There is a project underway across China that should grab the attention of every Christian who takes Bible Prophecy seriously – it’s called the ‘Social Credit System’. Furthermore, it should grab the attention of anyone who values the freedom and liberty of humankind.
First announced back in 2014, this project is designed to secure the obedience and trust of the population by ranking them on a points system – in a nutshell, this acts as a mechanism of distinguishing the ‘good’ citizens from the ‘bad’ ones. Each citizen has a personal score which goes up for desirable behaviours and down for misdemeanours. Those with high scores can benefit from discounted rates for utilities, preferable interest rates from banks and other rewards, even including access to better jobs. Those with low scores have already faced sanctions such as travel restrictions, being denied access to certain hotels and even being forbidden access to higher education – further punishments in the pipeline include being shamed on a list of ‘bad’ citizens.
Examples of behaviours that will damage your social credit score include relatively minor day-to-day infractions like jaywalking, violating traffic laws or smoking in ‘non-smoking’ areas but also includes lifestyle choices such playing too many computer games and posting fake news online. Plans are underway to enforce this system by closely monitoring Chinese citizens with a staggering network of 626 million surveillance cameras which will feed information into a database! This will in turn constantly update the scores of each citizen.
In summary, China is well along the road to creating what The Economist has described as the world’s first ‘digital totalitarian state’.
A system like this gives the governing Communist Party the capacity to completely suppress and control certain groups within society at the click of a switch and Chinese Christian’s will undoubtedly be the softest targets. Worryingly, this comes at a time when other new regulations have been implemented which have led to a surge of persecution against Chinese Christians. There are even plans to alter parts of the Chinese Bible to address parts that conflict with the ideals of the communist regime.
All in all, life will get even more difficult for faithful Christians in China.
The issues raised with China’s social credit system are huge and could affect everyone on the planet. A system like this has enormous potential for misuse. Who gets to decide the definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour? Who get’s to say what ‘fake news’ is punishable? What software parameters will be written into the system to control day-to-day life such as financial liquidity? How long will it be before ‘bad’ citizens are forbidden access to essentials such as food in an effort to encourages the approved behaviours? Recent Chinese history has shown that those sharing the gospel in any form are likely to suffer the harshest penalties.
Just imagine a similar system being set up in the UK. Given the current cultural climate, scores would plummet for misdemeanours such as so-called ‘intolerance’ or refusing to endorse and promote the current social-engineering project that is underway. You could be labelled a ‘bigot’ and blacklisted in an instant for refusing to beat the drum of the aggressive secularism that is poking it’s nose into every part of day-to-day life.
We recently blogged about a police campaign in Scotland which purports to tackle ‘hate’ and promote ‘tolerance’. However, it’s patently obvious that this campaign is motivated by ‘hate’ and ‘intolerance’ and appears to specifically have Christians as the intended target. It’s not a stretch to conceive a situation where those who fall foul of these very subjective infringements would be prevented from securing the best jobs, being able to finance mortgages and could even be used to withdraw access to essentials such as food and clothing through the freezing of bank accounts.
No prizes for guessing where we are going with this. A system such as this has clear overtones of the coming Antichrist system described in the book of Revelation.
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Revelation 13:16-17 NIV)
The fact that we live at a time to witness these developments must indicate that the fulfilment of prophecies such as these could happen anytime.
We must continue to pray for the underground Christian communities across China as they will undoubtedly suffer a severe wave of persecution with these intrusive developments.
However, it will be very interesting in how the Chinese government’s use of this surveillance network develops. There is little doubt in our minds that this will serve as a ‘case study’ in controlling the population and compelling everyone to follow a particular agenda. A number of other governments across the world will be keeping a close eye on the use of this technology – many of whom dream of having such control over their populations. Given the cultural direction in this country, we do not think it’s far-fetched to expect calls from liberal secularists to voice calls for something similar to this. That way, those who disagree with them could be more easily policed and suppressed.
Christians in the West have had a very comfortable time in recent decades (or even centuries). The amazing and unnerving pace of technological development has come at a time of the systematic removal of God from the public landscape. This will result in the technology being used to suppress freedoms in an attempt to realise the humanist paradise of life without God. This is no doubt one of the key indicators of the end times and reason to take comfort in the soon return of Jesus Christ, even though life will become increasingly bumpy until His glorious return!
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 NIV)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV)