Mistakes that changed history
Posted on Thursday, February 23rd 2012 at 10:33 am
I heard Michael Youssef speak at our national convention. Michael was born in Egypt and has a great understanding of the Middle East. He shared about 3 mistakes the church has historically made:
1. The first is instead of fighting the good fight of faith we fight the bad fight with each other. For example, Mohammad had contact with a Nestorian monk that sparked his curiosity about Christianity. He called the Bishops to meet with him and share with him why he should believe that Jesus was God. The Bishops argued doctrine among themselves and Mohammad said that he would make his own decision about Christianity. Imagine if these Bishops would have put aside their squabbling and shared with Mohammad the truth about Jesus Christ? It could have changed the last 1400 years of history. When we focus on our differences instead of what we have in common, we fight the bad fight.
2. The second mistake is straying from Biblical truth. North Africa had 10,000 churches in 600 AD. But, they had embraced a "liberal" view on the authority of scripture and were ripe for "new" doctrines. When the Muslims invaded in 630 AD those that weren't slain by the sword embraced the new religion of Islam because they thought it was a "new revelation" and the churches became Mosques. When we allow popular culture to shape our theology instead of the Bible we go astray.
3. The third mistake is straying from the prime mission of the church. In the 13th century Kublai Khan was said to have asked Marco Polo to ask Pope Gregory to send 100 missionaries to him and he and all the Mongols would convert to Christianity. Even though the churches mission (The Great Commission) is to go and make disciples of all nations, the church was slow to move on this opportunity taking nearly 30 years to send 3 missionaries. They missed a huge opportunity to fulfill the mission of the church and spread the Gospel throughout Asia. As Michael shared with us when we become more concerned about maintaining our parking lot then doing the great commission we neglect the prime mission of the church.
These mistakes have had lasting consequences. Are we repeating them?