01: Lighthouses of Prayer is a new “low pressure” strategy of evangelism prayer among evangelical Christians.
The movement, led by a coalition of Christian organizations called Mission America, attempts to bring prayer into neighborhoods by asking Christians to pray for their neighbors. Christians participate in the program by strolling the sidewalks and making petitions for particular neighbors without their knowledge of such activity; later, they may invite them to church services. The Lighthouse movement was launched nationally about six months ago and has received the support of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God and Campus Crusade for Christ.
Paul Cedar, Head of Mission America, says “Churches have become clustered just for Christians . . . [the Lighthouse movement] moves us out into the neighborhoods, out where Jesus’ has sent us, into our schools, places of work.” Testimonials have also come from people walking in malls, and praying for work colleagues in neighboring cubicles.
(Source: Orlando Sentinel, June 17)
02: In June 100 leading theologians, parish pastors and media celebrities signed a major statement, The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration.”
Some two years in drafting, the statement spells out a consensus as to what the evangelical movement teaches about Jesus Christ as “the only way of salvation.” Central to the message is the statement, “The Bible offers no hope that sincere worshippers of other religions will be saved without personal faith in Jesus Christ.”
While affirming that the Bible is infallible, the statement avoids a detailed analysis of how to interpret Scripture. In an impressive show of unity, the promulgation was signed by Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, Jack W. Hereford,Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, D. James Kennedy, Charles F. Stanley, Pat Robertson, and a variety of other administrators, opinion shapers and congregational leaders.
Observers see the statement as a response to recent revisions of basic Christian teachings as have been published by groups such as The Jesus Seminar. Also, the “Christ alone” affirmation is a response to perceived openess in evangelical and mainline circles to the possibility of universal salvation for all persons. The l999 statement makes clear that a wide spectrum of evangelicals hold to the finality of conservative Biblical theology and are in opposition to inroads from theological currents of the 1990s.
The issuing of the document will be followed by a series of promotional events. “Such documents require adaptation before they influence popular evangelical opinion,” writes historian Edith Blumhofer.
— By Erling Jorstad
(Source: Christianity Today; the document is accessible at ww.christianity.net/ct/9T7)