A CITY OF GOD OR A CITY OF SATAN?
Los Angeles--a place where many "peoples" (racial and ethnic groups) are searching for a new sense of community and equal opportunity in a fragmented metropolis, where many hopes have been shattered and dreams unrealized. Is our city a place of hope or one of dispair? Is it a city of God or a city of Satan?
1. What is the role of the Christian Church in helping people
to discover this "new community" and to find "equal opportunity"?
2. What is the nature of the "Church of God" in Los
Angeles: a multi-ethnic, multi-racial community of the Redeemed that God is forming from
among all peoples, tongues, tribes and nations through His Son, Jesus Christ, in the
"City of the Angels"? (see Acts 2:6-11)
3. Is Los Angeles a prototype of the "New
Jerusalem"--the City of God--that reflects His will and purpose by drawing together
in this pluralistic "urban village" all the richness of the diversity of mankind
that God Himself has fashioned from the dust of the earth? (see Acts 17:26-27)
4. The great challenge before the Christian Church in Los
Angeles A.D. 2000 is in bridging diversity, building a new community with "liberty
and justice for all," encouraging mutual understanding and greater tolerance of
diversity, stimulating educational advancement and political participation, fomenting
economic opportunity and upward social mobility, and helping to communicate the Savior's
love and His shalom (peace and well-being) among a mosaic of the peoples of the earth, who
are gathered together in this multi-cultural metropolis of 11.5 million people--America's
new major port of entry (and no longer the "backdoor") to "the land of
More than any other city in America, Los Angeles is becoming
a symbol of the "global village" at the threshold of the 21st century, a
snapshot of a nation in flux, a place where many peoples of the world have congregated in
hopeful expectation of finding a city of refuge and the promise of a higher standard of
living for themselves and their children, here on the eastern edge of the Pacific Rim.
Since the Lord is bringing the "mission field" to
our doorstep, will we be faithful and obedient to His "Great Commission" and to
His "Great Commandment," in our Jerusalem, in this generation? What would He
have us to be and do as the people of God in the City of the Angels, here and now, as a
symbol that His Kingdom is being birthed among us, and that "we"--a mosaic of
all segments of humanity--are "one" in the bonds of His love?
Clifton L. Holland, Executive Director
IDEA Ministries/Church Growth Studies Program
Townsend Hall, William Carey International University