in and through us.
THE REUNION CHURCH COMMUNITY NEWS
The love of Jesus flooded out our doors – Christmas caroling for our neighbors, a Christmas party for girls from a group home, food and toys provided to the Harvest Compassion ministry, supplying a Peoria grade school with gift cards for less fortunate families, food boxes from Grace’s, and even providing education opportunities to pastors in Africa! Reunion – you really know how to love people!
And, you know how to love one another! Our Community Care groups Christmas parties, the annual WINGS Christmas dinner, the Movement’s Christmas festivities, and more as we came together to love God, one another, and share His love with others.
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
HEBREWS 13:20-21 ESV
THE PASTOR'S CORNER
Unfortunately, we are witnessing much of the American Church chasing or in many cases mirroring a non-biblical world-view. Much of this is the result of believing that it could possibly create a platform of relatability/relevancy that ultimately would provide an evangelistic harvest for the kingdom of God and subsequent Church growth. This strategy seems right in many ways, but looking around us we have to ask was it righteous? Consider the objectives of harvesting the kingdom of God and building His Church. Are these objectives full or sole responsibility of the Church? Christ said that He would build His Church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. On another occasion He added that no one comes to Him unless the Father draws them. There is correct application for the context of both references in this conversation. As Christian leaders and influencers of faith we have been tasked with the mission of making disciples and teaching everything that Jesus commanded. The commands of Jesus (the logos) are not subject to cultural-social trends or human preference. We are called to teach God’s written Logos as the living Logos – in any age or season. According to Barna research the current American Protestant Church has become nearly Biblically illiterate and does not see the Bible as a guide or influence towards their moral and ethical behavior and critical decision making.
“What used to be basic, universally-known truths about Christianity are now unknown mysteries to a large and growing share of Americans–especially young adults. For instance, Barna Group studies in 2016 showed that while most people regard Easter as a religious holiday, only a minority of adults associate Easter with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other examples include the finding that few adults believe that their faith is meant to be the focal point of their life or to be integrated into every aspect of their existence. Further, a growing majority believe the Holy Spirit is a symbol of God’s presence or power, but not a living entity. As the two younger generations (Busters and Mosaics) ascend to numerical and positional supremacy in churches across the nation, the data suggest that biblical literacy is likely to decline significantly. The theological free-for-all that is encroaching in Protestant churches nationwide suggests the coming decade will be a time of unparalleled theological diversity and inconsistency.” Barna Group Research
The result of this disturbing data is a reality where most American Christians function with an uncomfortable degree of infidelity to their own beliefs and faith. Some of that infidelity is certainly the result of the rejection and the deconstruct of difficult, demanding, and uncomfortable Biblical truth – the rest is more likely the result of plain ignorance and disinterest (which might be the same thing). The Bible has never been more relevant than in our current times. Currently there is underway a Spirit-led movement to both Biblical literacy and renewed fidelity to God’s Word. This movement has come to the American Church from the seeds of revival among persecuted Christians around the world (China, India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, South Africa, and South America). This movement is driven by the hunger and desire of the persecuted laity of the body of Christ for Biblical veracity and the knowledge of God’s eternal Word. It is an organic grass roots movement manifested by the living Holy Spirit, and not manufactured or manipulated by the likes, trends, branding, and memes of global social media platforms.
In the biblical context of global Christianity these are the most exciting and germane of times. As the Church of Jesus commits itself to the right and righteous understanding and revelation of God’s Word, we are empowered to relevancy and equipped to navigate and flourish in times of persecution and difficulty. Here are several unmovable and unchangeable principles for the establishment and practice of right and righteous Biblical faith.
– God’s revealed Word is the final arbiter of all truth, and contextualization of necessity must recognize the sacred inviolability of its truths.
– An inductive, inerrantist approach to contextualization accepts both the paradoxical nature of all biblical truth and thereby the unchanging nature of scriptural principles.
– An evangelical contextualization is conscious of the transformational character of the current hearer’s context. The Word of God transforms lives and must be rightly interpreted and presented.
– While the content of biblical revelation is unchanging, the form in which it is presented is ever changing. These two aspects—content and form—provide the indispensable core of contextualization.
– As a student of God’s written Word you are equipping yourself to teach, preach, and present the living Word of God in a knowledgeable and approved way so that you are not ashamed, discredited, or discarded. That is the right and righteous process.
2023 is the Lord’s and all that is in it! This includes the community and ministry of Reunion Church – we are His Church, called by His name!
Dr. Stephen Isaac
Pastor – The Reunion Church