by Eric W. Tuininga
Greetings in Christ from Mbale, Uganda! Christ rules over all nations! I praise God continually that Christ’s kingdom has reached many formerly pagan lands, including Europe, America, China, and Uganda!
The Mbale area is home to many tribes and languages. While visiting believers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Uganda (OPCU), you might hear the following greetings: Mulembe! (Lugisu), Kojeyo! (Lunyole), Koizeyo! (Lugwere), Habari! (Swahili), Oli Otya? (Luganda), or even How are you? (English). Worshipping and teaching here often reminds me of the triumphant verse, “[You] have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9 NKJV). Read more
by David A. Okken
Last year was a very difficult year for our young church in Nakaale. The attacks of the Evil One were severe and felt deeply. It was heartbreaking to see church members falling into sin, especially as it happened among three men whose faith in Christ and growth in grace had so encouraged us.
Our hearts ached as we asked ourselves, “How could these dear brothers be following some of the very practices that they had renounced?” As believers in Christ, they had promised to walk in obedience to his commandments. In particular, they had professed their belief that God desires marriage to be between one man and one woman. As husbands, each had promised to be faithful to his one wife. Now, we were discovering, they had decided to take additional wives. In almost twelve years of ministry in Karamoja, I had never felt so discouraged. Read more
by Bruce C. Fenton
Much has been written and shared about the tragedy that resulted from “Superstorm Sandy” hitting the communities of coastal New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, and Connecticut on October 29, 2012. While a record number of homes and businesses were without power for a record number of days, the major impact was caused by the record tidal surge, coupled with sustained high winds, which caused major damage and loss to personal and business properties, as well as utility infrastructure. The estimated replacement costs also set new records.
To many of the people living there, it was more than the “inconvenience” of being without power in an otherwise undamaged home—it meant being displaced from their homes indefinitely, if not permanently. The people in these devastated communities have certainly been blessed by volunteer assistance groups from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in America, the United Reformed Churches in North America, and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Read more
by David P. Nakhla
Summertime! A time for barbecuing, walking in the park or on the beach, cooling off in swimming pools, or participating in a summer reading program. Many families might anticipate a vacation or other excursion not related to work or school. In recent years, another summer activity has started to become very common, particularly in Christian circles. And that is participating in short-term missions.
“Short-term missions” has become quite the buzzword (or phrase) lately. It seems that everyone is talking about short-term missions (STMs for short). The fact is that interest in STMs has exploded in the past two decades into what is now a multi-billion dollar industry! The numbers often quoted are that over 2,000,000 Americans will participate annually in a short-term mission trip at an estimated cost of $1,500,000,000. Wow! Read more
by Bryan J. Weaver and Christopher H. Wisdom
In the second decade of the twenty-first century, one out of every two marriages in America now ends in divorce. One out of every five Americans has contracted or will contract a sexually transmitted disease in his or her lifetime. January 2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which legalized abortion on demand and brought with it the scourge of four decades of wrongful death for over 60 million unborn American children. And in the year 2012 there were more deaths of American soldiers by suicide (349) than in combat (229)—and that during a time of war.
How have we come to this place in our culture, whose previous history embraced (at least outwardly) the sanctity of marriage and of human life? The history of modern Western thought bears witness to the determination by certain major social thinkers and leaders to rationalize immoral sexual behavior and project it onto a universal canvas. During the last 125 years, the agenda of the Western cultural elite has entailed the reversal of Christian ethics and its impact on intellectual and social life, making desire the final criterion of morality. Nietzsche, Freud, Wilde, Mead, Sanger, Kinsey, and Foucault are but a few of the progenitors of modern Western thought. And if you dissect the thinking of such intellectual notables regarding morality, you will note the common thread of sexual license. They deliberately chose ideologies and lifestyles that cast aside moral decency and embraced the exigencies of sexual misbehavior. Read more