Archive for the ‘mission’ Category

The Moral Framework for Prosperity

August 21, 2012

One of the important advantages that enabled nineteenth-century Britain to become the first industrialized nation was the dependability of its laws. Not only could Britons feel confident in investing in their country’s economy, without fear that their earnings would be confiscated or the contracts they made voided for political reasons, so could foreigners doing business or making investments in Britain. For centuries, the reputation of British law for dependability and impartiality attracted merchants and investments from continental Europe, as well as skilled immigrants and refugees. In short, both the physical capital and the human capital of foreigners contributed to the development of the British economy from one of the more backward economies of Western Europe to one of the most advanced, setting the stage for Britain’s industrial revolution that led the world into the industrial age.

Widespread corruption is another deterrent to investment, as it is to economic activity in general. Countries high up on the international index of corruption, such as Nigeria or Russia, are unlikely to attract international investments on a scale that their natural resources or other economic potential might justify. Conversely, the top countries in  terms of having low levels of corruption are all prosperous countries, mostly European or European-offshoot nations plus Japan and Singapore…the level of honesty has serious economic implications.

Sowell, Thomas, Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy (Basic Books, 2004) p.276, 328

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those two men would bring “a message from Magano, the God you seek. Wait for them

June 16, 2011

In the African Country mentioned, there lived a large tribe (in the millions) called the “Gedeos”. In the early 1900′s, these people still had never been reached by the Gospel of Christ. However, they did have an ancient legend that ‘foreigners’ would end up bringing them a message from a certain god called “Magano“. In the meantime, though, they worshiped and sacrificed to an evil god, Sheit’an. They didn’t want to devote themselves to this god, but they wanted to appease him. Since they couldn’t ask Magano’s help, they kept on sacrificing.

As it turned out, this god, “Magano” was actually believed to be the “omnipotent, benevolent Creator [of everything].” A Gedeo man (of some high standing) named ‘Warrasa Wange‘ prayed that Magano would reveal himself to the Gedeo people. Soon thereafter, he had a vision.

In this vision, he saw “two white-skinned strangers” putting up weak, temporary shelters under a sycamore tree in the town of Dilla. He then heard a voice saying that those two men would bring “a message from Magano, the God you seek. Wait for them.” (Side note: In that same vision, he saw temporary shelters as well as numerous sturdy shelters, none of which he had seen before.)

In 1940, Gedeo ‘prophets’ foretold that foreigners would soon arrive with a message from the God, Magano.

Finally, in December 1948, missionaries Albert Brant and Glen Cain rose over the Ethiopian horizon with the intent on bringing the Gospel to the Gedeo People. Because of the political issues, they were advised to setup a mission in the village of Dilla (since others thought it too remote to reach the people).

“With a sigh, he turned the old International toward Dilla. Glen Cain wiped sweat from his brow. ‘This is a hot one, Albert,’ he said. ‘I hope we can find a shady spot for our tents!’.

‘Look at that old sycamore tree!’ Albert responded. ‘Just what the doctor ordered!’

In the distance, Warrasa Wange heard a sound. He had turned just in time to see Brant’s old truck pull to a stop under the sycamore’s spreading branches. Slowly Warassa headed toward the truck, wondering…Three decades later Warrasa (now a radiant believer in Jesus Christ, Son of Magano), together with Albert Brant and others, have established more than 200 churches among the Gedeo people.”

In that Vision, Warrasa was taking down the pole for his dwelling place. This central support was symbolically showing that this experience would change his entire life. It did.

This story is similar to that of the Kareni people to whom Judson went. God had elect many of them to salvation. He had prepared their hearts. But they still needed the gospel to be saved.

The Power of God’s Word

May 16, 2011

One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible’s divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the “Bounty.” Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahatian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive–John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island’s population. So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. About this time, Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God’s Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean–and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.

I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been

January 12, 2010

In 1839, after years of service in South Africa, the famous missionary Robert Moffat returned to Scotland to recruit helpers. When he arrived at the church one cold wintry night, he was dismayed that only a small group had come out to hear him. What bothered him even more was that the only people in attendance were ladies. Although he was grateful for their interest, he had hoped to challenge men. He had chosen as his text Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men I call.” Moffat had one stirring challenge in his message: “I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary has ever been.” Moffat felt frustrated as he gave the message, for he realized that very few women could be expected to undergo the rigorous life in undeveloped jungles. In his discouragement Moffat almost failed to notice one young man assisting the organist. That young man was deeply moved by the challenge and heard the call of God. The following year, David Livingstone, that young man who had heard Robert Moffat’s challenge and God’s call, sailed to Africa. For the next thirty- three years, he ministered in the interior of Africa to villages where no missionary had ever been before.

John Mark Ministries

these facts of cultural and linguistic pioneering conflict with the reputation of Christianity as one colossal act of cultural intolerance

December 14, 2009

Christianity is the religion of over two thousand different language groups in the world. More peple pray and worship in more languages that in any other religion in the world…. Obviously these facts of cultural and linguistic pioneering conflict with the reputation of Christianity as one colossal act of cultural intolerance. This has produced a deep Christendom guilt complex, against which all evidence seems unavailing. It is important, however, to get people to budge, because the default Christianity they now practice is a worn-out cultural fragment of something much greater and fresher.

Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity?, pp. 69-70.

I would venture to say that Missions have more to hope from a narrow creed which remains great, than from a wide humanism that runs thin

November 26, 2009

I would venture to say that Missions have more to hope from a narrow creed which remains great, than from a wide humanism that runs thin. We cannot rest Missions on a religion of Fatherhood alone. The recent gospel of mere fatherhood has been concurrent with a decay of missionary zeal. Where that phase of Christianity shows itself it is Unitarianism, which has no Missions because it has no Gospel. . . . One source of the decay in missionary interest is the decay in theological perception and conviction. Vagueness always lowers the temperature.

P. T. Forsyth, Missions in State and Church

O slavery! Thou offspring of the devil…when wilt thou cease to exist?

October 20, 2009

John Smith was a 19th C. London Missionary Society missionary to Demerara, South America. He saw slavery first hand. He wrote in his diary: ‘O slavery! Thou offspring of the devil…when wilt thou cease to exist?’

Increasingly he found himself in conflict with the plantation authorities over such matters as physical maltreatment of the slaves or their being compelled to work on Sundays, and the very act of teaching the slaves to read was accurately regarded by the colonial authorities as having potential for subversion.

Brian Stanley, The Bible and the Flag, Apollos, 1990, p.87

…the planters and their political allies preceived evangelical missions to be a threat to their power and to the stability of colonial society. Relations between colonists and missionaries were never cordial and were frequently antagonistic.

ibid., p.90

Footnote

John Smith (1790 – 1824) was a missionary whose experiences in the West Indies attracted the attention of the anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce.

Smith arrived in Demerara under the auspices of the London Missionary Society in March, 1817. He lived at plantation Le Resouvenir, where he preached at Bethel Chapel, primarily attended by African slaves.

On the night of 17 August 1823, about ten to twelve thousand slaves drawn from plantations on the East Coast of the Demerara colony rebelled, under the belief that their masters were concealing news of the slaves’ emancipation.

Smith was subsequently charged with promoting discontent and dissatisfaction in the minds of the African slaves, exciting the slaves to rebel, and failing to notify the authorities that the slaves intended to rebel. In his trial he was defended by William Arrindell[1] and was sentenced to death. Wilberforce stepped in to arrange a reprieve, but, by the time it arrived, Smith had already perished as a result of the awful conditions in jail. His death was a major step forward in the campaign to abolish slavery.

References

  1. ^ The Solicitors’ Journal and Reporter. vol. VII. London: Yates and Alexander. 1863. pp. 266.
  • Costa, Emilia Viotti da (1994). “Crowns of Glory, Tears of Blood”. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508298-2

The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike

October 3, 2009

In Bethseda, December 20th 1904, one minister said, The policemen tell me that the public houses are nearly empty, the streets are quiet and swearing is rarely heared. Even old quarrels were ended begun by the Penrhyn quarry strike.

David Lloyd George, in extolling the effects of the (Welsh) revival (1904-5), compared it to a tornado sweeping over the country and bringing in its train far-reaching national and social changes.

E.Evans, Welsh Revival of 1904, pp.110, 114, 115

Bookshops complained of the inadequacy of their supply of Bibles. The coal miners were transformed by the sound of praise in the place of blasphemous oaths. The public houses were empty of rowdy customers and the homes were full of joy and singing. The pit ponies wouldn’t respond to the miners’ commands so accustomed were they to the orders being associated with blasphemous oaths.

ibid., p.105

All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles

September 28, 2009

A certain person, though well-intentioned, tried to dissuade Henry Martyn from going to India as a missionary. Martyn remarked:

“All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles.”

 …When called to encounter the ridicule of those who, not knowing the hope of Christ’s calling, nor the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, nor the exceeding greatness of his power towards those who believe, despised all labors of love amongst the heathen as wild and visionary ; the Lord helped (Martyn) to keep his ground, and to bear his testimony. “With my Bible in my hand, and Christ at my right hand,” said he, “I can do all things: what though the whole world believe not, God abideth true, and my hope in him shall be steadfast.

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.60

If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen

September 28, 2009

I may reasonably doubt the reality of every gracious affection, they are so like the morning cloud, and transient as the early dew. If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen.

Henry Martyn, missionary, translator of the Bible into Hindi and New Testament into Persian. His memoir is highly recommended to inspire spiritual devotion

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.31

God grant us the ‘true love of souls’ that ‘should long and labor for those around’ us.