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Foi & Vie Reformees: March 2024

Foi & Vie Reformees: March 2024

Dear friends, 

A month ago our camp for young adults on the topic Glorify God in your Body took place in the South of France. It brought together about 30 young Christians, some of them actually coming from quite far away. Just like last year, there was a studious and convivial atmosphere at the camp, as we covered a variety of topics, with discussions and applications. The videos of the presentations are already posted on our Youtube channel and this will allow more people to have access to their contents. Obviously glorifying God in our body supposes first of all letting the body live and develop naturally, not brutally suppressing its life shortly after conception. The fact that abortion was recently enshrined as a basic constitutional right protected by law, thereby making it all the more untouchable, is a further aspect of the suicidal culture prevailing in most Western countries, all battling against demographic decline. Add to this the active promotion of euthanasia (renamed “fraternity” in higher spheres to make it sound sweet and loving) and you get a cocktail of the deadly culture that typically characterizes the end of a civilization. It goes together with a rapid rise of violent crime, an unprecedented wave of murders, without mentioning the allegations of countless sexual aggressions that took place in the past or more recently. Still, in the culture promoted by much of the media, the hyper-sexualization of the human body from the youngest age doesn’t seem to bother most of those who lament its destructive effects on younger or older lives : woe to those who dare remind their fellow citizens about the 6th and the 7th commandments, for there is no place for bigotry in our “enlightened” society… Isn’t man good by nature anyway? In the light of this sad state of affairs, I recently posted on our French website an article about the continuum of life from the moment of its conception (I had it translated in English, if any of you would like to read it). A few days ago the number of viewers approached 800. When my children rejoiced about this figure, I reminded them that it merely represents 0.001% of the French population… 

Glorify God in Academic Circles 

Positive news come from another branch of our activities. Exactly a month before our young adults’ camp, a colloquium on the thought of the German Calvinist political thinker Johannes Althusius (1563-1638) took place at the Institut de France in Paris. It brought together academics and specialists of philosophy of law and politics not only from France, but also from abroad. With a close friend of our ministry I had the privilege to be co-organizer of this event, along with members of the official Academy of moral and political sciences (originally founded in 1795, one of the 5 academies hosted at the Institut de France). I gave a presentation on the bridges that can be traced between Reformed polity and political organization in the major work of Althusius : Politics Methodically set forth and Illustrated with sacred and Profane examples (1614). This treatise of 800 pages was recently translated from Latin to French for the first time. It is generally considered a modern matrix for federal thought and the protection of civil liberties – against a hyper centralized and potentially tyrannical power. The relevance of this issue today hardly needs to be stressed. What was particularly encouraging were the reactions of other participants who welcomed a theological perspective on these matters : in a country like France issues of this kind tend to be left to historians of political thought or law, bypassing essential notions that pertain to the field of Christian theology. As co-organizers, we are now envisaging the publication of the papers given during this colloquium. We also hope to renew our collaboration with members of the Academy of moral and political sciences for another event of this type next year. 

Travelling to South Africa 

In two weeks I will be travelling to South Africa for my annual visit, which didn’t take place in January, as I was busy preparing the colloquium and the youth camp. It will be 10 years in November since Olga and I left South Africa for France. Some administrative and financial steps need to be taken in order to secure the continuation of our ministry in the service of French speaking Africans. Please pray that this visit will bring the expected outcome and relieve me from ongoing concerns that must in any case always be brought before our gracious Lord. Your prayers and continued support are always remembered and valued. 

Warmly in Christ, 
Rev. Eric Kayayan 

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