Guest post: Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain

By Jinghong Cai
Edited by China Aid Association

"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; 

for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." 
(Exodus 20:7)

I just read an ABC-13 report that nine Chinese nationals, together with others from different countries, illegally crossed the Texas-Mexican border into the United States. Immigration authorities found that these Chinese brought with them a “Christian checklist” to help them seek asylum in the U.S. On the checklist, there were answers to questions such as, “Where was Jesus born, where did he grow up,” “Jesus had how many apostles … what are their names,” and “When is Christmas.” It is simply outrageous.

As a Chinese national myself, a law-abiding citizen, and a Christian, I feel it is my responsibility and duty to stand for truth and justice. Are Christians persecuted in China? Yes, without a doubt. But fake Christians using alleged persecution to game the system and exploit the unparalleled generosity of the American people, are not only breaking the law but also giving a bad name to true Christians in China and everywhere else.

Becoming a Christian does not happen overnight. Rome was not built in one day, and there is no shortcut to becoming a Christian. From seed to harvest, we need soil, water and a lot of hard work. On Christmas Day 1985, my first American teacher secretly took us to an ‘underground’ church in Beijing. I strongly felt God’s calling that day, but it took me almost 27 years to be baptized and vow to serve the Lord Jesus.

Because of repression in China, people hide their faith: no Bible study, no Sunday school, no congregation. The seed of my faith grew very slowly. When my faith was crushed and almost gone, God miraculously created a chance for me to come to the United States. In this “promised land,” many Christian brothers and sisters prayed with me, offered me Bible studies and took me to church to worship together. They not only helped me to grow in my spiritual life, but also, with God’s mercy and grace, I gradually conquered my fear, openly confessed my sins, and now can tell people about my personal experiences as a woman and a Christian in China.

On August 7, 2014, China Daily, the American edition of the Chinese government-run newspaper, cited a statement by Wang Zuoan, Director of Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA): “The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China’s national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.”

A “Christian theology” that “adapts” to a nation’s condition and culture is neither Christian nor theology, but a heretical government device designed to kill two birds with one stone: increase religious persecution against true Christians while deceiving the international community about that very persecution.

Again, persecution against Christians in China is a sad reality that has been extensively documented and denounced by international organizations such as the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, independent organizations such as China Aid, just to mention one, and the American government. It also is a sad truth that some Chinese, in their desperation to escape the Communist regime, are willing to do anything, including faking Christian faith, to seek asylum in the United States and other countries.

But the end never justifies the means. As a Christian, I am committed to “do right, seek justice and defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17) As a Chinese national, I sympathize with the plight of my fellow countrymen under the Communist regime, but the United States is a nation of laws, and trying to sneak into the country breaking the law, deprives asylum seekers of moral standing.

Most importantly, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)

Jinghong Cai is a PhD Candidate in the field of Education at a university in the U.S. and a guest contributor at China Aid. You may follow her on Twitter at @jhcai613 or visit her blog at

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