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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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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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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