I have several ideas for things that I would like to blog about in the future. Below is a sampling of things that I desire to expound upon when I get the time (or in some cases, the nerves) to type up.
The view some independent Baptists have about “world missions” – Most churches seems so used to missionaries that come through going to just a handful of different places. There is more to the world than just Mexico, Australia, India, and the Philippines and the same is true for world missions. I wish I could get folks to understand this. I will go so far as to say there are some places that don’t need to have any American missionaries sent anymore. Places like Australia for example. Australian churches are sending out their own missionaries, yet independent Baptists are still sending missionaries over there. I’m not saying that missionaries aren’t needed in these countries, what I’m saying is for some of these places it’s time to turn things over to the nationals. Our desire in Greenland isn’t to flood every town and village with Americans, it’s to preach the Gospel to these spiritually needy people, and of those that repent and get saved, train them to preach the Gospel also. It will be an exciting and glorious day when Greenlanders are preaching the Gospel to their own people! In this post, my desire will be to point out some areas that have a great need for missionaries and to challenge churches to be involved in actual world missions.
Unnecessary stress upon missionaries – Missionaries are under enough stress as it is between support, deputation, furlough, studying, visiting, etc, let alone having more added to their load. I wish folks would realize that missionaries are people too! I remember when our family first started deputation and how some folks wanted to give “advice” (that turned out to be useless and stressful). We have been told things along the lines of:
- “If you dress too plain then people won’t like you”
- “If you dress too flashy then people will think you are worldly”
- “If you don’t grow your hair out to where you can comb it over, then you are lazy” (I heard that preached somewhere once in reference to men)
- “You’ve just go to get out there and sell yourself better to the churches if you want support” (as though a missionary is some kind of ecclesiastical hooker)
- “Your children must remain in perfect obedience at all times, or you’ll blow your chances of support”
- “Your wife should watch this show on how to dress so churches will like her more” and other such nonsense.
That sort of “advice” does nothing but puts the dad on edge, makes the mom want to cry, and frustrates the children. Kids will be kids whether they are missionary kids or heathen church kids. We all deal with good days and bad days; that’s life. Why go around seeking to add more stress to others? Yet sadly, evil advice like those examples aren’t the only things that can add stress to a missionary’s life. Some churches will play the comparison game of “How many did YOU have saved, baptized, etc?” and will either imply or come out right and threaten support if certain predetermined goals aren’t met. When I write this post, I hope to address some of the things that cause unnecessary extra stress on missionaries to help churches to do better with missionaries.
Contemporary (or maybe just crazy) independent Baptists – We’ve been outside the USA for a little over 2 years, and it seems like during that time so much has happened to independent Baptist churches. One of the big things that I have seen is the rush over to contemporary mentality on things like: music, clothes, ministry, associations, etc. I hope it’s still the minority of independent Baptists that are doing this, but however many are going this way, it still disturbs me. You’ve got churches singing the wicked ‘christian rock and/or country’ music. They might try to justify it by changing the instruments used (like Lancaster does), but it’s the same ungodly music with the same ungodly message. You’ve got independent Baptist preachers reading after Southern Baptists, Calvinists, New Agers, mystics, etc. Some have tried to defend it with the dumb “eat the meat, spit out the bones” ideology. Sadly it seems that too many these days have a spiritual food poisoning from the junk they have been consuming. Some people think a little Crazy Love or Blue like Jazz or Velvet Elvis with some of The Shack and Mere Christianity on the side is a healthy spiritual diet. Sadly these seem to be the ones leading their churches into the CCM crowd and pretty soon they are all marching to the same beat (both literally and figuratively). Biblical personal AND ecclesiastical separation looks to be going the way of the vinyl record. Men of God should be sounding a clear warning against the evilness and wicked seductions of our day. How often do preachers warn against those like Rob Bell, John Piper, Rick Warren, Don Miller, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, or CS Lewis? What about preaching against the wickedness of Winter Jam, ‘christian’ rock, ‘christian’ country, progressive Southern Gospel (or most if not all Southern Gospel today)? There are also those among independent Baptists that should be warned against, lest they lead others astray like Paul Chappell and his mucking around with the wrong music, Hyles Anderson and the mess there, Bible correctors, and others who used to be an independent Baptist like Greg Locke? When I finally post this article I hope to be a caution to some who are going in the modern, liberal, CCM direction and a blessing to those who have stayed faithful to God and His Word.
I’m not sure when I will get around to putting these ideas, and more, into dedicated, individual blog posts. But at least putting some of these thoughts on here will help me to remember to do them. (^_^)
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.