Wednesday, April 26, 2006

God Is At Work in Italy Too!

Calvinists believe in missions. I know that may be hard for some folks to understand, but, we Baptists in particular have a history of missions that fly the banner of the Reformed churches. Take Fuller, Carey, the Judsons, and Lottie Moon. Each supported the work and /or went. God bless their memory.

I lived in Britain a one time. Yes, God is still God over there. I can go there and get married and He is still paying attention. (It's Canada, you have to worry about...Looks across the blogosphere at Tim Chailles...just kidding dude). I even visited Italy while I was there. I love it when Roman Catholics assume that I've never been to Catholic Mass. Err, no, I've the Vatican, and Pope John Paul II was speaking that day. So, yeah, I've been Catholic Mass, a bigger one than many Catholics I see posting on the internet.

It's good to know the Lord is working in Italy. A friend of mine who lives over there (who reads this blog by the way..HT: Francesco!) sent me this. Let's pray for this group and covenant to support their work.

WELCOME TO CERBI (Evangelical Reformed Baptist Churches in Italy)An Association of Reformed Baptist Churches born to empower the Evangelical witness in Italy

Hundreds of believers and many churches gathered to witness this historic event for Italy. On 25th April in the northern town of Bologna, the CERBI project was launched in an atmosphere of joyful celebration and prayer. CERBI stands for Chiese Evangeliche Riformate Battiste in Italia (Evangelical Reformed Baptist Churches in Italy). It is an association of churches which is based on a Reformed confession of faith (the 1689 Baptist Confession), and has been nurtured by years of fellowship and practical cooperation between elders and local churches, and which aims at serving the cause of the Gospel in Italy more vibrantly.

So far, Italy has lacked a Reformed and Evangelical group of associated churches. Historically speaking, in this country, there are Reformed churches (the Waldensians), but sadly they are very liberal in their present orientation. There are also Baptist unions, but they are liberal or arminian. CERBI’s identity and role is therefore unique in that it represents the confessional Protestantism which is so important in many parts of the world and which has been so central in Church history.

CERBI does not stem from separation from other churches, but from the coming together of different free churches which have deepened their fellowship over the years. Moreover, these churches have cultivated an attitude of openness and cooperation with other Evangelical churches and initiatives in proportion to the doctrinal agreement. For many years, they have been involved in evangelistic activity, theological training (with IFED in Padova), and the Italian Evangelical Alliance.

Joyfully recognising the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, the doctrinal standard of CERBI is the 1689 Baptist Confession. Within contemporary Evangelicalism, CERBI values the 1996 Cambridge Declaration issued by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Since congregationalism is its ecclesiological framework, CERBI is not a denomination as such. While respecting the importance of local churches, CERBI unites a group of them on a confessional basis. It seeks to develop common ministries between churches, especially for pastors (e.g. fraternals) and church members (e.g. the annual conference and celebration). Beyond internal objectives, CERBI is also dedicated to the encouragement of church planting projects and the common witness of churches in Italy. At the moment, seven churches are associated with CERBI, but there are several others which are considering becoming part of it.

CERBI is strongly interested in developing meaningful relationships with like-minded churches throughout the world and asks prayer so that the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be powerfully enhanced through its witness. Italy still needs a Biblical Reformation and CERBI is fully dedicated to promoting it.

For information and contacts:

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