Tuesday, August 4, 2009

London: Post-Christian or Pre-Revival?

There's no doubt about it: London is a city who has seen brighter days spiritually. For example, we saw a toy set today: A big boat with pairs of toy animals on the big boat and a little man with a white beard. Noah's ark? Maybe in Dallas. In London, that toy was labeled an "Animal Ark."

For reasons like these, some people refer to London by the term "post-Christian." I would like to encourage you, if you are a Christian believer, not to consent to that terminology. Do you know that Christ is finished with London? I do not. Heaven forbid that I should label any people or any place "post-Christian" and thus conclude that Christ's work is finished in such a place. I have enough faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to believe that He can reach anywhere He so desires.

At Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park, I noted that all but two of the speakers were talking about God. Here we are, in "post-Christian" Europe, and everybody's talking about Jesus. Many heckling, to be sure, but the only accurate way to characterize the discussions at Speaker's Corner is "pro-Christian" vs. "anti-Christian" and certainly not "post-Christian."

I choose to believe that London is pre-revival, not post-Christian. Abbey Road Baptist Church is small—REALLY small—but the church is almost entirely populated with young adults. The young adults in this church are excited about the Lord Jesus Christ. They worship with passion, they serve with zeal, and they pray without ceasing. They want to see London won for Christ.

Will we simply surrender the English to Satan? The Yankees? The Canadians? The French? The Germans? The Spanish? If we do so, let us not abandon them under the pretense that we had no choice and could not do otherwise. To say that is the blaspheme the name of the omnipotent God and to sully the reputation of the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us instead pray for pre-Revival London and pre-Revival Europe, and let us sacrifice to see revival come to this land and these people who, after all, were used by God to give the Christian gospel to pre-Revival America.

23 comments:

David Mills said...

Amen. God still loves them all, and we should, too, and we should love them enough to give them the gospel. Thanks for the encouraging post.

David R. Brumbelow said...

I agree. My prayers are with you and Europe. I pray God sends great revival.
David R. Brumbelow

Wade Burleson said...

Amen.

And, Amen.

Wade

Grosey's Messages said...

Revival is the only hope for the Churches in England that have been hot with the post modern secularism that has gripped that country.
There are regions (i.e Keswick) with hardly a Baptist witness in it.
Blessings brother praying for you.
Preach the Word!
Steve

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Don't tell me that you stood around at "Speakers Corner" and did not say anything. :)

Praying for you Bro. I know God is using you in a great way to be his witness and to help establish a consistent witness there.

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

Bart:

Very good post. I agree.

Louis

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

A wonderful, encouraging post. Thanks.

Les

Alex said...

Bart would be even more encouraged if he could drag himself from tourist London and the white folks to the real London and the nations. More people attend evangelical churches in London than in any other European city by hundreds of thousands (though admittedly it is the biggest European city by a margin)

London has vibrant churches of every possible kind. e.g. http://www.trinitybaptist.org.uk
http://www.sph.org/
http://www.kingscentre.org.uk/index.php
http://www.metropolitantabernacle.org
http://www.hillsongmychurch.co.uk

Bart Barber said...

Ahhh, Alex. Our resident, self-proclaimed expert on everything. Let's just try it this way: You kindly inform us all as to what constitutes "tourist London" and what constitutes "real London," and then I'll let you know where we've been ministering.

Then we'll find out whether your always-hostile presumptions are also always-equally unreliable.

Bart Barber said...

BTW,

There are some good churches in London, and Alex's list is a good start. Alex apparently believes that the presence of a few healthy churches in one of the world's largest and most influential cities is, somehow, enough to make anyone who would long for revival here a lesser Christian than he is and than those who go to what he would define as the worthy "nations" (and I'm prepared to let semi-anonymous Alex know where else we as a church are engaged in mission after he has replied).

So, here's a good way to get it clear in your mind, if you have any doubt. Start with Alex's list of church websites, contact those congregations online, ask them the following:

1. Should we consider London "reached"?
2. Is there any reason to be involved on mission in London?
3. Does London have any need for revival?
4. What snide criticism would your church have for someone encouraging people to pray for revival in London?

I would be very interested to hear about the replies that you get from Alex's list of churches to my list of questions.

Bart Barber said...

In the absence of a reply from Alex, I'll go ahead and share some information about the "tourist London and the white folks" from which Alex shames me that I ought to drag myself.

We are serving alongside the Abbey Road Baptist Church in London. Presently, ARBC consists of only a few participating members:

1. A delightful English 90-something-year-old lady who has been a member of the church for decades.

2. A young black woman in her twenties from the Congo who has been a member for several years.

3. A young Brazilian woman in her thirties.

4. A young English man from poverty-stricken Kilborn. He's the administrator of a charity that labors among the poor in Kilborn.

5. This young man's fiancée, who is ethnically Japanese, but who is of Brazilian nationality.

6. Another young man who leads the music, also Japanese-Brazilian.

7. His Brazilian girlfriend.

8. A Korean-Brazilian young man who serves the church incessantly and selflessly.

9. An English gentleman.

10. His Chinese-British wife.

11. The Scottish pastor.

12. His Slovakian wife.

13. Their English daughter, who at four already speaks two languages fluently.

Oh yeah, Sunday evening I preached to the Arabic congregation that meets at #4's charity headquarters in the impoverished and ethnically mixed neighborhood.

I'll be awaiting your instructions as to how I can drag myself away from "tourist London and white folks" so that we can also meet with your approval while we try to be obedient to the Lord.

Or you can apologize and I'll drop the whole thing.

Bart Barber said...

Did I fail to mention that my dear friend the Scottish pastor was for many years a missionary in Africa to the Muslims?

Bart Barber said...

Some of those reading may detect some consternation in my voice. Yes, you detect rightly. It is a serious thing to make yourself the critic and opponent of the Lord's work. And this mission in London is the Lord's work. Jesus confronted this sort of thing in His time.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Bart

It sounds to me (a fellow Arkansan who has lived and served in London the past 6 years +) as though you have found and have an obvious fondness for the 'real' London. I praise the Lord for your commitment to come and invest in the work of the Kingdom amongst the least of these in this great city.

Warn regards in Christ
Barry King

Bart Barber said...

Thanks, Barry.

We're in town through the wee waking hours of Monday. There can't be that many Arkansans in London. I'd be thrilled to hook up if you have a chance. Feel free to Direct Message me on Twitter @bartbarber

selahV said...

Bart, what a refreshing post! I shall be praying for Abbey Road Baptist church. May their love for Jesus grow each and every day and may we see a revival soon, there and here. selahV

bapticus hereticus said...

bapticus hereticus: perhaps a better question would be "in light of London, in what way does one have a deeper understanding of one's self and its responsibility to one's own community?"

Anonymous said...

I know the question I have may be out of your area of expertise, but I thought i would put the item before you.

I was looking into the possibility of adoption. At this stage it seems this may be the only viable route that I will have to bring a child into my life.

The question I have for you is this. Do you believe that a 44 year old single male would have a legitimate shot at adoption? I am also going to be in consultation with others in the near future regarding this matter.

Something else crossed my mind in reference to this. It could possibly have a ripple effect as well. If people begin to see me out and about with a child, they just very well may view me in a different light, especially women.
Any thoughts? God Bless.

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

My brother, the very best thing I know to do for you is implore you to find a pastor with whom you can speak face-to-face about these things. It is really tantamount to malpractice for anyone to seek to offer opinions, thoughts, or advice about how you should handle these personal matters at arm's length over the Internet. These are intimate matters; they deserve and require intimate counsel.

Tim Rogers said...

Ok, you are back from London and you should have been able to catch up on your sleep and play time with the kids. It is time to get back in the hunt. I know that you thought London was part of your fishing grounds for souls and I am sure you had some great nibbles and you even were used as a conduit by our Lord to share the gospel while you were over there. However, you are planted in Farmersville, Tx. that great city where Audy Murphy grew up and played on the streets. Get out of that bed and get back to work.

:)

Give me a call when you get to the end of that first stack of papers on your desk.

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand why I could never have an ordinary existence and setting with someone, like so many others.

The whole world is all about not doing something. I firmly agree with what Robert F. Kennedy once said. He said, " Some see things as they are and ask why,..... I dream of things that never were and say why not?"

Bart Barber said...

The answers to those questions cannot be found in the abstract. They are bound up in the intimate specifics of your own life. A pastor. Your pastor. You need to be having this conversation in person with your own pastor.

Jeff said...

Barry King, I would love to email you. My email is pastorjeffthomas@gmail.com