How should Christians react to problematic leadership? Is there a right way to protest? How does the Church witness in the Arab world?
In an effort to answer these and other questions, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) is assembling their annual Middle East Consultation. This year’s conference, titled “The Gospel in Public Life: Biblical Foundations for Engaging Politics and Society in the MENA Region and Beyond, will continue a trend of bringing together guests and speakers from the Middle East and all over the world to talk politics, theology, and Christlike living.
“Like every year, we want to invite people to learn more, reflect on Biblical passages, talk about current issues, and try to answer some questions that will help the church have a vibrant witness in society,” says Loulwa El Maalouf of ABTS. “So some of the questions that we are trying to answer this year will be, for example, how does a pursuit of the common good contribute to a theology of public life? What is the Biblical posture towards governance and how does faith direct our allegiances toward the authorities?”
The five-day consultation is a tradition that started in 2004. Every year, highly qualified speakers give lectures and lead conversation for around two hundred participants from the Middle East and other parts of the world. The conference, translated into both Arabic and English for maximum accessibility, gives participants a chance to engage with one another, with the Gospel, and with political complexities. Their goal? Equipping the Church to effectively share the Gospel in a tumultuous time.
“When we read the evaluations and what people, what participants share about what they learned, it’s always about a change of heart and the longing to learn more about the topic and try to be more effective in their ministry or in the true witness to others,” El Maalouf says.
For many believers, this is not hypothetical. In places like Lebanon, division has become so much a part of daily life that daily demonstrations regularly protest corruption. That means the local Church has to critically engage with their role in public policy, and they need to do it right now.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for the success of the upcoming Consultation.
- Thank Him for the success of past Consultations.
- Ask God to guide the speakers and lecturers at the upcoming conference.