- WEA General Assembly 2019
Evangelicals are more interested in pursuing the Kingdom of God than they were 30 years ago, but they still sometimes tend to “think about the Kingdom in such a vague sense that it means nothing,” Indian Bible teacher and relief organization leader C. B. Samuel told delegates at the World Evangelical Alliance’s General Assembly on Friday morning.
Samuel, formerly CEO of the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR), will present a biblical reflection on the Kingdom to begin each of the four full days of General Assembly sessions.
He recalled asking a group of Christians whether they thought each request in the Lord’s Prayer was for the present or the future. The group decided that all the requests were for the present except “Your kingdom come.” Satirically calling that response an “interesting hermeneutic,” Samuel lamented, “it is assumed that the Kingdom will be a future event, but Jesus came and said the Kingdom of God is here.”
For his first reflection, Samuel highlighted moral character as a key aspect of reflecting the Kingdom. “One of the tragedies of the church is that we have less credibility today than a few years ago,” Samuel claimed. “In my country, those whom we call Christian leaders are often known for lacking financial and moral integrity. [When that happens,] the evangelical community is a disgrace to the God we talk about.”
Samuel warned that the evangelical church is becoming divided today over ethical issues, especially human sexuality. He also contended that believers are too often adopting the “narrative of the world” and failing to exercise forgiveness and reconciliation.
“The world is waiting to see a community that is passionately committed to modeling the Kingdom and waiting for it at the same time,” Samuel concluded. “Otherwise we are worshiping with our mouths and not our lives.”
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