Results tagged “evangelism and missions” from Reformation21 Blog

A Year After Orlando

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As is true of September 11, June 12 is a date in American history that elicits a miasma of emotions. Just one year ago today, one the most tragic mass shootings on American soil took place. The target was clear--the "LGBT" community. It garnered the attention of the world from the most notable to the most obscure of media outlets. It elicited responses that put on display the best and worst of humanity. A year later, it still populates the mind of many especially in Orlando, as services of reflections, lament, and hope saturate our city. As a local church planter in downtown Orlando (SODO) which meets right down the street from the blood stained side walks of "PULSE" (a church which had members witness people running passed their house for dear life, and which meets people only steps away for coffee), my mind is still preoccupied with this awful tragedy. The matter is so complex. My heart breaks for the loss of innocent life regardless of one's sexual orientation; yet, I am accountable to present the biblical view of sexuality which doesn't accord with many who were most affected by the "Pulse" tragedy namely, the "LGBT" community. Among the many questions prompted by the event was "how should we as Christians engage members of this community?" So, one year later I offer my reflections and what I hope to be encouraging thoughts on how to move toward our "LGBT" neighbors.

Following news of the tragedy I gathered with a group of local pastors to prayer. Afterward, a few of us drove over to ground zero to listen, learn and pray. Our hope was to gain a better understanding of the tragedy, meet someone directly impacted and discern how we can be better ministers of the Gospel to our city. Our findings were sad, eye opening, and hopeful.

Upon arrival to ground zero, we prayed with law enforcement then proceeded to a location within eye distance of "Pulse" only separated by Orange Avenue, Einstein Bagel, a house, and yellow crime scene tape. It was real. I was unable to freely travel a street that I used everyday nor access the parking lot of a coffee shop where I met people situated directly across from "Pulse." It was a sobering moment to behold with such clarity, the callous pervasiveness of the fall. As we stood there praying, two people approached us and we invited them to pray. In the following moments we struck up an informative conversation with one of them who happened to be a Jewish LMHC and LGBT activist. We offered the services of our ministries and she received them with glad arms. Then the "one more thing" question came. "Are you going to oppress them like everywhere else?" she asked. We said "no" and then we engaged her in a loving discussion, confession of the church's imperfections and sincere admission about our worldview differences, all prefaced by our desire to learn. With weapons placed back into the holsters, she gave us helpful insight into the "LGBT" narrative of our city. After we concluded, she agreed to keep meeting, exchanged contacts and departed with gratitude for the prayers.

Our next stop entailed multiple conversations with people who descended on our city from as far as the Nordic region of the world along with other American news reporters who had covered the Mother Emmanuel shooting; the latter was particularly moved by the church's presence during the "Pulse" crisis. Then we traveled to the "Subway" less than a block away where many locals and people connected to the situation were refueling. Only moments before his TV interview, we met a gay male attorney who grew up in a conservative home, who was all too familiar with the tragedy having both friends who died and were medical responders. We asked questions, listened, and learned. Similar to the first woman we met, we acknowledged that as member of the Christian church some of our outreach efforts have left more to be desired. He was a fascinating person. His knowledge of history was palpable. His particular awareness of and interest in the plight of blacks in America bonded us nearly instantly. He too, was moved by our presence and openness at ground zero. He was speechless at points. He asserted that he had many questions for us too. We exchanged contacts and he said that he wanted to visit our respective churches. We went out to engage in Jesus' name and it appeared that he was drawing people in by his name.

Our time with individuals connected to the LGBT community demonstrated that a great relational chasm existed between them and us (the Church). To some degree, this was no surprise, as our worldviews inform us differently regarding sexuality. Vitriolic statements about people in the LGBT community from the mouths of Christians who sadly receive representative authority, even in response to this tragedy elucidates, widens and buttresses the expanse. The LGBT community's perception that the majority view of Christians toward them is hatred proves that dialogue is lacking. When as Christians, our outreach is regarded as oppression that is packaged in disingenuous love and furthers marginalization instead of liberty and inclusion, miscommunication is clear.

We are further learning that the LGBT community should not be conflated to a monolithic group. There are people who regard their sexuality as the sum total of who they are so that any attempt to love them without affirming their sexuality is regarded as oppressive. To illustrate this, one person said "it's like telling your kids you love them but don't approve of their sexuality which is apart of who they are. This leads to self depression and even suicide when children feel hated by their parents." Disapproval without dialogue has also contributed to feelings of oppression and hatred in homes. Some people feel imprisoned because they assert they didn't choose homoerotic desires that beset them, concluding that it is their identity and wonder why people think they would want to suffer being a pariah if they didn't think the latter were reality. Still, there are others who having sustained abuse by someone of the same sex at key impressionable developmental stages and even over long durations of time, have come to view their desires as norm. There are also those who see homosexual inclinations as deviant behavior yet, remain identifying with the LGBT community for fear of being rejected by the church due to this struggle, continued acceptance and still having authentic relationships even if they are no longer pursuing same sex conjugality. Then finally, though not exhaustively, the pursuit of the LGBT community with a loving attitude of open dialogue even with acknowledged disagreement is appreciated and not all of its members perceive the Christian view of sexuality as oppressive and even welcome the activity of mutual persuasion to other worldviews.

Christian Engagement

How can we as Christians engage the LGBT community? I am careful to acknowledge that this is what I've learned in Orlando and my spheres of contact. It will take proactive pursuit, loving honesty, and accepting persecution

Jesus a Jew, proactively engaged the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). This prompted immediate curiosity on the woman's part owed to the intense animosity that existed between their people groups. Quickly, it turned into Jesus offering hope of the gospel, exposing her sin which involved obvious sexual brokenness and showing the gospel again which resulted in her conversion and a Samaritan Revival. I have pursued "LGBT" friends and a similar progression of, disbelief, discussion and relationship occurred. Some have invited my wife and I to outings with a gracious warning that not everyone will hold my views regarding sexuality and some have even agreed to visit our church. I don't know how the Lord will work in these friends but I know that their perceptions have changed even by simply taking a proactive risk.

Speaking the truth in and as love is critical. Paul reminds us that if our conversation lacks love it will sound like a clinging symbol (1Corinthians 13). Peter tells us to defend our "hope" with gentleness and respect for the other so that our Christlike character will put the other to shame. Callous responses to people who struggle with sexual identity is not Christlike in any situation and even worse when they are the victims of heinous crimes such as "Pulse." There are "LGBT" community members who prefer honesty with a respectful tone over and against disingenuous bait and switch platitudes that pretend Christianity accepts homosexuality, in efforts to create relationships only to discover the contrary in the course of time. Furthermore, some have real questions with which they are wrestling and they don't benefit from the church obfuscating apologies for attitudes towards people in the LGBT community with orthodox beliefs about God's design for gender and sexuality. Speaking the truth in love is critical to gaining trust and creating honest bridges into the LGBT community. Notwithstanding, there will be hostility regardless of how loving one's approach is.

Jesus says "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5)." Paul intimates as much and says "bless those who persecute you (Romans 12). Hostility to the Christian message is a given no matter what one's sexual preference is because Jesus makes exclusive and radical claims that unsettle people who idolatrously value autonomy; Christians though converted and in dwelt by the Holy Spirit still struggle with this (or are quite familiar with this- might sound better). In the "LGBT" community, some view their sexual identity tantamount to the way black or minority persons view themselves; an ethnic group that should not be discriminated against on the basis of how God made them.

As a black person, I personally understand discrimination--which, in turn, drives me to compassion for my "LGBT" friends. Moreover, I'm a Christian. Thus, I believe no image bearer should be disrespected under any circumstances. However, I believe that God ultimately defines sexuality and gender, therefore, if someone is inclined in the opposite direction of God in this connection, I must lovingly say that "it should not be equated to the plight blacks in America." I also hold this to be true for any other God opposing behavior that one uses to define who they are and not a sin with which they struggle, i.e. racism, pedophilia, adultery, murder, or theft.

Christianity teaches that people, are delivered from a pantheon of sins by God's grace, are being liberated from sins by God's grace and will one day no longer struggle with sins for all eternity by God's grace. This reality is no less true for those who struggle with sexual brokenness. I have friends from the "LGBT" community who have embraced God's design and have opted by God's grace to live celibate lives in community with other believers who will think no less of them because they struggle with a sin that impedes their desires for the opposite sex and even requires God's grace to have authentic relationships with the same sex. Christians must in love uphold God's standard in all of life's matters, be ready to accept that opposition will ensue and pray that God will bless those who administer the persecution.

Brothers and sisters, I'm no expert on this subject; and, I consider myself to be in the process of learning how to reach my friends in the "LGBT" community for Christ. At present I have prayed, sought friendships, listened, respected and repented. And for some reason, God has given me more friends than enemies. There will always be those who may consider me to be the latter (which is expected); but, I pray for them and I am still pursuing them. Reaching people for Jesus has always had both a simplicity and a complexity to it. In light of this fact, we must be both loving and courageous in reaching out to our neighbors in the "LGBT" community because Christ is working is us and through us via the Holy Spirit to accomplish his agenda of love. It is my deep desire that you and I would commit to #prayforOrlando.


Michael Aitcheson is the church planter/pastor of Christ United Fellowship in Orlando, FL. Mike has contributed to Tabletalk Magazine. You can find him on Twitter at @Mike_CUF and friend him on Facebook.

Recently, I published a book titled Words in Season: On Sharing the Hope that is Within Us. It is an introduction to sharing the good news of Christ that was birthed out of a Sunday school series. The book not only focuses on our individual privilege to witness of the person and work of Jesus but it also emphasizes the centrality of the local church. You can read more about it here.

In chapter 3, I focus on some of the common hindrances to personal evangelism. There are ethnic and cultural barriers; sometimes we wonder if our Bible knowledge is adequate; we are, perhaps, overly concerned about our reputation; we don't want to lose friends; we are nervous. I believe, in time, these concerns can be reduced or completely overcome. However, one of the biggest deterrents, which I only briefly mentioned elsewhere in the book, is one that is difficult to overcome. We cannot eliminate it. We cannot reduce it; it is there when you go to sleep; it is there when you awake; no matter where you go, it always follows you--time.

I've sometimes remarked the older I get, the faster time seems to move. Yet that is exactly what is required for personal evangelism, which is the very thing that it seems we often do not have--time. Our schedules are packed with many so-called obligations--children's sports activities, church meetings, personal hobbies and interests, writing blogs or other literature, spending time on Facebook, employment, sermon preparation, family vacation, education. With our massive to-do lists, where is the time to share Jesus Christ and him crucified?

It takes time to talk to others about Jesus. It takes more time to invite these people, with whom you share Christ, into your life so that they might see the realities of your faith (Col. 4:5-6).

Although time seems to move faster the older we get, we can change. We can be more aware of this great privilege to talk about Christ and invite others into our lives. It is much like our finances. Once we realize we are overspending in a certain area, we rearrange our budget to more accurately reflect what is important to us. Similarly, if sharing the good news of Christ and inviting unbelievers in to your life is important, you will rearrange your busy schedule in order to accommodate those priorities.

Jesus spent time w/ people; he entered their homes; he walked with them; he talked with them; he repeatedly answered their concerns and objections. I do not believe the point of the Gospels is help us calculate the amount of time Christ spent with unbelievers so that we might enumerate how much we should spend with them; nevertheless, the point is clear--Christ spent time with unbelievers. We should, too.

However, be mindful. There is a popularized phrase floating around called, "Friendship evangelism." The emphasis is on building relationships with unbelievers as a means to share Christ with them. (That is my understanding). This is dangerous. First, while it a fantastic idea to erect relationships with unbelievers, if we are developing those relationships for the expressed purpose to share the gospel, the friendship is simply a means to an end. We do not really care about them. We are not in awe that they are made in the image and after the likeness of God. We are simply befriending them to reduce our fears. Our underlying purpose in developing a friendship with unbelievers is to soften the impact of that initial conversation about religious matters.  

Is that true friendship?

This is one of the reasons I share the gospel with unbelievers almost as soon as I meet them. That way, when the topic is approached in the future, it is no surprise. There are instances, though, when we cannot share the gospel immediately. Providence seems to prohibit it. In that case, what do we do?

Chapter 8 in Words in Season is titled, "Hospitality: "One-Anothering" with the Stranger." It provides some practical tips on spending time with your unbelieving neighbors and those in the broader community.

God can save people immediately. He has done it in the past and he will continue to do so. However, there are times when he chooses to plant seeds over an extended period of time. It may take months, even years--it requires time. Are you willing to spend the time it takes to befriend unbelievers, plant the seed of the gospel, answer their concerns, and invite them to church? You may have to rearrange your schedule, but it is more than worth it.

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).

A New Evangelism : Bold and Loving

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Few things are tougher to do today than evangelize. Actually, that's not entirely true. Few things seem tougher to do today than evangelize. 

Why the modification-on-the-fly? Because too many of us think and act as if everyone beyond the church is a Hitchens-in-disguise, a Dawkins-in-repose, just waiting to pounce on us and shred our meager witness. There are certain places that may feature such hostile folks. But most of us get scared away from evangelism, not by a real threat, but by a spectral foe. You pull the curtain back, in other words, and your would-be-devourer is often a person just like you and me. Uncertain. Confused. Outside of Christ, lost. 

Think about that term, lost, with me for a minute. You've likely heard it a million times in Christian settings: "lost." We typically think of lostness in a positional sense. We don't often think of it in an experiential sense. Many people, in other words, are not just categorically lost. Their day-to-day experience is bewildering, wandering, unsure, scary, and hopeless. They are in the wilderness, or in a massive and terrifying urban landscape, and they have no clue where to go, or even what exactly they should be looking for.

Too many of us are not evangelizing today because of vaguely defined "secular hostility" that lurks around every corner. We've allowed ourselves to fall silent today. We don't want to risk our social standing. We don't want to be the person at the dinner party whose weird remarks vacuum up the conversation and leave everyone swallowing hard in embarrassment. We'd rather focus on a positive witness and keep our friendships secure. 

I am all for building long-term evangelistic relationships. Furthermore, not every conversation with an unbeliever will allow for a full-fledged gospel presentation. Let's make that clear. But with that said, Christians today could use less fearfulness, and could stand to pray big prayers to a big God asking for loving boldness with our lost friends and neighbors. We've been suckered into a quietist posture today. We've bought the lie that telling people about Christ crucified and risen is unloving. In truth, nothing is more loving than sharing the good news, and calling the dead and deaf and blind to come to life and hear and see. Jesus is worth all of it, all the awkwardness, all the stuttering nervousness, all the silent pauses, all the defensive responses, all the risk. 

All the cost. 

Let's not sneer at Osteenian prosperity theology and then practice a form of it in our own lives. Let's not rightly critique a failure to preach the true gospel and then, um, fail to preach the true gospel. In the power of the Spirit, let's reclaim our role as members of a "royal priesthood" and tell others about Christ our king (1 Peter 2:9). If you're like me, and want to grow in boldness in these terms, then don't beat yourself up over past failures. Pray to God instead. Ask him to help you be bold with unbelievers. Ask him to help you be loving to unbelievers. The good news is this: he will. He'll always answer these prayers.

You don't need to be the revivalist who starts the Third Great Awakening (am I trolling here?) to glorify God in your witness. You can be a pastor who stops in at the same corner store for a granola bar a few times a week and builds a friendship with the employees there. You can be a financial analyst who earnestly asks your coworkers how they are. You can be a mother raising three kids who starts a playgroup and reaches out to moms who are struggling with the demands of child-raising. In these and other roles, you can be a faithful witness. God has placed you in a setting, a unique position, that no one else is in. That's your ministry. That's your mission field.

You may encounter some tougher types. That's possible. If so, don't lose heart. The Lord's grace is all-powerful. It's the strongest force in the world, stronger than hate, than greed, than unbelief. You and I are not serving a weak, church-mouse-quiet Savior. We are worshipping the man who took death by the throat and now roars over his creation as a lion. 

So, take a gospel risk. Put your quiet, easy, buttoned-down Christian life on the line. Embrace a bigger, bolder, loving witness. You're going to meet all sorts of "lost" people, some angry, many just confused. As members of Christ's church, you and I have the words they need. 

Let's speak them.

Owen Strachan is executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and assistant professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. He also teaches for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something AwesomeHe is married to Bethany and is the father of two children.

The nature of Christianity

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What follows is a tract of penetrating honesty written by Archibald Alexander, found in Practical Truths (32-34) (Amazon US/UK, or a lovely edition here). The tract is entitled "Christianity in its nature aggressive," and Alexander is blunt in addressing - way ahead of the game - the foibles and follies of Christianity struggling to get to grips with postmodernity and its dogmas of relativism and pluralism (ironic that so many should so dogmatically assert the absence of dogma and so dogmatically assault those who disagree). You do not have to agree with the particular emphases of his last paragraph to find it bracing stuff.
In the charter which Christ gave to his disciples, who formed the first church under the new dispensation, the first command is one which requires action. "Go," says he. Every Christian must be on the alert. He has marching orders from the Captain of his salvation. He cannot sit down in ease and idleness, and yet be a Christian. As the father said to his son in the parable, "Go, work in my vineyard," so Christ says to every disciple; and it will not answer to say, "I go, sir," and yet refuse obedience. We must be doers of the word, and not mere hearers. We must be doers of the word, and not mere professors [those making a profession]. The command given by the risen Saviour is still in force, and as it was obligatory on all who heard it at first, so it is binding on all who hear it now. "Go."

But what are we to do? "Proselyte." Make disciples. Convert to Christianity. The very word "proselyte" will frighten some people. No heresy in their view is so great as sectarism. But Christianity is so intolerant, that it will bear no other religion; it seeks to overthrow every other system. If it would have admitted the claims of other religions, it would have escaped persecution. But no; it denounced every other system and mode of worship as hateful to God, and destructive to the soul. And it made every disciple a proselyter. And every one now, whether male or female, bond or free, Jew or Greek, who professes Christianity, takes upon himself or herself the obligation to convert others to Christianity.

Consider the extent of the field in which we are called to labor. "Go into all the world." "Go, teach," make disciples of, "all nations." And when converted, let the new proselytes not be ashamed to avow their allegiance to the King of Zion, by assuming his badge. Let them be baptized into the name of the HOLY TRINITY. Now they are in the school of Christ, and must be carefully taught all his commandments.

Here is a great work, requiring the coöperation of all who are already initiated. The greatest charity in the world is the communication of divine truth to the ignorant. Must all preach the word? Yes, in a certain sense, and according to their ability, and in observance of due order. All may teach. All Christians are bound to teach - the parent his children, the master his servants, the schoolmaster his scholars, the citizen his more ignorant neighbours, the colporteur [carrier of books and other literature] the families he visits with books and tracts, the pastor his flock, and the missionary the unconverted Jew and heathen. Here is work enough for all, and all may labor in their appropriate sphere; but all must labor: the duty is incumbent on them, and the obligation cannot be evaded.

The time seems to be coming, predicted by Daniel, when "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." What a change within the last half century! Then there were no Bible societies, no tract societies, no Sunday-schools, no colporteurs, no Protestant missionaries. There is, indeed, another time predicted, when there shall be no need for one to say to his neighbour, "Know the Lord; for all shall know him from the least to the greatest." Then the work will be completed; but O, how much teaching must there be before the hundreds of millions of souls now ignorant, shall be so instructed as that none shall need further teaching. But perhaps the prophecy does not mean that none shall need farther instruction, but farther admonition - not that all shall have learned enough, but all will be fully disposed to learn. Blessed time! teaching will be then an easy as well as a delightful business.

On being selfish

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One of the many lessons we're hoping our kids learn is the standard one on not being selfish.  A hard lesson for them, especially since I am so selfish my self.  We all are.  I was reminded of this yesterday during my pastor's sermon on Matthew 28, the last in his long series on the book.

I don't take the Great Commission seriously because I'm selfish, selfish with the gospel.  In his sermon Michael Rogers pointed out that the word nations is actually the word from which we get ethnic.  The idea is more likely peoples or people groups than the idea of the modern geo-political nation state.  But, just for a moment, it's worthwhile to think in terms of the nation-state of America.  We are selfish, consuming more of the world's resources per capita than any other people group or geo-political body.  Perhaps we are so selfish because we so enjoy our privileged lives, we have come to think we deserve what we have, and we have cultivated a habit of exclusion.  Who knows?  But what's worse is we are so selfish with the gospel. 

Listening to Michael's sermon reminded me of another one by Jonathan Edwards.  In a sermon on the signing of a treaty with the Mohawks, Edwards seized the moment to chastise his fellow countrymen.  We, he confessed, had hidden the gospel from you.  We, he continued, were lazy in proclaiming the gospel to you.  We, he concluded, had been selfish.  You can just imagine how the dignitaries in from Boston were sweating it out.  Then Edwards said, which to me is one of his most insightful comments, "We are no better than you in any respect."  Could it be that part of the reason that the colonials were so lackluster in their evangelism and missions is that they had a faulty view of themselves and of the nations, the ethne, all the peoples that God created upon this earth and has declared will have a place in the new earth?

Could it be that selfishness with the gospel has something to do with our inflated sense of who we are?  Selfishness it seems to me stems from a warped view of the self as more important, as deserving more, than others.  It's a horrible thought, but could it be that we are selfish with the gospel because we somehow think we deserve it more than others?

Michael Rogers made many intriguing observations on this well-worn text.  Here's one that stood out.  The church always flourishes when it is looking outward; it falters when it is looking inward.

No wonder it's hard to teach our kids not to be selfish. 

On being selfish

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One of the many lessons we're hoping our kids learn is the standard one on not being selfish.  A hard lesson for them, especially since I am so selfish my self.  We all are.  I was reminded of this yesterday during my pastor's sermon on Matthew 28, the last in his long series on the book.

I don't take the Great Commission seriously because I'm selfish, selfish with the gospel.  In his sermon Michael Rogers pointed out that the word nations is actually the word from which we get ethnic.  The idea is more likely peoples or people groups than the idea of the modern geo-political nation state.  But, just for a moment, it's worthwhile to think in terms of the nation-state of America.  We are selfish, consuming more of the world's resources per capita than any other people group or geo-political body.  Perhaps we are so selfish because we so enjoy our privileged lives, we have come to think we deserve what we have, and we have cultivated a habit of exclusion.  Who knows?  But what's worse is we are so selfish with the gospel. 

Listening to Michael's sermon reminded me of another one by Jonathan Edwards.  In a sermon on the signing of a treaty with the Mohawks, Edwards seized the moment to chastise his fellow countrymen.  We, he confessed, had hidden the gospel from you.  We, he continued, were lazy in proclaiming the gospel to you.  We, he concluded, had been selfish.  You can just imagine how the dignitaries in from Boston were sweating it out.  Then Edwards said, which to me is one of his most insightful comments, "We are no better than you in any respect."  Could it be that part of the reason that the colonials were so lackluster in their evangelism and missions is that they had a faulty view of themselves and of the nations, the ethne, all the peoples that God created upon this earth and has declared will have a place in the new earth?

Could it be that selfishness with the gospel has something to do with our inflated sense of who we are?  Selfishness it seems to me stems from a warped view of the self as more important, as deserving more, than others.  It's a horrible thought, but could it be that we are selfish with the gospel because we somehow think we deserve it more than others?

Michael Rogers made many intriguing observations on this well-worn text.  Here's one that stood out.  The church always flourishes when it is looking outward; it falters when it is looking inward.

No wonder it's hard to teach our kids not to be selfish. 

A tale of two statues

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I have often felt that there is a wealth of good reading material buried away in the annals of past editions of congregational and denominational magazines. Our own denominational paper, The Monthly Record (its title has not changed since the 1840s!) is no exception, and some of the best material in it has been the published versions of addresses given at the opening of past General Assemblies by newly appointed Moderators.

 

I have been re-reading one of the best of these, which was by Alex MacDonald, minister of Buccleuch Free Church in Edinburgh, who was Moderator in 2005. He gave an address on 'Hope for a Lost World', and begins with the tale of two Edinburgh statues. It was published in the July/August 2005 edition of the Record (pages 4-13), and is available in PDF format here.

 

I've been trying to log on to this blog for the past week, and I've kept getting nowhere. But the perseverance of the saints is a grand doctrine, so here I am. I see y'all started without me. Now that I'm here, I'm preparing to go off to African Bible University, Uganda, next week, so you probably won't hear from me for a couple of weeks. Just been listening to the mp3 of Trueman on the Heidelberg Catechism, in which he stated - among other things - that visiting his wife's relatives in my Scottish Island Hideaway is not among his favourite things to do. Shame on you. Just remember I'm interim-moderator of your mother-in-law's congregation at present. We're watching you.

Buddhist Monks Turn to Christ

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In a March 18 report, Christian Aid reports that nearly 5000 Buddhist monks (location undisclosed) have recently turned to Christ.  A worker reports: "It appears that the Holy Spirit had urged these monks and nuns to call our evangelists to come and share the gospel of hope and love. After several intense discussions, close to 80 percent of the monks present in each of the monasteries raised their hands to accept Christ, and then kneeled down to pray and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior." 

Christian Aid reports that baptisms are being quietly performed, for the safety of both the monks and the evangelists.