A Christian worldview apologetics conference coming up on the Gold Coast next month aims to galvanize believers to actively resist cultural changes that seek to undermine the Gospel. It’s titled Stand Firm and Take Action from Daniel 11:32 according to ESV and some other translations as the prophet foresees a time of tribulation upon the people of God.
The event is organised by the Hope Reformed Baptist Church with the aim of equipping young adults in defending the faith, and being able to stand firm in the face of Christ-less opposition. Its website explains the event is about: “fighting errors, toppling idols, poking cultural beasts in the eyes, and reinforcing Christians’ spines with steel.”
“Amidst the future onslaught of righteousness by evil oppressors, Daniel foresees that seduction and flattery will be used to draw people away from covenant with God, and that those who are faithful to their God will remain steadfast and work to establish righteousness. That is, they will stand firm, and take action,” the website continues, adding: “In a day of statist dependence, flattery, tone police, soft churches and compromise, we need young people who know their God; can live by their principles; and can build culture to last, rather than respond to its passing fads.”
Tom Foord who’s the Teaching Elder at the Hope Reformed Baptist Church quoted apologist Francis Schaeffer to Vision Radio as saying that “because the worldview of our culture has drifted so much away from the Christian understanding of all of the basics and fundamentals of life, it’s not enough just to do mere evangelism, which might be just sharing the Gospel, but that Gospel is so misunderstood unless it’s packaged with a definition of reality and understanding of God’s authority, what even the definition of sin is, not merely that it can be forgiven.”
He added that Schaeffer “used to speak about evangelism needing to become worldview evangelism, which is by no means a detraction from, or a move away from, the clarity of the Gospel. But in order to make the Gospel that we’re saying actually land and be understood with power and potency, Christians need to be fluent with understanding our own Biblical worldview so that we can see that all the different viewpoints of our loved ones; the lost ones around us; and our culture at large; are at odds with the Gospel. So to understand the Gospel we need to give it a lot more packaging than just John 3:16 for example. So we sort of address a lot of those bigger, heavier, wider, deep issues that converge in the power of the Gospel message.”
Mr. Foord then went on to explain the theme of the conference in more detail:
“Instead of just assuming that everybody knows what we mean when we say God or sin or gender or atonement, we actually have to bring some definitions to the table with those things. That’s why a worldview evangelism goes hand in hand with cultural engagement because you can’t do this sort of effective worldview evangelism from ivory towers and academic strongholds. It really comes from knowing your neighbours’ worldview, maybe even more than they know that they have that worldview. Christians need to see the ins and outs and the weak points of our neighbours’ worldview. What they think about sin, authority, truth itself, and then be able to articulate the Gospel in a way that does damage to our neighbours’ worldview, trusting that God will use that to land the Gospel. Like Sturgeon used to say, you have to send the plough in to break up the heart and break up the ground and then the Gospel seed can fall in.”
“It definitely is time for the taking up of arms. But of course, like Jesus said, not in a worldly way or like Paul said, not in a fleshly way, but rather taking up the sword of the Spirit and go into battle in the continual, unending non-optional spiritual warfare that currently is at play. So I always like to try and weave in my own creativity, if I can be said to have any, into the conferences that we hold.”
“This year’s conference was really born from kind of an idea or a bit of an imagination or a mindset of, as I was reading through Daniel, a sort of a picture came to my mind of the classic corrupt lawyer or judge or sheriff in an old wild west town. And everybody feels like the situation is hopeless because the guys at the top are holding the keys and they’re locking up all the good guys and and then in comes some guy with a big iron on his hip, a stranger from out of town and he sort of instructs and helps people see like: Hey, there’s more of us than there are of them. If we just start doing something practical, we can run the run the bad guys out of town. We can take the town back to those who are good and for our families and and we can save the damsels. So we’ve sort of woven that theme or that kind of storyline into the DNA of this year’s conference.”
“Christians often look around and feel like: I don’t think the highest levels of our nation really care about truth and righteousness and justice. They can get disenfranchised feeling like: I don’t think our denominational leaders are doing what they need to do to solve everything in the church. And my approach, and what I think to be the Biblical approach, the kind of Paul-like approach, is to step back and say: Let’s go grassroots. Let’s not wait for the cavalry to come. Let’s not wait for the National Guard to come and sort out our suburb. Let’s not wait for the denominational leaders. We just need to stand up and rally together as Christians, spiritually speaking with steel in the spine. The message of Daniel 11:32 of the people who belonged to God and knew their God. They didn’t just stand firm and complain about the situation. They took action. They did whatever they could do in front of them and the Lord blessed them for that. They were called Those Who Knew Their God. That’s sort of the background of the conference.”
The conference is coming up on September the 15th and 16th at the Robina Auditorium on the Gold Coast. You can find out all about it on its dedicated website.
Click below to listen to the full interview with Tom Foord to hear more about the ‘Stand Firm and Take Action’ conference: