Leopard crossing a dirt road in Namibia

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Namibian Reflections and Challenges at the End of 2013

I call upon the church  to remain faithful to her Lord Jesus !
I  am in the process  of completing  24 years of  pastoral  service   at the Eastside Baptist  church – the only church that I have really known and loved  as a pastor. I will be turning 55 in December 2013   and I am  truly desirous  that whatever time I have left  in Christ’s service on earth, that I should be a good and faithful servant of Christ, whose call I have  followed since June 1978.  

I am  aware  of the fact that it is before Him that I stand or fall… and I will be upheld, for the Lord is able to  make me stand. (Romans 14:4)

If I have 15 (or more)  fruitful years left in pastoral ministry,then I am praying now   for  more grace and help  to make the Lord Jesus Christ unavoidable to the people  that I am called to minister to. I really  do desire to end well. I do not  wish to be  a  reckless and careless fool (Proverbs  13: 16)  discrediting the Lord  or His church. 

Two things  constantly occupy my mind  as I consider the ministry: Prayer  and the Word! Not that I consider myself an expert  in either, but  I believe  that these  two disciplines must  occupy the heart of the pastor and  of his ministry.  I do earnestly pray  now,  at this time of my life,  that I  shall  not stand still  with regard to these, but that  I shall  continue  to grow  in these disciplines  on my way to the heavenly city.

2013 has been a relatively quiet year  when I compare it with past years.  Obviously,  I have  continued to   fulfill   the main responsibilities of  my ministry, but  I have led no small group  (home fellowship)  this year, nor have I  taught   in our  School of the Bible.  Instead,  my wife and I  were  a part of a home fellowship,  being ministered to. We deeply appreciated  the level of good teaching  which we have received from our retired elder, Dr. Eric Tordiffe. 

I have spent  much time  thinking,   looking  at  the issues  which we face in our city and country.  I have spent time talking with, and interacting with pastors from other denominations.

It has been a “Nehemiah year” for me.   Nehemiah  did an inspection tour  of the city  of Jerusalem  which had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Here  is what he writes…
“…So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire…. (Nehemiah 2:11-13 ESV)

I am not  a man  of the stature of a Nehemiah. Neither do I see myself as the saviour of my city and country. But I do have the burden of  Nehemiah  for my city and country, as I do see so much destruction  among us… so many destructive influences   bearing upon us.

With the help of God I do want  to  continue  the ‘fight of faith’ in  our context in  the years ahead.  

The broken walls and gates  of our society are  manifold: 
I see  many broken marriages  and  unruly children;  I see many  school teachers that are not coping with the many  ill- disciplined children  in their schools, all which  derives from  the  brokenness of the home.

I see the gay  agenda forcefully advancing, and along with it I see a false tolerance  developing; I see sexual immorality becoming a norm.

I see lack of  proper  administration  of justice  in our courts  and  I see corruption  and greed in the market place; I see the  wide gap between rich and poor.

I see   a  dangerous cult called  “prosperity teaching”   engulfing our  churches. I see  the  entertainment  driven ministry and liberal theology which affects  our pulpits   and pew, progressively emptying our churches.  I see disillusioned people  leaving  the churches that have abandoned their  gospel calling, and going nowhere…

I see  many  good  Christians doing their own thing in  para church organisations. I see little   rallying around  Bible believing, Scripture affirming  churches. I see people paying lip service to the church,  which surely is  the most biblical organisation on earth, the very body of Christ of which He is the head. 

I see the love of many growing cold as they are sucked into materialism  and the  excessive  pursuit of  pleasure and leisure.  I  see many professing Christians  nowadays  preferring  Sunday sport  and leisure  over  worship. 

What is this but coldness of heart?

What does one do when the  spiritual gates are broken down, and  when the  walls are destroyed and when the enemies of God  mock  the man and woman  who believes in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture?  

We continue to do what the church has always done!

We continue to  call  people   to  have faith  in Christ  and His Word alone. 

We continue to call  all  people on earth to repent and believe in the gospel reminding everyone  that there  is  a day of judgement  to come and that only those who believe and trust  in Christ  will inherit eternal life. 

We  continue to call on converted men  and women  and their  families  to  faithfully  sit under  the preaching  the Word in faithful Bible believing churches. 

We continue to call  all  Christian  people to  attend  public  prayer meetings of their churches  and  to engage in private prayer. 

We continue to call people to set their Sundays  apart for  public worship, that is,  to start and to end  the Lord’s day in worship.

We continue to call upon all believers  to  lead  holy lives. We call  all believers  to resist evil  in every form and to do good to all – even our enemies. We call upon all believers  to  be salt and light. We call upon all believers to  forsake the company of those  who corrupt  the gospel and who lead immoral lives, whilst retaining loving and open arms  to those  who wish to turn from  evil  to Christ. 

Yours for the love of Christ and His church,

Joachim Rieck 
December 2013


1 comment:

Johannes de Koning said...

Thank you brother. I share your concerns. May we not lose faith but encourage one another till the end.

Yours in Christ
Johannes de Koning
NG Kerk, Tssumeb