London religious leaders challenged by call to holiness
More than 1,000 religious leaders from across London gathered near the O2 in London on Monday to reflect once again on the call to evangelism.
It was the last of four evangelistic summits organized across the UK by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to explore issues such as Church witness, unity, discipleship and advocacy. ‘Gospel.
In a thought-provoking speech recalling the Church to holiness, Dr Crawford Loritts expressed sorrow at the number of pastors and ministry leaders who have fallen into sin and have therefore “discredited the cause of Christ.” .
The pastor and church planter said too many leaders “knew how to look spiritual,” but “lived in silent desperation” with “comfortable disobedience,” having “stepped back from responsibility” while simply seeking to “manage.” their sin rather than repent “. of their sin “.
He urged pastors to put holiness before talents and gifts, and to “pay close attention” to the “nooks and crannies” of their lives.
“Your character needs to be taller than the platform you’re standing on,” he said.
He also called on church leaders not to “shorten your own intimacy with God” just because they have successful ministry and disciples.
“Just because you are doing a ministry doesn’t mean that God is doing a ministry in you,” he said.
Dr. Loritts concluded by calling on church leaders to stop judging others for their faults and repent of their own sins.
“Waking up is expensive and one of the reasons we don’t see a revival is because we don’t want to come to terms with our breakup,” he said.
“[We need to] let the tears of repentance flow down our own cheeks, identifying ourselves with the broken society, and realizing that the Spirit of God has left the building and many of our churches and many of our ministries because we have lodged nonsense in our hearts and our lives … and we have sanctified this comfortable disobedience. “
He added: “It’s time for all of us to drop to our knees.”
In another impactful speech, the Coptic Archbishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos, called on Church leaders to put aside “tribalism” and “make tactical remarks,” which he said hurt to the witness of the Church.
“Let’s stop demonizing each other,” he said.
“Unity comes at a cost, because the easiest thing in the world is for us to be tribal. This concept of “otherness” is so prevalent these days and it is bad enough when it is in the secular world. When it is in the Church and we “other” to each other, we undermine the testimony of the other and we take away the experience of the other. ”
But he also urged Christians to think about how they communicate the gospel.
“Our message has to be delivered in such a way that it is heard and accepted – which brings joy,” he said.
“Some of us grew up preaching fire and brimstone. I’m afraid today’s generations will turn their backs on this soon enough.
“There is enough fire and brimstone in the world, they don’t need to hear about it in our churches. In our churches, they need to see hope and light and love and love. promise.
“They need to see that God is their God, regardless of what they have done or what they will ever do, and that they will always be welcome.”
Exploring the theme of discipleship, evangelical pastor and writer Skip Heitzig said the challenge for Christians is to live a life of sacrifice and self-sacrifice at a time when many simply want to “immerse themselves in spirituality.”
“Social media has changed the way we define a follower,” he said.
“The word ‘like’, which we know means to appreciate, in social media jargon means to recognize someone electronically.
“Being a friend in English means having a bond of mutual affection with someone else, but in social media it just means being added to a contact list.
“Following someone means you go after someone; it means you subscribe to their beliefs. But in social media, it just means you get updates on a mobile device. They may not follow you. , they may not even like you, but they will stalk you on your Instagram or Twitter account. ”
He continued: “We who are disciples of Jesus Christ, we who are his friends, we who love the truth, have to go back to the original idea, because I have a hunch that Jesus has a lot of fans but not a lot. followers. ”
He added, “Jesus never said to follow me on Instagram, like me on Facebook. He said to completely give up your life and follow me.”