Day 30: Christian Institution & Virus
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Nota Bene: This post marks the final daily entry for the 30 Days of Prayer for 2016 Ramadan! Thank you for watching the videos and participating in this event through your daily prayers. Please contact Bruce Persons if you have any comments or questions!
In 1884, France constructed the magnificent St Louis Cathedral in Carthage, Tunisia. The Bey (monarch) of Tunis ceded the cathedral property to the French crown in perpetuity to serve as the leading cathedral for all Africa. The Byzantine-Moorish edifice with its soaring cupolas, stained-glass windows and six-ton great bell was expected to anchor Christianity in North Africa for a thousand years. Within a century, the worship in the cathedral had ceased, and the building was regulated to concerts and social events under its new name, the Acorpolium.
Throughout Europe and Northern Africa, England, France, and other superpowers have constructed cathedrals, hospitals, universities, and buildings dedicated to Christianity, but they do not constitute a movement of faith. Through the lenses of the world, we view “Christian” buildings and institutions as trophies of conquest and evidence of advance, while viewing the absence of these buildings as the absence of movements. But this is not the case.
There are many people in a neighboring North African country who has more than two dozen church elders – all converts from a Muslim background. They testify to the spread of the gospel across their North African homeland. The loss of the cathedral has not prevented a movement to Christ from happening.
Many Christian organizations and enterprise has been seduced by the hope that by establishing church buildings, hospitals, and schools, they are somehow establishing outposts of the Kingdom of God. In reality, the Kingdom of God is established through born-again men and women who submit their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Movements take place when they hear the gospel and respond. The evidence of this Kingdom advance is found, not in buildings and institutions, but in the viral spread of the gospel, as demonstrated through transformed lives, sharing the message of Christ with others and gathering together for fellowship and the study of God’s Word. Buildings follow.
When viral movements take place, buildings, cathedrals, hospitals and universities will follow. They never precede viral movements of the gospel.
– Pray that Christians will see the Kingdom of God as communities of born-again believers, not as buildings.
– Pray that Christians will invest resources in demonstrating and sharing the gospel and in discipleship rather than in the construction of buildings and institutions.
– Pray for emerging movements in North Africa and across the Muslim world that are spreading from person to person by the thousands.