A GREAT DOOR AND EFFECTUAL IS OPENED . . .
AND THERE ARE MANY ADVERSARIES
(1 Corinthians 16:9)
We seldom mention in our prayer letters about the kinds of opposition we encounter here in PNG. All those who serve the Lord Jesus soon enough find opposition to the advance of the Gospel, and here it is no different.
What is different for us is the type of opposition. Papua New Guinea is one of the last frontiers in the world. In the scope of world history, and even though PNG has its own rich history through its over 800 different tribes, there has been little influence from the outside world until the last 150 years, and even today, there are many PNG people who have no clear idea what the western world is like.
Many areas of PNG have been strongholds of Satan for millennia. Unhindered by the Gospel, the adversary has had free reign among these precious people groups. With the arrival of the Gospel in the last century, varied forms of opposition have arisen and continue to this day. I wanted to share just one of them, in order that you could join us in praying against the hindrances to Gospel advance here in PNG.
Traditional Culture and God’s Word
Any people group’s individual culture is their identity. In a biblical context, anything in a culture that is not unbiblical, immoral, or unethical is not a problem. However, those things that are contrary to Scripture, or that severely misinterpret Scripture, are things that must change. (I know that sounds dogmatic in our present age of relative truth, but the Word of God is not relative truth. Either the Word is our standard of life as believers in Jesus Christ, or it isn’t.)
Our Kamea people have their own cultural practices and beliefs, yet many of these are related to evil spirits; either appeasing the spirits, or controlling the spirits. This is a hidden practice, and it took years to learn how wide spread it is even among professing Christians.
Further, at the present time there is a group here who are calling for a reviving of their culture and a forsaking of Christian ideals in order to return to the “old ways.” (Interestingly, they still want to use modern clothes, solar power, transportation, etc., so I guess the “old ways” weren’t all that good…) Some are taking portions of Scripture and re-interpreting them as being directly about our people. Places and events in the Bible are being “discovered” here in our region, and thus they say that the stories of the Bible are really about the Kamea people. Promises of blessing to Israel in the Old Testament are being claimed for our people. Another group took a King James Bible (a give-away copy) and built a sacred house for it, saying, “now that the Bible has come back to where it started from, the blessings of God will be poured out on us.” Such things are not unique to our place; these things are believed all over PNG, with each group putting its own twist on the stories.
Naturally, our preaching is not popular, because we insist that the Word does not teach that this place where we live is Israel, nor does it teach a mixture of ancestor worship and worship of the Lord.
The god of this world, Satan, has “blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Would you pray with us:
- That our believers would walk humbly with God, trusting Him rather than the spirits?
- That they would believe God in spite of incredible pressures from their unbelieving family and friends?
- That Jesus Christ would be exalted among our dear Kamea people?
- That the power of the Gospel would break the chains of sin and Satan here?
We covet such prayer!
May God strengthen you as you join with us in prayer on behalf of our people!
Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1