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05/03/2011 North Korea (ChristianNewswire) – American Christians sometimes confuse freedom of religion and freedom in Christ such that their ultimate pursuit is not fullness in Christ but the freedom to remain spiritually immature. So says Rev. Eric Foley, author of “The Whole Life Offering,” a new manual designed to help American Christians grow by emulating discipleship practices of the North Korean underground church.

“The North Korean church is the most persecuted church in the world,” says Foley, co-founder of Voice of the Martyrs/Korea. “They have had to learn ways of worship that do not depend on special buildings or paid pastors or freedoms granted by the government. The early church was born in homes, with worship centered in families. The North Korean church still worships that way today, and they are stronger Christians than we are because of this. They treasure the word of God more than we do because it is so scarce for them. Their living rooms have become sanctuaries for God, not just places to watch television. They lack our worldly freedoms, but because of this they have become freer than we are in Christ.”

In “The Whole Life Offering” Foley lays out seven internal spiritual disciplines of loving God and ten external outreach disciplines of loving neighbor that, taken together in a year-long plan, are designed to help believers grow to fullness in Christ.

“These internal and external practices have these two things in common,” says Foley. “First, they are biblical. Second — and not coincidentally — they don’t require buildings, paid pastors, or government permission. Fullness in Christ never does.”

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