The Call of Missionaries

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    I read the entire thread that was just closed about the differences between insults and rebukes. Both sides had valid points, and cannot say I disagree with either side.

    However, at one point, it seemed like there was implied or directly said there is no difference between the call to be a missionary in a foreign land and any other call, which is the focus of this thread. The comments remind me in the political events and news section from people who never served in the United States armed forces and act like they are experts in experiencing combat and separation from family. All they do is flap their jaws as they watched CNN from their seminary dorm room.

    The call of the missionary in unique. They risk their lives, their families lives, and sacrifice their standard of living to tell others about Jesus Christ. They experience very hot and cold weather. They eat at times a very basic diet we would turn our noses up to. Contrast that with our "call." We are comfortable all year round temperature wise, eat whatever we want, are relatively safe, and play with cable, cell phones, and internet at will. We are not worried about our next meal or our family's safety, but where we are going to eat after the next church service. I could go on and on.

    We had a missionary come to our local church a few weeks ago, Bro. Alex Mgwelele, from Morogoro, Tanzania, and he related how he and his family had been threatened by Muslim extremists, the twenty hours he worked per day, his diet, living conditions, as he is both a missionary and runs several schools that feed thousands of children daily. It was quite moving. One of our members asked the question, "how much does it cost to feed a family per week." The question would not even translate into his language because the concept of going to a grocery and buying food like we freely do was not even a concept that he really understood.

    We should be eternally grateful for these folks and what they endure compared to our what in any other nation would be a luxurious life style. More important, if you have never lived the experience, this one or others, at least read about the subject before commenting.
     
  2. Zenas

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    Well said and so right! :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    This kind of thought brings to mind sermons based on this passage.

    Amos 6

    King James Version (KJV)

    6 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

    2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?

    3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;

    4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

    5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

    6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

    7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

    8 The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

    9 And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.


    It was not as much the blessing of God that prosperity is....but it led to spiritual declension;


    6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

    7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;

    8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;

    9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

    10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

    11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments,
    and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

    12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;

    13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

    14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God
    , which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

    15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

    16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

    17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.

    18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

    19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

    20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
     
    #3 Iconoclast, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2013
  4. HankD

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    Amen SN,

    Our role here in the lap of luxury is to give, to support them.

    God has chosen to send a few but having the rest supporting them to the best of our ability.

    Over and over again the missionaries we support have expressed their thanks for the grace of God which enabled so many to give so much.

    However, probably only a few of us give what we could/should.

    Almost every time I pay a non-essential (e.g. Cable bill) I think of this.

    HankD
     
  5. saturneptune

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    Hank,
    Thanks for the post. Do not get me wrong. I do not claim to know what they go through everyday, but I do know what it is like to be away from the United States in an impoverished land and separated from family for an extended time. So, I only claim to know the physical side. In all honesty, while deployed, I was not a Christian, and the goal of a missionary and my goals were light years apart.

    I think when one is born in luxury, and lives in luxury, we have a tendency to think this is the norm. The poorest folks in this nation would be rich in other nations. Then we get into the physical danger aspect. Attempts on your life, your family's life, or threats daily pale in comparison to our "trials and tribulations." Lets be honest. What persecution do we really suffer. One is not going who is coming to the door on a visitation for those who bother to go. Another might be experiencing being made fun of, or someone mocking you. Give me a break. Also, the opposite political party to one's preference in power is not persecution. The biggest crisis most of these clowns here ever felt was an air conditioner going out in their dorm room.

    I mentioned it in another post, but our last missionary to visit our local church could not translate the question "how much does it cost to feed a family" because in his area in Tanzania, food is given by farmers locally and gifts. These folks depend on the Lord for their entire subsistence, which to me, was a real eye opener.
     
  6. HankD

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    I also had the experience of poverty when I was young so I know what hunger is like. Not of course the hunger of the third world starving nations.

    When I was a young teen, the Salvation Army was always there where I could get Government surplus food (they were the outlet in my day). Also the Catholic Church would give us "Vatican coins" which could be spent at certain stores for food. The Masons would help as well as my step-father was of an old Mason family (he was in prison at the time).

    In a similar vein concerning missionaries:
    We had a missionary come to our church and give a humbling account of a visit to Haiti (lets call him "George").

    He had been on the road all day with a national pastor going from town to town and as the evening drew near he asked the national when they were going to eat. The pastor gave him a surprised look and said "Brother George, you don't have eat everyday do you?".

    HankD
     
  7. ShagNappy

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    Can you give your scriptural support for that stance? Especially point #2?

    Thanks.
     
  8. exscentric

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    Probably semantics but the call relates to setting apart for a ministry - all calls would be the same, different only in destination - pastoral or missions etc. In my opinion of course.

    The life of course is much different. Indeed, some missionaries lead a life much more luxurious than many tent maker pastors. To make the missionaries into a special call because a part of that group suffers does not seem logical to me.

    Not speaking against missionaries in the least, I have been missions minded all my life and have seen/read of many sufferings but that is not always the case.
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    God has called all those whom he saved to be evalgelists/missionaries in our homes/neighborhoods/schools/jobs, but he has a select few granted the official calling to such, and we in the body called to supply and provide theirneeds...
     
  10. ShagNappy

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    I will then ask you the same question. Can you give your scriptural support for that stance?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Are you denying that missionaries should be financially supported by the local body then?
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Since no one else has answered this, I will. It seems to me that the Great Commission alone is enough to justify supporting missionaries. But there are passages proving that Missionary Paul was so supported:

    "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service" (2 Cor. 11:8).

    "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity" (Phil. 4:16-17).
     
  13. agedman

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    Do not take this post to mean that I am anti-missionary.

    What I want get across in this post is that we are ALL to be witnesses. If you are a true believer one should not be able but be a witness ("You SHALL be witnesses" and "Out of your belly WILL flow rivers of living water").

    That said, I do think that God impresses upon the heart of some to remove from the home land and travel (as did Abram) to the far country. Just as He may impress upon any believer the call to a more specialized task.

    I also consider that it is right and proper to support those who take on that task.

    I want to encourage the readers of the thread to be about the Father's business.

    Do not consider that your supporting a missionary presents your own obligation to be a witness as fulfilled.

    Do not consider that if you give to support a mission from a heart that expects results by the mission(ary) to expect your own reward for those results. Giving is not to be out of obligation, but love and concern.

    Does God reward those who give - taking from their own needs and giving it in love and concern to the missionary?

    Certainly, Paul reflects upon such in Philippians:
    15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
    Often verse 19 is used as a general statement of God's graciousness providing for all believers.

    That is NOT the context.

    Could it be that believers who are living meagerly may not be giving as Paul complimented the Philippians in doing and therefore not receiving the blessing that Paul gave? Perhaps.

    Do not forget that the gift was out of love and concern, and the results was God demonstrating His love and concern.
     
  14. Jordan Kurecki

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    I went on a Missions trip to the Dominican Republic and after I came back I had a huge appreciation and respect for foreign missionaries: Honestly people in America have no idea how good we have it here.

    You ought to be very careful about what you say about God's missionaries.
     
  15. Sapper Woody

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    Missionaries do a job that many are unwilling or unable to do. To leave family and go to a foreign land, this alone deserves respect. I had a hard time being away from family when I was stationed in Hawaii. And I was living in paradise!

    So even if a missionary is living in relative comfort, they are still making an immense sacrifice.

    Now with that being said, I don't believe that a missionary has a higher calling than anyone else. If God calls you to be a Sunday School teacher, then that's just as high a calling as being a missionary. We all have different jobs, just like in the military. The cook is just as important (even though it pains me to say this :)) as those on the front lines.
     
  16. ShagNappy

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    Nope. I question the notion that some folks are called simply to give. My father being one who has told me, "God didn't call me to care about people's salvation, He called me to write a check. It's someone else's job." While I realize no one in this thread went that far, there is some of the same attitude. "God called me to write a check." I disagree strongly and over the last couple years have come to a real crisis of conscience about how we Christians live these days. The NT church members sold everything they owned to support each other. You can't get most folks to pony up 10% these days. But they will go in debt to their eyeballs to have a bigger house and nicer car.

    However, if someone can provide me with scripture that supports some folks living in the "lap of luxury" and simply writing a check for the less than 1% that Goes and Does then I will stand corrected. My reading of the scripture indicates we are all to go and do. Most folks, though, won't walk across the street to see a soul saved.

    For full disclosure, I feel called to foreign mission work on the Asian continent once I graduate LRU. Full time.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    I provided Scripture about how Paul was supported by churches. But I certainly didn't mean that some could go and others could pay. All are to both support and to go themselves. A person in the homeland should both support and pray for missions, go on evangelism himself and even visit and personally help missionaries. That's how the average Christian can go "into all the world."
    Amen! Go for it.
     

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