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Posts from August 2012

William Cavanaugh on Religious Violence

William cavanaugh

"The myth of religious violence promotes a dichotomy between us in the secular West who are rational and peacemaking, and them, the hordes of violent religious fanatics in the Muslim world. Their violence is religious, and therefore irrational and divisive. Our violence, on the other hand, is rational, peacemaking, and necessary. Regrettably, we find ourselves forced to bomb them into the higher rationality." William Cavanaugh, DePaul University

Tomorrow, I will be enjoying a lunch with William Cavanaugh. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, let me know in a comment below.

100 million Christians exposing corruption

Good news. We are joining the Exposed 2013 Campaign and plan on doing our bit to help leverage 100 million Christians to shine light and speak truth into corruption. 

"Through mismanagement, illicit business practices and poor governance, well over US$1 TRILLION goes missing every year!  A report by the Global Financial Integrity group suggests that corruption and tax evasion cost the developing world as much as $903bn in 2009." Exposed 2013

I had a good chat with Dr Dion Forster about the Exposed2013 Campaign

DionDION: Hi Andrew, thanks so much for your willingness to give EXPOSED some 'exposure'! We are trusting that God will use our collective witness, advocacy and action to care for the poor and transform the corrupt.

TskTSK: Hi Dion. Can you tell us what EXPOSED is all about?

DionDION: EXPOSED is about shining a light on corruption. Its a coalition of Christians and Christian organizations that aim to challenge the Church, business and governments to witness, act and advocate on behalf of the poor and to transform the corrupt.  Simply stated, global corruption is a cancer that is killing the world.  God wants Christians to be informed and empowered to bring transformation in small and large ways to stem corruption and care for the poor.  We understand that we will never deal with systemic poverty unless we deal with systemic corruption.

God sees the child that dies of hunger, the community that falls into chaos, the nation that is overrun with abuse - God cares.  Christians and the Church can do significant and practical things to establish God's will and show God's love in these situations.  EXPOSED is helping to activate Christians and the Church globally to this wonderful opportunity!


Dion, what is your role?


IDion have the joy of serving as the international director of the campaign.  The founding coalition parters are the World Evangelical Alliance, MIcah Challenge International, the International Bible Societies, the Unashamedly Ethical campaign, and the Salvation Army.  They wanted a person from the 'Global South' to help form and shape the campaign.  I have the honour of doing that!  

We having a growing list of partners from all spheres of society and the Church.  There are prayer orgainsiations like the Global Day of Prayer and 24-7 Prayer, there are advocacy organisations like Tear Fund and CAFOD, there are denominational groupings like the WEA and Anglican Communion, there are ministries and secular groups such as the Global Poverty Project, the ONE campaign...

I think you get the idea!  We have huge support and buy in for the campaign.  Each of these 'partners' will be doing something for 14-20 October 2013.  For example the Bible Society are busy with an EXPOSED Bible, our prayer partners are developing prayer resources around poverty and corruption and setting up prayer events, International Justice Mission and the Tax Justice Network will be passing legislation.  Tear Fund and Micah Challenge will be encouraging citizens to petition their governments to sign the United Nations Convention on Anti Corruption (UNCAC).

By the way, the United Nations Development Program is also a partner (UNDP).

TskIs EXPOSED focused solely on government and business corruption or is there a place to deal with corruption in Christian organisations?

DionBecause we are mobilizing such a large number of Christians (100 million!) we are aiming to touch three spheres of society:  The Church, business and government.  As such we are developing partnerships with networks, ministries and groupings that work in each of these spheres and asking them to do their work 'publicly', together with others in their area, for a short space of time in order to offer the best and strongest witness we can to God's power and love in the world.

TskWhat can Christians do to participate in Exposed?

DionIf I can ask that you encourage people to do four things (well maybe 5!):

A)  Pray for us and our work!  The darkness does not like to be exposed to the light, we do face, and will continue to face opposition in this Kingdom task.

B)  Please ask people to set aside the dates 14-20 October 2013 to do something in their region that will witness to God's love for the poor and corrupt, or to act or advocate on behalf of the poor.  Sunday 14 October 2013 is particularly important!  It will kick off the EXPOSED week across the world!  We are trusting that there will be millions and millions of different events, interventions, actions, services, short term missions, petitions, etc., all over the world during that week to show God's caring love for the poor, and God's transforming love to the corrupt.
C)  Please ask your readers to follow us on twitter @EXPOSED2013 and on facebook to stay up to date on what is developing in the next year and a bit!  We would also be so blessed if 
D)  Begin to think and pray about what action God may want you to perform in October 2013 - start by getting a group of people together, see what you can do and begin to plan it!
Lastly, will start with EXPOSED Fridays in which we will ask Christians to reach out to three of their friends, family or colleauges to encourage them to follow @EXPOSED2013 or like by sending them a personal message!
I hope that is not too much!

TskNot too much at all. What can Christian organisations do to contribute?

DionWe would love to connect with any Christian or secular organisation that cares about the poor or is concerned about corruption!  Please ask them to make contact with me on we would love to highlight their work to our growing community, celebrate what they're doing and partner with them.


Thanks Dion. We are looking forward to partnering with you. Thanks for having my presence on your blog.


The Folly of Picking Emerging Young Leaders

They all happened at the same time. Charisma Mag announced their latest lineup of emerging leaders for tomorrow's church, Lausanne reported on their Young Leaders gathering in USA, and the reading in our chapel service was about the folly of selecting young leaders - it was Samuel sorting through the big manly sons of Jesse to find the emerging leader that God had chosen. NOT AN EASY TASK!

So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” i Sam 16

God's people do not have a great track record of choosing emerging leaders. This alone should humble us.


 I think Charisma Mag selecting the "21 Emerging Leaders of Tomorrow's Church" is an idea that has not really been thought out. On what criteria are these people selected? Popularity? Book sales? Twitter count? Are we more perceptive than the prophet Samuel who found it hard to look beyond the bling and the testosterone?

This week I was teaching some missions history which is often skewed towards people who look like us and act like us who make a brave journey to a poor, less civilized, third world country to start an Western style institution that makes news in the homeland. In 1910, the missionaries worthy of inviting to the International Missionary Conference in Edinburgh were pretty much all associated with the big mission organizations. And most of them white and English speaking. A few names like John Mott stay in our memory. Some good people there, for sure . . .

But in 1910 there were other missionaries who were quietly serving God in their little corner of the world, unnoticed, without media fanfare, without invitation to global mission events, and without making anyone's list of the Young Christian Leaders Most Likely To Succeed. Yesterday I talked about 3 of them. 

Toyohiko kagawa

In 1910, while the mission executives were filling their tea cups in Edinburgh, a 22 year old Toyohikio Kagawa was living in a 6ft x 6ft shanty in one of Japan's slums. Tuberculosis was a big killer back then and many of the prostitutes who took shelter in Kagawa's tiny shack were infected. Kagawa vowed to eliminate the slums in Japan, which he eventually did through a strategy of Christian cooperatives and activism. Edinburgh 1910 ignored him but the 1938 International Missionary Council Conference in Madras acknowledged his contribution and actually spotlighted his work as a way forward for sustainable mission strategy.

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