Category Archives: Missions

-SBC Mission Board Drops Ban on Speaking in Tongues

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Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) dropped its ban on those who spoke in tongues along with several other rule changes at a recent meeting. Nevertheless, missionaries are expected to faithfully represent Southern Baptist churches and Southern Baptist teaching which does not include any kind of an emphasis on charismatic gifts.

This has been a long time in coming and considering the large number of cessationists in the SBC it is still surprising. However, years ago (2007) we discovered some research that showed over 50% of head pastors in the SBA believed in tongues so maybe the change is not so odd after all.

It does go along with what is happening overseas in the mission fields. I have heard that an increasing number of SBA missionaries had to hide their involvement in the ‘gifts’ from their board and their sponsoring churches just to continue. Healing and giftedness were not something they ever expected or sought out or even theologically believed in for that matter. It just happened in the midst of their ministry.               *Top

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-Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015

The Real Charismatic Ministry of St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015. Here’s the real story of St. Patrick:

image Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A day to go to your favorite pub, eat corned beef and cabbage and wash it all down with plenty of green beer. Oh yes–a day of parades and celebration of Irish nationality.

But who was this Patrick anyway? A man born into a wealthy Christian Roman family in Wales around 385 AD with a given name of Macwyn Succat. He didn’t make it to Ireland until he was kidnapped at age 16 and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and like David became closer to the Lord in the process. Then he heard a voice from God instructing him how to escape and make it back home.

After he miraculously escaped slavery he went on to study at a Christian seminary and became a Priest. Then one day he had a vision from God commissioning him to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Today a holiday is celebrated in his memory. But beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead the new Christian communities and villages he established. He also converted the sons of Kings, noblemen, and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today wonder if there were that many snakes if any on the island at the time.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but maybe written a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity today. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.   

Rather than a day with a built-in excuse to get drunk, I believe that it is a day for Christians to celebrate the reality and continual miracles of the Christian faith. A day to celebrate that God continues to give visions and directions to missionaries even today.

St. Patrick transformed an entire nation bringing the Gospel to an Island in darkness. Missionaries continue to leave the comforts of home and family to spread the word of Jesus Christ to every nation in the world.  Praise the Lord!        *Top

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-Facebook Now Has a Billion Users: Implications for a Worldwide Harvest

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

                             (Image via CrunchBase)

Facebook now has over a Billion users which includes nearly half of all those on the Internet worldwide.  According to a LA Times article Facebook execs are shooting for the rest:

"We’re not a company that is just trying to add more people," said Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president of product. "What we are trying to do is build a service that everyone in the world can use."

<Read the whole article>

It is amazing how the Internet has become a part of the lives of so many people in so little time. Here is just one social network that is now touching over a billion people worldwide in over a hundred nations. The fact that it has happened in only 8 years is really shocking. It took Christianity over 1900 years to reach a billion souls.

From a Christian perspective, the Internet has the potential to become the new ‘Roman Road’ that can even provide access to people in lands where missionaries are not allowed to go. Now people can come to Christ and receive Christian and Biblical teaching on the Internet even if they live in countries like Saudi Arabia where Christian churches are illegal.

The potential for using the Internet and social networks like Facebook for spreading the Gospel is astounding. It gives me real hope for taking the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ to every nation and for a worldwide Christian harvest and revival in this generation.            *Top

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-God’s Healing Power in Asian Village

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Here’s another one of those encouraging testimonies from indigenous missionaries supported by the Gospel for Asia. This is the story of Mihir Gavde whose church has made considerable headway in bringing folks to Christ in his village through a number of miraculous healings. Read the account, it will encourage and empower your own faith.             *Top

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-Praying for Libya and The Muslim Nations in Turmoil

Map of commonly included MENA (Middle East & N...

(Image via Wikipedia)

The 42 reign of Gaddafi seems to be coming to an end. Egypt is up in the air and Syria faces major revolts. Even Jordan has been affected by demonstrations against the government. The whole Muslim Middle east and Northern Africa is in the state of flux. How it will all end nobody knows.

One thing for sure, we need to be praying for the people and for the Gospel to finally be free to touch the lives of 100’s of millions presently subjected to the darkness of Islam. These nations are obviously being shaken for a purpose. At the same time, we know that in many of these nations there is an on-going illegal ‘secret revival’ where millions of Muslims are becoming followers of the real Jesus through dreams, visions. and healings.

One Christian leader, Nik Ripken of the International Mission Board, is hoping for the Roman road to be open once more to facilitate the spread of Christianity. Ripken is asking believers worldwide to pray for the kind of stability in Libya where access to Jesus will be a basic human right. Christianity has long been restricted in that nation:

“Often we ask people to pray that governments provide the safety and security necessary for the gospel to spread, such as the early church had under the Roman Empire. But when stability is the stability of governments that deny their people even access to Jesus, then that is the worst form of persecution.”

There is a shaking going on among the nations. Charismatics and Pentecostals give lip service to the idea that God is really in charge of events going on around the world.

Now is a good time for us to join in prayer and pray for revival to continue unabated and reach a new level in Muslim countries that are now facing instability. May the new governments that replace the old make it more possible for greater religious freedom among the people of that region. Lord let the revival continue and increase.            *Top

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