by Charissa Veal

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – As a part of its dedicated World Missions Day, Truett-McConnell College welcomed Dr. Keith Eitel of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and members of the Children of the World International Children’s Choir, to the school’s weekly chapel service, January 29.

The Children’s Choir, comprised of children from Uganda, Nepal, Honduras, and the Philippines, performed their songs with exuberance. Touring across the United States, the Children of the World Choir raises awareness and support to help orphaned and impoverished children throughout the world. Their goal is to raise support for the physical needs of poverty-stricken children and enable spiritual needs to be met through sharing the gospel.

Eitel, who is the Dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, Professor of Missions, and Director of the World Missions Center at Southwestern, expressed his concern for the health of modern-day Christians in America and their subscription to what he terms “spotlight Christianity.”

“You see, I’m afraid that the church that is so anemic for us today will burn off upon entry into a persecution environment,” Eitel said, , “And it’s only under the pain of persecution that you can really cross that threshold and ask of yourselves the question: am I really capable of dying for my faith?”

Citing an example of what ‘crossing the threshold’ means, Eitel opened to Philippians 1:19-21 and told of Paul’s imprisonment. “This man [had] so anchored his life in an other-worldly existence that he [could] see joy in pain and suffering. He [was] settled…And this is the overarching life principle,” Eitel continued: “That he has learned to live life outside of this one, and in another world.”

Eitel shared another example, a present-day missionary who lives and works within 30 miles of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). When offered the chance to leave for safety in America,she declined, preferring to carry on the work of Christ at the risk of her own life. “She’s crossed this threshold,” Eitel said. “She’s willing to say, ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.'”
“The world thinks we’re crazy,” Eitel said in concluding his message. “That’s because we live in another world.”


Charissa is a senior English major and freelance writer at TMC.

Photo/Adam Roark

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