Missions quotes:; which ones are good and which ones are questionable in theology?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
We all have seen lists of quotes about missions.

Like most slogans, most are catchy but what is gained in catchyness is sometimes lost in accuracy. Below is a list of mission quotes.

Which ones do you like, agree with, dislike, disagree with, and do you have any new ones? What do you think of each? Which are your favorites? Which ones really strike you as foolish?

LET THE QUOTES BEGIN...


_________________________________________

"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light" -- John Keith Falconer

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" -- Hudson Taylor

"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" -- Hudson Taylor

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" -- Hudson Taylor

"If I had 1,000 lives, I'd give them all for China" -- Hudson Taylor

"God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him." -- Hudson Taylor

"Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God" -- William Carey

"The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." -- Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" -- Jim Elliot

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it" -- P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

"In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been" -- Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" -- David Livingstone

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." -- David Livingstone

"Can't you do just a little bit more?" -- J.G. Morrison pleading with Nazarenes in the 1930's Great Depression to support their missionaries

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." -- Keith Wright

"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" -- Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." -- C.T. Studd

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." -- C.T. Studd

"No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." -- Oswald J. Smith

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith

"The mission of the church is missions" -- Oswald J. Smith

"We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." -- Oswald J. Smith

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" -- Keith Green

"There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." -- Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" -- Jordan Grooms (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death." -- Dave Davidson

"World missions was on God's mind from the beginning." -- Dave Davidson

"In our lifetime, wouldn't it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?" -- Dave Davidson

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break God's heart" -- Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

"No reserves. No retreats. No regrets" -- William Borden

"If ten men are carrying a log -- nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end -- and you want to help, which end will you lift on?" -- William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China

"The reason some folks don't believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn't worth propagating." -- unknown

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved." -- Charles Spurgeon

"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" -- Carl F. H. Henry

"Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God's delight in being God." --John Piper

"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose." -- John Piper

"Go, send, or disobey." -- John Piper

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving." -- Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." -- Unknown

"As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both." -- J. L. Ewen

"The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed -- in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." -- Robert Savage, Latin American Mission

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." -- Nate Saint, missionary martyr [ devotional thoughts ]

"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." -- John Stott

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ." -- Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." -- Mike Stachura

"The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!" -- Unknown

"'Not called!' did you say?
'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. -- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

"It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not." -- Peter Taylor Forsyth

"If God's love is for anybody anywhere, it's for everybody everywhere." -- Edward Lawlor, Nazarene General Superintendent

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is -- where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." -- Robert C. Shannon

"People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South." -- J. Howard Edington

"It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions." -- John R. Mott

"In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God's work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer." -- Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ (formerly World Literature Crusade)

"What's your dream and to what corner of the missions world will it take you?" -- Eleanor Roat, missions mobilizer

"We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer." -- Wesley Duewel, head of OMS International

"Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions" -- Roderick Davis

"Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love" -- Roland Allen

"I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ." -- Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" -- Nina Gunter

"If the Church is 'in Christ,' she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence." -- David Bosch

"Missions is not the 'ministry of choice' for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church." -- Unknown

"The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian." -- James S. Stewart

"The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose." -- Unknown

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." -- A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"The will of God -- nothing less, nothing more, nothing else." -- F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson)

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." -- Pat Morley

"If missions languish, it is because the whole life of godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving and going will always be found together." -- Arthur T. Pierson

"The history of missions is the history of answered prayer." -- Samuel Zwemer

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." -- J. Stuart Holden

"A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation." -- Ted Engstrom, World Vision

"To stay here and disobey God -- I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." -- Amanda Berry Smith

"I believe that in each generation God has called' enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth…. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

"To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." -- William Carey, pioneer missionary to India

"God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit." -- George W. Peters

"The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet." -- Unknown

"The Church must send or the church will end." -- Mendell Taylor





COMMENTS? THE GOOD? THE BAD? THE UGLY? CAN YOU ADD ANY MORE?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
"The Church must send or the church will end." -- Mendell Taylor

Here's one I don't think I can agree with (though there are probably others on this list). I go to what Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Though I agree the church should send, it is God makes who calls His own, and I believe if the church stopped sending for a generation (for whatever reason), God would continue to put His Word forth.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
"I believe that in each generation God has called' enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth…. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

Hey Isobel, doesn't that sort of leave it up to men? Hmmm

I am actually quite a fan of Isobel, but for other reasons than her Arminian views.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
I would not put much stock in what Keith Green or Ralph Winters had to say. Keith Green was a pelagian and Ralph Winters is liberal in his theology and is the big church growth guru. Your view of theology affects evangelism and world missions.
 

Raj

Puritan Board Sophomore
"People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South." -- J. Howard Edington


I like this one...........Thanks for all these brother. Good collection. They are helpful.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
JB, just be careful you do not fall into the John Ryland scope of missions.


What is the John Ryland scope of missions?


When God is ready to save the heathen, he'll do it without man.

Oh, yes the wonderful elder who discouraged David Livingstone from obeying the Lord by going to Africa. What a wonderful testimony of his life. Only one man was converted under his mission but that one man, a tribal chief, converted many.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
This Spurgeon quote is my favorite:


"Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we -- who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not -- can be saved." -- Charles Spurgeon



As well as this one by Livingstone:

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." -- David Livingstone




This is the one I most object to:

"No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." -- Oswald J. Smith

Our call is much more simply to get people to hear...it is no less than to "disciple" and "teach all things".




As far as Ralph Winters goes, he is quite beneficial on many things and I would not call him a liberal at all, just a nonconfessional presbyterian.


JBaldwin: I actually do believe that the church must send or the church will end. Of course we know that the church CANNOT end...just as we know that the church will not cease to send. As Jacques Ellul (maybe him) said, "The church exists for missions as fire exists in burning." I do believe that there is a missionary nature to the church and if we strip away that nature then the church ceases to be the church.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" -- Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith

"There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." -- Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." -- Unknown

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" -- Nina Gunter

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." -- A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." -- J. Stuart Holden

"I believe that in each generation God has called' enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth…. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

And others...

Common themes amongst them:

1. A low, or even an antagonistic, view of the institution of the Church. Also seen in the very egalitarian approach to the office of evangelist.

2. A flawed emphasis in their theology that downplays all but missions as the central purpose of the Church. God's glory in right worship, the regular ministry of the Word for Christian growth, and mentoring/discipleship are equally as important as the missionary emphasis here given. The knowledge and worship of God are foundational to the existence of the Church, while missions are the extension of that. Missions are not the reason for her existence.

3. The messages tend to attempt to motivate based on guilt or shame, rather than through the positive and motivating message of the Gospel. I really hate the Arminian approach of "their blood will be on your head if you don't go" - K. P. Yohannan(sp) is one of the worst in this regard; he really revels in trying to shame "Western churches and their pastors".

4. Along with this is the downplaying of the virtue of a well lived, yet ordinary, Christian life. Quotes such as these tend to set missionary work/workers on a pedestal, and to ignore the equal goodness in a Christian father quietly laboring in his secular job unto the glory of God, and raising his children in the Christian life.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
JBaldwin: I actually do believe that the church must send or the church will end. Of course we know that the church CANNOT end...just as we know that the church will not cease to send. As Jacques Ellul (maybe him) said, "The church exists for missions as fire exists in burning." I do believe that there is a missionary nature to the church and if we strip away that nature then the church ceases to be the church.


Good point, and I wasn't really trying to downplay that as much as I think that at times (in various places, the sending becomes less sending and more reaching out locally due to persecution, etc.) The fact is if we have Christ's mind, we will care about the lost.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" -- Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith

"There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." -- Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." -- Unknown

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" -- Nina Gunter

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." -- A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." -- J. Stuart Holden

"I believe that in each generation God has called' enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth…. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

And others...

Common themes amongst them:

1. A low, or even an antagonistic, view of the institution of the Church. Also seen in the very egalitarian approach to the office of evangelist.

2. A flawed emphasis in their theology that downplays all but missions as the central purpose of the Church. God's glory in right worship, the regular ministry of the Word for Christian growth, and mentoring/discipleship are equally as important as the missionary emphasis here given. The knowledge and worship of God are foundational to the existence of the Church, while missions are the extension of that. Missions are not the reason for her existence.

3. The messages tend to attempt to motivate based on guilt or shame, rather than through the positive and motivating message of the Gospel. I really hate the Arminian approach of "their blood will be on your head if you don't go" - K. P. Yohannan(sp) is one of the worst in this regard; he really revels in trying to shame "Western churches and their pastors".

4. Along with this is the downplaying of the virtue of a well lived, yet ordinary, Christian life. Quotes such as these tend to set missionary work/workers on a pedestal, and to ignore the equal goodness in a Christian father quietly laboring in his secular job unto the glory of God, and raising his children in the Christian life.


Interesting, and true of some of the quotes.


Some follow up questions:

Is Yohannan right about bearing guilt for inactivity? How about the Piper quotes? John Piper urges a missionary activism; is there anything faulty in his quotes?


The whole "motivation by guilt or manipulation" thing could be applied to many of the PB posts on the Sabbath too. There are some things that are needful for the church as a whole to do. If someone calls the church collective to its duty, that is not manipulation.

Missions is very important and in a sense there is a missionary nature to the church.



Please explain how many of the quotes disparage the place of the church? That sounds interesting.



Do you have any good quotes to add to the list to replace the bad ones?
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The whole "motivation by guilt or manipulation" thing could be applied to many of the PB posts on the Sabbath too. There are some things that are needful for the church as a whole to do. If someone calls the church collective to its duty, that is not manipulation.

Missions is very important and in a sense there is a missionary nature to the church.

I believe the closer the church gets to God's heart, the more important missions (of all sorts, both home and abroad) will be to her. I think it goes back to whether we are "doing our duty" or serving the Lord out of a heart of love. When we are driven by guilt and manipulation, we grudgingly give a dollar here and there, and sometimes pray for the missionaries, but when we begin to have an understanding of God's heart, we gladly empty our pockets, pray and start going ourselves.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" -- Ralph Winter, U.S. Center for World Mission

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." -- Oswald J. Smith

"There is nothing in the world or the Church -- except the church's disobedience -- to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." -- Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." -- Unknown

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." -- K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" -- Nina Gunter

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." -- A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." -- J. Stuart Holden

"I believe that in each generation God has called' enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth…. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" -- Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

And others...

Common themes amongst them:

1. A low, or even an antagonistic, view of the institution of the Church. Also seen in the very egalitarian approach to the office of evangelist.

2. A flawed emphasis in their theology that downplays all but missions as the central purpose of the Church. God's glory in right worship, the regular ministry of the Word for Christian growth, and mentoring/discipleship are equally as important as the missionary emphasis here given. The knowledge and worship of God are foundational to the existence of the Church, while missions are the extension of that. Missions are not the reason for her existence.

3. The messages tend to attempt to motivate based on guilt or shame, rather than through the positive and motivating message of the Gospel. I really hate the Arminian approach of "their blood will be on your head if you don't go" - K. P. Yohannan(sp) is one of the worst in this regard; he really revels in trying to shame "Western churches and their pastors".

4. Along with this is the downplaying of the virtue of a well lived, yet ordinary, Christian life. Quotes such as these tend to set missionary work/workers on a pedestal, and to ignore the equal goodness in a Christian father quietly laboring in his secular job unto the glory of God, and raising his children in the Christian life.


Interesting, and true of some of the quotes.


Some follow up questions:

Is Yohannan right about bearing guilt for inactivity? How about the Piper quotes? John Piper urges a missionary activism; is there anything faulty in his quotes?


The whole "motivation by guilt or manipulation" thing could be applied to many of the PB posts on the Sabbath too. There are some things that are needful for the church as a whole to do. If someone calls the church collective to its duty, that is not manipulation.

Missions is very important and in a sense there is a missionary nature to the church.



Please explain how many of the quotes disparage the place of the church? That sounds interesting.



Do you have any good quotes to add to the list to replace the bad ones?

1. I do not mind missionary activism, as you have put it, nor the writings of Piper (from what I have read of him) on the issue. Yohannan is different though in that he primarily seems to use shame, and place it upon Western nations specifically, regarding what he interprets as their flaws in missions work. I have no taste for either his shame messages, nor for his insistence that "you send us the money, and we'll do all the work with our nationals, and stay out of our leadership you Westerners!" which is so central to most of his writings. His theology is pretty deeply flawed in a few areas, in my opinion, which is exactly why he needs some well trained Western missionaries assisting him in the work of training up "his" missions workers. As it stands now, all they get is KP's flamboyant, and often erroneous, views on the nature of the Church, missions, Christ's sacrifice, and other issues.

I do believe that there is a place for guilt, as Paul clearly states that he was clear from the blood of all men, while speaking to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. However, it is one thing to correct an errant minister of the Gospel (such as Paul was) in his neglect, it is another altogether to place that sort of blame upon individual Christians as a whole, and upon their churches (which is what I have seen KP do in the past). Scripture never portrays the issue in that manner, but always lays the blame upon those individuals holding prophetic or pastoral office.

2. I am not a strict sabbatarian, and see the Lord's Day primarily as a joy-giving means of grace from the hand of our caring Father, and not a duty :wink:

3. I agree with you that missionary work is very important (I wish that I could get my congregation to see that a well as you do), and that it is an essential part of the church's nature. I just don't think that it is correct to say things such as those quotes that I cited seem to be saying. There is much more to the purpose of both the Church and the Scriptures than a pure missionary agenda. Missions issue forth from them, but at the center is first a knowledge of God, a desire to worship Him for who He is and for what He has done, a place for Christian nurture and discipleship. All of that should lead to missions, but the reason that the Church exists first and foremost is for the worship of God, and growing in our knowledge of Him. In heaven the church will still exist, (and with purpose!) but our existence and purpose will have everything to do with continuing our worship of God, and nothing to do with missions. Seen in this light, the quotes above have a very nearsighted and earthly view of the Church, and fail to see the greater purpose and eternal issues involved.

4. If I had time to find quotes, I may, but I'm so busy trying to do mission work to the paganized people of the Pacific NW that I'll just have to keep making up my own for now (if I come up with anything brilliant, I'll make sure to send it your way :))

Take care, I'll be heading out for the weekend shortly.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
And others...

Common themes amongst them:

1. A low, or even an antagonistic, view of the institution of the Church. Also seen in the very egalitarian approach to the office of evangelist.

2. A flawed emphasis in their theology that downplays all but missions as the central purpose of the Church. God's glory in right worship, the regular ministry of the Word for Christian growth, and mentoring/discipleship are equally as important as the missionary emphasis here given. The knowledge and worship of God are foundational to the existence of the Church, while missions are the extension of that. Missions are not the reason for her existence.

3. The messages tend to attempt to motivate based on guilt or shame, rather than through the positive and motivating message of the Gospel. I really hate the Arminian approach of "their blood will be on your head if you don't go" - K. P. Yohannan(sp) is one of the worst in this regard; he really revels in trying to shame "Western churches and their pastors".

4. Along with this is the downplaying of the virtue of a well lived, yet ordinary, Christian life. Quotes such as these tend to set missionary work/workers on a pedestal, and to ignore the equal goodness in a Christian father quietly laboring in his secular job unto the glory of God, and raising his children in the Christian life.


Interesting, and true of some of the quotes.


Some follow up questions:

Is Yohannan right about bearing guilt for inactivity? How about the Piper quotes? John Piper urges a missionary activism; is there anything faulty in his quotes?


The whole "motivation by guilt or manipulation" thing could be applied to many of the PB posts on the Sabbath too. There are some things that are needful for the church as a whole to do. If someone calls the church collective to its duty, that is not manipulation.

Missions is very important and in a sense there is a missionary nature to the church.



Please explain how many of the quotes disparage the place of the church? That sounds interesting.



Do you have any good quotes to add to the list to replace the bad ones?

1. I do not mind missionary activism, as you have put it, nor the writings of Piper (from what I have read of him) on the issue. Yohannan is different though in that he primarily seems to use shame, and place it upon Western nations specifically, regarding what he interprets as their flaws in missions work. I have no taste for either his shame messages, nor for his insistence that "you send us the money, and we'll do all the work with our nationals, and stay out of our leadership you Westerners!" which is so central to most of his writings. His theology is pretty deeply flawed in a few areas, in my opinion, which is exactly why he needs some well trained Western missionaries assisting him in the work of training up "his" missions workers. As it stands now, all they get is KP's flamboyant, and often erroneous, views on the nature of the Church, missions, Christ's sacrifice, and other issues.

I do believe that there is a place for guilt, as Paul clearly states that he was clear from the blood of all men, while speaking to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. However, it is one thing to correct an errant minister of the Gospel (such as Paul was) in his neglect, it is another altogether to place that sort of blame upon individual Christians as a whole, and upon their churches (which is what I have seen KP do in the past). Scripture never portrays the issue in that manner, but always lays the blame upon those individuals holding prophetic or pastoral office.

2. I am not a strict sabbatarian, and see the Lord's Day primarily as a joy-giving means of grace from the hand of our caring Father, and not a duty :wink:

3. I agree with you that missionary work is very important (I wish that I could get my congregation to see that a well as you do), and that it is an essential part of the church's nature. I just don't think that it is correct to say things such as those quotes that I cited seem to be saying. There is much more to the purpose of both the Church and the Scriptures than a pure missionary agenda. Missions issue forth from them, but at the center is first a knowledge of God, a desire to worship Him for who He is and for what He has done, a place for Christian nurture and discipleship. All of that should lead to missions, but the reason that the Church exists first and foremost is for the worship of God, and growing in our knowledge of Him. In heaven the church will still exist, (and with purpose!) but our existence and purpose will have everything to do with continuing our worship of God, and nothing to do with missions. Seen in this light, the quotes above have a very nearsighted and earthly view of the Church, and fail to see the greater purpose and eternal issues involved.

4. If I had time to find quotes, I may, but I'm so busy trying to do mission work to the paganized people of the Pacific NW that I'll just have to keep making up my own for now (if I come up with anything brilliant, I'll make sure to send it your way :))

Take care, I'll be heading out for the weekend shortly.


1. Yes, you are right, Yohanan is in error in a number of places. However, the quote given was not. There should be a zeal for missions. If we want to discuss the selected quote given, I like it and will defend it, but if we wanted to talk about Yohanan's overall message I agree that he is in error in a number of ways. Ha, actually what he advocates is such as american mentality even if he is not: throw money at a problem but not get personally involved.



2. Same here.


3. I don't think we need to dochotomize that worship and missions are two separate purposes. Otherwise you are right we would have to rank worship first and missions as second.

What I want to stress is that it is the very nature of God and the very nature of the church to want to spread that glory. There is not so much a Biblical basis for missions as there is a missionary basis of the Bible. God's very nature is self-communciation, it is in the very nature of God is extend and show his glory - and therefore missions is integral to the very nature of God and the church.

Therefore, it can be "All about missions" even while being "all about worship" and "all about God" because all these things cannot be separated because our God is a global God. The whole Bible is about our Missionary God. See Christopher Wright's The Mission of God for more.


4. Great.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top