By Franco Gennaro
Published April 26, 2008
Champions for Christ – Latin America
Church thrives despite hardship and persecution
HAVANA (FRI) – As I stare out the window of my shabby 12th-floor hotel room overlooking the city of Havana, Cuba, I think through this past trip which has been both exciting and sobering. I have had the privilege of not only ministering in various unregistered (non-government) churches, but also encouraging pastors in private meetings.
These men and women are the heroes of today. They have faced persecution, poverty, sacrifice and terror and are still living through it. These brothers and sisters often go without food due to the economic crisis. This is especially sad when I realize that they live just 90 miles from the United States.
In spite of these incredible hardships, there has been an explosion of revival and an incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this island. Most church buildings are jam-packed, with standing-room-only crowds. While in the 1960s and 1970s many church buildings were closed down, today lines of people go out the front doors of churches – even into the streets. Recently, many congregations have doubled, and even tripled, in attendance.
Even more exciting is that fact that 70 percent of church membership is under 30 years of age. There is a spiritual hunger among youth in Cuba like never before. However, because of this growth, the government is now beginning to crack down on the local churches, as it perceives Christianity to be a threat to its future existence.
On my first trip to Cuba in 1993, there was more of an openness to Christianity in the government. Now, there is growing suspicion, fear and worry that this Christian revolution is getting out of hand. Restrictions and harassment toward ministers have become commonplace, with some churches being closed by the government. Though a good international public relations image has been recently created by the country’s leadership, behind the scenes there is great concern that allegiance to communism is faltering.
Another method being waged against the phenomenal church growth is the promotion of a substitutionary religion in Cuba – Witchcraft. The government now openly states that Brujera/Santeria is the “official cultural religion” of the island. In any government store you can find entire sections devoted to the sale of artifacts, dress and instruments for the practice of this demonic spiritual substitute. Moreover, Cuba has sponsored international conferences and workshops on the introduction of Santeria.
Missionary Hudson Taylor said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed!” The trumpet sound is clear. In addition to sending Champions for Christ evangelism teams to Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Nicaragua, we will proceed this year with an outreach to Cuba.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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