Please don't George Mueller me - an article for review

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by Pergamum, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Hello,

    If you would, please read and give me your thoughts on this article below. Send any critiques or suggestions or notes on how spelling, grammer, tone, facts, or interpretations are either wrong or right and please suggest ways to make this a better piece of writing:


     
  2. smhbbag

    smhbbag Puritan Board Senior

    Excellent. And truly needed. God bless you for not backing down when this needs to be said in so many places. It is well-written, also.

    Question: Who is the audience?

    If your audience includes "those folks" who make the complaints, or buy into the false dichotomies, I think you can address them as though they are in the room, so to speak.

    The title is "Please Don't George Mueller Me!" which is a direct command or request to a person who might do that.

    Yet, sometimes you address them directly, and sometimes the followers of Mueller are "they" or "them."

    I would pick one way to do it. Topical article or a sort of open letter. They're a little bit mixed here, In my humble opinion.

    Blessings.
     
  3. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    David prayed that God would overturn Ahitophel's counsel to Absalom, but he also commissioned Hushai to overturn his advice. Do both - pray and act!
     
  4. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    A well needed paper. I can't tell you how often I run into folks that try to press Muelleristic convictions on other misionaries and pastors. I find it abominable. I'll run through it for voice and grammar later.
     
  5. seajayrice

    seajayrice Puritan Board Sophomore

    Very good points and I agree with you 100%. Just a couple of thoughts; depersonalize the message and eliminate the juxtapositions. Praise Muller’s faith while advocating biblical propositions, syncretism. Reduce the content by 75%, the folks that need to understand your point of view won't take the time to read a lengthy piece.
     
  6. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Excellent paper, Pergamum. Very good points! I've thought and wrestled over this issue some before, but your paper really helped solidify some thoughts in my mind. It was good hearing these things from your perspective.

    In earlier days of American history, if I understand right, pastors were not paid with tithe money...as tithing in church was not really practiced. (In Europe, of course, the church was state-funded) So what this meant was that many pastors had to scrape by or work on the farm or whatever. So this seems to be a somewhat similar situation to missionaries, in terms of funding and salary. One could make a similar argument in that period of history, "If God wants this church to continue, He will provide to meet the needs of the pastor"...and not take up responsibility to financially support him.

    Often times, people think too highly of their abilities to interpret what God is saying behind His providential decrees. "I'm not asking for money...God isn't supplying my needs...I must not be doing the right thing." Or, in these situations, people are lazy or too pragmatic. "If it works, it's probably good." Just as I am responsible to mow my yard (I could say, "If God wants my yard cut, He'll keep the grass short")...I am responsible to help meet the needs of those who labor for the Gospel in foreign fields. :2cents:
     
  7. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Is the tone friendly enough for my colleagues who do practice some of these practices? How about grammer and spelling? How might a person who practices Mueller's methodologies respond to this article(besides saying, "well I am called to this..." which sort of shuts down any response).
     
  8. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    That's a great paper cutting through a lot of the less helpful ideas that come from "Muellerism"and confuse many! (I've heard that Mueller himself sometimes made so much show of not asking that he might as well have been)
    As CJ said it could be shorter and gain punch without losing any of its point. And as Jeremy said, it could be a little clearer where it's being directed.
    Lawrence says he will be looking over the grammar etc so you're ok there :) - you did split some infinitives right at the top if that's the kind of thing you're concerned about!
    ....to never have a fixed income, (2) to never appeal for funds, etc.... (read never to have... never to appeal..)
     
  9. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Dabney has some worthwhile observations on the defects in Muller's theory, and how fund raising did, in effect, take place.
    Discussions - Google Books
     
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Any grammer, typos or other notes? For Mueller fans (of which I am one) what would be a predictable response to reading this?
     
  11. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Pergs, I am a fan but not a devotee. I would say that many use this `Mueller` path to work against the other plague in missions: putting missionaries on signficant Western salaries with benefits and astronomical admin costs to the degree that`only 12% of the money given to the mission ends up actually going to the mission`s work. So the response will likely contain significant elements of that. It also begs the question of where faith lies in setting off into the wild blue yonder for the gospel. Paul lived hand to mouth - so why shouldn`t others who are called to spread the gospel?
     
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Kevin: How would you answer the objection about faith?
     
  13. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I would say that you must step out in faith (and not wait until everything is raised to go - there must be some faith that the Lord will provide). Having all your ducks in a row is not necessary before setting off, while it is indeed irresponsible to just walk into the jungle with a Bible in hand. On the other end of that is the little bits of European architecture scattered about Africa because that is what was `needed`for a missionary to live abroad. Your hut on stilts wouldn`t cut it. Both go too far in their respective directions.
     
  14. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Kevin,

    What needs, therefore, to be added or subtracted to make this a better article? It will be read by many supporters (many of which have sympathies with much of Mueller's thinking)?
     
  15. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    I am not sure that it needs so much massaging, it is just that the response will be fairly consistent. What also works against you is that there are too many `well oiled machines` that give the others a bad name. I previously knew missionaries that were so conspiculously false in their work (and funding was coming from a few different sources) that it will now take a personal relationship with a missionary for us to give to them support, since the abuse we`ve seen is so startling. Maybe you could throw James 2 in there somehow too - if people are willing to pray for someone to give and provide for you, maybe they are that `someone`.
     
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I would love to talk more about those well-oiled machines and the abuse you've seen.

    I've seen a few mission reports that, if true, you would have expected whole regions to be changing in morals if the reports were true. I think there is a temptation and a tendency to hyper-bolize and exagerize results.
     
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you perhaps mean grammar? :)

    Is the intended audience the kind of people who also oppose a fixed salary for a pastor?
     
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks Chris,

    The intended audience usually supports pastors very well. And give generously to missions. If they read Mueller and others like him that is a sign of the high calibre of believers and how well-read they are. I cannot say anything bad about them and they are not stingy.

    But many believe that if God calls a man, then he should go forth "in faith" and not wait for funds, etc. I have had about 4 people suggest that to me. And others make much of ministries not advertizing needs, etc. And most of the admirers of Mueller even say "we are not saying that everyone should do this" but there is often then the implicit indictment, "But for us [or for Mueller], we are trusting in God..." as if normal missionaries are not.
     
  19. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Perg, your article post was very helpful since I have been wondering about this matter for a while now. Thank you!
     
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