|Posted by danaduanecraft on July 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM|
I have found that the, "Great Revival," of Latin America, which everyone said would even eclipse the Reformation, hasn't panned out as expected! A great many have, thankfully, left the Roman Catholic Church to join Evangelical circles...yet they are now listed among the growing number of the, "Non-religious," as they found their way into congregations where the pastors is either ill-prepared & undereducated, or an opportunists looking to turn a quick Quetzal. Painfully, I have come to hear a common chant down here which goes, "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!" Aside from the obvious theological problem(s) of this mentality is that a flock cannot be sustained merely upon the miraculous only; as the supernatural occurrences, though real, are all too infrequent! Thus, after a year or two, the famished congregants flee the church broken hearted & embittered. And just a short distance down the path, from which they walked “out” on Rome, they arrive in the midst of a Spiritual wasteland. A desert of lost souls searching inside every new-age fad, or as in the case in Central America, even going back to a romanticized pagan heritage of the once mighty Maya.
This rapid, “Neo-Pentecostal,” movement, as I refer to it, has quickly placed a great many men behind the pulpit who are ill-equipped, though many are without doubt, authentically called. Yet, because of this lack of having so few church leaders having spent any time under the roof of a Seminary, or even holding any thirst for any sort of real Biblical study, an overabundance of great heresies have entered the Guatemalan church! Let me add, the "health-and-wealth" gospel spewing out of the States with the likes of Copeland, Hagin & Hinn has found very fertile soil here in the Land which I love! We now even have our own version of the leader of the whole Oprah crowd-Joel Osteen, in a prosperity preacher by the name of Cash Luna. “How” could anyone go wrong with a name, which in Spanish translates into [the] Money Moon!
Granted, Christianity has now over two millennia’s worth of rich history behind us. And, to the surprise of those of the far-left (and now the far-right), along with other critics, the Christian church has brought with it countless blessings to those lands in which it has taken root. Far more “good” than “bad.” But as with anything involving fallen man, there will inevitably be sin running within its veins. However, just take a look at how Christians worship across the globe…it is as varied as the skin tones & the languages the hymns are sung in. Now contrast this kaleidoscopic-reality with the picture most people paint of the indoctrinating and dehumanizing image of the Christian missionary.
The reality of a “Global Christianity” is far, far removed from those darken ideas perpetrated by the lost. It is a beautiful image, way beyond words, to think of this grand world…a gem of God’s creation, all worshiping our Creator together in our own ways. Anglicans and Baptists, Methodists and Greek Orthodox, and be it from the towering cathedrals of Europe, thatch huts in Swaziland or from store-front churches in Guatemala City, all of us as true Brothers and Sisters. As each culture adds its own layer upon the intricate fabric which is the living faith of Christ we must take great care and go to the utmost of extremes to insure that this living tapestry remains strong, orthodox and true. And the only way my son and my son’s son will still have this lively faith to build their own lives upon is if we, in the here and now, do all we can to be true teachers of the Gospel and undertake the long-term task of disciple making within the correct doctrine, the common and true apostolic doctrine from the times of old. If not, then in places where the people’s faith is the strongest, in Third-World, then the likeness of Jesus will end up replacing the face of Coke-a-Cola’s red and white Santa Clause for the next generation.