FROM THE DESK OF: the Director of Communications
This past week, in what will be remembered as one of the most significant social shifts of our generation, the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all 50 states. The American church's response has predictably fallen down old fault lines. The conservative right mourns the shift away from the traditional definition while the progressive left celebrates this as a long overdue correction. Our country has been trending in this direction for years (functionally, marriage was compromised decades ago) but what is problematic is not that the definition has changed, its the the State's insistence that the definition is now changeable. This opens the doors for constant and continual redefinition. Regardless, what has been passively understood has now been actively advanced. Strict doctrinal lines have been drawn in the sand by the government, enforcing its civil religion. Many inside the church view America as a metaphorical Israel - a nation blessed in order to be a blessing but what is becoming more clear to the Church is that this metaphor is skewed. America is not Israel. The Church is. And exactly like ancient Israel, we are a unique minority scattered throughout a pagan Babylon. And while we are not forced to worship an earthly king or bow down to idols there is most definitely a secular orthodoxy that pronounces who are the heretics (read: bigots) and who is not. Thankfully, God is sovereign over Jerusalem and Babylon, Baghdad and London, Dallas and Washington. And the Church has always been at her best as a missional minority waiting for the Spirit to move.
For the Win[dow],
Bubby Bryan, DOC
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Exodus 33:22
"And while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: Indonesia
The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan's surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. A period of sometimes unruly parliamentary democracy ended in 1957 when President SOEKARNO declared martial law and instituted "Guided Democracy." After an abortive coup in 1965 by alleged communist sympathizers, SOEKARNO was gradually eased from power. From 1967 until 1988, President SUHARTO ruled Indonesia with his "New Order" government. After rioting toppled Suharto in 1998, free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999. Indonesia is now the world's third most populous democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state, and the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, reforming the criminal justice system, holding the military and police accountable for human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling infectious diseases, particularly those of global and regional importance. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low intensity armed resistance in Papua by the separatist Free Papua Movement. (CIA World Factbook)
- Pray for additional translators and support staff to translate Scripture into over 700 indigenous languages.
- Pray for peace and protection for believers amid growing momentum to force Islam on all peoples.
- Pray for Christians to boldly proclaim grace and salvation through Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the Uttermost workers in the field.
- Pray for the US office.