Skip to comments.Christianity taking over the planet?
Posted on 05/07/2005 8:05:03 AM PDT by churchillbuff
What is the fastest-growing religion on Earth?
Most news reports suggest it is Islam.
But a new book makes a compelling case it is a new, or, perhaps, old form of biblically inspired evangelical Christianity that is sweeping through places like China, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
In "Megashift," author Jim Rutz coins a new phrase to define this fast-growing segment of the population. He calls them "core apostolics" - or "the new saints who are at the heart of the mushrooming kingdom of God."
Rutz makes the point that Christianity is overlooked as the fastest-growing faith in the world because most surveys look at the traditional Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church while ignoring Christian believers who have no part of either.
He says there are 707 million "switched-on disciples" who fit into this new category and that this "church" is exploding in growth.
"The growing core of Christianity crosses theological lines and includes 707 million born-again people who are increasing by 8 percent a year," he says.
So fast is this group growing that, under current trends, according to Rutz, the entire world will be composed of such believers by the year 2032.
"There will be pockets of resistance and unforeseen breakthroughs," writes Rutz. "Still, at the rate we're growing now, to be comically precise, there would be more Christians than people by the autumn of 2032, about 8.2 billion."
According to the author, until 1960, Western evangelicals outnumbered non-Western evangelicals - mostly Latinos, blacks and Asians - by two to one. As of 2000, non-Western evangelicals outnumbered Westerners by four to one. He says by 2010, the ratio will be seven to one.
"There are now more missionaries sent from non-Western nations than Western nations," he writes.
This trend, says Rutz, has been missed by Westerners because the explosive growth is elsewhere.
Hundreds of millions of these Christians are simply not associated with the institutional churches at all. They meet in homes. They meet underground. They meet in caves. They meet, he says, in secret.
And what is driving this movement?
Miracles, he says.
"Megashift" attempts to document myriad healings and other powerful answers to the sincere prayers of this new category of believer, including, believe it or not, hundreds of dramatic cases of resurrections - not near-death experiences, but real resurrections of actual corpses.
"When I was a kid in Sunday school, I was really impressed that 3,000 people were saved on the Day of Pentecost," he writes. "I thought, 'Wow, that'll never happen again!"
But, Rutz says, it now happens around the globe every 25 minutes.
"By tomorrow, there will be 175,000 more Christians than there are today," he writes.
The essence of Rutz's book is about how Western Christians can tap into what he sees as a mighty work of God on Earth.
"Very few people realize the nature of life on Earth is going through a major change," he writes. "We are seeing a megashift in the basic direction of human history. Until our time, the ancient war between good and evil was hardly better than a stalemate. Now all has changed. The Creator whose epic story flows through the pages of Scripture has begun to dissolve the strongholds of evil. This new drama is being played out every hour around the globe, accompanied sometimes by mind-bending miracles."
God have mercy on your unwarrantedly judgmental, accostive, punitive soul.
"... once you catch the fish with your "bait", do you continue to feed it bait for the rest of its life?"
Obviously, you didn't read what I said .. or you wouldn't have made the above statement. Unless you're going to read my post - please don't bother me with your juvenile musings.
Hmmmm? I'm beginning to wonder if you "know GOD's voice".
Who said anything about babies?
"I will keep my faith and not chase after a man who has found his own 'better way'."
That's an admirable quality .. just be careful not to be judgemental JUST because it's a "new and different way" you might be judging it incorrectly. Allow the Holy Ghost to tell you - and you won't go wrong.
You said this in post #156. I may be wrong but it sounded to me like you were saying kh was not wrong in anything he said as the Holy Spirit caused him to say it. Yet you admit that "saying everyone must speak in tongues is out of balance". Do you think that benny hinn is doing the work of the Holy Spirit since he too has confessed that Jesus is Lord? By the way kh and warren dont "win souls". That is something the Holy Spiri does. They merely plant seeds. Only a vain man would take credit. I am also of the belief that any TV evangelist that gave a darn about being a shepard and helping Gods children would live a more modest life style. And with that I will stop trying to convince you that many men teach false doctrines.
The god of "secret code numbers" is YOUR reality. Pray to him all you like.
Smith Wigglesworth raised 12 people from the dead - I think it was in the early 1900's - so what's so unusual about it ..?? I wouldn't call him a "new category of believer".
Since I have personally experienced several healings - which are documented - I think it's because believers have matured to the point where GOD can operate more freely through their faith in HIS ability to heal.
Every new move of GOD is always met with sceptics.
Hmmmm? Maybe you're in that church to pray for that Pastor to have wisdom and discernment. Geeeeee, what a concept.
In other words, they have learned the words as spoken, not sung, then just sing the syllables to the tune and understand what they are supposed to mean. That is, alas, no different from learning the meaning of the words and then scatting the song. Sing "tra la la" and know that it is supposed to mean "Jesus Loves You".
You can have 10 people in the same Bible class and end up with 10 different interpretations of what was taught.
That is nothing new .. and it's because we are humans and we can miss it. But .. one of the secrets is knowing you're just human and you can miss it - and therefore the problem comes from "believing your own press" - instead of relying on the Holy Ghost to teach you the truth of what you heard.
I have a good Pastor - and he taught me.
Well, that pastor at THAT church is the one who tossed me because I refused to go along with him. I prefer to go along with Him (with a capital "H"). I believe we should be God Led, not "purpose led".
I really doubt that Christ would condone the hatred and arrogance being displayed in this movement...
"Well, that pastor at THAT church is the one who tossed me because I refused to go along with him. I prefer to go along with Him (with a capital "H"). I believe we should be God Led, not 'purpose led'."
Mathew 5:44 - "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
There ya go - with that scripture GOD is leading you!!
Many these days just buy their sermons in prepackaged units. Why, may I ask, are THEY necessary then? Just get a projector and let everyone watch someone else give a sermon.
As I said earlier, many pastors perceive their role in the church differently than I do. Some of that is because people expect the pastor to be THE ministry. So he sets up some silly seeker-friendly crap to draw in the prey, give them a feel-good message and a false gospel, and everyone else can come in and never feel pressure to serve or to make a difference in the world themselves -- or to even clean up their own lives and develop a one-on-one relationship with their Maker. So why bother going?
Well, TommyDale, I'd love to be a fellow church member with you. You'll find something else.
Perhaps it's too difficult for us to speak the same language.
. . .
And I will try and avoid enhancing your understanding of such matters.
At least you are consistent
IN YOUR ASSAULTIVENESS.
See it as you wish.
I was blessed in many worship services wherein such songs also blessed many Chinese because they knew what the words meant in that spiritual and particular song context.
I wouldn't pretend that they'd gotten your permission to be blessed ahead of time.
Very well said.
BTW, the computer saga continues. Can't download GOBACK from Norton, now.
and the other junk continues.
LOL - yes, sexual innuendo from the pulpit would be something of a problem, if done in a non-teaching manner or to get a cheap laugh.
My family and I left a church two years ago for theological reasons. The church voted (and its elderly members insisted on) whole-heartedly embracing a liberal state convention. I just felt it was the wrong place to be with my family. It broke my heart (and still does) but we left.
You did the right thing. Have you found another church yet?
out of the great screeching, screaming chorus of naysayers.
Yes, I recognize it and listen to it, and I do what He says.
Do you question my motives? Then tell God about it.
I do, thanks.
Well, I find it interesting that I have read both of Rick Warren's books, among others, and I have also read those which point out their errors. After reading both sides, I come down with a strong opinion that Warren isn't correct. Yet, I haven't seen anyone here admit that they have read the opposite side to accurately form their opinion that Warren is correct.
You sure seem eager to push some people out. What exactly is their sin?
Wow, sounds like maybe you HAVE been going to church with me!
Would you believe that our (former) pastor rarely even gave an opportunity for people to receive Jesus? Rarely was there an altar opportunity. I suppose he was just being "Seeker Friendly"...
Not at all. We can communicate just fine.
Of course neither of those styles were available in first century Judea.
If God likes the hymns so much, why didn't he send Jesus in the 1500s. Just think...Matthew, Mark, Luther and John...
Well .. I would not go to a church where the sermons were canned. If my Pastor was not praying and getting his stuff from GOD - then I don't want to hear it.
I personally knew my Pastor didn't do that .. and sometimes he would get all prepared with a sermon and the Holy Ghost would begin moving - he could close his notes and just preach what the Holy Ghost gave him. Those were some of the most scripture filled - Holy Ghost working services if I have ever been in.
I think the term "rubbish" is in the eye of the beholder. There are thousands who think Rick Warren's books are rubbish.
Have you tried running all the maintenance programs.
delete cookies (but don't disable them)
empty trash can
Sometimes that's what it takes .. and after doing all the cleanup stuff - restart your computer - just do each item as I've listed it.
The whole process should take you less than 30 minutes - and it can save you lots of headaches. I do it at LEAST once per week.
One of our young musicians wisecracked at practice, "You guys are really going to be surprised when you get to Heaven and find out that Jesus doesn't do Traditional music!" To which I replied, "Well, for SURE He isn't going to sing Hillsongs music!"
thx DONE a lot of that.
Every religious kook / heretic who ever lived viewed the observations of the orthodox as "assaults". Your "reality" aside, truth is never inconsistent.
"Yes, I recognize it and listen to it, and I do what He says."
If you're unwilling to take correction or rebuke or instruction .. how do you expect GOD to use you ..??
It's just this .. if you're going to follow HIM - and HIS scripture says to "do good to them that despitefully use you" - then WHINING IN PUBLIC ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING THE MAN DOES - IS NOT FOLLOWING GOD. It's following your little petty offence at what the Pastor supposedly did to you, or because he didn't agree with you.
We are called to serve our church leaders as though we were serving Jesus Himself. They're not perfect - and if we're expecting them to be .. then we're the ones who aren't dealing with reality.
My Pastor has done lots of things that I didn't necessarily agree with .. however, I learned to serve him anyway - as my commitment to Jesus - and somehow when those things didn't work out - my Pastor would end up doing what I thought should have been done in the first place. How did that happen ..?? I prayed and I stayed the course. GOD knew how to handle it.
Well .. what I'm trying to explain is that you SHOULD DO THEM ALL IN SEQUENCE - AND NOT JUST ONE OF THEM ONE DAY AND ONE THE NEXT DAY.
It's a sequence of events - as you clean it out - you need to go on to the next program - until you get to defrag and after that do a restart.
Do you have XP - and do you have the new supplemental?
How old is your Norton?
Once, I had to delete Norton and start over.
If you do that - then you will still need to follow the same maint procedure after you remove Norton.
After the restart - re-install Norton - run defrag only - again.
Every time I delete or add any program I run defrag - always. Saves so many headaches.
Please answer all my questions or I can't help you.
It's not really public if he doesn't name names. Plus, I think it is hard to serve a church leader who tells you to scram.
Thanks! Yes, we found another church a few months later. Doctrinally its confession is good, but the church seems unsure of what it wants to be. Elaborate drama and loud music are replaced by no drama at all and less chest thumping music, with no explanation. The pastor's sermons have catchy titles, but unfortunately less meat than I might like. Line-by-line preaching of the Word of God seems almost to have disappeared in the church today. Everything is topical, which is fine, but I like a balance.
But we have found an excellent Sunday School class that challenges us, and a good home group. That's a good thing.
That is a big problem - we expect too much out of pastors. Most pastors went to seminary because they love to teach the Bible, love people and feel called by God into this ministry. Then parishioners demand that they chair committees, be the chief financial officer, make sure the lawn is cut, and deal with the complaints of the elderly when they don't hear enough hymns. Too often people expect the pastor to be at church every time the doors are open and his own family is neglected.
It isn't what they signed on for, and many of them wind up unhappy and underperforming, because they really have little gift for what they spend their time doing.
We could only hope!
Are you saying GOD doesn't know who he's talking about ..??
Yes, it can be very hard to serve some Pastors. While I was the administrator of my church's Bible school - I had to work with 2 people who were almost impossible. I would get so frustrated when I would show up directly from work (with no dinner) and find out the room to be used for school was a total mess - and I would get stuck cleaning it all up - while they were in their offices chatting about whatever.
I got so angry one night that on my way home from school, I was yelling and screaming to GOD at the top of my lungs .. how unfair they were and how rude they were, etc., etc. When I finally shut up and let GOD get a word in edgewise, GOD's answer was - "Do it as unto ME". I was shell-shocked. GOD's words hit me like a bolt out of the blue .. I just sat there in my car (in the driveway), in total silence (for which GOD was probably grateful).
Not only was GOD expecting me to swallow my anger, but my pride and everything else. What happened was really a miracle. Overnight I made an attitude adjustment. I never went there expecting them to do anything for me .. and I went out of my way to serve them - while I was doing everything else. Sometimes I would cry all the way home because my precious little feelings had been hurt .. but then GOD's words would come flooding back to me and I would remember WHO I was really serving; and repent.
Within a year - both of those people were dismissed by the Pastor. Why? Because GOD saw my heart - and because GOD is able to make all things work out for good - to those that love HIM - and are called to HIS purpose.
While serving people who do not treat you right is unpleasant - perhaps it's GOD's way of refining you. I truly learned to "walk in love" toward others. I'm so grateful for having the opportunity to learn how to do that GOD's way.
Paul held a seeker-sensitive service in Athens which is recorded in Acts 17:22-31. In his short, culturally relevant and contemporary sermon he never even uses the name of Jesus. He quotes a Greek poet more directly than scripture.
Paul was a Roman to the Romans, a Jew to the Jews. To the weak he became weak that by all means he might win some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22) To the suburban Americans, the seeker-sensitive church has become suburban American.
Some people think that diminishes our call to holiness.
They said the same thing about Paul.