God Is Not Offended!
WESTERN CHRISTIANS often say the church is in decline – but research shows that this is far from the truth. In fact, if Christianity continues to grow at its current rate, then by the year 2050, there will be five countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America that will each have 100 million Christians.
Christianity is growing in places where the huge majority of people follow other religions. In these contexts, the very word Christian can carry strong connotations of Western imperialism and colonialism. Because of this, many new movements to Christ are rethinking the nature of church, giving rise to “insider movements” or “churchless Christianity”. Members of such movements trust in Christ as their Lord and Saviour, but choose to remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim home cultures.
In Thailand, World Outreach International has been working with an insider movement that is growing rapidly among people who previously identified as Thai Buddhist. These people are now devoted followers of Christ. While many do join a visible Christian church, others choose to meet in small house churches that do not specifically call themselves Christian, because of the strong Western cultural association surrounding the term.
It seems that God is not offended when people who love Him choose to worship Him using traditional instruments, and continue to identify with the Buddhist community. He is doing outstanding miracles among them. One new believer began praying for her family, and through that prayer, the family spirit house was totally destroyed without anyone touching it. At the same time, her grandmother was delivered from a powerful ancestral spirit. A woman stopped breathing for 30 minutes and came back to life through the prayer of a believer. A two-year-old child went into convulsions because of a high fever and stopped breathing. His body turned blue, but when his aunt prayed for him in the name of Jesus, he was instantly healed.
I rejoice every time I see God at work in these new churches. They are full of people who love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts. And it’s happening in towns and villages where there has never been a church before. We may not fully understand what God is doing, but let’s rejoice and pray for more growth, more new believers and more disciples worshipping Jesus and glorifying Him.
Ministry leader involved in training and evangelism.