Sunday, October 13, 2013


Fr. Dale Matson

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” (Tertullian paraphrased)

“I pray for Kenyans and all the victims that may God protect, strengthen and comfort you. I declare the defeat of the terrorists in the Name of Jesus. May God see you through and heal all the victims. Amen.....” Christina Newton [letter to the editor]

On September 21st the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya was attacked by Islamist militants. 67 civilians and security personnel were tortured and murdered during the siege.  The attack was portrayed as a warning against Kenya’s government involvement in driving al-Shabaab out of Somalia. Supposedly the terrorists were targeting non-Muslims but such was not the case. “Recite a passage from the Koran, they ordered. Being Muslim, they did so. The terrorists shot them anyway. “Why did you do that? Why did you shoot them?” the little boy wailed. “Because,” replied one of the gunmen, “they were not wearing the hijab.”

The larger picture here is not a political struggle. It is not even a struggle between Muslims and Christians. It is a struggle against evil. The timing could not be more obvious to Anglican Christians who will be attending GAFCON II later this month. Whenever there is an outpouring of God the Holy Spirit, evil mounts an attack in advance.

The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala Primate of Kenya, who is hosting and leading the conference, recognized this when he stated, “I know however that, like me, you will have been very distressed by the callous and violent attack on the Westgate shopping centre here in Nairobi last week. It seems that this was an exercise carefully designed in cold blood to create a climate of fear and break the spirit of the Kenyan people. We have seen a manifestation of evil in this city, but my prayer for our conference is that it will be a manifestation of the presence of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The church in East Africa is no stranger to violence and persecution. It was built on the Cross of Christ and the blood of the Martyrs of Uganda. Between 1885 and 1887 Roman Catholic and Anglican Converts were murdered by the forces of King Mwanga for refusing to offer sacrifices to pagan gods.

The East African Church was also influenced by the East African Revival. An important participant was Joe Church who became a Christian while a student at Cambridge. “Church soon returned to his mission station in Gahini, Rwanda, where he instituted a similar regimen of plain Bible readings and daily prayer, from which the pattern of the East African Revival emerged in the early 1930s. The message was then carried throughout East Africa by small bands of African preachers, who brought a message of the severity of sin and the need for individuals to confess their sins publicly and have them washed in the powerful blood of Jesus.”

“The Student Volunteer Movement (SVM), which from 1850 to about 1950 sent nearly 10,000 missionaries to inland areas, often at great personal sacrifice. Many early SVM missionaries went to areas with endemic tropical diseases left with their belongings packed in a coffin, aware that 80% of them would die within two years.”
They too had a faith worth dying for. 

The Jerusalem Declaration is a Godly document, reaffirming Anglican Christian truth, unity and doctrine. It was birthed during GAFCON I in Jerusalem. It was in response to a compromised Anglican Christianity. Today it is to Christ and His church in the Global South including East Africa that we look to for orthodox leadership. Brothers and Sisters, you have a robust faith with a Christ worth dying for. Bring Him back to us.

"And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (Rev. 12:11, ESV)

1 comment:

Dale Matson said...

Pray for ++ Robert Duncan who is headed back to the United States for emergency dental surgery for an Abscessed tooth.