This year’s Secret Church, Secret Church 15, will touch on abortion, immigration, same-sex marriage, pornography, racism, and more. So here’s the question: will it have any relevance outside America’s borders?
Secret Church 15
The Secret Church simulcast is international. Participants in countries around the world will be joining us on April 24. But it’s also more than that. One of our goals for Secret Church is to produce biblically sound teaching that we can translate into other languages, and thereby equip believers in churches overseas. In fact, we want Secret Church to be useful for believers in the very areas we highlight and pray for at our annual gathering… areas filled with ignorance of and opposition to the gospel.
So how does this year’s topic square with our aim of translating the teaching and equipping the church abroad? It seems that Christ, Culture, and a Call to Action simply dives into the American political conversation by taking on “hot buttons” that frequent our American news cycles. Is there any way that Vietnamese Christians could find teaching on racism helpful in their context? Or could the underground church in Saudi Arabia possibly benefit from an Arabic translation of how we American Christians ought to respond to same-sex marriage court rulings?
There’s a clearer link than it may seem. Part of the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations including “teaching them to observe all that [Jesus has] commanded.” We cannot be faithful to the mission of God and neglect the full counsel of his Word. So when the Bible is clear, we must be too, even if a particular issue seems less relevant in certain cultural contexts.
Call To Action
On top of that, currently at the forefront of Christian higher education, America sends out thousands of missionaries. For the sake of gospel advance among unreached people groups, we need to get our theology right. If, for example, the American church decided that there was nothing wrong with abortion, the churches abroad that we help plant and train would likely also learn to devalue image-bearers of God in one way or another. Or take sexual sin. We can’t genuinely equip believers to combat sex trafficking overseas if we’re okay with pornography at home. The truth of the gospel should lead us to reject all sexual immorality: we are the bride of Christ!
In other words, any issue that’s a gospel issue is worth teaching. All these controversial “political” positions are actually gospel issues, and that is alway relevant. The specific application may differ from culture to culture, just as our application of truth in Paul’s epistles differs from that of the churches Paul was writing to. But gospel truth is always instructive.
The issues at hand in Christ, Culture, and a Call to Action may have more global relevance than you realized. For the sake of secret churches everywhere, we can’t afford not to speak up.