“What brought me to Korea was a unique ‘Global Forum for the Future of World Christianity.’ Held on Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, it was hosted by three of the largest megachurches in South Korea (and the world) including Myungsung Church. That means this Korean conference of evangelical and Pentecostal leaders from around the world was financially independent from American evangelicalism’s money and political ideology. …for the first time in 1,000 years, more Christians are found in the global South than the North. The center of Christianity has dramatically shifted, and that means the agenda was very different from the northern and western agendas of the older white evangelicals in America and the issues they think most important. Korea could play a particular and convening role as a bridge between the churches of the global north and south. …these global South evangelicals spent their time together wrestling with issues of global economic inequality, the realities of climate change, the imperatives of racial justice, and the need for Christians to wage peace instead of war. Since these are the issues that global evangelical and Pentecostal constituencies are facing in their own lives – and of course, the Bible addresses all of them as central issues Christians need to confront – the narrow, white American evangelical agenda had no interest in this global evangelical and Pentecostal forum. The fact is that they represent a different evangelical world. …How refreshing it was to be in the presence of leaders of faith – heads of these huge churches that represent millions – who are more interested in the needs of the poor and the call of Christ than … reducing gospel concerns to a few hot button social and sexual issues. Their wider global evangelical agenda rings true with black and brown evangelicals in America and a new generation of even white evangelicals emerging in America. Both globally and here in America, these emerging leaders give me hope.” Jim Wallis
“I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Must we choose between Western and Southern evangelical concerns? What would a “Yes, And …” approach look like?
- Have you unintentionally or thoughtlessly adopted a parochial approach?
- Do issues like dramatic economic inequality, perilous climate change, the need for racial justice, and supporting peace-making instead of war-making seem to you like valid Biblical concerns? ones that ought to be addressed from the pulpit?
Abba, use my brothers and sisters to the South and East, black and brown – and poor, to stretch me, and help me see with new eyes.
For More: From Times Square to Timbuktu by Wes Granberg-Michaelson
Thanks for following “Daily Riches!” – Bill (Psalm 90:14)