Missions and Worship?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by DeclareHim, May 16, 2006.

  1. DeclareHim

    DeclareHim
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    I read this quote the other day and was wondering what you guys thought about it....

    "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't." John Piper.

    Since I'm BGC I enjoy Dr. Piper's material. But the above quote doesn't seem Baptistic. It doesn't seem "Evangelical". What do you guys think.
     
  2. DeclareHim

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    Although our Pastor Sunday morning praised this as being a major problem facing the church today.
     
  3. tinytim

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    A person that is truly worshiping God will do missions..

    Isaiah saw a vision of God.. He saw his unworthiness, He volunteered to go on a mission.

    Isaiah went from worship to mission.

    God wants both. One leads to the other.
     
  4. Mexdeaf

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    Tinytim, you are correct.

    They are intertwined- Matthew 28:18-20-

    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Any missionary worth the title knows and understands that the work is a work of and for almighty God. Jesus also said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5)

    I do NOT agree with Piper's statement. Missions exists because God commands us to go!
     
  5. Andy T.

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    I think what Piper is communicating is that our worship of God is primary and it drives every other aspect of our Christian life. He commonly refers to this as having a "God-entranced vision of all things."

    And of course worship is not just what we do on Sunday morning, but what we should do 24/7 to glorify Him in all that we do.
     
  6. gtbuzzarp

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    I agree tinytim and Andy T.

    I think Missions is/are an act of worship.

    Sounds like a quote that could have come from his book "Desiring God".
     
  7. John of Japan

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    I disagree with the quote because of verses like 1 Cor. 10:31--"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

    Piper's quote sounds good, but I can't think of any Scripture it could be based on. The chief end of man is to glorify God, not worship or missions, either one. Both worship and missions can be done wrongly if not done to the glory of God. [​IMG]
     
  8. drfuss

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    I believe missions without worship was one of the Pharisee's problems. We can get so involved in doing our mission that we neglect why we are doing it. Worship draws us closer to God. Our mission can become only a performance, particularily an organized effort. Both worship and a mission are required for a balanced christian life.
     
  9. bapmom

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    I don't think his statement sounds good at all. What would he mean by "missions exists because worship doesn't"?

    Are we correct in assuming he means evangelistic missions, and not just the generic term of "a mission".....as in some kind of goal or purpose in life?
     
  10. whatever

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    I disagree with the quote because of verses like 1 Cor. 10:31--"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

    Piper's quote sounds good, but I can't think of any Scripture it could be based on. The chief end of man is to glorify God, not worship or missions, either one. Both worship and missions can be done wrongly if not done to the glory of God. [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]If it is not to the glory of God then it is not worship, whatever else it is. Piper is addressing the chief end of the church, not of man, but neither man nor the church can glorify God without worshipping Him.

    Piper's point is that in some areas of the world God is not worshipped and that's why we send missionaries to those places. If God were worshipped in Japan would you still be John of Japan or would you become John of Somewhere Else? (Jose!)
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I disagree with the quote because of verses like 1 Cor. 10:31--"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

    Piper's quote sounds good, but I can't think of any Scripture it could be based on. The chief end of man is to glorify God, not worship or missions, either one. Both worship and missions can be done wrongly if not done to the glory of God. [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]If it is not to the glory of God then it is not worship, whatever else it is. Piper is addressing the chief end of the church, not of man, but neither man nor the church can glorify God without worshipping Him.

    Piper's point is that in some areas of the world God is not worshipped and that's why we send missionaries to those places. If God were worshipped in Japan would you still be John of Japan or would you become John of Somewhere Else? (Jose!)
    </font>[/QUOTE]I can't agree that "if it is not to the glory of God, it is not worship." Do you have any Scriptural, linguistic or theological proof of this? Worship occurs all the time that is not to the glory of God. When the pianist plays in the worship service, but is doing so to be noticed, it is worship to the glory of the pianist, but it is still Christian worship. When a Buddhist worships at the family altar, it is by linguistic definition worship, just to the wrong god.

    You are also forgetting the Catholic countries. They worship the right God, often very sincerely, but in the wrong way.

    Again I ask, where is Piper's Scripture for his statement???
     
  12. John of Japan

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    But both worship and missions can be done for the wrong goals and with the wrong motives. If we do all for the glory of God, then the motive issue is taken care of and we can be righteous in our worship and missions.
     
  13. whatever

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    JoJ,

    How about this - if it is not to the glory of God then it is not worship of God. Is that better? Of course Piper is talking about worship of God, worship in spirit and truth. Of course he is not talking about worship of self or Buddha or false worship. I figured that was understood by all.

    But you didn't even address the point. If God were already being worshipped in spirit and truth in Japan would you have gone to Japan or would you have gone somewhere else?
     
  14. His In China

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    Joh 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

    Today we wish to worship in song and praise, without lifting our eyes to the harvest? The harvest is white and ready to harvest but the churches wish to worship him in buildings made with hands.

    Buildings are not a place of worship. Buildings can hold people who wish to worship properly but it can also hold people who worship like a Pharisee.

    Worshipping God in song, prayer and praise is special when you offer songs like "Bringing in the Sheaves" or prayers for sending people to the harvest, or praise for souls saved this past week.

    Today many churches offer worship services but in fact they have nothing to worship since that week they did nothing but gather together to go through the routine of a church service.

    When souls are not saved, new people are not discipled, hearts are not changed, then are we worshipping?


    Church was formed not for a place for man to gather and talk about sports, hunting, fishing, and fellow workers at everyones work place.

    Articles like Dr. Piper are used to justify a churches coldness towards missions. Instead of creating a different atmosphere in churches, they justify their lack of obedience to missions but offering another viewpoint to distract from their disobedience to missions.

    Churches who worship God in Spirit and Truth are the Churches who are usually involved in getting the gospel out in their community and to the regions beyond.

    They realize there is no higher calling than to -- GO!

    His in CHina

    P.S. Someone take a poll and lets see how many people have won a soul to Christ during the past year or even in this present year.

    Churches have lost their zeal for the lost. Churches have become a place to come, hear, see, sing, but go home with no power in our lives. If you haven't lead a soul to Christ in months, then are you worshipping God?

    Our eyes are off the goal of winning souls and it shows!
     
  15. whatever

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    You've never read Piper, have you? He is calling people who worship in spirit and truth to do missions, to reach out to areas where no true worship exists yet.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Well said, His in China.

    Whatever, I had to break off for awhile. I had an appointment with H. San to go out and worship God with some evangelism [​IMG]

    First of all, your statement that "if it is not to the glory of God then it is not worship of God" is a step better, but it still does not fit the Biblical data. I could give lots of evidence for this (lexical definitions, Biblical cases of worship various incidents of worship). However, all I need to do is point you to what Jesus said about worship to the woman at the well and you yourself quoted. Worship that pleases God must be in spirit and in truth, but if it is not that does not make it "non-worship."

    Just to hear a preacher say the word "worship" does not mean to me that it is a "given" that it is "in spirit and in truth." If you were to tell a typical Japanese Buddhist bowing to his ancestors at the family shrine, "You are not worshipping," he would say, "Kureejii gaijin." ("Crazy foreigner!"). The term worship refers to an act, and in the quote given Piper did not qualify that act with adjectives. To me, the terms "true worship" and "false worship" would be far better. (But I would still disagree with his statement!)

    Secondly, if I grant Piper the idea that we do missions where God is not worshipped in spirit and in truth, that is still a nebulous concept. What percentage of the population must be worshippers before we decide we don't have to go there? Japan has less than .5% evangelicals. Obviously I'm in the right place. Korea is now 46% Christian, up from 26% 25 years ago. Should we now recall the missionaries from Korea? Of course not!! The USA has had figures of up to 50% of the population being evangelical Christians. Is that enough to quit home missions (which is church planting by my definition). Absolutely not!

    The Great Commission says nothing about worship. The criteria it gives for missions is "every nation" and "every creature." Piper is wrong. He is using language that sounds spiritual but is not Biblical.
     
  17. whatever

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    JoJ,

    Again, I think it is painfully obvious that Piper is talking about worship that pleases God. If you really and truly think that Piper is arguing that the purpose of the church is worship that does not please God, well, I guess we should just stop here. But if Piper is talking about worship that pleases God, which as I said is obvious, then it really does not matter whether worship that does not please God can rightly be called worship or not, since that is not even what Piper is talking about. If you want to say that he should be more precise, well maybe if someone weren't sure where he was coming from then perhaps that is true, but you and I both know where Piper is coming from and we both know that when he says that the ultimate purpose of the church is "worship" that he does not mean "false worship".

    Second, sure it is a nebulous concept unless you read his book and see what he means. He wrote much more about missions that the three short sentences quoted in the OP. How about this - anywhere that God is not worshipped there is a need for the gospel. It might be a foreign country and it might be your next-door neighbor's house or a school or a workplace or anywhere.

    Here's a fuller quote from Piper's website:
    Please, try to understand what Piper is saying before you declare him wrong. I have never read anywhere that has he said anything about quitting home missions or church planting. What you are arguing against is not what he is saying.

    The Great Commission will not be in effect for eternity, but true worship will. The Great Commission is not the sum and substance of the church's purpose. True worship, which includes obedience to the Great Commission, is.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Well, whatever, this is a much better quote from Piper. Here he clearly says what he did not say in the original quote, that the church and missions are for the glory of God.

    I didn't mean to accuse Piper of advocating quitting home missions or church planting. What I was doing was taking to its logical conclusion the idea that we are to do missions where God is not worshipped. Again, the criteria for doing missions by the Great Commission is "every nation" and "every creature."

    I still disagree with the original quote as it stands (with no context, perhaps), and I still disagree with Piper's use of the word worship with no qualifiers, as if the heathen did not do worship in their own way--worshipping the wrong god, of course, but still clearly worshipping.

    Being a linguist, I am a very word-oriented person, and it always bothers me when words are used in an inexact way, or when someone tries to give a word a new meaning that it doesn't have in the mind of the average speaker of that language. (Piper's reputed use of hedonism comes to mind.)

    To be fair to Piper, I haven't read anything by him, and am not likely to have the opportunity to in the near future, due to several projects I have going in the areas of linguistics (glorifying God, hopefully!) which take up my spare time.

    Have to head to the church and work on a tract translation and get ready for our pastor's fellowship on Monday. Catch you later!
     
  19. whatever

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    JoJ,

    I highly recommend his book on missions called "Let the Nations Be Glad!". If you get a chance you can read the first chapter in PDF format at this web page. I really think you would like it even if you don't agree with all that he says.

    And lest you think I'm a Piper groupie or something, let me say that I do not agree with everything he says. But don't hold that against him. I don't even agree with everything I say. [​IMG]

    I just get a little excited when anyone is being misunderstood, and I think that's what happened with Piper. I can see how, if one didn't know all that he said, one might think that he meant that "missions exist only in churches that do not worship" or something similar, but that's exactly opposite of what he meant.

    And thanks for keeping it civil, as always, and I pray that God blesses you with much fruit today (which is tonight here, so good night).

    [​IMG]
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Good morning, whatever (evening here)! [​IMG]

    Today H. San and I got out many tracts in a neighborhood near his, and I talked a little about Jesus with a man who looked like he had an Ainu (aborigine) ancestry due to his full beard, but may have been a burglar casing the neighborhood due to his actions!

    Anyway, I did read the chapter of Piper's book on missions that you linked to. Very good--I trust the book will be used of God to send more workers out here, where there are so few. I often feel like the man in the old missions illustration who was carrying one end of a heavy log while ten men carried the other end. And the question to be asked is, which end would you help with?

    I will no doubt buy the book sometime in the future and read the whole thing. I wondered one thing, though, why Piper did not include simple obedience as a motive for missions in Chapter 1. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him, as He taught. The primary reason I came to Japan and am still here after 25 years is that I am obeying both the Great Commission and His personal call to me to be a missionary. During the hard times, that is what keeps me here--simple obedience to Christ due to my love for Him.

    Here is something else to consider. I believe that service--and thus missions--is an essential part of worship. Therefore, anyone who worships without participating in the Great Commission has an incomplete worship.

    There are two words in the NT translated as "worship". Proskuneo is usually (not always) used for the physical act of bowing down. However, latreuo is used interchangeably for worshipping God and for serving God.

    Someone who prays, sings praise and listens to the message, but never witnesses for Christ and never prays for or supports world missions, is not right with God in their worship. They may go away thinking they have worshpped, but their worship is a stunted worship, a damaged worship.
     

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