Thai Children Get Rapture Ready

The Telegraph reports on post-Tsunami religious developments in Thailand:

A year ago there were no churches on the Khao Lak coast, where thousands died. As the first anniversary approaches there are a score, mostly set up by United States-based evangelical groups that moved in following the deluge.

In particular:

James Garwood, the leader of…Life in Action in Thailand, addressed the congregation in Nam Khem, most of them local residents who have recently converted.

A former heroin addict who found Christianity in prison in the US, Mr Garwood said “hundreds and hundreds” of local residents had converted since the tsunami.

Although the Telegraph does not give much more detail, Garwood was in fact sent to Thailand by Calvary Chapel Carlsbad, and the full story of Calvary’s work in Thailand is described in the latest Calvary Chapel Magazine (link added):

…James Garwood and Joe Walters, graduates of U-Turn for Christ Camino, CA, had been ministering in northern Thailand for six months when the tsunami struck. Within days, they made their way south to the shores of Ban Nam Khem. “When we arrived, it looked like a war zone. It’s a scene I’ll never forget,” recalled James. “There were bodies still being recovered and hauled around in trucks, elephants removing debris, and people walking around dazed and crying.”

“The Lord directed us to the refugee camp Bhan Muang, where the first people we met at the office were Christians,” said James. “They gave us a mosquito net and a place in a tent, and the camp has been our home ever since.”

With a gift for serving children, James and Joe were soon put in charge of all children’s activities at the camp…”Many kids have come to know the Lord,” James joyfully stated. “The Lord has definitely touched quite a few of these kids. God has put it on our hearts to have the Word open and available…”

The ethics of evangelising traumatised children are not discussed – and it’s a strategy we’ve seen before. A year ago I blogged on a visit to Israel by a group of children who had survived the Beslan massacre. Although paid for by Israeli charities, their hosts were a Messianic Jewish Congregation belonging to Calvary Chapel and led by Pastor Bradley Antolovich; Antolovich enthused over how the children would be brought to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem (claimed by some evangelicals to be Jesus’ tomb) and invited to “receive Christ”.

Calvary Chapel is a large neo-Pentecostal grouping which emerged out of the Jesus Movement of the 1960s. Calvary Chapel Carlsbad’s statement of faith includes:

WE BELIEVE in the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church.

The grouping’s founder is Chuck Smith, who has produced a constant stream of Christian Zionist and apocalyptic works over many years, in the style of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. His most recent work is The End Times Collection.

(Tipped from The Revealer)

4 Responses

  1. […] some Christian groups have been engaging in aggressive evangelisation. As I noted on this blog just a few days ago, that is certainly the case in post-Tsunami Thailand, where relief workers associated with Calvary […]

  2. […] have been using post-Tsunami relief efforts to evangelise is, in my opinion (and as I blogged here and here) ethically somewhat […]

  3. […] The “Festival of Life” will be coming a couple of months after a massive Evangelical campaign in Rwanda timed to coincide with the anniversary of the 1994 atrocities. I blogged on that here. Horizon Christian Fellowship is affiliated with Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel network of mega-churches; I’ve noted some of Calvary’s overseas evangelistic activities here and here. […]

  4. […] other missionary activities (both targeting vulnerable children) previously: see here and here. The grouping is headed by Chuck Smith, who shares the “pre-tribulation rapture” […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *