eNews | Fri 15th Jan ’21

Dear e-News friends, church members, and partners,

Free To Share

Nearly everyone who gets this e-news has a huge privilege and opportunity, which is the FREEDOM to share their faith, thoughts, and convictions.
A few of our family in some parts of the world are already seriously restricted in things that they can or can’t say.

We have all missed our ‘taken for granted’ liberty of meeting together and enjoying church meetings as and when we wanted, but all of this may change sooner than we think, and I’m not talking about the virus.

This last week the world went through a seismic shift.

For the first time, we saw the big tech giants (Google,Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon…) decide that some people’s thoughts, ideas, and opinions were not to be shared with the wider world, and blocked tens of thousands of accounts, closing many of them permanently.

Most people I know had dozens or even hundreds of their Twitter followers deleted as this global politicking had its knock-on effects.
Since then the monetary value of both Twitter and Facebook has plummeted by billions of dollars, and we will yet see how much they are willing to lose in support of their ideas, or how much longer their shareholders will put up with it.

This week the House of Lords in the UK is asking for people to involve with a public consultation on the issue. Germany’s Angela Merkel, with France’s Macron have spoken out with deep concern, and Poland is passing laws to prevent the big tech companies from stealing their freedoms, and they should know having been occupied by both Nazis’ and communists in living memory.

A former British Prime Minister once said, ‘ideas ruled the world’, and currently, an anti-God ideology is taking a very firm hold on our planet, and shutting many people, including Christians out of the public arena. The cancel culture of too many universities has now reached you and me.
Ultimately this is not about your political preference but about your core beliefs.
Are you going to be PC or BC – politically correct or biblically correct? These values are on a collision course.
We have made the most of church online during these lockdowns, but it’s now a real possibility that perhaps a year or two from now, Facebook, YouTube, and others may prohibit church online and ban any Christian content.

So, what are we to do?

Stay positive. I have been asked so many times of late, are these things plus a global pandemic the signs of the end of the times. The answer is it’s the countdown to the end, but Jesus said the real sign of the end will be a global revival, the gospel will be preached with huge success to the ends of the earth. Therefore, the real signs of the times will not be found at Google Head Quarters, but at the church – what are we doing with all Jesus said?

Maximise your opportunity now. We still have basic freedoms, we can still tell people we identify as Christian, we can still tell people about Jesus and we can still invite people to church online, let’s not waste it, speak up, invite in, bring someone with you.

Church Online 

Be courageous. I’m teaching on Sunday in our brand-new season on Thriving under this heading: “Fear Not!” That phrase occurs in some English Bibles 365 times, one for every day of the year. Don’t worry what they think, whilst showing people genuine love and concern at the same time.

Get God involved with everything you do every day. This will lead to good decisions, blessed activities, and God-given opportunities. Simply pray the simplest prayer, ‘God lead me today’, or ‘Holy Spirit speak to me and let me know and discern your voice, then give me the courage to act’

Did you know that the most popular podcast in the world at the moment is ‘The Bible in a year’ by a catholic priest, Father Michael Schmitz? That shows people are open and hungry like never before.
The world is getting darker – but our world is to get brighter by the moment.
Bring some sunshine into someone’s life today.

Love you guys.
See you at the weekend,