Barnabas Fund encourage us to pray for the Christians of Sudan as the South of the country after gaining its independence today.
Sharia is in force in the mainly Muslim North, and the president has threatened to change the constitution to make Islam the country’s only religion, sharia its only law and Arabic its only official language. Pray that the Lord will protect His people in the North from even more severe repression.
Pray too for the Christian majority in the South, that independence will bring them lasting peace and the opportunity to rebuild their land, which was shattered by decades of civil war. Pray for unity among the churches there.
How frustrating must it be to the atheist to see yet another atheist state fail in its attempt to secularise society. No matter how many generations of children are raised to believe the materialist mantra that there is nothing worth believing in except that which can be seen and measured and understood by science God doesn’t seem to play fair. He just won’t go away.
According to a recent article in The Economist there are now more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party. 73 million atheists makes up the ruling party there are somewhere between 70 and 130 million Christians!
Even an official Chinese study suggests that 1 in 3 Chinese people are religious.
Maybe it’s the personal struggle to accept that your life is of no significance or maybe the sociological darkness of deliberate oppression and outright hostility to faith of atheism or could it be the philosophical barrenness of embracing a hostile universe as home that creates the perfect environment for God to work? I’m not sure. But spare a thought for atheism. It just doesn’t seem to work.
The Apostle Paul writes:
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
I have been told by pro-Taliban religious extremists that if I will continue to speak against the blasphemy law, I will be beheaded.” But he said his faith gave him strength.
As a Christian, I believe Jesus is my strength. He has given me a power and wisdom and motivation to serve suffering humanity. I follow the principles of my conscience, and I am ready to die and sacrifice my life for the principles I believe.”
Today Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian Pakistani Government minister died a martyrs death. The Lord Jesus says ‘Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’ – Revelation 2:10
An interesting article in today’s guardian.
“Every time I see a mosque or a temple going up,” Rev. Bryan Scott says “I think, ‘That should be a church.’”
Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi….It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.
Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
Parris is a journalist known for his refreshing honesty and this piece is a fine example. What’s not clear to me is, as an atheist, what Parris attributes the profound change in people’s hearts that he observes to and what therefore he means when he says ‘the rebirth is real.’ My prayer is that he and many others will not only recognise the life-change that alone the gospel can bring but see it for what it really is – the work of a gracious God. My hope is that he will see and come to share the sure and certain knowledge that at the heart of this universe is a God of love who in his Son has loved us and through his son offers us life and peace, joy and hope and that this message is not just the need of Africa but the need of all nations. That the gospel is the power of God to not only forgive sins but to transform people, societies and the world.
John Wesley famously said:
I want to know one thing, the way to heaven — how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: for this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price give me the Book of God! I have it. Here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri. Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone: only God is here. In his presence I open, I read his Book; for this end, to find the way to heaven.
Below is a remarkable video showing the Kimyai people receiving this word of life in their own language for the very first time.
According to Philip Jenkins, author of The Next Christendom and a leading authority on church trends the world is undergoing a religious revolution in which the church is growing at a phenomenal and unprecedented rate.
The Charlotte Observer newspaper reports on a recent talk he gave where he highlighted some of the extraordinary things God is doing:
In the 20th century, about half of the people on the African continent moved from a tribal or pagan religion to either Christianity or Islam. And Christians outpaced Muslims considerably, by a margin of about 4 to 1.
In the 20th century, Africa – long a continent of European colonies, with missionaries running schools, medical clinics and churches – went from 10 percent Christian to 46 percent Christian.
And then get this: From just 10 million Christians in Africa in 1900, the figures rose to something like 363 million in 2000. Projecting forward Jenkins estimates a figure of 500 million by 2015 and a staggering 1 billion by 2050.
‘They will proclaim my glory among the nations’ – Isaiah 66:19
For a helpful review of the book you might like to read this.
- Church Planting
- Global Church
- Jesus Christ
- Medical ethics
- Social media
- Suffering Church
- The Christian Life
- Transforming Society
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010