March 22, 2009
Good morning! I’m writing from the backseat of a car en route to western Kenya. Our Gospel Revolution Seminar has really brought a revelation of God’s grace to pastors. Last night’s closing session was attended by Kenya’s Vice President, Mysukha Kalonzo. Pastors from every district of Kenya, as well as Rwanda and Tanzania are reporting that their lives have been radically changed.
The two issues that presently consume Kenya are corruption and tribalism. A pastor from one tribe will not darken the door of a church where the pastor is of another tribe, even if the pastors are from the same denomination. This attitude was a major contributing factor in the killings last year. Those who are supposed to carry the message of God’s love have obviously drifted far from Him, who came “not to condemn”. What’s the answer?
Not only in Kenya but everywhere, we see Christians calling for transformation, churches are praying for “a move of God” and pastors are teaching secrets of revival. Yet this “revival” remains oh so elusive. Prophetic declarations of “a greater anointing” or ” a new day of victory” seem ineffective. Here in Kenya Christians have been killing Christians. You can imagine the reaction among Hindus and Muslims; the credibility of Christianity has really taken a beating. These are the real issues we have addressed in our seminar and the answers from God’s Word have brought joy to the pastors.
Does prayer change a nation? What about prophecy? Worship? Fasting? Cell groups? The agent for change in the Book of Acts was always the proclamation of the Gospel. As the masses grasped the Good News that God in Christ has paid for their sins “once for all”, joy swept cities, many were born again and the quality of life was drastically affected. Prayer, prophecy and worship are all crucially important, but none of those things will in themselves change a nation; only the Gospel can do that.
What changed the cities such as Samaria, Antioch, Lystra, Corinth, Thessalonica or Ephesus in the book of Acts? In each case, it was the Gospel. We don’t create good morals by preaching good morals, but once the Gospel of God’s love is believed it transforms the worst sinner. Good morals are the result of believing the Gospel. Heart transformation comes first, and it leads to good morals.
This weekend we start the Festival in Kisumu, a city torn by last year’s violence. I’d love to hear from you so post your thoughts! -Peter