In the days of Christ, the Pharisees were the religious elite. The way they dressed, spoke, and acted revealed their status. They were seen as having an inside track to a relationship with God. For much of his public ministry, Jesus challenged the Pharisees because they knew all the right things to do, but their hearts were in the wrong place.
This teaching angered some, but it was inviting to others. We see glimpses in Scripture of Pharisees who were touched and changed by one whose heart was always exactly where it needed to be.
Buddhist monks are the religious elite in SE Asia. Like the Pharisees of old, they are easy to identify; their orange cloaks stand out as if to shout, “Here rests religious insight.” Their elaborate monasteries are well-populated and centers of highly prized knowledge.
Interestingly, though, in SE Asia, Buddhist monks have been found playing Christian worship music over their loudspeakers. To the objective observer this would seem odd. Why would songs espousing and illuminating tenants that are not from Buddha fill the air next to a temple filled with Buddha’s likeness?
The answer? GNPI works hard to share the Gospel through mediums that people can understand, in a way that is culturally relevant. Set new teachings to inviting native music and you have a powerful recipe for reaching people.
Music has such power to move us. It would be hard to find a medium that sparks greater emotion. Add the teachings of Jesus, and God will use music to do incredible things.
In SE Asia, it’s working to melt the heart of the religious elite as they hear and consider the challenges of a man who changed the world with the truest heart we’ve ever known.