Tag Archives: bucuresti

Holiness and Liberty

As we go through this roller-coaster ride of planting a church in Bucureşti, I have often found myself asking:  “Why on earth did we decide we needed to do this, anyhow?”  These last few weeks, as numbers have dipped especially low, this question has had a tendency to come to mind much more frequently.

So, why are we planting a church here in Bucureşti?

There are many reasons.  Here’s one:  România needs more bodies of believers who trust God for total holiness and experience his total liberty.

Some churches believe that holiness isn’t really attainable and so you might as well just go on sinning and trust Jesus forgives you.  Others seem to think the entire Christian life is an austere and painful struggle to live holy and free from any and every minute imperfection in spirit, soul, and body.

I believe the Bible teaches holiness is completely attainable and that through Jesus we also have incredible liberty.  This is an important dichotomy:  we can be totally and fully pure before God, in body, soul, and spirit; and we can also enjoy life to the full and experience tremendous liberty.

Here are thirteen quick thoughts related to holiness and liberty:

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Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #7

(Note:  Before reading, please understand that I am not attacking the Orthodox Church.  In general, they have an amazing understanding of the majesty of God, a deep appreciation for artwork and beauty in worship, a respect for tradition, a love of history, and many more admirable qualities.  However, many who call themselves “Orthodox” are desperately in the dark.)

I sometimes get frustrated here because so many people consider themselves to be Christians (almost 97%) and yet most know little about Jesus.  Here is reason number seven for why we need the gospel here.

Reason #7 – Jesus Who?

I’m sure there are many wonderful believers in the Romanian Orthodox church, but I don’t think that applies to the youth.  Many young people with whom I’ve spoken have told me they were never able to understand Orthodox services.  Many had questions about God but found no help by going to church, even though scripture is a central part of worship in the Orthodox faith.

So, why did these young people have such difficulty?

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Why do the Orthodox Need the Gospel… #6

(Note:  Before reading, please understand that I am not attacking the Orthodox Church.  In general, they have an amazing understanding of the majesty of God, a deep appreciation for artwork and beauty in worship, a respect for tradition, a love of history, and many more admirable qualities.  However, many who call themselves “Orthodox” are desperately in the dark.)

Yes, everyone in Romania has heard about Jesus.  Yes, nearly 98% of the people in Bucureşti say they are Orthodox believers.  So, do they really need missionaries here sharing the gospel?  Yes!  Here’s reason number six…

Reason #6 – Church?  Why Would I Go There?

Most of the Orthodox people I’ve met in Bucureşti have said they rarely go to church.  Although church attendance is not a prerequisite for salvation, we in the body of Christ need each other.  “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).  How will Romania ever achieve its God-given purpose and fulfill its destiny as long as those who call themselves believers do not meet together to encourage one another towards righteousness and to worship the One who is worthy?  Yes, 98% call themselves Christians, but most have abandoned their calling.

An Evening with Gypsies

Bucureşti is strange. On one street, things can look just like Madison or Milwaukee. Then you go over one street, and there’s a Rrom family living in a house that seems to have been dropped in from Haiti.

Yesterday afternoon, we had a wonderful time with a couple Rrom families living just 10 minutes from us.  They’re mostly Christians, love their kids, and have fairly strong families.  We met with them for a couple hours for a short Bible study.  We had a wonderful evening.

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Evangelism recap

Jake and I headed out with Adi (short for Adrian) for a couple hours of evangelism  this afternoon.  We had a great time, and found many, many young people open to the gospel.  Although only time will tell how much was genuine interest and how much was simply politeness, we were all happy and encouraged when the day ended.

We had a lot of really great conversations, especially with the college students.  Many were very open to talk about their questions about the church, and their disillusionment with religion in general as well as to hear our stories of faith.  It seemed the older generation was almost all dead-set Orthodox but open to talking while the younger generation was largely agnostic or questioning.

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A ride in a police car and an afternoon in a Bucharest jail… sort of

Well, I did end up in the back of a Romanian police car today, and I also spent some time in a Bucharest jail.  But it’s probably not what you’re thinking.

I was spending the day at Harastrau Park, a giant park with a lake, flowers, and homeless guys who like to steal cameras.

I wish I could say Bucuresti is just plain evil and that the stolen camera is an example of this, but really I can only say that I’m just plain stupid.

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