Our current series Think Different is designed to help us as followers of Jesus to navigate our current culture, seeking to figure out how to stand in the truth of the Gospel while at the same time being people of grace. We can feel fairly alone in this pursuit, believing that these are the worst days and that nobody has ever had times like this. Truth is that at every point in church history there has always been a cultural pressure put on Christianity calling the church to abandon some core belief in order to accommodate the culture. And at every moment God has sent his church key leaders who have faithfully held to the truth of the Gospel proclaiming it to the world in which they lived. Many of these people endured hardship and persecution as they sought to remain faithful to the Scriptures and their mission in the world. During this series one of the things we want to do is to introduce our church to some of these people. In the sermon we will share a little bit about the individuals, but also want to use the blog to give more information. We will be sharing articles from the Christian History website that contain biographical sketches from the book 131 Christians Everyone Ought to Know.
This week we highlighted William Wilberforce. He was influenced by John Newton, the slave trader who was saved by the Gospel, and wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. Wilberforce became a member of the British Parliament where he stood against the slave trade for over 20 years. His faith compelled him to do justice, and the result was that the slave trade was made illegal in the British Empire. His story was memorialized in the recent film Amazing Grace.