Capitalising on the Global Trends

If we take a quick glance at the past global trends, we can easily traced the Hand of God behind each of these emergence of new technology that had enabled His word to spread exponentially.

Below are some of these past major breakthroughs of existing technologies:

  1. The invention of the first alphabet around 2000 BCE. That came in time for His word to be put in scripture.
  2. The arrival of the printing press around 1440 that allowed the Reformers led by Martin Luther, to place the bible into the hands of the people.
  3. The discovery of the electronic means of mass communication- radio and film in the late 1800s. This gave birth to the evangelical movement, allowing believers to use these mediums to spread His word.
  4. TV and satellite transmission were developed in the early 1900s. This was just when the charismatic movement begun and allowing all kinds of gospel television to spread around the world.

And today, we can observed how the emergence of the Internet in the mid 1990s has tremendously shaped our world into a global village; greatly accelerating the speed of globalisation through the easily-accessible exchange of information for economic or social reasons.

With the Internet, we’ve seen how businesses have adopted and leveraged on the Internet by further expanding their reach and operations across the globe.

Governments are also slowly realising that the old model of central governance is becoming almost impossible to lead a nation in this 21st century as the Internet has given more ‘power’ to the people th an ever before.

What about His Church? How have we capitalise on the opportunities of the current trend of globalisation? Are we still stuck in old ways?

Uniting the Church as one

Today’s globalised world has opened new doors of opportunities for churches within a nation and around the world to unite as a body to collaborate towards fulfilling the Great Commission.

No church, denomination or movement is the best or has the best strategy or method in accomplishing God’s work. As the saying goes, “Together everybody achieves more”. And may I add “faster” too.

But above the call of duty to fulfill the Great Commission, isn’t it the prayer of Jesus that His people may be one just as He and the Father are one? (c.f. John 17:20-24)

Hence, I believe that in this opportune era, we as the Church ought to make deliberate initiatives to walk in His heart beat as one body so that the whole world may know that we’re truly His disciples (c.f. John 13:34-35) as God is love.

And I think there’s no better way to spread the message when we become the message!

Time for the Church to Love

Last Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presented his National Day Rally speech.

Strangely, the topic of race and religion dominated his speech.

However, in view of the inevitable force that is changing our social, political and economic landscape in our global world, I reckoned that his speech was somewhat a timely reminder and a wake-up call to us Christians.

That force is that of globalisation which is pushing people together even closer than before. And religion or its fundalmentalists and dogmatists are becoming an opposing and dangerous force that divides and threatens our society’s progress.

“Catalysts” for further globalisation

Back in early June, US President Obama visited Cairo, Eygpt and delivered a groundbreaking message to urge an end to suspicion and discord between America and the Muslim world.

He highlighted that “the relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.”

In a gesture of reconciliation with the Islamic world, Obama further conceded that tension “has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

Even Tony Blair, the Bristish ex-Prime Minister had launched his new inter-faith foundation called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation this April.

What makes the foundation’s work distinctive is its emphasis on uniting people of different religious traditions in practical action – with the eradication of malaria a key priority at this moment.

The Church’s divine appointment

With this backdrop, I strongly believe that if there is a such divine appointment for the Church to represent Christ in His fullness, it is NOW.

For too long Christianity that was founded upon a legacy of love has been tainted with the worst sort of intolerance and prejudice.

Most troubling of all is witnessing how the teachings of Christ has been hijacked by believers who hate in the name of love.

“When people worship Him today – or even speak his name – the object of their devotion is unlikely to be who they think he is,” said Deepak Chopra in his book titled- The Third Jesus, “it seems clearly that He has served to divide peoples and nations. He has led to destructive wars in the name of religious fantasies.”

Even in his rally speech, PM Lee cited the AWARE saga as an attempted takeover “by a religiously motivated group who shared a strong religious fervour to enter civil space”.

I submit to you that if we Christians truly desire to spread the message towards fulfilling the Great Commission, then we cannot afford to be known or driven by a religious motivation.

As a people, we need to be more concerned about what is right than about being right. We need to be love motived, simply because God is love; being the message is more important than us merely spreading the message.

Christ in this 21st century not only needs to be accurately represented, but also re-presented.