Saturday, January 04, 2003


That Christianity is on the decline and other religions like Islam are booming is a tacit assumption popularly. Certainly I've heard various preachers talk about all those who were baptized a generation ago compared to now--people just aren't responding to the gospel anymore.

But a Fox article reports that the facts show 'Christianity on the rise in places like South America, Asia and especially Africa.' What they report fits nicely with what various men I have been in contact with have expressed: in India, Africa, the Philippines (even the former Iron Curtain nations) we are again seeing the type of numbers turning to Christ that we saw here in the past. It's not the seed that has lost its power, its the American soil we sow it in that fails to produce much fruit. Decadence, luxury and materialism provide such a barrier domestically that there is no longer the same return for our labor as there once was. But the gospel was never revealed for the amusement of 20th & 21st Century Americans.

As we take the gospel into 'new' areas there is always the danger of American money and attitudes corrupting the process. We need to make sure that it is the gospel and not the promise of easy money from American churches who think they're helping out that leads to interest in the message. Americans need to take the gospel where we are able, but we need to get out as soon as possible and let natives run their own affairs. We want to see churches of Christ, not American churches, planted in these lands.

Trust the word, not ourselves.

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