Tuesday is one of my very busy days as I teach both morning and afternoon/evening classes. I leave at seven in the morning and do not get back to the apartment till around eight in the evening. It makes for a very long and tiring day but it is time well spent and leaves me excited as well as tired by the time the day draws to a close.
One of the classes I am teaching in the Graduate School here in Colombia is in church history. Since history has always been one of my favorite subjects, this class has been a lot of fun to teach. But history of the church is also a great way to demonstrate how the divisions over man-made doctrines have hurt the work of evangelism. These denominational conflicts have so occupied the church that it has often deviated from its primary purpose.
For the texts we are using a massive two volume set that does an excellent job of covering the history of the church from Pentecost to the present times. To my delight the author presented a good coverage of the Cane Ridge Meeting and the ideals of restoring New Testament Christianity as preached by Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. This allowed me to share with the students the vision of making the Bible the basis of our doctrine and beliefs and in lifting up Christ as our savior and the head of the church. As I taught the class, you could see the excitement building. Ones student enthusiastically exclaimed, â€œI am becoming a convert.â€ To most the idea of being simply Christians after the New Testament model was a new and refreshing idea.
I found that the vision of simple New Testament Christianity is as appealing today as it was during the Second Great Awakening. The students were excited by the idea of being simple New Testament Christians and in shedding the man made barriers that have prevented the church for reaching the whole world for Christ. The students have been very receptive to the simple beauty of Biblical Christianity. They have readily absorbed the clear teaching of the New Testament and have spoken repeatedly of working to share this new understanding in their churches.
By working in the graduate school, I have the opportunity of training the influential leaders of many of the indigenous churches here in Colombia. It has been rewarding to see how readily they accept clear Biblical teaching and begin to modify the doctrines being taught in the churches from which they come. It is very exciting to see the opportunities God has given us to train our own leaders to a much higher level but also to encourage faithfulness to clear Biblical teachings and a movement towards New Testament Christianity amongst the many indigenous churches of Colombia.