26/11/2010

The Christian faith and other faiths

Steven and I went to a deanery synod in Doxey church. Our guest speaker was called Rev. Canon George Kovoor .We had an excellent evening.
Here are my notes.
For years, the UK has been the bastion of christianity and you sent the finest young men and women round the world to spread the gospel. They actually believed that Jesus was the Good News. There was something so important in the message of Jesus that they believed it was GOOD NEWS. So it should still be JOY in the Church. Therefore it is difficult to understand why there are too many miserable faces, constipated faces in the Church nowadays! Who wants to hang out with boring people! I train people who want to be equipped and not afraid to share our faith wherever they go.
However, if the Church itself is biblically illiterate and theologically clueless, it will find sharing the Gospel to people of other faiths difficult. Surely it is incumbent on the Church to share the Good News with everybody. If you do not know your bible and start talking to a Muslim for instance who will pick up on many apparent contradictions in the Bible, you will be stung! In the Royal Albert Hall, not long ago, an American apologist was decimated by a Muslim leader.
The Jews have had to live round the nations and they have always been a minority. They know how to engage. They consider themselves as called out people to whom God revealed his name. Abraham an Iraqui, was to be a light to the people. This always was the intention of God to reveal himself to all nations.
What is heaven like? When John is in Patmos he has a revelation, he sees that heaven is multicultural, multi-ethnic but not multifaith. In heaven the worship is super.
I am here in front of you because your grand-parents took trouble to come to our country and share the Gospel of Jesus-Christ. Brothers and sisters in Christ I am not prepared to collude with the system.
Isaiah 56:6-7 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD 
   to minister to him,
to love the name of the LORD,
   and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
   and who hold fast to my covenant—
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
   and give them joy in my house of prayer. 
Let's think about Jesus'triumphant entry in Jerusalem, He made a beeline to the temple. Mark 11:15-17 Did Jesus have a problem with money? Let's go back to Solomon. We have a blue print of what the temple looked like, notice there was a vast court for the Gentiles. God has made a gracious place for the nations to come. Hospitality and generosity for those who do not know Him. By clearing the temple, Jesus who incarnates God, restores the hospitality and generosity of God so that the nations can behold the splendor of God.
How much more the Church must do to adjust to the world?
What preparation is there for new converts?
To be popular you mustn't compromise your faith. It seems that the Church of England is a plate of jelly, nobody knows what to believe. Engaging with people of other faith require integrity. Dialogue is better than monologue. Dialogue requires listening. Why were we created with two ears and only one mouth?
You must meet people, promote an activity where people are welcome. Take trouble to go where they are.
Dialogue requires mutual respect.
Canon Kovoor's speech was full of humour too. I am afraid that jokes do not do so well on the paper. There is more so watch this space. Blessings in Jesus-Christ. N.

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