Monday, January 26, 2009

You need to read this!

This remarkable editorial appeared in The Times of London recently. It's remarkable because Matthew Parris, the writer, grew up in Africa. So when he says "Africa needs God," he knows what he's talking about. But mostly, it's remarkable because Matthew Parris is an atheist.

Check it out by clicking here.

As Christians, this article ought to inspire us in several ways:

1. It's encouraging to know that when Jesus transforms someone, they are made new in a way that even a confirmed unbeliever cannot deny. Let's remember that as we share our faith: We're not just hoping to add people to our church. We are hoping to bring them new life.

2. It's discouraging to think that most of the millions of Christians in our own country don't seem to have the same effect on unbelievers as these African Christians do. Whereas they "let their light shine before men so that they would see (their) good works and glorify their Father in heaven," we tend to inspire feelings of resentment from those who don't believe as we do. They see African Christians as people who are "lively" and winsome. They see us as arrogant, judgmental, hypocritical and hateful. Is it any wonder that church growth experts say the global center of Christianity will soon be Africa, Asia and South America, and North America and Europe will be the mission field? Could it be any more clear that we need revival in our land?

3. Perhaps most of all, this article should be a reminder to us of the importance of world missions. WBC recently took up a large world mission offering, and I was so excited that we met our goal! But let's not allow this to be the only time of year we think about, pray for, and contribute to mission work. God's Kingdom is on the move, liberating and transforming people He loves. And we get to be a part of that!

Please take time to read the article, if you haven't already. I predict you'll be encouraged, inspired and challenged as I was.


Anonymous said...

great article. I must share it with family and other friends. Thanks for sending it to us.

Anonymous said...

While our Christian religion provides meaning and comfort, following Jesus brings about transformation--in us and through us. The difference seems slight, but is profound, isn't it?! What an encouraging, challenging article that shows the difference becoming like Jesus can make.

Carrie said...

Thank you Jeff for the message Sunday. I didn't get to write down the two book titles you mentioned Sunday morning. Could you repeat those titles here?

Jeff Berger said...

Absolutely! It was Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby, and The Will of God As a Way of Life, by Jerry Sittser.