The Heavenly Man
Still a Target for Persecution
Many people have asked us for an update on Brother Yun and his family. We continue to be amazed at the spiritual impact his book and ministry has on people all around the world. Numerous emails and letters continue to come in about how God touched their lives through his testimony, resulting in a deeper level of surrender to the purposes of Christ.
Anyone who has read Yuns story will know that persecution has been a close companion to Brother Yun since he first met Jesus as a 16-year-old boy. Over the years Yun learned the reality of carrying his cross in China. After he departed for the West in 1997, he found that persecution continued in his life, just in a different form. Instead of physical beatings and imprisonment, he found insidious attacks came to him in the form of slander, gossip and verbal attacks. Just a few of these were outlined in chapter 26 of his book, entitled, A New Kind of Persecution.
In recent months the level of attack and accusation against Brother Yun has reached new levels of intensity. Letters and emails are coming in frequently, asking for clarification or a response after people have heard doubts raised about the integrity of Brother Yun, and subsequently about the Back to Jerusalem vision.
We have been very hesitant to comment on these accusations, as we believe any kind of public debate on such matters does nothing to advance the kingdom of God. While Brother Yun has no personal interest in defending his own reputation, concerned friends all around the world feel that the time has come for us to answer the accusations leveled against Yun in recent months. The Biblical instruction, Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil (Romans 14:16) has prompted us to write this article.
At centre-stage has been a 5-page article released a few months ago by a prominent house church leader in China. It is entitled, The Heavenly Man A Big Con Man of China and is a strong attack on Yuns integrity. The accusations seem to have spread around the world like wildfire via the internet. A website has even been set up, its aim apparently just to destroy Brother Yuns reputation as much as it can.
The accusations can be summarized in two main ways:
1. Brother Yun is a con man, stealing huge amounts of money from believers as he travels around the world preaching for Back to Jerusalem.
2. Parts of Brother Yuns story are false.
To begin with it needs to be noted that the writer of these accusations admits he has never met Brother Yun, but also admits he can find nothing wrong with Yuns theology. Since the article was published various Christians have visited the pastor at his church in southern China, hoping to ask him about his accusations, but he has refused to speak to them about it.
To answer these specific allegations, we have asked several men who know Brother Yun well for their reactions. Then, at the end, we also include a short statement from Brother Yun.
STATEMENT FROM GORDON HICKSON,
Co-ordinator of the Back to Jerusalem Foundation in the United Kingdom, on behalf of the entire Back to Jerusalem board:
I have been working closely with Brother Yun and Back to Jerusalem now for several years. During this time I have organized many dozens of meetings for Brother Yun throughout the United Kingdom. For those people who know Yun, and know how his meetings are organized, this accusation that he misuses finances would be totally laughable if it wasnt so serious. The truth is that Brother Yun does not handle a cent of any money that comes in from his meetings anywhere in the world. This has always been the case. He never emphasises donations at all, and has never asked a single person for anything except their prayers.
Our experience of Brother Yun in the UK, and other parts of Europe, has been nothing but exemplary. He has personally had a massive impact on the Church in the UK, both through his book and the many meetings he has held with a view to awakening the UK Church to their Missions calling and responsibility. We highly honour his integrity, humility, accountability, and financial transparency. He has no personal access to the finance generated from his meetings, which is all put at the disposal of the Back to Jerusalem vision.
The Back to Jerusalem Foundation was set up as a registered charity (number 1103565) in the United Kingdom. Accordingly, BTJ operates according to UK law. We have a board of respected Christian leaders, and are constantly seeking to network with all the major missions agencies that are involved in China. The BTJ Foundation is totally accountable and our finances are audited annually. Our books are open for inspection and anyone is welcome to see them. We are accountable to a board of trustees and all our activities and actions are conducted with integrity.
The vast majority of funds end up being used back in China to print Bibles, books, operate training centers, support evangelists and missionaries, etc. This is done through various established mission agencies that have long standing relationships with the house churches of China. So far more than 30 different mission organizations, representing a wide variety of denominations and churches, have attended our Back to Jerusalem forums.
There is another Back to Jerusalem forum coming up in the UK on Monday, November 29. A time has been set aside for Brother Yun to personally answer any questions anyone has about his testimony or ministry. If you are interested in attending, or if you have any questions, please dont hesitate to contact me:
STATEMENT FROM PASTOR WALDEMAR SARDACZUK,
Honourable President of Aktionskommitee fur Verfolgte Christen (AVC) Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France
Brother Yun and his family have been living with us in Nidda, Germany for many years. Weve got to know him and his wife very well. They are members of our church and are a great testimony in their walk with God. I met brother Yun in China many years ago. At that time I would have never thought it
possible to meet him in Germany. However, God brought him out so he could be a blessing to the Church around the world. As with all men of God who are used by the Lord, Brother Yun has been the object of much slander, attack and jealousy.
I can shed some light on the daily life of Brother Yun and his family. They live here in our town in very moderate conditions. They live in a comparatively small apartment, which they rent. Neither he nor any of his family members drive or own a car. They are totally focused on ministering for the Lord, and have little concern for material things. His manner of life, his conduct, and his family are in accordance with the bible. We are deeply impressed and also appreciate brother Yuns reaction to all the lies, slanders and accusations told about him.
Brother Yun has been a great blessing and he is a servant of God who has opened our eyes to the situation of the Christians in China. He has always endeavoured to help the persecuted Christians in his country without any desire for personal gain or glory.
Pastor Waldemar Sardaczuk
STATEMENT FROM PAUL HATTAWAY,
Author of The Heavenly Man and Back to Jerusalem books:
I appreciate the opportunity to be asked by Back to Jerusalem to write a few words about Brother Yun. I have read the recent attacks on Brother Yun and some of his coworkers with a measure of sadness. Parts of Yuns story, especially his 74-day fast in prison in 1984 and his miraculous escape from prison in 1997, have been declared to be lies by some.
Firstly, it should be noted that attacks and slanders of Christian leaders are nothing new. They were a feature of the lives of everyone God used greatly in the Bible, and have been a feature of countless servants of God since. Sadly, they are not new in China either. Recently, while researching for a new book, I read how the Nestorian Christians strongly attacked John of Montecorvino at Beijing in the year 1305. John had baptized 6,000 people in Beijing in the preceding years, but was called a spy, magician, and deceiver of men by the jealous Nestorians. John later commented, If not for all the slanders I should have baptized more than 30,000.
As a researcher, I often find it instructive to listen to any conflicting testimony in order to have a more accurate understanding of what is true. The trouble with the present accusations against Brother Yun and others involved with Back to Jerusalem is that it isnt testimony and it neglects positive evidence of reliable witnesses. The accusers were not part of these events they denounce as false. In fact, I soon discovered that many of Yuns accusers have never met him; others have met him briefly years ago in China.
When I was researching and writing Yuns book, I determined not to include any testimony that wasnt widely known and accepted among the Chinese believers in the area where it took place, in accordance with the Biblical principle, every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. In the case of Yuns fast and escape from prison, I spoke on separate occasions to eye-witnesses of these events. Their stories were all identical, and after weighing up the evidence, it made a lot more sense to me that I should trust the testimony of godly men and women who were eyewitnesses of the event, rather than pay much attention to critics of the story who were not there and had no real knowledge of what happened.
My family and I have come to know Brother Yun quite well over the years. We can state with absolute confidence that Yun is a godly man with a humble heart and has tremendous love and concern for everyone he meets. He always seeks the Lord on every matter and only wants to be an obedient servant of Jesus. The accusations against Brother Yuns integrity are complete nonsense. The same holds for the accusations relating to the handling of Back to Jerusalem finances.
Millions of people in the 10/40 Window are perishing without a Gospel witness. May Gods people have His glory as our focus, and the lost as our aim.
STATEMENT BY EIVIND FROEN,
Mission leader and spokesman from Norway:
I have known Brother Yun since the time he left China. We have traveled and ministered together in many different countries around the world. I have seen the tremendous impact his ministry has made, especially in Europe. People are always spiritually blessed wherever he goes. Jesus said that we could tell if a person truly follows him by their fruit. The fruit of Brother Yuns life and ministry are clearly obvious for all to see: hundreds of people introduced to Christ, thousands of Christians dedicated to following the Lord wholeheartedly, and a trail of churches all around the world that have experienced growth and blessing from the Lord after his visits.
On a personal level I have seen how Brother Yun has faced many obstacles and much opposition in his ministry, yet he has been quick to forgive. His heart is one of reconciliation and love for people. He has a real kingdom heart in that he is willing to suffer personal loss if it will benefit Gods kingdom.
Such people are rare gems in the world today, and we should pray for him.
STATEMENT FROM BROTHER YUN
Praise the Lord!
I thank all the Christians who have prayed for my family and I, and who have expressed their concern for us. The Lord has been good to us and his mercies are new every morning.
In the presence of the Lord I would like to say I hold absolutely nothing against the men of God who wrote the booklet about me, and I have completely forgiven them. In fact, the booklet did not reduce the deep respect I have in my heart towards these men.
I know that one day we will embrace before our Father in Heaven and any misunderstanding will be forgotten as we worship the Lamb of God together.
If anyone has any questions about my story, or any other enquiry, I am very willing to meet either publicly or privately and answer any questions that anybody may have.
Lets put aside all hindrances and march forward hand in hand for the sake of the kingdom of God!