Critique of Missionary Methods

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by J.D., Oct 14, 2008.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    The link below is an evaluation of the hightened persecution of Christians in India and contains some important criticisms of missionary activity in that country that has unintentionally over-polarized tribal groups there.

    Give it a read and let us consider whether we can improve our witness for Christ in foreign lands.

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details.asp?ID=26295
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    There are some good points in the article. In particular, though the article doesn't use this term, some of the practices mentioned violate the indigenous principle--the belief that the nationals should support their own work. I have long wondered why Indian evangelists and other Christian workers come to America to raise support.

    An observation: it should be noted that the missionaries mentioned in the article are not Americans missionaries, who are not allowed permanent visas. They are no doubt Indian nationals.

    Another observation: the writer of the article appears to believe that agressive evangelism is a root cause of the persecution. But that will always be so. Heat produces friction, and "all they who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
     
  3. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Yes. Also, I wonder if pentacostal fanaticism is involved. I was just reading my Table Talk magazine in which the author takes the gloves off and goes directly at the miracles/word-faith movement. He says that many people would have been better off in the long run if they had just remained in the Catholic church instead of converting to word-faith protestantism (assuming a Catholic presence). They have statistics that shows that a large majority of those types of converts wind up leaving the faith altogether when their fantasies of health and wealth don't pan out.
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    44
    The writer seems to favor the Social Gospel:

    "Over the last few centuries the Great Commission became the priority of the church, which led to spawning of several evangelistic ministries to the total neglect of the Great Commandment. . . .Shouldn't there be a re-look?
    No voices were raised regarding the linking of the Great Commission with Matthew 24:14 and it appears that few bothered to check that Matthew 24:14 talked about preaching the gospel as a 'testimony to all nations' and not about 'harvesting souls' or converting people or planting of churches. Somewhere along the line in a very subtle manner converting people became the agenda of the church. . . .Neither did we question the priority given to the Great Commission over the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39). Anyone who did was bracketed with the liberals! My point is, isn't the Greatest commandment greater than all other commandments? Should we not be interpreting the Great Commission in the context of and under the Greatest Commandment? If we gave priority to the Greatest Commandment, love and service would become the agenda of the Church, which would include sharing the gospel too. Love would be the primary agenda. Would we be willing to love and serve our fellow countrymen even if they were to declare openly that they do not wish to be converted to Christianity? Would that not be the test of true love?
    Further, it must be noted that the term 'great commission' is a hermeneutical term while the words 'greatest commandment' was acknowledged and used by the Lord Himself."
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Unfortunately, the Charismatics with their heresies send a lot of money out to the mission fields of the world. And they do great damage to already existing churches. I've had three bad experiences with Charismatics: twice they stole members and once they tried to steal members and failed.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    26,806
    Likes Received:
    78
    Only three, in all those years :)?

    Thats about my annual average :).
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    Just lucky I guess! :eek:

    I've had other experiences, but not so bad: a lady in Tokyo trying to get me to speak in tongues, a pastor telling me not to do evangelism in his neighborhood, etc. :D
     
  8. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0

    I've heard Spanish say that missionaries ambush them even though they want nothing to do with it. I also heard a Catholic complain to me that people will walk into their church during Mass and shout at them to convert them. Some really offensive stuff.

    From my studies of history the early christians seemed to speak in public forums. Reason with people in the appropiate place. But most of all feed the hungry and take care of the poor. Paul was invited to synagogues and spoke in a philosophers forum. But most christians witnessed by their ministering to needs and their life styles. Anyway thats how I see it.
     
  9. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    I noticed that BBC News covered the story two nights ago on PBS. It seems the crux if the issue is that the native hindus believe that people are converting to Christianity because the Christian missionaries give them financial aid - not because they are convinced of Christian teaching and preaching. So should missionaries refuse financial aid to the destitute? It's a sticky wicket indeed.

    And boisterous, agressive witnessing certainly aggrevates the situation.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    I'll agree that this is inappropriate.
    May I suggest that you need to study more--especially the book of Acts, where Paul spoke to people individually and in groups, it didn't matter. As far as the early Christians went, often they were persescuted and thus could not speak in open forums.

    Concerning feeding the hungry and taking care of the poor, Japan is a place where 95% of the people are middle class. I can't even find the hungry, much less help the poor! I think I'll just keep on getting out the Gospel! :thumbs:
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,212
    Likes Received:
    192
    I'm reminded of the "rice Christians" in the heyday of Protestant missions in China, before the Communists took over. The missionaries would take pity on the poor Chinese and hire them for menial jobs or help them in other ways. The Chinese who came to church and professed conversion just for the benefits were called "rice Christians." They soon faded away at the first hint of persecution or discomfort.
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    44
    No, according to Enoch Era's reasoning, they should give financial aid to all, and especially to those who reject Christ:

    "Would we be willing to love and serve our fellow countrymen even if they were to declare openly that they do not wish to be converted to Christianity? Would that not be the test of true love?"
     
    #12 Jerome, Oct 16, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2008
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is part of the problem with attaching social issues to the gospel. The social gospel has been deadly no matter where it has been tried.
     
  14. generichaze

    generichaze
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been getting quite a few notes from folks about what is going on there. In the Arab world (albeit not the same as the Muslim Indian areas have similarities) the Church is generally too quick to make compromise to avoid persecution. They killed Paul, because he was preaching the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel is offensive, though Mohammad bashing is a different thing all together.

    In most Arab countries, it is common to even see the evangelical church trying to keep its members from sharing their faith. :(

    The groups that have been contacting me have been with the Church of God there. They seem friendly, though I am not sure how much they are actually involved in the evangelism and just reporting on the persecutions.
     

Share This Page

Loading...