(Photo: Gospel For Asia)
Gospel for Asia founder and president K. P. Yohannan, who recently greeted the second release of his book, Touching Godliness, says that despite an abundance of filled megachurches in the U.S., many Christians are far from a strong relationship with God.
"Just as the world has an abundance of food and clean water while people are dying of hunger and thirst, even so, as Christianity offers teaching and preaching like never before, people sit in church pews yet lack the deep knowledge of God," said Yohannan. "They are suffering spiritual bankruptcy."
Yohannan recently told The Christian Post that the main point of Touching Godliness is that "we are not the boss, God is."
"We cannot understand godliness if we remove the horizontal reality that people will be delivered and the way we live here on earth, the way that we show love to each other," he said. "Godliness is not an abstract theology, it is very practical and very real."
Yohannan, who travels more than 300,000 air miles a year, said that while he sees God moving around the world, his biggest discouragement amongst the body of Christ comes from "the shepherds that do not know the Lord."
"Leaders who say they are leaders and pastors of the church who really don't know God and they spend 30 hours preparing for their half-hour teaching, but they never seek God for even an hour or two [while] on their face asking God, 'What is it that you want me to tell your people?'"
He said that too many leaders in the church now focus on health, wealth, healing, and "everything under the sun where it is all about our life." The real emphasis should be in what the New Testament calls us to do and that is to die to ourselves and live for Jesus.
"Our Christianity is telling us that you are free to choose as you want and what is well for you and what feels good," Yohannan said. "Jesus of the New Testament is quite different from some of our people that go after name and fame and wealth, prosperity, and compromising our faith for the sake of acceptance. I don't say this is going on everywhere. There are God's people doing God's work and I am glad for that."
During his travels in the last 10 years, he said that in the midst of many problems around the world he began to see people, especially the younger generation, not satisfied with the "status quo" and looking for "something more real and authentic."
"[They are] not satisfied with superficial Christianity," Yohannan told CP. "There is a renewed hunger that I see among the younger generation that they want to know God. I am absolutely grateful for what God is doing among the young people."
He adds, "For years we have seen people going to church to get something for themselves, either entertainment for wonderful music, or intellectual enlightenment through some brilliant scholar or teacher. We forget, we go to church and the audience is God. We don't go there to get something, we go there to worship Him.
"There is a sense of renewed thinking about the whole life of worship."
Touching Godliness was distributed primarily to meet the discipleship needs of the GFA staff and field missionaries when the first edition released in 2008. Instead, the GFA family was stunned by the outpouring of reports from the public whose lives had been changed by the content of the book.
Yohannan said that his group thought that the book was only for its movement, "but then the incredible transformation impact that the book made, the teaching made, then it ended up in the United States and in Europe and other places with our own staff." His partners decided to re-release the book with a study guide.
"God's word tells us that righteousness is a gift; it cannot be earned," said Yohannan. "But godliness is not a gift. We must pay a price to touch godliness through a daily decision to die to self and embrace the cross. God calls us to learn godliness in the classroom of life among people as we sit on airplanes and buses, walk among our neighbors and labor at our factories or desks."
On the Web: http://www.gfa.org/books/touching-godliness/.