In my recent studies, one fact has revealed itself very clearly to me. I don't particularly like it but there it is. We, the Reformed Christians of the world, are a stunningly huge minority. This is true, even if we factor in all forms of Anglicanism into the mix. To which, I reckon, a whole lot of my TR brothers would strongly be opposed. But, for the sake of argument, let us say that the Anglicans, all forms of Presbyterians, and Reformed Baptists are among the Reformed. If we count them ALL as in OUR camp, then, compared to the worldwide church, Catholic, we are still a small minority.
Worldwide, the Roman Catholic church continues to grow. In Africa and South America, the Pentecostal Church is exploding. In China, house churches, mainly under five main groups, are expanding dramatically. Many of those, to the tune of tens of millions, in the Chinese house church movement are some form of Pentecostal or charismatic.
What are we to make of this? Do we rejoice? Do we lament? I dare say, in our own Reformed camp, we probably do neither. I am not sure we even care. We Reformed folks have a tremendous heritage. We really do have a fabulous set of systematics. Many of our churches have a highly developed biblical liturgy. Some are even teaching, expecting and enforcing godly Christian behavior. This is good. But what is our role regarding the rest of the world? Are we to merely bury our talent, the great understanding of biblical doctrine that we have inherited from the likes of Calvin and his many successors? Or, shall we simply continue to rangle over ridiculous internal squabbles? How will we ever bless the rest of the world (and they need it so badly), if we cannot even be a blessing to the brothers and sisters in our own family. It is shameful.
God loves doing things in an ironic way. I think the growth of the church, the way that it is currently growing worldwide, is a cosmic farce. God is making fun of us. He is using the base things of the world to confound the wise. We have our suped up Nascars ready to go but would rather use them in our own sadistic crashup derby than get them out and make a go of it on the track. Meanwhile, the churches militant in South America, Africa and China are all driving Ford Fiestas and they are kicking our butts!