End-month news August 2023
The new William Carey?
Ironies of ironies, I seem to be the new William Carey, of the 21st Century. It is amazing to me, as I listen to discussions about contemporary mission, how often (particularly the UK?) is reluctant to send missionaries. Instead, they only want to be involved financially. I say – ‘we need to send missionaries’! William Carey, the founder of Protestant mission activity at the end of the 18th Century, said:
Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.
It is the duty of those who are entrusted with the Gospel to endeavor to make it known among all nations.
I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.
I will venture to go… but remember that you must hold the ropes.
I’m a dreamer and continue to dream of what can and will be, ‘Expecting great things from God, Attempting great things for God.’
If you want the Kingdom speeded, go out and speed it yourselves. Only obedience rationalizes prayer. Only Missions can redeem your intercessions from insincerity.
For more information on specific ways you can help to promote a new initiative that seeks to promote the involvement of missionaries from Western countries into the Majority World in the 21st Century, contact me at: email@example.com
One of the primary aims underlying my missionary work in Kenya, has been to encourage discipleship. This is the end I have insight as I visit numerous churches on a regular basis, then teach the Bible to those churches. Although I know that I cannot do it in my own strength – I pray that God will give me messages to share that will inspire people. Once so inspired, this should awaken a desire in the people themselves to study the Bible more deeply so that they can subsequently pass on deep Godly truths to others.
Like all things, sometimes one feels more encouraged, and sometimes less so, in pursuing this objective. I was on a high-scale of encouragement at a recent gathering. This was as a result of the baited-breath of my listeners, and especially the eyes of the bishop of the church! I believe that what God had given me to share was pertinent to their way of life. I am praying that the said bishop will emphasise the importance of reading and teaching the Bible in their church.
The church concerned, has many less-educated people among its membership. They are known for following a lot of traditions, or ‘traditional religions’, rather than many widely known Christian practices, or the Bible. These are one of the groups of ‘churches’ that I visit often. I seek to share God word with them, in the hope that they will take God’s word on board, where they are. Then that doing so will transform their way of doing church and their lives, as they are challenged by what God’s word says.
Sometimes this kind of activity is known as an ‘insider movement’ (google ‘insider movement’ to find out more about this). Insider movements can be problematic – as it can seem that one is encouraging someone to be a Christian, while allowing them to behave as if they are not. On the other hand, though, finding people who are deeply challenged by their own reading of the Bible, or as a result of an explanation of it in an indigenous way, can result in radically transformed lives!
The African Preachers
Some people say Africans preach ‘prosperity’. There’s some truth in that … but I am not sure they’re to blame.
I often listen to ‘progressive’ African preachers – those who consider themselves educated, advanced, contemporary etc. They inevitably have material as well as spiritual prospering in mind as they share. I think the view they have, in which they aspire to prosper like the white man, is a little like the below:
The black man knows a lot of things. He knows, for example, that positive thinking, including hope for eternity through faith in one God, are essential for prosperity. So he makes some progress:
The problem is, that actually the situation is as below:
When he gets close to closing the gap that he sees, he sees no way up.
What confuses the African, is the degree he is already dependent on what the white man does – gifts (aid), education, English, etc. Even more confusing, is that the white man DENIES being any different from the black man. He tends to DENY the existence of a gap. That is – he realises that there is a prosperity gap, but does not want to acknowledge the origin of it. The myth is that the gap is due to differences in soil types, rainfall, educational level, the West having a historical-advantage, etc. Because of this, even should the African cross to the other side, he still faces an unscalable wall.
This is the deception that I frankly find immoral. Instead of the white man admitting that he is capable of qualitative ways of thinking that are off the radar screen for the African, he denies this. The white man tells the black man that the gap can be made up through education using English. The African gets educated … but the problem remains. This is a shameful hiding on the side of the white man of a comprehension that can help people to prosper. The irony is, that it is the white man’s determination not to be racist that has him conceal what he comprehends. Then it is his determination to be atheistic, secular, liberal and ‘progressive’ (in the American sense) that forces him to keep the way human prospering works secret by, in key (formal and government) circles, denying the Gospel of Christ.
Are we Seeing, and Hearing?
The above is the title to a presentation that I gave to a group of missions’ scholars in the USA at the end of July. Here is an (anonymized) video recording of it: https://youtu.be/4TmF9FAPkO0
God willing, I am to arrive in UK 12th September. On the 14th I travel to Norwich, where I will stay up to 3rd October. Amongst other activities, I look forward to researching for some articles in the UEA (University of East Anglia) library. 3rd October to end of October, I am to be based in Andover, Hampshire.