Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism

Dave Burke asks:

Evangelism
Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is our local preaching so unsuccessful while our overseas evangelism rises from strength to strength? It’s not that we don’t know how to evangelise, or that preaching the Gospel isn’t important to us. Instead I believe it’s because overseas mission work is largely unfettered by the restrictions of the pervading culture in our home ecclesias.

Western Christadelphia has developed habits which are now traditions, and because they’re traditions we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re not allowed to change them, and because we refuse to change we don’t improve, but because improvement involves change and change is forbidden, we end up congratulating ourselves for our stagnation.

In this regard we have become an institutionalised church, which is ironic because we spend a great deal of time criticising mainstream institutionalised churches for their slavish adherence to man-made traditions.

Rachael Wadsworth does find:

Overseas preaching I would imagine is largely funded by ecclesias in the UK, Australia etc. Yet in the North West of the UK there are many small, elderly ecclesias. When they are gone, so the funding for overseas preaching declines, and the same for other areas / countries.

We do have to be conscious about the many temptations the people in the economical well thriving countries get. Western Europe had many countries in the past which had successful missionary posts in the south part of the world. Most successful you could say was the Roman Catholic Church, which had placed their missionaries in nearly every part of the world.

In Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, which were once missionary-sending nations we can see a turning point having people from the missionaries coming over to our regions to preach. After years of secularisation, a new poll has found that Christians in the UK are increasingly looking to the overseas church to help in the work of spreading the Gospel, and this we saw already happening a few years in Belgium were nobody really is interested in God.

In a 2012 survey of more than 1,100 UK Christians, 74% agreed that the UK needed missionaries from other countries to come and bring the Gospel to the people.
This figure was supported by 68% who stated that out of all the world’s regions, the UK should receive the highest priority for church mission, prayer and support.

The feeling among UK Christians is reflected in their giving, with a quarter of those surveyed saying they had started to give more generously to UK causes than to overseas ones. Though there are less people coming to church, having to go much further than in previous centuries because lots of the church buildings have closed down, are sold to the property market, to be converted in living quarters, cultural centres or shops.

In the UK more than 50 per cent of evangelical Christians felt that immigration had benefited the church over the last 50 years, while nearly all (95%) said they felt they could learn from and be inspired by the church overseas.
Three-quarters of those surveyed said their own church gave significant support to an overseas church, while 76 per cent said that the Olympics were an excellent way to communicate the Gospel.

The strong awareness of mission reflects the results of a poll in 2011 in which 90% of Christians said believers should be actively involved in evangelism. However, the poll found that only 60% of those surveyed were actually doing it.

“As a nation we are quite comfortable showing both reservation and determination in equal measure,”

said Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance.

“But when you are blessed with this tension in your identity it’s no surprise that, though we are eager to be evangelists, we do struggle with it. It explains why Christians might look to the overseas Church when they hear it confidently spreading the Gospel despite often being victims of intense levels of religious persecution.

“But we must accept overseas missionaries as a gift and let them inspire us. We need to increase our confidence in speaking about our faith and also asking ourselves ‘what can I do today in my own church that weaves the values of Christianity into our local communities?'”

Lots of people have grown away form the real lifestyle Jesus had in mind. Christendom has taken an other track than the first Christians of Christianity.

In  355 CE Julian the Apostate (a pagan Roman emperor) who was given an education that combined Christian and Neoplatonic ideas, attempted to restore paganism as the state religion. He openly acknowledged that Christianity was the most popular religion of the time. Paganism was dying, mainly because it had become insular and complacent.

This is how Julian described the problem:

‘Why then do we think that [basic religious devotion] is sufficient and do not observe how the kindness of Christians to strangers, their care for the burial of their dead, and the sobriety of their lifestyle has done the most to advance their cause? Each of these things, I think, ought really to be practised by us.

It is not sufficient for you alone to practice them, but so must all the priests in Galatia without exception. For it is disgraceful when no Jew is a beggar and the impious Galileans [Julian’s name for the Christians] support our poor in addition to their own; everyone is able to see that our fellow believers need our help.’

Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs
Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the early times of Christianity the followers and lovers of Christ came together in each-others houses, in open public spaces or in caves and catacombs. they did not need a proper church-building like some people today think is the only way Christians can meet. Often you can find on the net people saying Christadelphians are no Christians because they do not meet and worship in ‘church’ but speak of a hall. They do often forget that when we do have a Christadelphian Hall, or a Kingdom Hall or a House of Hope and Glory, or speak about coming together in the Conference Room, or the Hotel, or ‘So-and-so’s house’ or any other private or public place, we are making church, having our ecclesia or Εκκλησία (ekklesia = in English “church” or meeting house) whilst ναός would mean temple in English, and therefore this also could sometimes be used as the name for our meeting place.

One of the meetingrooms at the ecclesia Leuven - CBM meeting in one of the meeting rooms of the Leuven ecclesia -
CBM meeting in one of the meeting rooms of the Leuven ecclesia. Not like in many other churches, parishioners sitting passive on church chairs or benches, in a Christadelphian ecclesia (ekklesia = church) all members of the community, present at the church-service, participate actively.

It is not because our “Christadelphian Hall” does not look like a Roman Catholic Church or in many countries does not look at all like a classic ‘Christian Church’ that our ecclesiae would not be ‘holding church’ and therefore not be Christian.

Lots of people do think because we deny the deity of Christ and deny the immortality of the soul there is no point the point of this “god” we serve. {Honor «god» and Queen of Heaven} Those people are also annoyed that the pontiff kissed the Koran/Quran and considers it to be a holy book and being part of the monotheist religions which honour the Only One God. For them it can not be that Allah (God) would be the God for all mankind and the God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Lots of times it are people who do not have the word Allah or allah in their language dictionary as a title given to an important person, like the angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Apollo, Zeus and many others in the Holy Scriptures are called in several languages allah or god, who do not understand the difference between a tittle and a name and ‘a god’ and ‘the God’.

We understand that because the limitation in their own language and they not knowing the Arabic or other languages word for god, they have difficulties with that. But for having church they should read their Book of books in whichever language they use and would be able to find what the first Christians did and how and where they came together to study the Word of God, to meditate on it, to pray and to worship the Most High God of gods, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Confusing ideas for many searching people
Confusing ideas for many searching people
Very confusing for many searchers of ttruth is the saying of certain bloggers that Jesus is 100% human but at the same time time he would be 100% God
Very confusing for many searchers of truth is the saying of certain bloggers that Jesus is 100% human but at the same time time he would be 100% God

In lots of western churches we can see that lots of pagan acts have been introduced and are common practice. They often expect other churches to do likewise, otherwise they can not be part of their system: “the church”. They overlook what God says about Himself and how He wants to be worshipped. God also speaks about His only begotten son, who also tells about his position opposite his heavenly Father. But they do not want to believe what those two Biblical characters say about themselves and the other and thrive on their Trinitarian dogma‘s, convinced that all those who do not keep to their dogma‘s and rules do not belong to the church and even worse may not call themselves Christian. They better would look up in the Bible the Characteristics of a Christian.

which Jesus do bloggers want to present?
which Jesus do bloggers want to present?

They forget what it really means to be a Christian. Normally a Christian should be a follower of Christ, not a follower of human dogmas. A Christian should be a person who follows the sayings and teaching of Christ and follows up the tasks Jesus has given.

Who are masquerading Christians when several so called Christians do say "He that denies God the Son, has strayed far away from the truth. Islam denies that God has a Son. "
Who are masquerading Christians when several so called Christians do say “He that denies God the Son, has strayed far away from the truth. Islam denies that God has a Son. “

The answers many Christadelphians and people who are not yet Christian get from so called Christians do let them take distance of that belief of those bloggers, also often because the writers of such blogs start often throwing with mud, threatening with damnation and the like, so that the readers not at all can feel the love Jesus preached and they would expect followers of such a pacifist teacher to have.

Two very important tasks given by that teacher is doing the Will of Jesus his heavenly Father, like Jesus did not do his own will, but only the Will of his Father, to whom Jesus prayed himself and learned others to pray to, and the other one is going out in the world in a peaceful manner to proclaim the Word of God and bringing the Gospel of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

By most Christian blogs we can see that the focus is not at all at those points but more to bring people to their own ‘only right’ denomination.

The last few years we have seen that lots of preachers on the internet chose to do their own will and to press others in following their human teachings. When people visited their websites and wanted to go into discussion, they mostly wanted the other to take on their ideas. At first they may have greetings like shalom, but soon forgot what that really means and brought the visitors under pressure by threatening with damnation and eternal torture. Regularly those people in charge of those trinitarian formula blogs also not allow any normal open discussion about what is really written in the Bible, when it is not following their doctrine of three gods in one. On the other hand Christadelphians trying to discuss the Word of God in all serenity, often are being silenced by the Trinitarians. Those Christadelphians who have or had their own side or blog often are attacked by those who call themselves Christians. (You should see what for sorts words or awful language we get in our mailbox from so called Christians or with how many viruses they want to infect us.)

Only blood that can cleanseMany Christians seeing lots of denominations and being confronted by teachers who preach that all are saved by Christ and do not have to do any works for entering heaven, are then bombarded by priests, pastors, preachers, who say they may not do this or that and have to do so and so.

Strange enough even a denomination which in the previous centuries always demanded works of its believers, like first to regret what people had done, then to ask forgiveness of sins, coming to God by whitewashing of sins through baptism when they are old enough to consent, following this up by learning to master all passions, having to work to fulfil the wishes of God, following the commandments of God, has now preachers and pastors who call themselves the same as those in previous centuries: Baptist, but  do preach no works are necessary any more. some Baptists seem to allow child baptism as well, contrary of the fundamental teachings of the original Baptists. (Uprooted Baptists their new idea of baptism) This when other Baptist preachers are real doom preachers.

Salvation to the Christadelphians is a process, is not given at the point of faith in Christ, is dependent upon “belief in the covenants,” good works and baptism.
Salvation to the Christadelphians is a process, is not given at the point of faith in Christ, is dependent upon “belief in the covenants,” good works and baptism.

Many denominational bloggers say that we are saved by faith alone, in Christ alone, but forget to see that Grace is given to all people of the world. Jesus died, in the knowledge  that God can not die, for all people, not only for Christians, to pardon their sins. Though people have to come to accept Jesus as their saviour and have to live accordingly the Will of God and not according to the will of the world.

“For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

tells us that we might, but does not say “we are” the righteous of God in Christ. The Christadelphians do  not say grace is not given for free, but they say we have to be careful not to lose that what is given to all people and therefore also to us, shall not be lost again because we would not live according the expectations for such gift. We must merit our salvation through our own efforts and can not blame others for our own faults.

“20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that [life] which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, [the faith] which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. 21 I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought.” (Galatians 2:20-21 ASV)

That passage tells us that the apostle Paul considered that Christ’s life showed him how, and enabled him to do it. He identified himself and advices us also to identify ourself completely with Jesus. Indeed, Paul considers himself to  have been crucified with Christ. Because of that action of Jeshua, Christ the Messiah, Paul‘s ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that he appears righteous before the other disciples and followers of Christ or has their good opinion. He tells them he is no longer driven to impress God, because Christ lives in him. In such way he does not bring any works in front of God to impress others or God.The life the followers of Christ saw him living was not “his” but was lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved him and gave himself (Jeshua) for the apostle. The apostle did not want to explain that once again, because he had done that already several times in the past. So he would not going to go back on that. Also today for many is it not clear to them that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in the relationship with God. The apostle Paul refused to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. He says that “If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.” But he did not say we do not have to do anything to keep the salvation worthy and that we should not do anything to make sure we could be able to enter in the Kingdom of God. He knew enough parables or illustrations by Christ which tell us otherwise. He and the other first and chosen disciples by Christ in their letters wrote enough remarks about what we have to do to be able to protect ourself so that we shall be found righteous to enter the small gate to the Kingdom of God.

At one place those writers say no works are needed and a little-bit later they start asking requirements of their followers, even demanding money at collections.

 False saying "True Christianity teaches salvation without works

False saying “True Christianity teaches salvation without works
The true Messiah wants to use what He has gifted you to His glory. He wants you to live a decent life, a life of balance, behaving holy and to be in peace.
The true Messiah wants to use what He has gifted you to His glory. He wants you to live a decent life, a life of balance, behaving holy and to be in peace.

Saying no works are needed to enter God’s Kingdom but at the same time saying:

The true Messiah wants to use what He has gifted you to His glory. He wants you to live a decent life, a life of balance, behaving holy and to be in peace.

which is demanding a change in our attitude or actions to be taken by us, works, this makes those words of “no work” hollow. Certainly when they see clergy who live a life not according to the Holy Scriptures, misusing their position and abusing youngsters, and seeing that they get away with it, protected by their hierarchy institutions and because of their political power, while ordinary people for the same actions would get in prison. Those preachers saying that no works have to be done, because we are saved, at the same time demand so  many things from their flock and frighten them with hell, where people would have to undergo eternal torture. Others are excommunicated for things they have done wrong according to their church, though that church preaches no works have to be done, so how come someone dares to give a ruling above the rulings of Christ and God? Seeing those institution then putting themselves higher than the judge Jesus and higher than God, because they themselves say Jesus does not demand any works any more from us, but they themselves who say such a thing, exclude certain people when they did not do a certain work, made that many people lost trust in those churches and in general, in all religion.

It are such situations of aggressive preaching and misleading lots of people which makes it so much more the difficult to preach these days. People are torn between the heavy active Trinitarians which have so many divisions all countering each other. This not only confuses a lot of people, but those churches their attitude to non-believers and other believers makes them run away from such faith-groups.

Being so indoctrinated by the human dogmatic teachings, for non-trinitarians it has become very difficult to let people believe that their faithgroup is different and follows the teachings of the Bible. Lots of people have so much received a reluctance of anything to do with religion and are made so frightened by those trinitarians which always preach

If you are in a Church which make you worship a false Messiah, You are lost, and will end up in the eternal punishment of Hell. You have been deceived by your priests and teachers, and you are in need of deliverance. {Honor «god» and Queen of Heaven}

Some of the visitors and blogwriters may question

Institutionalized religion…when did it become relevant and when did it stop? The central truth to Christianity is Christ and God’s inspired word. Once anyone steps away from that have stopped being relevant and started being religious. Jesus was not about religion but about a personal relationship.

The central truth to Crhistianity is Christ and God’s inspired word
The central truth to Christianity is Christ and God’s inspired word

But most people are not any more interested in that inspired and infallible Word of God. Not many want to take the Bible with them and compare what people are saying what it would say and what is really printed in the Bible.

Several non-trinitarian believers tried to have a look at the Scriptures with the other believers but in the end gave it up.

In Christadelphianism a lot of people are ‘believing it’ and resting on their laurels, believing or trusting that God will call those whom He wishes and will bring them to the community of faith, so they do not have to do anything. We are afraid that, like we can see in the trinitarian communities, not many are interested in preaching any more, the virus of easiness and luxury comfort has found its way also in the Christadelphian congregation. Not many are willing to Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom. To spend time to try to convince others of our own belief seems for many a waste of time because people want to enjoy their own traditions and main doctrines which do not make themselves responsible for the choices they make.

In our community people do have to make their own choice and to take their own responsibility.This does not make our faith very attractive for others, because they can not hide behind a devil or other extraterrestrial or spirit creature.

When you read the New Testament you will see that we do have to have faith but also have to love accordingly and have to Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life. We should use the Bible every day and remember that we cannot change anything in your life with intention alone.
We all may need a Relapse plan and notice how we are coming closer to the end-times and how the need of preaching becomes more important, fulfilling what is said in the New Testament about what shall happen in the Last Days. We do know than there would be more agitation against people who love God. Jesus also warned his followers they shall have to face lots of opposition and that there would be many who shall not be able to endure and run the race to the end (again an action to be taken or a work to be done, for those who still keep believing no works have to be done).

People are turning their back on Christianity in the times that many love to Kill the messenger. Too many are clinging their hopes and lives to the material gadgets and entertainment this world offers. Though there may be several people who do not mind sharing their material wealth, most people are afraid to let others look deep into their heart and to know what they believe about spiritual matters. Not many do want to let others know what they believe in in Whom they trust. Religion and Faith in a God is not spoken about any more in our communities. Christadelphia also suffers under the contentment of life by many. Lots of Christadelphians are pleased with their own situation, thinking it will be all right if they live well according to the bible’s teaching. Afraid of receiving negative reactions and seeing how the world loves to keep to its doctrinal teachings they have lost hope for change.

You can not find many who want to carry the “the victory banner” of their Kristos, their saviour who gave his life for our wrongdoings (sins).

The ones who really love Jesus Christ are those who not only look up at Jesus but are willing to follow Jesus, in what he believed and in what he preached and to follow up his requests, like going out into the world to preach the Good News.

In this world we not only need people to preach to non-believers, but also men and womenwhoareprepared to reach others a hand who are looking for values and the truth in this misleading world. to do such work in their own environment frighten lots of people because they than could be recognised by others doing such a work. Going overseas to many is more attractive because then they can enjoy adventure show off to others that they have been to such and such far away or exotic place, not telling straight away what they really went to do there.Preaching around the own house does not look so attractive than to go far away from home and to face new environments and get to learn new cultures, often in a more receptive environment than the one at home. It is that unreceptive environment which frightens most of us. It is much more difficult when you can face people who know you and your family, to tell about what you really belief and for which values you want to go in your life.Today it is like Dave Burke believes because overseas mission work is largely unfettered by the restrictions of the pervading culture in our home ecclesiae, that our local preaching is so unsuccessful not to say for certain places non-existent.

Much more work should be done to revitalise the feeling of need to go out of the Christadelphian Hall or parish building, to bring that important message the Nazarene Jew, from the tribe of King David came to tell the world. In each little circle, wherever there is one, two or hopefully more, those should not restrict their feelings and belief to their own house nor to their own small community of Christadelphian believers. They also should now that there is no need to have a specific church-building, like so many other preachers want people to believe, to make church. At the beginning of Christianity, the followers of Christ first came together in synagogues, temples, market squares and in their own private houses. today it should not be different. We still can come together, meeting in our own houses, with others, like minded and curious ones, to study the Bible, reading in it and discussing about what is read. We also do not need church-chairs or church benches in a typical church-building with tower, to pray and sing songs of praise, worshipping the Only One God.Peoplemay be accustomed by that idea of ‘church’ that they even say, like some preachers say, that we can not be a church because we do not have churches like they knowthemto be.It ishigh time that we show others what it really means to love Jesus and to respect what Jesus really did for humankind, so that sayings that Jesus hasto be God or otherwise we could not be saved shall be uprooted and provento be wrong.

A nice place where we can be followers of Christ and enjoy god's Word in peace, making chuch, though the meeting place not having such name "Church", but in Leuven being called the "Quiz'in".
Christadelphian ‘Church service in Heverlee- Leuven” – A nice place where we can be followers of Christ and enjoy God’s Word in peace, making church, though the meeting place not having such name “Church”, but in Heverlee-Leuven being called the “Quiz’inn”, in Nivelles called the “Service Station”, in Zaventem “By Frank”, in Tervuren “CC” (or cultural Center) or “Paepenblok” in Kraainem “Kingdom Hall”, and in Mons “At Steve’s” or “By Steve” plus in the “Kingdom Hall”.

Better to be part of a small faith-group which follows the teachings of the Nazarene Jew, about Whom God Himself said it is (Jehovah God) His son, than to go and sit in dark churches, where so many people can hide themselves and not have to participate in the service. Though are meeting places may not always look like what people are used to think off, by hearing the word ‘church’, we prefer such lighter places where those who gather come together in unity and peace, sitting easy and comfortable, to share their love for Christ Jesus and to study the Holy Scriptures and to enjoy together a time of worship and praise for the Only One God, Who is One, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Jesus did not stop to give his life for many and though he even asked one moment why god had forsaken him, he always wanted and did the will of god. By such action of this man God accepted his ransom offering, for all mankind.
Jesus did not stop to give his life for many and though he even asked one moment why god had forsaken him, he always wanted and did the will of god. By such action of this man God accepted his ransom offering, for all mankind.

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For those who want to see how Christadelphians are often silenced when they want to defend their believes
and do not get any opportunity to prove that they are no sect or cult and to proof what is really written in the Bible
please do find some excerpts of what went on at “Honor «god» and Queen of Heaven” (To give just one example)

Example of how people with other ideas are often silenced and not given a change to defend themselves against the accusations of them belong to a sect or cult, or not following the Bible.
Example of how people with other ideas are often silenced and not given a change to defend themselves against the accusations of them belong to a sect or cult, or not following the Bible.

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Additional reading:

  1. How do you define religion?
  2. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  3. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  4. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  6. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  7. Some one or something to fear #5 Not afraid
  8. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  9. People are turning their back on Christianity
  10. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  11. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  12. Bible in the first place #3/3
  13. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  18. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. We should use the Bible every day
  21. A participation in the body of Christ
  22. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  25. Worship and worshippingTrusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  26. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  27. Savouring pictorial entertainementCatholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  28. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  29. Good or bad preacher
  30. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  31. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  32. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  33. Immigration consternation
  34. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  35. Migrants to the West #2Migrants to the West #5Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  36. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church
  37. Pastorpreneur Warren
  38. Relapse plan
  39. See God in everyone you meet
  40. Words to push and pull
  41. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  42. United people under Christ
  43. Commitment to Christian unity
  44. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  45. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  46. Meeting – Vergadering
  47. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  48. Congregation – Congregatie
  49. Integrity of the fellowship
  50. Keeping an ecclesia in modern times
  51. Compassion and Discipline
  52. Be an Encourager
  53. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  54. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  55. Kill the messenger
  56. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  57. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  58. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  59. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  60. Writers needed to preach to non-believers

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Please do find also to read:

EU declaration on One World Religion of good works
Noting that approximately 55 per cent of the world’s population is either Christian or Muslim; and that perhaps 80 per cent of the world’s population is either Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian.
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Acknowledging that despite the many irresolvable and unbridgeable theological and religious differences and disagreements between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is nevertheless a central and essential common ground of faith, hope and love between these three monotheistic and Abrahamic religions.
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Believing, moreover, that all the peoples of the world are bound together not only by their common humanity and their common planet Earth, but also by either Love of God and Love of the Neighbour or Love of the Good and Love of the Neighbour.

Supporting United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/65/PV.34 of October 20th 2010 establishing a voluntary World Interfaith Harmony Week as proposed by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ben Al Hussein of Jordan on September 23rd 2010 at the United Nations General Assembly, and calling for:

“The world’s people, in their own places of worship, could express the teachings of their own faiths about tolerance, respect for the other, and peace.”
– 
16 December 2010; European People’s Party Summit; Castle of Bouchout, Meise, Belgium, Euorpean Union; On behalf of the European People’s Party Presidency, EPP President Wilfried Martens

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  • Pantheon Demigods of Lucifer’s Church (mysteryoftheiniquity.com)
    Pantheon Demigods of Lucifer’s (Roman Catholic) Church
    Underneath the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican, they have mysterious items which have been kept for hundreds of years. These items reveal who and what these elite people of the R.C.C. worship.
  • The lady and the lewdest (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    The local Roman Catholic Church is in a tizzy. Rumour has it the church is facing an identity crisis never before experienced within its righteous rectals (oops, sorry, rectories). The story on the road is that one of its own, a monsignor no less, was caught, in flagrante delicto, perpetrating heterosexual acts. Yes, you read right, this popular man of the cloth was found defrocking a member of the opposite sex. Exposed, the lady and the lewdist were excoriated by the lady’s husband.
  • How Churches Invest Their Money (mint.com)
    The popular image of a church is that of a selfless organization unconcerned with financial gain. It is reflected in the fact that churches receive tax-exempt status from federal and state governments. And without question, most churches do engage in substantial charity work.But that doesn’t mean that churches are not, at least partially, money-making enterprises. Though official records are scarce, the world’s major churches are all believed to collect annual revenues in excess of several billion dollars. Like any other institution, these churches work hard to earn the highest possible return on their investments.
  • Irish Priest Comes Out: Gets Standing Ovation (lgbtlife.co.uk)
    Delivering a sermon in which he expressed support for marriage equality, an Irish priest told his flock that he is gay.  LGBT and allied Roman Catholic Churchstaffmay be keeping their perspective quiet in Florida (or facing discipline), but one gay Irish priest recently declared his identity loud and proud — and got a standing ovation from his parishioners.

    Father Martin Dolan Irish Priest Comes Out

    Father Martin Dolan

    According to the Irish Sun, which broke the story, Father Martin Dolan came out as gay last weekend during a sermon in which he supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the Republic of Ireland, where a vote on the issue is slated for May. “I’m gay myself,” he said. The Dublin archdiocese declined comment on the matter pending discussion with Dolan, who is away on a previously scheduled vacation, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

    One of the congregants who expressed support for Dolan was Liz O’Connor, who told the Sun, “We are all very proud of Father Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay he doesn’t change the person that he was before it.”

  • Court won’t hear priest’s appeal of ruling reviving lawsuit (seattletimes.com)
    The Supreme Court is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against a Louisiana Roman Catholic church and a priest over allegations that a teen was kissed and fondled by an adult church parishioner.
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53 thoughts on “Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism

  1. Dave Burke further remarks:
    If our community intends to remain alive, and relevant to potential converts, we must enter the 21st Century as a 21st Century community rather than a 19th Century community pretending to be a 1st Century community. This means updating our social behaviour to meet modern expectations while holding fast to our Biblical roots, beliefs, and values.

    Our social behaviour should reflect the values we hold most dear. Some people seem to think this requires strict dress standards (and I speak as someone who enjoys wearing a suit). But if the way we dress is considered one of our highest values, there is something very wrong with our understanding of God’s expectations.

    We already know that Christian communities don’t need impressive church buildings and fancy clothes to be successful. What matters most to people is what they find in those places.

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  2. Hannah Tanner says:
    The problem I have with local preaching is that only a tiny minority of my church live within the immediate area of the church building. I admit to being part of the problem because I choose not to attend the Christadelphian churches closest to where I live because I find their very formal styles stifling. This makes it hard to ask neighbours to come with us. The only other people I mix with who are not already Christadelphian are my colleagues who are also widely spread geographically. In many cases I’d be embarrased to suggest they visit their local Christadelphian church because I know what kind of reception they’d find.

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  3. When I belonged to the Baptist Church in the 1970-90ies we learned that this church grow out of the apostles or first followers of Christ. We where taught it was the continuation of the original church which was later to be split up in a trinitarian and non-trinitarian section. In the 16th century many were put on the burning stake because they only believed in One God and were not willing to accept the Catholic Holy Trinity.

    In our churches we learned that works were a necessary element of faith because faith without works is dead according the writing of the apostle James. One of the important element for becoming a Baptist was taking on those works of faith. One could not become a Baptist when there was no repentance, i.e. an act to be taken on, or a work to be done, when such repentance meant also that the person had to promise to avoid doing such things again.
    Secondly after remorse was shown, the person could learn the Scriptures and when he could give proof of enough knowledge, i.e. that he had worked enough to know the essence of the Word of God, he could ask for a Baptism and get baptised, once again a work to be done.
    Thirdly, once being baptised was demanded that the person would follow the teaching of Jesus Christ and keep to the commandments of God, once again a work to be done.
    Fourthly a person was asked to come regularly to the meeting. In our Baptist church we had Tuesday discussion of what was Sunday told and question time about it and bible study, Thursday Bible study and prayer time. Saturday evening prayer. Sunday morning or Sunday evening the Evening Meal or Remembrance service. Naturally nobody expected to need to follow all of those meetings to earn salvation, but they were part of showing commitment to the faith.
    Most important at those meetings could be discussed when or where something went good or wrong, and could the elders and pastor give exhortations or sermons to edify people for their way of life.

    The Way of life people chose was considered very impartation at that time by the Baptists. There existed then two main groups; the doom-thinkers we called those who always put the focus on the possibility of condemnation, and the group to which my church belonged the spiritual liberated Christians, whose focus was on the salvation we have received freely from the ransom offer by Jesus.

    Though it was made very clear this did not give us the right to do whatever we wanted. Our lifestyle was at that time considered to be essential to be able to be part of the church and to b”e able to gain entrance to the Kingdom of God.

    In the Baptist churches I went to never was there any body disfellowshipped, but I do know that in the worldwide community it happened more than once that a person was disfelloshipped because he had “sinned gravely”.

    When in the 1980ies the American Baptist Unions got more power over the worldwide community of Baptist believers, and tried to impose the trinitarian thinking on all the community, lots of Baptists did not wait to find an other Christian community which was following the Bible teachings and not human doctrines. I waited a long time before taking the step to search for an other church denomination.

    After I had taken the step, like thousands of my brethren and sisters of the Baptists, I saw how also the demand to follow the teachings of the apostles disappeared from the Baptist community. Resulting today in Baptist preachers who now teach no works are necessary any more because everybody is saved.
    This means that when people do follow their sexual drifts and copulate with several persons even from the different sexes or whit animals they do not have to worry, because they, according to those preachers, do not have to work at themselves, have not to constrain themselves (because that is a work).

    Even that what was so typical for Baptists, namely that a person could only receive a valuable baptism, when he as an adult, or a person who is wise enough to take a conscious decision, was put aside over the years, and now we can find Baptist communities where infant baptism is valuable to be taken up as a member of that church.

    I do find it strange that those Baptist preachers say no works have to be done and wonder than about what their sermons all are about. In my time (this sounds like I am already old), lots of preachers we had or went to listen at, like Billy Graham (yes we did not mind to go to preachers from other denominations as well) e.g., were speakers who gave attention to the way of our Christian life, which they considered an important factor to be earning and receiving entrance into the Kingdom of God.

    Funny enough those preachers who say no works are needed are leaning in the tradition of the doom-thinkers and doom-preachers, but from a different sort than the Westborogh Baptist Church. they keep firing in their texts with “burning in hell” and “damnation for ever”, which contradicts that the person would be saved for ever and has not do any works.

    It are such contradiction which confuses not only the parish members, but also gets searchers for God, away from those hypocrite preachers or let them find a ‘safe heaven’ because they fear torture. We can see that lots of people than become followers of that church for the wrong reason and buy off their soul, by putting enough money in the collection basket. This we clearly see happening in those mega churches and television churches where people strangely enough are made so frightened of hell and damnation, though on the other hand they should not worry because the same preachers also teach they have to do no works and have no commitments to any person in the world, so why do they still bother?!

    Most people do feel the safest there where the majority is. You can see that in the supermarket or in the airport by checking in and by security control, where people go to cue in the longest row, instead of going there were less people are standing or waiting.
    The same about churches. People do think the church which is the biggest (in Belgium the Roman Catholic Church) much be the most right one. they also have the strange idea, that a church which does not meet in buildings like that church can not be a church. Also in protestant countries we do see such a phenomenon, there people also expect churches to be places where there are church benches (and not church chairs like in most European churches). It is very difficult for people to comprehend that a church can be something different that those main churches (Catholic, Charismatic, Reformed, Dutch Protestant, Anglican, Pentecostal)

    For many it is also very difficult to grasp that a church can have other structure than the Old Roman Catholic or Roman Catholic church? Often they also want to find different rites like in several sorts of Catholic and Orthodox churches. For some the Liberal Catholics are already to liberal or free. The Charismatic Catholics and Charismatic protestants do have also the same problem as the house-churches, that lots of people also do not want to recognise them as ‘churches’.

    In the darker catholic churches it is very easy to sit somewhere, not to be noticed as such or to have time to think about other matters than what is going on in front, having a priest saying his sets of prayers and readings, not asking any involvement from his parishioners. The easy church, or church where no commitments are asked, or where no works are demanded is naturally the easy choice and most preferred choice. But people should wonder if it it also the right choice in the eyes of God.

    We also should question if we can ignore the request of Jesus Christ to go out in the world and to preach the Good News. Is it a work we have to take on? Or can we just ignore Jesus’ request and continue our easy life in front of the ‘télé’? You can even wonder if it is all right what we let enter in our house by that previously small, but today also sometimes huge screen. the words or language and some of the pictures that comes from that television are sometimes not really what should be part of a Christian life. But people do feel safe, because the pastors told them not to worry because they are saved and have not to do works, so they have not to switch it off.

    This way a lot of smut has entered many families homes. A lot of filth has entered in the way of life of many churches, but nobody seems to worry, because it is all normal as one belongs to the main church.

    Those smaller churches, which demand that people live according to the Holy Scriptures are by those main churches looked down and accused of being sectarian or to be cults. Not giving them a chance to defend themselves it becomes very easy to keep spreading and multiplying such false accusations. We can see that most about the Jehovah Witnesses and also about the Christadelphians. When you see what a load of rubbish they tell about those communities, I myself would think I must be in an other sort of church.

    We naturally could let all those lies being told and let them be for what they are. But we also have to open the eyes and ears of the people who hear such stories about us and other non-trinitarian churches.
    We also should show people that we are different than those churches and different than what those churches say about us. when we may not get the Word of God with us to defend ourselves on their platforms or there where they accuse us, we should take the other places to show their audience what we do think and how we make church.

    People more should come to see how church was made in the early years of Christianity, and should come to understand the way of the first century of this time era, is still a right way to do it. Like the apostles came together with those interested in the teachings of Jesus, we should like them also come together in houses, and not wait until we are with so many that we can fill a special build purpose church-space.

    Today we need again the preaching like in the first century, looking for and finding enough people interested to learn the word of God and to worship that Only One God like God does prefer it and not like man would like to see it done.

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  4. Dave Burke also commented:

    Modern non-Christian expectations of Christian communities are based on historical precedent. For 2,000 years Christians have been exemplars for charity and social engagement. Non-Christians are conditioned to expect certain behaviour from Christians. If we do not exhibit that behaviour we will not be recognised as Christians, and rightly so (see the Sermon on the Mount for details).

    History shows that the most successful Christian communities did not change their doctrines, but did adapt their preaching to match a contemporary context, and did maintain a strong presence within their local communities. The earliest Christians engaged deeply with their local community.

    They converted society by living in it without condoning it. They took their message to the people. They were known and respected for their charity. Public awareness of Christians was disproportionate to the small size of the Christian community.

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  5. […] countries are the non-trinitarians like the Jehovah Witnesses and Christadelphians, though lots of the latter group become so disappointed by the reaction of trinitarians and non-believers that they give it up. After having disappeared […]

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  6. We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West).

    According to studies by LifeWay Research and Barna Group many millennials are as faithful as ever, but they have to see that the majority of the millenials did not bother to come to one or the other church.

    Over the past three decades, Barna Group has conducted tens of thousands of interviews with unchurched people to discover their hurts, needs and hopes, with the aim of equipping the church to become more effective at connecting with them.

    Churchless is an up-to-the-minute snapshot of the perceptions, beliefs, behaviors, choices, experiences, expectations and hopes of a nationally representative body of churchless adults. Based on their data, Churchless compares the backgrounds, behaviors and beliefs of the churched and the unchurched. they can see how many of the so called Christians shout at each other and call each other names. Horrible they can find the attitude of trinitarians against non-trinarians. Though those main churches always call out on the love of Christ and say we do have to share this love of Christ they are the first ones to shoot with fire at the non-trinitarians who call themselves also Christian, but may not call themselves so by the main churches, who say they are sects and cults.

    Than they mostly do not mean by “sect” a subdivision of a larger religious group (esp the Christian Church as a whole) the members of which have to some extent diverged from the rest by developing deviating beliefs, practices, etc., but think more of a dangerous schismatic religious body characterized by an attitude of exclusivity in contrast to the more inclusive religious groups called denominations or Churches or a religious group regarded as extreme or heretical having a leader everybody follows, without examining the truth.

    The main churches look down at the non-trinitarians as belonging to a cult or a contemporary religious group whose beliefs and practices depart from the conventional norms of society. The opponents of the non-trinitarian believers want others to believe that those who do not believe in the Holy Trinity do have a doctrine which is made up by a human leader everybody has to follow blindly. They want others to believe those belonging to such group are all chained to the teachings and to the will of that leader and his/her organisation. They imagine that there is a leadership, and ritual, but most stress direct experience of the divine and duties to the cult community. In their way of accusing such groups it is no wonder that lots of people get frightened of such non-trinitarians, because in the past the world has seen enough cults tending to proliferate during periods of social unrest; most being transient and peripheral.

    Many cults that have emerged in the United States since the late 1960s have been marked by renewed interest in mysticism and Asian religions, but many others have had Christian roots.

    Such major U.S. cults as the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (from Korea) and Hare Krishna, a movement derived from Hinduism, have stirred wide controversy.

    Cults’ insularity and distrust of society sometimes lead to violent conflicts with the law.
    In 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana, followers of Jim Jones killed a U.S. congressman who was investigating Jones, and then Jones and more than 900 others committed mass suicide.
    In 1993 a gunfight near Waco, Tex., between federal officers and David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers led to a 51-day siege that ended in a blaze that left Koresh and 82 people dead.
    Other notorious cults have included the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo, whose adherents were responsible for a number of murders, including a 1995 nerve-gas attack in the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 and injured thousands;
    the Order of the Solar Temple, whose members died by murder or suicide in Quebec, Switzerland, and France in a series of incidents in the mid- to late 1990s;
    Heaven’s Gate, a group formed in the mid-1970s whose 39 members committed mass suicide in California in 1997;
    and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, a millennialist Ugandan church, more than 900 members of which apparently died by mass murder and mass suicide in 2000.

    But neither the Witnesses of Jehovah nor the Christadelphians can be placed under such category, because they have no such organisation where it is easy to get in and difficult to get out. Certainly by the JW it is very difficult to become a member of that organisations but very easy to become disfellowshipped.
    By the Jehovah Witness we can speak of an umbrella organisation, but by the Christadelphians there is no worldwide organisational bureau or system. All Christadelphian ecclesiae (ekklesiae = churches) are totally independent and organise themselves their working. Each community organises everything like they want to do and how and when they want to do it. Christadelphians must not give any responsibility for an all encompassing dominant governing body. They consider their head the Nazarene Jew who was impaled about two thousand years ago, and who is not here on earth, but is a mediator between God and man.

    It is just because there is no such international organisation taking care of all the ecclesia which makes it for some, certainly in those areas where there are not many Christadelphians, very difficult to survive or to make church, because they have only very limited means which do come from their own earnings, from common daily jobs. They have no clergy paid buy an institution, like the main churches, which also can count often on tax money divided by the state over the main religions and atheist groups.

    Christadelphians not able to count on such income do have to count on the free giving of contributions of those who sympathise with them or who are a member willing to share freely. No particular demand is requested by the Christadelphians. There does not exist a teething, like in many main protestant groups, though they often profess that no works are demanded.

    Perhaps it is that freedom and the liberty of thought that punches many trinitarians to the chest, not able to counter the biblical knowledge of the JW or other non-trinitarians, like the Christadelphians, Church of God, Church of Abrahamic Faith, a.o.. Most trinitarians are caught in the doctrinal teachings and isolated verses which in context would give an other idea, and brings them out of balance, making them to react so aggressively.

    All being human, it is understandably that the baby-boomers start feeling they have tried long enough to bring others to the truth of the Bible. The Mosaics or Millenial generation feels like her world is heading off the rails.
    Some polls in the mid-2000s began to suggest millennials’ waning interest in church. Enter “millennials and church” into a search engine, and soon enough you are pointed to sites that proclaim, “Ten reasons churches are not reaching millennials,” or, “Why millennials are leaving church.” The latter article quickly garnered some 100,000 page views not long ago.

    When questioning the young generation most talk about their disappointment in the church, not bringing to them what they expected, and seeing that lots of priests and pastors teach or preach lots of things they want their flock keeping to but they themselves ignore such teachings or not live accordingly. The most damaging period for Christendom was the last twenty years when all the sex scandals of the church came floating above the swamp. Mainly in the Catholic countries made this that many left their church.

    For those that meant well it was very difficult to preach the Good News, when so much bad news about churches reached the media. All those scandals in the church made it extremely difficult for serious well-meaning preachers to convince people that abuses have nothing to do with the true faith.

    The real followers of Christ also became victim of the paparazzi and media which enjoyed so much to mock the church and to besmirch her faithful. Also being confronted by their own age group who laughs with those who believe in a Higher Being, youngster are so much discouraged that they do not see any reason any more to go out billing or preaching in the open about God and commandments.

    Going overseas may still attract them because than for their won environment in the homeland they can hide behind a trip abroad or an adventure they are going to make. This is much more exciting and enticing than to preach in their own environment.

    Not finding enough volunteers for preaching in the own village, many ecclesiae can find themselves becoming smaller and smaller because the elder people pass away and no young blood comes into the community.
    Luckily there are exceptions. There are parishes where ecclesiae have young parents whose children grow up in the community and see the difference of other churches. The temptations, though, are very high, because outside seems so much to be allowed, and there seem to be no restrictions and free sex. The attractions from outside are so high the persons willing to follow Jesus do have to be very strong. That quality of being an own individual person with own ideas, daring to be faithful to something which seems so out of space, demanding research-desire and determination, makes it so the more difficult for the young ones in a time where everybody wants to hide himself behind the generality.

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  7. […] The continuous attacks on the internet and in real life on non-trinitarians made them withdraw more. This made it also more difficult for the many ecclesiae to continue working or to grow, because of more older people going to sleep and leaving this earth for what it is. {Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism} […]

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  8. […] Some people may feel like they have to climb a very steep mountain or could say “I Die Daily”. Once more in Belgium we were under attack and got lots of hateful reactions saying Christadelphians are a sect and is made up of haters of God and haters of Jesus. Several people wanted our members to believe nobody can be allowed to have questions about faith and should not have any doubts about matters of life. Therefore we looked if we May we have doubts and wondered how we could live with Resurrectional Responsibility, getting prepared and very well oiled making some work of looking at Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism. […]

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