Out of the Closet, Off to the Community
Philip Mantofa looks every inch an Asian movie megastar with his flawless look, well-proportioned frame and dazzling smile.
However, his life mission is not to entertain but to thunder God's scorching message of repentance wherever he goes. This he did with seismic impact at the NECF Malaysia Klang Valley Merdeka Prayer Rally on Aug 30 at FGA Kuala Lumpur.
Not one to mince his words, the Indonesian evangelist bluntly told the crowd of some 3,000 people from the English, Mandarin, Bahasa and Tamil churches to stop praying, get out of the closet and ACT.
Controversial message indeed, especially since the rally was the climax of the annual NECF 40-day fast and pray. But seen in the context of this year's theme "Love Our Neighbour", his message actually hit the nail on its head. For prayer, like faith is dead without works, he roared.
Philip, who pastors a group of churches totalling some 30,000 disciples in Surabaya, Indonesia, recalled the time when he prayed six hours a day for some years. Then, one day, God told him to stop praying, to get out of his closet and start getting things done.
"Our prayers should stir us to action but too many intercessors pray too much and do too little," he said.
He told the attendees to see themselves as "giants in the Lord" and if we wanted to see our nation transformed, we have to rouse the "sleeping giant" within us to act and do good to our neighbours.
As he emphasised the need to reach out, he also stressed the need to be prepared for the harvest. Are we ready to minister to the many converts when they come through our doors?
The bottomline: Action must accompany prayers, just like action must accompany faith. Now, if every individual Christian turns his/her prayers into action, transformation will soon sweep the nation.
Many were seen wiping away tears as Philip strutted the length and breadth of the stage and gestured energetically to make his points.
Following his blistering messsage, the crowd spent time praying and repenting with loud wailings throughout the main sanctuary and the overflow rooms.
There was a strong feeling of resolve to get out of the holy comfort of the church walls into the community to "love our neighbour".