My Dear Christian Friend:
It’s hard to believe that we are beginning the third decade of the twenty first century. A new world is immerging. We live with devices that can connect us to the world and all its accumulated knowledge, and we can carry it in our pockets. And if you purchase the right services, your television can provide access to every movie or TV show ever made. There are cars that drive themselves, surgeries that can correct physical problem undreamt of just twenty years ago, and we can get anywhere in the world in just one day.
Also severe and abject poverty is fast becoming a thing of the past, even in the most forgotten parts of the world. Famines do occur, but rarely, and we have the means to provide all the necessities of life for thousands in less than a week. In fact any way you measure the quality of life, we here especially in North America have never had it so good …. materially. Racial strive in our nations are actually almost none existence. The few incidents we hear of are much more likely to be phony, just made-up. There is more money to be had, more goods, amazing variety, every kind of entertainment, food is plentiful, and “fast food” is relatively cheap. That’s probably why the greatest threat to our health is not malnutrition, but the opposite…we are a people over weight.
But how do we fare other than materialistic? Actually, if any one believes that in the midst of all this bounty we are stronger spiritually they are clearly deluded, if not blind. It is obvious that our Judaic-Christian ethical foundations are under attack. The very basics of our belief system, the assumptions of what makes our republics work are under assault. Free speech, the exercise of our religious freedoms, even our view of being open-minded, of making personal choices, and civil discourse are being violated. And believe me this political year here in America will be the ugliest in memory, with outrageous accusations built upon exaggerations or outright falsehoods. There are simply those who want chaos. Many seem angry and frustrated, and it’s because they have been fed a constant stream of lies. Their souls are empty, even when life in most ways has never been so good. They have no greater purpose than some imagined injustice or an ill-conceived social and political agenda.
All this we should know is what Beelzebub desires. All the ugly incivility, violence, and hatred serve his purpose. But God is still in control. In just five short years, if things continue as they have, there will be 630 million Christians in Africa, 640 million Christians in Latin America, and at least 460 million Christians in Asia. And if this does continue in thirty years there will be more Pentecostals in the world than there are Muslim now. These “Southern Christians,” as they are called, those of Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia will soon be the majority of Christians because of the phenomenal growth of our faith in the southern hemisphere. It might be true that only twenty percent of Christians will then be what are called “non-Hispanic Whites.” But I would never see that as a negative, only a challenge. Which is why African Anglican Bishops are now sending missionaries to re-convert Europe and North America. And why not, we have now become an obvious mission field.
What is most encouraging is that this amazing growth is with Christians that are more fundamentally sound biblically and ethically than many of the churches in our own nations. The cries of just a few years ago that Christianity was dying, or dead, that we needed to scrap our conservative theologies and compromise the gospel to remain relevant, appear to be so much drivel. As Charles Colson remarked not too long ago, “While churches that have lost their biblical moorings languish…where the gospel is truly proclaimed it is changing lives and societies.” Too many historical churches seem to be failing and it’s for obvious reasons, but look close, there are countless small churches sprouting up everywhere, and never has there been so many churches numbering in the thousands, many in the tens of thousands. They are so only because the message is biblical and resonant with those seeking. Fear not, our Lord knows what He is doing, and we know how this will ultimate end: “A great multitude which no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). Maranatha!
Let us be a part of what God is doing,
Thomas Randolf Wyatt