Today’s modern communications make it so much easier to make connections with each other, for sharing fellowship and for preaching.
At a Bible Class evening in late March we had a successful internet link up with our brothers in Belgium, which meant that they could lead the evening from Europe, on screen.
After learning how narrowly Marcus avoided the recent tragic terrorist activities at Brussels airport, we watched a presentation from Steve about his adopted hometown of Mons in southern Belgium. It has a really interesting history starting with its earliest days as part of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. In the 17th century it was at Mons that a new translation of the Bible was printed. Two Le Maistre brothers, associated with the monastery of Port-Royal, worked on translating the Latin Vulgate into the French language of their day; a New Testament was published in 1667 and the Old Testament appeared in several parts between 1672 and 1696. The project had to be defended against charges of Protestant bias by arguing that, like the Latin Vulgate in its day, the translation was necessary in order to enable ordinary people to understand the Bible. After printing, it was an immediate success; then, as now, people want to read and understand the Bible in a contemporary language which speaks directly to them.
Marcus then talked about Christadelphian preaching activities in Belgium in the 20th century and today. Traditional methods such as public talks, film shows, and the doorstep distribution of leaflets are now being replaced by internet preaching. Just as modern technology is allowing us to bring our Belgian church members closer to us in Newbury - in addition to this Bible Class evening via internet link up we regularly connect in the same way for Sunday morning meetings - we can now use the internet to help others to get to know the Bible. “We shouldn’t stay in the little cocoon of our armchair at home”, Marcus said.
He went on to stress that it is high time that more of us take up the task that Jesus has given us to preach the gospel. “The Christian community should become more active on the net, linking to each others websites and articles, bringing material to people in a language they can understand.” Our preaching needs to take the message to where people are, and increasingly that is now online, and it has to be in today’s language.
The 17th century Le Maistre brothers would probably agree!
Here's an example of websites which Marcus presents.
Image credit: Flickr.