Why We're Getting Discipleship Wrong

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by gb93433, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    “Discipleship” and “missional.”

    These are the two big buzzwords on the Christian landscape today. Of course, there is also “simple church.” But that’s another discussion for another time.


    As I speak in conferences throughout the world and meet people who have jumped on the discipleship bandwagon, or the missional bandwagon (or both), I make several observations.


    Two Streams of Missional

    There seems to be two different streams in the missional world:
    1) Those who are stuck with D.L. Moody's mindset. These are those who basically make the mission of God the salvation of lost souls. The church, then, is regarded as either a soul-saving station (the mechanism to save the lost), or it’s something that doesn’t appear on the radar screen as being anything terribly significant.


    The rest of the article is at http://www.churchleaders.com/pastor...why-we-re-getting-discipleship-wrong.html?p=1
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Most of Christianity has no concept about the Great Commission and what it requires.

    The Great Commission is nothing less or more than the authority to reproduce churches of like faith and order until Jesus returns.

    There are three types of people found in the Great Commission:

    1 "ye" the commissioned/authorized
    2."all nations" the lost of humanity
    3. "them" those who respond to the gospel message but need to be baptized and taught how to observe all things commanded.

    This commission is not given to "all nations" or the lost nor is it given to the saved but unbaptized and untaught but it is given only to "ye" who have already previously been through this process and thus are "disciples" (Mt. 28:17). Otherwise you have the blind leading the blind, the ungospelized gospelizing, the unbaptized baptizing and the untaught teaching.

    The Great Commission is designed to bring about the constitution of churches of like faith and order with Christ in the final aspect "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Indeed, it is impossible to obey this aspect apart from a New Testament congregation of such disciples.
     
  3. lakeside

    lakeside
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    That may be your philosophy, but it's not what Jesus said. He told his disciples to take the gospel to all men: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:18-19).

    This is known as the Great Commission, not the Great Imposition.

    Jesus commanded his followers to make others Christians through preaching and baptism. We must all, in one capacity or another, be evangelists and present the truth of Christ to those who don't yet accept it. In so doing, we aren't imposing anything on them. Christ wants a free acceptance of himself and his message.

    Evangelization is not an imposition but an act of charity. Through it the whole truth about God and man is made known to people in need. Those outside the Church hear the message of Christ the Savior and become united with him in his Church, his Mystical Body.

    "Live and let live" is a false philosophy. It reduces to Cain's question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" In things spiritual as well as things material, we are indeed our brother's keeper.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I am unable to find "preach" in Mt. 28:18-20 but rather teaching them to observe all that He commanded.
     
  5. lakeside

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    You are correct" Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you ' Matt.28:20
     
  6. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    More Catholic garble! There is one primary verb in the Great Commission literally translated "make disciples" and it is modified by three participles that are adverbial in defining what it means to "make disciples."

    The first participle is Aorist Tense translated "go" showing a completed action prior to the action of the main verb! This means a person is first gospelized before being baptized or taught. This means that reception of the gospel is a COMPLETED ACTION prior to either baptism or indoctrination. Hence, the only proper candidates for baptism are those repentant believers in the gospel.

    The next two participles are present tense or incompleted action showing simeltaneous action with the action of the main verb. Saved people are made disciples by immersing them and then assemblying them together under disciplinary instruction how to observe all things commanded.

    Hence, the very grammatical struture of the Great commission condemns Catholicism and baptismal regenerational denominations.
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I wonder how many children hear preaching from their pastors but receive little teaching from their parents and the parents wonder why their children do not attend church when they go to college?
     
  8. StefanM

    StefanM
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    Although no one who knew me would classify me as "old-school," I do feel a little "old-school" when I hear these buzz words thrown around.

    I'll be honest--generally when I hear someone talk about being "missional" I roll my eyes and stop listening. Why do I do this? Because almost every time someone has mentioned this term, I have heard a culturally-conditioned evangelism strategy that at least comes across as having a superior approach to all of the previous methods in the two millennia of Christian history.

    And if someone tries to create a distinction between being "missional" and "missions-minded," I groan. Distinction without a difference comes to mind.
     
    #8 StefanM, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2011
  9. lakeside

    lakeside
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    Baptists—and "Bible churches" in the Baptist tradition—insist that baptism is only for those who have come to faith. Nowhere in the New Testament, they point out, do we read of infants being baptized.

    On the other hand, nowhere do we read of children raised in believing households reaching the age of reason and then being baptized. The only explicit baptism accounts in the Bible involveconverts from Judaism or paganism. For children of believers there is no explicit mention of baptism—either in infancy or later.
    This poses a problem for Baptists and Bible Christians: On what basis do they require children of believers to be baptized at all? Given the silence of the New Testament, why not assume Christian baptism is only for adult converts?

    This, of course, would be contrary to historical Christian practice. But so is rejecting infant baptism. As we will see, there is no doubt that the early Church practiced infant baptism; and no Christian objections to this practice were ever voiced until the Reformation.

    The New Testament itself, while it does not explicitly say when (or whether) believers should have their children baptized, is not silent on the subject.

    Luke 18:15–16 tells us that "they were bringing even infants" to Jesus; and he himself related this to the kingdom of God: "Let the children come to me
    . . . for to such belongs the kingdom of God."

    When Baptists speak of "bringing someone to Jesus," they mean leading him to faith. But Jesus says "even infants" can be "brought" to him. Even Baptists don’t claim their practice of "dedicating" babies does this. The fact is, the Bible gives us no way of bringing anyone to Jesus apart from baptism.

    Thus Peter declared, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children" (Acts 2:38–39).

    The apostolic Church baptized whole "households" (Acts 16:33; 1 Cor. 1:16), a term encompassing children and infants as well as servants. While these texts do not specifically mention—nor exclude—infants, the very use of the term "households" indicates an understanding of the family as a unit. Even one believing parent in a household makes the children and even the unbelieving spouse "holy" (1 Cor. 7:14).

    Does this mean unbelieving spouses should be baptized? Of course not. The kingdom of God is not theirs; they cannot be "brought to Christ" in their unbelief. But infants have no such impediment. The kingdom is theirs, Jesus says, and they should be brought to him; and this means baptism.

    Baptism is the Christian equivalent of circumcision, or "the circumcision of Christ": "In him you were also circumcised with . . . the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" (Col. 2:11–12). Thus, like circumcision, baptism can be given to children as well as adults. The difference is that circumcision was powerless to save (Gal. 5:6, 6:15), but "aptism . . . now saves you" (1 Pet. 3:21).

    The first explicit evidence of children of believing households being baptized comes from the early Church—where infant baptism was uniformly
    upheld and regarded as apostolic. In fact, the only reported controversy on the subject was a third-century debate whether or not to delay baptism until the eighth day after birth, like its Old Testament equivalent, circumcision! (See quotation from Cyprian, below; compare Leviticus 12:2–3.)

    Consider, too, that Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason.

    For example, infant baptism is assumed in Irenaeus’ writings (since he affirms both that regeneration happens in baptism, and also that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated). Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time—Polycarp, a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before.
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I agree. recently I asked a young pastor is he had studied about church growth in seminary. He said that he had. Then I asked if he could tell me how the gurus of 20 years ago are doing now. His answer was that they are no longer the gurus. I explained that they are 20 years older and their congregations are 20 years older if they are not making disciples as Jesus did.
     

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