Missionary vs Evangelist (Part 2)

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Alex Quackenbush, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    A thread in the fellowship forum was opened up but since it was in the fellowship forum someone suggested another being opened for debate in the debate forums. In fulfilling that wish I am opening the debate/discussion on the topic.

    What is a Missonary? What is an Evangelist?

    As well I have included the original question:

    My response was:

    John of Japan responded to my post with:

    And so with that I invite John of Japan and anyone else (by default of course but allow me the courtesy of the invite as well) to debate/discussion the issue.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Missionaries evangelize... Missionaries are often pastors, evangelists, nurses, teachers and some are even mechanics.

    But Evangelists are those who proclaim pure accurate doctrine both in Gospel invitation and in Gospel definition teaching the truth about "who God is", "who man is" , what our fallen conditions means - the way of salvation and yes even the way to walk in the Spirit as children of God.

    But the Pastor's role is to "live with the congregation" - daily evengelism within the context of one flock usually. Daily missionary work, daily administrative work.

    BTW - thank you for the kind note.:wavey:

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #2 BobRyan, Nov 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2007
  3. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    U bet Bob.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Alex, I'm going to stick strictly with Scripture here, as I am sure you will. In Scripture, there are no missionary hospitals, schools or other institutions. The only missionary activities in the Word of God center around the Great Commission, especially in Matthew: evangelism and then leading the new believers in growth (often called discipleship, but I consider it to be broader than that, including the training of young preachers). These activities result in churches being planted.

    Now, with that in mind, there is only one evangelist in Scripture to give us an example. Please tell me where Philip the evangelist ever started a church. You find Philip doing mass evangelism and personal evangelism, but you do not find him starting churches. You also do not find him working cross-culturally, unless you consider the Samaritans as another culture (understandable).
     
  5. Alex Quackenbush

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    You also don't find Philip going to the bathroom. Are we to believe because it is not recorded in Scripture it didn't happen? But be sure that I know that YOU know Phillip did go to the bathroom, but that isn't the point.

    The point is Scripture does not record EVERY ACTION of each person it records in Scripture. So because something isn't present doesn't mean it didn't happen. That only makes an argument from silence which is no argument at all.

    While somethings can be deduced, though they aren't mentioned in Scripture (for example the Bible does not mention in the life of Christ, whether he had a wife or not but we can know that He didn't because of other pertinent doctrine taught about our Lord and forgive the extreme example but it makes the point) some things cannot be deduced and here we cannot simply deduce that Philip never helped start a church by viewing ONLY those of his activities which are recorded.

    I do understand your initial point about no reference regarding missionary hospitals and so on, but I find no PROHIBITION against them.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    Matt 10 "heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons.. declare the kingdom of God is at hand". This is the first missionary tour that Christ directs his followers to perform.

    Christ's model was a health related healing ministry as well as a teaching ministry. He gave that same focus to his followers.

    Matt 28 "Go into all the world and make discisples..teaching them ALL that I commanded you" - here again we see that the mission of the church is more than evangelism - it is also discipleship.

    And so it is a teaching ministry as well as a healing ministry that is given to the church.

    In Acts we find Paul and other evangelists - evangelizing and then staying sometimes for a year in one place to raise up a church.

    Acts 11:26 (1 year)
    18:11 (1 year 6 months),
    19:10 (2 years),
    21:31 (3 years)

    And of course 1Tim 1 - we see Paul leaving Timothy at Ephesus to raise up that church and keep it on track.
     
  7. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Bob, your post makes some good observations and provides good challenges for discovery on this topic. I will be busy the next 4 days or so with time for only casual responses but I look forward to the dialogue of others and rejoining more fully by next Friday.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Surely missionary activity is important enough that God would give us details about how to do it! At any rate it is far more important than whether or not Philip went to the bathroom. :rolleyes: If Philip did something as important as church planting we would know about it.
    While the Bible does not portray evangelists planting churches, it most certainly does portray apostles planting churches. The apostles are the church planters of the NT, not the evangelists.
    I find no prohibition either. I am not opposed to such institutions, as long as they are not called missions. Such institutions are charity, not missions, and of course charity is certainly not against Scripture. Charity may (or may not) obey other Scripture, but it is not obedience to the Great Commission. The exception is when the doctor (or teacher, or whatever) is using the charity work as a pipeline for the Gospel, and to plant churches. I have a doctor friend in a Muslim country doing this.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    Paul and Barnabas are always clearly called apostles (Acts 14:14, etc.), never evangelists. (The last reference should be 20:31.)
     
  10. BobRyan

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    You are splitting hairs on this one "Evangelist" is one who proclaims the Gospel (Evangelion). Hard to argue that this is not what Paul and Barnabas did.

    But in the case of Timothy and Philip who are the only two in the NT specifically labelled as Evangelists -- Philip lived and stayed permanently in Cesarea and Timothy as we see in 1Tim1 was assigned to stay in Ephesus.

    The point remains.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. John of Japan

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    You can say a cow is a horse, but the cow still says "Moo."

    If you're not willing to stick to the terminology the Bible itself uses, I suppose you can prove anything you want--and that makes it extremely difficult to discuss this subject. I suppose I'll just wait until Alex comes back and see if he agrees with you or if he wants to use the terminology the Bible itself uses.

    Since the Bible clearly lists apostle and evangelist as separate offices in Eph. 4:11, I will continue to do so.
     
    #11 John of Japan, Nov 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2007
  12. Alex Quackenbush

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    This is an assumption on your part that you are treating as fact. God did give information about witnessing and communicating the gospel. But to take your assumption that if Phillip did something as important as church planting we would know about it would required God to produce Holy Scripture that include every significant act of every Christian ever, if this is the standard you hold to. Secondly, the Scriptures even note that not every thing Christ did is recorded in Scripture and dare we say any of our Lord's acts were not important?
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Well, you have a point. I'll not belabor it. But the fact remains that the Bible doesn't record any church planting by an evangelist, but it does record church planting by apostles. Therefore, it seems a logical conclusion that apostles were the main church planters of Scripture. If we then consider evangelists to be church planters, we are speculating and not doing theology and exegesis.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    But in the case of Timothy and Philip who are the only two in the NT specifically labelled as Evangelists -- Philip lived and stayed permanently in Cesarea and Timothy as we see in 1Tim1 was assigned to stay in Ephesus - to work with that church and build it up.
     
  15. Alex Quackenbush

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    That is a rather powerful citing. I look forward to JoJ's response.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    (1) I disagree that Tiimothy was an evangelist per se. He was told to "do the work of an evangelist," not called an evangelist. I can do the work of a carpenter, but I'm not a carpenter and my work would not be nearly as good as that of a professional carpenter.

    Having said that, even if I grant your point that Timothy was an evangelist, that does not make him a church planter. Working with a church and building it up is a very different task from that of planting a church. As a church planter I know this from experience.

    (2) Since Timothy was told to do the work of an evangelist, he had to have looked at the only person called an evangelist, and that was Philip. We have a Biblical record of Philip doing mass evangelism and personal evangelism, but we have no record of him working permanently in an individual church.

    Note that Philip left Samaria right after his work there. It was left up to apostles to actually establish the church (Acts 8:14 and on), since Philip was taken away by the Holy Spirit to win the Ethiopian to Christ.

    Thayer's definition of the Greek word for evangelist is:
    1) a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist
    2) the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

    Therefore, from the Greek definition and usage of the word, I consider an evangelist to be a specialist in evangelism. In Eph. 4:11-12 we learn that the evangelist, along with the other offices, is to edify the body of Christ. So to round out my definition, the Biblical evangelist is a preacher who specializes in evangelism and ministers to already established local churches.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    According to the unabridged Liddel-Scott lexicon of classical Greek, the word euaggelistes (evangelist) was used at Rhodes for a "proclaimer of oracular messages." Once again, the evangelist in that usage is a proclaimer, not an establisher or founder.
     
  18. ByGracethroughFaith

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    According to Matt 28:19-20, EVERY Christian is to be a missionary, some domestically, some internationally.

    The mission of a Christian is to stand for Christ in a fallen world, wherever the Lord leads them.


    BGTF
     
  19. John of Japan

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    To me the 5 statements of the Great Commission are among the most misunderstood and under-interpreted passages of Scripture. While I agree that all Christians are to be witnesses based on John's Great Commission (John 20:21-23), I disagree that all are missionaries.

    Please note that Matthew's Great Commission is specifically to "the eleven disciples" (v. 16), while John's is simply to the gathered "disciples" (20:19). The 11 disciples were the leaders of the first church at Jerusalem, then all were church-planting missionaries, with only the martyred James not going out as a cross-cultural missionary. (We know this from church history.) So personally I don't think Matthew's commission applies to all Christians. (Have you baptized anyone recently?) Again, the Great Commission in Acts 1:8 is specifically to the apostles as a strategy to reach the world cross-culturally, not to all Christians (v. 2).

    Forgive me, but when I think of my missionary friend Dr. T. ministering cross-culturally amid great hardship and poverty in a 3rd-world Muslim country, in danger of severe persecution or even death at any time, I am very disappointed at Americans who wish to be called missionaries just for witnessing. Dr. T. and his title of missionary deserves far more respect than that.

    I don't say this is you, but the typical American Christian gives out a tract or two, maybe says a word of witness on the job once in awhile, but never suffers for Christ. Then he goes home, eats a calorie-loaded supper, sits in his easy chair, watches a ball game and pats himself on the back for being a great Christian and a witness.

    I humbly claim the title missionary since I am a cross-cultural church-planter here in Japan, but in Heaven I think I'll just sit in a corner and listen to guys like Dr. T. or the Apostle Paul as they compare their scars earned in the service of Christ.
     
  20. BobRyan

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    You seem determine to avoid the text on this one.

    1Tim 1
    3As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
    4nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation[/b] rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

    5But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
    6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,


    1Tim 4
    10For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
    11Prescribe and teach these things.
    12Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
    13Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.
    14Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
    15Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.
    16Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.


    My argument is not that Evangelists have to stay back and build up a church as Timothy did - but I allow that such is the case with Timothy. Also I do not post this opinion to downgrade the work of any missionary no matter what their denomination. I am simply stating what I find in the NT on the subject.


    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #20 BobRyan, Nov 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007

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