetoric and linking missionary work to “colonialism” will undermine efforts to spread the Gospel.

How can the Church fulfill the Great Commission if there are no preachers to preach?

As Paul said in Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

If the Church embraces the teachings of Critical Theory, it will hamper spreading the Gospel. Understanding this should make all Christians reject Critical Race Theory and other “analytical tools” as dangerous tools that divide and never unite.