12 November 2016

Providence at Work in the European Immigrant Crisis


Amidst the horrors of war and social collapse, God's Providence works in mysterious ways. Immigrants fleeing for their lives and hoping for a better tomorrow are in some cases finding not just a new life in Europe but a new life in Christ.

Sometimes it's difficult to assess what's really going on in with regard to these reports. I've been away from Europe for many years but when I was there I recall that Evangelicalism (broadly speaking) was in a state of flux. Pentecostalism, Youth-ministry approaches with all their worldliness and therapeutic emphases, the Seeker movement and in general a watered-down form of doctrine and approach to Scripture seemed to be expanding. My encounters with Evangelicalism and certainly with American missionaries were not always encouraging. It was heartbreaking to encounter missionaries in places like Austria bringing not solid doctrine but instead puppet shows and the Jesus film.

That said, there's a quality about European Christianity that I've always found encouraging. I scour the Internet and talk to whoever I can for news about what's happening in these circles. I am particularly interested in the rise of the Right-wing nationalism. When I was there, almost twenty years ago now, most Christians were not at all keen on Right-wing politics. Figures in the European Right were and are praised by American Evangelicals but in Europe the tendency (if any) was to lean toward the Left.

I fear that may be changing.

That said, these stories are very encouraging to me. It's a blessing to see Christians reaching out to the immigrants. While undoubtedly there are some that are 'converting' in order to work the asylum process, I don't doubt there are many genuine professions of faith.

I wish I was there to see it with my own eyes and to be part of it. At the very least I will pray from them.

I hope they will find good doctrinal grounding and that foundations will be laid... stones to build on for many years to come. Hopefully they will not end up in culturally segregated congregations. It may prove difficult in places like Switzerland and Germany but I hope the cultures can co-exist and find their unity in Christ.

1 comment:

  1. http://evangelicalfocus.com/europe/2213/Asylum_seeker_who_attacked_woman_reading_Bible_in_Austria_had_personal_problems_says_police

    An unfortunate incident. This combined with the Berlin vehicular attack is making the asylum seekers look bad. Throw in the anti-Christian element and you may see the European Evangelicals presently sitting on the fence start to move to the Right.