Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Holy Communion and Anointing Oil

One of the bonuses of traveling to places in the world where most people don’t get to go is unusual experience. Now I don’t mean seeing strange animals, or mere traditions; I mean unusual spiritual experiences. Indonesia is a fascinating country. Though it is the world’s largest Muslim country with more than 200 large unreached people groups, among the Chinese people—which are 40 million strong, there are many large churches.
One of the most inspiring I’ve come across is the Tiberias Church, which conducts 178 services per Sunday across various locations in Jakarta. Total membership across Indonesia is 500,000, with most of these in Jakarta. According to church growth experts, it’s the 9th largest church in the world.

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The business model of religion

In any business, you need a customer, and a product that meets the actual or imagined need of that customer. The business of religion is not all that different. The need of the adherent to a religion is fueled by two vital ingredients; a guilty conscience and a displeased deity. Skilled practitioners of religion, any religion, know how to nourish both concepts, on a weekly, or at times even daily basis.
The idea of a guilty conscience is perpetuated by a continual focus on how we must do better; pray more, study harder and be more active in our religion. God may be described as loving, merciful, almighty, and all-knowing, but he (or she) must always be at least slightly displeased. There must be the sense that we are not quite measuring up to the standards set by the Divine.

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Out of Control

The last night in our Gospel Festival in Kupang was one of those services, where anything could happen. Just when I told the singers to sing another chorus, the song was interrupted by spontaneous applause; somewhere in the crowd another person had been healed. Just when we were about to lift our prayers about a certain prayer request, then I saw a wheelchair and some crutches were lifted in the air, as somebody else was receiving healing. The crowd was roaring praise to Jesus. Every one of our meetings in Kupang ended with a parade of testimonies, but this last night it seemed everything happened; tumors, paralysis, blindness, deafness, cancers, arthritis, were gone.

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Hello from Indonesia.

It is great to be back in the world’s largest Muslim nation, the site of 20 successful Gospel Campaigns for our ministry. The welcome at Kupang airport was similar to what we meet in so many places here. The people go out of their way to make us feel welcome. Often I meet people, who think of Indonesia as a place of militant terrorist. There have been rare cases of bomb attacks, but the people here, including the Muslims, are really among the friendliest in the world. The mayor, the Regent and the Chief of Police were at the airport welcoming myself and our whole team. I was surprised that all the dignitaries sang “Happy Birthday”, when I got into the airport. Somebody had let the cat out of the bag, maybe Marius.
Of course some of the team had already been here for a while preparing. Later that evening the Governor of the province came to our hotel and spoke words of welcome.

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