Sunday, September 8, 2013

Revelation speaks to the Global South and North

I believe the message of the Bible transcends time and culture. I have just started reading through the book of Revelation and was struck by how the letters to the seven churches in the opening chapters are so relevant to the global church today, in all its diversity.
For example, to the suffering and poor church in the Global South [Smyrna]:

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander.... 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

While to the affluent and arrogant church in the Global North [Laodicea]:

17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

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