Every day, striking incidents are accumulating in the experience of overseas missionaries and North American Christians alike:

• The candidate for elder in an independent suburban church in the Midwest sat with the board for his interview. From all the church’s appearances—doctrinal statement, sermons, worship, teaching—he had no reason to doubt that this was a solid, biblical church. In discussing his qualifications, however, he discovered that he was chosen partly because his astrological sign was in harmony with those of the board members. They urged him to pray for a “spirit guide” who would give him wisdom in his new office. They said he could expect to benefit from “deep” teachings from the elders themselves. Now the man understood why a friend had earlier declined the position and had been reluctant to discuss it.

• The missionary with over 20 years experience in France finished speaking with several bon contacts (interested nonbelievers) in a crowd. He pressed one young man whose curiosity seemed especially piqued.

“What do you think about the gospel?” the missionary asked him. “Will you believe on Christ?”

“I don’t know,” he responded, “I would very much like to, but I will have to ask my priest.”

“From which parish are you?” the missionary asked.

The young man smiled impishly: “Parish? I’m not a Roman Catholic. I am a Celt—a Celtic pagan.”

• Deep in discussion with an elderly Belgian man, two young Christians made a startling discovery. They had covered a great deal of ground, dealing with the authority and reliability of the Bible, the existence of God, the creation of the ...

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