Live Dead

One of the greatest joys which my wife and I share is the knowledge that our daughter Bethany serves as cross-cultural minister of the gospel, bringing hope and God’s grace to an unreached people-group in Tanzania known as the Alagwa. She is now in her fourth year there. She speaks a language called Alagawesi and she shares life with these dear people. Her daily life is mostly occupied with farming since the Alagwga are a subsistence culture. There is no running water, electricity, roads, banks or anything which we might take for granted. The deeper challenge is being separated from all her family and friends. People often ask Bethany how she is able to do this? To her, it is not a sacrifice. It is a calling. Yes, it is hard. But, there are deeper realities at work. God always grants the grace and peace for whatever our calling might be. Our challenge is to be faithful – daily faithful. Because we have died to the world, we are now fully alive in Christ to engage the world in new and powerful ways.

Bethany is part of a growing movement known as “live dead.” Their mission statement is as follows (source):

The Holy Spirit is speaking to his Church, reminding us of the passion that he has never relinquished — the passion to be glorified by every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

We are committed to taking the church where it does not exist; to making Christ known to people groups who don’t have an opportunity to know him. Live dead is more than a strategy it is a bridge to practically make a difference in the statistic that 40% of the world lives without access to Christ. We believe that we can make a difference; we believe that we must make a difference.

Live Dead is a re-dedication to pioneering, whatever the cost.

Live Dead realizes that the places today where the Church does not exist are harsh, fierce, lonely and demanding; yet we still must go there.

Live Dead is a commitment to evangelism and church planting among unreached peoples in community through teams.

Live Dead acknowledges that if unreached peoples are going to embrace Jesus as Lord, we must die to our selfish passions and small dreams and live joyfully surrendered to the will, plan and means of our Missionary God.

Living dead is a call to joy, a call to life, a call of hope.

Living Dead means listening to the Spirit calling us to “take up our cross” for the sake of those who don’t know what the cross is or what it stands for.

Living Dead means listening to the example of those who have gone before us, men and women like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “When God calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Living Dead means listening to the cry of those in spiritual death. They call to us: “We will live, if you will die.”

My prayer for my own life is that I will ask God to help me to live dead. I need to live dead every day that I might fulfill God’s calling in my own life. May that be the prayer of the whole church as it brings the whole gospel to the whole world.

11 Ways Popular Culture Steals Biblical Ideas

Over the last fifty years, the Western church across Europe and North America has been losing between 7,500 and 11,000 members per day. It is a collective loss of over 100 million Christians. These staggering losses have been offset some by the dramatic growth of the immigrant churches in the West. But, we are clearly entering into a period known as the “post-Christian west.” Over time this has resulted in the steady loss of a Christian consciousness in Western culture.

One of the ways this can be observed has been the precipitous decline in biblical vocabulary. Oh, don’t get me wrong, many of the words are still being used, but the meaning of the words has taken a sharp departure from the actual biblical meaning. The Church has been particularly susceptible to this. Thus, I thought it would be interesting to devote a piece to posting the “current” understanding of a few words and placing them side by side with the “biblical” understanding of the same word.

Here are a few examples:

1) Love (pop culture) – An emotive feeling someone has towards another person or towards God.

Love (biblical) – A covenantal commitment to live and act in fidelity, loyalty and faithfulness.

2) Judgment (pop culture) – An “out of control” act caused by anger and usually fueled by partisan ideas. (This is closely related to the use of the word “judgmental” which has taken on a universally negative association as one who has a bad attitude towards someone.)

Judgment (biblical) – God acting in holy-love to set things right, restore justice and establish peace in conformity with His reign and rule.

3) Marriage (pop culture) – A relationship of convenience between any two people for the sake of personal happiness and sexual fulfillment.

Marriage (biblical) – A divinely ordained life-time relationship between one man and one woman of covenantal, self-donating love, which overflows in becoming co-creators with God through the fruitfulness of child bearing, reflecting the beauty of the Triune God.

Read the full article at Seedbed.