Ted King alerted me to these two noteworthy articles:
1) Open Doors USA has launched Operation Lighthouse, an ambitious plan to provide 3.4 million Bibles, study Bibles, commentaries, hymnals, and other resources to Christians in unregistered Chinese house churches. The articles notes that every day there are an estimated 15-20,000 new believers in China. Faced with explosive growth and continuing government repression, the house church movement desperately needs good material in order to disciple new believers and train pastors and other church leaders. One noteworthy statistic: There are an estimated 500 million Chinese under the age of 18. Virtually everyone agrees that Marxism as an ideology no longer has any appeal to the masses. As witnessed by the recent anti-Japanese riots, the government uses nationalism as a rallying cry. The vast numbers of Chinese young people offer an incredible opportunity for the church to reach out to a new generation.
2) Stephen Bennett spoke at Calvary last September, an event reported in an article called When Gay Activists Came to Calvary. Bennett, a former homosexual, told the story of his conversion to Christ and his deliverance from homosexuality. In a new article, he says in print what he said that night:
(M)ost homosexual men and women are the most wonderful, loving people you would ever want to meet. Many of them are more "Christian-acting" than real Christians often are -- and by that I mean they would give you the shirt off their backs.
Bennett does not believe there is any one "right" way to reach the gay community. He points out that many homosexuals have faced so much rejection that they automatically reject the gospel as well. It will take love and patience and building relationships over time that will make the difference. The evangelical church must find a way to preach the truth of the Bible while still reaching out to those living in sin. That task will be made easier when we remember that someone loved us in spite of our sin.
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here. You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keep believing.com. You can write Pastor Ray at ray Pritchard@Calvary memorial.com.
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