In December 2014 I was in Cluj in Transylvania with Traian Todut and Pal Borzasi. I spoke in Manastur Baptist Church to the youth and also at a number of Hungarian Baptist churches.
Young people from both communities were keen for the creation literature I brought out and stayed asking questions for a long time after the meetings. And it wasn’t just the young people! On one occasion in Crasna, a kind farmer who was due to milk his cow (to give some milk to Pastor Pal to take back with him), asked many questions, so much so, that it wasn’t until about 11.00pm he ended up milking his cow!
Not all the meetings are in the picture with this article, but you will see the Gypsy Church at Mera where Pastor Pal has responsibility. He ministers at Luna de Sus, just outside Cluj.
It was moving to speak to the group gathered there, where many cannot read, and yet there is considerable interest in the gospel. Indeed, in much of Transylvania, there was revival in the 1960s, when under communism.
It was very interesting to hear how Pastor Felix Pardi, now in Zalau, was converted in a refugee camp after having fled from Romania, and I had a long conversation with a couple from Luna de Sus who were typical of many converted in Romania before the 1989 revolution.
They said that many involved in the oppression of those times are still living in the area, and they would meet them and sometimes now do work for them. There has been no ‘truth and reconciliation’ process dealing with the past wrongs of the communist years; only the gospel, with believers being prepared to love and speak to those who oppressed them, can deal with such situations.
What is now evident is that there is a whole generation of young people who have no firsthand experience of those difficult days, and for whom the influence of Western thinking is undermining a straightforward belief in the Scriptures.
It was, therefore, creation ministry, primarily to these young people, that I was involved in last week — to emphasise the importance of robust belief in Genesis and the dangers of evolutionary philosophy.
One lady had listened to the Zalau meeting live on the internet and then came on the Sunday evening to the Luna de Sus meeting. She was eager to learn more, as previously the issue of origins has been a stumbling block to her becoming a believer.
None of her family are believers, and her son has had a tragic accident on a motorbike, which left him paralysed with little communication. It seems that God used the two messages to awaken this lady.
Pastor Pal and I discussed the possibility of a future larger conference for Hungarian students, to come together for a day to address origins, both biblically and scientifically. Pal and his co-pastors (Pal’s brother, Istvan, and Felix Pardi of Zalau), and many others in the Hungarian Baptist Convention of Transylvania, are standing firm on a number of key issues.
There is a great need in the seminaries to address creation issues, so it is likely that, if such a conference goes ahead in future, more systematic teaching of the pastors in this area will be planned.
Romanian creation ministry
My other Romanian host, Traian Todut, is seeking to establish a Romanian Creation group and needs others to work alongside him. Manastur Baptist Church at Cluj is faithfully supporting this work.
Pastor Rei Abrudan runs the youth ministry there and hosted the meeting I did on the Friday. But there is a need to influence other Romanian churches as to the importance of Creation.
More ministry is planned in the Romanian-speaking population in Oradea later this October. Eastern Europe is wide open to gospel work, but also much error is coming in, including from theistic evolution. Your prayers are valued for these believers and the next generation of leaders.
Professor Andy McIntosh (Leeds)