Monday, June 27, 2011

Truth and Transformation (A Manifesto for Ailing Nations) #3

by Vishal Mangalwade

Jesus needed to deliver his disciples from racism because he was making them the light of the world, the salt of the earth for the healing of the nations. As the high priest predicted in John 11:52, Jesus died to make the scattered children of God one.

There is hope for the healing of the nations because Jesus confronted sins that separate people into people groups, such as caste, tribe, and race, that prohibit us from loving our neighbors across these divisions. With his wounds he paid the price for the healing of the nations, which includes reconciliation among hostile people groups. The West's failure to understand the Jesus of the Gospels has at times had tragic consequences, such as slavery and racism. A distressing truth is that even today American missionaries continue to advise Brahmin followers of Christ not to worship with believers from people groups other than their own. In the name of propagating the gospel, they export racist segregation from America to India, as though we did not have enough sins of our own. These American missionaries seek to become "upper-caste" Brahmins in order to win Brahmins, ignoring the fact that Jesus did not become a Pharisee in order to win the Pharisees. Jesus' opposition to his religious culture led him to the cross.

When people commit themselves to following God even if it means conflict with their culture, God is able to use them to trans¬form unjust social sttuctures in favor of the enslaved, exploited, and oppressed. If they are willing to take up their cross, they will create ripples that never cease.

Friday, June 10, 2011

We Talk A Lot, How is Our Walk?

by Doug Nichols

A. Before Salvation:
1. “…in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience”(Ephesians 2:2, nasb).

2. “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind…”(Ephesians 4:17, nasb).

B. Now:
1. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, nasb).

2. “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…” (Ephesians 4:1, nasb)

3. “…and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:2, nasb).

4. “…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as of Light”(Ephesians 5:8, nasb).

5. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise…” (Ephesians 5:15, nasb).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What About the Hidden People?

The number of those to be won to Christ in Africa and Asia has more than tripled since 1900. Almost three billion people today have little or no knowledge of Christ and His salvation. Never has the challenge been greater for total, global advance with the Gospel.

Most of those to be reached are often called the “Hidden People”. Why? - Because major cultural, racial, linguistic, social and other barriers “hide” them from the eyes and the concerned efforts of most evangelizing Christians. For example, if every Christian were to win his or her culturally near neighbor to Christ, 2.5 to 3 billion non-Christians would still remain totally untouched because they live outside the cultural home-base of every active Christian in the world.

Where can some of these Hidden People be found? – Consider just a few illustrations:

•In Japan the total Christian population is only 1%, most of who live in cities. But in thousands of towns and fishing villages there is absolutely no Christian witness, and no missionaries to reach them. They are hidden!

•There are 500,000 towns and villages with no gospel witness in Europe.

•For every Christian in Thailand there are 999 Buddhists, most of who have never once heard of Christ.

•There are 160 million street children worldwide and 145 million orphans. Most are “hidden” from the priorities of many church planting ministries and missions.

•For every 10,000 villages in India 9,950 have no Christian community whatsoever. Furthermore, less than 100 of its 3,000 castes and tribes have any Christians in them.

•Despite the strong Christian movement in Latin America there are still many Hidden People. In the jungle lowlands there are up to 600 small primitive tribes with over 5 million. Many have yet to hear of Christ.

•The almost one billion Muslims are concentrated in 44 countries and dispersed throughout 40 others. In the face of such diversity and with such numbers to reach there are less than 2000 evangelical missionaries working with them. Hidden!

Thousands of new missionaries should be specially trained and sent out for evangelism and discipleship among each of nearly 12,000 culture groupings where no churches exist!

The needs around us should always be seen in this perspective. Although we need missionaries on all six continents, not all six are equal either in resources, population or in present opportunities to know Christ.

To say that everyone is important and equal before God leads to an inescapable conclusion: those with no Christian witness culturally near to them, as well as geographically near, must have more of our concentrated efforts to reach them. For many Christians around the world these “Hidden People” must become our highest priority, or they will never be reached!