The Forgotten East

cropped-desert_monast-sm-682400381I’m pretty confident as I write the words of this post that the author of the link soon to be provided offered a much differing intent with her words than where I shall be inclined to go here. That’s the beauty of writing. Authorial intent can be subjective when the reader has preconceptions he is determined to make a case for. Okay, that was supposed to be a little bit humorous.

Jessica Hoff, from All Along the Watchtower, recently provided us with an amazing series on the Church of the East. You can find its conclusion here, and then follow the related articles.

With my excellent ability to dumb-down something (no wise-cracks here please, because I sincerely hope this doesn’t diminish the magnificence of Jess’ work), I found myself asking the same question again and again as I read through her work. Why? Not “why” did I keep asking, but “why” did a church that once boasted of being larger than anything the West could offer, disappear from existence.

Consider geographically the area we’re speaking of. When we think of the East today, we think Missions. We must get the gospel into these countries of the East, and rightfully so. But in reality we’re trying to get the gospel into an area where it once thrived. There are countless places there now where the name of Jesus is not even known. What happened?

It would be very speculative of me to give dogmatic answers here, for honestly, there are evidences that point to a lot of reasons why. The persecution became great. Christians were being killed in masses. These people broke ties with other churches (By the way, Jess gives much more detail on this).

But in the end, I can’t get beyond some words spoken by our Lord… and ponder. “I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” “Repent, and do the deeds you did at first, or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place.” Two promises are given to the Church, but their conclusions are very different.

Now I’m going to really ponder. Is a generation coming when a church in Senegal, Africa will be raising funding for missionaries because there is a nation called America who does not know the name of Jesus?

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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13 Responses to The Forgotten East

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  2. alwayzhis says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing this… and the author! I have my beliefs about “why”… they can be answered in the same way as what has happened to the True Church in this country–the wasteland of the free.

    • mtsweat says:

      “wasteland of the free” ouch! I too am very much concerned we have become a body focused on “what can you do for me” rather than a people “who lay down their lives for one another.” Thank you for the share good friend and may God strengthen us to be the people He calls us to be. Blessings

      • alwayzhis says:

        Amen! Each one of us (forgiven followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and reconciled to the Amazing LORD) is given different gifts and talents; but they are all for the same purpose. To fulfill Jesus commandment “to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and body and love others as we do our own selves” (kind of a Stephanie paraphrase).
        So let’s as members of the Body of Christ get on with it!

  3. JessicaHof says:

    Thank you so much. I am glad you appreciated it. I think quite a few of the non regulars did, but I can see that it was not for everyone – which is a shame, as we can, as you suggest here, all learn from it.

  4. That is happening now. So. America, Africa, and Asians are here as missionaries to the USA, wow, who woulda thunk it.

    • mtsweat says:

      You’re very right Keith. Who woulda thunk… praise the Lord for these who are surrendered to follow Christ wherever He leads… even to my home town. We need their influential ministry.

  5. NEO says:

    And given the way the Episcopal church in Africa is keeping the faith, as well as many other Christians, I’m very afraid, and suspect many are, that your speculation may well be prophecy.

  6. NEO says:

    I’m glad, my friend, that I wasn’t the only one fascinated by Jess’s work here. Magnificence is almost damning with faint praise in this case, it was something that I knew absolutely nothing about, and she presented it very well. I add my small voice to yours in recommending her series wholeheartedly.

    • mtsweat says:

      I noticed that many of the regulars seemed to show disinterest, but I’m fascinated to learn of this. It’s a little concerning that we know little and maybe nothing of this Church. Is it simply because we’re so West-observant?

      • NEO says:

        I think that’s a lot of it. Not even Chalcedonian but Rome-centric, so to speak, even the Orthodox seem to be little known in this country.

        I think part of it with her series may have been that many (including me sometimes) don’t like to comment when we don’t know much but, it did seem like you and I were more interested than many others.

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